At the start of summer with the weather warming up a steady stream of pancake headed creatures make their way through the rivers. These shovel-headed alien like fish look as if they have been sat on by a fatty of a heifer. Flathead is the name they come under in the land-down-under.
This southern continent is blessed to have this tasty critter around all of its lapping shores. Blue spot, sand, dusky and bartail are just a number of species of this ‘lizard’ headed family. One thing other than their dorsally compressed body that they have in common is the white fillets of tasty goodness. Many an angler (avid catch and release fisherman or not) finds it hard to say no to keeping a few for supper!
My favorite lures to probe the waters is the ZipBaits Khamsin. Both the smaller sized ‘Tiny’ and the bigger ‘Jr’ versions work really well. The shallow ‘SR’ (Shallow Runner) model is good for bumping along in ultra skinny water and keeping above weed and reef in deeper water. The deeper diving DR (Deep Runner) bibbed Khamsin is great as an all round searching lure.
I love to hunt these ambush predators. When fishing for these ‘lizards’ you need to stay on the move and cover as much ground as possible. Once you have fanned out and area with casts then move along and progressively cast the next area.
Flathead are not a fish that swims around looking for prey. They like to half bury themselves in the sand and sit in ambush waiting for the prey to come past them! Therefore there is little reason to keep casting to the same area over and over. Likely ground that they may be hiding camouflaged in is sand near weed and reef. They will sit facing up drop offs waiting for the baitfish or prawns to come down with the tide or current.
Mmmm, I’m still thinking about those succulent white fillets. See yah, I’m off to get myself a croc sized bartail for tea!