Tin Can Bay Spring and Summer Options
  |  First Published: November 2011

With the weather warming up and the days slowly getting longer our thoughts should be on the coming spring and summer seasons and what fishing options we may have.

It’s amazing what a variety of fishing options we have in the Straights from land-based through to boating and don’t discount the local beaches.

This month will see the sand and golden lined whiting starting to move out of the deeper sections of the Straights and haunting some bait on the flats. Along with these their ever present species, bream will no doubt be shadowing their every move, and don’t be too upset if a big lizard decides to devour your bait or lure. To top it off you may be lucky enough to get a few heart flutters when a big golden trevally turns up.

There are two major options here for anglers – using the ever conquering bass yabby or you may like to take on the challenge of luring in the form of poppers, stick baits and small minnows.

Both techniques can be done in a similar manner, either walking the flats or drifting in a tinnie. Both forms are a wonderfully pleasurable prospect on a sunny spring day. I like to walk or drift with the last of the run out and the first hour or two of the run in tides.

There’s no doubt that a lot of focus is put into the creeks, where the mangrove jack and barramundi are the targets. You really have to target these fish by throwing endless casts at snags or rock bars with lures, or patiently sitting in a deep hole or snag with a live bait. Don’t get too upset when a bream makes a mess of your live bait - this fishing is a test of keenness and willingness to hang in there. The rewards are worth it when all goes to plan.

Getting away from the flats and creeks will open up a whole new world of opportunities. Alternative areas, Searys and Teebar ledges both situated in the Tin Can Inlet, can dish up just about anything on their day from tuna and mackerel to cod, snapper and sweetlip. These are high tidal flow areas so you will have to pick your tides.

The deeper areas around Big Mick and up towards Kauri nearly always hold scattered schools of tuna, tailor and mackerel. Add to this the coffee rock reefs scattered around the area that should provide most reef species.

Rainbow beach from Inskip to Double Island is always worth a fish, with whiting, bream and tailor making up the majority of catches.

The hot tip

I could waffle on a bit more but will only bore you, so instead I’ll give you a few ideas that will hopefully connect you up with that fish that you have put so much effort and time into.

There are endless creeks in the area and most people restrict their fishing to the tides - which is fine - but think outside the square. Some of the creeks still hold good water at low tide, go in on the high and stay through the low until the next high, not all creeks have to be ‘big’.

Most if not all people will have gone home and if you can put up with the sand flies you will have the creek to your self.

Don’t be put off if it’s a bit windy on the flats. Yes it may be a bit uncomfortable at times but it gives the fish cover and your catch rate will improve.

Although we like to drift the flats, we also anchor at times especially if we have missed the early part of the tide. Here you have two options - throw the pick out in the open part of the flat near a weed bank and use a little berley and it won’t be long before you attract bream and gar. Once that tide has covered the flats try anchoring close to the shore line and cast towards the mangroves.

You have to think outside the square - we are all guilty of doing the same thing and getting the same results. To improve these results we have to look at different options such as possibly spending more time in one spot than we would usually do or fishing areas that you would normally go past.

The early signs are looking good with a couple of barramundi being caught and reports of jack also.

One local photo on the wall of a local business shows ‘several’ golden trevally caught by a couple of locals; good for the ego I suppose but a total waste.

The days of big egos are coming to an end so let’s ensure that the Straights remains a fishing haven by only taking what you want - anyway who wants to fillet 50 diver whiting!

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