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Botany Flathead


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Haven't posted anything in a while as I've been prospecting new areas in the Bay the past month as well as experimenting with Vibes, poppers and assorted hardbodies compared with my more "normal" soft plastics approach.

For someone that has fishing Botany for quite a number of years I thought I knew most of the better flathead areas but yesterday discovered a new patch of ground literally within 100mtrs of 2 other areas I have fished for many years. I had previously ignored this area as its quite snaggy - more weed and rough ground than sand patches but with all the boat traffic elsewhere yesterday decided I'd give it a go.

Well forget that "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" because I learned some good lessons. Within a 2-3 hrs period just after low tide managed to catch 1x50cm, 2x55cm and 1x66cm bruiser plus missed a couple of others. Only 2mtrs of water and 75% of the time I was literally ripping the plastic through weed and getting snagged but obviously they like the spot

The bigger one was caught on a 2-3kg combo and must have been close to my best flathead fight. Lots of big headshakes and took several minutes to get him off the bottom and get him near the boat for a nervous net shot. As soon as he saw the net back to the bottom and try again (must remember to buy a bigger net)

Had a school of chopper tailor move through the area and tear 3 plastics apart. Landed a couple of these that regurgitated heaps of small 3inch white bait and probably added some natural berley to the mix

A few other interesting pointers that are purely my own experiences

* I have several regular flathead areas in the Bay that I like which either have lots of smaller 40-45cm fish or fewer 50-60cm models - but rarely do I get them mixed in together (maybe the smaller ones are more aggressive and beat the larger models to the lures ...)

* After having tried LOTS of different lures my soft plastics still consistently out-fish most other lure types and generally are more versatile that the rest. The attached photo shows my favourite colour choice which again catches more fish for me on a regular basis (possibly the one I have the most confidence in ...). Also soft plastics are MUCH cheaper than the other lure types and I don't cry when I lose one  😁

* Surprisingly all my larger fish (55cm plus) are coming from shallow water (less than 2mtrs) and the smaller ones are from deeper areas 

* With my jigheads I find larger hook sizes around 5/0 increase my hook up rate. Often the flathead will grab your plastic and just sit there and when you lift the rod you need a lot of point exposed to ensure a good hookup and stop the headshakes from dislodging smaller hooks


First 55cm model ...



Bigger 66cm fish that went hard ...



Another 55cm fish to add to the list 



The Contenders ...




Bruised and battered but still champion ...


Weapon of choice ...






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Nice bag of fish. 

Flatties do swim about in surprisingly shallow water. I have measured some the the flattie 'lays' around the 80cm mark in shallow water.

A few years ago, I nearly trod on a flattie around 60cm, during day time, in less than 15cm of water, as I was wading about. Not where I expected to see one, though at night the flatties will be in shallow water.

The mixed sand/weed/rock patches will allow the flatties to hide and grab anything that swims past, sometimes they just sit in the weeds, not buried. 

In the Hacking I have seen the big flatties, 80cm plus, sitting on the sand and not buried at all, along the main channel. Have not had one grab anything yet, they just keep watching you, the eyes moving around a little, then off they swim like a rocket.

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