Mangrove jacks are really starting to fire up here in the tropical north, especially in the sweetwater streams. I had an absolute blinder of a session a few days ago – just about every snag had a platoon of angry red dogs ready to chase down and assault my soft plastic offerings. The fish in the freshwater systems are smaller models compared to the average size in the estuaries and offshore.
As far as land-based fishing goes, these little red dogs can provide some of the most exciting finesse fishing available. I like to use a super light rod rated 1-3kg. I spool up with 5lb braid on a 1000 reel, run a fluorocarbon leader around the 8lb range and it’s game on. It’s such a great way to enjoy the outdoors.
Rigging your plastics weedless is going to get you more results. Get your presentation as tight into the structure as you can, and remember to have that drag set nice and tight. These little rockets pull hard and fast!
Another local critter worth the effort to chase are the sooties. They’re also hard-hitters, especially when it comes to smacking lures. These fish will be close to any structure in the freshwater systems, ready to pounce on any nutrient-rich looking bit of tucker.
These are a super powerful species and know how to put your angling skills to the test when you’re hooked-up. I love using spinnerbaits for these hard-hitting football shaped brutes. The flash and vibration really gets their attention in most situations. Attach a soft plastic to the stinger hook and you have a deadly artificial presentation that will result in a bent rod and your adrenalin pumping, as they fight their way to the hard cover.
Jungle perch are beautiful fish and the environment they’re found in is spectacular. I feel extremely lucky to target these gems on a regular basis. If you’re looking to get into some of the action, head up to the jungle streams. Most times you feel like you’re in a scene from a postcard when you get deep into the rainforest.
These creeks and streams have some of the clearest water you’ll ever find, so your hunting skills really come into play when targeting this species. They’re so switched on to everything that’s happening above the water. That extra effort to be stealthy will certainly account for more fish.
All the best out there and remember, a bad day’s fishing beats a good day’s work.
Jungle streams will remind you of a dream with ultra clear water. Watch out, those fish will see you coming.
These are beautiful, hard-fighting fish that’ll give you a lot of fun.
The author with a cracker jungle perch.Reads: 175