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Having trouble catching flat head


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Hey guys,


Been heading to a local place (bobbin head) for the past few weeks trying to land some flatties but end up with no dice.


I have been there in low tide, high tide, incoming tide, outgoing tide and have only managed so catch a lot of small bream and large bream and the ocassional catfish (all of which I chuck back in).


Used various soft plastics on various jigheads, fresh squid, chicken breast, hawksbury prawns, pilchard and mullet fillets. Using a 6lb main line with a 10lb leader with size 5 bait holders/suicide hooks and long shanks.


Been up and down the car park (I go in the evenings as I never have time to go during the day) and have had no success.


Anyone else having no luck here or is it just me ?


Cheers fellas

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Hi mate. It is not a very productive area at the best of times, persistence might return a fluke but you would be better to spend your time in a more productive area.

Sorry for the bad news but have to tell it as it is.



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Are you fishing land based or from a boat?  Flathead are lazy and tend to lie in wait for something to come past.  This means the best way to catch them is to cover lots of ground.  Understanding a bit about the types of areas they tend to concentrate in (along the edges of weed banks, drop offs, drains) will let you focus your efforts a bit, but you still need to cover ground.  

When fishing from a boat drifting lets you cover a lot of ground really easily.  Land based it is a matter of picking the target areas and putting in a lot of casts in each spot then moving to the next one.  

Having said that they certainly have been known to swim up a burley trail so if you are working land based it would be well worth putting in the effort to establish one and then work the bait in the trail.

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I've never had much luck with flathead in the upper reaches of the Hawkesbury tributaries. Kiwicraig is spot on about their preferred structure ie weedbanks, dropoffs and drains. The only thing I'd ad is that the flatheads like a little bit of current, making it easier for them to hang in the one place and wait for the unlucky baitfish/prawn to drift past. They will always face nose into the current and are more likely to be spooked by a bait or lure unnaturally heading from behind them. (or stationary)

One thing that is essential with flathead is that your bait or lure is in contact with the bottom regularly. (particularly when its deeper than 1m)

If you are using soft plastics, apart from trying a different place , try a "texas rig" ie. a  (non weighted) worm hook, a FC leader about 50cm long to a small swivel. Above the swivel on your main line, thread a glass bead (a big one) and then a sinker (bullet shape is best).

The idea is that on retrieve, the sinker and glass bead skip through the mud on the bottom creating a hell of a racket and about 50 cm behind this is an unweighted plastic lofting about 25cm off the bottom (a floating soft plastic works best to achieve this) Most flatties (except the big old girls) are pretty stupid and they usually strike first and think later.

Seeing you are land based, and around Bobbin Head, some exploration of the little feeder creeks lined with mangroves can be worthwhile in the first couple of hours after a big high tide as the water drains back towards Cowan Creek. eg Cockle Creek (bring your gumboots). Right now, on the full tide there are heaps of prawns and juvenile bream and snapper seeking protection and feeding in the submerged mangrove roots. As soon as the tide starts to drop these little guys will wash through the drains before they get stranded by the falling tide and Mr Flatty will wait in ambush facing upstream.

Oh and to avoid the dreaded catfish, avoid big late night high tides and the deeper holes.


Good luck!



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