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Jewfish -the Importance Of Including Mullet In The Bait Selection


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The general rule is that the mullet run starts with the 1st big westerly winds in April which by the looks of things will be this Sunday.

Great timing this year being on a new moon. There should be plenty of Jew around.



Rather than doing a lengthy reply to Dave /King Slayer's post on using mullet as part of the range of natural bait selection in which I believe mullet need to be included when fishing for predators such as jewfish, flathead and anything else that happens to be around at the time, I decided to type a topic and elaborate on other aspects and include the use of live mullet and nicely presented back to back mullet fillets etc turned around to show the newly cut flesh on both sides of the bait which makes for a better presentation rather than having skin and interlocked mullet scales on one side of a single fillet - i.e. when using Poddy Mullet or Sea mullet/Bull Mullet....From my own experience there is definitely an advantage to be gained especially when using live mullet and nicely presented mullet fillets in areas well out of the normal habitats of mullet...

Due to the fact that mullet are a very important part of the food chain, catching or using mullet for bait is often not considered enough and not always recognized as being the excellent natural bait that it is, and particularly when used along with burley whether boat fishing or fishing land based, and especially when fishing into a carefully chosen section of a likely looking beach...... In my opinion, the average fisherperson using mullet as bait should go out of their way to include minced whole mullet and mullet gut etc in the burley contents......In order to test the surroundings they should try fishing with loaded large mullet baits including swimming a live mullet bait behind the area of the burley mix before settling into a spot and using artificial baits such as hardbodys and scented soft plastics etc....Having said that, I have great respect for the ability and perseverence of our successful yak and canoe fishos and our members who target fish and move around a lot, chosing spots for holding the boat with an electric motor and mostly fish with lures.

Mullet are a natural part of the food chain for predators that have a natural instinct to hunt for live fish or baitfish stranded out in the open and also for scavengers that feed off dead baits which includes jewfish that either round up their food in packs or ambush their food in a solitary manner or fossick and raise worms off the bottom .....

Poddy mullet can ne any species of small mullet that come out of the mangroves as fry and can be found in rivers in varying school sizes in different stages of growth all the year round and areas where large numbers are schooled up are an indication that there are likely to be flathead and jewfish coming into or waiting in areas which suit..... These particular areas are more often than not areas where poddy mullet are most prolific and take risks by venturing out into the current or feeding under debris etc and particularly when other baitfish also move into the vicinity of where you are casting loaded bait into a burleyed up area where it's not safe for mullet or other baitfish to be at the time......

For instance, apart from going outside when they are mature enough to spawm or in accordance with their needs at the time, once mullet become acclimatised to an area to a sufficient extent, you can find large poddymullet i.e. Sea mullet miles up river in places like the old Woronora bridge where they can be clearly seen in big schools actually blanketing the pylon areas...... Yet apart from jewfish packs hunting upriver when conditions suit, there is a general shortage of jewfish schools of breeding size and big mulloway in that area.......While we are on that point and referring back to jewfishing, this is where live mullet, as do large nicely trimmed mullet fillets, stand out on their own as a top out of area bait, not only for jewfish but virtually for any other predator that happens to come along to where you might be either beach fishing or fishing out of a boat especially in areas where mullet presence may be either rare or non existent at the particular time....

Also as an example, if you head upriver about a kilometer and a half past Moorebank boat ramp, you come to a dead end alcove which appears to be an island on your right where there is a sharp bend to the left of it where the river is at its narrowest and drops into near sixty foot of water..... This is another place where large sea mullet can actually blanket the entire area above the hole,.....Being the Georges, and apart from jewfish hunting upriver, there is only a seasonal appearance of breeding size jewfish schools passing thru or holed up in this particular area...However when the mullet are at their peak it might be well worthwhile for our Georges River members to fish in that part of the Georges and anchor behind that particular hole in either direction according to tide...

Whilst autumn conditions are considered to be the prime breeding times for mature jewfish, you can have autumn conditions for long enough periods "out of season" to encourage school size jewfish presence upriver particularly in our part of the coastline.......

Taking a line off what Jewhunter has stated, the far north coast and the normal mid winter to late winter breeding season for bull mullet in estuarys in places like Ballina and the Gold Coast would put April around the time temperature wise for the entry of bull mullet into the Sydney area, and I know that Grant would be well aware that temperatures come into it as far as migration of both jewfish and mature mullet are concerned.......

It is interesting to note that there is a shortage of breeding size jewfish and the accompanying big Mulloway in the Hawkesbury at the moment, yet I believe there have been good results on Hairtail which are apparently arriving in numbers as there have been good hairtail results lately in the bays in Cowan......

It appears that outside conditions have a bearing on fish migration into the Sydney estuarys at the moment........ We can only wait and see what happens in the Hawkesbury in regards to the arrival in prolific numbers as far as this year's Autumn to winter school jewfish and big Mulloway are concerned...... Whilst it is well worth noting for the future that for several months now they have been undersize jewfish caught all over the mid to upper Hawkesbury sections and presently there are prolific numbers of fast growing soapies in the system, while going on general reports, there appears to be a shortage of jewfish off the beaches on all fronts in the Sydney area at the moment.... However seeing that hairtail need much lower water temperatures than what the readings are at the moment, it shouldn't be too long before we are seeing top reports coming in from our Hawkesbury jew fishermen...I can see no reason why our members don't fish our other rivers at night more often and report back on what's happening in the Georges, the Hacking and the main Harbour areas at the moment when good school size jewfish are being caught in the Wiseman's area by Pete/Tide'n'knots and also in the mid Parramatta River section by Pacemode and also by a few other members lately....I suppose, because of the long run of kingfish, not that many of our fishermen are going out fishing for jewfish at night in the Harbour or Middle Harbour areas, the Georges or the Hacking, so that we can be regularly informed of the situation in regard to the presence of incoming schools of breeding size jewfish in those areas as well....


jewgaffer :1fishing1:

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how do you rig your mullet?




marinated and beer battered?

Hi Denis When fishing for larger species such as jewfish, I rig all my baits on a two hook rig using a plyer tightened universal type snell knot on each hook ..... The two hook principle helps maintain a better hook up rate which is one of the most important parts of angling i.e. actually hooking up and landing fish after having a bite or a run......

The first hook tied, i.e. the tail hook, becomes the control hook and the leader in between the two hooks pulls the shank of the bottom hook ie the dorsal fin hook on a live bait and the same hook goes into the easiest part of a dead bait for a take i.e the juiciest chunkiest part of a fillet etc or right thru the top of the tube and back right between the eyes of a squid to hold the head of the squid solid onto the body, and holds the hook shank and the leader line flat down onto the body of the bait which is most important.....Rigging up that way also makes the exposed barb face the tail end of the bait to avoid the barb not making contact when a fish spits out or drops the bait and runs into the gape rollover instead of getting hooked up on the barb..... it also keeps both the shank of the hook and the upright leader down and right out of the way for a head take by a fish such as a jewfish....

This knot is virtually a knotless knot, and more of a series of even single wraps plier tightened over the tag end which is concealed by the wraps and exits from underneath the wraps to the next hook and so on.....The tag end has to be long enough to tie the next hook or a series of hooks if you wish and particularly if you dont like using standard ganged hooks on head shakers or soft mouthed species ... The harder a fish pulls on this knot, the more the wraps tighten onto the tag section underneath thus giving you excellent knot strength ......... You can also have the tag end of the leader long enough from the beginning to tie a doubled line bood knot up the line to act as a sling for the bottom hook so that the pressure of a big fish will only tighten the wraps even more around the snelled hooks over the tag section which is ongoing underneath the wraps of the hook... and for instance, you may want to make your own gang of hooks or use two hooks and have a small baitholder hook with them or if you decide to use a treble as the bottom hook instead of having another single....

When using two hook rigs I generally make rigs up to allow 3-7 inches of leader in between each hook to allow for different bait sizes...... I do not like adjustable sliding rigs where the first hook can be adjusted to suit the bait size, so I make up a good supply of rigs to suit the average size of my bait before each session...

I often butterfly livies that have died on the hook etc or use back to back fillets with flesh and blood showing on the outside... I scale mullet before filleting and never run a whole dead bait without showing flesh and blood.. I show flesh and blood by cutting off a long strip of skin and flesh off the top of the whole fish between the two hooks and also by opening up the gill and gut section right thru to the beginning of the tail area.....

The marinated beer battered mullet fillets you mentioned will hopefully get eels and catfish drunk prior to sending them off tied to the end of a party balloon :1yikes::D

Hope this helps

By the way Denis, thanks for your pm, I'll help out whenever I can ..... and dont hesitate to ask any questions you need to know by posting up a topic........Whether they be difficult questions or simple ones, you'll find that members on this site are only too willing to give people like yourself getting back into fishing or new members who are new to fishing the best advice available anywhere, whether the answers are in regard to the latest hi tech methods or everyday basic methods


jewgaffer :1fishing1:

Edited by jewgaffer
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Thanks Byron,

Thats great information for all of us to keep in mind, and very helpful.

I'll mention my recent report of Middle harbour Jew and that is none since December for me. I do try fairly often from shore in a few select spots, usually right up river, but have not had anything to report. I have ended up with PB Flathead and bream while trying though.

I tried again last night at clontarf with a mate, we used mullet fillet, salted, and squid. No good.

I never give up though! I need to do some boat missions to increase the odds I think.

Cheers, Dave

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