Second-Chance Catfish

ok if a flathead was pulled out of its hole and got away would it return later and if so how long before it will come back.

When a Flathead (or any other fish) gets loose from a failed attempt at capture, it will run to the nearest cover that is anywhere but there. As a rule, they will run downstream. The fish will remain there until it feels the danger is past, and this varies for each individual fish. For an extremely large fish, this may only be a matter of 30 minutes or so, while smaller fish may remain in hiding for the rest of the day.

However long it takes, by the time the Flathead feels like moving again, chances are that a new fish will have taken up residence in its former home. The catfish may challenge the newcomer if it feels like it can win, but most of the time, it will just find another home.

If you are dead set on catching the exact same fish that got away, start by waiting an hour or so, then quietly searching out likely hiding spots downstream, and nearby. Bear in mind that the fish will be in a heightened state of awareness, and will bolt again at the slightest noise or distrubance.


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow catfish fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on catfish fishing since 2004.

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