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middle harbour jews!


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Hi Raiders

This is my first post! But after such a magic morning it would be bad karma not to share the love! I have been chasing Jews unsuccefully now for over the last few years, spending more nights with the rats on the rocks or sitting in my tinny than with my misses, not to mention I used to be quite the party animal but those days ended when the Jew fish obsession kicked in!

My report begins with leaving Tunks Park in my tiny tinny at 430 am Saturday morning loaded with some fresh squid from the night before at my local squid haunt. I messed about among the moorings on the way to Bantry area but with the sun coming up and not allot happening I move further down towards Rossville/Bantry area, I pulled up in 23 meters of water with temp a balmy 19.4C and started drifting back towards the spit in the run out tide, the morning was amazing, already warm at 6am. After about 5 min of drifting I got a few bites and thought it would be an ideal place to anchor up (I do tend to change fishing techniques on a whim) After messing around with a tangled anchor rope for 5 min I looked around and could see small fish getting busted up on the surface no more than 50 meters away, with excitement growing I put out one med duty rod with squid strips on 2 meters 40 pound fluro leader and 20 pound braid I sent the bait to the bottom and put out another light rod at 10 pound braid and 4 pound fluro leader with no sinker and squid strip to float back in the burly trail.

No sooner had I put out both rods did I see this amazing flash of colour swimming past the boat, only took 1 sec to register a kingie but when I stood up I could see more than 20 or so rats and bigger schooling around the boat(very small tinny) I immediately started dicing up some pilchards, no sooner had pilliy chunks hit the water the kingies would suck them in with anticipation of more, their mouths sitting cm from the surface I felt like I was hand feeding them!!! then my hunter instinct kicks in and I reeled my heaviest rod to the surface, after a few inspection by some barley legal kings I let it float down to about 3-4 meters and a much larger specimen comes over, noses the squid strip, turns, then goes back to the bait and BAM im on!! Straight away it dives into the deep and with this rod no match for this fish I had to back off the drag to avoid snapping the rod, but after a min or so bang and it’s all over. With adrenalin pumping hard and my hand and body shaking the little rod goes off but only for a sec! 4 pound leader even with lightest drag was never going to cut it. So now i'm still surrounded by kingies and trying to tie new rigs with my hands shaking feverishly, when I do get the hooks back in the water the kings were having none of it! They were happy to eat my pillies but that was it! I put a sinker back on the heavy rod and sent a squid strip down to the bottom, after playing silly buggers with kingies for 5 min or so bang again the rod bends over and drag starts screaming!!! WOW how good is this i’m thinking and the fish obously not as powerful as the kingie was still taking line, I felt confident enough to put a bit more pressure on the drag and after 20 sec or so I felt I now had the upper hand! It wasn’t till the fight was over and I was raising the fish to the surface did I experience the almighty jewy head shaking All the way up I was wondering what on earth was happening, Did I foul hook this fish?? But as soon as I saw colour it all came clear! my heart jumps and tension levels went through the roof I didn’t have a gaff or net with me and there was no way I was losing this fish but as the fish came to the surface on its side I reached out and slid my hand up into the gills I didn’t care about the gill rakers and in 2 secs flat I had my first jewfish in my tinny!!!!!! hahaha what a feeling although small by jew standards @ 65cm I was holding back from jumping up and down as that would have surely meant going for a swim!! With sun shining grin ear to ear and fish at my feet I quickly get the rod back down there! at this stage the kings had moved on and after 30 or so min I was too happy to sit any more I headed back to the ramp and home to celebrate a day which I had waited 2 years for!!!

That night I resolved that I was going out again to try the same spot in the morning! Got to the spot at 530am and started burlying pillies the setup was the same as Saturday with a little more wind blowing it wasn’t the dream morning of the day before after 30 min or so I reeled up my first catch of the day a 40 cm red gurnard which I tried to release but was blown up too much so it ended up back in the bucket on the next drop I picked up a monster stone fish that looked me up and down daring me to try and remove the hook so after a quick snip it spent the next min making strange noise under my tinny! back down to the bottom again and a few bits and pulls later BANG the rod bends over again with drag screaming the run is longer than the day before but again comes up to the surface on its side and head shaking all the way up!!! In the tinny the fish measures only 56cm but i’m soooo happy thinking I might have cracked the jewfish code! I promise myself I will release the next one this size but i’m sorry I have dinner plans for you!!! It went quite after that and feeling top of the world I headed back triumphfontly back to the boat ramp.

sorry for the essay but hope it helps somebody out there break there jewy virginity

Fast facts

Water temp: 19.4C

Bait: squid strips fresh

line/leader 20p braid/40p fluro

Rig: swivel and light sinker running to the hook which is 4/0

Weather: warm clear

Burly: pilchards

Tide: 1 hour after low


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Mate i enjoyed reading this report and glad you finally nailed one. MH can be very good at times for school jew and kings.

The secret to MH is scoping out the spots that are known to hold fish then go looking for them. I have a few spots that are reasonably consistent so i stick to them. I haven't really started to target them this season but now a few reports are coming in i might have to get back out there. My jew obsession has been replaced recently with blue water addiction.



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Sounds like some good fishing mate. In summer we cube up big schools of rats like that in the harbour. Unweighted baits is the only way to go and smaller hooks and lighter gear. Next time try fishing a 1/0 hidden in a pillie cube. I've landed kings on 4lb Squidding gear (usually 15lb snapper gear though) doing that the trick is go easy on them. Ull never turn their head on light tackle so if u go hard all ull do is make them go harder. Slow steady movements and they should relax abit. Start with the heavier gear and if they are being shy about taking ur bait throw a handful of cubes in the and have one the same size on the hook dropped in th middle of the handful. If still nothing try lighter gear till thy take it.

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awesome report!!! i am a jew fish virgin and i have put in around 200 hours so far with pretty dissapointing results

Mate keep at it and it will come. I think I suffered about 200 cold lonely nights but it was all worth it seeing 88cm of chrome plating at my feet.

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awesome report!!! i am a jew fish virgin and i have put in around 200 hours so far with pretty dissapointing results

Not sure how your going about targeting them but I would highly recommend live baiting. Not only is it one of the most productive methods, you have the comfort of knowing that your bait is not being picked to pieces by the pickers... You'll get some good by-catch as well!

Keep at it man. As Sydangler said, the moment you get that fish you've been waiting for is worth all the cold nights and fishless session!

Have a read of "Jewfish Tactics" in the chat section. Great stuff and certainly helped me get mine!

Cheers, Tom

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Thanks for the great feed back guys!! still on a high and reliving the action in my head any chance i can. Heading out tomorrow nice and early to hit up my lucky spot :biggrin2: it should be interesting to see how active the fish will be with High tide not long after sunrise (opposite to last week ) but i know i wont sleep tonigh with all the anticipation!! On other news squid around middle harbour have been slow for me this week, but managed enough for sat/sun. Tight lines to everybody and i hope i have something to report on sun night good luck all!

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