Posted on April 24 2019 by admin
We spoke to Brad from Brad Smith Fishing Charters, keen to learn on the best angling techniques to target Flathead. I pointed out my son is eight years old and and begging to learn more about Flathead fishing. I told Brad I've nabbed flathead here and there, using mainly baits but also some soft plastics, and have always wanted to learn to better target the species. In our house Flathead are regarded as one of the better eating fish, and I've always liked how easy they are to clean and cook. But of course we get as much enjoyment releasing Flathead back into the estuaries.
We live on the Gold Coast, around 20 minutes drive from the Tweed area. Brad is a local fishing legend for many species - not just flathead. When Brad said he had two or three new techniques to teach us, I knew he was the right choice to take us out. During the charter he shared how he grew up in the area and spent much of this youth on the water, and a lot of time since.
While caught all year round, the best time for flathead in the Tweed area is July to September. Great numbers will be caught June through October. I was surprised how the best time can vary in near by estuary systems. I though September and October where the best times throughout south-east Queensland and Northern Rivers New South Wales, but that is not always the case.
We were fishing in October and the numbers probably had thinned as the water warmed. My concerns of having left the trip too late in the year quickly subsided.
Brad explained how he has experimented with many lures, blades etc and many techniques over the years. We ended up concentrating on trolling with lures, drifting with blades and drifting with soft plastics.
We had some luck trolling with the current toward the end of high tide. It didn't take long for me to realise much of what I thought about trolling for flathead was off the money. Brad gave us an improved understanding of the finer points of trolling for flathead including lure colour, lure depth, working the tides, equipment, how to fight flathead once hooked, and how to land and release correctly. We landed flathead ranging from undersize to 58 centimetres. My son was very happy with that! We dropped a couple of large fish, going by how much drag was taken. It was exciting knowing we were fishing a spot where large flathead were present.
I couldn't believe that I'd never targeted flathead using blades. Within minutes of casting blades while drifting, I realised what I had been missing out on. We landed fish on most drifts. It was definitely worth mixing it up and trying the blades even with the success we'd had on the lures. We also caught some smaller flathead while drifting with soft plastics.
Again it was definitely worth experimenting with the different angling techniques. We also caught some smaller flathead while drifting with soft plastics. This form of fishing is excellent for the younger anglers not ready to land larger fish.
We had a great day out. Brad did everything to seek out the fish and make us feel comfortable. We'd like to thank Brad for a great days fishing!