Whether you’re still getting out for a bit of a fish to feed the family or you are under quarantine and misin the fishin, we thought it would be good to keep the dream alive and post about some of our hot tips for catching Mangrove Jack in Far North Queensland.
We like to use 3/0 circle hooks from Hookem tackle with a running sinker, 40lb leader and 30lb braid. If you can get your hands on a 7ft rod around 4kg to 8kg with a reel size of 4000 it gives you plenty of stopping power.
Jacks are famous for hitting hard then charging for the mangroves so being alert and having your drag set correctly is key. We find the best bait to be whatever is in the area you are fishing, whether that is herring, garfish or mullet, live bait seems to work best. Failing that a pilchard is a great bait due to its oily nature so the Jacks can find it easily.
There are several spots you can look for Jacks up the river. First, I would look at any fallen trees or snags you find and work the pressure points on them. On the incoming tide it will be the downstream side of the snag and on the outgoing tide it will be the upstream side of the snag. This will be where the bait fish are. Second is any drains you find amongst the mangroves will hold some good Jacks. Third are on the bends in the creek where the water is pushing against the bank. You will find Jacks here waiting to ambush their prey.
Tidal run is important so fishing closer to either the full or new moons will be the most productive when there is a bigger difference between the high and low tide and therefore more run. We find either the incoming or outgoing tide to be equally productive.
Last of all, sportfishing for Jacks is a lot of fun so if you don’t really need the feed chuck him back in for a Jack attack another day.
Hope this helps, have fun out there!