How to fillet flathead

Flathead make a tasty meal, but being a bit different from other fish they present a bit of a challenge for newbie filleters.
Keep in mind that they have sharp spines on the gill covers, and dorsal spikes, and sharp teeth too.
Here’s one effective way to fillet them.

How to fillet flathead – Method 1

Put the fish on its back and cut across the body through the belly flap behind the pelvic fins.
Put the knife in the anus and cut lengthwise up to the first cut behind the pelvic fins.
Remove innards.
With the fish on its back cut through the fish each side of the backbone.
Put the flathead on its side and cut through along each side to the backbone.
Put the fish on its belly and cut through the back skin.
Separate the fillets from the backbone.
Run the knife down each side of the rib cage bones to separate the fillets from the ribs.
Skin part of the tail end of the fillet by running the knife between the skin and flesh with the skin-side down and the knife angled to the ground, then use the small flap of skin to pull the skin off the flesh.

How to fillet flathead – Method 2 (simpler)

Put the fish on its side and cut into the thick end of the fillet just behind the pelvic fins.
With the knife still in the fish, angle the knife to the back of the fish and proceed to cut the fillet along the backbone down almost to the tail, but leave the skin attached to the tail.
Pull the attached fillet away from the fish and start skinning the tail end of the fillet by running the knife between the skin and flesh with the skin-side down and the knife angled to the ground.
Once about 3cm of skin is off, grab the fillet and skin and carefully tear the skin off the flesh, this will take the bones with it and leave you with a fillet.

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Some external videos showing how to fillet flathead are featured below.

How to fillet flathead

How to fillet flathead

How to fillet flathead

Port Victoria, South Australia

Yorke Peninsula council-run camp sites
Yorke Peninsula council-run camp sites
Port Victoria marine sanctuaries
Port Victoria marine sanctuaries

Port Victoria tides
Port Turton tides
Port Hughes tides
SA fishing regulations
SA marine parks
York Peninsula camp sites in Innes National Park
York Peninsula camp sites run by the council

NOTE: Special snapper rules apply in South Australia – more info here.

Port Victoria is a popular fishing holiday destination on the west side of South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula, about 190km from Adelaide.

The town has a sheltered all-tide boat ramp and a long L-shaped jetty.

Wardang Island lies 10km offshore, providing relatively protected waters for boaters to fish.

Outside the island the seas are more exposed and suitable only for larger boats.

The town jetty produces squid, snook, gar, chow, zebra fish and tommy ruffs. The best fishing is at night.

Summer snook are a popular jetty target, using lures or bait under the lights.

Boaters find plenty of snapper, spotted whiting and blue swimmer crabs in the shallow grounds around the island.

Snapper are best in summer and whiting best in winter.

Fishing within the bay usually provides enough fish to keep boaters happy, but note the bay’s large sanctuary zone.

Sweep, gar, tommy ruffs, snook, red mullet, slimy mackerel and chow are caught on the shallow offshore grounds.

Berley works well from a boat, but keep in mind that big white sharks are regularly seen in this area.

The waters in this region are shallow and often very clear, so it pays to fish with the lightest possible tackle.

Flounder are common in the bay and flounder spearing is a popular pastime.

Wauraltee Beach to the south of Port Victoria has coastal camping by 4WD track.

The low-energy shallow beaches in this region produce mainly flathead, flounder, whiting, salmon trout and yelloweye mullet.

Spotted whiting are occasionally caught from the beach where the seagrass beds come closest to the beach, but yellowfin and silver whiting are the usual catch.

Fish the beaches at high tide.

To the north, Balgowan has an exposed boat ramp.

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Email us any corrections, additions, pictures or video here.

Some external videos filmed off Port Victoria are featured below.

Port Victoria whiting

Port Victoria whiting and squid

Diving Stenhouse Bay and Wedge Island

Port Victoria white shark

Port Victoria by 4WD

Port Victoria’s Wauraltee Beach by 4WD

Port Victoria underwater footage

Murray Bridge, South Australia

The mighty Murray River spans three states. Image adapted from SA WATER online map.
The mighty Murray River spans three states. Image adapted from SA WATER online map.

Murray River National Park SA
Murray River flows in SA
Murray River and other SA boat ramps
SA fishing regulations

By former Murray River fisheries officer TREVOR SIMMONDS

Murray Bridge is the largest riverside town on the lower South Australian section of the Murray River.

It has good boat launching facilities.

The many shallow lagoons in this area are great locations to target big carp.

This area is an easy day trip from Adelaide.

While small carp are plentiful, occasional good callop and redfin surprise fishermen.

Like Mannum, willow trees have been a problem here, restricting bankside access.

Almost all fish caught from Murray Bridge downstream to the lower Murray lakes have a yellow tinge, and the red on redfin perch can appear almost non existent.

If buying a shrimp trap or yabby pot, be sure it complies with SA rules here.

For bait, earthworms work well, but you can’t beat locally caught live shrimp. Try a live bony bream for cod.

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Email any corrections, additions, pictures or video here.

Some external videos filmed on the Murray River are featured below.

Murray River callop fishing

iFish Murray cod electrofishing (research)

Murray River carp fishing

Murray River bait fishing

Murray cod kayak fishing

Lure fishing for Murray River callop (yellowbelly)

Mannum, South Australia

The mighty Murray River spans three states. Image adapted from SA WATER online map.
The mighty Murray River spans three states. Image adapted from SA WATER online map.

Murray River National Park SA
Murray River flows in SA
Murray River and other SA boat ramps
SA fishing regulations

By former Murray River fisheries officer TREVOR SIMMONDS

Mannum is a town on the lower South Australian section of the Murray River.

It has good boat launching facilities.

This area can produce callop, cod, redfin and yabbies, but there is usually better fishing to be had at locations further upstream.

The riverbanks from Walkers Flat downstream have historically been infested by the introduced willow tree.

There has been good fishing had by boat among the willows, mainly when the trees have full foliage in summer.

But where there are willows, bank access is restricted.

If buying a shrimp trap or yabby pot, be sure it complies with SA rules here.

For bait, earthworms work well, but you can’t beat locally caught live shrimp. Try a live bony bream for cod.

Explore Renmark accommodation



Booking.com

Email any corrections, additions, pictures or video here.

Some external videos filmed on the Murray River are featured below.

Murray River callop fishing

iFish Murray cod electrofishing (research)

Murray River carp fishing

Murray River bait fishing

Murray cod kayak fishing

Lure fishing for Murray River callop (yellowbelly)

Walkers Flat, South Australia

The mighty Murray River spans three states. Image adapted from SA WATER online map.
The mighty Murray River spans three states. Image adapted from SA WATER online map.

Murray River National Park SA
Murray River flows in SA
Murray River and other SA boat ramps
SA fishing regulations

By former Murray River fisheries officer TREVOR SIMMONDS

The area of the Murray River around Walkers Flat and the town of Nildotte produce some good fishing.

Nildotte has good boat launching facilities.

The river here produces some big callop.

The lagoons across the river produce bag limits of yabbies, especially during summer after a flood, on a falling river.

Carp are almost always present and fun to catch on light tackle.

If buying a shrimp trap or yabby pot, be sure it complies with SA rules here.

For bait, earthworms work well, but you can’t beat locally caught live shrimp. Try a live bony bream for cod.

Explore Renmark accommodation



Booking.com

Email any corrections, additions, pictures or video here.

Some external videos filmed on the Murray River are featured below.

Murray River callop fishing

iFish Murray cod electrofishing (research)

Murray River carp fishing

Murray River bait fishing

Murray cod kayak fishing

Lure fishing for Murray River callop (yellowbelly)

Swan Reach, South Australia

The mighty Murray River spans three states. Image adapted from SA WATER online map.
The mighty Murray River spans three states. Image adapted from SA WATER online map.

Murray River National Park SA
Murray River flows in SA
Murray River and other SA boat ramps
SA fishing regulations

By former Murray River fisheries officer TREVOR SIMMONDS

Swan Reach is a great Murray River fishing spot for Adelaide day-trippers.

It has good boat launching facilities.

Swan Reach is an easy Adelaide day trip but this section of the river is also scenic enough for an extended boating holiday.

Fishing at Swan Reach can be productive for callop, carp and yabbies, with the area upstream producing the best fishing.

If buying a shrimp trap or yabby pot, be sure it complies with SA rules here.

For bait, earthworms work well, but you can’t beat locally caught live shrimp. Try a live bony bream for cod.

Explore Renmark accommodation



Booking.com

Email any corrections, additions, pictures or video here.

Some external videos filmed on the Murray River are featured below.

Murray River callop fishing

iFish Murray cod electrofishing (research)

Murray River carp fishing

Murray River bait fishing

Murray cod kayak fishing

Lure fishing for Murray River callop (yellowbelly)

Blanchetown, South Australia

The mighty Murray River spans three states. Image adapted from SA WATER online map.
The mighty Murray River spans three states. Image adapted from SA WATER online map.

Murray River National Park SA
Murray River flows in SA
Murray River and other SA boat ramps
SA fishing regulations

By former Murray River fisheries officer TREVOR SIMMONDS

Blanchetown is on the South Australian section of the Murray River.

It is located next to the river’s Lock One.

There are good boat launching facilities.

Blanchetown is a great place for Adelaide day-trippers to fish the Murray.

This section of river often has good callop fishing.

Carp can always be had from the bank immediately below the lock boundary, and these are often big hard-fighting fish.

The river downstream from Blanchetown is scenic, with spectacular cliffs and good callop fishing.

The river further downstream fishes well for callop, especially in the area of Stockwell Pump.

Vehicle access, bank launching and camping is available along the Blanchetown-Swan Reach road to an area immediately opposite the pumping station.

If buying a shrimp trap or yabby pot, be sure it complies with SA rules here.

For bait, earthworms work well, but you can’t beat locally caught live shrimp. Try a live bony bream for cod.

Explore Renmark accommodation



Booking.com

Email any corrections, additions, pictures or video here.

Some external videos filmed on the Murray River are featured below.

Murray River callop fishing

iFish Murray cod electrofishing (research)

Murray River carp fishing

Murray River bait fishing

Murray cod kayak fishing

Lure fishing for Murray River callop (yellowbelly)

Morgan, South Australia

The mighty Murray River spans three states. Image adapted from SA WATER online map.
The mighty Murray River spans three states. Image adapted from SA WATER online map.

Murray River National Park SA
Murray River flows in SA
Murray River and other SA boat ramps
SA fishing regulations

By former Murray River fisheries officer TREVOR SIMMONDS

Morgan is a historic town on the South Australian section of the Murray River.

It has good boat launching facilities.

Being close to Adelaide it is quite popular, and you will find it more difficult to find a piece of river to yourself here than towns further upstream.

The Morgan and Cadell sections of the river are productive for callop and carp, with occasional cod, both upstream and downstream of the towns.

Yabbies are usually about in big numbers in summer, particularly in the small creeks that enter the main stream.

Downstream from Morgan, approaching Blanchetown, there are numerous lagoons and billabongs that are worth a fish for callop, look for some submerged snags.

If buying a shrimp trap or yabby pot, be sure it complies with SA rules here.

For bait, earthworms work well, but you can’t beat locally caught live shrimp. Try a live bony bream for cod.

Explore Renmark accommodation



Booking.com

Email any corrections, additions, pictures or video here.

Some external videos filmed on the Murray River are featured below.

Murray River callop fishing

iFish Murray cod electrofishing (research)

Murray River carp fishing

Murray River bait fishing

Murray cod kayak fishing

Lure fishing for Murray River callop (yellowbelly)

Hogwash Bend, South Australia

The mighty Murray River spans three states. Image adapted from SA WATER online map.
The mighty Murray River spans three states. Image adapted from SA WATER online map.

Murray River National Park SA
Murray River flows in SA
Murray River and other SA boat ramps
SA fishing regulations

By former Murray River fisheries officer TREVOR SIMMONDS

Hogwash Bend is a good fishing area on the South Australian section of the Murray River.

It is accessible by road along the Waikerie-Cadell road. There is bank launching.

It is a popular spot for camping.

The many creeks upstream and downstream are productive for yabbies in summer, particularly during a falling river.

Callop are usually in good numbers in this area.

If buying a shrimp trap or yabby pot, be sure it complies with SA rules here.

For bait, earthworms work well, but you can’t beat locally caught live shrimp. Try a live bony bream for cod.

Explore Renmark accommodation



Booking.com

Email any corrections, additions, pictures or video here.

Some external videos filmed on the Murray River are featured below.

Murray River callop fishing

iFish Murray cod electrofishing (research)

Murray River carp fishing

Murray River bait fishing

Murray cod kayak fishing

Lure fishing for Murray River callop (yellowbelly)

Waikerie, South Australia

The mighty Murray River spans three states. Image adapted from SA WATER online map.
The mighty Murray River spans three states. Image adapted from SA WATER online map.

Murray River National Park SA
Murray River flows in SA
Murray River and other SA boat ramps
SA fishing regulations

By former Murray River fisheries officer TREVOR SIMMONDS

Waikerie is a town on the South Australian section of the Murray River.

It has good boat launching facilities.

Lock Two is located downstream.

The main river between Lock Two and Overland Corner upstream is very productive for callop, carp, cod and yabbies.

Access is available for bank fishing along many tracks that branch from the main road between Kingston-on-Murray to Waikerie.

Good fishing can be had from the bank in the township, but boat fishing upstream for about 2km is better, fishing close to the bank.

Telegraph Cliffs further upstream is definitely worth a try for cod and callop, although a boat is necessary.

Downstream from Waikerie on the floodplain there is a bank launch on the first big bend and this will be one of the closest approaches to fish an area called Broken Cliff, which is a popular spot for callop.

For bank fishermen there is also an opportunity to fish Broken Cliff as it is accessible by crossing on the ferry and following the road on the northern side of the river.

A boat launch is feasible in this area during summer months.

Further downstream is Lock Two, fishos should fish try for about 1km downstream as this area is one of the most productive areas on the river.

The following boat ramps are located in the Loxton/Waikerie District …

Waikerie Apex Park Boat Ramp
Waikerie Lions Park Boat Ramp
Qualco Boat Ramp
Ramco Boat Ramp
Holder Boat Ramp
Paisley Boat Ramp
Kingston-on-Murray Boat Ramp
Moorook Boat Ramp
Loxton Aquatic Club Boat Ramp
Milich Landing Boat Ramp
Rilli Reserve Boat Ramp

A light spinning outfit is ideal for general lure and bait fishing in the river. If you are targeting murray cod you might need something heavier, but 6kg line is enough for most river cod.

If buying a shrimp trap or yabby pot, be sure it complies with SA rules here.

For bait, earthworms work well, but you can’t beat locally caught live shrimp. Try a live bony bream for cod.

Explore Renmark accommodation



Booking.com

Email any corrections, additions, pictures or video here.

Some external videos filmed on the Murray River are featured below.

Murray River callop fishing

iFish Murray cod electrofishing (research)

Murray River carp fishing

Murray River bait fishing

Murray cod kayak fishing

Lure fishing for Murray River callop (yellowbelly)