Jack attack on track
  |  First Published: November 2012

November is when the fishing really heats up and it’s time for the big mangrove jack to come out to play.

Whether you’re a bait or keen lure fisho the jacks will get your adrenalin pumping with their grab and go dirty fighting, they are such a rush to target and catch.

I have caught some of the biggest jacks in our area in November. I have put it down to that first burst of hot weather and dirty water pushing up into our larger systems. This tends to get the baitfish moving up stream and this fires up those big jacks that have been a bit slow over the cooler months.

The bigger jacks will move and hunt in pretty shallow water and will respond aggressively to a well presented surface lure. Last November I fished the Baffle several times catching most of my jacks on surface lures with the Frenzy Popper and the C’ultiva Zippin Ziggy. I did try a few other different lures with varying success, including the GoBo Popper, Halco 80mm and the Rapala Tail Dancers.

Nearly every lure will catch a fish at sometime or other, it’s just that some lures will catch more than others. If you’re in the market for a few surface lures for jacks, you need to understand the three main styles:

Firstly is the cup-faced popper, which when retrieved with short sharp stabs of the rod produces a splash from the face of the popper. This is great in fast water.

Second is the sliding style lure, which is shaped like a cigar, that when retrieved with a consistent gentle wind and movement of the rod tip will walk or slide across the water surface.

The last main type of surface lure is a fizzer, which can have a propeller at either end or on both ends. These underused surface lures can be deadly on low light hot days when the fish are scattered around hunting.

As far as colours go, gold is my favourite followed by silver. I also like to have a few fluoro or bright coloured lures just to give me some options.

The most common question I get asked is, ‘when?’ There are two sets of tides when I will definitely be hitting the water:

The weekend 10-11 November is a few days before the new moon, which means the tides are building. Their midday low tides is great for spending the day on the water; start mid morning fishing until low tide then the afternoon incoming should be great for a serious surface fishing session.

The other ideal tides are on the 24-25. Again midday lows but this time they are a few days before the full moon.

These are weekend tides as I, like most of you, have to work for a living but if you’re retired or have holidays don’t be afraid to fish right up to those moon phases as the fish bite well until the main moon, then they take a week off as the tides drop off.

Good luck if you are going to have a crack at some Bundaberg jacks this month.

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