Flatfish for steelhead

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bumpbottom, Jan 8, 2007.


  1. I have talked to several folks that do well trolling in the fall with flatfish for steelhead. I have never tried it and am looking for some advice. What sizes do you guys/gals use> I have heard some use X-5's. I really don't get their numbering scheme. Also what colors work best for you. Any help greatly appreciated
     

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  2. Model T-4 Color Frog.............................
     

  3. I used to use U-20's and had good luck, they are great for browns as well, use the pearl color.
     
  4. Flatfish are excellent for steelhead(and browns, too) in slow to medium current at most. Too fast and they'll spin. In the faster water, I use(d) the old Heddon Tadpolly. The greatest majority of my flatfish for these species was the U20 size, although I do have one chrome one in X5. Chartreuse, chrome, blue scale and pearl were my favorite colors. In the colder water of late fall through early spring, gold and flourescent red were best, with the red being my best "winter" color by far. Been using these since the late '70's or so, and the ones I still have still produce today. Some designs just never go out of style for me!:D
     
  5. Both are excellent for steelhead in the rivers. The "what size or color are best" question will be answered with a wide variety of responses. What Mags said is true about trolling them in slower to moderate currents... too fast and they will spin out to the surface. In faster currents you will want to go to the Heddon Tadpolly, Luhr Jensen Hotshot, or more of a Hot-n-Tot style of plug.

    As a general rule of thumb... use bright gaudy colors in stained to dirty waters (a little rattle might not hurt either). One of my best this season has been a K14 Kwikfish in the bright orange color. Go more to the natural colors of silvers and golds in the cleaner water. I have caught fish on sizes all the way from an X4 Flatfish (2 1/2") to the K14 Kwikfish (4 1/4").... and everything else in between. Other good colors in both makes are: silver w/ orange dots, orange w/ black dots, silver w/ red head, gold w/ black stripe. These are just a few... you will get many responses (just like you do with the same question about trolling spoons).

    Heddon is the company that makes Flatfish and Luhr Jensen is the company that makes the Kwikfish.

    By the way... don't discount using the bigger sizes for Kings in the river come Fall either!! ;)
     
  6. I use U-20's plunking off a bridge but T-4's for casting. It's hard to keep the smaller ones down when casting and they don't wanna go far in the air either. Silver is my best. All of us that use them locally haven't had much luck with any others and we've done a lot of research with them. 99% of the time it's clear water and we have them down about 18'.

    Hot pink etc. is good on the small streams though.
     
  7. I found there is a very wide variety of wobbling cranks that work great for river fish. Bombers, thundersticks, rebel, rapala, heddon, it goes on.... The key is picking the one with the right action and running depth for the particular water that your fishing.
    I have no idea if you are or not but, do not stick with one style of crank for all occasions.
    Good luck to ya!
     
  8. I've got a friend that is a guide, below is a picture of the flatfish he uses all winter long (these three colors will treat you very well). He really doesn't use many other lures (maybe a couple hot-n-tots). Also, a couple pics of some nice steelhead the kids picked up on 12/28 using these flatfish. Great lure for steelies - for sure! BTW: slidding is the way to go when using these. Good luck...

    [​IMG]


    The boys went 4 for 4 in 4 hours in tough conditions (all 4 came on T-4 flatfish)
    My son got the big buck of the day.
    [​IMG]

    My son's friend, his dad and a nice buck.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Change the hooks to a single Siwash and they'll be even better too. I believe I use 2/0. I ordered some 4/0 last year and they were big on a U-20.....not bad on a T-4 though.
     
  10. Looks like I gotta start diggin deep into the wallet. Thanks to everyone that responded.
     
  11. When buying colors, gold is always good...plain gold in U-20. Buy all silver, buy an all silver one with chart lip, silver/chart tail, and that one Razzo posted will work very well. Good luck finding them. Actually, go to the Fishing show this weekend. Luhr Jensen will be there with a truck load of flatfish. Theres another company that makes them too, I think they'll be there too.
     
  12. The reels and the back of the boat look familiar. :rolleyes: Was that picture taken in S.W. MI.?
     
  13. Yep thats Kens Boat!!!!
     
  14. Always had my best luck with the colors, Gold, Pearl and Fire Plug Red.
     
  15. Yes.
     

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