Tossing soft plastics for flathead - particularly dusky flathead - is nothing new, and for many it serves as their entry into the world of lure fishing. There are few better ways to enjoy the calmness of the estuary while catching a few fish, either to eat or release for someone else to catch. Given that most flathead fishing is done in less than 3m of water, even bank anglers aren’t heavily disadvantaged. In fact, some of the best soft plastic fishing for flathead is best accessed with sand underfoot!
Finding somewhere to throw plastics for flathead isn’t too hard. Any sandy estuary with flats, drains and drop-offs will harbour flathead in good numbers. Any weed, mud, rubble or rock scattered amongst the sand will provide extra cover for flathead and prey items alike.
Generally speaking, soft plastics need to make at least occasional contact with the bottom, as this is where flathead do most of their hunting. Therefore, jig head weights should be heavy enough to find bottom comfortably, but light enough so they don’t plummet unnaturally into the sand. In most situations in water 3m deep or less, 1/8-1/4oz is perfectly sufficient. Jig heads like Tackle Tactics Headlockz, Atomic Seekerzand Nitro Saltwater Pro Jig Heads are great options. On the plastics front, ZMan Diesel Minnowz, Squigies Bio Tough Fish, Berkley Gulp! Saltwater Jerk Shads and Daiwa Bait Junkie Jerkshadswill be happily snaffled by hungry flathead.
Fishing with soft plastics for flatties is no great science, and simply throwing them into areas where flathead ambush their prey, such as around water draining off flats, in small channels, or near weed and rubble patches is a good start. Working your plastics usually involves lifting them off the bottom before letting them fall back down. Bites usually occur as they fall back to the bottom.
While many plastics come with scent already on them, adding purpose-built scent to your lures every half hour or so can really increase bites. Liquid Mayhem Scent, Sax Scent, Procure Super Gel Scent and Berkley Gulp Rub On Scent are proven on flathead and will give you an edge, particularly if the bite slows down.
If you’re new to lure fishing, chasing flatties on plastics is the perfect way to get into this wonderful sport. Gearing up is inexpensive, the fishing is rewarding, and if you like eating your catch, flatties are pretty damn tasty too!
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