Like we said last time, fishing can be a lot trickier in the colder months, but we still take the aluminum fishing boat out in winter. We are lucky enough to enjoy relatively warm water temperatures in our neck of the woods and find that flathead can be caught all year round.
Flatheads adapt to colder temperatures and although they are most active when the water is around 15 – 19 degrees, they can be caught in much colder waters. We recommend you try and pick the warmest day for your fishing trip and look for the warmest water, even a couple of degrees will make a difference. Run-in tides tend to be warmer, and in our experience, you won’t usually find the flatheads biting before about 9am.
Flatheads get nervous about shadows, probably because they are hunted by sea eagles and a shadow can be a signal of impending doom. Overcast conditions help alleviate this problem as does fishing in murkier waters.
Talk to your local bait shop about what the flatties are feeding on to get an idea on which lures to use. When the flatheads are feasting on baitfish they will chase your lure from a distance, whereas if they are in sleep mode you may have to drop the lure right in front of them.
Trolling can work as it allows you to cover a lot more water, just be mindful of the shadow of your boat. Trolling will help you find any active fish that are around. Your Sounder will be a big help when trolling for flathead as it will help you detect the change between mud and sand as well as any baitfish patterns. Trolling rods should be quite soft and a four pound line should be all you need for fishing for flatties in winter. You can rig up four lures, one at around 50 metres away, one as close as around 10 metres and then others in between. A 4 to 6 kilo leader will work for this type of fishing. Try trolling around contours, flats and the edges of weed beds. Trolling is not recommended in windy conditions where a lot of weed is stirred up.
We wish you the best of luck flathead fishing this winter. Let us know how you go.