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Best Time To Catch Flathead Catfish [CQT]


I haven’t talked a lot about flathead catfish here on the in the past. I have covered some basic tips, tricks and information but haven’t gone into near the detail that I have on blue catfish and channel catfish. With the Learn To Catch Catfish survey running and receiving the initial round of responses one of the immediate areas identified was flathead catfish are topic we need to cover more of.

The reason I have not covered flatheads as much as the other catfish species is the level of difficulty there is in catching them. Not that they are impossible to catch but when it comes to being consistently successful catching them I would rank flatheads the most elusive fish to catch behind channels and blues. Like anything else, with time on the water and experience they become much easier to catch and you can catch them quite consistently but the level of effort to get to that point is much higher (in my opinion) that what is required to catch blues and channels.

Flathead fishing is also traditionally what I refer to as “slow fishing”, meaning there is a lot of waiting. There are always exceptions and days were the fishing is amazing but as a good general rule I would say it is much slower fishing that targeting the other types of catfish.

Since I recently covered the best time to catch blue catfish and best time to catch channel catfish, it only seemed fitting that the next video be the best time of year to catch flathead catfish.

I have a few favorites on the best time of year to catch flathead catfish and all for very different reasons.

March and early spring is a great time because the fish are coming out of the cold water period where they have been lethargic, not feeding as heavily and have lost a lot of weight. When the water warms flathead catfish present with a ferocious appetite and are feeding heavily and working to add that lost body weight back.

Summer is another favorite because I enjoy the peace and tranquility of fishing at night and fishing for big yellow cats at night is usually very productive.

Early Fall, especially October is another favorite as the fish are usually feeding heavily in preparation for the cold water period. This time of year has produces some of the biggest flatheads for me over the years.

In this week’s Catfishing Quick Tip video (below) we cover the best time of year to catch flathead catfish so check it out. Once your done watching the video make sure you head over to the  and share your flathead catfish pictures and ask any questions you might have about these fish!


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About Chad

Chad Ferguson is a professional catfish guide and founder of Learn To Catch Catfish. Click here to subscribe for more exclusive catfish fishing tips by email and then follow on Twitter or Google


  1. Anthony Ridder says:

    Hey Chad, I’m a big fan of all your vids. My question is about flathead fishing in the early fall, is night time still the most productive during this time? Or are they just as likely to be caught during the day? Thanks

  2. butterbean carpenter says:

    Howdy Chad,

    Whatz with all of the different color tape on your fingers??? Unless you fish a riverine lake you have few chances of catching flatheads.. Most
    flatheads won’t live long in ponds.. The only ones we’ve ever caught were in rivers or creeks emptying into rivers…


  3. makeshift bandaid with red electrical tape is my bet Mr.Butterbean. I hope you’re wrong about the flatheads not living long in ponds butterbean. My family has a small pond less than a mile from the river we catch flatheads from some upwards of twenty pounds. We keep them healthy and let them go into the pond but rarely see them after that. Chad I just want to thank you for all of your information. I’m going to buy your book and can’t wait to show off my new skills when I visit my dad in Missouri this August. Thanks again

  4. hey chad like the video. i haven’t heard you talk about bulls and whites on the site could you do something on them.thanks god bless

  5. I heard (even though I’m not sure where) that flathead catfish can be caught in the same locations as channel catfish is this true

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