Tips on flicking plastics for flathead.

Tips on flicking plastics for flathead

AUGUST is an excellent month for targeting flathead in southeast Queensland.

The local flathead season will be firing this month. Large numbers of quality flathead will be spread throughout most systems running off Moreton Bay and they’ll also be found in Pumicestone Passage from Bribie Island through to Caloundra. These fish will be feeding very aggressively and will eat a wide variety of lures and baits.

The spawning season for flathead on the Gold and Sunshine coasts will begin close to the end of August. The big girls will start to make their way towards the bar entrances where in deep water large numbers of small males will surround them hoping to get in on the action. Huge numbers of school-sized fish and some big girls will be up on the flats too.

Big fish over 80cm have already been caught by trolling the flats, so it’s shaping up to be a good season. It’s much more difficult to target a single fish found on the sounder than a school of 20.

Brisbane flathead

As I mentioned earlier, the rivers and creeks running off Moreton Bay will be loaded with flathead. They feed very aggressively during winter, and August is often the best month for quantity and quality.

My preferred technique is to cast or jig soft plastics for flathead. Soft plastics are very versatile and can be fished in any depth.

All you need to change is the weight of the jig head. In shallow water from 0.6-1.8m deep I like to use a 1/4oz jig head. This keeps the plastic looking natural and allows plenty of time for the fish to see the lure as it sinks.

Occasionally I will drop down to a 1/6oz or 1/8oz in really shallow water, especially if I want to keep the plastic hovering above a bit of weed.

In water deeper than 1.8m, I like to use a 3/8oz jig head. This allows me to cover a lot of ground quickly and is the size used most on my boat because it works well for casting and jigging. The fish will be spread out this month, so to hook up to a few fish you should target a variety of areas.

The most important part of fishing plastics for flathead is to get to the bottom. Flathead bury themselves in sand and mud and lay across rocks and gravel to camouflage themselves from baitfish. Once the bait gets close, they pounce with lightning speed. This is why you need to make sure your plastic is reaching the bottom.

It doesn’t matter whether you use plastics, troll hard-bodies or drift baits, the same rule applies. Get your offering to the bottom and you will have a much better chance of taking home a feed of these tasty fish.

That’s it for this month. Get out on the water and enjoy what the last month of winter has to offer. Spring is just around the corner and it will be time to chase those pesky red fish again. I hope to see you on the water.

Quality flathead such as this one taken by Douglas Whaley will become more common around the bar entrances.
Quality flathead such as this one taken by Douglas Whaley will become more common around the bar entrances.
Solid flathead will be smashing plastics during August.
Solid flathead will be smashing plastics during August.
Check out the camouflage on this flathead.
Check out the camouflage on this flathead.

About Keith Stratford

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  1. Hi Keith,

    In relation to your article on flicking plastics can you make any suggestions on colour selections for the southern bay area i.e Jumpinpin and the surrounding water ways ?

    • Gday Cameron.
      Jumpinpin is a good location to carry a variety of colours. This is mostly due to the water colour constantly changing.
      I like natural colours when the water is clean and white or fluoros when the water dirties up with the northerly winds.
      Some of my favourite natural colours are redbone, Houdini, new penny and motoroil.
      For fluoros u can’t go past electric chicken.
      Hope this helps and good luck. Cheers

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