Bar Tailed Flathead | Platycephalus indicus

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Bar Tailed Flathead | Platycephalus indicus

Bar Tailed Flathead
The Bar Tailed Flathead is also known as Flagtail Flathead. The Bar Tailed Flatheads body colour is generally an all over brown and heavily spotted. However due to their ambush nature flathead caught in sandy areas are a lighter brown with up to eight light bars across the back, whereas flathead caught in a muddy habitats are a darker brown with a greenish appearance and darker bars across the back progressing to a white under belly. The Bar Tailed Flatheads most distinct feature is the tail fin which is white with three distinct black bars crossing horizontally and a yellow patch at the top, Bar Tailed Flathead can grow up to 80cm, but is commonly caught up to 50cm.

The Bar Tailed Flathead is found all along the Queensland coastline, Northern Territory and Western Australia in tropical and sub tropical waters.

The Bar Tailed Flathead prefers sand area’s the best places to target them are channels, sand flats, sand area’s between weed beds and sand areas in and around reefs.

Best Fishing Times
Bar Tailed Flathead are caught in larger numbers during the spring and summer months. The best bite is normally at sunrise and sunset with the changing tide and quieter during the middle of the day.

Light Tackle
Line: 2kg to 4kg recommended and up to 8 when fishing in and a round reef areas.
Best Rod: Fiberglass or graphite blank up to 2.1 meters long with a line class 6kg and a cast weight of 30 grams
Best Reel: Totally preference based whether it be over head, side cast or thread line with a recommended top line weight of 8kg on the spool.

The Bar Tail Flathead is an ambush predator and will readily take a lure that passes near there lie the strike is normally fast and aggressive. Favorite lure styles are Wobblers, Minnow Lures, Jigs, and Soft Plastics.

Top Baits are Pilchards, Garfish, Mullet, Herring, Frogmouth Pilchards, Squid, Prawns and live worms.

Cooking Bar Tailed Flathead

Bar Tailed Flathead are versatile when it comes to preparation they can left whole and gutted, headed and gutted or filleted and skinned. The bones are in the thickest part of the fillet and are easily removed.

Table Quality
Bar Tailed Flathead are a first rate table fish their sweet firm white fillets are ideal for deep fried fish and chips or BBQ with a salad.

Flesh Qualities

Medium to Dry depending on the size and age
Can be soft some time, Mostly medium to firm
Flesh Colour
White to greyish
Nutrition Facts
per 100g of raw product

Kilojoules 380*(90* Calories)
Cholesterol 19mg
Sodium na
Total fat (oil) 0.6g
Saturated fat 32%of total fat
Monounsaturated fat 20% of total fat
Polyunsaturated fat 48% of total fat
Omega-3, EPA 26mg
Omega-3, DHA 164mg
Omega-6, AA 16mg

Cooking Ideas

Baked: Whole with head on for 15 to 20 minutes depending on size.
Deep Fry: Small bite size pieces at about 5cm long for 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown
Shallow Fry: Fillets dusted in flour for 4 to 5 minutes on each side turning only once
Grill: Carcass and Fillets – Carcass for 5 to 8 minutes each side depending on size. Fillets for 4 to 5 minutes on each side.
Barbecue: Whole foiled for 15 to 20 minutes and fillets basted until golden brown
Poaching: Skinned fillets until firm to the touch and then rested for 3 to 5 minutes
Raw: Skinned fillets slice very thin.

Suggested Wines
White: Riesling and Semillon
For more suggestions see wine and seafood pairings
Suggested Beers
Larger or Pilsner
For more suggestions see beer and seafood pairings

Relevant Websites about Bar Tailed Flathead
Fish Base
Marine CSIRO

Bar Tail Flathead Size and Bag Limits

Please Note: Bag limits, minimum and maximum lengths are subject to change and review by your State Fisheries Department.

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