Flathead Classic Winner And Gold Coast Fishing Guide
Ryan has fished the Gold Coast for his entire life and it recently paid off when he took out the 2022 Gold Coast Flathead Classic. He recently started his sportfishing guiding business Capn’s Charters and focusses on teaching beginners through to advanced anglers how to catch more fish on soft plastic lures.
Ryan’s Best Tips Northern Gold Coast Flathead
- During Autumn the flathead head into deeper water to spawn, but by early summer they are moving up onto the flats and into warm, shallow water. The best places to look for them are shallow areas and creek mouths where currents push bait and accumulate them. The key thing is to find bait – either fish or prawns.
- During the summer the fish will be dispersed, rather than schooled up, so don’t spend too long in one spot, give it 15 minutes or so and then move on to the next spot looking for more active fish.
- Ryan prefers to find fishing locations that are out of the wind and likes to fish 2 hours either side of the tide change. The periods 4-5 days either side of a full or new moon are particularly productive.
- Ryan is a big fan of using scent on his lures and will go for a UV scent if the lure doesn’t have UV colours.
Ryan’s Flathead Fishing Tackle
- Ryan has several rods rigged with different lures, ready to go. A 4-8lb Blade and Tails Rod with a 2500 size spin reel 10-12lb braided mainline and 10-12lb fluorocarbon leader is perfect for most flathead fishing and will handle all of the lures discussed here.
- A 6-12lb Blade and Tails Rod with a 3000-size reel, 15lb braid and 15-20lb fluorocarbon leader is great for fishing snaggier country or deeper water where heavier lures might be needed.
Ryan’s Best Flathead Fishing Lures
- A 4” ZMan Diesel Minnow is a great paddletail that is consistent on the flathead. Ryan rigs this lure on a ¼ to 3/8 oz TT headlocks jig heads in size 4/0.
- The Gobblers Lures 3.75” Paddletail is another great fish taker, rigged on similar weight jig heads as the Diesel Minnow.
- 4” ZMan Streakz in motor oil UV colour and rigged again on ¼ to 3/8 oz TT headlocks jig heads
- A soft prawn such as a Zerek Live Shrimp or ZMan EZ shrimp is great when fish are focused on prawns. The same jig heads apply as for all of the above lures.
- Ryan’s technique is to start with the paddletail, especially if baitfish are getting smashed. If he’s seeing lots of prawns then he’ll switch to a soft prawn and will use the more subtle Streakz if the fish aren’t responding.
- All lures are cast long, allowed to sink to the bottom and then worked back with slow hops followed by vigorous shakes of the rod as the lure sinks back down and then a very long pause. The importance of the pause can’t be overstated, the large majority of fish take the lure as it lies stationary on the bottom.
Ryan’s guiding business specialises in helping people interested in lure fishing the Northern Gold Coast. You can book a trip on 0410 590 009 or visit his website
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