Ryan Holdsworth sight-casted this nice threadfin salmon on a Duo Realis Jerkbait.

Winter flathead fishing tips

It’s winter again! Cold mornings, calm days and lots of fish should be on the cards this month. Flathead fishing tips

The floods that hit southeast Queensland earlier this year gave the rivers and creeks a good flush out. This has left them looking very good leading up to winter.

Plenty of flathead have been eating lures, especially around the mouth of the Pine River. Most of the fish have been between 40-55cm. I haven’t come across any bigger ones yet but they shouldn’t be too far away.

As the water cools, the quality and quantity will hopefully improve.


Flathead fishing tips
Chris ‘Squiddy’ O’Donoghue landed his first mangrove jack on a live herring.


It’s been quite a few years since I’ve seen a good winter flatty season, so with any luck we have one this year. The flatties that I’ve been catching at the mouth of the Pine River recently have been very fussy. The type of lure and the retrieve have had to be exactly to their liking to get a bite.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t been the same on every trip, so experimenting with different angles and retrieves has been getting the results. A lot of the baitfish I have been targeting around the area are small herring, so smaller paddle tails and vibes have been getting the bites.

I’ve also been using a lighter jig head than I normally would to get the bite – giving the action of the plastic a lot more time to work on the drop.

It’s worth carrying a wide range of plastics on each trip and trying each style several times. And it’s also worth mixing up the retrieve.


Flathead fishing tips
Small paddle tail plastics will work very well on a wide range of species in June. This mangrove jack belted one on a rock bar recently.


Some days they favour an aggressive flick and other days they prefer it doing virtually nothing. Dead sticking the plastic on the bottom and not moving it for about 10 seconds can produce surprising results.

I personally hate fishing this way, as I get bored easily, but it can work very well.

I used to fish a lot of clean shallow water at Bribie Island for flatties and the amount of fish that would follow the plastic all the way back to the boat and then turn away was an eye opener. Every time we flicked the plastic, the fish would move closer but never eat it. Flathead fishing tips


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