Bo’s Interview is ALF EPISODE #650.  Check out our Lure Fishing archives for more information on Flathead Fishing

Jumpinpin flathead fishing with Bo Sawyer

Bo Sawyer

Gold Coast Fishing Guide

Bo has fished the waters of the Gold Coast for around 30 years and has won or placed in multiple tournaments including being part of the winning the Gold Coast Flathead Classic team in 2022. These days, he’s a full-time fishing guide for Capn’s Charters, a Gold Coast guiding service that specialises in helping clients t catch fish on all kinds of lures, but especially soft plastics.

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Bo’s Tips and Tricks For Jumpinpin Flathead

  • Water levels are often more critical than tide phases. Watching the levels can allow an angler to fish several levels of drains in succession, extending the fishing session and maximising the time your lures spend in fishy territory. On the runout, high level drains carry water from the top of the sandbanks. Mid- level drains take water off the flats as the tide falls and low level drains convey water as the deeper flats dry out. Flathead use the mouths of these drains to feed.
  • In 2023 the higher tides seem to have fished best but in 2022 it was the exact opposite. Fish responses to tides can change over time, so take the time to figure out what they’re doing.
  • Target deeper water on smaller tides or on the turn of larger ides when the flow of water is much slower.
  • When fishing the shallows, flats with weed are good, especially during high tides. Mangrove edges and pressure points are also fish-holding structure
  • A bit of breeze is good and a freshwater flush doesn’t hurt too much either.
  • Learn when it’s best to stay put and wait for the fish to come to you and when to “run and gun” until you locate a patch of fish.
  • Bo finds that scent can be really useful for increasing his strike rate on smaller fish from 30-60cm, but for some reason using an unscented lure can be more effective on the really big fish.

Tackle for Catching Flathead:

  • Bo’s shallow water tackle is made up of a 3-6 kg fast action rod paired with a 2500 Okumua Precision series reel, 10 lb braid and a 15 lb leader.
  • For deeper water he opt for a 4-8 kg rod with a 4000 series reel. Combined with 20lb braid and 30lb leader, this outfit is ideal for teabagging and can handle the wide range of bycatch.

Lures and Techniques for Catching Flathead:

  • In the shallow water Bo favours 3.5-4 inch soft plastic paddle tails and in deeper water he’ll switch to 5-inch paddle tails or soft vibes. The smaller paddletails are rigged with a quarter-ounce weight and a 3/0 hook for shallow waters and a half-ounce weight with a 5/0 hook for deeper areas.
  • Diesel Minnows and Trick Swims are perfect for the shallows. Green lantern, pearl, gold rush, and motor oil are the main colors, based on water clarity.
  • ZMan Paddlers are a great choice for deeper water, with the Sexy Mullet and Electric Chicken colours being the most effective.

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1 Comment

  1. Leah Jet

    Been fishing with Capn Charters was well worth it.


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