Captain Jonathan Mallard from Great Sandy Straits Sports Fishing had a hot Tin Can Bay barramundi bite recently.

Jacks and barra fire up in Tin Can Bay

G’day crew, I trust you’re all well and have had a good few weeks to wet a line.

Typically, February and March are write-offs weather wise, as we tend to get wind and rain, so 2023 didn’t disappoint in that respect.

However, there were plenty of opportunities to wet a line and keep your bum dry, if you picked the day to go out on the water.

Myself… not so much.

The day after Australia Day, I may have had a little tumble on a skateboard and did a slight mischief to myself!

But, I’m on the mend and will be back at it on my next day off.

John Maslen gave the local mangrove jack a good touch up.


By all reports, plenty of fishos made the most of the dryer days through February and March, getting out and enjoying the Great Sandy Strait.

With much of February blowing, the estuaries were a good place to seek a bit of shelter, and the fishing was red hot for most.

With many days over 30C, mangove jack fired up and were not in short supply, plus there were a number of good-sized barramundi caught after February 1.

Jacks were very responsive to strips of fresh mullet and small live bait, with healthy by-catches of cod, barra, grunter and bream all reported.

Samaki Redic DS80 Jerkbait hard-bodies have been a stand-out for local lure fishos, with Bad Biddy and UV Chartreuse Ginger Squid being a couple of very popular colour choices.

Greg and a 97cm Tin Can Bay barramundi.


With most of the barramundi in our area coming as by-catch, many dedicated in-the-know anglers are keeping their honey holes well and truly under lock and key, as they can be a pain to catch.

But, if you are catching mangrove jack in an area, that spot will be a good place to start looking for barra.

Try larger live bait – a legal-sized whiting makes for a great livey.

I have a saying – the best thing you can do with a legal whiting is stick a 9/0 in it.

I don’t know of too many fish that won’t eat a whiting.

For the lure tossers, try using a bigger presentation too – 100-130mm hard-bodies and plastics are going to be good options, and keep an eye on your sounder while you’re moving around the creeks.


About Chris Rippon

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