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Big brawny jacks are back to smack
Jason Medcalf

It’s my favourite month of the year, big jack month. This excites me, because in our area, big mangrove jack fire up as the water temperature rises with longer days. The mangrove jack isn’t actually classed as an estuarine species, as it only spends its first few years of life in estuaries before moving offshore to mature and breed.

In some areas, mangrove jack will spend longer inshore and that’s why you’ll get some big fish in creeks and rivers, but for the most part, once they reach around the 50cm mark they’ll head out to sea. It’s these fish in our area that fire up early in the season, usually beating the smaller fish to your lure or bait. I mentioned last year how popular the mangrove jack had become and this trend only seems to be getting stronger.

There’s something special about mangrove jack with their smash and grab tactics when they hunt – you have to be on the ball when fishing for them. This past year, I’ve spent time kayak fishing for them and have had my rear end handed to me on a number of occasions.

I choose to fish from my Hobie a fair bit. With the growing popularity of jack fishing, I find fishing less pressured water brings a bit more success. It also adds more of a challenge. Being at water level changes the way you cast, retrieve a lure and fight fish. Finding places to slip a kayak in to fish for jacks isn’t as hard now with Google Earth opening up opportunities for those that are a bit keen for adventures.

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