Jacks in the Current

by: Caitlyn Gatrell

Have you ever fought a Jack Crevalle before? If you have, then you know they put up some challenging fights and are strong swimmers. Now, have you ever fought one in a current? If so, then you know that’s a tough battle. One that will have your arms burning and your wrist hurting.

Exploring our way through the Ten Thousand Islands, we have found a couple “honey holes” where the fishing produces pretty well. A couple spots happen to be near some backwater currents. Here, we often find a variety of species, even turtles, dolphins, the occasional gator, you name it. Jacks are often found here as well, whether it be within mangroves, out in shallow waters, along a small island, or within the deep ripping currents. On especially the strongest point of the tide, where the water forcefully pushes leaves and twigs past us, and our trolling motor can barely keep up with the current, the jack hook ups are usually very memorable. We don’t see them at first, but we already can tell what is on the line, and the line will fly through the water, the drag screams and the fish just takes off. It seems within a few seconds the fish is already halfway down the stretch of mangroves. It takes a bit of time, teamwork, and a lot of maneuvering around with the trolling motor, in order to get these jacks to the boat. Just when you feel like you are getting them close, they get a kick of energy and will take off again, swimming quickly with the current. Once we can get them up, we take out the hook, snap some quick photos and get ready for the release. Jacks usually are ready to go with a quick head dive and they scurry off, swimming deeper until you can no longer see them.

We can find jacks of all sizes in the currents, but big or small, they always put up a good battle. Jacks in these currents often are eating (dead or alive) mullet, pilchards, and even swimbaits as well.  We usually have no problem catching them. One thing I notice about these jacks, is that we frequently spot them swimming along the surface of the water. Not enough for their fins or back to surface, but enough to make a big wake appear. There have been quite a few times where we would see one of these big wakes and would throw our bait in the direction its heading, and sure enough, we would immediately hook up to one of these big boys. As mentioned before, Jack Crevalles are the saltwater species that got me hooked into fishing, so I will always enjoy reeling them in. If you haven’t had an opportunity to catch a jack in the current, or a jack at all, it is something you need to experience! Head to your local beach, bridge, pier, jetty, bay, etc., and wait for the strong outgoing or incoming tide, and get ready for some fun!

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