IT’S THAT time of year again when anglers at the ‘Pin turn their attention to flathead. The season is just kicking off although there have been flatties available all year. They usually start their run on the first full moon in September but this year the full moon is late in August and then September, so the run is going to be hard to pick.
Many anglers will be trying their luck to land that mammoth fish, and with the new restrictions (min length 40cm, max length 70cm, bag limit 5) there are more larger fish than ever. I’ll be very surprised if we don’t get a 1m-plus fish reported this year as we’ve already had several reports of lizards in the 90cm range over the last couple of months.
If you’re going to chase these prehistoric looking creatures, livebait is always the best option. Many anglers are getting into flicking soft plastics to try to lure these fish into a strike, but there is no substitute for livebait. Poddy mullet, banana prawns, herring and diver whiting are all top baits for landing a decent flathead.
There is a big migration through the ‘Pin and Seaway at this time of year, so there won’t be a better time to chase flatties than now. Just remember about the limits and only take what you need. Don’t forget the camera because we’d all love to see the proof of that once-in-a-lifetime fish. For those who aren’t that familiar with catching flathead, be sure to pack a landing net. After the initial strike the fight is like dragging up a snag, and the point when the flattie hits the surface is when most fish are lost. Flathead are known for their headshake and they can easily spit out hooks, so a good deckie with net in hand is a must. Be sure to use a heavy towel, hessian or gloves when it comes to handling flatties as they have two vicious spikes on the sides of their heads that can cause serious injury.
Flathead aren’t the only fish biting at the ‘Pin. Tailor are running once again and there is some size about them, too. 2-3kg greenbacks are commonplace amongst most catches at the bar or off the beaches of North and South Stradbroke Island. Some strays have been caught as far in as the powerlines, but most have been at the bar or just outside. A few dart and big sea bream are also being landed in the same spots.
The water is starting to warm slightly and some big jew are being weighed in to near 15kg from Kalinga Bank, the bar and the Logan River. Livebaits such as beach and bloodworms, mullet and large prawns are producing the best fish, and one good one was landed on a metal slug vertically jigged in one of the deeper holes at the bar. It definitely pays to monitor your sounder.
Plenty of bream and whiting are available as usual. Most are undersized but you have to expect that because the ‘Pin being the nursery for small fish. It’s not just the anglers who appreciate Jumpinpin’s calm sheltered waters.
Keep those great reports coming in and stop in at Gem Bait and Tackle if you’d like us to photo your catch. Who knows – you could even grace the pages of this magazine. If you have any questions or would like any advice give us a call on 3287 3868 or email --e-mail address hidden-- I’ll catch you next month.
1) Matt Bliss with a 3.5kg (gutted) flathead caught from a rock wall. Now’s the time to target these prehistoric-looking fish at the ‘Pin.Reads: 1157