On Thursday morning I drove down to Wreck Rock to fish through dawn. When I arrived the wind and swell was up and the tide was higher than I had expected. After an hour and a spectacular sunrise, I decided to give up and look elsewhere for some fish.
I stopped in town for a quick breakfast and decided to go back to Tom’s Creek. I wanted to know what had bitten me off the day before. By the time I drove down the four wheel drive track to Tom’s Creek, it was about 10.30 am. I rigged up the light rod with relatively tough, 16lb fluorocarbon leader and a 1/6th ounce, 1/0 jighead. I started with a GULP Jerkshad in the Peppered Prawn colour. I cast this around in the same area I had been fishing the day before.
The tide was about half way out and was running quickly. I used the same technique as previously. I was casting at the base of the mangrove roots on the far bank. Inevitably I lost a couple more jigheads but when I finally put the soft plastic right up against the roots, something slammed it again. I tried to pull it out but the rod did not have the power and with the aid of the current the fish slipped into the rock bar and that’s where I left the jighead.
I re-rigged using a heavier ¼ ounce, 1/0 hook jighead and the same 16lb fluorocarbon leader. This enabled me to cast more accurately at the base of the mangroves, and helped the soft plastic get down in the water column faster. The first taker was a small grunter bream. I released it and carried on casting.
I swapped to a GULP Mantis Shrimp in the Peppered Prawn colour. There were big yabby holes all over the banks, so I thought this might be a good shape to offer up. After a few casts I was on again, but after a short and furious fight I got half the yabby back with a bent jighead, but no fish.
It was now just after 11.00 am. I re-rigged with another ¼ ounce jighead, but I had no more Mantis Shrimp soft plastics, so I went back to a Jerkshad – this time in the Pearl Watermelon colour. Just a few casts later, a solid fish grabbed it. This time I had the drag tight and I pulled hard straight away. The fast running current helped me get the fish away from the rocks. It put in a few more determined runs but after a few minutes, I had the fish subdued at my feet. It was a great looking crimson coloured mangrove jack. I measured it at about 47cm, took a few pictures and released it to fight another day.
I fished on for about half an hour but could not find another fish so, at about noon, I gave up for the day.