Charleston Harbor is the summertime home for ravenous schools of crevalle jack. They are great sportfish. Crevalle jack grow large (upwards of 35-pounds) and fight hard. So, this summer, I set out to catch one. Given their abundance, it seemed like a pretty easy thing to do. However, finding a school of jacks proved to be problematic.
When big jacks are feeding, it looks like someone is dropping bowling balls from a helicopter. The surface commotion is hard to miss. Unfortunately, jack feed on the surface at very short intervals. It takes a bit of luck to be in the right place at the right time. For the entire summer, I could not put these two items together.
On Friday, I decided to start the Labor Day weekend with a friends and family sunset cruise. Just before launching, I decided to bring along a couple of 20-pound class spinning outfits. Fishing was not in the plan, but it pays to always be prepared. The weather was fantastic, low humidity and much cooler than normal. Perfect conditions for a harbor cruise.
Just before sunset, we were idling back to the dock. Everyone was having a great time. The music was loud, the drinks were cold, and the crew was chilled out. Then it happened. A school of jacks began feeding right next to the boat. My brother Dave quickly grabbed one of the spinning rods and cast a Z-Man StreakZ XL into the feeding frenzy. The strike was immediate, and the fight was long. A big crevalle jack puts up a punishing fight on a 20-pound class tackle. During the fight, my son Elliott explained to our guests how sportfishing is a team sport. Someone is the angler. Someone runs the boat. Someone nets the fish. Everyone has to do their part.
Everyone gets credit for the catch. While I did not actually catch the big jack, I was on the team. So, I am checking off catch a big crevalle jack off my summertime to-do list.