Time to crack a jack
  |  First Published: November 2015

Now is the time to get out there and hunt down a few sweet water red dogs! They are angry and ready to try steal your lures!

I love this time of year because you can get a lot of your hits from these hard hitters on surface. Watching your lure get smashed by these guys is about as exciting as fishing can get! I have been having some outstanding sessions with the freshwater jacks lately. With the temperatures lifting they become very active, especially in the afternoons as the sun begins to go down.

For these smaller jacks, I use 5lb braid and an 8lb fluorocarbon leader. I generally use 4’’ Zman StreakZ Curly TailZ. I find these lures to be the perfect size presentation in the skinny water I fish. Mangrove jack are such an amazing species, and I am continually blown away at how far up the fresh they can travel. The other day my fiancé and myself went for a swim about 70km from the salt high up in the mountains in the crystal clear water and sure enough we both spotted a 40cm jack enjoying life. I thought to myself in a few years he will probably be 70km offshore hanging around the reef. Just amazing! 

Another tough customer that is always willing to peel some line of your spool is the sooty grunter! These guys love to eat just about everything that will fit in their mouth. They can be found in most QLD freshwater streams and rivers but targeting them in the jungle is by far the most enjoyable way to tangle with a few of these brutes!

A sure way to get a few on the end of your line is to cast up current from the snag and allow the lure to get washed naturally in front of them. Often you will see them race out and smash your lure! They are very quick and powerful fighters so some fancy rod work and fast paced movement is required to stop them from getting you in the timber.

Attaching a little jig spinner to your favourite soft plastic is a great way to get the attention of a sooty. It creates flash and vibration and also allows you to feel and control your presentation with the running water flowing downstream. 

Every time I catch a jungle perch, I cant help but admire the beauty of these fish before releasing them! From their chrome-scaled armour to the spotted camouflage pattern finished off with the iconic black dots on their yellow coloured tails. Not to mention the country they are found in – it’s like a scene from a postcard. These fish are very special to the environment up here in the Tropical North and I feel privileged to be able to target them on a regular basis. People who target these fish including myself know that effort equals reward when you want to land the bigger models.

Take a selection of surface lures and soft plastics when JP fishing and always try to be as stealthy and quite as possible, because sometimes one wrong move can shut down the honey hole and it might be another kilometre walk before the next likely spot. I always try to make the most of your opportunities.

I hope everyone catches some great fish this month and gets a chance to enjoy the outdoors! 

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