James  Clain

Zilch at Gosford

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Went out from Mccars creek on the boat and ran up to the weed edges on the sand flats  east of saratoga. Trolled small to medium hardbodies in 10 metres of water at 1.2 knots for around 2 and a half hours. Got smashed by about 6 massive flatties around 70+ cms but dropped them all very quickly. 

Started fishing as the tide was "supposed" to start running out but the run in the tide was extremely minimal due to the moon. 

Lots of weed around the water caused the trolling lures to get stuffed multiple times. Headed back with nothing and got very wet passing the Pittwater and Hawkesbury runout. 

It's called fishing and not catching for a reason :) 

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I used to do a lot of flathead trolling, but mainly in water 6 -7m deep and what I found is on hookup you really needed to strike pretty hard with the rod to set the hooks into the fish's mouth. Possibly something to do with the slow boat speed, but my conversion rate rose pretty sharply after I realised that.

May I ask what small / medium hardbodies were you using to get 10m down? My best lure was the 80mm ultra deep Predatek Boomerang.

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Went flattie trolling yesterday-i mainly concentrate in water 4-6 FEET deep- deepwater trolling requires a lot of thought,excellent boat control and some pretty specialised lures-shallow water just is easier. We got 18 or 19 yesterday in one tide (and that included the first 3 hrs of the runup which in my books is the least productive)-i lost count TBH. I mainly use Lively lures micromullets  (always in pink) and Berkely flicker shads- an elcheapo lure i bought a few years back at $3 each-i have about 50 of them still in wrappers (a life times supply)- I usually run three lures at staggered distances so i can turn corners without tangles and use Scotty adjustable rodholders which enable me to  keep the rods horizontal to the water. I just chug along at idle or on the electric, 90% of my strikes are running with the tide and we rarely miss or drop a fish. I usually retrofit my flattie lures with little chemically sharpened trebles . I always make sure the lure is bashing the bottom. Other colours work sometimes but white catches too many cockroaches (bream) so i generally stick to pink. I also try to run near structure using the sounder to stay out of trouble-rockwalls, weedbeds, boulders oysterrack edges. Flattie trolling is a lot of fun and generally very productive- i do a fair bit of it in spring and even mid winter it gets flatties.

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1 hour ago, Green Hornet said:

I used to do a lot of flathead trolling, but mainly in water 6 -7m deep and what I found is on hookup you really needed to strike pretty hard with the rod to set the hooks into the fish's mouth. Possibly something to do with the slow boat speed, but my conversion rate rose pretty sharply after I realised that.

May I ask what small / medium hardbodies were you using to get 10m down? My best lure was the 80mm ultra deep Predatek Boomerang.

Homemade and I think an xrap

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1 hour ago, PaddyT said:

Went flattie trolling yesterday-i mainly concentrate in water 4-6 FEET deep- deepwater trolling requires a lot of thought,excellent boat control and some pretty specialised lures-shallow water just is easier. We got 18 or 19 yesterday in one tide (and that included the first 3 hrs of the runup which in my books is the least productive)-i lost count TBH. I mainly use Lively lures micromullets  (always in pink) and Berkely flicker shads- an elcheapo lure i bought a few years back at $3 each-i have about 50 of them still in wrappers (a life times supply)- I usually run three lures at staggered distances so i can turn corners without tangles and use Scotty adjustable rodholders which enable me to  keep the rods horizontal to the water. I just chug along at idle or on the electric, 90% of my strikes are running with the tide and we rarely miss or drop a fish. I usually retrofit my flattie lures with little chemically sharpened trebles . I always make sure the lure is bashing the bottom. Other colours work sometimes but white catches too many cockroaches (bream) so i generally stick to pink. I also try to run near structure using the sounder to stay out of trouble-rockwalls, weedbeds, boulders oysterrack edges. Flattie trolling is a lot of fun and generally very productive- i do a fair bit of it in spring and even mid winter it gets flatties.

What you have said is exactlay what we were doing yesterday, although normally we get chopped by tailor cockroaches but we didnt even see a tailor at all nor loose a lure so the fishing was definitly very off.

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Hey James, glad to hear you’ve got a boat - the adventure continues.

cheers “Pickles”

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I wanna try flathead trolling now. What type of rod and line/leader are using? Do you use a spin rod for plastics or something different? I’ve only ever trolled outside for kings and tuna, I’m guessing it’s similar.

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59 minutes ago, Rod84 said:

I wanna try flathead trolling now. What type of rod and line/leader are using? Do you use a spin rod for plastics or something different? I’ve only ever trolled outside for kings and tuna, I’m guessing it’s similar.

Just get lures designed for the depth your trolling. You want light line for more fish but the Flatties over 70 need around 12lb flurocarbon leader and then braid. As long as you play them correctly with a proper spinning reel like a Certate otherwise you will need to upgrade leader. 

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10 hours ago, Rod84 said:

I wanna try flathead trolling now. What type of rod and line/leader are using? Do you use a spin rod for plastics or something different? I’ve only ever trolled outside for kings and tuna, I’m guessing it’s similar.

you dont need anything fancy, i use my light spin rods which vary from a couple of Stradic s in 2500 and 3000, A couple of light Diawas that i still own for some reason all on light spin sticks- they have braid from 4-8lb on them and i generally use a meter or so of 8-10lb mono as leader- I have a 300m spool of Vanish sitting in the garage so thats what gets used at the moment-10lb i think. Bigger lizards will sometimes get the lure down deep but i cant say ive been chewed off virtually ever- the key is use low rod angles and soft hands (this stops pulling the hooks as well). As i said before i mainly use Lively Lure Micro Mullets in pink but i retrofit them with fine gauge chemically sharpened trebles. When running 3 lures i chuck 1 corner out at 10-15 meters behind the boat, the center rod about 30-40m and the other corner about 20, then i can turn sharp corners without tangling but the adjustable rod holders are key to this, otherwise hold your rod.

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3 hours ago, PaddyT said:

you dont need anything fancy, i use my light spin rods which vary from a couple of Stradic s in 2500 and 3000, A couple of light Diawas that i still own for some reason all on light spin sticks- they have braid from 4-8lb on them and i generally use a meter or so of 8-10lb mono as leader- I have a 300m spool of Vanish sitting in the garage so thats what gets used at the moment-10lb i think. Bigger lizards will sometimes get the lure down deep but i cant say ive been chewed off virtually ever- the key is use low rod angles and soft hands (this stops pulling the hooks as well). As i said before i mainly use Lively Lure Micro Mullets in pink but i retrofit them with fine gauge chemically sharpened trebles. When running 3 lures i chuck 1 corner out at 10-15 meters behind the boat, the center rod about 30-40m and the other corner about 20, then i can turn sharp corners without tangling but the adjustable rod holders are key to this, otherwise hold your rod.

Cheers I’m trying this

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Nice report. Didn’t know it got 10 metres deep around Saratoga- I thought it was mainly 3 metres.

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6 hours ago, flatheadluke said:

Nice report. Didn’t know it got 10 metres deep around Saratoga- I thought it was mainly 3 metres.

yea some areas were no good for the lures at even deeper depths.

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On 11/21/2019 at 11:56 AM, PaddyT said:

Went flattie trolling yesterday-i mainly concentrate in water 4-6 FEET deep- deepwater trolling requires a lot of thought,excellent boat control and some pretty specialised lures-shallow water just is easier. We got 18 or 19 yesterday in one tide (and that included the first 3 hrs of the runup which in my books is the least productive)-i lost count TBH. I mainly use Lively lures micromullets  (always in pink) and Berkely flicker shads- an elcheapo lure i bought a few years back at $3 each-i have about 50 of them still in wrappers (a life times supply)- I usually run three lures at staggered distances so i can turn corners without tangles and use Scotty adjustable rodholders which enable me to  keep the rods horizontal to the water. I just chug along at idle or on the electric, 90% of my strikes are running with the tide and we rarely miss or drop a fish. I usually retrofit my flattie lures with little chemically sharpened trebles . I always make sure the lure is bashing the bottom. Other colours work sometimes but white catches too many cockroaches (bream) so i generally stick to pink. I also try to run near structure using the sounder to stay out of trouble-rockwalls, weedbeds, boulders oysterrack edges. Flattie trolling is a lot of fun and generally very productive- i do a fair bit of it in spring and even mid winter it gets flatties.

Lots of helpful info there Paddy.

Which waterway do you fish?

cheers

Fil

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mainly the Hawkesbury but have done it in other systems as well

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