Mangrove Jacks are such a cool fish in my opinion as not only do they smash lures and fight really dirty, you can find them in so many different locations from very small creeks in the top end to lakes and even drains in big cities. Some of the fish you see caught around the Gold Coast for example in the canals are absolute stonka’s!
I have been lucky enough to catch hundreds of Jacks over the years but mainly in the remote parts of the country although the techniques and gear we use pretty much applies across the board.
Using a baitcaster is probably the best rod to use when chasing jacks on lures as your casting is far more accurate and you really need to get in amongst the snags to find Jacks. They are an ambush fish and love leaving there tight little snag for a smashing run at a well presented lure.
I have listed a number of lures below that have been catching heaps of Jacks lately around my home town of Tweed Heads. Guys have been smashing big Jacks daily on these lures with some real bruisers ending the fight in just a few seconds. That’s the other reason I like using a baitcaster combo as you can apply pressure with your thumb as drag and try to slow them down before you get bricked!
The latest thing has been targeting Jacks with Swim Baits designed for Murray Cod. Anything that sinks very slowly or suspends and then has a real snake like movement when twitched is working really well too.
I run with 30 pound braid (also listed below), a rod rated between 6-10kg and a fluorocarbon leader of up to 60 pound. That leader size might seem pretty heavy but when a 60cm Jack takes you around a bridge pylon or into a heavy timber snag you will need all the help you can get.
Happy Jack hunting,