Even though I nicknamed this area ‘Port Whirlpool’ many years ago due to the high wind it experiences, I have always had a soft spot for the area.
The Port Welshpool may be famous for snapper and gummy sharks, but it is the massive flathead population that excites me most at this time of year.
The ebb tide is the best time to catch big flathead in this area. Fish will naturally head for deeper water as the tide recedes to avoid being left high and dry. They also become very active when water temperatures are up.
A 2500 Shimano Elf or Nexave reel is more than adequate when matched with a Jewel, Raider or Adroit rod. Look for a rod in the 7’-7’6” category to ensure a long cast, even when casting into the wind. Fins braid in 4lb is all you need to stop even the biggest of flathead.
This is the easy bit. Just attach 1.6-2m of Nitlon DFC to your braid via a back-to-back Uni knot or your preferred connection knot. You can use 6-20lb. The lighter you go, the greater chance of bite (rasp) off, the heavier you go the less bites you may get. It is a trade off and 10-12lb is not a bad option if you want an each way bet.
Cast as far as you can from the boat towards drains and channels where you would expect the fish to be. Lift the rod tip and wind down as you drop it, making sure that the lure contacts the bottom with a pause on each occasion. Continue the lift, drop and wind until the lure is back at the boat.
Obviously soft plastics are the lure of choice on flathead for one simple reason – they work! Try plastics like Squidgy Fish and Wrigglers in 100-140mm. Fuze jigheads ranging from 1/6-1/4oz with a 2/0-3/0 hook should suit most applications. As for colour of plastics, that is up to the flathead to decide.
If you intend on taking a feed, which I highly recommend, try to keep the 40-50cm fish. This allows the little ones a chance to grow and the big girls a chance to breed.
If you want to have a lazy couple of hours on the water try to berley one of these gutters on the run-out tide and bring the flathead to you. They just can’t resist a strip of striped tuna fished on a running sinker rig.
They wont all be monsters, but a good range of plastics will help you lure plenty of fish.Reads: 11770