Smack the red devil jack
  |  First Published: February 2014

February fishing on the Tweed is all about the jacks, and boy it’s been a good season so far; well, maybe not for me, but my mates having been smashing them! The weather is really warming up so it’s only going to get better.

The best time to catch these red devils of the Tweed is very early morning or in the middle of the night, but you must be patient as it’s a hit and miss affair. For instance, a mate picked me up at 1am and we headed to Tumbulgum Bridge. We jigged some livies and also had a couple of spinning rods rigged with 1/2oz TT jighead and a Z-Man Swimmerz. We fished until an hour after daybreak but all we could manage were a couple of little schoolies. However, my mate Craig Costigan went back the next morning, same time, same place using the Z-Mans and he managed to fish in an hour, one 57cm and the other 45cm jacks. Why did I sleep in?

Another time my brother Anthony rang me up to invite me for a jack fish, this time from the shore right next to the Ivory Hotel. As it was a weekday and I was pretty tired from work I said no, you guessed it, I got a photo from him with a 52cm jack. He rang me up the next night with jack fever, said he was going again, same thing only this time the fish went 57cm! ARRRR!

My brother caught these fish with an old egg beater he caught in Hinze Dam complete with a cane rod, so it just goes to show you don’t need the fancy gear, no lures, caught with a gang hook and pillies.

You begin to get to know the local jack hunters because there are a few popular spots where we bump into each other. One spot that’s becoming very well known is called The Jew Hole; it’s in between the oyster leases near Seagulls. I’ve never heard of any being caught in the day but it’s a different story at night. You don’t need a boat to get there as there’s a track leading from the back car park at Seagulls.

Another interesting spot, I call it The Car Wrecks, is just past the Maritime Museum on Kennedy Drive. Over the Bridge to the Piggabean Road and you’ll find a park where I once saw a guy landing a massive jack at 10.30am. I know there are cars under there as I’ve seen them on my sounder.

Another good spot and you’ll need a boat for this one, is the Condong Sugar Mill. You will know you’re in the right spot when you see the sign THIS IS MY JACK SPOT GO AWAY.

At all these spots I’ve mentioned you can find yourself catching school mulloway, especially at the appropriately named Jew Hole. Condong’s known for its bull sharks and schoolies and you’ll find the marauding trevally everywhere.

I spent a lot of my holidays popping for whiting, which I love. My favourite lure is a Berkley Pop Dog in the hooch colour. They are not too dear, which is a good thing, as I had a few problems with little queenies in a canal, but that’s fishing!

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