How to Catch Flathead Catfish

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Instructor: Scott Manning

Capt. Scott Manning is a top North American fisherman known for targeting giant flathead catfish in the Tennessee River system. His video, "In The Spread," teaches you how to catch big cats with patience and follow cat fishing techniques. Manning shares his program, electronics, transition areas, depths, catfish rig, baits, and tackle. By selectively targeting hogs and waiting them out, you can catch big catfish and become a more skilled fisherman.

Description / Review / Instructor


  • Location: Tennessee boasts one of North America's finest flathead catfish fisheries.
  • Fish Size: Anglers have a realistic chance at catching hundred-pound fish.
  • Techniques: Patience and specific catfishing techniques are essential for targeting larger fish.
  • Expert: Captain Scott Manning, a recognized catfish expert, shares tactics in the In The Spread fishing video.
  • Key Points: Importance of understanding transition areas, productive structures, bait preferences, depth, rig usage, and electronics.
  • Bait: Freshness, the right cut, and proper storage can make a significant difference.
  • Preparedness: With the potential of a 100-pound catch, it's crucial to be well-informed and ready.

Learn to Target Trophy Flathead Catfish

The flathead catfish fishery in Tennessee stands out as a premier destination in North America. With its pristine waters harboring some truly mammoth catfish, it's no surprise that anglers from all over the continent flock to this state. Fancy a shot at a hundred-pound giant? Tennessee offers not just a fantastic fishing experience but also a rich opportunity to learn the art of targeting these elusive behemoths.

In The Spread: Bridging Knowledge and Passion

At In The Spread, our driving goal is to spotlight the best in the fishing industry, ensuring you receive unparalleled insights for your fishing endeavors. Enter Captain Scott Manning, a veritable catfish whisperer. His down-to-earth, country charm might deceive some, but beneath that lies a master angler with a refined strategy. With a reputation as one of Tennessee's top fishing guides and an undisputed catfish expert, Scott boasts a sharp acumen on how to track, lure, and land these colossal fish.

Our latest In The Spread video offers an exclusive peek into Scott's world, unveiling his tried-and-tested tactics for targeting the bigger flathead catfish during the early summer months. Dive deep into:

  • Identifying prime transition zones and fruitful structures.
  • Comprehending why these locales attract fish.
  • Scott's preferred bait, its optimal size, and the best depths for catfishing.
  • The essential role of modern electronics in angling.

Targeting Titans: Navigating Tennessee's Waterways

Tennessee's intricate system of rivers, dams, and reservoirs form a vast network teeming with bait-rich waters. But with so many potential spots, how does one pinpoint locations brimming with the prized flathead catfish? The confluence of the Clinch, Emory, and Tennessee Rivers creates a unique environment influencing bait patterns and ensuring a haven for river catfish. However, our aim is the big game. Delve into how Scott identifies and strategically positions his boat over the finest underwater terrains, and grasp the nuances of the seabed geography that makes certain areas bait magnets.

Mastering The Electronics: A Game Changer

The quintessence of modern catfishing lies in effectively utilizing your bottom machine. It's vital to monitor the fish's behavior around your bait. Detecting activity but no bites? Scott guides you on the crucial decisions: stay or leave? And if you choose to stay, for how long? Harnessing the power of electronics can be a game changer, even if you're familiar with the region.

Baiting Right: The Final Frontier

As you get ready to drop your catfish bait, several questions arise. What bait size is optimal? How should circle hooks be baited for catfish? Scott shares invaluable tips on bait preparation that can significantly boost your chances. After all, the bait is the final bridge between you and that prized catch.

Be Prepared for Trophy Fish

When there's a genuine prospect of hooking a 100-pound flathead catfish, preparation is key. Integrate the techniques and insights Scott Manning imparts in our instructional video, and elevate your fishing game.

About Scott Manning:
An ardent Catfish/Striper enthusiast, author, speaker, professional guide, and a proud US Army Veteran hailing from Clinton, Tennessee, Captain Scott is accredited by the US Coast Guard & the State of Tennessee. A celebrated contributor to renowned publications like BoatUS Magazine, The Catfish Magazine, The Angler Magazine, and The Southern Outdoors Magazine, Scott has dedicated over three decades to understanding trophy fish in the Clinch & Tennessee Rivers.


Q: How challenging is it to target bigger cats in Tennessee?
A: It's not overly difficult, but it does require patience and specific catfishing techniques.

Q: Who is Captain Scott Manning?
A: Captain Scott Manning is one of the best fishing guides in Tennessee, recognized as a catfish guru. He provides insights on locating, catching, and boating big fish.

Q: What will I learn from the In The Spread fishing video?
A: The video features Scott Manning discussing how to locate transition areas and productive structures, bait preferences, depth considerations, the importance of electronics, and more.

Q: How important is bait quality?
A: Extremely. The bait should be fresh, properly cut, and stored well. It's the last link between the angler and the fish.

Q: How should I use electronics for catfishing?
A: Your bottom machine will show you fish activity around your baits. It's crucial to monitor this and adjust accordingly.

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Scott Manning

Scott Manning, a U.S. Military veteran, has become a master angler and steward of the waterways in East Tennessee. He specializes in capturing Monster Catfish, a species that thrives in the deep waters of the Tennessee River Monsters. Manning's company, Tennessee River Monsters, offers a unique perspective on the catfish fishery, highlighting the importance of understanding and sharing knowledge about the great outdoors.

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