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Too cold, too low for flats?

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Hey guys,

Been out for a while recovering from kidney donation surgery. Get down to the river and HOLY C**P is it ever low!!!

So, I want to head out tonight for some flats, but I've got a couple questions...

1) Is it getting too cold overnight to catch them?

2) Is the extremely low water going to make it less likely?

3) I'm so broke, I can't even afford to get some decent bait. I may well end up going with a can of friggin corn, and hoping for some sheephead cut bait. I do have some "questionable" chicken breasts I've left in the fridge. Not livers, just regular old breasts. But they're starting to smell a bit (I'm not lazy, I let them get that way with the hopes they'd be okay for bait). So, anybody ever tried that? ANY chance at all on landing anything big on stinky chicken breasts?

4) any other tips/pointers for flat fishing on a cold September night, with lame bait, on low water?

Oh, shore fishing only, just east of the 35W/106th landing across from black dog rd...

GREATLY appreciate any tip/ideas y'all can give! Thanks!



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Glad you recovered from your surgery! The water has actually came up a quite a bit recently and is still on the rise. You have lowered your odds of catching a flathead by not fishing with live bait, but you have better odds of catching something as long as you have a line out. This time of year is pretty much at the tail end of cat fishing for flats, they can still be caught, but your odds are even less likely.

I was out last night, and the passenger in my boat caught a 38.5"x25", so they are still feeding. Good luck!

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Thanks for the reply. Certainly good to hear one was caught just last night. I've actually gotten my hands on some chicken livers, so I'm going to give those a try tonight as well as the first caught sheephead.

Is a smallish LIVE sheephead better than half a dead one? I've yet to try them live...

Thanks again!

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I have never heard of using live Sheephead for Flatheads but I don't see why it wouldn't work (not sure if it's legal though?). If you could catch them at the right size I would say go for it. I would probably just cut it up into a bunch of 1" chunks and try that instead.

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I went out tonight. The water is really high and temps are at around 61 degrees. It was dead. I ended up feeding a curious raccoon on the bank most of my bait. No fish but it was entertaining.

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yea not sure about using sheepheads might want to check the regs on that. im am gonna make it out this weekend maybe try for some channels

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The river is out of its banks in places up here, and still rising! The redwood river is over the road on #8 between Redwood Falls and Marshall and it is still rising. We are supposed to get up to another inch this week. Hope it stays away...its all coming your way!

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Well, went out Saturday night, black dog rd area near 35W. I could not believe how much the water had come up since I saw it two weeks ago! THe night was my first EVER total SKUNK on the MN River. Not one single fish was caught, not even a drum, and we only even had maybe a dozen small nibbles. Wow.

Problem was, I didn't have any crawlers to fish while waiting for a flat to eat my shrimp or chicken livers, all I had was corn (heh, when I said I was broke, I wasn't kidding!). Argh.

But, I'd rather be getting skunked on the river than not fishing at all!

Perhaps this weekend will be more generous.

THanks for the help guys!

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The water is still coming up Heffe, You might be better off finding a back water area or creek to fish, instead of that discharge area.

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Huh, forgot to consider this good size feeder stream I found. Might have to try that.

That being said, I was under the impression that the higher water was BETTER (steeper drop-offs at the shore. I strictly shore fish cuz nobody I know has a boat). Is this not the case? Or does it maybe depend on location? Because I know my usual spot's features, and now that the water is back up the shore drops almost straight down to 4 feet deep, like two feet out. I always seemed to have luck with the smaller cats during the day (though, mostly the channel cats) there, and I figured the straight drop-off in an eddy area was a good choice. PLEASE advise - am I totally off the mark here?

Of course, if ever anybody with a boat needed some company some night, I'd be thrilled to join! Would like to meet some fellow cat hunters down here in my area - everybody I bring out with me has to come down from Coon Rapids, Blaine, etc so its hard to get company often (lazy SOBs!)

So if anybody on here needs a fishing buddy on their boat some night, call or text me! Jeff @ 952-261-4953

Thanks again for the insights folks!

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When the water is high, typically that will push the fish in shallower up into shoreline areas and creeks. This is both to get out of the main current and to chase the baitfish that are there as well. Always look for anything that breaks up the current. These spots will hold fish.

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