Hit the road for jacks and don’t come back
  |  First Published: March 2017

It’s a very exciting time of the year up here in tropical Queensland! With the iconic barramundi back on the target list, it’s a great time to plan a few trips and create some exciting new adventures!

Finding barra in the sweet water systems is always extremely entertaining. When working the faster flowing streams, keep a look out for little back eddies, as often barra will be hanging back in the slack water to preserve energy. They will wait for the food to get brought to them. Concentrate your artificial presentations around these likely looking areas and you will eventually hook onto some chrome! Using little paddle-tail soft plastics works extremely well and will get the results you are looking for!

Another iconic chrome species that loves the fast flowing water is the jungle perch! It’s amazing how much a system can come back to life after a good rain. Jungle perch are so much fun to catch on light gear. Being an aggressive surface feeder, these fish love smacking your topwater presentations.

Always aim to walk upstream when targeting JPs. Not only will this mask your presence, it will allow you to work your lures as naturally as possible, allowing you to get as much action as possible in the session. These fish are remarkable in every way from their appearance to the places they take you when hunting them.

The humid stormy afternoons have been a great time to go for a walk and target a few mangrove jack. They love this weather and will strike at anything that lands in their strike zone! These little sweet water beasts are by far my favourite fish to target this time of year. Even the little fellas fight hard!

There is nothing quite like that first strike from a jack. As soon as they hit your lure they are heading back to hard structure. You need to be on your game to get them out. A nice tight drag and some fancy rod work are always important when being entertained by these little red devils. Using a weedless soft plastic is by far the best option to get a few on the board. Being able to get your presentation deep in their domain gets the action!

I wish everyone the best of luck out there. Have a great time enjoying some of the magical places this country has to offer!

Photo courtesy of Bob Thornton.

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