During the winter months the water temperatures in our rivers naturally starts to drop. This can be a good time to locate and fish up on top of very shallow sandbanks around the top of the tide. Flathead of all sizes will often move out of the deeper water onto these shallow flats to feed as the shallow water warms up quicker by the sun.
It is very common for trophy size flathead to be caught in water that is only around 30 cm deep as we say in the industry a flathead is happy to lay and wait if there is enough water to cover their backs.
Assist hooks. Stinger or assist hooks are very useful in estuary fishing situations. Firstly on surface lures such as Sugapens, they can really ping whiting or bream that bite short or miss hit the lure.
They have a better hook up rate and lose less fish. On lures such as metal blades, again they have a better hook up rate, they don’t inhibit the lure action, plus they are more snag resistant than trebles, and if a fish is hooked on one of them, the other hook will tend to swing around and pin them as well, resulting in less lost fish at the net. Make sure you buy decent quality, strong assists to avoid them snapping on bigger catches.
A pair of assist hooks can easily be replaced by changing the whole split ring/hook set with fine split ring plyers. You can even try them on trolled hardbody lures, for the benefits mentioned above. See Ecogear ZX40 and Hurricane Sting 37 blades for an examples of good, strong hooks capable of holding onto big flathead or decent size Jew.
This week’s fishing report:
Smithy reports good catches of solid flathead this week on Zerek fishtraps and Atomic semi hardz vibes, far upstream at the Tweed river. Any discoloured water is holding nests of feeding fish, the deeper holes that hold bait are attracting some Mulloway.
Ollie was visiting from Melbourne and fished with Smithy, she reported they were catching that many 40-50cm flathead they were trying to move away from them to catch other species.
She succeeded, catching her first Australian Bass, a nice fish of 42cm released, another fish ticked off her bucket list!
At the Gold Coast end flathead and bream also continue to dominate the daily catch in the upstream sections of the rivers. In the broadwater there has been some good size arrow squid, easily caught on blade lures, as well as flounder, flathead, winter whiting, tuskfish.
Tailor and bigger bream will increase in number and size over the next month, particularly in the leads ups to full moons.
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