sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Flathead, a great year round option
Flathead, a great year round option


'Many inshore beaches have plenty of flathead lurking around.'    © Jarrod Day

The foundations of saltwater fishing in Victoria are heavily built around the spawning cycle of snapper. Spawning begins in spring and continues right throughout the summer period.

During this period, thousands of anglers enjoy the sunshine and warmth but when the cold of winter sets in, boats and fishing gear are stowed away.

Though as cold as it becomes, fishing throughout winter really isn’t that pleasant and although you won’t get to experience the knee trembling runs from snapper, the winter months are an ideal time to pursue flathead.
Working the shoreline in deep water will bring success. -  © Jarrod Day  


Flathead, being one of the most common species in Port Phillip Bay are in abundance year round and are quite easy to catch for every level of angling experience.

Flathead offer many levels of angling enjoyment from just your general bait fishing methods to lure fishing with soft plastics and hard body lures. For the beginner angler, flathead are one of the easiest species to catch and most Victorians cut their teeth catching flathead at a young age.

I’m constantly astounded by much fun flathead are to catch. Though you do still here the regular quote from an old salty 'only flamin flathead today mate'. When you see how much they are worth to buy in a supermarket, they wont be 'flaming' flathead any longer but become highly prized fillets.

If you put your mind to it, even the best of anglers throughout Australia still scream and shout in glee when they hook and land a 'good' frog, so they can’t be all that bad.

Regarded by most as one of the best eating fish in the sea, flathead are truly a great species to target due to their ease of catch-ability, strong side-to-side action head shakes and restaurant quality flesh.

Baits, plastics and hards:
Being a predatory hunter, flathead will eat absolutely anything on the menu, no matter how big the bait maybe. Remember the old saying, ‘the bigger the bait the bigger the fish’; if they can get their lips around it they will, even if they cant they’ll try.
Flicking lures from the sand can yield a good result. -  © Jarrod Day  


Baits such as pilchards, prawn, whitebait, blue bait and squid can always guarantee the angler a good catch, but for a real challenge, soft plastics and hard body lures can be far more fun.

There are many different soft plastics designed for tempting hungry lizards, with fish, shads, wriggle tails and flick-baits, squidgy’s have probably been the most popular and successful plastic on the market. In a variety of sizes and colours, a selection in the 80 to 120mm is recommended, with the colours Gary glitter and grasshopper being the most favoured.

To accompany these lethal plastic weapons, jig heads in an 1/8th weight are dynamite when fishing around the shallow areas of the bay, while ¼ oz and 3/8th ounce heads will tempt them in the deeper channels.

Hard bodies on the other hand are very different compared to soft plastics, when choosing that 'right' lure many factors come into consideration, size, colour, swimming depth, sinking and suspending attributes are all very important.

Most of my assortment of flathead lures look like baitfish, colours range from blues to browns to greens with the occasional pink just for something different.
Pilchards and squid make excellent baits for flathead. -  © Jarrod Day  


When targeting flathead in less than two meters of water, hard-bodied lures ranging 70-90mm that reach a depth of 1-2 meters won’t be passed up. Casting out over the sand flats and retrieving with a twitch of the rod tip will see the lure dive towards the bottom. As the lure is twitched over the sand/weed any flathead lying in ambush will set upon it without hesitation.
When using a paternoster rig, soft plastics can be used instead of bait. -  © Jarrod Day  


Rigs:
When it comes to choosing a rig to use on this amazing ambusher, you need to look no further than the simple running sinker rig and paternoster rig.

If you’re choosing to anchor and berley for flathead, a running sinker rig is most commonly used. A bait-keeper style hook in a 1/0 size tied on a 2ft leader of 14Lb fluorocarbon with a ball or bean sinker threaded above a rolling swivel is all that is required to make the rig. This rig enables the bait to be placed on the sea floor, hopefully near a hungry flathead. When the bait is eaten the fish feels no resistance from the sinker weight preventing the fish from 'spitting' the hook. The angler can see the rod tip bending, then strike to set the hook.

A paternoster rig on the other hand is used when drifting an area. The paternoster rig can have two hooks suspended above the sinker with each hook loaded with a piece of bait. As the boat drifts along, the sinker will bounce along the bottom with both baits suspended over the weed growth. This is a very effective fishing method and allows the angler to cover more ground.
Big flathead are often hard to come by unless you go off the beaten track. -  © Jarrod Day  


Finding frogs:
Unlike many of our other Victorian sportsfish, flathead are built to prey on small marine life. With a mouth capable in swallowing a baitfish even half the flatheads size, they still don’t hunt fish down but rather stalk them and wait in ambush beneath the sand until the meal is within striking distance.

Due to this, we as anglers need to approach them in similar ways by taking baits into their territory, drifting baits on paternoster rigs over sand flats will encounter large patches of flatties and it’s not uncommon to catch 15 or more over one drift.

For boaties, drifting in 8 to 15 meters of water right around the bay will catch a bag without little effort as most of this sandy floor is flathead thick.

But for those larger Port Phillip versions start drifting around the sandy banks of the south channel.

For those willing to put in a bit more hard work, walking the sandy shores, casting amongst the sand-flats, drop-offs or reef structures are ideal places to find a preying lizard.

As the tide flows over a sand bar small baitfish can be washed into the deeper water and hungry flathead lie beneath the sand in ambush.

Flicking lures or casting baits around entrances to estuarine systems like the Patterson and Werribee rivers will also give anglers an opportunity in landing a few good size fish.

Just don’t underestimate the power of a river entrance, as many can be found throughout the entire bay, the pressure of water flowing out washes all sorts of marine animals out of the rivers and into the bay. Flathead will congregate around the entrance waiting for a small fish to swim past.

With many flathead under my belt, I am always drawn back to find that 'personal best' lizard, though the majority of fish in Port Phillip Bay are in the 30 to 40cm bracket, finding that big fish can become a challenging experience.
Searching new locations and varying your techniques may just assist in finding that beast your after.


by Jarrod Day

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=114472

5:36 AM Sat 14 Sep 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World

It’s hot, hot, hot in Miami for the third day of Star racing in the 88th Bacardi Cup and it is the last day the Stars will be alone on the bay, as tomorrow the remaining classes, J/70, M32, Viper 640 and VX One, will begin racing in the sixth BACARDI Miami Sailing Week presented by EFG Bank. ... [more]  

If there was any takeaway for competitors in the regatta's first three races, it's that walking away with the title of Farr 40's Midwinters Champion is not going to be an easy feat. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race – Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam passed under 5,000 miles to the Barcelona World Race finish line and also crossed over their own outbound track. ... [more]  

Reflecting on his team’s performance on Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Team Alvimedica skipper Charlie Enright said the youngest crew in the race had sailed its best leg to date. 'It was our most complete leg so far. But like all these legs it had its ups and downs,' said the 30-year-old Enright. 'From a navigation and tactics point of view, we stayed with the group and were hard-charging ... [more]  

Damian Foxall (IRL), one of the biggest names in offshore sailing, is joining Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA) for the forthcoming Leg 5. Caudrelier and Foxall were on the Groupama boat that won the 2011-12 edition. The Irishman was the natural choice when Dongfeng’s skipper looked for an experienced sailor to bolster his line-up for the 6,776-nautical mile (nm) stage from Auckland ... [more]  

Marine industry experts from around the world will convene next week in the Volvo Ocean Race Village at Auckland’s Viaduct Basin for the fifth High Performance Yacht Design conference. This three-day technical conference, ninth to 11th March, is the latest for those who make it their business to push the performance boundaries of yachts both power and sail. ... [more]  

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta – The Sint Maarten Yacht Club is buzzing today with race crews arriving to register for the Gill Commodore's Cup. Over 2000 sailors are expected to take part and many of them have sailed their yachts to St.Maarten from neighbouring islands. ... [more]  

The competition for the 2015 Delta Lloyd Regatta looks promising. Especially the registrations for Laser and Laser Radial are well under way. International top sailors like Marit Bouwmeester (Laser Radial) and Bundock & Curtis (Nacra17) are up to the challenge in Medemblik from 24 - 30 May 2015. Races will start from 26 May onwards. ... [more]  

The 21 Swan yachts competing in the second edition of the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean could not have asked for a more perfect start to the event's four scheduled days of racing in Virgin Gorda. After a rip-roaring race around the island accompanied by 20 to 22 knots of breeze and some serious waves, Swan 80 Selene was the victor in Class A (18.29m and above) while Swan 53 Music led yachts in Class B ... [more]  

Studio Borlenghi provide some of these stunning shots from Day 1 of 2015 Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean. ... [more]  

It can be the most frustrating stage of non-stop round the world racing. After completing the difficult, stressful four or five weeks in the big south, there is an almost inbuilt expectation that, by comparison, after rounding Cape Horn and passing the Falklands milestong, racing up the Atlantic life should be a bowl of cherries. ... [more]  

2015 EFG Winter Cup - Miami is known as the gateway to Latin America. For Viper sailors, it may also be the jumping off point for points east. If you hailed from an island in the Atlantic Ocean, you probably did well at the Winter Cup. ... [more]  

EFG Bank Pan American Championship 2015 - Things are about to get hot in the Viper 640 class, with two Miami regattas in Miami this week, culminating in the EFG Bank Viper 640 Pan-American Championship held during BACARDI Miami Sailing Week, one of the Class’s major championships. ... [more]  

2015 RYC Midwinters overall by Luis Kitchen, San Francisco Bay
For the third year in a row Jonathan Weston aka Hot Donutz wins the RYC Midwinters in a competitive four day series. ... [more]  

2015 Squirrel Bank Regatta - Overall report by Andy Kopetzky, Southern California
Short close chop, hobby-horsing to weather and donning layers of foul weather gear was the order of the day at Del Rey Yacht Club's annual Squirrel Bank Regatta. ... [more]  

Without cutting edge design and engineering, no one wins the America's Cup. In pursuit of their goal, the British team has developed their own sophisticated 3D sailing simulator, modelled on those used by the world of motorsport. ... [more]  

OTUSA AC45 Turbo workout images by pressure-drop.us ... [more]  

Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean – A fleet of 21 Swan yachts, comprising an array of different models from seven different countries and territories will contest an eagerly anticipated week of action in the Virgin Gorda archipelago, the British Virgin Islands tomorrow, Wednesday 4 March. ... [more]  

Photographer Tim Wright captured some of these stunning shots at the start of the RORC Caribbean 600 and along the course at St Barths, Barbuda and Redonda. ... [more]  

Gill Commodore's Cup - Entries on the increase by St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
The Gill Commodore's Cup consists of one day of racing as a stand alone event, immediately prior to the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta and is open to all boat categories taking part in the main event (excluding the Lottery Class). This year there is a record entry with over 70 yachts expected to be taking part. Several tight windward leeward races are planned for the fast performance yachts ... [more]  

After the Volvo Ocean Race finished on Saturday night, Sail-World.com's NZ editor, Richard Gladwell caught up with Ryan Houston from Team Alvimedica. He talks about wanting to sail on a Kiwi boat in the next race - how this race compares with the others in which he has sailed - how small gains seem to be paying well - the vexed issue of AIS on tactics, and more ... [more]  

After the Volvo Ocean Race finished on Saturday night, Sail-World.com's NZ editor, Richard Gladwell caught up with Dave Swete from Team Alvimedica. A product of the RNZYS Youth Program, Swete is on his second Volvo Ocean Race. He touches on the differences between the two programs, the impact that AIS is having on the racing and plenty more ... [more]  

Sail-World.com's New Zealand Editor caught up with Race Director, Jack Lloyd on the floor of the sail-loft in the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard. In this 15 minute interview, Lloyd gives his view of the progress made as a result of adopting the Volvo 65 One Design - with all boats having finished every leg (with one exception - Vestas Wind). ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Image gallery - Tour of the Boatyard by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com NZL
Yesterday Volvo Ocean Race threw open the barriers and let the media have an inside view of the Boatyard at the Viaduct Events Centre The area is open to the public (stay behind the safety barriers) where you can see the boats on the hard, and look inside the Events Centre which has been converted into a massive sail and rigging loft. ... [more]  

Artemis Racing took their development AC45 out on San Francisco Bay, yesterday. Videographer, John Navas was there to catch all the action on high resolution video. ... [more]  

The countdown to the 46th edition of the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar has begun in the bay of Palma from 28th March to 4th April. With less than a month to go until the start of the event, the regatta has already around 700 teams (667) from 59 nations representing the five continents. ... [more]  

2015 RC44 Championship Tour - With less than a month to go, eleven teams are eagerly anticipating the season-opener set to take place in Malta's renowned capital of Valletta, the historic 'City of Knights', from 25-29 March. ... [more]  

The 2015 US Grand Slam Series will take place within the month of August, beginning a couple weeks earlier and in a different order than previous editions. The Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, Bayview Yacht Club, Chicago Match Race Center, and Oakcliff Sailing organizers are pleased to announce that Requests for Invitation are being accepted now and all venues anticipate high demand. ... [more]  

A beautiful sunny Miami welcomed Star sailors to the first day of the 88th Bacardi Cup. One race is scheduled for each day of the 6-day event as part of the Bacardi Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank. With winds around 10 knots from the East, the racing area was set about 1 ¾ miles south of Dinner Key Channel. The course is set at 95 degrees with two-mile legs, which will test sailors ... [more]  

It’s been a month since the International Paralympic Committee publicized its decision to drop sailing from the slate of sports at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Since then ISAF has stepped up to lead the appeal for reinstatement. At US Sailing, we believe ISAF leadership is critical to our chances of overturning this decision, and we are pleased to see President Carlo Croce take this on himself ... [more]  

Top international photographer, Chris Cameron is working out of the Volvo Ocean Race Village in Auckland. ... [more]  

The first WWA Pro Card Qualifier presented by Malibu boats is set for March 22, 2015, hosted once again by Freedom Wake Park in Orlando, Florida. The WWA Pro Card events have been created to separate the top riders in the world and recognize them as elite. ... [more]  

NZ Rigging Supplied the Mast and Rigging package for Adrian Walters new Shaw 11 mtr 'Little Nico'. The mast is a High Modulus mast with internal locks on all halyards, internal mast jack, one piece Nomex cored box section boom, and composite rigging.cored box section boom, and composite rigging. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - Easier miles at the front
2015 North American Hobie 16 to be held at Pensacola Yacht Club
2015 Hobie Mid-Winter East North America
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Brunel faced big challenges – Recap Leg 4
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 – 66 best yachts and 600 mile thrilling race
ACWS Portsmouth ticket launch – Watch top sailors battling it out
E.E. Manning Regatta – NHYC kids hold it together in restless weather
2015 California Dreamin’ Series-Long Beach Stop – A close fight
Delivery of Phaedo3 MOD 70
Premiere Racing stepping aside after their 21st Key West Race Week
Sol having Serious Fun at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
Barcelona World Race – 60 Days at Sea– Atlantic opens up for the fleet
Volvo Ocean Race: Images from Auckland - Media Conference and more
Volvo Ocean Race: Iker Martinez returns to Mapfre as skipper
Miami Sailing Week – Bacardi Cup preview
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 4 finishes at night after a tense day *Feature
Farr 40 International Circuit - Plenty team hungry for more
Coast Guard continues search for San Diego sailor
Sonar Class has a new builder for Sonar
Rio officials probe source of fish die-off in Olympic waters
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - An island-wide effort   
Volvo Ocean Race: Images ashore after Leg 4   
Volvo Ocean Race: Images from the finish of Leg 4   
Volvo Ocean Race-Brasileiro ajuda barco espanhol a vencer quarta etapa   
RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show - a British tradition   
Eight minutes between Podium players as Spanish win VOR leg 4   
Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 4 - fleet arrives in Auckland and the winner is   
Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 4 - the fleet approaches Auckland   
Volvo Ocean Race - Less than 10 miles to Auckland finish   
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 - Third time lucky for happy Hap   
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 4 Finish - Auckland - Live Video and Updates   
Barcelona World Race - Neutrogena crosses Cape Horn with 40 knots wind   
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Natty Rico will close the final night   
Barcelona World Race - At Cape Horn memories are made. and recalled   
Big winds for SCYA Manning Regatta at ABY Club   
Hutchinson and Roble honored at US Sailing’s Rolex Awards ceremony   
Finn World Masters Championships 2015 - Pre registration open   
Registration for the 2015 Finn European Championship is live!   
RORC Caribbean 600, day 4 – Classic Focus and Four Figaro II teams   
Hutchinson, Roble honored in New York as Best of 2014   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT