Chasing Summer Flatheads with Joey Pounders

Chasing Summer Flatheads with Joey Pounders

October 09, 2017

In the heat of the summer, trying to catch trophy sized blue catfish can be more than challenging.

When the going gets tough, B’n’M Catfish pro-staffer Joey Pounders of Caledonia, Mississippi loves to target big flathead catfish. In his part of the world, some folks call them yellow cats while others may refer to them as mud cats, but whatever you call them, Pounders said it’s the fight of a big flathead that’s hard to beat.

“Flatheads are known to be solitary creatures that lurk in the shadows by day and feed on live prey by night,” he said. “That’s why live bait and sometimes fresh cut bait is the best way to fish for them.”

Pounders said flatheads can be found in both lakes and rivers, but the one thing they have in common in both places is they don’t like as much current as blue catfish do.

“The flatheads prefer to stay in places that don’t get much current and they like to lay around in some kind of structure,” he said. “I like to find a spot that’s about 20 to 25 foot deep and then surround the boat with a lot of live bait.”

Pounders typical set up is six B’n’M Silver Cat Magnum catfish poles fan cast in different directions. His preferences for catfish holding structure includes wood, rock, and concrete but anything that provides a current break and a buffet of live bait will suffice.

“What I like to do is find a seam behind a big piece of structure, not necessarily trees, but big rocks that create a good current break,” he said.  “Flatheads love to lay behind rocks or any current break.  You also don’t always have to use live bait, you can take one of the catfish’s preferred baits, a skipjack herring, and get a good piece of filet and hook it so it’ll spin in the current, that puts off a good vibration and puts off a lot of scent, too.”

One of the most recognizable current breaks known to house flatheads are manmade structures, like dams and bridge pilings. Pounders heads to the upper reaches behind an impounded reservoir to fish these because it’s current that draws these fish to the structure.

 “Fish anywhere from right up to the main dam and behind any bridges you might find downstream from the dam,” said Pounders. “Behind any large pillars out in the water and around the rocks at the dam are the best spots to find flatheads. They can sit out of the current and let the water bring food to them.”   

The pro also advises that in larger reservoirs flathead catfish like to follow a secondary river channel where it flows through a good stump studded flat. Anywhere along the run he can catch flathead catfish that are running the edge of the walls looking for live baits.

Another prime flathead catfish spot is a blow down tree where rising and falling water has washed a lot of trees off the bank.  Pounders pointed out that most of the blow down trees will be covered by water so he uses his graph to locate the best spots to anchor and fish. 

“You need to approach quietly so you don’t spook the fish, then quietly anchor off the bank and throw your baits up there next to those tree stumps and root balls that are going to be exposed at the undercut bank,” he said. “You also want to drop a couple of lines straight down because more than likely the boat will be positioned right on top of good structure too.”

B’n’M has all the catfish tackle you need to land the big ones. Check out our catalog online at

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