It’s a flat world!
  |  First Published: November 2012

This month we find an increasing number of dusky flathead being caught in the estuaries, bays and creeks, as well as more sand and tiger flathead being taken offshore.

Flathead are one of the easiest fish to catch because they will just about take anything that you put in front of them.

I have caught with prawns, whole and half pilchards, whitebait, frogmouth pilchards, a variety of worms, strips of yellowtail, slimy mackerel, tuna, tailor and squid, just to name a few.

I have bagged them on soft, hard and metal lures of so many different sizes, shapes and colours that it’s not funny.

But I’ve never grown tired of chasing them and I still can’t get enough of them.

To target flathead you don’t have to have all the hi-tech fishing gear that is available nowadays.

My dad and his brother-in-law used to chase flathead off Gerroa on the South Coast, launching their boat off the sand in the corner of Seven Mile Beach. They would head out to a spot in 30m of water and drop over a paternoster rig baited with strips of slimy mackerel. For a mornings outing they would usually come back with about 20-25 sand flathead.

If they wanted to get a few tiger flathead they moved out into 40m. This was done without the aid of depth sounders, GPS and braided line. The spots they had were in their heads and were found by cross-referencing landmarks that had been handed down to them.

They used 40lb-50lb handlines, 8oz snapper sinkers, large brass swivels and 4/0 Mustad suicide hooks that were re-sharpened at the end of the day ready for the next outing.

I don’t mind which type of techniques I use when it comes to targeting flathead, by my wife prefers that I use lures because I don’t come home smelling of bait.


Places that are worth a try for flathead in Botany Bay include the Sticks just off Kurnell, the Patches off Towra Point, the end of the Third Runway and the drift between Molineaux Point and Bare Island.

In Port Hacking you could try working bait or lures along the drop-off at the Ballast Heap, the entrance to Gymea, Yowie and Gunnamatta bays.

In the Georges River try Cattle Duffers, Picnic Point, Lugarno, the Como Bridge and the entrance to the Woronora River.

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