Finally got out for a land based flick today after a long time not fishing. High tide was at around 9:30am and conditions were beautiful with a light westerly breeze, water was slightly mirky from run off but still very fishable. I arrived at my spot to notice some freshwater run off with some smaller bait fish in a frenzy and some larger fish clearly feeding on them. I suspected a few jacks and some tarpon with the odd lazy barra lurking. Casting had to be pin point accurate or no hits and I decided to try out a couple of leads lures for the first time (why the first time? I don’t know!). I clipped on a leads hijacker and was rewarded 3rd cast with a nice little jack. Good start!

land based mangrove jack Cairns

Soon after the action died down when I snagged my lure and went around the bank to retrieve it with a stick. Luckily I got it back but the bite shut down as they all saw me. Still I got to see tarpon launching themselves out of the water and onto the bank, then back into the water in a typical tarpon frenzy.

I stuck it out for a bit longer, trying some smaller lures and a trick darter megabass lure did the trick, nailing a small but energetic tarpon. You have to love a fired up tarpon jumping all over the shop.


The action died down again and I picked the pattern. A small break to allow the fish to settle back into feeding and a change of lure was the trick. Knowing tarpon have a small fetish for chrome or silver lures I dug a small leads jack lure in the hologram bony bream type finish out of the tackle box. First cast I was onto a better tarpon. 2/2 tarpon hook ups is unusual but I’ll take it!


I waited a few minutes and let the fish calm a little, then decided to mix up my retrieve and see if there were any small barra lurking. I cast out right up into the action bank side and paused the lure until the ripples disappeared, then ever so slowly crept the lure back slightly changing the speed of the retrieve at the start of the wind. Around 1/3 of the way back the lure was nailed with a solid take and the drag screamed before a nice little barra launched himself into the air several times. I played him out as he was well hooked and slid him up onto the bank before lip gripping him. He went 57cm and was released along with all of the other fish.


Soon after the action died down and I was out of new lures to try. I should have taken another lighter rod and some plastics, but it’s been a long time since I caught a fish on a hardbody lure so I only took them. Also very impressed with this new gloomis NRX 804S XMR, casts small and large lures so well and holds onto fish nicely with it’s taper, most of all it could easily handle a metre plus barra.