Tips for Jacks by Dale Freschi

Hey SFOTF! Dale “Bulldog” Freschi here and I’m coming back from feeling refreshed and ready to share with you my fishing trip to southern Florida.

I recently returned from a fishing trip to southern Florida with my good friends Brent and Dyanne Schlenker, where we caught a variety of different species but the one I want to talk about today is probably the most “under-rated" warm water game fish to target with a fly rod.

The fish I am referring to is the Jack Crevalle and I’ve caught them in several different tropical locations around the world.

There are many different species of “Jacks” and most are extremely aggressive feeders, often hunting baitfish in packs creating boiling froths on the surface of the water where they have cornered their prey.

This behaviour can not only make them easy to locate but also makes them susceptible to top water flies such as “Poppers”.

These fish will take numerous fly patterns, but to me nothing beats seeing the explosive take of a big Jack hammering your popper on the surface.

We originally used 8 weight fly rods to target fish under 10 pounds but quickly found that when we hooked anything larger they peeled off our 200 yards of backing with ease. I would suggest at least a 10 weight rod and minimum 200 yards of backing (300 would be better) when targeting larger fish along with a good reel that can handle runs approaching warp speed.

Dale’s Tips: I have found that experimentation with the speed at which you retrieve the fly can be the key to success, sometimes they want it moving as fast as possible and other times slow or even stationary. We would be quickly moving the boat to a new location in the bay with my fly hanging out the back when “wham” a Jack would hammer it, other times I would be fishing poppers, stop and turn to talk to someone in the boat, hear a large flushing sound behind me, only to turnaround to see that a Jack had taken my stationary fly off the surface.

Also a fun fact about these fish, is that they like to hang out in marina’s and sheltered bays/channels so on blustery windy days that render the outlying flats unfishable you can still have a great time fishing for Jacks, often right in front of waterfront homes.