Fishing Friday: Mangrove jack out in fine form
Mangrove jack are in fine form at present in the main locations we find them around here. They can be quite fickle and boat traffic can shut down a bite in no time. Night time is the best because it keeps numbers of boats passing right down. The majority of guys chasing jacks use either live or strip baits. Fishing the holes and rock bars, just put your bait or lures hard to the structures. The mangroves require the lure or bait to be right tight up inside the root ball or underwater branches, lock your drag, then hang on and wind. Coorooman Creek, Corio, Pumpkin Creek, Ross Creek, Kinka Creek and The Fitzroy all have small jack populations. Flathead, bream, whiting, cod and queenfish are all very active at the moment and mudcrabs are back on the chew, making the estuaries a fine choice.
When the wind drops out again we will get doggies and spanish right inside the bay and along the many shore based vantage spots. In the last month there have been several quality spanish mackerel landed from the blow hole, Porcupine Point and the rock wall at Rosslyn Bay Harbour. The lack of rain has allowed the bait schools longer access to the bay and with the bait have come the pelagics. Lately we have had a number of small black marlin, striped marlin and small sail fish in some spots as shallow as five metres, chasing bait. All of the local bait grounds have marlin at times. Live baits are the go although several were hooked on floating pillies and trolled deep diving lures.
Large mouth nannies have been unusually quiet in the close coastal grounds but the wider spots are firing well. The bigger fish were mainly caught up north on fern patches. The wonky holes we have been fishing in previous years have all dried up and are almost impossible to find. When we get some decent rains again they will open up and kick on. This time of year I always like the grounds off Manifold and over the green zone.
Grunter are here again, right on cue. Both the estuary and offshore fish are in fair form and the days surrounding either the full moon or the new moon are the pick times. All my biggest grunter have been landed at night, in and offshore. Fresh prawns and squid are very hard to beat as the go to grunter baits. More and more grunter are being caught on slow jigged gear and vibes. Although we get the best catches on a big tide, they really like to sit out of the current. The pressure wave in front of a structure, the eddy at the back or in the trenches under the main flow. These types of spots can be worked over with lures instead of waiting for the fish to find any baits. This also gives you more time to locate the fish and keep moving until you find them.
Thanks to Bluefin Sports, The Secret Spot, Kalka Bait and Tackle, Rosslyn Bay Kiosk, Stanage Bay Marine and Cooee Bay Marine the locals who not only support the fishing column but also the fishing and boating community across the whole of CQ. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org Send your emails or photos in to be eligible for next round of prize draws.