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Captain’s Corner: Jacks are made for fly rod fun

By Pat Damico, Times Correspondent

Along with other warm-water species such as snook and baby tarpon, jack crevalle have made a fantastic comeback. Few saltwater species match their ability to chase fast-moving prey and put a strain on fly tackle. Chances of encounters can be increased by applying a few simple rules. They are always prowling for food and can be in very large schools where they will be similar in size. Moving water will get them feeding, especially when a tide changes. They can relate to structure because structure holds baitfish. Seawalls with docks, docks on points at canal entrances, mangrove points (especially with oyster bars) and bridge abutments should all be probed. I prefer white poppers or sliders size 1 to 1/0 that make a lot of surface disturbance. They will investigate noise and strike suddenly. If you hook a fish, get it on the reel as soon as possible and keep pressure on it with the rod held low. Keep a soft bend in the rod and use a reel with adequate backing and excellent drag. It is not unusual for another fish to try to tear the fly out of the hooked fish’s mouth.

Fly fisherman Pat Damico runs charters in lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at captpat.com and (727) 504-8649.