Flathead Fishing in Australia – What Techniques to Use

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Flathead are another favorite species of fish to target in Australia. These fish as their name suggests have a long slender body with a flat head. They are generally regarded as a bottom dwelling fish, but as lure fishing is becoming very popular anglers are now catching flathead in ways they never thought possible.

It was once widely thought that if your lures weren’t bumping along the bottom you had no chance of catching flathead. But these days they are being caught on surface poppers whist fishing for bream. Fishing on or close to the bottom is still the best method for catching flathead by far.

Soft plastics in sizes from 2′ up to and beyond 7″ are great sizes to target flathead with, they will readily take lures of all descriptions including larger crank baits. Flathead are an ambush predator and won’t try too hard to chase lures a long way.

They are content to sit in amongst weed and rocks and wait for a snack to swim by, then with lightning speed dart out and eat their prey. They will also bury into the sand with only their eye’s protruding and wait for an easy meal. They will use this tactic in areas of strong current waiting for an snack to wash past.

In the winter months they can be found in water barely deep enough to cover their body, soaking up the suns warmth. Walking the shallow sand banks you will often almost stand on them before they dart away to safety. They can be quite easy to catch at times due to their aggressive nature, which has its benefits as they are an excellent table fish.

I don’t know too many people who don’t enjoy a feed of flatty’s as they are affectionately known. They usually hang around in schools and once located 5 or 6 fish for the table is not out of the question.Their flesh is lightly flavored, white and firm, the fish’s body shape makes it very easy to fillet and remove the bones leaving a lovely boneless fillet.