Fish of the Month: Mangrove Jack (Lutjanus Argentimaculatus)
Australia’s premier sportfish, I believe is this ‘Red Dog’. Sought after by many sports fishers, this fish is great at busting you up in the rocks and snags.
Growing to well over a metre long, most of the huge fish are found out on the reef. A 60cm fish in the rivers or bay in South East Queensland is a great catch but not uncommon, where most fish I see are below 50cm.
Found from northern New South Wales to right around the top end to Geraldton in Western Australia, they are five star eating quality, although a lot of avid anglers now practice catch and release.
Mangrove Jack take lures and live bait, and seem to be more plentiful in the hot summer months and stormy days. My favourite method to target these brutes is drifting live bait such as herring or mullet a few feet below a float along rock walls, rock bars, mangrove lines and bridge pylons.
These amazing fish can also make great pets, although due to their aggression and appetite, are not compatible with many other species in an aquarium.