Flathead are up there as one of the most sought after species within Western Australia, especially for land based anglers. Usually hiding in the shallows, these fast moving predators will strike out at moving prey and once hooked, they put up a great fight! To top it off, Flathead are also a nice eating fish too.

A decent Flathead caught by Ben @ Northern Addicts

Where can you catch flathead in WA?

When fishing from the shore, Flathead are commonly found along the flats of sand bars, gathered around the edge of drop offs or hiding along the edges of weed beds.

There are a number of great areas in and around Perth where you can catch Flathead with a popular area being the Swan River.

Swan River (Perth)

You’ll find Flathead throughout Swan River, however some known spots for catching Flathead are:

  • Along the Matilda Bay foreshore
  • Pelican Point Jetty (near Matilda Bay)
  • Mosman Park Foreshore
  • Point Walter sandbar
  • Foreshore areas around the bridges within the Swan River (Canning Bridge, Causeway Bridge and Narrows Bridge)
Dixon”s fishing – chasing Bar Tail Flathead on the Swan River

Check out our Fishing in Swan River page for more info >

Perth & Surrounds

  • Mandurah rivers, inlets and estuaries
  • Coastal beaches
  • Off jetties and marina walls

When is the best time to catch Flathead?

As Flathead like to come in hunting the shallows, the incoming tide is the best time to fish for them. Therefore if you’re fishing from the shore, aim to fish around an hour or so after the tide has turned as this is when you’ll find Flathead coming in and moving through the shallows looking for a feed.

How to catch Flathead

Flathead can be caught via a number of fishing methods, this includes the use of bait, soft plastics, lures and even fly.

There are a number of baits that work well when fishing for Flathead. These include:

  • River prawns
  • Fine strips of squid
  • Blood worms
  • Small fish such as white bait or blue bait

However, if you’re fishing in the Swan River with baits then you may struggle to get past the masses of blowies so be sure to have some soft plastics or lures on hand.

If you’re fishing with soft plastics, lures or even flys then aim to use something that mimics their natural prey. For example, I find soft plastics that resemble blood worms work fantastic when retrieved slowly bouncing all the bottom.

A great video showing some nice flathead being caught fishing from the Swan River

What gear to use

When you’re fishing for Flathead light gear is the way to go. When fishing from the shore I usually go with a light 3-5kg spin outfit with a slightly heavier leader as their teeth, even though small, are relatively sharp. If I’m fishing from a boat then I usually drift fish with a light bait caster setup.

Cooking Flathead

Can you eat Flathead? Yes, Flathead are a great eating fish. Usually filleted, Flathead can be pan fried, chucked on the barbie or baked in the oven. No matter which method you choose to cook your Flathead you won’t be disappointed!

How to fillet, skin and cook Flathead

Rules and Regulations for Flathead

The minimum size for Flathead is 30cm with the bag limit being 8 per angler. Before you head out fishing for Flathead ensure you visit WA’s fisheries website for the latest Flathead rules and regulations.

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