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Flatties on the hunt
  |  First Published: October 2010



Water temperatures are starting to rise and that should result in more fish out looking for food.

It also means that a lot of the new products that were introduced during the AFTA Trade Show should be in your local tackle store for you to enjoy this Summer.

Most of the reader feedback I get about this report fortunately is usually positive, but the boys at work give me a bit of a hard time, particularly Chriso. He says that I always write about the same spots to fish.

My reasons are simple: I write this not really for the locals, it’s mainly for visitors who don’t know the area and would like an idea of how to fish and where to go to get a feed of fish or to have a good time.

People want to make the most of what little free time they have. Having said that, I will start to mention a few more places in the lake for those who would like to venture farther afield.

September was a promising month for flathead in the lake. Our usual spots started to fire, a good sign for coming months. We didn’t hit these places hard, it was more just to suss out what was around and keep track of where fish were likely to be once the water got to 19°, which shouldn’t be too far away.

Not trying to sound like a broken record here, Chriso (if you kids even know what a record was) but the Drop Over, Coil Point and Wangi have been fishing well for flathead.

The fish seem to be in shallow water early morning and late afternoon and head into the deeper water during the day.

Soft plastics have been the go, with the 5”and 6” Berkley Jerk Shads the pick. Rig them on a 1/4oz jig head for water of 1m to 6m or a 3/8oz to 1/2oz for 6m to 11m depths.

DRIFTING

Lure fishing for flathead, and most species for that matter, is a great way to get a feed because you cover a lot more ground when you drift along through areas.

It makes sense that you are likely to get more fish drifting because if you anchor you are targeting only fish in your immediate area. Yes you can berley up, but you are also likely to bring around a lot of smaller fish.

Drift along and you cover more ground and are likely to find patches of fish.

Don’t get me wrong, berley is a very good option, but for flathead at the moment, drifting and using lures is likely to get you more fish.

You can also drift with baits. A live poddy mullet is a sensational bait that has the bonus chance of getting a school jewie.

If you prefer to bait-fish and use berley, night is the right time to be out, especially for bream. The chill in the air of recent months is gone now, making for comfortable night fishing.

Fish the shallows at night, preferably over mussel beds, using good slab baits like mullet, striped tuna or blue mackerel fillets. Mullet gut, if you can get it, is even better.

Head over to Wangi to the south side of the point, Pelican Rock down near Summerland Point, the baths at Morisset Hospital and further down to Mannering Park and Wyee Point. You could also try around Shingle Splitters Point at Bonnels Bay and up through Dora Creek.

Most of these places hold good-sized bream, which will be in the shallows when it’s dark. Remember, if you don’t get fish within, say, half an hour to 45 minutes, move around because you are more likely to find fish this way than staying in one spot all night.

If you can’t get out at night, better places during the day will include Swansea Channel, up towards Salts Bay, Black Neds Bay, the sand islands around Coon Island Caravan Park and in Swan Bay.

There should be some nice bream here as well as a few good-sized whiting, particularly around the sand flats near the caravan park.

PRAWNS, CRABS

The best baits would be fresh prawns and live worms.

If we have a good prawn run this month, hold on to a few for bait because live prawns are deadly on bream and whiting.

If you want to throw around some lures, 2” Gulp Shrimps are working well, particularly in the banana prawn colour.

There is a bit of surface activity now, so smaller poppers and surface lures should get a number of whiting and bream in the shallows morning and afternoon.

We have had a few reports of squire in Belmont Bay over to Green Point, with fresh squid the best bait.

There are also a number of jewfish in this area, as well as over at the Trench at Valentine, Jacks and down towards the deep hole off Wangi.

They have mostly been caught at night although there have been a few taking Strike Pro CV50 blades around Coil Point and in Belmont Bay during the day. You want a run-in tide for them here.

Get your crab traps out now because there are also a few blue swimmers showing up. Belmont Bay and down to Murrays Beach in the deeper water have been best.

Remember, there is a limit of five traps per angler and all anglers must be present in the boat when setting them and collecting them.

The beaches and rocks have been quiet but we have had a few reports of kingies down around Catherine Hill Bay and under Swansea Bridge. Fresh squid and poppers are working well.

Up towards Redhead, there are a few squire and flathead off the gravel. Apart from that, things have been quiet.

If you want to go further offshore, there are numbers of yellowfin tuna out at the continental shelf and the southern canyons.

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