Finessing February flatties
  |  First Published: February 2015

February is a great time to go fishing now that the holiday period is over and there will be less boat traffic out on the water.

There will be plenty of fish on offer with whiting being high on the lists of most fishos. Flathead should still be around in good numbers and, of course, bream will make up the majority of fish caught at the ‘Pin.

When chasing whiting, it is a good start to have a longer, whippy rod around 9-12ft long. Whiting are very finicky biters; they will nibble on your bait and if you strike, most of the time you will pull the bait away from the fish. The lighter rod will bend allowing the fish to swallow the bait and when you pick the rod up the fish has basically hooked it self. Using a smaller long shank hook size 6 or 4 will work better than larger hooks as the shape of a whiting’s down-turned mouth makes it harder for them to get hooked.

Bloodworms are definitely the best bait when chasing whiting and will produce the best catches. Beach worms and small yabbies come in a close second as bait and are a great substitute if bloodworms are hard to come by. Squid and small peeled prawns will also work and there is any number of frozen or dehydrated worms available that will also work.

The best spots to try for an elbow slapping whiting are behind Mosquito Island, Tipplers Passage, the Green and Gold Bank, Slipping Sands, Fishermans Channel, the Powerlines, Ageston Sands and Marks Rocks in the Logan River.

Flathead fishing has become somewhat of an art form now with flicking soft plastics or vibes and trying to tempt the fish to bite opening a whole new window on how to catch lizards. Years ago, live bait such as mullet, prawns, herring and gar were the best baits when targeting flathead. Fish baits such as pillies, white bait, hardiheads or froggies also worked well and we just cast out let the bait bounce along the bottom and waited for a fish to bite thinking they were lazy fish that just sat on the bottom.

Since the introduction of lures and under water cameras we have learnt that they are ambush predators capable of immense burst of speed, violent strike and awesome hook ups. So the trick is to put the lures in the right areas and getting the fish excited enough to strike. That is what flathead fishing is now and catching a fish on a lure is a thrill that I hope you all get to experience.

Most weed and sand banks will hold Flathead and if you catch one there is likely more lizards in the same area. Try finessing your luring technique along the bottom of Kangaroo Island, Pandannus weed banks, the top of Crusoe Island, Cobby Passage, the Stockyards and Fishermans Channel.

Bream are the bread and butter of the ‘Pin and available all year round. Just look for structure and you’ll find bream. They will 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.

Muddies are still going well with the rain flushing out the rivers and supplying heaps of food the system. Try around the river mouths and drop offs near mangrove banks.

For sandies try around Rocky Point, Stegleitz, Tipplers and Tiger Mullet channel.

• Thanks for all your reports and fish weighed in. Drop us a line at Gem Bait and Tackle if you’d like to order bait or get some up to date info on what’s biting on 07 3287 3868 or email --e-mail address hidden-- .

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