Fish Species Of North Queensland
As the name implies these fish have a distinctive flat head and profile which they use to great effect, lying up in sandy patches and waiting for their prey to come to them on the tides.
Two main types inhabit our tidal estuaries and river mouths, the Dusky Flathead and the Tiger Flathead. Both will readily take shallow running lures cast around their preferred lies, sandy or mud bottom, weed beds and small draining channels.
They offer a surprisingly spirited fight on light sportfishing tackle and their propensity to lie up in the shallows means they have no where to go but away from the angler, fast. Bait fishing, drifting small sardines, mud herring and mullet as well as prawns down the current to any suitable area is also effective. Fly fishing for flathead is a growing sector of the sport and large streamer flies, dahlbergs, clouser minnows and shrimp patterns will produce good results.
Best activity is seen during the cooler months from May to September here in the tropics, but larger specimens to 10lb are probably female breeders and should be returned to the water unharmed.
Flathead are not a primary target here in the Cairns region, probably due to the fact that we have an abundance of other species to catch, but none the less are good sport and excellent eating. Size limits apply.