Welcome to the Flathead Fishing Guide Victoria. Flathead is 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. They’re quite easy to catch and can be targeted in a variety of waters. Flathead is 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. Ensure you always handle flathead carefully. They have spikes located behind their head which can give you a nasty sting and cause severe bleeding. 



Flathead has the scientific name of Platycephalidae. Legal-size limit of 27 cm, bag limit of 20 over 27cm. Different sizes 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 are estuaries such as Lake Tyers.

Watch our detailed video tutorial on how to catch flathead with bait, soft plastics and lures.

How to catch Flathead

Start by having a good look at our detailed guide on How to catch Flathead. Flathead is an all year round prospect and can be caught at any time of the day, That’s what makes them such a great species. 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 it’s important to keep your baits and your soft plastics on the bottom for as long as possible that’s where the flathead will be. Flathead isn’t too fussy and will happily take most lures and baits when in a boat we would recommend drifting until you find a good patch of them.

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, 2500 or 3000 size reel spooled with 8-15 lb monofilament line or braid. You can go lighter but flathead has bristly teeth that can scuff up your line. If your bait fishing then you can’t 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.

Bait to catch flathead

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

Lures to catch flathead

Flathead loves soft plastics. Just about any style or colour flathead they are not fussy. Our favourites include grubs, worm imitations, curly tails, paddle tails, minnow imitations. Just have to cover ground and get the soft plastic in their area. Other good options include deep diving hard body lures, Vibes and Blades. Watch our detailed video on the best lures and soft plastics for flathead

Best locations to catch flathead in Victoria

Great locations include

  • Lake tyres
  • Port Phillip Bay
  • Western Port
  • Gippsland Lakes
  • Mallacoota
  • Altona Pier
  • Portsea Pier
  • Werribee
  • Rosebud pier
  • Mount Martha rocks
  • Mornington Pier
  • Frankston Pier
  • Seaford Pier
  • St Kilda Pier
  • Kerferd road pier
  • Lagoon Pier
  • The Warmies
  • Williamstown
  • Lagoon Grammar
  • Cunningham Pier
  • St Leonards
Recreational fishing guide

You can obtain a free Victorian recreational fishing guide from the Victorian Fisheries Authorities

Additions or Corrections for this fish species

Thank you for reading the Flathead Fishing Guide Victoria. If you feel this guide is missing key information or needs any corrections. Then please let us know by emailing our team at enquiries@fishingmad.com.au with specific details in the email. Thank you