Bring on the flathead
  |  First Published: August 2009

Flathead are by far the best fish to target in September. The big lizards run through the ‘Pin Bar this month around the full moon on the 5th to breed.

The pick of the spots for flatties will be from the dead trees at the bottom of North Straddie all the way along to Kalinga Bank and the main channels leading to the bar.

Flatties can be caught on any part of the tide but you’ll find they feed more on the first of the run-out tide. Being an ambush predator the sit camouflaged facing into the tide waiting for a feed to wash past. Bounce your baits or soft plastics along the bottom and the flatties will do the rest.

Live baits like mullet, hardiheads and herring are best, but if you can’t get your hands on those then go for fresh, large banana prawns, pilchards, froggies or whitebait.

If you haven’t tried fishing with soft plastics now is the time to have a go, as the flatties are very partial to a well-presented lure. I’ve caught large flathead on small 2-3” lures, but you’ll also get a lot of smaller ones as well. The really big fish love lures up to 7”.

Colours are important so if you start getting hits on a particular colour stick with it. Some days I find natural colours work and others fluros are the go, it’s just a matter of trial and error on the day.

Bream are still in plentiful numbers in the usual spots like Short Island, Kalinga Bank, Five Ways and Little Rocky Point. Most bream are between 25-30cm but the odd stonker to nearly 1kg can still be caught.

Stick with prawns, gut baits, yabbies, and worms. I’ve also got a few readers telling me that the only bait they need for bream is a loaf of bread. Give it a go, it actually works.

The whiting should start to come on as the water heats up. There have been reports of good catches, but no massive specimens. Worms are still the best bait or you could try yabbies, peeled prawns or squid. Small worm-like soft plastics fed along the current seem to be working well too.

Try Alberton Sands in the Logan, the Junction, Marks Rocks, the Pimpama, Tipplers, Never Fail Islands, Pandannus weed banks and the Gold and Green Banks.

Finally some decent tailor are showing up, the best of which caught off the beaches of South and North Straddie, where they are topping the scales at 5kg. There are plenty around the 2kg mark and heaps of random choppers also being caught as far in as Cabbage Tree Point.

Bonito baits, while expensive, have been the best bait at attracting the larger fish. Pilchards, froggies and whitebait will also catch you some tailor.

Heaps of stingrays and shovelnosed sharks about which are great fun to fight, but a bitter disappointment when you think you’ve got a good fish on. The odd trevally and black bream have also been caught.

The jewfish have been a little quiet with most coming off the close inshore reefs off the ‘Pin. Chad Hedges caught a monster 19kg jew off the beach of South Straddie, while fishing for tailor with 8kg line recently.

Thanks for all your reports and keep those fish coming in. If you’d like any advice or up to date fishing information drop us a line at Gem Bait & Tackle on 3287 3868 or email --e-mail address hidden-- I’ll catch you next month.

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