WHAT’S FOR DINNER?: Local angler Craig Mullet with a mangrove jack out on the water.
WHAT’S FOR DINNER?: Local angler Craig Mullet with a mangrove jack out on the water. CONTRIBUTED

Jacks aren’t just a summer species

FOR those who want to know more about chasing the elusive mangrove jack during the cooler months, read on.

First things first: jacks are typically a summer species, which many river anglers love to come into contact with.

Whether you're casting hard-body lures, fishing with soft plastics or just dabbing the old live bait into the water, it's the initial hook-up and the first couple of hard runs that keep you coming back for more.

Usually most anglers switch off from chasing jacks to, say, maybe targeting school jewfish, tailor and even bream.

But in the winter period, catching a jack can be just as easy as in the warmer months. You just need to know where to look. Fishing smarter is what's required. Targeting mangrove jack during the day can sometimes be difficult for even an experienced saltwater angler, whereas if you chase jacks after dark, it can be a whole different ball game.

What you want to look for predominantly is good structure, run-off areas such as drains, deep holes around or inside creek mouths, fallen trees and moored boats, just to name a few.

Now for me, fishing these areas is simple: there's no right or wrong tide to fish although I do prefer to target jack on the outgoing tide.

The reason in which I prefer to fish the outgoing tide is that the waters are more condensed so they tend to move out of the upper reaches along with baitfish and travel downriver in search of a food source.

Jacks love nothing more than a well-presented live bait or even flesh bait. If you can, try fishing with live poddies, silver biddies and or herring around the 10cm size. Don't go out of your way to fill a live bait bucket with smaller livies as they will most probably die. Try to keep a maximum of about 10 decent-size live baits.

Rigs are simple: a double-nelled rig is most commonly used among bait anglers chasing jacks and it works on just about every fish. Basically, if you're using a live bait or strip bait around the 10cm size, then you can go for anything from two 3/0s or two 4/0 octopus-style hooks.

You want to avoid using a heavy gauge hook.

For all the latest information, log on to fishingnoosa.com.au for up-to-date bar and fishing reports.

Don't forget to drop into Davo's Tackle World in Noosa or Davo's Northshore Bait and Tackle at Marcoola to find out where the fish are biting, and remember: tight lines and bent spines.



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