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Summer Flats Fishing

Towards the end of spring and the start of summer is a great time of year to get the shorts on and start walking the sand flats. With the water warming to 18°-25° in summer your estuary specials like, Whiting, Bream and Flathead will be in the peak of their active feeding. With many small baitfish in the estuary systems this time of year will mean that it is time to throw some of those slightly larger profiled “surface lures” and “swim/glide baits”.

From using small floating stickbaits and poppers, another great lure in summer is the cicada lure. Throwing this small lure under the mangroves and wharfs can bring on an amazing bream bite. Slightly heavier outfits ranging from 15lbs – 30lbs is the go to for throwing those larger glide and swimbaits for that big flatty bite. Points of high flow and drop offs are your places to target and don’t be afraid to pepper the one spot if it looks good. It might take a few casts for that meter croc before it is sold on using its energy for that big feed.

With longer days that allow more afternoon light this for me is the best chance of picking out the best weather conditions. My ideal conditions for fishing the flats has to be the incoming tide with a light – medium wind disturbance, luckily we have consistent NE winds during summer. That first foot or two of water that come flowing across the sand beds is the time to start throwing. Water movement is always key to getting the fish fired up, and targeting those sandy, weedy edges is where to aim. Wading across the flats on an incoming tide will mean you will eventually be in relatively deep water so keeping your gear high and dry on your person is crucial.

Either a backpack or my preference the waist bag is the best means of carrying your gear across the flats. With the quick access and availability right on your waist, this always makes my session run a lot smoother. With many brands out there it’s important to get something that fits all your necessary tackle. From leader, lures, pliers, phone, wallet, and water bottle the following bags I can
vouch for fitting the lot.

One of many topwater whiting taken during an afternoon session with a howling nor-easter

Last light is a key time for stalking the flats

A tasty reward from an afternoon on the flats

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