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Targeting Flathead with Guy Mcconnell

Targeting Flathead with Guy Mcconnell

Nomad Design flathead tips with Guy Mcconnell. Flathead Whisperer Guy Mcconnell tests out the Nomad Design Shikari Jerkbaits, Vibes and Madscad Autotune lures in South East Queensland. Guy's take on nailing Flathead comes with a deep knowledge of the 4 T's: Timing, Territory, Technique and Tackle. 

Timing

Flathead are of one of those fish that can be caught all year round in most places throughout Australia but there is once or twice a year depending on where you are the fish spawn and if you know when these are you can encounter some incredible fishing.

Depending on whether you are fishing shallow or deep water the tides can vary a lot! In deep water, I like to fish around the change of tide.

In shallow water, the last of the out and the first of the push is good for drains and drop offs. You can also chase the water as it pushes up over the flats, as with Flathead there is no such thing as too shallow!

Territory

Flathead are just like any other fish, find the bait find the Fish! Baitfish can be generally located around structure. Flathead territory can be broken up into two categories; deep water and shallow water. When fishing deep water, look for Steep mangrove lined banks, rock bars and bends in a channels. Another good option is the entrances of rivers and creeks where they meet the ocean.

With shallow water and flats, any visible structure like weed-beds, drains, logs and anything else that stands out on what may seem an empty sandy area is a great place to look!

Technique

With shallow water, I have 2 go to lures, the Madscad Autontune in both 65 and 90mm and the Shikari 95mm Jerkbait slow float. The Madscad is such a versatile lure it can be sunk down to any depth and a slow twitch in pause retrieve is the go. The shikari is a good option to work over the top of weed flats, and the fact that it slowly floats allows you to work it so it doesn’t get fouled up with weed. Small twitches and pauses will get them fired up in most cases! 

In deep water, the nomad Vertrex Max is ideal for when the water is running hard. Fish it vertically with small hops just above the bottom. On the slack of the tide or when the water slows down I switch over to the Vertex Swim or Swimtrex. Both lures can be worked the same as the Max version, but have a bit longer fall rate and sometimes a more subtle presentation is the key!

 

Tackle

The gear you will need to get into a few Flathead doesn’t need to be anything special. Spin or baitcast in the 6 to 12 pound rating will get you out of trouble in most situations. Spool that up with 10lb braid and 12lb leader and you're good to go! If there are a few bigger fish around in the deeper water I might bump it up to a 10 to 20 pound set up with 20lb braid and 20lb leader, this also helps with any bycatch like jewfish you might encounter.

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