Fishing Journalist, Publisher And Presenter
Scott has been a NSW North Coast fishing personality for decades, has written for multiple magazines, founded and published the former “Fish Life” magazine and been a frequent TV and DVD fishing presenter. Not to mention that his fishing photography has inspired too many anglers to count! These days Scott is taking a break from publishing to focus on his agricultural and working dog businesses….. but he’ll never stop fishing!
Scott’s Top Flathead Swimbaiting Tips
- For more details on finding flathead, the best bite windows and general detail, please refer to Episode 271 where Scott covers his approach to glidebaiting Nambucca flathead.
- Swim baiting is similar to glide baiting, but there are some subtle differences. Lures typically range from 110mm to 180mm in size, but even up to around 200mm is not too big – though you’ll need more sturdy gear to cast them.
- Swimbaiting is usually done in water of less than 3m depth and very often in water less than 1 metre deep. Scott prefers slow sinking swimbaits that he can work just below the water surface, but flathead will also take a well presented surface lure.
- Long, wind assisted casts are a must so as not to spook fish, but don’t be concerned at the loud slapping noise of large swimbaits flopping onto the water surface, Scott reckons it often attracts the attention of the flathead.
- Swimbaits have oodles of action at very slow speeds, so a very slow roll is a good retrieve to start with. Adding pauses or using small, smooth draws with the rod followed by winding the line back increases the deadliness.
- Sometimes large flathead will glide behind your swimbait and refuse to take it. Scott has found that pausing might help, especially is it’s a surface lure. He theorises that the lethargic follows and refusals might be when the water temperature is too low.
- Big flathead were taken on surface swimbaits right through winter in 2020 but Scott finds the warmer months bring poddy mullet and prawns and that the warmer water makes the flathead more aggressive.
Scott’s Swimbaiting Tackle For Flathead
- For larger swimbaits Scott typically uses his barra baitcast gear, 20lb braid and 20lb fluorocarbon leader. This is overkill for flathead, but anything less struggles to cast the large lures
- For smaller swimbaits Scott will use standard mid-range bream gear. A 2-4kg spin rod with a 1500 size reel, 6-10lb braid and 10-12lb leader is perfect.
Scott’s Glidebaits For Flathead Fishing
- Gancraft Jointed Claw in (178mm or 148mm) is a single jointed swimbait that is very effective and widely used. The single joint gives them a less sexy action than lures with more joints, but they are deadly on flathead.
- The Westin Hypoteez 44g swimbait with a pearl white underbelly is a great option and closely resembles a whiting.
- The 142mm Biovex Swimbait with the pearl white underbelly is a favourite. Scott like to apply the Biovex Weight Seal self-adhesive zinc weights to make the lure work just below the water surface.