With typically beautiful June weather, this past month has had some very pleasant fishing days. Overnight temperatures averaged 12 degrees and daytimes were usually sunny and about 23 degrees. Not a lot of wind to cool things down either. Most days, light SW morning breezes gave way to light SE breezes after lunch. We did get some rain, which always helps to stir up the flathead, but most of it fell in one day, and that was a Monday, a long way out from the next weekend’s fishing.
That may explain why the flathead have been so quiet just lately. We need more of the REALLY cold mornings and maybe a bit more wind to stir things up. All of that clear water makes it too easy for the flathead to see what’s going on at the other end of the line. The rain before the last weekend of June has brought in some chilly air and should really make the difference with flathead fishing. July is often the month that the big flathead fishing takes off.
As the weather cools further, larger flathead are going to be attracted to the mouths of the Pumicestone Passage creeks. Flathead are aggressive and usually attempt to eat anything that passes by. Casting and retrieving soft plastics and hard-bodied lures will all be successful in catching them. Make sure you use the tidal flow if you’re using bait – allow the boat to drift along the sandbanks.
If you’re shore-based, then cast out lures over the shallow flats, where the incoming tidal flow brings a food source to the fish. Look for signs of a weed-bed or the edge of the mangroves, to find the hungry fish. Bullock Creek, south of Donnybrook, has been already been giving up some nice flathead, especially with hard-bodied lures. Going after flathead, it’s always a good idea to add some strong leader to your line – they’re pretty good at biting through a regular line.
Gavin and his Dad took the boys fishing on a very wet day last week and it wasn’t all for nothing – they brought home a 50cm flathead, from near the Avon wreck, caught with a pilchard, on the mid-morning rising tide. So maybe the flathead weather has just started!
Winter whiting are another popular cool weather target. Both in the passage and on the ocean-side, winter whiting is a reliable catch at this time of year and is good fun for the kids. Banksia Beach foreshore has been holding good numbers. There are extensive yabby banks over there and the whiting come over them on the rising tide, looking for one of their favourite meals. Of course, if you get the chance at low tide, pumping some yabbies yourself will be a sure-fire way to hook a few whiting, if you cast out when the tide starts to run back in. Other baits that have been doing almost as well in the past couple of weeks are worms, prawns and squid.
On the surf-side, the whiting have been a bit sporadic but Skirmish Point and Red Beach have been fishing well for tailor. The middle two weeks of July, with the smaller tides, should be a good time to try for tailor. It might be chilly but early mornings are the best time to fish for tailor and the second and fourth weekends in July have the outgoing tide just about right for dawn. It’s hard to find a gutter there but look for an eddy and cast so the line swings over to the edge of it. Pilchards have been working well for bait, but garfish hold better on the hooks and are usually just as tasty to the tailor.
Bream have been scarce but there is reason for that – the bigger bream are gathering and getting ready to spawn, so their minds are on other things. The best place to find them is in deep holes, using a bit of weight and probably a good lure. Movement is what will draw out a bream at this time of year. North of Donnybrook, at the mouth of Glasshouse Creek, is one nice deep hole which has been hiding a few bream of late.