sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Sail-World.com : SA's Winter Warmer - Southern Bluespot Flathead
SA's Winter Warmer - Southern Bluespot Flathead


When the first heavy rains and brutal low fronts of winter hit South Australia it usually signals the end of many fishing opportunities that may have been enjoyed over the warmer months. Some fishos treat this as a time to put their rods in cold storage, and almost hibernate for the winter themselves. On the other hand, many sport fishos would be well aware that these colder months in fact see some rather unique fisheries come online, one of which for me is targeting southern bluespot flathead. Over winter larger daytime tides seem to encourage breeding-sized flathead into the shallows, and overcast and often windy conditions also gives them further confidence to hold close to shore at times. To go with the breeders, many midsized fish also come within an easy cast of the shore, making them great targets for land-based light-tackle fishos. The southern bluespot is the predominate flathead species here in SA, and while they don't quite get as big as the duskies on the east coast, they still reach a solid average of say 45 to 70cm, with fish to 80cm and beyond possible. Anything over 75cm or so is considered a cracker, and if you get one close to a metre you'd basically retire from chasing them as it wouldn't get any better! Not a whole lot is known or documented about southern bluespot, but mostly they have the same habits as you'd expect from any other inshore flathead species. As SA doesn't boast a lot of large estuary systems, much of the fishing for this species is carried out on open coastal flats, in smaller protected bays and coves, and also at the entrances to any creeks or river systems. Food and bottom structure are two things bluespot can't live without, and find one or both of these in a semi-protected area and there's a fair chance of an encounter. Winter fishing for flathead is about finding a stretch of shoreline where you're not combating loads of floating weed or the full force of a pounding storm front, which are commonly issues here this time of year. This is not to say you should be afraid of fishing in harsh conditions for these fish, as some of our most productive efforts have been in intense wind and rain. As mentioned such weather can actually see more fish venture into the shallows compared to when it's calm and clear, and if you can get a cast in, you're in the game! Alternatively picking a session between cold fronts can mean cleaner water and more bearable fishing weather. This is the time to be wading the coastal flats and peppering any rocks, weedbeds etc. with soft plastic or had lures. Casting and retrieving a pilchard is also a low fuss option if you just want to deck a few fish, but for my mind lures are more potent and can be snag-proofed and thus fished in a lot of areas you wouldn't lob a bait. As with any flathead fishing the aim of the game is to cover ground and fish likely holding points at a time when the fish are most probably going to be there. This can mean a bit of trial and error until you crack a pattern, but once you do that same pattern will hold true over and over again. This said, in winter the weather is always the spanner in the works that can dictate the ultimate outcome of a session. Catching bluespot is all about light line action for me. I'll gear up with a 2kg flickstick outfit, usually running a 1000 sized Shimano reel, on a 7ft rod with 16lb Jinkai Premium my leader of choice. Lure selection can be dependent on the area fished, or simply what I'm in the mood to throw around, as these fish can be taken on a range of offerings. In rocky areas weedless (Texas) rigging options come into play, with the likes of TT Snake heads in 2/0 hook size and 1/4 to 1/6th weights ideal to plastics with. Otherwise a 2 gram, 2/0 'J' hook jighead or similar is used. Plastics between 3 to 5 inches are fine, with Squidgy Stealth Prawns and Fish patterns, ZMan MinnowZ and Berley Gulp just a few options. Alternatively hard lures like sinking stickbaits, and other lipless models are ideal, with Sebile Magic Swimmers and Stick Shadds a couple of faves that can essentially be worked like a plastic. Don't get trapped inside by the weather, get outdoors and start flicking for a fish that can keep you fishing and locked into a quite enthralling battle of wits right throughout this winter period!


by Shane Murton

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=110923

6:46 AM Sat 15 Jun 2013GMT


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







News - USA and the World











America's Cup Book Review: Winging It - Oracle Team USA's comeback *Feature by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,




Rolex China Sea Race 2014 - nip and tuck for IRC honours by RHKYC and Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia, Hong Kong


























HUD Vision: An interview with Afterguard Marine’s Alex Moret *Feature by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor, Seattle














America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz, Auckland, NZ












Image gallery: James Cook High's Royal encounter on Steinlager 2 *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race - Maersk Line named shipping partner
Congressional Cup - Victory for Taylor Canfield and crew
SSV Oliver Hazard Perry joins America's Tall Ship fleet + Video
2014 Halifax – Saint-Pierre Ocean Race
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Glorious conditions prevail on final day
WWA Pro Card Qualifier - Pro Cards earned at Freedom Wake Park
Christmas Caribbean Rally - Top class sailors to compete
Earth Day boater tips
Anna Tunnicliffe - from CrossFit to Extreme 40's
Charleston Race Week - Photos by Chris Howell
Image Gallery: Stratis SL33 flies on the Waitemata
Audi Melges 20- Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week - Light final day
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - PSP Logistics prepares for USA
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Crème of the crop to compete
Congressional Cup: Luna Rossa makes podium in first event
Int 14 World Championships 2015 launch new event website
International Optimist Regatta Clinic and Team Race - Register now!
Congressional Cup: World top rankers finish that way in Long Beach
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week Day 3 finale
America's Cup: Gino Morrelli outlines the new AC62 design   
Doyle Sails New Zealand signs Andrew Brown as One Design Manager   
America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess *Feature   
29er World Youth Sailing Week Easter regatta - Day 1 and 2 overall   
C Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic/Regatta - Entries start to roll in   
50th Congressional Cup: See the delayed coverage and media conferences   
Clipper Race 10 Day 27: Closing stages - Qingdao to San Francisco   
Canfield, Williams, Bruni, Swinton in Congressional Cup final four   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week - Day 2   
Audi Melges 20 Charleston Race Week - Perfect conditions in Charleston   
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Full on ocean conditions for day 3   
PWA World Tour - A taste of things to come at La Torche + Video   
Women's International Match Racing Series kicks off in June   
Melges 32 Audi Tron Sailing Series - Action shots by Max Ranchi   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Frustrating conditions   
Man rescued after falling overboard in Pacific taken to hospital   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Youth leading Melges 20   
Congressional Cup - Canfield leads toward Congressional Cup sailoffs   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Perfection for Day 1   
America's Cup: Coutts claims ISAF Jury on a crusade, backs Kiwi report *Feature   


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.
X6XL NEW US