The 2012 Flathead Classic is over for another year, but there was plenty of great fishing and weather to boot.
It was only my second Classic, but I think it is one of the best competitions getting around. I was lucky enough to be fishing with Team TT/Z-Man, which included Michael Horn and Justin Willmer. Fishing with these boys for the weekend made the experience that much more enjoyable.
Day one of the Classic brought clear skies and light northerlies, so we headed north to the Pin to our first spot looking for that one big fish to get us off to a good start. We only had to wait 90 minutes before Mick was hooked up to a very solid fish. As he fought it we were all a bit nervous as he was only using 6lb Sunline Shooter Fluorocarbon leader. Fishing in around 8m of water and hooking large fish on only light line means that the fish really has it over you for the first half of the fight. Patience plays a big part in getting the fish on board. We herded the fish up into the shallower water and worked him to the surface to see a decent 91cm flathead. A great way to start the competition.
With a kicker fish under our belt we decided to go chase some numbers for the rest of the day. The go-to plastic for me for the first day was the Z-Man 4” Swimmerz in pearl, this accounted for almost all of my fish with the boys pulling in a few on the Z-Man Minnows in space guppy and the Streakz 4” Curly Tailz in natural. We ended up with 23 fish on the first day.
The second day brought similar weather with light winds from the NW/NE. We decided to start the day the same way as day one by targeting a big fish for the first hour or two; unfortunately we could only find a couple of rat fish.
I did however nail a good tailor at 54cm, which took out the biggest tailor for the comp.
The day was extremely slow and we had to tough it out and do a few kilometres until the tide turned around 1pm. We went back to a flat where we knew there were fish congregating and waiting to feed once that tide was falling. We needed the fish to fire to stay in the points race, and fire they did!
We ended up with 22 fish for the day with 18 of those fish coming in the last three hours. This definitely lifted the spirits in the boat and gave us a lot of confidence for the third and final day.
After the day two finish, we decided the plan for the final day would be to hit the same flats from afternoon before; to stay in the top 10 all we had to do was remain consistent and look for school-sized fish. It only took a couple of casts before we had our first fish for the day. It was a pretty successful last day, and we ended up with 20 fish.
At the start of the Classic it was one of our goals to finish in the top 20. We far exceeded our own expectations in finishing 7th place, as well as taking out the biggest flathead caught on a soft plastic and the biggest tailor for the comp. We all can' t wait to get back next year and do it all again.
Congratulations really needs to be given to the Gold Coast Sports Fishing Club for once again putting on a great competition, a real family orientated event. I'm sure I speak for everyone who competed that we are all looking forward to the Flathead Classic 2013. If you have never participated in the event make sure you get in next year.
Also a big thanks to Justin and the boys at TT Lures/Z-Man for giving myself and Mick Horn the opportunity to fish in their team. Until next month, I hope you all get out and smack a few fish.Reads: 1741