Favourite flattie haunts
  |  First Published: December 2007

I get the opportunity to travel a fair bit through Australia and overseas, giving me the chance to fish for a variety fish species in some old and new areas.

Over the years I have been asked what my favourite fish is but for me it doesn’t matter whether I am fishing for leatherjackets off a pier, out in my boat chasing bream with lures, off the rocks for drummer and luderick or just lazing away the hours chasing whiting off the beach. As long as I am dangling a line, I am happy.

But if I was to narrow it down, chasing flathead with soft plastics would have to be near the top of the list.

Many anglers used label fishing for flathead as boring and maybe to them it was, but to me it is still always a challenge.

There is the challenge of finding out where they are at certain times of year, what they are feeding on, which type and colour of lure works the best and, most of all, the challenge of catching them on light gear.

Whoever said that flathead don’t fight has never experienced the explosive strike, short burst of power and strong head shakes that flathead put on when they are hooked on a lure.

This month I’ll be out chasing flathead over sand flats, along the edges of weed beds and around rock bars, sandy drop-offs and deep channels and holes.

In the early years I used baits like mullet or tuna strips, whitebait and pilchards, live poddy mullet, herring, pilchards and yellowtail. Nowadays I prefer hard-bodied lures or soft plastics.

There are so many places you can target flathead in Botany Bay, Port Hacking and the Georges and Woronora rivers that I reckon I could write a book on it. But here are three places well worth a look.


Brighton to Dolls Point has always been a good producer of flathead on a rising tide. It’s a great place to get out of westerly winds and you should work in close to the weed beds.

Shore-based anglers can fish from the ends of the many groynes here.

Towra Point, also known as The Patches, is best worked when there is a bit of a breeze which will help you drift over this wide expanse. Work your soft plastics along the edges of the weed patches and small concentrations of broken shell. It’s a great place when a southerly has come up.

Foreshore Drive, near Botany, is best fished in a north-easterly which will allow you to get right in to the beach and drift out to drop-offs in 5m to 6m. This stretch can be worked from the shore when the tide is rising.


The drift between the Captain Cook and Tom Uglys bridges is always worth a shot with whitebait and pilchard tails on rising and falling tides but is best fished early and late in the day. If you prefer to fish with live bait from the shore you should try the western side of Bald Face Point on a run-in tide.

The stretch from the Moons to Alfords Point Bridge is worth drifting with bait or working the sand flats and deep eddies with soft plastics.


From a boat, try working the entrance to the Woronora River on a falling tide. From the shore, fish a rising tide from the south-western side of the Como bridge, where there is a small but very productive retaining wall.

The entrance to Bonnet Bay on a falling tide tends to hold numbers of flathead this month.

Jannali Reserve a great place to bring the family for a picnic and is also great to wet a line for flathead. From a boat, drift the western side of the channel on a rising tide.


Anchor at the edge of the drop-off on the northern side of the sand flats at Lilli Pilli on a run-up tide. This is a great place if you are into live-baiting flathead. You could also work along the edge of the drop-off with soft plastics or deep-diving crankbaits.

Land-based angler should fish the run-out tide off the De Ban Spit.

Drifting around the boats on the eastern side of Gunnamatta Bay is effective and land based anglers can fish here on a falling tide.

Remember that the bag limit for flathead is 10, the size limit is 36cm and you are allowed to keep only one over 70cm.

For further information email me or visit www.garybrownfishing.com.au.


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