Ryan & I hit the Trinity Inlet with plans of fishing deep on a strange neap tide with no run from 5am until 12 noon. Just near the boat ramp I made the call to start casting some snags and we entered a small creek. Getting used to the electric was taking some effort and before we knew it a pro crabber sped past, way too fast for this small creek, so I shook my head at him and got out of there fast. We made the call to just keep casting at the edges along the main waterway as there were a few mullet around.
I’d just been telling Ryan which snags to target and how long it has been since I caught a decent jack since I mainly target barra these days. Then I put a decent cast in along side a nice looking snag and started a slow constant roll retrieve on a big paddle tailed plastic (Jackall 5.5″ Ammonite Shad) when suddenly a few winds in the lure was jammed. I knew it was a jack by the way it hit and was very fast in turning him away from home and ‘guiding’ him my way a bit. However the fish felt a little too big to be a jack and I started to think it might be a really fired up barra. It soon became a tug of war and I patiently played him out thinking large barra, but it took another sizzling powerful run falling just short of cover. Each run became shorter and eventually I noticed the size of the fish in the water. I was quite disappointed (still thinking barra) until I noticed a broad silver gold mangrove jack. Happy would be an understatement and I’m surprised I turned him on light gear and got him out of the snag as he was quite a brute of a jack.
We continued along the same stretch and the mullet started thinning out, water temperature rose to 25 degrees and Ryan had a couple of follows from jacks on his fav little hardbody. Around the corner we noticed a very nice drop off from 2m out into 7-8m of water with a good set of snags at one end. We changed to weighted weedless plastics and Ryan caught a Toadfish (opsanus tau) which didn’t even warrant a photo – he was U-G-L-Y ! Ryan dropped a decent fish that put out a screaming run to nothing right beside the boat which was a shame because it was a good fish and I think we both would have liked to know what it was. I dropped two fish that felt fairly small like little estuary cod.
As we headed up past the snags on the electric, to come back and drift the snags we both noticed a commotion on a timber snag and saw some fins. Then the same fish flapped around on the surface again as if it was pinned somehow. Ryan made the call to go and check it out as the fins did look red. So we drifted over and sure enough, here’s a decent sized jack that had clearly won it’s freedom from another angler, only to become trapped in a snag with full leader and about 20 metres of braid attached to him. He was in good condition, so I netted him and Ryan took care of the lines and he came home in the esky for Ryan’s dinner. What a fluke of a find. The jack had a good set of shoulders and was in very good condition.
So all plans of fishing deep were abandoned and we made our way up another typical Trinity Inlet creek. I was fishing another unweighted Jackall Ammonite Shad rigged weedless and Ryan threw on a 3″ gulp shrimp. While we were rigging up I was focusing on the electric and as my back was turned I felt a solid hit and turned to see a small barra swim off with the tail of my plastic. Bugger, dropped him. We continued on and I caught a little jack deep in a snag and put the brakes on fairly hard and pulled him out on the baitcast set up and Ryan caught a little archer fish.
So what was expected to be a slow day took a nice turn and the weather was amazing. Looks like we’ll be heading back Thursday for a quick hit and run session.