Flatties kick into gear
  |  First Published: November 2008

An unseasonably warm Spring is a welcome relief after a bitter Winter.

The normal run of Winter flathead didn’t eventuate but they are now kicking into gear.

On a recent outing my mate I played Good Samaritan for most of our short fishing session. We’d only just pulled up at our first spot when we noticed another boat on a weird drift.

It wasn’t until he was perilously close to the Coal Wall that we saw him waving for help. We scooted over to his aid, only to hear, “Have you got a camera?”

It was Dave Harrington from Bonny Hills and it was his lucky day. Dave had just snared himself a monster lizard on a 70mm Squidgy Flick Bait using 6lb leader.

I jumped on board with my camera and helped get this huge fish into the boat. After a few happy snaps and measure on the brag mat, this 101cm flattie was released to terrorise baitfish and anglers for years to come.

It was a wonderful experience to see the jubilation and excitement on Dave’s face as we released the fish.

Then, a boat that had electrical problems waved us down and we spent another hour towing them back to the ramp. But I’m a strong believer in helping others, as one day I might just need some help myself so out outing was rewarding, all the same.

I did manage a nice 32cm bream. It’s also a timely reminder to make sure your boat is in good working order.

After holding the 101cm flathead the nice lizards we caught for a feed over following weeks just didn’t seem right. But with the warmer weather and hatching of the prawns this month, it should be good lizard time.

Live poddy mullet and yakkas will be hard to go by for the flatties. Just jig one of the jetties in town or use a bait trap on the flats along Settlement Point Drive and you will get some live bait.

The drop-offs around the Settlement Point Ferry, Hibbard Ferry and Dennis Bridge will be good starting points for the flathead and if you’re into throwing lures then anything from 3” to 4” will do the job.


Whiting should be coming on this month and the flats on Blackmans Point and Queens Lake down at Laurieton should be hot. If Lake Cathie opens to the sea then it will also be worth a try.

Last year it was a bumper whiting season in the Hastings region and I’m hoping I’ll be taking pictures of elbow-slappers again this year and enjoying a good cook-up of sweet fillets.

Bream will be up-river on the rock bars and in the snags.

It’s cicada season and they’ll be looking for a protein-rich diet of tasty insects. The first to hatch out in our area are the little black ones, followed by the gold then the big green grocers.

So make sure you have a selection of these colours and don’t be afraid to use them all day.

If you’re into soft plastics then surface presentations will be the go. Many readers know I love unweighted Ecogear Grass Minnows and this year I’ll be giving the new Atomic Guzzlerz 2½” Prongs the same treatment. A great imitation of a prawn, when ripped across the surface it should will be irresistible to bream.

Offshore action has gone from strength to strength and the reds don’t look like easing up.

At the time of writing, everyone is still chasing snapper. Last month I wrote about my mates Paul and Marc cracking a 12kg snapper and they’ve been at it again, with Paul snaring a 9.7kg fish.

On a recent outing Chris Blanch and Mark Olsen from Berkley caught a beautiful 10kg red. I wonder if I’ll be writing about more snapper next month, or will the tuna, kingfish, mackerel, and marlin will take over.

November is a great month in the Hastings Region so spend some time on the water.

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