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  1. #1
    Tarpon
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    Narangba
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    Default Question regarding fishing with soft plastics for Flathead

    Afternoon Everyone
    As you guys would know by my posts I am a keen bait fisherman and I mostly target Whiting and Flathead, some of you guys on this site are keen on chasing Flathead with plastics and you are the gentlemen I need to answer a question for me. Before i ask the question I will give you a bit of background on how I target flathead so you can understand why I am asking it.

    In my own personal experience chasing Flathead, they will always lie nose into the oncoming current, waiting for bait fish to come to them, because I believe Flathead are lazy buggers and the more you can attract their attention the better chance you have of getting a hookup.

    I drift fish for them using two methods.

    First method is using live bait, either gold spot mullet, herring or diver whiting, hooked through the bottom lip and out through the top lip on a 1.2mtr length of 6kg mono trace with the smallest sinker i can get away with above the swivel to ensure the live bait stays close to the bottom, main line is 3kg mono, rod is left in a rod holder, theory is, approaching sinker is stirring up the bottom to some extent and getting the Flatheads attention, before the live bait comes into view, and your in business.

    Second method is using dead bait, either white bait or small pillies if I can get hold of some ,on a gang of 3 x No 4 or 3 x No 2 hooks, depending on size of bait, on a 400mm length of 6kg mono trace with the smallest sinker I can get away with to keep bottom, running between the hooks and below the swivel , main line is 3kg mono, theory is to continually lift the rod tip so the sinker moves down to the top hook and drop the rod tip so the weight of the sinker pulls the dead bait back to the bottom imitating an injured bait fish.

    Both methods have worked well for me over 30 years plus.

    Now My Question
    Because I should try something different before I cack it, I decided I will give soft plastics a real go, that is, leave the bait at home and put any skills i might have learned over the years to work, so firstly, I did a good bit of research on the web and discovered that a lot of guys reckon that you should cast your softie out in front of the boat in the direction you are drifting, and slowly work it back to the boat, unless I am missing something, that would mean you would be putting the plastic behind the Flathead, unless of course you hit him on the nose.

    I have some paddle tail prawn soft plastics ready to go, so as Pauline would say "please explain"

    Thanks MSB

  2. #2
    Grand Slam
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Parramatta, NSW
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    Default

    If the placcy passes the fishes vision within a few feet, it will eat it. Regardless of whether its swimming cross current.
    Don't discount leaving a plastic on a jig head bouncing along behind the drift too. A 4" curly tail is ideal in my opinion. The drift plus the natural shape of the bottom will keep it just moving. Obviously this is depending on depth on bottom type /structure.

  3. #3
    Coral Trout
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    Jun 2014
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    Golden Beach
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    Default

    The theory is that the flattie is lying there facing the current and grabs food as it is coming towards it. The same theory says that if you are flicking against the current it is a bit like something coming in over the top of your head and you going "What The" . But as Ducksta says you will catch them regardless although definitely flicking with the current seems to have better returns, for me at least.

  4. #4
    Administrator
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    Sep 2006
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    Maryborough
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    Default

    Agreed, I prefer staying off the bank and casting into the shallows while drifting. I find if I cast directly into the bank, while drifting, most of the plastics retrieve will be across, and with the current so they should see it coming. I cast ahead of myself while wading, walking the bank, as on the rising tide the fish will be in 6” of water so you’ll spook them, and not much run that shallow. Shallow hard bodies like the 100 mm bombers are deadly in that situation too
    Chewy....
    http://www.activeangler.com.au/forum/signaturepics/sigpic3_2.gif
    Its the quest,not the conquest...

  5. #5
    Legendary Angler
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    Jan 2010
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    Petrie
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    Default

    I think that the idea of casting in the direction you are drifting to serves two purposes, but neither are prime for flathead fishing.
    Casting like that is preferable for waters deeper than about 3 metres....what it does is gives the plastic a life like dead fall....especially enticing for fussy fish like snapper. Secondly the direction you are drifting to is usually down wind allowing for a longer cast.

    Flathead generally are pretty particular with where they sit....alongside edges of shallows, reefs, logs, weed edges etc. Unless your drift aligns with the preferred laying area, casting in that direction will result in fewer catches.

    90% of the time I cast at about 45 degrees to the bank up current and work it back to the boat. I use the lecky to slow the speed the boat moves so my casts are generally 6 to 10 feet apart as i move along the edge.

    Action will vary with the type of plastics being used.
    Paddles tails are a simple lift off the bottom about a metre and let it drop.
    Curl tails are similar only be conscious to maintain a bit of a droop in the line between the tip and the water, watching for anything abnormal.
    Flick baits are more erratic in retrieve but still maintaining the droop.
    Wild prawns are three short sharp flicks then a very slow sink.....1/24th oz jigheads work best with the 65mm lure.

  6. #6
    Legendary Angler
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    Feb 2011
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    The lads are all over it you can’t go wrong with that info , Berkeley 3 inch shrimps in white or banana prawn 1/4 to 3/8 jig heads with tiny hops is dynamic on them leader size up to 30 lb does me and it doesn’t seem to effect hookup rate but it does help with those larger tanks we get up here
    the world is a lot better place if you just smile

  7. #7
    Legendary Angler
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    Jun 2008
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    Woody Point
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    MSB, do you have an electric on the boat?
    "Remember - pain is temporary, glory is for ever, and chicks dig scars!"

  8. #8
    Grand Slam
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    Apr 2007
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    As I understand it, the idea of casting ahead of your drift is basically so you can be sure your plastic is actually making contact with the bottom.
    Retrieving while dragging plastics out the back you won't have as much contact with the bottom. Actually hitting the bottom is obviously an important consideration chasing flat fish.

  9. #9
    Tarpon
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    Narangba
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    Quote Originally Posted by BR65 View Post
    MSB, do you have an electric on the boat?
    No mate I don't wife says I can have an electric when she gets a new car

  10. #10
    Legendary Angler
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    Nov 2008
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    Default

    Contact with the bottom is important chasing flathead, I have more success with one or two lazy hops on retrieve,curly tails,grubs,prawn imitation,and paddle tails I prefer the hop retrieve. Some guys in skinny water are having success with poppers,but I haven’t scored with that approach.
    "Its Five o'Clock Somewhere"...........(Jimmy Buffet).

 

 
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