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Jewfish - Gear, No1 Method & Top Spots .....


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Hi Everyone,

I don't know if this post will be a marathon post by the time I finish as far as the reading goes, but when I write I like to cover an important subject thoroughly.

I had some spare time today, so I decided to type away and post a new topic.

This article will be focussing on the gear aspect of fishing for jewfish and the bi-catch in jew waters and I will be giving different methods than are generally used, in order to get more consistent results.

Some of my gear and methods are not by the book but I always prefer to leave it up to the user to judge.

For example my method of floating a livie or big squid over a long directed distance allows you to use steath or you can use it as a range finder, with the chance of a quick hit before the other lines go out and it can be used continuously on other rods as you fish. You should always have one rod straight down at the back of the boat ready for jew to fly in and grab it despite the shadow above.

I have specially geared this article for those who may well say "I don't want to just fish for fish in general any more" "I am sick and tired of studying everything and specialising in nothing and bringing home nothing that's edible" OR "I know jewfish are the king of the river, AND I should be king with all my classy gear and this costly fishing boat" OR "What on earth is going on here, jewfish are not a protected species and there must be thousands of them", AND "I am getting dizzy going round in circles every trip, AND FINALLY "I'll switch over to jew for a while and just sit back and relax".

I will be sharing some of my favourite spots and there is no reason whatsoever why Raiders shouldn't get away from the old spotx secret spot speil and give the exact location, so that other members can keep the spruikers themselves up to date on what is actually happening there. What happens and what timing and conditions makes it happen. "Likely to happen" is always the unknown quantity.

Wherever or whatever spotx is, there's not much user information passed on about what the best timing and conditions are meant to be during members' limited weekend fishing opportunities.

As an example, when and what they are actually "going to catch" taking a punt is a no win situation and it's never good enough, and not just "likely to catch" when the majority of members can only go out boating every second or third Saturday or Sunday.

For instance someone may have fluked a fish on an expensive outfit meant to catch other species somewhere else or jagged a slow moving fish ready to explode at the swim bladder and this suddenly becomes a secret spotx follow the leader spot all the way to Van Deimen's Land.

I have decided to share, let's call them for now, some of my favourite secrect spots with members.

These are proven spots and you need only to be consistent and put the hours in, but if you anchor spot on, please let out a bit of rope when you see me coming along and if the jew or the bi-catch come on, we might catch twice as much. Remember what the timing and conditions were somehow and do it that way next time and launch your share of rods and again just sit back and relax.

As I always say, leave it to the "birds" to know where the secret spots are and if you can't work it out yourself it doesn't matter anyway and birds don't matter one iota as far as jewfish are concerned. You can always try following them in jew country or fishing away from them.

Because of the unusual conditions in general this year and because this is a time when the jew are around but not at their peak, I have decided to restrict my jew fishing to 18 hour straight thru sessions to get two top of the tides if I can't dig a few out over the earlier any tide period. I will be doing that every third day if suitable, except if there is any ongoing southerly wind whatsoever coming over the current or colder conditions.

To test out once again, for the upteenth time, how the ongoing southerly wind affects fishing and on days that haven't recovered from ongoing cooler conditions and only produced extra cold onto those cooler conditions, I had a 26 hour session at Menai last weekend with my grandson Little Jewgaffer for only a few table size bream and over a dozen very ordinary bream in the waters I chose.

I was joined by fishrader Cungee George, and Con the Greek, both local regulars and jew and bi catch men, and they caught nothing at all because the bream schools came on the bite on the early run in, around two o'clock on Sunday morning and went off well before they arrived.

The old ferry platform at Menai is a landbased fishing spot just about as good as you'll find in the Georges for a good bi catch as well. An excellent jew and bream spot is the Lugarno moored boats area anchoring in the channels and fishing back towards the boats for jew, and for bream fishing around and in between the oldest boats.

The pick of the crop for jew and a bi-catch is first point up to the right when your standing at Lugarno facing Menai is one of the best bream and jew spots in the Lugarno area, along with the point up on your right on the Menai side and remember the Georges, unlike the Hawkesbury, is another one of the many coastal rivers where you get jew results mostly at night.

I always allow for a bi catch in jew territory in Sydney by using the sharpest possible heavy duty 5-0 bottom hook for the bite area and a 6-0 top hook for the double whammy or the bite pull and slip. Whatever you do and no matter what boggles your mind next you must make sure that the top hook, the hook that is controlled by the line first, is always facing the head for the pull and slip method to work at all !!

Bream upset our bull mullet livies in Ballina for an example by pecking the eyes out of them and cutting off their breathing works.

We cannot use squid anywhere in the river at Ballina because we finish up only targetting bream, the jew being "marauders", coming in schools for the top of the tide baitfish hunt. The slaughter as you can imagine thinking of the size and the mouth of a jewfish is nature's way of culling the numbers of live bait, as only the heathiest and the fittest survive.


NOTE: Old timers used a minimum of 30lb mono on Alveys to start and an increase to 50lb became standard and recommended. Beyond 50 lb mono was verging onto too difficult to cast and the line wouldn't bite in to prevent coils coming off the reel.

JEW GEAR: No need to buy extra reels if you already have game gear. Non casting overheads are fine in river currents and in the case of non casting reels, you will be able to fish very well for jew using my slowly floating to bottom while covering ground, live bait or squid etc method which follows further down the page.

Recommended rods & reels:

Rods: Overheads or spinning rods with more sensitivity if you wish. The rod needs to have good head room and backbone to give you the leverage advantage and not the fish. My own rods are unique being stamped 10-50lb, I.E. 10lb for sensitivity and 50lb for backbone strength. A quality rod with a backbone strength of 25lb would suffice but you need the rod to have the leverage advantage to reduce the strain on the reel and reduce the playing time to avoid the things that can go wrong. Good brands of jew rods should cover around 50lb but for the extra sensitivity with the 50lb backbone you would need to get advice

Reels : Capable of at least taking 250 metres of 25lb mono, only as a guide to strength, for the use of 150 metres of 80lb braid with the equivalent test weight at a minimum of 60% as a mono backing.

Line: Boat fishing - 80lb braid 80lb leader - Snag break off pointt remains in the knots. Quality 60lb leader quite ok.

Swivel check rating is around 120lb. Small 5/8 inch ball bearing swivels around 150lb are fine .

Sinkers: Minimum weight to have the sinker hold bottom. In fast currents, running snapper sinker with 12inches of double line above swivel on 1.2mtrs of leader for casting purposes and 2- 3 metres of leader for non casting reels for manual line feed out.

Hooks: Normally 8/0 -10/0 J hooks in suicides or octopus . Bi catch 6/0 top hook 5/0 bottom hook for dead baits AND non offset short shank live bait hooks on livies. None offset hooks to prevent the bait rolling around helps present a livie under relatively free running circumstances. I've have my own view on quick release circle hooks on jew.

Bait rigging : Squid - the 5/0 bottom when used on jew and the bi- catch is the head hook with the tentacles facing away from the rod and the hook facing the tail so that the line and the shank won't get in the way on the head first take. The barb of the bottom hook must not face the head as the fish may not accept the bait and the mouth will just roll over the shank and miss the barb if it's facing the head.

To secure the squid head to the body being at the fore of the take put the bottom smaller hook thru the centre of the top of the tube and turn it back up right between the eyes of the squid facing the tail. For the bottom hook turn it over underneatg the squid and put the hook thru the centre near the tail , leaving enough room and making sure the squid won't double over during a bite and cover up the barb.

Livie : Bottom hook thru dorsal fin facing the tail, top hook inserted just before the end of the tail or light small elastic band holding the single hook shank flush against side of the fish remembering the line controls the top hook first, with the barb facing the head so that your hooks are facing opposite directions to allow for any possible fish pull and slip and you certainly don't want the barb on your top hook facing the wrong way.

You should take care and rig your hooks up accordingly or just drop the top hook thru the top of the leader and snell or uni- knot along the shank will have it facing the opposite way.


NO1 METHOD IS FOR TODAY'S POST. Other unusual methods will follow later in another topic:

When launching out your boat rods, a terrific way to do it is to just drop the bait into the current direction from the angle of your choice, away from the boat. Feed the bait and line into the current direction holding the running sinker in your hand. Let the bait travel as far as you like to the area you chose, then drop the snapper lead slowly down the line feeding out more line to allow for the sinker taking up the line at the bait. You can then cover groung back towards the boat by winding it in a few metres and dropping it back down again as you go.

You may still need to play the waiting game till you get your jew or bi-catch. This system gives you excellent coverage with any gear and is particularly useful for non casting reels such as Alvey snapper reels or overhead gear.


Hawkesbury: When there are a few boats at Juno Point take a medial line and anchor about 150 metres behind them, at an angle a jew won't run off too close to them. If I was a jewfish in a pack coming fast and attacking by surprise and swooping on Juno jew thoroughfare against the current, I certainly wouldn't want to see a lot of strange shadows above my head. So I would try and beat the others to a helpless looking bait in the water nowhere near these shadows!

Port Hacking River: 60 feet of water in Burraneer Bay is an excellent night jew only and table size snapper should come in on the run up first. Keep burley away from the surface, you don't want any bait fish to turn up.

Georges River all ready given for now, however I will add in Balface about 80 metres out and down current at any changing tide, favouring the early run in and the period before and after the top of the tide.

Hope you all get good results the next time you fish and every time you decide to switch over to jew.


jewgaffer :1fishing1:

Edited by jewgaffer
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Hi jewgaffer...

keep them coming......

After reading your stories of late......you have got me on deciding to have a stop and a relax

and have a try for some jew on some of the areas we use to frequent in years gone bye.......

but the crunch being no finesse to the method (have you mentioned handlines yet???)

just drop a livie down on a handline

spooled with 80lb mono set on a springer and hang on!!!!!!!!!!.........it intrigues me how they never seemed to mind .......

smacking them selves in the head with a 6 oz bean sinker whilst gulfing down a livie..........

so what do reckon gaffer !!!!!! give it a go........or stick to catching game fish there easier....

Cheers Warnie...

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ungry warnie

Hi jewgaffer...

keep them coming......

After reading your stories of late......you have got me on deciding to have a stop and a relax

and have a try for some jew on some of the areas we use to frequent in years gone bye.......

but the crunch being no finesse to the method (have you mentioned handlines yet???)

just drop a livie down on a handline

spooled with 80lb mono set on a springer and hang on!!!!!!!!!!.........it intrigues me how they never seemed to mind .......

smacking them selves in the head with a 6 oz bean sinker whilst gulfing down a livie..........

so what do reckon gaffer !!!!!! give it a go........or stick to catching game fish there easier....

Cheers Warnie...


Hey Warnie. Going for jew, the break would suit you mate, but the way it's looking right now on the Hawkesbury with only soapies, you'd use more petrol than deep sea stuff, unless you're prepared to fish thru three tide changes in about six different spots.

Sometimes I get so busy in jew territory with reef fish and all the freaks that I don't even have time to roll a durry and need lip surgery to remove the paper.

There's nothing you don't know about anything in the deep sea world Warnie, as to the method just do as you do with other marauders. The finesse is very important.

Might do a trade off on one small jew for two dolphin fish and three monster snapper, that's fair game ay Warnie? :D

As to springers I always used them on the old Yalta on overnighters. I have four left waiting to put on the Mustang for when when we crash out in sleeping bags in the centre console.

As to jew reefing at big rigs and hooking themselves up. At Ballina fish farm where I've been going to a few times a year to see Noel Porter the owner and Jimmy Bowers who used to work for me, the jew keep tugging back at us with the big mullet we throw out with no hooks just to experiment with them.

They are not as wary as a lot of people think and not in any way shy and out in the wild at the gap on the Richmond when the marauding jew are in frenzy they can only be described as suicidal to your hooks, but they scarper just before the bull sharks come into the gap, so we sure know when to put the wire on.

They also smash everything at around the same part of the tide, in the same ambush spot.

Cheers Warnie

jewgaffer :1fishing1:

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Hi jewgaffer,

Excellent reading there mate.

I am going to add a few of your tips to my arsenal of tactics.

I fish for jews exclusively in Middle Harbour and at some of the northern beaches like from Narrabeen through to Long Reef.

In the last year or two most of the jews we have picked up are all about 80cm. Nice size and good eating. Have had bigger hits and lost the bigger fish not to tackle failure but no hook up.

I tend to get a bit impatient when the big hit and run is on and have struck to early on several ocassions.

I am gonna try your method of twin hooks for livies especially the bigger yakkas or tailor.

The next thing is that i probably need to go a bit heavier with my mono as at this point for my livie set up i am running 15kg. I might struggle a bit with this when a bigger jew of over 15kg goes off on a run. I am fishing for jews in deep water of 80 - 100feet. Plenty of moorings in the area so gotta control them somewhat.

Cheers mate

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i read your article with great interest.....

its funny how people give such little thought to hook placement, especially on livies..... your reversed hook theory has great merit....

its nice to see someone on here encouraging the young fellas to actually get out and fish for jews....

your theories on georges only fishin well of a night time is one i can vouch for too...

on the subject of the georges , the best jewie i have see came out of the georges was at somewhere that is definitely no spot x..... at 27 kg it was a true monster and was caught near picnic point on a butterflied mullet...

we have put a fair bit of time into jews on this waterway usin squid, but all results have come from live fish or flesh baits.......

its nice to get an informative report, instead of the usual cloak and dagger, fake bait fake spot stories.....

most of the people out there readin this have neither the time or the persistence to actually do this

cheers mate


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The Earnest Hemmingway style in which you pen your posts Jewgaffer is truly amazing! You are an inspiration.

I seem to fall into the once a fortnight brigade as a result of young family commitments, but live 500m from jewfish territory, a Cenral Coast beach! Beach missions WILL be stepped up hopefully, but I would like to concentrate on sessions at The Rip bridge.

Any tips on this spot? Have had a few half hearted attempts but need to get a bit more serious.

Your info is great regarding rigs, is there any way of postig up some clear diagrams?

I will study your guide more and continue to dream of breaking my jew virginity,thanx again for your lesson..........Rubes :thumbup:

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