Social Flathead Challenge IX (Results and Trip Reports)

If you like competing in a friendly, low pressure setting then this is a great place to check out our social competitions
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Social Flathead Challenge IX (Results and Trip Reports)

#1 Post by Leper » Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:26 pm

Firstly thank you to everyone who got involved in this year's SFC, and took the opportunity to head out and chase some flatties. This year's SFC like many before it proved quite a challenge with over half the field struggling to find a fish and only seven competitors managing to complete a full bag.

That said, it is with a certain degree of embarrassment that I find myself the winner of this year's SFC! :roll: :oops: Thanks ShortyK for providing me with my UFN on my nominated day. All week I have been hoping someone else might take over the number 1 ranking especially considering that I won with the 2nd lowest score of all the SFC's run so far but it was not meant to be!! Congrats also to rocketv on coming second and Wayned on coming third. It's interesting to note that the top 5 in this year's competition included 4 members who have previously won an SFC.
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So now that the results are out feel free to write up your trip reports in this thread and share how your day panned out. Whether you caught a few of our target species or managed to catch everything but we would love to hear how your day panned out.

Lastly if you enjoyed this competition please comment on my next little project the "KFDU Masters Social Tournament". I will start a thread tonight outlining a little idea I have about making this sort of competition a little more regular. Thanks again for participating!
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Re: Social Flathead Challenge IX Results and Trip Reports

#2 Post by slim » Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:30 pm

Congrats again there Brad on another great comp. Good on everyone who managed afish, esp Wayne with a 620, well done mate. Sadly i got called to work so will have to wait till next time
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Re: Social Flathead Challenge IX Results and Trip Reports

#3 Post by rocketV » Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:50 pm

Well done on taking out the title Brad, once again you have managed to outfish me! :grr: :grin:

My day was pretty slow with only 5 fish landed over a 4 hour arvo session all on soft plastics.
Like most of us, I was not really able to choose an ideal time and tide, so I just nominated and went when the opportunity arose.

My plan as always when chasing flatties was to do a little bit of trolling hard body lures as I moved between casting locations.
I predominantly look for areas where current pushes bait over depth changes.
I then use the Hobie pedals to hold position into the current and cast my Soft Plastic or Blade into the current and work it back with the current towards the yak.
The main theory I work on is that flathead will sit on the bottom near depth changes waiting for bait to be flushed past them with the current, ambushing the weak or slow.
I find that back eddies and current lines are also a good place to try your luck.
For this years comp I also targeted shallow sand banks in the late afternoon thinking that the warmer water will encourage flatties into the area to hunt and warm themselves.
In winter I use a sharp double flick retrieve to try and entice a reaction bite from lazy cold fish.
My plans worked, but alas I didn't manage to find the one kicker fish of 60-70cm that I needed to post a winning total.

Thanks again for organizing the comp, I'm glad that over 20 people joined in the fun and look forward to the next one.
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Re: Social Flathead Challenge IX Results and Trip Reports

#4 Post by Ads22 » Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:04 pm

Congrats all on competing, also to Brad for the win and organising and WayneD for a ripper fish. Glad to see I wasn't the only one that had a doughnut!

I fished the first Sunday as I had the following weekend out with being on call. I didn't want to leave it until my RDO on the last Friday for fear of poor weather.

I decided to fish from Coorooman Creek as there was a competition at my other preferred venue. I launched at sunrise on a pretty much glassy surface. Water was about 19-20°C and weather was sensational. I fished a total of about 11 hours (I'm hopeless at getting off the water once I am on), including much trolling, casting at drains, drop-offs, hopping along channels and the like. I tried soft plastics, soft vibes, hard bodies and everything else I could think of casting. I landed over 100m of discarded line on various captures; an umbrella that acted much like a drift chute to land and an unmarked crab pot! The only fishy capture was about a 12cm Moses Perch, he was so small I didn't even bother measuring. All up I paddled and drifted about 20km for the day. At least it was good exercise, if nothing else!

I was so happy that it was such a beautiful day, given I had nothing to enter for the competition. In hindsight, I should have fished at Fishing Creek, despite the competition in the bay. I had caught more flathead there before in a single session than the total number I have previously caught at Coorooman. I'm kicking myself more now, having fished Friday at Fishing Creek and catching a PB flathead 62cm and a 41cm - it would have looked much nicer than a 0. But it's all learning, and it was still a great personal challenge.

Thanks again Brad for organising. I'll do some hard yards and try to learn more for the next one!
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Re: Social Flathead Challenge IX Results and Trip Reports

#5 Post by arpie » Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:05 pm

Many thanks, Brad for organising the Flattie Challenge - it really is a good way for all our members to have a go & get together to target the one species - and a lot of fun, too!!

Congratulations to all who competed and especially all those who landed flatties - especially Brad, who took out the title!! It isn't always easy to target a specific species on a specific day ...... so well done all who did!

I headed to the Paddock, (the large shallow area up from the bridge in Wallis Lake, where there are a lot of leases.) I'd hooked & been busted off by 2 nice flatties in the weeks leading up to the comp ...... so figured there may be some more there!!

I was SO HAPPY when I landed my first flattie for the day in the shallows ...... so no donut! :lek: It went 44cm
A nice 'mid sized' flattie - after my other big flattie jumped out of the yak last time I tried to take a photo - I was leaving the lip grip on this time!!
I got amongst the oyster rubble to try & smoke out the big ones ...... and paid the price!! Luckily, I'd marked the tail RED, so it made it a lot easier to find! If the tail wasn't red, I doubt I would have found it! :idiot:
Have I mentioned recently that we seem to have a plague of LONG TOM??? Seriously - I've never SEEN so many at one time, since I moved here in 1999!! They are BIG & FAT & go ballistic when hooked!! If I see a fast swirl heading to my lure, I assume it is a Long Tom & am rarely 'disappointed' - so to speak! :beye: They are a PAIN!!
Funnily enough, whilst in the shallows, I spooked a WHOPPER!! It took off in a cloud of 'mud/sand' ....... :roll:

Then a tiddler jumped on board - but I was more than happy to 'take it'!!
Then I spotted the gate was open at my favourite lease that wasn't far from where I'd landed the other nice flatties a while back on DTSCOs .... (it was the lease where I caught my 45cm PB bream some years ago now!) The oyster men were working in there & I asked if it was OK for me to come in They said YES, so I was in like a shot!! So, as I was actually chasing flatties for the KFDU flattie comp ..... I threw my DTSCO Diablo in some shallows between the racks, hoping for flatties!! The lake is FULL of big Long Toms - the bane of my life, so when I got a big hit & it went ballistic on the surface, I assumed it was one! With drag done up to the max & using my 16lb YGK braid ..... I brought it to the yak unceremoniously, and then I realised it was actually a very nice bream!! It ducked under the racks again & I applied forced to bring it to the other side of my yak & was about to net it when the hooks pulled! :?: Damn! (Not quite what I actually said, but close enough!!) What I had done differently on THIS cast - jerking the lure quite aggressively along the shaded edge (as much to keep it from going UNDER the rack as the current was pushing it that way) and WHACK!! Continuing further along - I did the same retrieve (now called the DTSCO DANCE! :wink: ) and WHACK again!! Another BIG bream had grabbed the DTSCO - this time, taking it under the racks & after 2 seconds, busting me off! :grr: I didn't have another Diablo with me, so I used another see thru one & coloured one side black (similar to Diablo) and I went on to finally land one - but it was just a fat baby 30cm that still put up a good fight in tight circumstances!!
Tho only 30cm, it was a fat fiesty breambo!
I had been busted off with a similar shaped lure back when I hooked my PB as well! Sadly, this particular set of racks is not often 'open' to yakkers and the area I was targetting is right in the middle & over a fence - so not able to cast to from the outside at all. One of the oyster guys is a yakker too - the comments ranging from 'Nice Lifestyle' to 'Wish it was ME in the yak' ....... as they lifted trays all around me!! LOL Shame the bream were 'bycatch'! LOL

Heading over to the 'flats within the racks' - a MUCH nicer flattie jumped on board!! I had cast my SP over towards the fence & halfway back to the yak ...... WHACK!! The oyster boys were impressed when I boated it!!
It went 48cm & was the biggest I landed on the day!
A nice sized flattie
So a pleasant day on the water - thanks for the incentive, Brad! :lek:


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Re: Social Flathead Challenge IX Results and Trip Reports

#6 Post by Leper » Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:02 pm

As the temperature drops and the bass season closes I typically turn my attention to chasing flathead rather than target the schooling bass found in dams or the resident bass in the icy waters of inland rivers. This brings a new level of complexity and a radical shift in thinking as the behaviours of the two species are very different and as such the techniques employed to target them also change. Usually I manage to get in a quick pre-fish prior to the SFC, just so I can master my retrieve and switch my thinking so that I can find a few flathead ad build up some confidence prior to the event. However this year time was not on my side and as a result I was forced to refine my technique on the day and hopefully find a few flatties in the process.

I arrived early and although he tides were not ideal they were not terrible either with an early morning high tide dropping to a low tide by lunch time. The morning was glorious to be honest and as I launched the mirrored surface of the river and the sunrise made a magical start to the day and was hopefully an omen of great things to come.
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I had managed to arrive at the peak of the run which is never ideal and so I found myself drifting quickly with the current. My lure was a Z-Man StreakZ 4” Curly TailZ in Motoroil and I was also breaking in a brand new reel, a 2500 Shimano Stradic FK which was a sweet reel that cast a mile with a flick of the wrist and I had to adjust my technique a little to accommodate it.

Flicking at the drop-off at the edges of the banks my first fish of the morning was a small bream and then the next three hours I did not get a touch, absolutely nothing! Even more frustrating was the obvious signs that flathead were around they just seemed disinterested. As you can imagine my confidence during the morning rapidly dwindled as I cast into spots that typically held fish for me in the past yielded nothing and I questioned everything as I struggled to find a flattie anywhere.
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After drifting downstream for most of the early morning without success I decided to head upstream and fish a couple of banks that have almost always yielded a fish as the current moves swiftly past them to create eddies where food and bit accumulates. The first bank had no hungry resident fish holding in its vicinity and so I targeted all the creeks, gutters and any structure as I paddled slowly against the ebbing current.

Finally just upstream of a large creek I felt the tell-tale bump of a flathead and a few headshakes told me I had hooked my target species. There was almost no weight when I loaded my rod but I was just happy that after 3 hours I had finally bagged a flathead. It was only 31cm but at this point a flatties was a flattie. A few minutes later I bagged my second flathead which was even smaller at 30cm but I now had a full bag and could relax a little and focus on upgrades.
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I continued up the system with the tide and passed a few more of my favourite banks which I peppered with casts to no avail. As the river narrowed and the shallow sloping banks disappeared I managed to pick up a few bream to 25cm which were not my target species and so I decided to head downstream. I knew the tide was about to change and wanted to be at another large bank just before the turn of the tide.
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I cast at all my favourite flattie spots again but still could not raise a fish and I began to question whether there was much point continuing fishing. I seriously considered packing it in as I passed my launch point but with a few hours in the day I persevered and headed downstream. I continued targeting the usual structures and eventually my SP was hit hard and the rod loaded up with some solid weight. As always my drag was set quite light and after a couple of runs, which were nerve wracking, I managed to slip a solid 55cm flathead into my net. After hours of casting it was a site for sore eyes and I now felt I had a respectable bag for the comp.
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I eventually reached a nice log bank that screamed flathead and I missed a couple of hits and managed one hook-up that had the flathead launch itself out of the shallow water and throw the lure in an uncharacteristic barra like display. The tide had now started to flow in and I decided to head upstream with the current and throw a few lures as I drifted.
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At another creek mouth on the opposite bank I found I nice laydown just sitting off the drop off out from the bank and I finally managed a small upgrade with a 35cm flathead quickly followed by a flathead a little larger from the same structure that managed to wriggle over the side before I could measure and photograph it.
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Time was now slipping away and the tide was hitting its peak making it harder and harder to target structures as I drifted rapidly back up the river. Again I was casting over ground that I had cast at twice already but as I neared my exit point the rod loaded up yet again to another good flathead. My drag was tested yet again but the new reel was silky smooth and it was a nervous fight as I watched the flattie shake his head vigorously on the surface of the water. Luckily I managed to net the fish, and I made sure this flathead could not make a last minute escape by employing my lip grips while I took the photo. I had been lip gripping them with a glove before this which had been extremely effective but I was just a little nervous with this solid upgrade. She measured just over 50cm on my brag mat and although I didn’t believe my bag would not test the leaders I was happy with a 1000+ tally.
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I had a few more casts as I headed to my launch spot without any luck and was keen to head home after a long day on the water. After 10 hours of fishing I was happy with my bag but gee it was hard work to get it!
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Re: Social Flathead Challenge IX Results and Trip Reports

#7 Post by hillbilly » Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:24 am

Thanks Brad, I always enjoy your Flathead challenges. This year I had booked the caravan into the Hastings Point Holiday park which is on Cudgera Creek. The day I picked was a fine one but not having fished there since late 1970's I hadn't remembered just how shallow that creek really was, particularly at low tide when I headed upstream.
There were plenty of weed beds but no depth in the water. Fish (small flathead, luderick, bream, mullet, whiting and stingrays) were spooked left, right and centre by the kayak. You can see by the photo with the Jabiru in the centre just how shallow it was. I actually got out of the kayak and walked it on a few occasions and the tide was still running out.
I'd had numerous casts up current along the weedbank edges but the maximum water depth would be flat out reaching 2 feet and I didn't want to get stuck up there so I decided to drift back with the current to the caravan park. My favourite flathead soft plastic just wasn't working so I grabbed the one which was a bit more yellowy and chewed 10mm of the front and a bit off the bottom hopefully to entice a small fish.
Not bringing my rod holder I held the rod between my toes and drifted back with a lot of line out the back all the time correcting with the paddles to stay in the limited deeper areas.
Arse beats class at times and this was one case. A legal flathead caught using my feet trolling slowly. It was so shallow that after landing the fish I stepped out of the yak into the shallow water, took a quick photo then brain spiked the fish and took another shot with the UFN better positioned.
Gee it tasted good that night with not a skerrick of flesh wasted. I stayed another ten days at Hastings Point, a few times eating fresh Bream, Tailor and Dart, the latter two being smoked in my Nipper Kipper. Regards Bill
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Re: Social Flathead Challenge IX Results and Trip Reports

#8 Post by StevenM » Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:47 am


Camera / phone - check
Lures / rods - check
Seat - check
Pedals - check

Been a while since I had the outback in the water, but a flatty salt fish...easy

Headed down to the Coomera river to check out a few areas on a dropping tide.
Man that place is busy.

Did the usual and went looking for lies on the sand areas as well
I managed. 3 fish for the session, a 67 / 35 / low 20's

If you look up in my report you would have noticed one thing missing- brag mat. Pluk a duck.

Headed back to the ramp chasing the big dogs
Ended up keepin the big girl for a feed,measured it up when I got home and it was bigger than I thought going over a meter in fillets - lol. ( if you can see my paddle that are my usual markers for keepers, no good as a flatty challage ruler but)
Looked a bit cold so covered in flour,salt n pepper mix
Till next year, and Brad thanks for organising and getting me out on the salt.....will take the boat next time but :lek:
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Re: Social Flathead Challenge IX Results and Trip Reports

#9 Post by Mackayak » Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:21 am

Thanks Braid for organizing the comp and congratulation on your win. Was running out of time so picked the last day, looked go started fishing yes Bream then other it ended up one of my best bream sessions but could not find a Flatty. Did have a first my first Mullet on a lure. O well next year.
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Re: Social Flathead Challenge IX Results and Trip Reports

#10 Post by PaulieB » Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:19 pm

Thanks Leper For Organising,

Well my inaugural fishing Comp participation saw me hooking up with ShortyK on Cabbage Tree Creek (off Shorncliffe) Saturday before last, at Christ -Hundred hours. I was new to fishing Brisbane and new to competitions...

We decide to fish the drop off directly opposite, with my very first cast in a fishing comp yielding me a lovely 480mm flatty. :gu:
I thought WOW - this is going to be awesome. It was cold, not too windy and the current was flowing quite strongly - we started at the top of the high tide.

Shorty and I continued to fish up and down the drop zone - with him catching a few in the process and me - seemingly hooking but not landing quite a few.

we proceeded up the creek - with only a few minor bumps.

We then fished further out into the channel - and shorty started racking up the flatties and the bream - local knowledge and smart fishing. I decided to keep drifting into the bay and thought i had a snag until i realised i had a good fish on. Then the school-boy errors happened :oops: . Firstly, i wanted to lessen the drag somewhat as i was using my barra baitcaster (the 2500 spin reel line was spinning around the spool... so that was out for the day :?: ) thus i actually added drag and brought the fish to the surface... with a wallop it jumped a little out of the water, landing back first and spitting my hook!

ARRRGGGGHHHHH--- ' that coulda beena comp winner"... its easy to say in retrospect but i honestly believe it was in the 60cm range... GUTTED.

The rest of the day saw me losing tails to Taylor's and no more fish.

So it started well... but that's it. and i didn't Donut so cant complain.

thanks to Shortyk - think i have a new fishing buddy in Brissie and i was greatto get a decent fish on the line. i am crap at posting pics so perhaps Leper can do so on my behalf?
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Re: Social Flathead Challenge IX Results and Trip Reports

#11 Post by enjoylife » Mon Jul 11, 2016 8:02 pm

congratulations to the winners and everyone else on having a go,
the reports are a great read :smi: so thanks
cheers, dennis

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Re: Social Flathead Challenge IX Results and Trip Reports

#12 Post by WayneD » Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:32 pm

I decided to do a pre fish the day before and thought I'd used up all my mojo when I landed a nice 62cm model. Bugger! I was actually going to fish a different creek the next day so brushed it off and went home.

I fished the afternoon because it was too bloody cold in the morning! Even though the tides weren't as good. I decided to launch at the same spot as yesterday as it suited the tide at the time I was fishing. So I launched just before high tide on a nice clear day. A few guys coming back in said they'd hardly seen a flathead all day. Doesn't sound good! I launched and headed for the high tide mud flats and pulled out the surface lures in the hope of a flathead on surface in the shallows. this is something I have never managed before and unfortunately I still haven't! Oh well...

So I whacked on a Jackall Tranzam seeing as how I was chasing the big girls I thought I'd use a big lure. After about an hour I had one dropped fish which took a bit of line before throwing the lure. I decided to move further up the flats where an island came to an end and the flats still had some water moving over them. First cast into the shallows and a couple of hops and there was some movement and I thought I had spooked some mullet enjoying the shallows. Another hop and there was some weight and more commotion on the surface, must have hooked one! I reeled it feeling the weight but not much of a fight until it got along side of the yak and then just kept going. Whoa this could be a good one! After a nervous fight I managed to land a nice 62cm into the net. Two in two days! But I'm glad I got one of them today, I was on the board, not my usual outcome for the SFC's I've attempted in the past.

Over the next couple of hours I managed to find the nursery. I landed about another 6 flathead, none over 38cm...and also dropped a few more. Still wishing that first fish had stayed connected, but oh well. A metre of flathead for the comp, happy days. Didn't think it would be good enough for third though. Well done Brad and Rod. Can't wait for the next social comp.
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Re: Social Flathead Challenge IX Results and Trip Reports

#13 Post by pdfarrell » Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:44 am

Thanks Brad for organising such a fun event, and a big congrats for taking it out too..
Congrats to all place getters and good on everyone for have a go!

Some great reports so far, but noticed Roberta has been short changed on the results table, with her biggest lizard not listed?

My morning started off poorly with my fish finder dying, so fished blind for the day, but was an area I know reasonably well.
Got a decent haul of flatties but unfortunately no kicker fish.
Like a few others have mentioned, I dropped a fish in the mid 60's early on, which played on my mind for the rest of the morning.

Prolure 80mm Fishtail in Mangrove Gold did most of the damage on the lizards.

Here are the pics from my day.
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Re: Social Flathead Challenge IX Results and Trip Reports

#14 Post by Leper » Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:57 am

Your right PD I just went back to her pm to me and found she sent three entries in to me. I recorded the first two fish but didn't scroll down after that to see the third bigger fish. I'll rectify that this afternoon, thanks for the pick up! :grin:


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Re: Social Flathead Challenge IX Results and Trip Reports

#15 Post by ShortyK » Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:02 pm

Thanks for organising Brad, and congrats on the win. The hardest thing about this challenge is finding the big fish on your nominated day :wink:

As PaulieB said the day started off well for him, and I thought "what have I done, I can't be out fished on my own patch" :lol:, in saying that I was happy for him to get on the board early. I worked the plastics for a while with no result so I tossed out a hard body I had bought specifically for the comp and this location and within metres BAM, I am on and in with a 48cm (for me the lure just payed itself off) :love:

The next few hours was spent with plenty of casting and no results, finally towards the end of the day I picked up a few more and as Paulie did also lost a nice one...... of course it was huge :roll:

A slip of my hands also meant I went for a bit of a swim to fetch my pliers, the water wasn't really that cold after you went numb :beye: and we spent the next 10mins trying to remove a treble and hardbody from a 31cm bream who bit off more than he could chew. After a bit of surgery and water through the gills he swam off happily.

Here are the pics of my fish and a couple more i caught on the weekend.
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PB's from Yak:
Flathead 59cm, Bream 35cm,
Tailor 25cm, Moses Perch 28cm,
Wild Bass 40cm, Travelly 27cm,
Whiting 33cm, Eaustry Cod 28cm,
Snapper 51cm, Impoundment Bass 40cm
Reef shark about 2m, Spangeld Emperor 28cm
Longtail Tuna 118cm, Spanish Mackerel 117cm
Wild Yellow belly 37cm.

There is nothing more relaxing than a day on the water in a Kayak.

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