Stinker’s Fishin’: Jacks – a real challenge

Lemon Tree Passage Master fisher Wayne Coles with a solid Coffs Harbour Mangrove Jack.

A COUPLE of weeks back I mentioned that I had spent time on the Tweed River where I had been ambushed by thumping great mangrove jack.

Fish to 5kg which I couldn’t land.

Always ready for a challenge, master fisher Wayne Coles and son Matt headed north from Lemon Tree Passage to Coffs Harbour to do battle with the mighty jack.

As expected the Coles boys came to the conclusion that when the jacks pull hard in one direction the recipe for success was to pull harder in the opposite direction.

Unfortunately, we in Port Stephens are rarely visited by mangrove jacks which prefer the warmer waters of the north.
Very few jacks have been reported in our waters and even less caught on a line.

The only time I have heard of their capture was in a net inside the port or speared over the offshore reefs.

On the odd occasion that I have caught a jack I have been amazed at the lightning speed that the fish possesses from a standing start.

Their strength in the battle is reflected by the need to use a 20kg line to catch a 5kg fish.

To my mind the mangrove jack is one of the best kitchen fish I have experienced.

The real problem is getting them into the kitchen.

By John ‘Stinker’ CLARKE

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