EPISODE 638 Is an inspiring interview with Guy McConnell. Check out our archives for more information on Flathead Fishing!

Guy McConnell Flathead Fishing

Guy McConnell

Gold Coast Sponsored Angler

Guy is a regular competitor at the Gold Coast Flathead Classic tournament and is usually at the pointy end of the contest. Living at Jacobs Well, he fishes all over the Gold Coast for all manner of species, but the humble flathead is one he knows very well.

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Guy’s Gold Coast Flathead Tips

  • The Gold Coast, specifically around Jacob’s Well and the Jumpinpin area, offers diverse fishing spots with channels, feeder channels, creeks, flats, and deep waters, providing a variety of structures for flathead habitation.
  • From September to November or December, flathead tend to congregate at the entrances of water bodies like the Jumpinpin and breed, moving towards the fronts and deeper areas during this time.
  • Choose areas based on the tides; focus on deeper entrances and holes around new and full moons, while flats and drains are productive during other times. Explore areas with structures like timber and rocks that attract bait and consequently, flathead.
  • Flathead are more active during tides with noticeable water movement, favouring the outgoing or incoming tides. Fishing during lower tides in exposed areas with visible drains and feeder channels can yield success, but an incoming tide can fish well too.
  • On bigger tides it’s best to focus efforts in shallower water where there is less current, where lighter jig heads and lures can be effective.
  • Thoroughly work a chosen fishing spot, covering a small area, understanding the layout and potential fish-holding structures. Remain patient and persistent in a spot, avoiding excessive spot hopping which may lead to wasted fishing time.
  • Early morning on low tides is prime for flathead fishing, but they can be caught throughout the day. No specific restrictions on light conditions; adapt techniques to the time of day and tide movement.
  • Freshwater influx due to rain can affect flathead behaviour; early-year fresh flushes may push fish towards entrances, while excessive freshwater during breeding season can alter their distribution and behaviour.
  • Breeding behavior of flathead is influenced by salt content in the water. Spawning tends to occur in areas with optimal salinity, prompting consideration of saltwater influx when planning fishing trips during the breeding period.

Guy’s Flathead Tackle

  • For flathead fishing on the Gold Coast, a versatile tackle setup is essential. A recommended standard setup is a 7 foot rod with a line rating of 6 to 12 pounds, coupled with 10 to 12 pound mainline and a leader ranging from 10 to 20 pounds, adjusted based on fish size.
  • When fishing deeper waters and employing heavier lures like big vibes or large plastics with over an ounce of lead, it’s advisable to switch to a heavier setup resembling barra-style gear. This entails a minimum 20-pound mainline and 20 to 30-pound leader to effectively handle the lures and fishing technique while providing the necessary action to the lure.

Guy’s Top Flathead Lures

  • 65 Nomad Mad Scad Autotune: Ideal for shallower waters up to two meters in depth, matching the hatch of bait fish. Employ a slow twitching retrieve to simulate a natural shimmy and wiggle. Suitable for working down to about two-meter depth.
  • Four-Inch Paddle Tail Soft Plastic (e.g., Molex 375 or RT Shad): Versatile and suitable for various depths and conditions, making it an excellent all-rounder. Rotate through a variety of soft plastics and techniques to figure out what’s effective on the day. Retrieve with hops and twitches, imitating the movement of prey and keeping it close to bottom with the minimum jig weight possible.
  • Nomad Vertrex Swim (75mm): Effective for catching larger flathead, in deeper waters up to five meters or even beyond. Use a slow draw up with the lure vibrating on the way up and swaying on the drop. Opt for a lighter leader (around 12 pounds) or use a small bite tip for protection against being cut off. Bites are usually gentle taps, so be prepared to set the hook at the slightest twitch of the line.
  • Nomad Vertrex Maxx: Effective in depths exceeding five meters, sinking quickly and providing strong vibrations. Opt for larger sizes (95mm or 110mm) for deeper waters and fish in a similar fashion to the Vertex Swim, with short draws and drops keeping the lure close t the bottom.
  • Nomad Squidtrex: A surprise flathead killer! The squidtrex is deadly on flathead in deeper water, choose the smaller sizes and fish in a similar fashion to other soft vibes.

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