Bowen Mangrove Jack

by Dan Kaggelis | Australian Lure Fishing

Tweed River Mangrove Jack Map
Dan Kaggelis

Dan Kaggelis

Fishing Author And Sponsored Angler

Dan Kaggelis is an accomplished sponsored angler who has written numerous articles for Kaydo Fishing World, Queensland Fishing Monthly and Fish and Boat magazines. He’s spent a decade getting the mangrove jack in the Bowen area wired and now living in Cairns, is heavily involved in lobbying for recreational fishing facilities.

Dan’s Top Tips For Mangrove Jack Fishing

  • Get to know the types of structure jacks favour. Snags that are below water at low tide tend to hols larger numbers of fish as jacks don’t move up with the tide onto snags that are in the tidal zone.
  • Figure out the “bite windows”. Jacks are usually only actively feeding for a couple of hours a day, so focus your efforts on those times rather than wasting entire days peppering snags when the fish aren’t active.
  • You’ll need 1.2m metres of tide to get access to the creeks around Bowen. Bowen offers both clear water and dirty water jack fishing opportunities.
  • Tides of 2.7m or higher will overtop the banks, allowing fish to gorge themselves among the mangroves and making them difficult to tempt with a lure. However, fishing along the edges of the banks when the tides are close to overtopping can be productive as fish are waiting in anticipation of a feeding session.
  • The 4 days leading up to the full moon are a good time to fish as the tides are starting to build but the water is still relatively clear.

Dan’s Preferred Mangrove Jack Fishing Tackle

  • Dan likes a 5’6″ 8-10kg baitcast outfit for fishing in the smaller creeks and tighter cover. Any quality baitcast reel with a smooth drag is suitable. Chronarch, Zillion are good choices.
  • For open water Dan uses a spin outfit with a 7ft NS Black Hole rod and a 3000 size Daiwa Certate reel, which is perfect for vibing.
  • Dan prefers Sunline braid in the 20-30lb range for his baitcast outfits, 10-20lb range for spin gear where he’s usually fishing more open water like points and rock bars.
  • Sunline fluorocarbon leaders are Dan’s preference. 60cm of tough fluorocarbon such as FC 100 is perfect in tough, snaggy water, switch to a longer length of FC Rock fluorocarbon in more open water. Leaders for mangrove jack fishing get punished, so a quality leader is more important than the braid.

Dans Best Mangrove Jack Lures For Bowen

  • Berkley Gulp Crazy Leg 5″ Jerk Shad in pink shine colour is a top choice for throwing into heavy cover for jacks and jacks often take them on the drop. Weight them lightly and fish them weedless then work them through heavy cover, letting them sink down through structure. Once you’re a foot from the structure your out of the zone, so wind in and cast again!
  • Any good 3-4″ paddle tail soft plastic such as Zman Diezel Minnowz rigged weedless on a 4/0 to 5/0 hook and fished tight into heavy cover will be effective. Fish often take lures near the surface
  • A hard body lure such a suspending Leeds lure, Lucky Craft Pointer or a timber Richos suspending lures in green/white can be deadly.
  • For surface fishing on snags that are just below water surface at the start of the run in tide the Lucky Craft G Splash is an awesome choice. The Ballista LED popper is also a good choice for this situation.

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Dan’s Sponsors

EJ Todd Fishing Solutions
Humminbird Australia, Minn Kota and BLA