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Hastings River Flahead Report (tiger Country!)


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Sorry for the late report, but I only just found myself in front of a computer - with time to put it all together. I had 400+ emails to clear first :1badmood:

Spent all of last week in Port Macquarie, fishing with my uncle and GF, and what a week it was!

The new minn kota terrova paid for itself in spades. Last Monday, I fired it up, and gently guided the hornet into the thick of the oyster leases up Limeburners Creek at the top of the tide. This leccie is brilliant! I can hold station between leases only meters apart, with the wind running one way and the tide the other, with fingertip control.

And the result of this new found freedom? 85cm of prime Port Maq flattie, and a new PB!


She was landed on 6lb firewire, with an 8lb fluoro leader.

Wouldn't you know it, I had no way of proving her size for the camera (the fisheries sticker is along the step up to the front deck and doesn't photograph well, so I went off to BCF to get a new brag mat). Just to prove she wasn't a fluke, on Thursday I pulled this big girl, who at 74cm would have been my PB prior to this trip


Not to be outdone, 3 casts later Uncle Dave hooks into this 73cm model (note how fat she is in spawn!)


All three of the big girls went back to fight another day, but we didn't go home empty handed. To give you an idea of the action, on Sat the tally was:

18 keepers (between 36 - 59cm)

22 throw backs (< 36)

c. 25 we failed to land - spat the lure, busted off etc.

The high failure rate was due to the location - you've gotta expect to lose some gear in the racks.

Two lures did the damage. Uncle Dave primarily used Gulp pumpkin seed minnows (3"). I used 110mm Squidgy flick baits in avocado. These two lure types were outfishing any other type of lure by about 3:1. I variously used berkley drop shot minnows and atomic prong lures on the 2nd rod, and although they took fish, they were nothing like the flick bait - the flatties were climbing all over each other to get at it. On three occasions, we watched a second and third flattie try to steal the lure from a hooked fish!

What a week. I can definitely recommend heading into tiger country! Somehow fishing middle harbour's going to seem a little tame this week....

Tight lines,


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Great stuff Ben! :yahoo: There are some crackin' flatties in your report :thumbup:

Oyster leases are merciless on tackle ... but that's where the fish hide so that's where to chase 'em. Sounds like you had a fantastic time and were rewarded with soom exceptional fishing. Well done mate! :thumbup:


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What a week you had Ben!!!

Three over 70cm! How good is that!

As for that high failure rate, you're right, those racks can be deadly. But when you score that many keepers, and three "monsters", "failure" is the wrong word to even mention in a report like that! Your "success" rate was excellent!

On three occasions, we watched a second and third flattie try to steal the lure from a hooked fish!

How amazing is it to see that.

Did you get anything else? Like bream? Or did you just stick to chasing flatties?

Cheers - Great report!


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Hi Ben

Terrific report and Well done on such fine fishing!!!

.....we watched a second and third flattie try to steal the lure from a hooked fish!...

Amazing when this happens, eh? I've seen it a couple of times in Forster leases when the water is really clear on the top of the tide. Also, when they propel themselves out of the water after a lure you are retrieving cos it wasn't 'taken'! Scares the living daylights out of you! They have a great turn of speed when they want to!! :1yikes:

Your 85cm PB flattie on just 8lb leader is terrific! I usually go with a minimum of 12lb in the racks, sometime up to 20lb!! Your heart would have been in your mouth! :yahoo::thumbup:



Your backdrop is very similar to mine here in Forster :) :)

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Ben you've found flathead paradise, what a great fishing hol you had, nice shots of the big girls too , good on you for the releases, sounds like you have the perfect craft and accessories to get right in close to the good spots. Congrats to you and the family.. Cheers..

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Thanks guys,

Peter - Caught a couple of small bream. I did target them for a while, but when a 49cm flattie monstered my SX40 deep in the racks, I was too nervous to try again! I got the lure back (and the fish), but switched straight back to placcies after that.

Did manage a small flounder on the big squidgie. God knows how he got it in his gob.

Roberta - I reckon you have to give them a chance to win the battle. Yeah, it causes me grief some time, but when I win, I know it's a been a good honest battle. The 85 cm model gave me 15 minutes of heart palpitations, wrapped me around 2 poles, and frayed the leader in four places. I was sweating by the time she was landed!

My 74cm fish fought much more sedately, stayed in the channel, and entered the net gracefully on the first shot.

Mind you, I'm also lazy. I don't like to change leaders just because I've moved from a nice smooth channel into the racks :1prop:

Ray - You're right. Best money I ever spent.

I'll reiterate my advice to anyone who'll listen. If you're toying with the idea of spending your hard earned on a good rig, particularly a top of the line leccie - bite the bullet and do it. It revolutionises your fishing.

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great report im heading to lake cathie for chrissy which is 5km south of port maq and a great sp spot for flatties whiting breamm etc i spent my youthat my grandmas house oppisite the lake.

ps anyone wishing to spend a day or two at the lake from the 25december to the 3 of january please pm me as this is a must fish spot for sp addicts

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