Fishing Report – Flats Surface Action


Fishing Report – Flats Surface Action

Yesterday I ended up with a very rare few hours up my sleeve and some unusually non-windy conditions so I decided to dip the boat in the water and try some of my local flats. The weather was fantastic, if not a bit hot, at low 30s and the water temps definitely starting to warm up (I got my legs wet at the boat ramp).

With very little breeze to speak of it was a blast opening the outboard out to full throttle under the Gladesville bridge on my way to the flats. It’s always nice to arrive at your destination both cool and not covered in salt spray!

The plan was to hit up some of my local shallows with some soft plastics skimmed across the surface like fleeing prawns. I’ve seen a few bream mooching around in the shallows lately and the whiting should be starting to get active. I was quietly optimistic that something would get caught.

Tackle is as light as practical with 6lb fluorocarbon leader about as light as I was willing to test around the oysters and weedbeds.

The first few casts didn’t attract any surface hits but as the lure got closer to the boat I could see plenty of lurkers down deeper. Time for a bit of a different strategy. Casting right up into the shallows I would quickly skip the lure across the surface for four to five meters until it was into the slightly deeper water then stop. On the stop I let the plastic sink slowly down to mid-water.

I found that the skipping and splashing attracted plenty of excited following fish – none willing to come to the surface. On the pause the lure would end up sinking down on the noses of several excited fish. Often two or three would have a go before eventually getting the hook into one.


The bream were noticeably bunching-up into little territories. While prospecting in between locations my plastics would be continually molested by hordes of suicidal mini-tailor. Being so small and energetic, once they start bleeding around the mouth they make a massive mess in the boat. After the first few I gave up bringing them on board and just unhooked them over the water.

Pesky Tailor

As the tide got higher the bream shut down. Time to chase some whiting before heading home.

First cast was followed by several fat whiting swiping at the plastic as it skipped across the surface. I knew with just a single hook the chances of hooking any whiting were pretty low. It was pretty cool just watching them climb over each other to get a shot at the lure. After heaps of missed strikes it was time to pack up and head home.

Tally for the day, 14 fairly decent bream, stacks of hits from whiting (with zero hook-ups) and many, many baby tailor.

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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