Hi everyone, the 2023 Flathead Classic was held at the end of September, with 639 anglers and 257 boats competing in this time-honoured tournament.
Bush ‘n Beach Fishing Magazine had two teams entered and both did well, finishing a respectable seventeenth and thirty-second in the overall team rankings.
The ‘OG BNB Fishing’ team consisted of magazine chief Ben Collins, Brisbane scribe and charter guide Sean Conlon and George Mole.
The team overcame a slow start and electric motor problems to finish strongly – ending up twenty-fourth in the three-angler team category with 60 flathead caught and released and 1737 total points for the event.
Warric Johnston and I made up team ‘Last Cast BNB Fishing’ and finished fourth out of 123 in the two-angler teams, seventeenth in overall teams out of 244, and I came twenty-sixth out of 528 anglers with 46 flathead and 1183 points and Wazza came thirty-eighth with 40 flathead and 1010 points.
The first day of this year’s classic started off with sunny weather and a light wind.
We chipped away for some early points before getting good numbers of school flathead on a strong run-out tide.
We chose to fish the Gold Coast Broadwater for all three days because flathead fishing had been good there in the lead up.
Day two started with calm weather and a slow start for us on the fishing front, with only 160 points scored before a violent storm hit the Broadwater, which intensified when it moved through the Jumpinpin area.
We weren’t well prepared for the wet weather, so went home shivering and despondent at 1pm, falling down the leader board after a shocker of a day.
Two boats capsized at the Pin in 55-knot wind gusts during the storm, noting there were no warnings published anywhere.
It was very lucky that no one drowned or was seriously injured in the lightning and hail.
After a good night’s sleep, we were ready to go hard and do our best on the final day.
Warric got us off to a great start early, boating a 68cm fish in the shallows along South Stradbroke Island.
From then until the 2pm finish, flathead were on the chew and we scored many 40-55cm at regular intervals.
We were stoked to find out later that we had climbed back up the ladder to finish fourth overall in the two-angler team event.
By the third day, the word had got around that the Crab Island region was the place to be this year and the area was packed with boats fishing.
Over 6500 flathead were caught and released in this year’s classic.
After fishing the first two days in the Pin area, team OG BNB Fishing stuck around for the final day and scored well in the Broadwater too.
We worked hard to fish and mixed it up, casting soft plastics and vibes and trolling hard-bodies for our 86 flathead.
The best lures for us were Ecogear ZX 40, Ecogear Balt 3.5”, Z-Man 3” MinnowZ and Rapala CrushCity The Imposter.
Thanks heaps to Ben and the Bush ‘n Beach Fishing Magazine crew for making it happen for our teams.
Wazza and I have done two classics as a team now and finished second and fourth consecutively in the two-angler team division.
A big thanks also to Gold Coast Sportfishing Club and the committee for putting on an amazing and fun-filled event.
I know from running events myself how much hard work, time and detail goes into it.
As always, a massive thanks to Sporty’s Fishing at Strathaird Rd, Bundall for all the support.
The best local shop to buy all the tackle and lures we love to use and for fishing advice!
Special thanks to Tackle Tactics, My Lure Box Australia, Brendon Knight and Go Fish Australia for helping the Men of Business team with gearing up for the event.
Congratulations to Ross McCubbin and the ‘Mad Huey’s’ Heritage Bank team for winning the overall event with a massive 4737 points, and to team ‘MMD Fishing’ winning the two-angler event with an epic 4302 points.
Tyne Cuttance from the MMD Fishing team took out champion senior angler with 2504 points and 59 flathead.
Champion female angler was Melinda Henderson who scored 1532 points and 49 flathead.
Melinda and her partner Mick Horn as team ‘Rapala CrushCity’ finished third in the two-angler teams.
The Rapala CrushCity The Jerk in Budgie and Neon Pearl accounted for a fair chunk of their 104 fish, amassing a total of 3221 points.
Well done everyone!
The flathead fishing will still be good into December, however the whiting season will be in full swing then, so I look forward to reporting on that species in coming months.
We’ve been catching arrow squid, tuskfish and winter whiting on charters, while Brad Smith has been finding lots of flathead and trevally on his charters in the Tweed River.
To book on a charter with myself or Brad, or if you have any fishing related questions, visit goldcoastrivercharters.com, SMS 0432 990 302, email email@example.com or find us on Facebook – Brad Smith Fishing Charters.