Beware of Rock River Flathead Catfish Guides

There is not an endless supply of big flathead in the Rock river. There are some community holes but most of the time no one is fishing there because they get tired of not catching anything, so they stick with channelcats which are numerous or they just get tired of fishing for nothing and give up and only fish occasionally. So how does one flathead guide do so well that he can take out numerous people every week for most of the year? Well he just does a lot of talk and doesn’t produce. If they hook a big gar or snag a carp, he will say that was a big flathead and they lost it or missed the hit. To keep clients happy he will throw out at least 2 rods for flathead with large shad, then 2 with small shad or large minnows for channelcat and 2 with smaller baits for walleye. Then he’ll sit and do a lot of talking and if they catch a nice channelcat or a decent walleye they are happy. But this is a scam, no one will hire a guide to go out and catch one walleye. But they get a chance to listen to him talk all day. Talk about all the clients that did catch a big flathead and maybe they’ll even get at least a small flathead even if it isn’t the giant they hoped for.

This one guy can’t hold down a job, but has a very expensive boat. He doesn’t care if he takes people’s money, he has to, it’s how he pays for the boat and plays the game of being so called good at catching big flathead. I see him out there all the time. He doesn’t look around, he just goes to community holes and anchors in the same spot every time. Now since I walleye fish I know where the flathead lay because I catch them sometimes and he doesn’t even fish those spots, he fishes close, but instead he keys on where he sees me catch walleye so he can make his clients happy. Channelcat lay in the same spots too, so catch a decent channelcat and clients will gladly pay him and give a good review.

But the truth is he doesn’t know what he is doing. If the walleye were there and biting I could catch 10-40 fish while he may catch one or 2 if he is lucky. Anyone can go out and toss out 6 shad in all directions with heavy weights and 80 pound test line and catch a flathead if they go enough and wait long enough. He is not better than most others, from what I see he is much worse, he just goes more and can sit all day with out catching anything and go back the next day and fish the exact same spots, especially if he is getting paid. But they get to sit and listen to him talk and he loves to tell stories. Now that’s worth a couple hundred bucks isn’t it?

The reason he can’t hold down a job is because he is hard to get along with. He has a huge ego and thinks he owns the world around him. He fights with other fisherman all the time, no one likes when someone moves in on you or you go fishing and find him anchored where he saw you catching fish the day before. He does it to me, so I know. Now I have been fishing for 50 years and people moving in on me is nothing new, I get that sometimes every trip put. I just ignore them and either leave or fish around them. He can’t handle any pressure at all and calls the sheriff on people. His biggest trick is to hog a deep water hole that has room for several boats by casting out as far as he can in all directions, sometimes even using planer boards so he doesn’t have to share the water. Meanwhile, he isn’t even fishing where the fish are because he doesn’t look around. He is scamming people and people deserve to know how he works.

About Dave Tackett

Dave Tackett is from Sterling Illinois. An avid fisherman since childhood, he has fished all over the Midwest, mainly the Mississippi River pools 8-19. His home waters are pools 13 & 14. After fishing Bass tournaments for many years, he gave it up to fish for Walleye year round. He now guides and fishes for fun. He likes to take photos of the scenic places he visits on the river and likes to keep a video camera running to get footage for his Walleye DVDs. Photography is now where he most of his time working, using professional DSLR cameras and lens. These photos include landscape around the Mississippi River and the Rock River, river birds like eagles heron, egrets etc.
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