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

6:36 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









International Moth Worlds: Rashley ahead as Aussies close in by Mark Jardine / YachtsandYachting.com,


















International Moth Worlds - Mothballed on day 4 + Video by Mark Jardine / YachtsandYachting.com,




Gladwell's Line: A change of direction needed in the America's Cup *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,
























Anna Tunnicliffe set to compete at the CrossFit Games by Anna Tunnicliffe, Pittsburgh, PA












U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship - Sophia Reineke wins
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 0 Opening
Fuerteventura World Cup - Slalom action highlights day 2
2014 Governor's Cup - Sam Gilmour of RFBYC victorious again
Farr 40 West Coast Champ - Skipper Alberto Rossi leads Enfant Terrible
Flying Dutchman World Championships - Magyars are the Masters
Final day shakes up standings at Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek
2014 -15 Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica pushing towards Southampton
NYYC Race Week - Saving the best for last
VX One North American Championship - Chris Alexander commands
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Waiting game on Day 3
International Moth Worlds: Thunderstorms delay racing on Day 1
Fuerteventura World Cup - Impressive tricks on day 1
2014 Governor's Cup - Two former winners in the finals
America's Cup: Iain Murray explains reasons for Australian withdrawal *Feature
Wilson and Roble remain number one match racers in U.S.
2014 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Set to start
PWA Pozo World Cup - Moreno twins dominate home spot
ISAF Youth Worlds - Record breaking regatta in Tavira + Video
Melges 32 European Championship - Robertissima remains out front
Farr 40 West Coast Championship - Italians take one-point lead   
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 3 images by Carlo Borlenghi   
New York Yacht Club Race Week - Marstrom 32 fleet off to anxious start   
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 3 images by Max Ranchi   
CYC Race to Mackinac - Cruising fleet sets sail in 106th edition   
Team Alvimedica getting a touchup   
PWA Pozo World Cup - Plenty of drama on day 5   
ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship - Day 5 Videos   
NYYC Race Week - High performance classes put on shoreside show   
2014 Pacific Cup - 'Invisible Hand' the first boat to finish   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - B.C.'s Eric Holden skippers wins   
America's Cup: Updates on Team Australia withdraw   
J/70 North American titles - Brian Keane moves to top of leaderboard   
2016-2017 America's Cup - Team Australia withdraws   
VX One North American Championship - Chris Alexander takes charge   
America's Cup: Team NZ disappointed, but on track after Australians go   
America's Cup: Hamilton Island decides not to proceed with Challenge.   
America's Cup: Challenger of Record withdraws from Regatta   
WWA Wakeboard National Championships head to Waco   
Farr 40 West Coast Championship - Day 2   


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 WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT