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  1. #1

    Catching Flathead ??

    I've read all the info on this site about surf fishing and catching flathead, i went out and found a good spot today in a gutter.

    I caught a very small one bout 15cm long. I was using prawns for bait.

    But with all the small whiting around is there anyway to get more to the flathead and keep a bait on the hook?
    How can you more directly go after the flathead. or are the whiting going to be a constant annoyance.

    There is a great deal of bait fish running on the inside of the gutter.

    can someone give me hints..
    Could i use a cast net to catch some small whiting and use them as live baits.

    I know it says to have the bait moving along the bottom but there is just a bit too much current , moves too quick.

    Any help would be appreciated. i know there are a lot of people out there that target flathead..


  2. #2

    Re: Catching Flathead ??

    I often catch flathead when I'm targeting whiting as you find them in the same areas a lot of the time but you can use the winter whiting as livies or chuck out a soft plastic- I sometimes use mr twisters.

  3. #3

    Re: Catching Flathead ??


    If your just targeting flathead I would use a bigger bait and a live one if available, whiting (winter) or any bait fish or prawn . As mentioned before a plastic will also work. Just replace your bait with a suitable plastic( 5cm +) (Carolina rigged as they call it) you can also use Carolina rigged flies for a bit of variety, All in all flaties aren't too particular what they stick in their mouths, especially in the surf.



  4. #4

    Re: Catching Flathead ??

    what i have always found is use the whitting as a livie as the others have said!what i do is use a cast net or just prawn fish them when i get a small one put a 3/0 through its back and cast out then put the rod pass time i fish the whitting for fun!! also i have found that the flathead will hit the small white bait that you can buy i use a smaller hook for this.

  5. #5

    Re: Catching Flathead ??

    Hi jason

    I am down in Tassie so my techniques may be a little different.

    For flathead I use squid legs as my preferred bait. I #usually fish with a running sinker with a long leader anything around say 75-100 centimetres.

    My bait is usually presented as a long strip up to 10 centimetres and hooked from the upper part of the leg so that the bait tapers beautifully to a long tail.

    The action of this bait when drifting or in a current is fantastic. It looks like a little fish with a tail moving from side to side.
    Unlike other baits such as pretty fish and prawns, it is great in that it stays on the hook.

    I swear by this technique. By jigging it as well it creates a bouncing, drifting feeding fish and the flatties just cant resist that!

  6. #6

    Re: Catching Flathead ??

    I know what you mean about losing your bait to smaller fish. I confer with the other guys, go the live whiting as a bait, or use squid (stays on longer). You could also try out some lures (personal thing really).
    While your 'luring' also drop another line in with a big strip of white bait (like strips from mullet fillet) on a gang hook. You risk getting a ray or shovel nose, but what the heck!

  7. #7

    Re: Catching Flathead ??

    you guys have said whitbait. does that include a whiting fillit....

    i bought myself a pack of 5 fluro pink plastic lures the other day. unfortunately i couldn't get out to the sand bar. the tide was too far out.

    is any time during the day good for flatties or is evening and dawn the best time.

    any special techniques for retreiving the plastic lures.?

  8. #8

    Re: Catching Flathead ??

    Hi jason
    The best time to target flatties is the outgoing tide, as most
    will lay in wait at the mouth of any gutter, drain, creek etc
    waiting for the small bait fish etc, to retreat out into deeper
    water, even the edges of banks, drifting or slow trolling
    is the best, as you cover more ground. beaches you should
    aim at the entrance to gutters, or infront of the bank forming
    the gutter where the waves wash over disturbing the sand
    even melon holes that form in gutters are an ideal place
    hope this helps

  9. #9

    Re: Catching Flathead ??

    Try a 2" slider. I have good success with them in the estuaries but I have never fished off the beach. Like the other guys said try using a whiting for bait, but I personally would go the plastic when searching for flatties. The only problem you may have is that you may not be able to cast out far enough with them. I have found that you can cast further with a Mr Twister than a slider. I also have just started using a prawnstar. They are a bit bigger than the slider so you can cast them a bit further.

    When bait fishing for flathead I would use 1/2 a pilchard and this would also stop the problem you are having with the whiting or alternatively any kind of small fish (legal size of course) fished live will work.

    Hope this helps.

    Wayne D

    Hobie Revolution

  10. #10

    Re: Catching Flathead ??

    Hi Jason........if you want those whitting to leave your bait alone go for a WA pilchard on a no 3 set of gang hooks.
    or as the guys have said throw out a mr twister lure.
    cheers Brent

  11. #11

    Re: Catching Flathead ??

    Hey jason down here n down at bruns we use blue pillies, white bait, or froggies try drifting or anchoring n casting and retrieving very slowly..use small ganged hooks to suit the bait n a heavier mono trace. I bought a new lure like a micro mullett last week silver with pink stripes 2nd cast one 37 cm duskie i was while u have a bait out try a lure as well..i have always done well on the pinks/silver pinks/white in all coloured water. cheers

  12. #12

    Re: Catching Flathead ??

    this afternoon i got bored so i went down to the local creek.

    after previous attempts of using a Mr Twisty and thinking it wasn't go good. i thought i'd give it anohter go

    i threw on my Spotters and i saw every sandbank and hole,
    i was unsure how to use the plastic lure but i just wound it in slowly.

    after several casts i soon saw that i had 1/2 a twistie left and a 35cm flathead following it.. bugger hey.
    only had the 1 twisty with me today cuz i thought i wouldn't get any hits.
    i'll take 4 down tomorrow.

    after that i decided to throw on a bright purple/black lure. as seen in the Barra Lures in tackle info.

    ended up catching a 10" long toad fish on that.

    all in all it was a good afternoon. i now know these twisty's work and i caught 1 fish.

  13. #13

    Re: Catching Flathead ??

    way to go jason..just remember not all the time you will see the flathead..they can be on top of the sand or buried so well u wont even spot their head or outline of the body. Try casting up current n retrieving with the current the flathead lay in wait for the bait to come down stream..if u watch smaller fish they always swim with the current..look for where the sand drops into a hole or gutter and work that and see how u go..cheers
    ps will be in rocky tomorrow arvo but wont have time for a fish have to come back straight away this trip

  14. #14

    Re: Catching Flathead ??

    i actually saw the fish right near the waters edge following it. i thought about stopping it and waiting for the flathead to catch up. but when i saw i only had 1/2 lure left i thougth stuff it.

    i'll give it another shot tomorrow. i'll go to another place for the incomming tide. i was only doodling around today

    shame about your stay. oh well. business is business i guess.
    i'll be going down to hervery bay next week. but it's only to visit someone, my next trip down i'll do some fishing i think

  15. #15

    Re: Catching Flathead ??

    Wahoooo. Soft Plastics finally did it for me.

    I caught me self a flathead today. not on a Mr. Twister, but on a 6cm shad minnow (soft plastic). . the colour was a dull pink.
    and boy did he scoff it down hard. had 1/2 of it in his mouth and the hook was placed firm in his upperlip, he wasn't going anywhere.. length was 30.5cm, just legal. i'll admit i did keep it and ate it for an entre` before dinner. i just love flathead.

    20 mins later i saw a bigger one about 45cm's swim 3m infront of me.... but like the old saying. "you'll never catch a fish u see".
    i'm hooked on soft plastics now.

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