Fishing For Dusky Flathead.
Dusky Flathead fishing in South East Queensland can be indulged in pretty much all year round, though the breeding season is Spring, during this time the big breeders 75cm + are always to be released if caught. Flathead is a very good table fish and great fun to chase for all age groups as they are found in water from very shallow to deep channels. Chasing Dusky Flathead is not as easy as you think, everyone thinks you just put a lure in the water and drive around the sandbanks. I wish it was that simple! Below I will tell you what I know about Flathead fishing in South East Queensland.
RODS, REELS, AND LINE FOR FLATHEAD FISHING.
Trolling for Dusky Flathead: Use a 3 to 6kg rod with a soft tip, when jigging soft plastics use a stiffer rod to get better action out of your
Rod length: Should be between 6 and 7 foot to get good casting distance.
Reel size: For most Flathead fisherman is the 2500 size spin reel seems to be the pick, full of 3 to 6kg braid.
Line: Always use braid to keep in touch with your lure and to get better action out of your lures. I recommend using between 3 to
6kg braid for Flathead.
Leader: A lot of people will disagree with what I am about to say, but we use a very light leader, say 3 to 5kg, people will say that this is too light and you will lose too many lures (CRAP), so we lose a lure every now an again but we catch a lot of fish too, and we always use Fluro carbon about a 1 meter long.
Lures For Dusky Flathead.
These are the types of hard body lures we use for Dusky Flathead.
Mann's stretch 5+
and the main colors we use are
Pink, White, Green and Dark Brown.
Colors change day by day, just have a good selection for Dusky Flathead.
The Jig heads I use are a football-shaped head either in green or pink color. The weight should be either 3/8 or a 1/2 ounce Jig head.
I hope you enjoyed these lure tips.
Tips For Catching Dusky Flathead.
1 / I like to fish the last couple of hours of the run out tide when fishing with small hardbodies and plastics. The reason is, near the bottom of the tide you will see little drains running off the large banks and the Flathead will sit in these drains and ambush the small bait fish getting washed out. So these drains are a good place to cast your lures. I like a high tide when fishing with large plastics, more on this later.
2 / Fishing around the full moon seems to be the best time to chase Flathead. Overcast days are not a good time to chase Duskys they prefer sunny days.
3 / You will catch these fish from a foot of water over sandbanks to about 10 meters usually around river mouths and deep drop-offs around rock walls. In the deepwater use larger plastics 6 to 9 inch with 1 ounce + jig heads.
The New Method.
This new method is something very different and quite tricky to work out. The basic break down is to cast 9-inch white Slug-Go or Slapstiks lures over the shallow banks at high tide to catch the big girls who are in the shallows sunning themselves.
For this method to work the lures need to be white and rigged on a 7/0 worm hook unweighted, the leader should be around 20 lb Fluro carbon. The outfit needs to be heavy like a 4000 size reel on an 8 to 10 kg stiff graphite rod spooled with 20 lb braid. You need a stiff rod to cast these 9 to 12-inch lures and to get the action out of them.
The action should be a gliding action if you twitch your rod hard the lure should glide to the left or right like a wounded baitfish just repeat this all the way back to the boat.
You should be using this method in 3 feet of water or less usually over shallow sandbars. I know it is hard to get your head around, but big lures in shallow water won the Flathead Classic this year so it really does work on large Flathead.
My Flathead Classic Training Trips.
Gold Coast Dusky Flathead Fishing Journal.
This is my Flathead Fishing journal as I train for the Flathead Classic.
Day 1 / 10-05-16
I only fished for half an hour over high tide at the banks on north Crab Island, I trolled a Zerek pink and Orange diver around the flats for 3 undersized Flathead. Not the best start and I did not have the time to try the run out tide!
Day 2 / 24-05-16
All day today chasing Dusky Flathead with my new lures I got from Japan and some from the USA, I did not catch or hook anything trolling but I did manage a 49 cm on one of my new soft plastics. A couple of the soft plastics are rather large and I lost 3 big girls on them today. I will have to rethink hook placement before the next Flathead fishing trip.
Day 3 / 22-06-16
I spent 3 hrs trolling around Crab today and ended up catching a thumper Whiting and 6 Flathead on a pink Micro Mullet. It was the last 2 hrs of a run out tide and the first hour of the run in tide. Final tally, 1 x 60cm +, 3 x 50cm + and 2 just legal Flathead. Not bad Flathead fishing.
The Whiting went 41 cm.
Day 4 / 19-06-16
This arvo I started trolling the grass banks at the mouth of Loder's creek only to find 3 undersized Flathead on a green Pig lure and just when I was about to wind up and leave, my rod buckled over and I felt two big head shakes then my 4 lb main line broke and that was the end of a really big fish! Well, that's Flathead fishing. Next, I went to Browns and landed 4 nice fish, 2 in the 50 cm+ range and 2 in the 60+ range and missed a couple of good fish on the secret weapon. (9-inch white Slug-Go lure with a 7/0 worm hook) good fun using the lure in shallow water. I only fished the last 2 hrs of the run in tide.
Day 5 / 16-08-16
I spent 4 hours on the Broadwater today only to land 5 Flathead, biggest only 50 cm, I pulled the hooks on two nice fish and fished a run out tide. I tried trolling but there was to much weed! so I ended up casting some white plastics around for a hand full of fish.
Day 6 / 22-08-16
3 hrs this morning chasing Flathead around Tipplers and Kalinga Bank over high tide. I missed the first 4 fish I hooked on Plastics, then it went cold for an hour so I decided to troll along Kalinga Bank and ended up catching an 80 cm model, then the rain started so I headed home. Happy with the 80 cm girl and pissed I lost 4 other nice fish!
Day 7 / 07-09-16
I tried something different today, I thought about trolling small lures in deep water behind a downrigger. I spent 3 hours along the rocks at Straddie and in the Seaway its self only to get nailed by snot weed. No fish today but it was a good idea to try something new before the classic.