The musky and flathead catfish are highly effective ambush predators in freshwater systems, known for their coloration, stealthy abilities, speed, and viscous attack. They consume almost any other fish in their domain, making traditional stinky baits ineffective. Catching trophy flathead catfish requires pinpointing singular fish and finding good points of structure, which can be achieved through topographical charts, bottom scanning, and water fishing.
Scott Manning, a seasoned catfisher, has gained fame for his expertise in the Tennessee River system. The waterways were created by the Tennessee Valley Authority's dams in the 1930s, creating a diverse fish habitat. Manning leverages his fishing skills and down-to-earth demeanor to navigate the catfishing techniques, leveraging the predictable water movement and bait aggregation points.
Spring camping trips often involve catfishing using jugs, limb lines, and trot lines. Cats are abundant in the south, and setting up jugs, limb lines, and trot lines can be a great way to stock the freezer. Live bait, fresh cut bait, and limb lines are effective for flathead catfish.