How to Catch Flathead
Rigs and Techniques
When it comes to fishing for flathead, there is no need to go with heavy gear, especially when specifically targeting them in the shallows, where a 3-4kg spin outfit will do the job just fine.
They lie buried in the sand, waiting to ambush predators and therefore blind casting is the way to find them. Often they seem to sit just next to weed patches, which obviously provides a good ambush location as baitfish move onto the sand.
Dropoffs are another prime location for flathead. Anglers wading will inevitably spook flathead, which will vanish in a puff of sand from almost right underneath their feet.
Some slightly heavier fluorocarbon leader, around 5kg, is recommended, as they do have small, raspy teeth that can damage light line when they are hooked. Flathead are good fighters on light gear, often making a series of zig-zagging bursts.
Bait and Lures
Flathead will happily take baits bounced along the bottom, such as river prawns, whitebait, bluebait and even mulies. A simple running sinker rig with either a large single hook or set of gangs will suffice when using bait.
In the Swan and Canning systems, blowies are a major issue when using bait, and lures come into their own. Soft plastics such as Mr Twisters are deadly, but again prone to blowie damage. Feather jigs are a cheap option and easily bounced along the bottom. Small bibbed minnow lures that dive deep enough to dig up the sand work brilliantly, as do blades and vibes. There are some very clever prawn imitation lures that will also work.