The author was lucky enough to pick up a decent 69cm southern bay flathead on a Mustad Z-Tail Minnow.

Flathead questions answered

Well, it’s been another great month of fishing, with fish definitely being on the chew and a little run of reasonable weather.

Anybody who reads my articles knows I love catching flathead and this year has so far been an exceptional flatty season.

I haven’t seen this many fish and as widespread as they are at the moment for a few years.

Basically, fish have been caught all through the bay and right through the broadwater, and reports of fishos catching rather large numbers every time they go out.

What we’ve been seeing are lots of fish ranging from 43-70cm plus, and in good numbers.

Let’s hope that if they get to do their thing before too many of them are caught, we see the benefits of all these fish breeding plenty more fish for the next three to five years, which for this species is fantastic, it being one of Australia’s primary bread and butter species.


Nick was very happy with this 76cm southern bay flathead caught on a Zerek Flash Wriggly.


We’ve had a few customers out and many of them have been wanting to learn how to catch flatties on soft plastics, which has been great.

It reminds me that new people are coming into the sport – or people who have bait fished all their lives – wanting to know more about catching fish on lures.

So, in this article I’ll go through a few of the frequently asked questions.

One of the most consistently asked questions is why do we need to use a graphite or carbon rod with braided line and fluorocarbon leader, instead of a standard glass rod with monoline that is used for bait fishing?

Now, there are probably more technical terms to explain this but I prefer to keep things as simple as possible.

Your carbon or graphite rod in its simplest form goes from being bent back to being straight quicker.

So when you make a lift on the plastic, the rod bends over but it wants to come back quickly, which puts more action on to your lure.

As the rod is absorbing less of the action, you basically impart a better action on the lure with your graphite rod.


Matt with a 64cm flathead caught on a Zerek Flash Wriggly.


The next question is why do we use the braid?

The answer is very simple – it has no to very minimal stretch, so that when you make those little lifts with the rod tip, instead of the line absorbing some of that action, it doesn’t, and you get plenty of action on the lure.

The last is why do we need a fluorocarbon leader?

In its most basic form, it has some stretch which helps you to not pull hooks on your fish and it’s also ‘the invisible bit’, so the fish can’t see it, plus it’s quite abrasion-resistant if you’re fishing around structure.

Another question that’s asked a lot is, ‘Can I put a swivel from my braid to my fluorocarbon leader?’

The short answer to that is, no.

What you need to do is go on to YouTube and watch some videos of people tying knots, find one you prefer and can tie well and use that.

Another query regarding knots often asked is what knot should be used?


About Sean Conlon

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