Flatties kick off early
  |  First Published: August 2012

This is the best time of year at the Pin and that’s because it’s the start of the flathead season. At this time of year flathead move through the Bar looking to spawn and will be feeding up on whatever they can find, which is great for us fishos because they’ll be about in great numbers.

If you’ve never tried using lures chasing flatties, get organised because there won’t be a better time than now to get out and give it a go. Try twitching different sized soft plastics between 2-7” along the many weed banks, drop offs, ledges and holes you can find around the area.

There is a lot of choice in jig head sizes and brands but if you stick between 1/8-1/2oz you’ll be on the right track. Colours are always a great talking point amongst lure anglers and I can say that most I’ve tried work. You just have to find the one that works best for you in the area you are working. I usually go for whites and glows in the 4” as it perfectly imitates a whitebait, and everyone knows that lizards love whitebait.

Another great luring technique that works a treat is trolling diving hardbody lures in the shallows. This allows you to cover a heap of territory and is a quick way to find the areas and depths that the flathead are in. When you find them keep working the area because where there’s one, there’s usually a couple.

For those of you stuck in the Stone Age unable to venture into luring, live bait is very effective and flathead love mullet, herring and whatever else you can get in the cast net. Best baits are of course pillies, whitebait, frog-mouthed pillies, prawns and yabbies.

Flathead sizes are between 40-75cm and you can only keep five. Be sure to put the oversized ones back as they are breeding females and each female contains millions of eggs – do the right thing and keep our flathead stocks thriving.

Greenback tailor to 3kg should be arriving in the surf off North and South Straddie along with smaller bream, dart and the odd Australian salmon. Salmon were a big hit last year and there should be more about this season too.

The westerlies should flatten out the surf and make it easier to cast further. Look for deep gutters along the beach and you should get better results at night if you’re willing to brave the cold.

Smaller choppers will be inside the Bar around the top of Crusoe right to the breakers of the Pin. Floated pillies, whitebait and small metal slugs are working the best.

Small school jew have been about in good numbers but since the size limit has increased to 75cm not many keepers have been caught. Try around Marks Rocks with livies, out from Swan Bay, Kalinga Bank and Crusoe Island.

Bream are the bread and butter of the Pin and available all year round. Just look for structure and you’ll find bream. They’ll eat practically anything and always put up a good fight, which makes them one of the best and easiest fish to catch. Hot spots are the Pig Styes, the dead trees off the bottom of North Straddie, Never Fail Islands, Short Island and Flatrock.

Thanks for all your reports and fish weighed in. Feel free to drop us a line at Gem Bait and Tackle on (07) 3287 3868 or email --e-mail address hidden-- for any up to date information.

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