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Verror

Berowra Waters Flathead - No Luck

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Hey Guys,

As mentioned in my introduction post, very new to fishing - only bought my gear and license within the last week.

I headed out to Berowra Waters on Sunday at about 7am and was there until 4pm predominately looking to catch a few flathead after hearing it was a decent area for them. Over the course of 9 hours I didn't get a single bite, not even a nibble. I was land based, I has crossed the ferry from the Dural side onto the eastern side and walked up the walking track and found a few nice rock locations. After failing miserably on the Sunday I headed back out there on Monday afternoon, 5:30-7:30 for a quick stint to see what I could come up with. Again, no bites or nibbles at all.

No I know you can go a few hours without anything, and often longer, however I assumed that within 9 hours a should have seen a few bites. During the Sunday, a couple came and were fishing for about half an hour 10 metres down from me and within that time I saw them reel 2 large flathead in. This got me thinking that maybe my technique wasn't quite right.

So I'm after some advice to see where I could be going wrong. The following is my set up and technique:

Bait: Soft plastics - Gulp Nuclear Chicken (Pink and Green) 4"

Hook: Size 2/0

Sinker/Weight: Size 3

Setup: Sinker was about 15-20cm up the line from the hook. Bait was pushed up around the hook with the sharp end sitting out about half way down the bait.

Technique: I was casting out and letting it sit at the bottom for 2-5 minutes. Then reeling in the slack and pulling the rod up 3 times quickly and then letting the bait fall back to the bottom. Repeated reeling of slack and bait movement every 5-10 seconds. After it was done I'd cast into a slightly different direction and repeat.

Based on the above, is there anything I could improve, or was I just having some bad luck for the day?

Edited by Verror

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If you are using soft plastics a jighead is the way to go for sure. Nuke Chicken is my fav by far in the 5". Flathead have massive mouths so don't think you might be using something too big. I have caught 70+cm flathead on a 5" and also as small as 15cm flatties.

Lots of info to be had on this site however youtube is also a great starting point. Few key words like "Flathead, Fishing, Soft Plastics" and you will have enough content to watch for hours. Also youtube is a good place to learn about rigging a jighead.

My advise is to change the lure after an hour or less. Move spots as flathead won't come to you. Also stick to shallow sandy areas as that's where they live.

Everyone has their own technique so there is no right or wrong way. But the pause is most likely when they will ambush. I pause for about 1 min at most.

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Hi sounds like you're using the soft plastic the same way you'd use bait, that's not how they work. Like Belligero said you need to use the soft plastic with a jighead which is basically a sinker fused to a hook

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Jye, firstly welcome to fishraider. Try going to the same spot and use a running sinker, swivel and trace to hook and put on some fresh hawkesbury prawns. I almost guarantee you'll get a bite from something. That will be the first step! As belligro has suggested, use the search function on this site. There is a wealth of knowledge here!!!

Cheers scratchie!!!

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Thanks for the replies guys. I did a search prior to the post, but more so wanted advised on my technique.

I did see a video that talked about a jighead, but I was worried that if I was to make my own (e.g: Sit the hook and bait right up against the sinker) that it might look unnatural to the fish as the sinker would not be covered by bait. I'll give that a go the next time I head out there, maybe tonight, and I'll give the prawns and running sinker a go over the weekend :)

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Thanks for the replies guys. I did a search prior to the post, but more so wanted advised on my technique.

I did see a video that talked about a jighead, but I was worried that if I was to make my own (e.g: Sit the hook and bait right up against the sinker) that it might look unnatural to the fish as the sinker would not be covered by bait. I'll give that a go the next time I head out there, maybe tonight, and I'll give the prawns and running sinker a go over the weekend :)

The way you have it setup would would probably find the lure to spin in circles when you do you lifts.

Using a jighead stops this from happening providing it's been placed correctly.

As scratchie mentioned if you are just getting started bait is a good way to start, Lures take a lot of patience and repetition

if you go further north to the coast let me know and if I'm free I'll give you a run down on setups etc etc.

Cheers

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When fishing which plastics I have found that most of the time you will not feel the bite. You need to constantly watch your line just above where it enters the water. If there is any unusual movement in the line then strike. If it was a bite then you will set the hook. If it was just the wind or waves then all you are doing is lifting it off the bottom again like your other lifts so no harm done. Let it settle again and keen going.

If you are using a normal sinker with a trace down to the plastic and hook this could affect your ability to see a bite.

Like the others have said a jighead is the way to go. Some jigheads simply look like a round sinker attached to a hook and it's not a worry. Flathead aren't the most fussy fish.

Also like belligero said move around. Pick a stretch of atleast a few hundred metres of shore line and walk up and down casting in different spots.

If you do hook one or think you've felt a bite then keep casting in that area for a bit. Where there's one there's often more.

I've found the flathead fishing from the shore slow over winter but it's getting a lot better so keep trying and good luck!

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@Belligero - Thanks for the response. I have noticed that, when practicing in a shallow depth so that I could see the movement, it did often spin and at times the hook and plastic will spin and get caught over the sinker. Thank you for the offer, I'll certainly let you know if I travel further up.

@W4z, Thank you for the advice. I'll work on moving around a bit, the area I was casting from had about 20 metres I could walk up and down so I'll do that around there.

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Just an update.

I went out for 2 hours after work yesterday and scored a 26cm bream, and also had a lot more bites this time. I was using a jighead this time (just made it myself) and I was also pulling a lot higher before letting it sink each time which seemed to make a large difference in attracting fish. Previously I was only giving the rod 3 very small tugs before letting the bait drop back down.

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Guest no one

Good lad! If you're set on plastic fishing its good to have a variety. I think I carry 6-7 packs with me now all with different shapes, colours & sizes. There's a saying in fishing - "match the hatch" meaning put what the fish are eating in front of them. I change my lure about every 15-20 mins after I cover the water in a spot and find it helps as once you get a couple of bites on one type in a short time then you know you've replicated what they're eating. Also you could have 10 fish in an hour on Nuclear chickens and go to the same spot the next weekend and not get a touch, but get 10 fish on a white wriggler. Great to have the variety in your arsenal prepared for any situation!

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Cheers Tef1on. I'll go with some bait soon enough, but I like the plastics for the time being. I've been changing the lure every 30 minutes rather than 15-20 so far, but I'll definitely work on "matching the hatch" as I add more gear and lures to my kit.

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