Flats Fishing On The Capricorn Coast
When it comes to flats fishing, the Capricorn coast is world class destination. There are many sand flats protected from the prevailing south-east trade winds, Curtis Island on the Capricorn Coast is a classic example.
If sight fishing in shallow clear water is what you’re into, there is absolutely no better location! Feel the palpitations as you watch GTs, queenfish, permit and golden trevally eat your lure or fly.
This is flats fishing at its absolute best.
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When To Fish The Flats
Flats fishing is at its breathtaking best from April through to October. Sometimes we’ll witness heart stopping action as queenfish and GTs chase bait fish into the shallows. Other times they’ll be resting up on the sand flats during their journey past this spectacular section of coastline.
North around Curtis Island the winter months are more consistent. From April to October the onshore Northerly winds drop out and the water clears. That’s when sight casting to GTs, queenfish and permit is red-hot – and often in water less than knee deep.
Flats Fishing With Spinning Gear
One of the great things about fishing these flats (aside from an incredible array of fish) is the ability to fish a little lighter. A quality 15kg spinning combo is a good choice, handling GTs and big golden trevally with ease.
And even though 40kg GT’s are a good possibility, the lack of structure means you’ll often land them on a 15kg line class. It’s really something special.
In terms of lures, small to medium stick-baits are a good choice for most species on the flats. The GT’s tend to be a little more spooky on the flats, so definitely lean towards smaller surface lures than you’d normally toss at a big GT. Single inline hooks work best, and keep them razor sharp to give yourself the best chance of setting the hook.
Plastics also work well on the flats, rigged as light as possible for the wind and current. And don;t forget to throw a few metal slugs into the kit, they work wonders on tuna, mackerel and trevally at certain times.
Flats Fishing On The Fly
Fly fishing the flats is a special experience! And once again, the lack of rock or reef structure allows a welcome light-line fishing opportunity.
A 12 weight rod is perfect if GT’s are your main target. For queenfish, permit and golden trevally a 10wt rod is more commensurate, and an 8 wt can be used when the fish are smaller. You’ll be scrambling for the heavier gear if larger fish turn up though, as we recently experienced!
Large arbor reels, plenty of backing and a sink tip line will keep you well in the hunt.
Deceiver style flies on 5/0 and 6/0 hooks are about right for the GT’s, with smaller sizes of this pattern and crease flies being perfect for the queenfish. For the permit and golden trevally you’ll want to load up on shrimp and crab patterns as well as some clousers.
Nathan & John’s Top 5 Tips For Flats Fishing In The Capricorn Coast Region
- You have to be stealthy when flats fishing in clear, shallow water.
- Check the tides – best water clarity for sight fishing is on the end of the neaps.
- Wear a pair of quality polarised sunglasses, so you can see the fish in the water more easily.
- Down size lures compared to fishing deeper water – less bling and flash and more natural colours.
- The less weight on flies the better – even the plop of a fly with lead eyes can be enough to spook fish when flats fishing.
Flats Fishing With Guided Fishing Down Under
Saltwater flats fishing is my favourite style of fishing, and I really enjoy sharing the excitement with others.
With species like GTs, Queenfish, Permit, Golden Trevally, Tusk Fish and Blue Bastards you really do have an interesting mix.
Sight fishing in shallow clear water in a spectacular environment is what it is all about, and our 5.5metre boats were designed with flats fishing in mind. Dugong and Humpback Whales are often seen when out on these flats, so anyone booking a flats fishing charter with us will have an experience to remember!
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