View Full Version : Imperial Valley Huge Flatheads

02-11-2011, 08:44 AM
Hello everybody!

Just wanted to let everybody out there who loves Cats, BIG Flats...that the Imperial Valley has some huge Flatheads. Ok, where to start...Alamo River as many of you know is probably the murkiest body of water in the Imperial Valley, however, it holds some of the Biggest that I've ever seen....I love talking to fishermen of ALL ages...I've gotten a lot of great tips from so many of them...so a few years back I met an older gentleman who has his pictures at a local hardware store with his big Flatheads...well it turns out that he catches them all the time. After talking to him for about 20 minutes he showed me some more pics....All these flatheads had to be at least 20 pouds...but he's taken out some that were 40 pounders, 30s. He wasn't shy about his techniques and told me he uses small tilapia from some canal I can't remember-for bait. The tilapia were probably around 4-5 inches. Anyhow, as time went on, I heard more and more about the Alamo's Big Cats.

Now, I'm not a big Catfisherman, but this was some impressive stuff.

I do have to warn everybody to not eat anything that comes from the Alamo and New Rivers in the Imperial Valley..Salton Sea is fine despite all the false info you read and hear about the Great Salton Sea.

This past summer, I was fishing with some out-of-towners who were looking for big cats around the canals...well they were hooked and adament about fishing the Canals because of their recent trips to small canals not far from where I live(northern Imperial Valley) and taking our some 20 pound Flatheads...so I went with them one of those times. We fished a narrow cement-lined canal. One of the guys dropped his 2 worm-set hook into the water right under him and into a dark spot under a bridge...time passed and he had his bite and the fight was on....He was hooked!!!(the fish)

It took him about 10 minutes to land him more or less....good thing I had my landing net or else who could have slipped in. It turned out to be a 20 pounder. WOW, I was amazed!

Well, that's one of my stories...if any of you are ever around the IV, give the canals I try...even for bass, and anything else...except trout....It's a lot of fun!

02-11-2011, 01:58 PM
Nice write up !! Thanks for sharing. The Colorado river at Blythe holds some monsters as well. You have to put in your time to find them. But they are there for sure. I have heard alot about the Imperial Valley areas. Mybe one day I will brake down and head that way in a couple of years.

02-11-2011, 02:08 PM
You are correct. The Imperial valley has some of the best flatheading west of the Mississippi. It is also great for those that are not into boat fishing or have access to a boat. I conducted a video on youtube describing California Flatheads and teh Alamo was one of my features including the All American as well. We have tournaments yearly in that area and we produced them up to 40 pounds an dplenty of 30's and lots of 20's. Alamo cats are not for eating however none of those fish in high volumes are for eating anyway as there is pesticides in all of those canals to some extent. There is a remedy for cooking out the pesticides through various use of salt water to help get the impurities out. The cleanest eating fish are from teh actual Colorado river plan and simple. Also keep in mind Tilapia are illegal to use in the imperial valley and is only allowed in certain areas.

This May and August we will be having another tournament in the Imperial Valley. I seen pictures of flats up to 70 pounds from local fisherman and participants in earlier events from various waters of the IV.

02-11-2011, 02:10 PM
So is there camping near there?I wanted to go after some Flatys sometime or another.I will try and mapquest it when have a minute but I figure a local would know better spots anyway.What about using bluegils as bait is it legal?

02-11-2011, 07:41 PM
The alamo river is posted as polluted in several locations. The canals are not as bad.

02-11-2011, 08:04 PM
So is there camping near there?I wanted to go after some Flatys sometime or another.I will try and mapquest it when have a minute but I figure a local would know better spots anyway.What about using bluegils as bait is it legal?

If it is still the same we use to hunt (ducks) launch a 12ft and head out to the sea, out of redhill and just parked and camped right there on the river. Cannot remember if it was the new or alamo river but you could camp where ever you wanted.

02-11-2011, 09:42 PM
There are plenty of places you can pitch a tent at or park your car, truck, or small RV. Be careful though cuz there are some soft areas and you may get stuck. Try to stay near the bridge areas and there are plenty of areas where they cross those roads from calipatria on down to teh southern areas of the Alamo. In town like Brawley there are Motels you can chill at during the day which is advisable because during the summer months it is very hot. Otherwise Weist Lake locally and close to the ALAMO has camping area. And another area of HWY 111 I seen some RVs at as well but dont know its name. Weist lake has excellent gills to use for bait.

02-13-2011, 07:04 PM
Buy a map load the gear and fill the tank . The Imperial valley is a great place to do some exploring(if that's your thing). If your idea of a good time is fishing and camping with no amenities and no one around, your in the right place . Put your time in and you will be rewarded with some good fishing , and at the very least a good time.