“Here jack, jack, jack!”
  |  First Published: December 2014

Summer has now well and truly kicked into full swing and it’s this time of year that gets me yearning to hit the waterways. Air and water temperatures are nearing their peak for the season, and the fish are fully active during the early mornings and evenings, avoiding the heat of the day. For me it’s time to bust out my favourite style of lure – surface lures – in search of those red, toothy, snapping mangrove jacks.

Just imagine… it’s first or last light and all is quiet and dead still. You cast your favourite surface lure deep in amongst the spindly, twiggy snags, and then watch and wait for the ripples to disappear. You give a little twitch of the lure, and suddenly the water surface explodes! What follows is an intense tug-of-war as you battle to keep that jack from getting back into his lair. It’s moments like these that keeps you coming back time and again in the hunt for that dirty fighting mangrove jack.


Starting in the north, at Grahams Creek there have been some flathead about, reaching the mid 600mm mark on 50mm deep diving hardbodies. The Calliope River has produced a variety of species, including fingermark to 500mm, caught on nuclear chicken soft plastics, mangrove jack up to the mid 500mm mark caught on livies, as well as blue salmon, with the odd bream in the mix. There have also been grunter taken in the anabranch.

At Auckland Creek, out around the mouth, there have been a few flathead around. Anglers have also been getting good sized bream and trevally on prawns further upstream around the bridges.

The Boyne River has been quiet, however some mangrove jack are starting to show up further upstream past the highway bridge, taking soft plastics. South Trees Inlet, mangrove jack have been caught around rocky outcrops and grunter have been caught using live herring.

Down at Turkey Beach, spotted mackerel have been around the mouths of the bay and major inlets. There have also been catches of trevally in Rodds Bay around rocky points, with most being taken on large poppers and stickbaits.

Scrubby Creek has produced a number of mud crabs along with some average sized flathead.

Offshore, marlin have been showing up with a few caught and released in recent weeks. Anglers are picking up trevally around the wrecks and the Rock Cod Shoals have been delivering tuskfish and redthroat in good numbers. Most have been caught on squid and prawn baits.


To keep up to date from day to day with what’s biting around the area, checkout the Gladstone Fishing Network Facebook page. The page was created so that people can share their fishing adventures and offer tips and hints. Boaties can also find people to fill spots on their boats when heading out, just remember to show some fishing/boating etiquette if you’re lucky enough to land a spot.

Social events are becoming a regular occurrence between the friendly group of members and these events are normally followed by a BBQ. The Group has also gained a couple of sponsors – The Little Lure Shop and Eden Lures who have donated prize packs for some events, just to add that little bit more competition! These are purely social events so there is no charge. Check out the Gladstone Fishing Network Facebook page and stay in touch with what’s going on around the area.

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