the old school method of taking flathead is to drift over sand or mud flats in estuaries or bays, drag small bait fish or a flasher rig along or right on the bottom. •
lines must rigged with sufficient lead to hold the bottom, as the boat drifts with the current or wind. •
although flathead anglers set forth at any time, especially during summer holidays experienced angler believe that big fish are usually landed in the early morning and late afternoon, possibly due to the ideal drifting conditions at these times and also less traffic on the water to spook the fish. •
at times the flathead strike is swift decisive and extremely effective, seizing and cutting its prey with its sharp teeth. at other times there is only steady pull on the line. on other occasions again there is no indication at all until the line is pulled in for check on the bait or rig. •
from a land based perspective, my father taught me an old school trick. at low tide go for a walk along the edge of an estuary, there you will find the shape in the sand of where a big flatty was lying at high to mid tide. flathead are territorial and they generally come back to their feeding spot. once the tide comes in, i cast a good quality flasher rig loaded with pilchard tails, right at where i found the flatties sand mark. this technic never fails me. we highly recommend you try our flasher rigs when doing this. you can find us on ebay hook in mouth tackle. via @riplapp
big dusky flathead usually take a wide variety of baits, either dead or live. it is said that the best bait of all is small live fish, they should be hooked through the flesh near the tail or you can hook them in the middle in the upper back. •
small yellowtail, herring and poddy mullet are all top flathead baits fished live. sand worms, blood worms, prawns, bass yabbies and fish strips are super effective too. fish strips of whiting, mullet and garfish can be rigged so that they wiggle as if alive when slowly retrieved. •
whole dead fish such as sandy sprats, anchovies and pilchards can all be used to fool flathead too. like all estuary species flathead respond to berley. fishing from a moored or drifting boat or kayak, a good berley trail of cut fish pieces and bait scraps can be very useful in bringing these fish on the bite. •
i like to use a pelleted mix which you can pick up in any good local tackle shop. try using hook in mouth tackle’s flasher rigs with a pilchard tail, whilst on the drift, once you drift past the nose of flatty lying in wait, they just can’t resist it. find us today on ebay, hook in mouth tackle via @riplapp
Ambush specialist• •
understanding any fishes feeding habits is the first step in the road to successful angling. it is a fierce predator which lies in wait for its prey at the bottom, usually submerged in sand or mud, with only its eye visible. •• •like a covert military operation, flathead choose their position with care, where there is good traffic of smaller fish, which flows with the estuary tidal movements. • •they tend to favour a variety of spots including the edges of sandbanks, among w**d patches, on sandy bottoms, the edge of deep channels, and the mouth of tidal creek and gutters. via @riplapp
all around australia one or more flathead species can be caught in bays estuary channels, along river banks in upper reaches of tidal creeks and rivers. there are about 40 species of flathead, which at times can be known by fishermen as big lizards or in some case frogs. but a few species are important to the estuary fisherman. they are the dusky flathead, which is common in the estuaries of nsw, southern queensland and eastern victoria. several types of sand flathead can be found in the southern states. in western australia they have the bar-tail and false bar-tail.
deep channels in the surf of ocean beaches, gutters off gravelly headlands and offshore reef areas are all favourite stomping grounds of australian salmon. •
the fish are notorious for their restless nature, and never seem to linger long in any location. however if one fish is landed, buddies tend to remain in the area, allowing more than one angler to cast into the school.
both amateur and professional fishermen agree that salmon have two speeds, full stop and full ahead. these fish are generally unenthusiastic to come closer inshore than about 50 meters from a beach or headland which sometimes requires long distance casts.
Tbt | no wonder altona is one of melbourne's fishing hot spots! the snapper caught by the sciberras, sultana & stephenson families definitely would've been the catches of the day. (circa 1940s) 📷 altona homestead