The author and a 108cm queenfish that ate a 4” Molix RT Fork Flex.

Flatties, queenies, GTs and jacks

G’day crew, as always, I trust you’ve been keeping well, staying out of trouble and able to wet a line over the past few weeks.

Personally, I’ve been too busy in the shop recently to be causing any trouble.

With the Easter school break and a few public holidays thrown in, the town has had its fair share of visitors.

On the May Day long weekend, we had about 100 trailer sailers embark on Tin Can Bay to race in the Hervey Bay ‘Bay to Bay Yacht Race’ and luckily they had fairly good weather.

Whereas a 10-15 knot wind from the southeast with a grey rain-cloudy sky is definitely not the best fishing weather in my eyes.

But my wife Emma and I dropped the Quintrex to watch the start of the race and followed the fleet to Gary’s Anchorage.

Tully with his personal best flathead caught in the bay.


Now I’m no yachtie, but I must say that the sight of 100 plus spinnakers coming up Great Sandy Straits on a gloomy day was fairly spectacular.

Anyway, on to the important issue of what’s been caught over the past few weeks.

Despite the tannin-stained water this end of the bay, we’ve had good catches of whiting, flathead, cod, queenfish, mangrove jack, barramundi, giant trevally, squire, legal nannygai and even a stupidly extra-large batfish that ate a soft plastic!

For the crew chasing flathead in the bay, there was no shortage of the old flat skulls to be had.

We had a good 2.5-hour session the last time we were out and boated 10-12 fish of between 50-60cm in very quick succession.

The standout lure for that trip was the 3.5’’ Biwaa TailGunR Curly in Pearl White and Watermelon, taking 90 percent of the fish boated that session.

Caitlin Falzon snagged a nice mangrove jack from a recent trip out.


We have found that fishing the larger drains when there’s a very lowwater low tide on the big spring tides has been paying off.

Some small trevally, bream and blue salmon have been in the mix and when you’re fishing 4/6lb braid with 10 or 12lb leader and hook a 60cm blue salmon, you’re in for a good time – hoping it’s hooked on the outside of its face because this species pop light leader very quickly.

Lures working well on flathead were the Rapala Crush City The Imposter, 92mm Pro Lure Clone Prawns and the new 65mm Dr Stretch hard-bodies by Fish Craft.

They are a mould of the old Mann’s Lures, and anyone who has fished a Mann’s know they catch fish.

With the water temperature still hovering around the 24-26C mark at the end of April, mangrove jack were still being caught.

Floating a small lightly weighted live bait back into the snags should see you bag a couple, though make sure you have your drag dialled up, as we all know the sheer brute force the red devil hits with!

Megan Fah with a solid giant trevally that ate a live pike.


Once he’s got that bait in his mouth, he’s well and truly halfway home, if not already at his front door.

Barramundi in the 75cm size were getting caught, with the ones I’ve seen over the past few weeks caught mainly with big slow-rolled prawns retrofitted with a treble on the chin, for that extra hook-up point.

My choice of soft plastic prawn would have to be the 127mm Samaki Live Shrimp.

We have found the best way to retrofit these larger prawns is with a TT Fishing SwimlockZ jig head.

As they are a heavier gauge wire and also have a rigging point on the bottom of the jig head, this allows you to run a split ring to attach a treble to, for more hook-up opportunities.

But now that the nights have become cooler and the water temperature is down around the 20C mark, I’d say that’s a wrap for barra until the water heats up again.

Jonathan Mallard with a late session Tin Can Bay barramundi.


With a new moon at the start of the month and a little more rain falling from the sky, mud crabs were out in force, and reports of A-grade crabs and full pots were coming in thick and fast.

The big evening tides allowed access to a few extra spots and seemed to get the crabs on the march.

Fresh bait and a good soak are always key to getting stuck into a nice feed of crab.

Reports ranged from up the back of the bay, all the way to Gray’s.

In the creeks or on the flats, it seemed if you had pots in, you wouldn’t miss out.

Speaking of mud-dwelling creatures, I’m tipping that prawns should be in good numbers and have some size to them in the coming weeks, if they don’t already.

The author went batty with a silly sized batfish that ate a soft plastic.


The quantity of prawns we’ve seen when out fishing has been awesome.

Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many prawns in the system.

In saying that though, I’m far from local.

I’ve only been in Tin Can Bay for six years… I believe I’ve got another 40 to go before calling myself a local.

Tuna have yet to make a good appearance in the bay this year, with only a few small schools being sighted.

Though, with the water in the Strait still a pretty green, they may even pass us by this year.

Megan Fah out fished Jon again with a solid mangrove jack.


Let’s hope the rain holds off for a few weeks and allows the water to clean up a bit.

The 10wt fly rod is getting a bit dusty in the corner!

Well, that’s it from me for another month crew.

I hope you all get out and get stuck into a few.

Take care and tight lines.

The Chandlery Bait and Tackle for all your boating and fishing needs.

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