Jacks on Poppers
Mangrove jack are tough competitors in most fishing situations but when targeting them in snag-ridden mudflats in less than a metre of water, you instantly double the difficulty factor. Explosive surface smashing hits followed by ‘brickings’ and bust-offs are common, and on average only one in two fish are landed. The bigger fish power off sideways through the snags on near locked-up tackle. Once they find structure a stray treble usually catches on the timber and it’s all over. If you’re lucky you might get your lure back.
Nathan Ruth first put me onto this exciting way of jack fishing a few years ago and we’ve spent many trips experimenting with different tides and poppers in the shallows. It can be just as effective as most other forms of lure fishing, and you get the added bonus of heart-pounding visuals.
If you’re a keen flyfisher small poppers can be just as effective but sometimes you won’t have enough space to properly back cast. While it can be difficult, the rewards are worth it.
We have caught lots of jacks on poppers in the salt and freshwater reaches of our northern rivers but never as consistently as when we target the snag flats...