Cracker jack action
  |  First Published: September 2014

September should see the water temp rise and bring on the jack action, fingers-crossed. Our winter wonders should still be kicking on with snapper still the main target for a little longer yet.

The snapper have been one of the main targets for the early risers. You will need to get in quick to get some action; as soon as the sun gets up they shut down fast in our skinny clear water.

The Passage snapper have been measuring in from 20cm through to 65cm. These guys have been eating fresh baits (pilchards, prawns, mullet, gar, etc) and they’ve loved the plastics.

In my book the plastics offer a lot more joy or bang for your buck as one plastic can last four or five fish before you need to change it. You can’t do that with bait, as most days it’s the complete opposite – five baits to one fish.

The speed and gusto a snapper hits a plastic is awesome. It’s up there with some of the best and they pull line like you you’re never going to see it again.

The Bribie Bridge has been the go-to spot, so hit it early or hit it late (in low light period).

Mulloway have been around in good numbers but the size is generally just under legal with the odd one going over 75cm. I need to stress the legal size is 75cm for these fish. I have heard of a lot of cowboys landing 65cm fish of late and they are going straight in the ice box as it looks like a good size fish. It is not a legal fish, and as an angler you need to know size limits and bag limits and if you don’t it can land you in hot water fast. Mulloway have a minimum size of 75cm and a bag limit of two per person.

Mulloway are fast growers and fish under 75cm have not had a change to reproduce. Most anglers these days won’t even keep the legal fish as they know how vital they are to keep in the system. The fight and a quick happy snap for bragging rights is all they need, as a good picture can say a thousand words and it lasts forever!

Flathead have been patchy and hard to find at times, with only the most persistent anglers coming up with the goods. My prediction is that towards the end of this month they will come on thick and fast with some over size fish being landed and released. They can be a real handful on light gear and when they see the boat for the first time they seem to find another gear and go for ground. Small live baits, plastics and the humble Lively Lure Micro Mullet in hot pink is a killer. These little guys don’t look anything special to the human eye but to the lizards they must look like gold because they snap them up fast and can’t let them go past.

The tailor have been patchy throughout the system with the best reports coming in off Bribie surf side. My hot tip is hit the beach.

Bream have been coming through in patchy numbers. Some anglers are killing it while other anglers are struggling to put a feed together. Try to work with the tide up in the mangroves as this is where they head to feed as the water feeds up into the mangroves and vast weed beds that surround them, so the bigger the tides the better the results.

We should see a few jacks starting to pop up, pull line and bust some of the best anglers up. No matter how good you think you are there is a jack waiting to burst your bubble. They will take a variety of bait or plastics and it doesn’t seem to matter, as it’s more about where, when and how you place them. I had a mate take down a good size jack on a plastic just the other week and the water temperature was 16ºC – now that is a talent that is hard to find! Once he gets wound up we will see some good pictures of some prized fish.

There is a lot to learn about mangrove jack; just when you think you know it all, one will pop up and do something out of the box and send your mind into overdrive. It’s nothing for a dedicated jack angler to lay awake in bed all night thinking of how to master the master estuary fish. Stay tuned and I will see if I can answer a few questions for you.

Go to www.jackjacky.com for a bit of extra knowledge as I blog my way through the jack season, be it good or bad. If you have any questions, don’t be shy drop me an email and send in your happy snaps with a short caption of when and how-to, email --e-mail address hidden-- so I can get them up on my webpage.

Now get out there and have a fat time, jack junky style!

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