Central Queensland Mangrove Jack Tragic
Daniel is a former commercial fisherman who is now obsessed with catching mangrove jack on lures. For the past 5 years he’s been fishing the myriad of creeks and rivers around Bundaberg during all months of the year and enjoying great success on the red fish. On Daniel’s Facebook page “The Jack Challenge” he not only showcases his catch, but also shares the lures and structures he’s been catching his jacks on.
Daniel’s Mangrove Jack Fishing Tips!
- Most anglers would be aware that accurate casting is vital to jack fishing, but Daniel also finds it’s important not to let the lure splash down. Overcasting and then feathering the spool with your thumb makes it easy to get a lure to land very gently.
- During the winter and early spring the jacks tend to congregate down towards the mouth of the river systems, moving upstream as the water warms later in the year.
- Stable water temperatures offer more consistent fishing, whether they’re warm temps or cooler ones. Fluctuations in temp usually make the fishing a bit tough.
- Look for mangrove banks with deeper water along the edges, especially where the tidal flow hits the bank due to a bend in the river or gets interrupted by a snag, rock bar or other structure. Man-made rock walls are also worth putting some casts on.
- Daniel prefers to fish at the start of the tide before the water starts to move too quickly. Neapish tides can fish better than the really big ones and a little bit of colour to the water makes for easier fishing than gin clear water. Dawn and dusk are always prime times, especially if they coincide with the start of the tide. Overcast conditions and a light south-easterly breeze are ideal.
- In the bigger systems Daniel will crank the lure swiftly back to the boat after it is more than a couple of metres from the bank or structure. In smaller and shallower systems it’s better to work the lure all the way back to the rod tip.
- It’s important to be persistent because sometimes the jacks aren’t playing ball and you need to resist the temptation to go home early. It doesn’t hurt sometimes if the morning session is quiet to take a break, have a snooze and fire up again for the evening session.
Daniel’s Mangrove Jack Tackle!
- A 5’9” Wilsons Blades and Tails rod in the 10-20lb line class, ABU Revo reel, 30lb braid mainline and 30lb Schneider line is Daniel’s setup for heavier lures.
- A Shimano T-Curve rod and Curado reel, 30lb braid and 30lb leader is perfect for casting soft plastics.
Daniel’s Mangrove Jack Fishing Lures!
- A 3” Z-Man MinnowZ on a 1/6 to 1/8 oz, 3/O ChinlockZ jig head is perfect for fishing the shallow water in the smaller creeks as well as in the larger systems. Daniel likes to cast it into pinch points as the boat drifts along the bank and work the lure across the face of snags and other structure. He finds that a slow roll style of retrieve works best in winter. In the middle of the day this lure can also be cast into shadows close to structure and worked more briskly. A spot of S-Factor scent is a good way to increase the bites.
- The 95mm MMD Splash Prawn is a great hard bodied surface lure that takes a lot of fish when worked properly, especially during the dawn and dusk periods. Cast these tight to structure where there are eddies and pinch points in the pre-dawn and dawn light. When the lure hits the water, give it two quick pops, then lift the rod tip high and jiggle it to work the lure enticingly.
- A 78mm XD Luckycraft Pointer is a small suspending hard body lure that Daniel retro fts with size 4 BKK Fang hooks, which causes them to float very slowly. This allows the lure to be paused when it strikes timber and allowed to float up over the snag before recommencing the retrieve. This is a great lure for casting into shallow water around rockbars in current and can be worked by casting up current and giving a couple of quick twitches to get it to depth before slow rolling it out.
- The Boy Howdy propbait is a great lure to cast around in the upper reaches of the rivers and creeks and can be worked to create plenty of commotion.