Flathead Tactics

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Flathead Tactics

#1 Post by The KFDU Team » Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:49 pm

Hi everyone.

This thread has been designed to assist members new and old who wish to target flathead and want to refine their techniques or learn how to target flathead for the first time.

This initial post will give you a general description of the type of fishing gear used to target flathead without referring to brand.

The following posts have been given by the moderators and a number of other members to give the specific fishing gear that they use to target flathead and the specific techniques they employ.

We have also locked the thread to keep the information easy to find without having to filter through question and answers and the regular banter that occurs on most threads. If you have any direct questions feel free to ask any of the members that have been asked to post on this thread.

General Gear Specifications





Related Topics

Social Flathead Challenge I: http://www.kfdu.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11744
Social Flathead Challenge II: http://www.kfdu.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=13778
Social Flathead Challenge III: http://www.kfdu.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=17204


The KFDU team

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Re: Flathead Tactics

#2 Post by Leper » Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:44 pm

Rod/s: Shimano Raider MF Finesse Bream Spin 721

Reel/s: Daiwa Sol 2500 & Shimano Stradic 2500 Ci4

Line/s: Fins PRT 4lb(High Vis Yellow) & TD Sensor 8lb

Leader/s: Nitlon 6lb & Sunline FC Rock 10lb

Favourite Lures (SP or HB): 70-80mm Squdgie Fish in Gold/Black or Gary Glitter

Knots (Leader to Main): Slim beauty

Knots (Leader to Lure): Harrison’s Loop

Retrieval Technique: Cast and allow SP to fall to the bottom. You will know this by watching your main line and seeing it slacken off when it stops falling. Raise your rod tip gently until it is almost vertical, then allow the SP to fall back to the bottom. Crank the handle approximately 5 times then repeat the process. To be successful with flathead you must keep the lure in contact with the bottom. I also cast parallel with the bank and drift along as this allows you to cover as much ground as possible.

Drag: I set my drag light as flathead do not fight too dirty and there is less chance of pulling hooks. Play them gently and it will reduce lost fish

Targeted Structure: Gently sloping banks or sudden drop offs. I like targeting creek mouths on a dropping tide as flathead tend to wait here for baitfish forced out with the run-out tide. The inner bends of creeks also tend to hold flathead as they can have substantial drop-offs and eddies form which can trap baitfish.
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Time of Tide: (NA if freshwater): 2hrs either side of the low tide

Time of Day: Any but I am a big fan of early mornings
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For other bass fishing adventures check out my blog at http://www.yakbassaustralia.com

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Re: Flathead Tactics

#3 Post by rocketV » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:58 pm

Here is some flathead tactics from the winner of the Social Flathead Challenge July 2012

1. Rod – Struwick Softbodz 7 foot Spin 2-4 kg

2. Reel – Shimano Stradic FJ 2500

3. Line – 4lb Platypus Superbraid

4. Leader – 8lb Berkley Flurocarbon

5. Favourite lures (SP and/or hb) - 3” Paddletail SP and ¼ jighead

6. Knots (leader to main) - Double Uni or Allbright

7. Knots (leader to lure) – Locked half blood knot

8. Retrieval technique Long cast and allow to sink to the bottom followed by Single, Double or Triple Hop then stop, take up slack and allow the lure to reach the bottom again then repeat all the way back to the kayak

9. Drag – I prefer just enough drag pressure that when jigging the lure it does not activate the drag. The amount of drag depends on surrounding structure. Set tighter if close to snags, less pressure if in open water. Back the drag off a bit when the fish is close to the yak to allow for final lunges.

10. Targeted structure (including photos if you have them) Target either man made features like rock walls and jetties or natural features like drop offs and submerged snags. See image for a likely flathead spot example where the fish lay in ambush in the protected shallows close to deeper water.
Flatty Haunt.png
11. Time of tide – First 2 hours of the falling tide. This is when the bait is being flushed out of the shallows and mangroves and the flatties wait for them facing into the tide for the food to come to them.

12. Time of day – Not as important as tide but early morning or late afternoon preferred as these are natural feeding times for most fish.

Trolling Technique

The same gear can be used for trolling hard body lures.

Favourite Lures : RMG Scorpion 35 (dives to 1.5m)

Simply pedal/paddle slowly with the tide targeting drop offs and shallow banks. Any water 0.5m – 2m is likely to hold flatties and can be targeted in this manner.
If water is deeper go for a deeper diving lure that kisses the bottom to attract the flatheads attention. If you are not on, or close to the bottom, you limit your chances of catching flathead.
Fresh is best, but I don't mind some salt every now and then!

For the fresh: Mailbu Sierra 10 & Koastal Pacer
For the Salt: Hobie Revo - 11

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Re: Flathead Tactics

#4 Post by NarraJosh » Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:34 pm

Rod/s: 6'10" G Loomis DSR 820s 4-10lb, 6'10" Mark Newcombe custom 4-10lb

Reel/s: 2500 Shimano Rarenium

Line: 10lb PowerPro

Leader/s: 12lb AbrazX fluorocarbon

Favourite lures (S/P, H/B, Spinnerbait, Jigspin etc): I only fish soft plastics for flathead, I have used most varieties but the most successful by far has been the Gulp! range. Personally I prefer the 2" Shrimp in natural/peppered prawn or the 4"turtleback worm in green. These are my confidence lures but any lure between 1-6" with a bit of scent will work!

Knots (Leader to main): Improved Slim Beauty

Knots (Leader to Lure): Variation of Rapala loop, 6 twists

Hooks: I use the TT range of jig heads and generally fish no heavier than 1/4oz, this is due to the fact i fish shallow water, the lights you can use whilst still maintaining contact with the bottom is best, I will start with a 1/12oz and go up or down as required. Match the size of hook to your lure, this is very important for the action of the plastics. mine range from size 1-2/0

Retrieval Technique: Flathead fishing is all about mixing it up with your retrieve until you find what they are feeding on. I will start with a single lift and drop retrieve, ensuring the lure contacts the bottom before lifting, all the way back to the yak. If this does not get you the hits the do 2 sharp lifts before pausing, then three, or a shake during the lift etc. Use your imagination! I have also had good success on a slow roll back over shallow water or weedbeds that you can't allow you lure to touch without fouling, flathead can take a lure moving very quick! Arpie has also written an article for a well known fishing mag about chasing them with Sammy's!!!! I need to try this more next summer.

Drag: With flathead I like to use a relatively light drag unless there is structure nearby that I can get hung up on. Big flathead like to slog it out down deep with long powerful runs so if your drag is too tight it will end in tears. Flathead have very abrasive teeth and by their nature tend to take the lure deep, the less you pressure these fish, the less chance of them shaking their heads and wearing through your leader so don't go too hard!

A nice light drag resulted in this cracker in my first SFC!

Targeted Structure: Shallow water, by this I mean anything between 0-4m. Anywhere with a bit of current flow and weedbeds/structure to hold their food, cast as close to the weed/structure as possible and hop it back out into the deeper water. You will generally feel a bump on the line followed by steady pressure or drag, set the hook and hold on!

Time of Tide: I have caught them on all tides, its just a matter of finding the fish, on a rising tide towards high it is time to head up onto the flats and chase the active moving fish. When the tide is dropping come off the flats and fish where the water drains as this will bring the bait to the flathead lying in wait. Always target bridge pylons and wharf pylons down current.

Time of day: I constantly get out on the water pre-dawn because I love that time of day, generally speaking though the fish come around sunup for me. The best time to fish is when you can get on the water though so get out there and get amongst it!
PB's: Australian Salmon 620mmFL, Bass 470mm FL (Wild), Bass 430mm FL (Dam), Bream 435mm FL, Estuary Perch 445mm FL, Flathead 745mm, Mulloway 850mm, Murray Cod 715mm Redfin 200mm Tailor 520mmFL


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