Two PB Flathead in Only 3 Days!!!

Monster Flathead from St Georges Basin

Two PB Flathead in Only 3 Days!!!

St Georges Basin – Big Soft Plastics for Big Fish

This summer I was lucky enough to get some time off to holiday at Sussex Inlet and St Georges Basin.  I’ve written about the outstanding fishing available in St Georges Basin previously and it again lived up to its reputation.  This trip I wanted to test a tip from a friend’s dad.  He catches good numbers of trophy size jewfish and flathead in Lake Macquarie.  His theory is pretty simple – big fish eat big lures.  By up-sizing lures you catch less average size fish but you unlock the bonus level of monster fish that don’t eat average size lures.

The target species for the test included big tailor, mulloway, flathead and large bream.  The lure of choice was  a 5” soft plastic prawn.  Prawns are abundant in this area but this lure was larger than a local school size prawn.

 Day 1 – Big Lures

Our plan for day 1 was to drift over the artificial reefs and toss some plastics.  We found the reefs had boats anchored on them so we went for a drift near Sanctuary Point.  Second cast of the trip I set the hook into what seemed like the the bottom.  It went for several short, powerful runs and then stayed deep with thrashing headshakes.  I picked it for a flathead and a pretty large one at that.  After several minutes fighting deep I played it to the surface.  I was happy once I spotted my lure in the corner of its mouth away from the abrasive teeth.  It was a nervous 6 shots with the net before my wife managed to swing it into the boat.  A quick measure revealed it was my best flathead yet – a respectable 90cm.  A few photos and back she went.

On the same day we also landed several bream up to mid 30s on a mixture of baits and plastics.  We found that we caught fewer bream on the large plastics but they were all much better quality fish.

Day 2 – Big Lures

We managed to get out again a few days later with my wife, mate Scott and his son Sam onboard.  We fished over near Sanctuary Point again.  First drift I hooked up to something that felt quite familiar.  It was another heavy fish that slugged it out down deep.  My reliable net man (Scott) looked unusually nervous as the fish hit the surface.  After some antics we finally had another monster flathead in the boat.  This fish measured 94cm.  We took a few photos before we sent her back as well.

Landing two monster flathead in only a couple of days was an awesome experience.  We managed to get quite a few other fish over the week by fishing the less crowded spots.  There were stacks of whiting about on the flats and in the canals to throw poppers at.  We also caught several salmon and trevally in the river on stickbaits and poppers.

Big Lures – The Verdict

After a solid week fishing with big lures we found we found we caught less fish in total.  The big lures attracted few small to medium fish of any species.  Sometimes it was difficult to persist while baits and small plastics got consistent action.

The few fish that we did catch on big lures were quite noticeably larger though.  There could be several reasons for this:

  • A big lure may scare smaller fish away.  This gives the bigger fish a better shot at the bait
  • The big lure spent more time in the water because it caught less fish
  • Big fish may have more interest in chasing down bigger meals

This fishing was pretty boring 98% of the time and I nearly gave up on several occasions.  But I’m convinced that if I had returned to average sized lures I wouldn’t have got a shot at these large fish.  If you can handle watching your mates catching heaps of average sized fish while you wait for the occasional monster then give it a try.  I know I will be persisting with it.

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The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.

John Buchan