Huge Jack Crevalle - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 07-01-2012, 08:56 AM   #1
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Default Huge Jack Crevalle

But unfortunately no picture. Here's the story:

I was out about 150 yards on the Destin West Jetty. It's about 95 degrees and the water is fairly clear. It was taking quite awhile to make it to end so I called it quits right there and set up shop. In the pass, the water was murky and full of grass and junk due to outgoing tide. On the gulf side, it was emerald green clear. The plan initially was to catch some pinfish to use as bait and then soak them in the gulf until a redfish picked it up. New plan started when I looked into the gulf and within 25 yards of shore was a school of about 50 large Jack Crevalle in a feeding frenzy. When in feeding frenzy mode, they'll eat anything shiny. Here is where I learned lesson:

1. Before heading out, swap your 1 year old 40lb leader with a new one. You never know what you're going to catch in the gulf and it's best to always be prepared.

I had an old leader on the line, but I was in panic mode. This was the first and probably the last opportunity I was ever going to have in my life to catch a Jack Crevalle (moving to LA in a few weeks). These guys were monsters. 20-30lbs and they were hungry. I didn't have a fresh new leader ready to go so I used the old one already rigged up. I then grabbed my most productive and expensive lure and hooked it up. I casted it out and BAM, as soon as it hit the water the Jacks tore it up. I had a fish on the line in seconds. I learned another lesson her:

2. Feeding and schooling Jacks eat anything shiny. Don't throw them your $10 lure when the $2 shiny spoon will do just fine.

I worked this beast for 15 minutes. My Penn Sargus 4000 was no match for this fish. With the drag locked down, he was still peeling line off like there was no drag. I finally tired him out so that I could bring him in. A fellow angler nearby came to my assistance when I motioned to him that I needed a hand. He held the fishing rod while I went down the rocks of the jetty to pick up the fish by the tail. And then, he whacked his tail with just enough force to have my 1 yr old mono leader graze against the rocks and SNAP went the line and off the fish went with my $10 lure. I was pretty bummed out. The jack was an easy 20lbs and would've made excellent shark bait. But we weren't done yet.

I saw the school was moving closer to shore. I thanked my fellow angler and told him I was going chase down that school. I rigged up my shiny $2 spoon and made it to the beach as quickly and safely as possible. I waded into the water waist deep and cast in the middle of the school. The next thing that happened really puzzled me. The fish went straight for ME and not the lure. I'm 30 yards from shore and waste deep...what's going on? And then I saw the dark shadows chasing the Jacks. Cute dolphins right? No, there were at least 3-4 bull sharks chasing these jacks around. The school of Jacks swam right through me. I was surrounded by these monsters. And right after the school? I could have grabbed those sharks by the tail if I wanted to. New lesson:

3. When fishing for Jacks, expect sharks to be around.

I made it to shore and decided it was time to go home and change my underpants. What a good time. I'm going to miss fishing in Destin.
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:31 AM   #2
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Default Fun

Sounds fun. I have had a similar experience with redfish at the east end of St. George Island when a shark cleaned a 34 inch red off my line when in waist deep water. Took me about 15 minutes to calm down but I went back in. Sometimes you just gotta fish.
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:32 AM   #3
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thats hilarious.

my gf yesterday got chased by a huge remora trying to hitch a ride. it wouldn't leave her alone. must have thought she was a shark

its fun living out here with the clear water.. its almost like dreaming of fishing where you can see the action. i can never go back to freshwater brackish fishing after all this
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:38 PM   #4
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Thanks for posting! That's a great story. Glad you made it out safely!
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Old 07-01-2012, 02:29 PM   #5
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Thats a hell if a story.at least you got to feel the power of a jack.im guessing youre still sore from fighting it.haha
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:20 PM   #6
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Yeah it was a good time. One of these days I'll get one.
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:46 PM   #7
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great report .don't sweat moving to LA there are a bunch of Jacks swimming around out there called yellowtails. Great fight and very yummy.
get on a sportfisher headed for Catalina Island. good luck
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Old 07-02-2012, 01:21 AM   #8
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Great post, sounds like some good excitement..
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:36 AM   #9
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So... why didn't you grab one? Shark wrangling is fun!
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:15 PM   #10
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Haha, now that would've made this a great story.
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