The Platycephalidae or more commonly know as Flathead are a bread and butter species of estuarine and inshore bottom dwelling fisheries. Flathead are located almost around the whole of Australia. They are a popular sport and table fish especially on the South to North Eastern side of Australia. One of the most popular Flathead tournaments is the Gold Coast Flathead Competition where big fish are regularly caught and released. Flathead vary dramatically in size with Dusky’s being the biggest. A true Trophy sized Flathead is the 1m mark. They are known for their unusual body shape and tasty white flesh. They are an ambush predator that sits in the sand awaiting its prey therefore it is key to be in constant contact with the bottom. To help you get an understanding of what, when and where to target these fish we have come up with our favorite Top 5 Flathead Lures.
Samaki Boom Baits Curlicious (Grub)
Where – Anywhere but specifically around rock walls.
When – All tides but nearing the top 1hr before it turns to 1hr after at the rock walls.
How – Fishing the flats, drop offs and or deep, BUT I came across a technique after talking to a few good flathead fisherman and by chance caught a few fish with this technique. Imagine your fishing for bream but you cast your 5″ Curlicious high up, almost out of the water on a rock wall, very similar to the way you would fish the rock walls for bream using ecogear or gulp shrimp but instead your throwing a big grub lure. You slowly drag the lure out of the rocks over the edge, next minute you have a flathead on your line. Its as if, on the top of the tide, they sit up high on the rock wall where the water flow is almost non existent waiting for a feed. They eat and go deep down the rock wall.
Why – Because flathead are guts and it has a nice tail action.
Colours – Pink Sparkle, Pink Sparkle, and only Pink Sparkle… Chartreuse isn’t too bad though.
Berkley Gulp Nemesis 4" & Powerbait Nemesis 4"
Where – Sand flats and drop offs.
When – All tides, all the time, every time.
How – Cast, slow lift, let the line go slack, lift again and repeat until back to the boat. This is my numbers lure, this is the one I use when I just need to catch a lot of fish no matter what size.
Why – Gulp is basically bait fishing and the Powerbait lures have a little more action than gulp has from the material. The nemesis has a nice quick tail action.
Where – Deep water 3m+ especially deep water off rock walls.
When – Dropping tide because the fish move down into the deep water as other fish do too.
How – I use varying actions, either short sharp lifts like you would a jerkbait or minnow soft plastic and also long slow high lifts. Make sure you watch the line to make sure your on the bottom. You want the lure to splash a heap of sand on impact with the bottom. It’s like the lure is announcing it arrival back to the bottom for the flathead to notice.
Why – Long casts mean covering a lot of ground, great action, gets the bite.
How – An old favourite that I have gone back to after watching Dale smash a few bigger fish, this is my new upgrade fish lure. I fish this on deeper edges like rock walls bringing them off the higher part into the deep. The big has been half way back to the boat. I’m not sure if they follow it or are sitting half way back but its works. Effective with a heavier jighead in high flow tidal areas.
Why – They are $6.95 a packet and catch fish!
Colours – Bloodworm, Silver Fox, Ayu Glow.
Berkley Powerbait Nemesis 5" Paddletail
Where – Drop offs and deep edges.
When – Dropping tides.
How – Similar to the Squidgie Wriggler, I fish this on deeper edges like rock walls bringing them off the higher part into the deep. I will use this instead of vibe if its a snaggy area because they are way cheaper when you lose one!
Why – They have a big kick, nice roll and are well priced.
Colours– Pink Glitter, Breen Chartreuse & Bleak.
Worthy Mentions – Berkley Gulp Minnow Grub Camo colour, Squidgies Fish Black gold colour, Berkley Gulp Minnow in 3 & 4 inch sizes, I’m sure Dale will cover the 4″ in depth!
Top 5 Snapper Lures … continuing on from Part 2 of our Top 5 Snapper Lures, this part is from flathead king, Dayne
Growing up on the beautiful Nambucca River, fishing was an everyday event. From walking the banks turning rocks for crabs to chase bream or beach launching at Shelley Beach to chase snapper and pearlies with the old man, the fishing options were endless. Nowadays Craig is located in Coffs Harbour and has been working in the fishing industry for over 6 yrs but you can find him still chasing bream on the walls of the local estaury and offshore on the reefs.