stealth fishing poly
The 'dual skins' of a Polycraft hull provide a stealthy advantage.

Stealth fishing tactics key to success

stealth fishing polycraft flathead
Big 80cm-plus flathead are intelligent fish and employing stealthy tactics will aid your chances of catching one.
stealth fishing polycraft
Even in sloppy conditions the Polycraft is very quiet.
George Mole sight cast this flathead in shallow water.

WHEN it comes to lure fishing, I believe topwater luring is the most exciting.

Belting out a lure as far as you can over a shallow bank or the edge of a spotted mackerel school in Moreton Bay and then working it back to the boat as you wait for that explosion of water… it gets the heart pumping and adrenalin racing just thinking about it!

It doesn’t seem to matter what fish you target, with everything from tuna to bream getting the heart rate up. I guess it is that visual aspect of watching your lure or sight casting to individual fish that mixes an angler’s experience with a fish’s animal instinct for an explosive result.

Successful topwater lure fishing depends on factors such as the right rod, reel, line and lure but another important consideration, especially in shallow water, is stealth. Sound travels very well over and through water, and if you are chasing big lizards or bream on the flats you want to be able to sneak up on your targets without spooking them. When stealth fishing you’ll want to consider limiting the noise volume of your motor and your boat.

An electric motor is a vital piece of equipment if you are planning on this type of fishing, and it is great to see an increasing number of boats fitted with them these days. Being able to manoeuvre around in relative silence provides a big advantage and will allow you to get more casts at fish, which will ultimately result in more hook-ups and captures. The latest electric motors allow you to spot lock or even plot a line of travel and some even self-deploy and anchor the boat.

You can use a hand controller but I much prefer a foot pedal because it frees up both hands for casting and fighting fish. A boat that is quiet on the water is another advantage when topwater lure fishing, and this is where a Polycraft is the perfect choice. I’m sure you are aware Polycrafts are made of plastic, but what you may not know is they are very quiet vessels and don’t have the traditional tinnie slap of aluminium boats.

I’m not 100 percent sure why they are so quiet but it is probably due to the fact they have a thick outer skin as well as an air chamber and an inner skin, all of which absorbs and dissipates sound and provides some flex when travelling over the water. While my Polycraft is not fully foam filled, some foam is fitted in the bow section of the hull, which also acts as a noise dampener under my main casting platform. Either way, having a quiet and manoeuvrable fishing platform definitely lets you find more fish in the shallows when stealth fishing.

This is perfect for the current trend of throwing large plastics or lures right up in the shallows in search of big flathead. While we only managed a couple of fish using this technique during the 2018 Gold Coast Flathead Classic, doing so added a few extra points to the tally, which is always a bonus during a competition. And as I mentioned earlier, it is an exhilarating form of fishing.

It doesn’t get much better than spotting a large lizard on a shallow bank, slowly and quietly getting into position to launch the perfect cast and then seeing an explosion as the fish smashes the lure. I recommend everyone give it a go.

About Ben Collins

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