Flathead favour shallow waters and are ideal targets for land-based lure fishermen. The trick to catching them is to find their hiding spots.

Story & photos by Alistair McGlashan

There are few things more enjoyable than wading a shallow sand flat flicking lures about in search of flathead. Since they are prolific around most of the country, particularly in the southern half and especially in the estuary systems, they are not too hard to catch on lures. The key to snaring one is to understand its habits. Flathead are ambush hunters and like to partially bury themselves in the sand to camouflage their outline. For this reason the best place to search for flatties is around the sand flats.
The flathead not only have to hide themselves but they also have to do it in a position where prey species – be it prawns, baitfish or nippers – will pass by. So channel edges and gutters, rubble patches, weed beds and even man-made structures are all prime real estate. Most importantly, there needs to be a bit of current to push the bait past with the tidal flow. Always facing into the current, the flathead, with their eyes positioned on the top of their head, wait until a prey species comes close, then they burst out with a surprise attack.

This story excerpt is from Issue #47

Outback Magazine: June/July 2006