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The Old fashioned Way

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Had a few hours with my wife on the water around Hardys Bay and Ettalong yesterday. I normally use lures up here as bait is usually destroyed by little pickers in the day time but today the SP and vibe didn't get a touch so we resorted to using the remaining cooked prawns from my recent drummer outing. I moved from the weed edges where I'd been lure fishing to a deeper hole for the last hour of the rising tide. My wife and I both threw out a prawn bait. I landed a small reddie about 28cm followed by a black bream around 25cm both returned. Wife was only half concentrating with her preferred method of hand-line fishing while she checked her phone. She was reminiscing about the days when we regularly caught big flathead in Pittwater from my Dad's old boat at his secret spot. Those were the days, and I said there weren't many big ones like that around now. Not five minutes went past and she calls out I've got something big on here. She was struggling to get it in as it was swimming under the boat and I leaned over and saw a huge flathead about 2 meters under us. It didn't like the look of the boat so took off. She kept the pressure on while letting it take as much line as it wanted as she was only using 15lb mono and a 2/0 hook so I was expecting a bite off any second. After lots of back and forth over ten minutes she got it close enough for me to net it. Lots of whooping  as you'd expect. A quick measure revealed it was spot on 85cm long and over 20cm wide at the head - a very stocky healthy fish.


I held it in the water for a minute to check she was ok and the gills were working and tail slowly beating straight away, so I released my thumb which she was biting down on pretty hard and she swam off in a flash, great to see and hopefully going to make lots more flatties for us in the future.


So a simple prawn on a landline can still do the trick!

I caught a couple more undersized flathead and a baby jewie about 40cm on the remaining prawns. So after a dead first hour we caught quite a few species in the last hour on prawns. While everything was too small, or in one case too big, to bring home it was a fun time in any case.



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Big flatties can fight on hand lines. That's how I usually pull them up.

Very nice fish for a cooked prawn, surprising what eats cooked prawns, and they are a little bit tougher than green prawns.

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Very well done to your wife, that's a lovely Flathead to catch bait fishing. It certainly would put up a decent account of itself on any gear, but especially on a handline and 2/0 hook.

How lovely to spend some quality time fishing together.

Cheers, bn

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16 hours ago, Welster said:

Congrats to your wife on a great catch, I bet she will be reminding you about that one for a while.  Thanks for your report.

Now she can stop mentioning the one she caught when she was 7 months pregnant with our first born 36 years ago😄


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