Flathead local fish species facts and Limits. Flathead are the perfect bread and butter species and one of the most targeted fish found in the ocean and estuaries across Victoria. There easily accessible providing anglers with decent fighting qualities and they taste terrific one of our favourite eating fish. There quite easy to catch, and can be targeted in a variety of waters. Flathead are an ambush predator that like shallow sandy areas. They can be targeted in many different ways such as boat, kayak, land-based and bait or using lures and plastics.

Click here to see our detailed video guide on targeting flathead by lures and bait.

Scientific name:


Size & Limits: 

Legal size limit of 27 cm, bag limit of 20 over 27cm. Different size and limits apply to dusky flathead so please take some time to recognise the differences with a dusky.

Most flathead caught around Port Phillip Bay and Western Port will generally be between 25 and 40 cm. However flathead can grow much bigger, especially is estuaries such as Lake Tyers.

Bait Recommendations:

Pilchards, Mussels, Squid, Chicken, whitebait, Pipis, Blue Bait, Prawns

Lure Recommendations:

Flathead love soft plastics. Just about any style or colour flathead they are not fussy. Our favourites include grubs, worm imitations, curl tails, paddle tails, minnow imitations. Just have to cover ground and get the soft plastic in there area. Other good options include deep diving hard body lures, Vibes and Blades.


Handle flathead carefully. They have spikes located behind there head which can give you a nasty sting and cause severe bleeding.

Sand flats are a great place to target Flathead. They are ambush predators that will wait for smaller fish to swim buy for an easy meal. This is why its important to keep your baits and your soft plastics on the bottom for as long as possible thats where the flathead will be.

Rod/Rig setup:

Ideally target flathead using a light 2–4 or 3-5 kilo fishing rod. This is generally around 7 foot in length. The lighter the rod the more fun you can have. The rod will be Accompanied with a 2000-3000 size reel spooled with 8lb monofilament line or braid. You can go lighter but flathead have bristly teeth that can scuff up your line. If your bait fishing then you cant go past a simple running rig. A small bean sinker to swivel, then roughly 45cm of 6 pound leader to a size 6 long shank hook.

Locations to target flathead:

Lake tyres, Port Phillip Bay, Western Port, Gippsland Lakes, Mallacoota

Best times:

Flathead are an all year round prospect and can be caught at any time of the day, Thats what makes them such a great species.