There is nothing like catching a crevalle jack. The deep water bruisers have a voracious appetite, miles of spunk and make an odd croaking noise when you catch them. They also typically spawn from March to early September. Hence, fall is a good time to go fishing for them. With that said, you may want to check out a few of my tips for catching fall jacks:
Suggestions on Where to Look
Crevalle jacks are schooling, deep water, pelagic fish that are known to seek out waters that are in the 64 to 92.5 degree Fahrenheit range. As such, they tend to migrate in the fall in search of warm water. They also tend to frequent areas that have strong currents, sea grass beds and offshore reefs. I have found that Florida's canals often offer some of the best opportunities to catch jacks. I should also mention that while swimming in open water, the juveniles are known to shadow larger fish, buoys and shrimp boats.
Suggestions on When to Look
In my experience, some of best times to catch crevalle jacks are early mornings, late afternoons and periods of moving tide. As such, I have found that targeting the canals two hours before and after high tide tends to be quite productive. Of course they will feed during the day as well. If you manage to find the bait fish, there is a good chance that the jacks won't be far behind.
Bait and Tackle Suggestions
When it comes to fishing for jacks, I have found that you can't beat chumming as a locator technique. However, don't be stingy with your offerings. Remember, these bruisers like to eat. Excellent bait selections include Atlantic bumper, anchovies, portunid crabs, pinfish and squid. They are also known to eat penaeid shrimp, sardines, threadfin herring and minnows. Depending on the clarity of the water, the use of bright colored lures may also prove to be productive. Colors to consider using are chartreuse and yellow.
Once the jacks start responding to the chum, you'll want to use quick casts into the breaking fish. Otherwise, you could miss out on the action. That's because the jacks are notorious for gulping their food and making a run for it. You'll also want to consider varying the speed of your retrieve. If I'm using a lure that resembles a wounded bait fish, I'll typically use a slow retrieve. If the jacks are visibly agitated, I'll try using a fast retrieve. As far as the tackle goes, you may want to consider using floating lines, sinking flies and step-down leaders.
Killeen Gonzalez enjoys fishing with her family. She has also traveled extensively.
More from this contributor:
- Nature & Environment
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- pelagic fish