Pond Boss
Posted By: mattmonster1991 flathead catfish - 01/18/19 05:44 AM
is it possible to raise good sized 3-10 pound flatheads(FHC) in a pond around 10 acres already stocked with lots of crappie small bass and few channels?

was curious if got a pregnant female flathead(FHC) if she had her babies in the pond they could grow and reproduce id love to be able to catch small flatheads for food not a fan of catching them over 10 pounds i know you dont put flatheads in small ponds but a lake around 10 acres or so should be fine right?
Posted By: wannapond0001 Re: flathead catfish - 01/18/19 06:09 AM
I heard they will eat all your fish. Even 1.
Posted By: mattmonster1991 Re: flathead catfish - 01/18/19 08:37 AM
yeah if they get massive and are in a small pond im sure but the fact lakes udner 20 acres have flatheads in them tell me they cant just eat all the fish.

wanting to try to raise small flatheads for eating as they are so hard to catch anyways seems like everytime i see someone catch a flathead its at least 12 pounds.

i wana target 2-3 pounders for eating since they r known as the best eating catfish
Posted By: Dave Davidson1 Re: flathead catfish - 01/18/19 09:46 AM
Not sure about flatheads but channel cat fry rarely survive. They swim slowly and go everywhere in a school. Easy picking for everything larger. According to Lusk only about 1% of any fish survives predation up till their first birthday.
Posted By: Mike Whatley Re: flathead catfish - 01/18/19 09:58 AM
Originally Posted By: mattmonster1991
is it possible to raise good sized 3-10 pound flatheads in a pond around 10 acres already stocked with lots of crappie small bass and few channels?

was curious if got a pregnant female flathead if she had her babies in the pond they could grow and reproduce id love to be able to catch small flatheads for food not a fan of catching them over 10 pounds i know you dont put flatheads in small ponds but a lake around 10 acres or so should be fine right?


You're gonna have to have two to start. A boy and a girl. The eggs don't fertilize themselves. And where a LMB will target forage up to 1/3 its length, flathead mouth gape is the largest of any freshwater fish, allowing it to take fish over half its size. If your big bass aren't of any concern then go for it. They will eventually become targeted food. I've caught flathead on trot line that ate mudcats up to three pounds. Granted, they were monsters... but still.
Posted By: anthropic Re: flathead catfish - 01/18/19 10:51 AM
Mike, how would you compare the taste of flatheads versus other catfish?
Posted By: Mike Whatley Re: flathead catfish - 01/18/19 12:15 PM
Just my personal opinion, of course, but in order of preference ...
1st Flathead
2nd Channel
3rd Blue
4th Bullhead

Flathead is almost sweet to taste and very flakey

I know too, when my dad and brother were alive and selling fish, if they had flathead, it was gone in a heartbeat.

As Matt stated earlier, they're hard to come by as they don't travel on schools, very solitary fish. They're nomadic, always moving and searching for the next meal. When you catch one, it's usually a beast, but then you only need one to fill a freezer. We've caught some smaller 5-10# fish, but its those behemoths that everyone remembers. My personal best is 45#, I think my brother boated an 85# from a hoop net.
Posted By: nehunter Re: flathead catfish - 01/18/19 02:03 PM
A flathead cat's head makes up most of the weight of a fish 2 to 3 lbs. you do not get much meat at that size. In my opinion 7 to 15 lbs is a better size to keep for eating. But they are eating bigger fish by then.
Posted By: mattmonster1991 Re: flathead catfish - 01/18/19 04:33 PM
im just dying to try some flathead and i dont like bigger catfish due to the more fat they have on them. i like thin filets from catfish around 2 pounds generally just sad that its so hard to find them that small wish there was a way to find the babies soon as they hatch and keep them in a tank till they grow a little bigger then release them into waters
Posted By: John Fitzgerald Re: flathead catfish - 01/19/19 12:56 AM
IME about 8 pounds is the ideal eating size flathead. When they get to 20, there is too much fat. Small ones have too much head in proportion to edible meat.

As far as being in larger bodies of water, IMO flatheads don't make much of a difference in game fish populations.
Posted By: bigpullerman Re: flathead catfish - 01/19/19 02:03 PM
I have had flathead before and I did like it better than CC. Everything I have read says that they will eat everything in the pond. I have read were some put them in a pond to do just that so they can start over. Check around the ole interweb and you can find some places that sells them.
Posted By: mattmonster1991 Re: flathead catfish - 01/20/19 12:33 AM
Originally Posted By: bigpullerman
I have had flathead before and I did like it better than CC. Everything I have read says that they will eat everything in the pond. I have read were some put them in a pond to do just that so they can start over. Check around the ole interweb and you can find some places that sells them.



do they usually ship online? id love to buy some around 8 inches or so so other fish wont gobble em up
Posted By: wannapond0001 Re: flathead catfish - 01/20/19 12:51 AM
Good luck finding them online.
Posted By: mattmonster1991 Re: flathead catfish - 01/21/19 01:12 AM
ud think if people actually sell them they would go online to advertise or go to sites like pondboss to post ohh well
Posted By: mattmonster1991 Re: flathead catfish - 01/21/19 01:19 AM
ud think if people actually sell them they would go online to advertise or go to sites like pondboss to post ohh well
Posted By: bigpullerman Re: flathead catfish - 01/21/19 01:21 AM
http://www.castawaylakes.com/Default.asp
I came across this place but it says 2017 so I don't know. If you really want some flatheads then you might have to call some suppliers in your area or surrounding states. But again everything I have read says that they will eventually clean out your pond.
Posted By: mattmonster1991 Re: flathead catfish - 01/21/19 09:13 AM
what if i put them in alake over 40 acres full of all types of species already if u put maybe 100 do u think it could make it a good flathead lake to catch them as sport fish?
Posted By: mattmonster1991 Re: flathead catfish - 01/21/19 10:10 AM
.
Posted By: ewest Re: flathead catfish - 01/21/19 01:23 PM
North American Journal of Fisheries Management
Article: pp. 198202

Gape:Body Size Relationship of Flathead Catfish
Joe E. Slaughter IVa,,1 and Brad Jacobsonb
a) Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, 2065 U.S. Highway 278 SE, Social Circle, Georgia 30025, USA
b) Arizona Game and Fish Department, Region IV, 9140 East 28th Street, Yuma, Arizona 85365, USA

Abstract.

The flathead catfish Pylodictis olivaris is a highly piscivorous ictalurid native to central North America whose range has been extended throughout much of the United States. With this range expansion, many populations of native fishes have experienced declines in the number of individuals due to direct predation by flathead catfish. Previous evidence suggests that flathead catfish are opportunistic feeders and may be the least gape limited of North American freshwater piscivores. To better understand the size of prey vulnerable to flathead catfish, we measured gape dimensions for individuals of various sizes to determine the maximum size prey a flathead catfish can kill based on its gape limitations. Our results show the relationship of total length to horizontal and vertical gape and the relationship of flathead catfish total length to the total lengths of ingestible-sized prey of different body shapes. Furthermore, comparisons of the body depth of three common fish species to the gape dimensions showed that no size of largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides, bluegill Lepomis macrochirus, or gizzard shad Dorosoma cepedianum would preclude predation by flathead catfish. Our results support the assumption that the flathead catfish is one of the least gape-limited piscivores.

-----------------------------------------------------------
Bob Lusk
Editor, Pond Boss Magazine
Lunker

Registered: 10/04/02
Posts: 3121
Loc: Whitesboro, Texas
(71.29.194.5)
Flathead catfish not only eat other fish, as they grow large, they kill for the sake of killing, whether they eat the fish or not. Once they define a territory, they defend it. I'd steer clear of that situation and choose a better tool.
_________________________
Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...



Posted By: bigpullerman Re: flathead catfish - 01/21/19 01:28 PM
I don't know how that would work out. All that I have read and heard of people talking about says that those flatheads are eating machines. Some of the experts would be able to better answer your question.
Posted By: mattmonster1991 Re: flathead catfish - 01/21/19 03:09 PM
u mean to the second question about stocking them in a big lake over 40-80 acres or so or are you refering to my original post

what i dont get is if flatheads are sucha dominate predator how come there is such a small number of them in the wild?most people catch tonssss of blues channels but flatheads are rarely caught blues get bigger and can almost eat things as big as flatheads yet theres tons more blues it makes me thin that flatheads are dying off a rare species in most places was curious if someone stocked about 30-100 around 1 pound each or so in a big lake if they would survive and be able to reproduce and make it a decent flathead fishing lake in future
Posted By: nehunter Re: flathead catfish - 01/21/19 03:10 PM
Here in NE we have a lake that the state has it as a catch and release only for the flatheads. Their goal is to keep the white perch pop down.
Posted By: mattmonster1991 Re: flathead catfish - 01/21/19 03:13 PM
Originally Posted By: nehunter
Here in NE we have a lake that the state has it as a catch and release only for the flatheads. Their goal is to keep the white perch pop down.



my goal in the future is to have a few of my own ponds have 1 pond about an acre that i stock with just flatheads and gizzard shad as is aid ic an get those by the buckets full just takes 1 trip with my cast net and 4 big coolers and could easily feed them like every 3 months go and do that for forage for them to eat in hopes of producing good 5-12 pound flattys for eating and fun
Posted By: John Fitzgerald Re: flathead catfish - 01/21/19 03:28 PM
I think that the wild flathead catfish population in our local White River lakes system help control the common carp population.
Posted By: bigpullerman Re: flathead catfish - 01/21/19 04:25 PM
Originally Posted By: mattmonster1991
Originally Posted By: nehunter
Here in NE we have a lake that the state has it as a catch and release only for the flatheads. Their goal is to keep the white perch pop down.



my goal in the future is to have a few of my own ponds have 1 pond about an acre that i stock with just flatheads and gizzard shad as is aid ic an get those by the buckets full just takes 1 trip with my cast net and 4 big coolers and could easily feed them like every 3 months go and do that for forage for them to eat in hopes of producing good 5-12 pound flattys for eating and fun


Don't know about the 40 acre lake, might work out ok but I am no expert. Your idea of a 1 acre pond with flatheads sounds like it would be doable but like I said, I'm no expert. If flatheads were the primary predator then BG, GSF and bullheads would feed them some also. If you feed with fish food of which I don't know if flatheads will pellet train, might be the best way. Would be interesting to see in a 1 acre pond cause you could always start over after a big fish fry.
Posted By: John Fitzgerald Re: flathead catfish - 01/21/19 08:34 PM
From what I have read, flatheads will not pellet train.
Posted By: Pat Williamson Re: flathead catfish - 01/22/19 02:42 AM
Wonder if you can Otter train them! That would be helpful to some of us.
Posted By: John Fitzgerald Re: flathead catfish - 01/22/19 03:07 AM
An otter ate about a 20 pound flathead from my neighbor's pond. Left the head and backbone on the bank.
Posted By: Bill D. Re: flathead catfish - 01/22/19 03:07 AM
Originally Posted By: Pat Williamson
Wonder if you can Otter train them! That would be helpful to some of us.


Good plan Pat! I doubt pellet training would work out anyway. I've never seen anybody selling softball size pellets! grin
Posted By: mattmonster1991 Re: flathead catfish - 01/22/19 04:11 AM
Originally Posted By: John Fitzgerald
An otter ate about a 20 pound flathead from my neighbor's pond. Left the head and backbone on the bank.



how does an otter get a fish that big n fast
Posted By: Pat Williamson Re: flathead catfish - 01/22/19 04:35 AM
They sometimes act like coyotes and run fish down in a pack tiring the fish out.
Seems they go after the largest fish first.
Posted By: mattmonster1991 Re: flathead catfish - 01/22/19 06:21 PM
i could see if it was in like 3 foot of water or so but in a real lake or pond lol if thats the case then no fish is safe and you better stock your lakes every few years then
Posted By: wannapond0001 Re: flathead catfish - 01/22/19 07:23 PM
Originally Posted By: mattmonster1991
i could see if it was in like 3 foot of water or so but in a real lake or pond lol if thats the case then no fish is safe and you better stock your lakes every few years then

actually no you don't want 20%. Depending on the females weight, a big female can lay 50k eggs...20% of that is 10k.
Posted By: mattmonster1991 Re: flathead catfish - 01/22/19 07:55 PM
lol ya might b a bit much but if u had a massive fishing lake already stocked of fish but wanted to introduce flatheads ud have t probably put close to 10k flatheads around the 3 inch range right
Posted By: Vortex 4 Re: flathead catfish - 01/22/19 09:43 PM
Flatheads hang out at restaurants on Lake Houston and they will aggressively eat anything you drop off the deck. They definitely eat tortilla chips.

I would consider getting the cheapest dog food you find at WallyWorld and try that. If your feed store has cheap goat chow etc I bet that would work too. There has to be a commercial catfish chow for commercial growers.

Of coarse, when Fritos go on sale...
Posted By: anthropic Re: flathead catfish - 01/22/19 11:27 PM
If flatheads could be trained to eat cormorants...
Posted By: John Fitzgerald Re: flathead catfish - 01/22/19 11:30 PM
Catfish pellets are about as cheap per pound as the cheapest dog food, at least here, about $20 for 50 pounds.
Posted By: John Fitzgerald Re: flathead catfish - 01/22/19 11:31 PM
Originally Posted By: mattmonster1991
Originally Posted By: John Fitzgerald
An otter ate about a 20 pound flathead from my neighbor's pond. Left the head and backbone on the bank.



how does an otter get a fish that big n fast


The do it in winter when the water is cold and the catfish are sluggish.
Posted By: Bill D. Re: flathead catfish - 01/23/19 01:12 AM
IIRC Sprkplug has one big FHC in one of his ponds and posted that it was not a big problem with respect to wiping out the rest of the inhabitants. I know he posted a picture but can't find it. Maybe someone else has a better memory than I do.
Posted By: bigpullerman Re: flathead catfish - 01/23/19 06:24 PM
Here you go.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=296739
Posted By: wannapond0001 Re: flathead catfish - 01/23/19 06:37 PM
That is one big catfish. Proof that they can do damage.
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