Scott Hillier: How to catch a Mangrove Jack
Weather and tides
The forecast is a little all over the shop for the weekend so I recommend checking the latest forecast before heading out in the boat. On Sunday, boaties may get a chance to sneak out to a few inshore areas. There is a nice run in the tide with a perfect top late afternoon to chase a Mangrove Jack.
Species on the move
With the water temperature climbing in the rivers and creeks this has the Mangrove Jack out in good numbers. These fish love structure and will hang anywhere. There is a bit of cover for them to ambush bait.
They love rock walls, jetties, marinas, jetty pylons, deeper holes with submerged trees. I find they bite better during the run in tide and will get very active that hour either side of the top of the tide. Use a running ball sinker rig with just enough weight to hold you down in the structure. I like to use 25 pound braid with a 30 pound fluro carbon leader and have your drag locked up nice and tight as this fish will bury you in the structure very quickly.
You can’t go past small to medium-sized live baits like mullet or gar. But if you can’t get any livies they will eat strips of mullet, Mangrove Jack will respond to prawn soft plastics worked deep in the structure as well.
Spots worth a look
Any of the bridge pylons in the Noosa, Mooloolah and Maroochy rivers work. Coolum Creek, rock walls at the mouth of Petrie Creek and Mooloolaba along with the upper Noosa River have all produced a few fish over the past week.