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Home » Tournaments-and-Events » Reel It In Flatty Challenge 2022

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Reel It In Flatty Challenge 2022

By Max Boothey

With 25 knots of winds and 120mm of rain on the forecast for the comp weekend we steered clear of our usual camping option and went for a cabin at Tipplers instead.

Day 1 was the pick of the days. We caught our bag of five fish each in the first 2 hours of fishing, trolling the 1-meter Tango Shads in the shallow water along the weed edges. While we were happy to fill our scoreboard, we had 1 legal fish between us so far.

Then it was time to look for upgrades and hoping for some good scorers.

We moved out towards the Jumpinpin bar with the low tide to try and find some good water and bait and we were lucky to find just that. We pulled up at a ledge and dad said, "I'm feeling it for a big one" as he pointed out some herring jumping nervously.

I cast my lure towards the commotion. I must have landed it on the fish's head, because the next thing I felt was a "Boothy's tick" in the line, then it was game on!

It was a mad scramble with the fish coming to the surface desperate to shake the hook. The anchor rope was in just the wrong spot (we don't have an electric) but with a healthy dose of good luck and a clean net shot the big girl came on board with much excitement and cheering. I was lucky enough that this 82cm croc won me biggest fish by a Junior in Queensland and biggest on a Wilson product for the comp.

The McArthy 4inch paddle tail in glow fished off the 6-20 Blade 'n' Tails and ATC 3000 is the perfect big flathead set up and handled this fish well!

Then it was off to the edges for some more trolling using the Mud Gudgeon Tango Shad and getting the results. Dad caught a 73 and 60 in the first 2 runs and it was well and truly on!

For the start of the run-in tide we fished around the Pin bar to get the first of the clean water and found some good scoring fish on the 3.5" Flat Shad in FAB (Fat Betty) up in the shallow water. With the lighter lures I was casting them on the 4-8lb Blade 'n' Tails for long casts with the nice whippy tip but still enough back bone to hook a big fish.

I ended day 1 with an 82, a few 40s and still one under size, which I was very keen to improve on. Dad had a 73, 60 and 3 40cm flatties so he was happy.

Day 2 was the worst weather I have fished in - 25knots and pouring rain. Dad and I both agreed that the Wilson waders were the best bring of the trip. We did not take the waders, or our rain coats off the whole of day 2.

We started trolling the shallows but without as much success. We saw some monsters, but it was sightseeing only as we could not get them to bite.

Day 2 was a lot about moving and lure changes. We fished everything from 10m down to 10cm but only had 9 undersize fish to show for our efforts.

On top of this it then started to absolutely bucket with rain to the point that we could barely see the channel markers to make it home and the rain felt like hail stinging our faces.

We decided to call it a trip and packed the cabin up. Dad was running things down to the boat and I was staying with the boat and also having a few casts searching for my elusive upgrade! Surprisingly, I landed 3 fish in filthy water after we had chased the clean water all day and got that all important upgrade with a 50cm fish!

The weather was tough but any day on the water with dad is a good one and we were lucky to boat a few good fish in the appalling weather.

A huge thanks and shout out to charter captain and fishing coach Ross McCubbin from Lucky Strike Charters for teaching me everything I know about flathead fishing. His help and advice has been invaluable over the last few years.

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