Crossy’s Hot Tips For Surface Flathead Fishing

  • Catching flathead on topwater lures is no fluke and it can be done consistently by those who take the time to figure it out. Long casting is really important for covering lots of water, so light gear and long rods rule.
  • Fish surface lures for flathead slowly and with lots of pauses.
  • A power pole is a great way to fish the flats because it saves battery on the electric motor and allows a stealthy approach.
  • Common beginner mistakes are to fish too heavy and to not fish shallow enough. Get a good pair of Polaroid glasses and don’t be afraid to throw the lure into skinny water of just a few inches deep.
  • Flathead can sometimes seem clumsy when they’re taking lures off the surface due to the location of their eyes, which means they have a blind spot when they approach the lure. Flathead will often try and take the lure from the side because it gives them a bigger profile and make the lure easier to line up for ambush.
  • You’ll find flathead along the dropoffs, but the flathead pro’s love to fish the top of the flats around the top of the tide.
  • If you find a piece of structure such as a mangrove root, crab pot or piece of timber the flathead won’t be tight to the structure. Pieces of structure attract and hold baitfish and the flathead will sit back 20-30 feet picking individual baitfish from the edge of the school rather than charge in to the structure and scare the whole school.
  • Use your eyes. Watch the water if you’re fishing from a boat or kayak, allow the current to determine your path. This will carry you to where the fish are waiting. If you get a few fish in a particular area, drift well past, then start the motor, cross to the other side so as not to spook the fish, then motor upstream for another pass.
  • The prime bites occur in early November, usually in the mornings when there is a light breeze coming from behind.

Crossy’s Surface Flathead Fishing Tackle

  • 2-4lb braided mainline with a short bite leader of 14lb fluorocarbon is perfect. Keep the leader short as fluorocarbon sinks and can dampen the action of surface lures. Avoid snaps and swivels.
  • When fishing the Crossfire 110 (and most other flathead lures) most light estuary combo’s will work. Crossy uses a Nano Cranks 7’2″ spin rod with a 2500 size Shimano Ci4 reel.
  • When fishing the Crossfire 195 a heavier outfit is requires a heavier outfit. Crossy is still trying to find the best outfit and is currently trying a Dobyns 703 SF Fury (medium action) and will couple it with a 3000 size reel, 10lb braid and a short 20lb fluorocarbon leader.

Crossy’s Best Flathead Fishing Lures

  • The Crossfire 110 is a great lure for prospecting the flats for flathead and is Crossy’s biggest topwater fish catcher. To fish this lure, cast it long and give it three good jabs to move it forwards and beneath the water in three pulses, then wait for the lure to float back to the surface, give it a few seconds to sit stationary, then repeat. The pause is critical, flathead will follow and position themselves before hitting the lure while it’s stationary. During the pauses, watch closely for shadows or signs of following fish and if they are hesitant to bite give the floating lure a little shimmer using light rod tip action.
  • The Crossfire 195 is an great lure to use when trophy fish are around. It’s fished the same way as the 110 but can take a little more practice to perfect. It’s also requires slightly heavier gear to cope with the extra casting weight of the lure.
  • The Stiffy Top Dog is a great surface lure for both whiting and flathead on the surface but is no longer available – check eBay and online for obscure sources! The Molix Punitor 85 is a great surface lure for flathead also.
  • A Rio Prawn isn’t a bad choice nfor east coast flathead fishing either.


Crossy Fishing BioSimon Cross

Topwater Flathead Guru and Lure Maker

In recent years Crossy has become something of a legend as a pioneer of topwater flathead fishing and the creator of one of the best surface lures for lizard luring. Crossy’s understanding of flathead and how they hunt is second to none!

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