Top 5 Reasons Anglers Like to Catch Jack Fish in Florida

By Debbie Hanson

Jan 09, 2018

Learn more about jack fish in Florida. Find out what lures or flies to use to catch jack fish species, why they are so fun to pursue on spinning rod or fly rod

If you've searched online for "jack fish florida," there's a good chance you've seen photos of the silvery-yellow species commonly known as the jack crevalle or crevalle jack. Anglers in pursuit of tarpon, snook, and other saltwater game fish often dismiss the burly jack crevalle, but this doesn't mean that you should follow suit. Check out five reasons why you just might enjoy catching a jack crevalle. 

1. Jack Crevalle are easy to find

In fact, this Florida saltwater fish can be found anywhere from Florida's coastal bays, estuaries and residential canals, to deep offshore wrecks and reefs. Bigger jacks, in the 20 to 50-pound range, are generally found offshore, but have been known to come inshore to chase schools of mullet or other baitfish.

2. Jack fish will willingly take bait or lures

Fishing on the surface for this species can be incredibly exciting. Try topwater lures and poppers for explosive action. The saltwater jack fish is quite fond of the noise and splash that these types of presentations offer. If you are fishing with kids or beginners, the best bait to catch jack fish will be a finger mullet, threadfin herring, or pretty much any other type of baitfish. 

3.  Jack fish is an ideal saltwater fly fishing target

They readily take flies and are a blast to reel in on a fly rod. Streamer flies that imitate baitfish are your best bets for success. Try casting your flies near seawall edges, in the surf zones along the beaches, or along the mangroves. Flies can also be cast directly toward schools of bait, and then stripped back at a steady, fast cadence. 

4. Improve your Fish fighting Skills

Catching jack crevalle can help improve your fish fighting skills and prepare you for the challenge of larger saltwater game fish. This saltwater species has a high level of strength and stamina, which makes them the perfect target if you want to test your fishing mettle.

5. Catch Jack Fish Year-round

You can catch jack fish in Florida year-round. The bite may slow down slightly during the cooler winter months (from December through March), but fishing for this species generally remains consistently good. 

Now that you have few good reasons to try catching a jack fish in Florida, be sure to buy your Florida fishing license online and get out on the water! 

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.