Weather: HOT, 100 degrees
Moon Phase: New Moon
Location: All American Canal, California
Bait: Live Bluegill
Who Went: Jonathan, Me
I was sent to Yuma, Arizona for work again, but the beautiful 70 degree air temps I enjoyed in February have long passed and I endured blistering heat in the range of 112-115 degrees. Worst part is the temperature never seemed to break and lingered in the mid 90s until almost midnight. I didn’t let the weather keep me down though as its primetime for big Flathead Catfish. I fished every night I was there and landed quite a few flatheads, but no monsters like I had hoped. I never fished very long into the night because the alarm went off at 4:00 am every morning to beat the heat for work. Flatheads are the most frustrating fish I’ve fished for to date. I must have had 30 bites all week and landed only 6 or 7. They will sit and hold the bluegill in their mouth, but never completely commit for a hook set. They will run with it, suck on it, rip at it, but every time you try and set the hook you come up empty handed. Very frustrating! I was using very heavy tackle with big ocean rods equipped with Penn reels. I used 120 pound braided line with an 8 oz weight and a monster circle hook.
Here is the recap…
Monday: I met Jonathan at the usual spot on the All American Canal at 7:00 pm. Quickly caught a few bluegill for bait and was flathead fishing by 8:00 pm. The wind was whipping, but the flatheads were biting! I took some video showing how the flatheads will sit and bite it, but never totally commit.
Tell me thats not frustrating! I caught one small flathead that I didn’t even know I had on until I reeled in the ocean rod that Jonathan provided me. Using heavy gear in preparation for the bigger fish, a 3 pounder feels almost non-existent, but either way it was my first ever flathead. We must have had 8 good bites the first night, but only landed one.
Tuesday: Jonathan was busy so he borrowed me his gear and I was on the canal by 6:30 pm. There was a high wind advisory and it proved to be correct. The canal was producing 3-4 foot swells and looked like Utah Lake on a windy day. The wind had the bluegill going nuts and I landed 8 of them in 9 casts. I kept 4 small ones for bait, but the flatheads weren’t as active in the wind as the bluegill. I had a few bites, but only landed one small flathead.
Wednesday: Jonathan met me at our spot at 7:00 pm. The wind was gone, the water was calm, and the bluegills were picky. It took about an hour to land 3 bluegills, but again by 8:00 pm we were flathead fishing. We had a few bites, but it seemed slow, so Jonathan took me to one of his other spots. We probably should have stayed because we didn’t get a bite the rest of the night.
Thursday: It was my last night there and Jonathan’s birthday. He went out with his girlfriend, but told me I could drop off his gear after I was done fishing. I hit the water a bit earlier to try and get as much fishing in as possible, but the bluegill were more moody than ever before. It was very frustrating as the sun began to go down behind the hills and I could see 30 bluegill along the shoreline, but they wouldn’t bite a thing. I kept thinking, it’s my last hoorah and I’m not even going to be able to fish! Literally just before dark I tried a different spot and was able to land 3 in a matter of seconds. Bluegills don’t bite after dark, so catching 3 that close to dark felt god sent.
I hooked them up and had them out within minutes. I immediately started getting bites. Many times I had both poles bouncing at once and was able to land a couple. At one point I was getting hit on one rod and the other rod began bouncing hard. The line was screaming off the reel and I knew it must be a big fish. I stayed patient and let him run, but for whatever reason, he became bored and left it alone. I finally had the hit I’ve been waiting for all week, only to be disappointed. I grabbed the other rod that was still bouncing and brought in a small flathead about 4 pounds, but it just didn’t satisfy me after knowing what was on the other rod.