The jack crevalle is a very common catch in subtropical and tropical waters, and not great eating, so the species hold little appeal for many experienced saltwater anglers. To someone like me, who lives a long way from the ocean, this is madness. Because jacks are nothing but fun. They’re fairly plentiful, and enthusiastically slam jigs, poppers and jerkbaits. When you’re lucky enough to find a school of ’em, it can be a jacks-plosion, as they suddenly materialize, and just about jerk the rod out of your hand.
And boy howdy, do jacks fight.
Jacks are disproportionately powerful in a way that doesn’t even seem to make sense. The first time freshwater anglers hook a small jack, they invariably think it’s a 25-pound fish, and are utterly astonished to pull up something the size of a hubcap. It’s almost a rite of passage.
Jacks roam the open ocean, swimming down their prey from great distances, which makes this predator hard, fast and strong. So when a jack turns that deep body sideways, and starts pounding its huge forked tail, you are in for a fight.