Andrew McGowan with a monster flatty from the north side (released)

Right on time, the dusky flathead have arrived for the Christmas holidays. 

Drifting down from the rivers, tributaries and feeder streams that flow into Port Stephens, the broad shouldered duskies are in prime condition and are ready to rumble right throughout the system. The Karuah River, Tilligerry Creek, North Arm Cove, Lemon Tree Passage, Corlette and Nelson Bay to the heads. 

Adela Matic, local girl, with her first flathead from
Long Wall at the Anchorage Breakwall

Reports are arriving thick and fast of thumpers attacking pilchards on ganged hooks and plastics.

Port Stephens provides perfect habitat for dusky flathead to laze in the shallows on the edge of the sea grass meadows waiting for a prawn, juvenile mullet or whiting to cruise past. Then Whammo! 

From a standing start very few fish can match the explosive power of the dusky. 

The secret with all fish, particularly flathead, is to take your time. Don’t let your excitement overtake your clear thinking. Easy does it. The most likely time to lose the fish is when it reaches the edge of the sand. The trick is to wash the fish onto the beach with the help of any little wave on offer. Once achieved its off to the kitchen or you may choose to let the bigger fish go.

Happy fishing for the festive season!

Fishing writer, author and radio presenter John “Stinker” Clarke can be heard weekly, throughout NSW, on popular ABC Regional Radio fishing program “The Big Fish”. Check him out on www.stinker.com.au or send an email to editor@manningcommunitynews.com with your information and questions. 

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