Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Jacks Time Is on the Cards

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Jacks Time Is on the Cards

Article excerpt

THE hot conditions we've experienced the past two weekends and summer-storm-like afternoons have had the jacks on the prowl in Sunshine Coast estuaries.

Also the presence of massive schools of herring boiling on the surface in a feeding frenzy throughout the Maroochy River and in most coastal rivers will spark things up.

These herring are at the bottom of the food chain for most big predators and along with small mullet and river prawns make up most of a mangrove jack's diet.

The green river prawns numbers increased at the end of the year in our local creeks, upper reaches and canals.

This is when a cast net can become invaluable to an angler who is trying to match what the mangrove jack are feeding on. And you only have to look at the photos of recent jack catches to realise that we're approaching jack-fishing season.

Where to find jacks

These fish are as comfortable around snaggy environments as I am with a fishing rod in my hands. Their favourite habitats include rocky structures, bridge pylons and fallen trees, under pontoons, deep holes and, as adults, inshore reefs.

Mangrove jack are drawn to these habitats as they provide great shelters and they can easily ambush prey or your bait with a vicious swift attack as it passes by their territory and lair.

They will then dart back in to the deep coverage with the unsuspecting fish or when they become hooked, and this is when anglers' lines tend to snap as they rub against the usually abrasive surfaces.

Mangrove jacks are getting caught in their usual haunts. These include:

Noosa: Noosa Sound, Woods Bay, Weyba Creek (where bait prawns love to hang), the Gympie Terrace stretch and in between Lake Cootharaba and Cooroibah.

Maroochy: Eudlo Creek, Petrie Creek, Coolum Creek and around the Cane Train Bridge near Dunethin rock.

Mooloolaba: Kawana Waters, the channel that runs under McKenzie's Bridge, Mountain Creek and the middle to upper reaches of the Mooloolah River.

Caloundra: The top end of Currimundi Lake, Pelican Waters Canals, around the pylons of the Boardwalk and the upper reaches of Bells and Coochin Creek. …

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