WELL the time of year is here yet again where the big female flathead come into very shallow water to feed on big bait!
A lot of anglers have taken to this style of fishing in the last two, three years. With big swimbaits suck as the Westin hypo-tease and the Zerek affinity. These swim baits range from 178mm to 220mm long and weigh as much as 96g. Lures like this punish tackle and you need to make sure you are running the correct terminal tackle such as 20-30lb leader so you’re not casting a $30 lure off unexpectedly.
Fish swim baits slow! These fish are looking for unsuspecting mullet and other fish that aren’t running yet dying or just cruising the flats. Rods can be an issue with such a big lure at 90 grams, most use heavy spin or bait cast gear or even a specific swim bait rod. Any reel from the 3000 to 4000 will do fine and most bait casters 150 size and up.
When fishing this style for monster fish you need to work shallow areas with moving water for the best results. Working patches of weed and sand seem to work for best results. Fishing in less then a foot of water is where these big girls hide, awaiting a feed of big mullet so look for chock points where the water eddies and creates a good ambush point. With big flathead comes smaller fish also and usually they come from the same areas.
Using anything from a 2.5inch curly tail grub to a seven inch jerk shad style lure will get bites! Small hops about 30cm off the bottom is a great technique as well as a slow roll along the bottom. A standard seven foot 3-5kg rod paired with a 2500 size reel and 10lb braid and leader will be more than enough for most fish up to the 80cm mark, just take you time and the fish will come in.
The key to any flathead fishing is keeping it close to the bottom so don’t be scared to run heavy jig heads. These fish will feed most of the day and most of the tide making them a very family friendly target. Been able to get out whenever its possible is a luxury when fishing for any species.