Jump to content

Flathead and northern beaches flats?


Recommended Posts

Hi everyone, my name is Daniel and new to Deckee.

First of all, I appreciate any help I can get at all with this question. I have recently gotten into flats fishing and the only location I know to fish is in Narrabeen Lagoon. I was wondering if there are flats near the Northern Beaches I can fish? I have been there multiple sessions recently and all I catch is bream, tarwhine and whiting. I am primarily looking for Flathead, with light gear on lures and also basic leader, small ball sinker and hook setup. In terms of searching for flathead, how do I locate them? I see on maps at times where the are two separated sections of water, light and dark. Do I just cast along that line of separation? 

Thanks all, Daniel

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


There's a lot of people on here that are more knowledgeable than myself, but personally when going for flathead, I look for edges of weedbeds, channels or gutters in the sand, or where the sand drops to deeper water.

I like to use Daiwa Double clutches or Infeet Spikes, as they dive quite deep and will kick up a trail of sand as they make their way along the bottom, which flathead and other predators love.

I'm sure others will chime in with more advice.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/1/2023 at 3:01 PM, Kiduk said:

I have been there multiple sessions recently and all I catch is bream, tarwhine and whiting.

Hi Daniel,

Welcome aboard.

There are people that would pay money to have the problem you currently have. :mfr_lol:

I think you need to spend a bit more working on the how rather than the where. While I haven't actually seen you fishing I suspect part of your problem is that you are not covering enough ground (and thoroughly or systematically). The flathead is ambush predator lying on the bottom and generally waiting for the food to come to it. The fact you are catching fish suggests you are fishing productive areas. If you are casting out baits and waiting for the flathead to find the bait you will be waiting a while and the most likely time of hooking a flathead is when you are winding the bait in and dragging it over the bottom. The same with lures. If you are repeatedly casting to the same section of water and haven't hooked a flathead then they are not there or not interested. You need to fan your casts out and then move along and try another section of water and ideally overlap your previous set of cast so you overlay the area in a kind of grid pattern.

Consider this diagram by @XD351 and how he suggests working an area (I'd probably have the casting areas a little more overlapped but he probably rushed it a bit but it is still an excellent diagram):




PS. I like the drop offs where the current is likely to take the food to the flathead or use long casts in sand areas. One of my go to lures recently has been the Ecogear ZX in the larger sizes. They cast long distances on light gear, get to the bottom quickly so you can really cover a lot of ground and vibrate when worked properly to get the attention of the fish. I just don't use them in snaggy areas.

Edited by DerekD
  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Daniel, welcome to Fishraider 
Plenty of flats down around bayview, also around church point .

The areas marked in red are spots that I would start at . I would look at the last half of the run out tide and fish around where the shallow water drops off into deeper water . The creek at Kooroowall reserve is one spot I would pay attention to as the flathead would go right up there on the run up tide and set up a lay and wait for the tide to turn and feed on the baitfish being forced out of the creek by the receding tide . One important thing with Flathead - your lure needs to be on the bottom , this is why I generally stick to soft plastics on jig heads and vibes as they are both sinking lures . Flathead are no where as finicky as bream or whiting so nothing special in the way of rigs is needed , if you only have mono on your reel it will do , 10-12lb line will see you through but I do like a heavier trace and in fluorocarbon and around 15-20lb just as a safety factor as flathead have saw like teeth in the middle of their mouth and they thrash their head around and can cut your line -but this may deter other species from taking your bait  . Down there I would suggest you use a 1/0 or 2/0 long shank hook , half metre long trace , swivel and a #1 ball sinker - standard running sinker rig . The gun bait there would be live poddy mullet with decent Hawkesbury prawns , pink nippers and strips of fish a second option . Berley can help you as it brings small fish around -nothing complicated just a tin of cat food or sardines mashed up in a bit of damp sand in a small container like a small bucket , ice cream container or takeaway container and just mould up a golf ball sized  lump of the sand/ berley mix and toss it out to where your bait will be and do this maybe every 20 min .

Lures , I would start with a paddle tail around  50-65mm length  in a colour that as close as possible matches a poddy mullet or small whiting , second option would be a grub or prawn style plastic around 50-65mm length in something like motor oil , jelly prawn or watermelon colour . Try to keep your lure size close to the size of the prawn or mullet you are trying to imitate.  I would be just casting out and hopping the lure across the bottom back to me - make sure it hits bottom before the next hop and don’t be afraid to pause for a second or two .

In the diagram that Derek refers to I only showed a basic representation of fanning your casts out , if you imagine you are at the waters edge and standing in the middle of a clock face with 12 o’clock directly in front of you and 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock at your left and right sides respectively. First cast would be at the 10 o’clock position the next at 11 , then 12 , then 1 and finally 2 o’clock. You then reverse this to return to the 10 o’clock position where you started - you can do this a couple of times if you wish  . You then move sideways maybe 10 metres and repeat the process. This means you are covering the most area as slowly as possible, don’t cast out once and wind in fast then move as a flathead may be just outside your casting range and more often than not it will move in towards your lure - you need to give it time to get there and usually put 15- 20 cast before moving along . You don’t need any fancy retrieves - just a single or double hop , maybe mix the two but make sure the lure hits bottom on the drop . 

This video from Tackle tactics tv ( suppliers of ZMan lures -you can get these through the Deckee shop as well as most tackle stores  ) shows the hop technique clearly.


Edited by XD351
  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Plenty of Flatties in Narabeen Lake. Try landbased near Woolies, or even better wade the flats in front of the caravan park. You can fish the flats and/or cast into the channel. You will struggle with Flatties as the weather cools.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Plenty of flatties in Narrabeen Lake you just need to think where would they be. Baitfish will hang in the weed beds as it provides cover for them. They will be in the shallows. I regularly get 50cm + flatties in less than 1m of water in the Lake, admittedly I am fishing from a boat most of the time. 

Fish the shallows that have a mix of open sandy areas in the weed beds. Just about anywhere land based should get into some fish, just give a miss to the busy areas or fish midweek. Keep moving and don't spend too long in one place.

Give the soft plastics a go as well, the work very well in the lake on flatties.

Hint, western part of the lake fishes the best. Try along Wakehurst Parkway.


  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...