Jason Medcalf Bio

Jason Medcalf

Fishing Journalist And Personality

Jason is a prolific fishing journalist based in central Queensland. He’s a regular presenter on the Australian Fishing Networks (AFN) “The Fishing Show” which airs on on 7Mate every Sunday and has presented on numerous fishing DVD’s. A former professional fishing guide on Baffle Creek, Jason has also authored numerous articles in a multitude of magazines, as well as presenting from stage at boat shows.

Jason’s Top Tips For Baffle Creek Mangrove Jack

  • Contrary to popular belief, mangrove jacks are very mobile and don’t stay tight to one particular piece of hard structure but move around with the tides. Think about where baitfish will be washed on any phase of the tide and that’s where the jacks will be even if it’s a few inches of water on a sand flat or grassy bank, jack will be there is there is bait and ambush point.
  • Fishing very slowly is generally the best. Jacks hunt by ambush rather than by chasing bait down.
  • The week leading to full and new moons fish best for jacks but they can be caught on any phase of the tide if you figure out where they will be waiting. At the time of writing, low rainfall has caused the entire Baffle Creek system to become salty and the jacks are scattered throughout the system. After a fresh flush the jacks can still be found everywhere but will become more concentrated in the freshwater areas.
  • Foggy mornings and overcast conditions tend to extend the bite window and can result in jacks being on the chew longer and in clearer water.

Jason’s Tackle Recommendations For Baffle Creek

  • Jason Reckons you need a minimum of four rod and reel combos to cover all jack fishing scenarios.
  • For topwater lures he prefers a 3-4kg spin rod and 14lb braided line with a 30lb leader. The lighter gear works fine for this because the even when the fish are in snags they usually leave cover to nail a surface offering, making lighter gear viable.
  • For soft plastic fishing Jason is often lobbying weedless lures into deep cover, so a heavier spin outfit is his preference. A 5-6 kg outfit with 18-20 lb braid and a 40lb leader works fine. Look for supple braids.
  • For fishing vibes Jason will often be in deeper water or working the lures quickly across rock bars of varying depth. For this he uses a heavier spin outfit of 6-8kg with 30lb braid and a 40lb leader.
  • For hard body lures Jason switches to 6kg baitcast rods, with 30lb braid and a 40lb leader.

Jason’s Best Mangrove Jack Lures

  • The Zippin Ziggy is a favourite topwater lure and is deadly on jacks as well as a range of other species. If the water is more rippled Jason will switch to a Rapala Skitterpop, which can be worked. He also likes the small Halco Roosta Poppers, which he finds have an awesome action when slow rolled with occasional jerks to spit water forwards of the lure.
  • For soft plastic fishing Jason likes the 3″ Zman MinnowZ in motor oil colour. He also likes the 5″ Zman SwimmerZ, but reckons the new 4″ Zman MinnowZ might become his go-to soft plastic for Jacks. Jason prefers to fish these lures on TT SnakelockZ jig heads, castign them deep into the heaviest cover and allowing them to sink a little before slow rolling them out with occasional pauses. They can also be buzzed through the snags at fairly high speed to light the fish up before fishing them more slowly to get the strike.
  • For vibing, Jason typically goes for the Jackall Transam in 14g weight, though he believes they’re no longer being made. Wilson Fish Traps (14g) also work well on the deeper ledges.
  • Jason’s preferred hard body for jacks is the Halco Laser Pro 120mm, which has a profile that does a great job of mimicking the numerous garfish in the Baffle Creek system. These can be “blooped” with sharp jerks of the rod tip like a popper, creating noise and a bubble trail. They can also be slow rolled through the snags being sure to wind a few turns and then leave pauses of five seconds or more to mimic the stop-start movements of garfish.

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Mangrove jack lures

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