“The Dusky Flathead”
The Australian Dusky Flathead (Platycephalus fuscus) would be my target species for my first serious days fishing on my 7 days off work. With low tide at 12.30pm I launched the yak at 10am hoping to fish the last of the outgoing and the first of the incoming. My Shimano Aernos loaded with 6lb Braid and 14lb leader has accounted for many Flatties and with my lure of choice being an Atomic 4″ Prong soft plastic prawn imitation in Carolina Pumpkin matched with a 1/8oz 3/0 TT Jighead i was confident that I could bag a lizard or two.
After a short paddle I arrived at my favourite Flattie spot and threw my first cast in anticipation, BANG! my lure was hit immediately and after a short tussle a 45cm Flathead was landed and released. I had the feeling that today was going to be a good one.
Flathead are the perfect species to target with lures and soft plastics and are plentiful enough to reward the novice angler but also present a challenge for the experienced. This, coupled with the fact that they are an excellent table fish give the Flathead, in my opinion, a solid 1st place in the order of bread and butter species. Being able to read the water is one of the most important attributes an angler can possess when targeting these fish, in addition to understanding that they are an ambush predator. Keeping these ideas in mind I started to work a sandy drop off where the outgoing tide was flowing, again my offering was devoured by another fish but this one was substantially larger. The fight consisted of two large runs with the fish continually breaking the surface with viscous head shakes, this is typical of Flathead and to combat this you must lower the rod tip to prevent the fish throwing the hook. I did exactly that and as a result landed this 52cm model.
Working the same drop off I was immediately rewarded with another, slightly smaller specimen of 49cm that did not put up nearly as good a fight as the previous fish but with not even the first hour gone I had landed three good fish and was stoked! The day just got better with about 7 Flathead landed in total with the largest going 61cm. I took 3 home for a feed and the rest were released to fight another day.
I also managed to pick up this little estuary cod which was not much bigger than the lure he swallowed so I thought he deserved a photo or two for his efforts.
So try flicking some plastics for Flatties, but be warned, its addictive!
“Flathead, ugly but so cool.”