Flathead: Tips To Catch This Sensational Species

flathead 1

Flatties are suckers for well presented soft plastics.

1. A great set up for casting lures at flathead consists of a 2-5kg graphite rod and a 2500 size reel with a smooth drag. We even up that to 3-6kg and 4000 if specifically targeting bigger fish. 4-5lb braid is all you’ll need. Add about 1 meter of good quality fluorocarbon in anything between 8-16lb depending on the size of fish your targeting, and your well on your way.

2. Location Location. It’s true, you will catch flathead in an estuary in just about any location, but there are areas that will consistently hold more fish. Your mission is to work out where these fish holding areas are. Do this and you will catch not only more fish but significantly increase your odds of landing a trophy size fish.

3. What to look for. The best place to start, is any drop offs you may find. Water from anywhere as little as 200mm that drops into maybe only 1 meter can hold fish. A favorite is water of about half a meter or so, that drops into about 3-4 meters. Work these areas thoroughly as they will almost always hold fish.

4. Tides matter.  Think about tides when fishing these drop offs. It makes sense that as a tide goes out and the water level drops that baitfish, prawns, crabs, nippers etc will be exiting these shallower areas as the water. The ambush predator will sit just off this edge and BANG….that’s dinner.

5. Water Temps. Keep an eye on the water temperature. A subtle degree or two warmer in an area can be all it takes to hold fish.

flathead 3

Match the hatch and catch flathead like this!

6. Matching the hatch. This applies to flathead fishing as much as any fishing. Are there prawns in the system? Try fishing with a prawn imitation like the ever trusty DOA shrimp. Are there mullet or other baitfish around? Fish according.

7. Make no mistake, Flathead have a big mouth. Big girls in the 90’s have been known to take other hooked flathead up to even 50cm, so don’t be afraid to throw a big 6-7 inch shad around if there a some good size mullet in the system. These shads are a great mullet imitation and you’d be surprised how readily even medium size fish will hit a big lure.

8. Scent makes sense. As we always recommend, apply scent. Flathead are definitely a fish that scent works on, and quite often a missed hookup will result in the fish having a second crack.

9. Of paramount importance is leader maintenance. After each fish check your leader. Even a small fish can damage the business end and if not corrected may result in losing that fish of a lifetime.

10. The best advice! 10. Most of all have fun with it. Flathead fishing with lures is very addictive. It’s a great way to cut your teeth on soft plastics especially, and it’s also a great way to introduce kids into lure fishing.

Troy Eaton & Scott Wakefield

About Troy Eaton & Scott Wakefield

We have been keen fisherman since our early childhood and have spent fishing experiences together in learning and experiencing all facets of fishing in the Victorian region. In our early years we weren't afraid to ask questions and were really keen to achieve the best results we could with our fishing.

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