Gold Coast Flathead

by David Green | Australian Lure Fishing

Tweed River Mangrove Jack Map


Tournament Angler And Journalist

Greeny has been fishing the Gold Coast for over 3 decades and the Gold Coast Flathead Classic since it began in 1991 – and he’s been part of multiple winning teams over that time. Greeny also fishes barra tournaments, loves to target marlin and is one of the country’s most prolific fishing journalists, having published numerous articles in Fishing World, Fishing Monthly and plenty of other publications over the years. Oh and in his spare time Associate Professor Green managed to get himself awarded and Order Of Australia medal for his service as a medical professional……… 

Greeny’s Top Tips For Gold Coast Flathead Fishing

  • The techniques for catching flathead are constantly evolving. Interestingly, many of the techniques that were deadly on flathead some years ago now seem to be much less effective.
  • Keep an eye on water quality. The brown, dull deoxygenated water tends to fish poorly, so look for places where the water is clean and there is reasonable flow
  • Keep an eye on water temperatures in Spring, especially. Patches of cooler water tend to fish much better, even if the temperature difference is only a couple of degrees.
  • Subtlies are important. Use the lightest leader you can get way with, along with fine gauge, chemically sharpened hooks. Be prepared to try plenty of lures and plenty of techniques until you figure out what’s working on the day.
  • Big plastic stickbaits of 15-20cm are good in deeper water and along edges. Similar sized shallow running hard bodies work well over shallower flats on the last half of the run in and the start of the run out tide.
  • Often the better quality flathead are to be found on the harder sand gutters, rather than the softer sand flats.
  • The best tides to fish depend on the river you’re in and the structure you’re fishing. In deeper, areas where the water rises up and falls down without much current, jigging soft or hard vibes is usually effective. Over big flats where the water goes in and out, rather than just up and down, fish will be around feeder channels and edges.
  • Trolling is a very good way to find fish. Once fish are located you can drop the electric motor in and switch to casting to continue catching fish. Trolling also allows you to study the structure to find fish. Trolling the edges of weed beds, channels, mud banks, shell beds etc is a good plan.
  • On smaller tides, look for places with maximum water flow such as channels and drains, or fish deeper water on the flats.
  • 10 to 15 knot winds from the South East quarter are ideal, the worst winds are the hot north westerlies in July-September.
  • Most spawning activity happens on the new moon, which is a good time to fish, as it the dark moon. Leading up to the full moon can be good, but the day of the full moon usually fishes poorly.

Greeny’s Flathead Fishing Tackle

  • Greeny has up to 9 rods in the boat, rigged and ready to go. It’s not unusual for him to use every rod at a given location while he’s figuring out what is going to work on the day.
  • When throwing soft plastics (grub tails, jerk shads and minnows) on 3/8 oz, 4/0 Gamakatsu jig heads Greeny wants to impart a sharp action, so he prefers a relatively fast taper rod and uses a Shimano NRX with 6 lb braid and a 12 lb fluorocarbon leader. He might add a few inches of 16 or 20 lb bite tippet if especially large fish are around.
  • Sometimes it’s necessary to go small with the lures to get the bite. Smaller lures with trebles, such as blades and Zerek prawns, are best fished using a rod with a softer action because the lure has plenty of inherent action and doesn’t need to be worked as much. This allowsGreeny to go down to 2 lb line with an 8lb leader and he has caught fish to 90cm on this gear by being patient and playing the fish carefully.
  • For deeper water Greeny uses a barra style spinning or baitcast rod with 20lb braid and a 30lb leader. Jig heads can be up to 2oz for this style of fishing and decent sized Jewfish are a common by-catch.

Greeny’s Best Flathead Fishing Lures

For Trolling:

  • Greeny likes the Lively Lures Micro Mullet, which has been a mainstay of flathead fishing on the Gold Coast and have won a lot of comps. A pink, silver and white micro mullet seems to catch everything and has earned the nickname on Greeny’s boat of “meat and potatoes”.
  • Hand made Pig Lures are in the same league as the micro mullets and Greeny usually has one tied onto one of his trolling rods at any time.
  • Zerek Tango Shad is another great trolling lure that has come of age on Gold Coast Flathead in the past few years.

For Casting:

  • 3-4″ Berkley Gulp Swimming Mullet in white colour on a 1/4 to 3/8oz, 4/0 jig head. Greeny refers to this as “The Gumby Lure” because “anyone can catch fish on it”.
  • Zerek Fish Trap 95mm is a consistent fish taker and can be worked in a variety of ways, including jigging it through deeper water.
  • 4″ Berkley Gulp Minnow in chartruese and white is another very successful casting lure.
  • When the fish are big or working over the flats, large lures like Lunker City Sluggos and Silstar Slapstix up to 12″ long can be very effective.

Subscribe To ALF

Apple  |  Stitcher  |  Google  |  Spotify  | iHeartMP3

Flathead fishing tackle cheat sheet
Episode 569: Lake Macquarie On Lures With Dan Guilfoyle. Part 1: Summer.

Episode 569: Lake Macquarie On Lures With Dan Guilfoyle. Part 1: Summer.

Lake Macquarie might cop a lot of fishing pressure over the summer months, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great opportunities on offer for those in the know about how, when and where to fish! Dan Guilfoyle shares a lifetime of local knowledge for those keen to hit the water in the coming months.

Episode 567: Gold Coast Flathead with Ryan Vines

Episode 567: Gold Coast Flathead with Ryan Vines

Ryan is a lifelong Gold Coast Fishing fanatic and winner of the 2022 Flathead Classic. His business Capn’s Charters specialises in lure fishing for flathead, among other species, on the northern Gold Coast.

Best Lures For Flathead