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Jewie lost - Devistated


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Well I wasn't planning to share this story as it is not at all constructive but having just read the "Silly mistakes" post from Mitch 18092, I thought I might add to it.

Let me first say that if you are just perusing articles looking for quick ways to catch Jew then this post is probably not for you as I still have no experience at this. If however, you have been targeting these fish for a long time, then you might be able to relate to this report.

I write this nearly two days after the event as it has taken me that long to come to terms with it. If you haven't guessed by now, yes I had a good fish on and lost it. I hope by writing this it will help me get passed the disappointment.

Some of the older members might remember my previous posts dating many years back. Time after time, disappointment after returning home with no Jewie.

I'll start the story half way into the session. I am armed with fresh bait that I've caught in the couple of hours leading up to the high tide. I'm still at the same beach that I have been trying on for years as I have seen and heard them caught there before - Cronulla. I'm in a good looking gutter, It's twilight and feeling in with a chance. My past history tells me that nothing will happen again tonight but there's that 1% of me that says "stay positive & confident". The first problem strikes when the line goes heavy with a dead weight, I know instantly that it is a clump of weed so I aim to quickly get it in and out of the way. This problem would later lead to a chain of events that end in disaster as my rig snaps and I lose the lot. It is at this point that I realize I've left my spare rig on my work bench at home. I'm angry with myself for being poorly prepared. I have no choice but to re-rig in the dark with my head torch. I tell myself not to rush the knots and ensure they are tied correctly but I'm also conscious that the tide is just about to peak and (in my mind) the prime time for a hook up.

I put on my best looking bait and fire out a cast. Sure enough, the inevitable happens, something picks up the bait and runs. I give it about 30 seconds and decide it's time to put a bit of pressure on and see what happens. At this point I'm not too bothered. I've had this a few times before and it's ended up being sharks or rays. This time however is different. I feel those big head shakes that I have read about time and again. I soon realize that this is it, it's a Jew. Thoughts pass quickly through my head of all those lonely nights. Here it is, It has finally happened, I'm on and it is a big fish. Part of me wishes it isn't that big so I can at least get number one on the board. I tell myself to stay calm, take a deep breath, don't panic. 4 or 5 big long runs and 50 mins later, I'm feeling scared, excited, tired & battered and above all worried that this thing is not relenting. I never feel on top in this fight until but it turns again and I get back some ground.

Suddenly, the most bizarre thing happens. All weight is lost and my Alvey is having some sort of backlash problem. My brain can't fathom what is happening until the guy fishing about 30m up the beach to my right comes walking towards me. The penny drops as I realize he has tangle up with me (or I have tangled up with him). I am furious but stay relatively calm. To the blokes credit he some how untangles our lines and to my amazement, the fish is still on and it is at this point where I start to believe that maybe this is my night, maybe it's meant to be, maybe I actually get one and be able to post it on this forum. Maybe the Mrs won't have to suffer any longer.

Just when I think all is back on track, I discover that during the commotion, the fish has now gone south and is heading for another fisherman 30 meters down the beach to my right. I've lost any sort of control that I did have over the fish. I now find myself crossing lines with the second bloke. I've somehow managed to tell myself to stay calm and keep cool for the entire fight but the next few seconds would test that theory to the max. Both guys are now trying to help me get this fish in, but it has the last laugh. The line parts way with the fish and I am completely and utterly shattered. A quick inspection of the line and knot failure is confirmed.

The next 10 minutes is mostly disbelief. I don't remember driving home and when I walk in the door the Mrs pretty much guesses what has happened.

I've replayed it over in my head several times, did I take too long with it, could I have put harder pressure on it? who knows. I just hope it's not another 10 years till the next one.

Maybe leaving the spare rig at home cost me. Whatever the case it's over now I guess.

If you made it to the end, I'm sorry it was long winded but if you made it to the end you'll understand.



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Geez Nathan that's a terrible story for me to read and it wasn't even my catch. I think that all you can do is get back into it and hope for better luck next time. You will probably learn quite a bit from the experience. Good luck mate, BN

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Bad luck on the big one but that's why they call it fishing not catching.  Refine refine refine and it will happen. There is a video called local knowledge by no no no who talks with a south coast jewey expert. It is worth watching and dispels alot of myths:)

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Hey mate bad luck! That moment the pressure goes off the line and all is quiet after a long fight is such an empty feeling!

What weight line/drag were you using? I'm no expert on jewies but 50 mins sounds like a long time, I think another poster here brought in a massive jew in 20 mins or so on 20lb mono and 40lb leader - its the "mid north coast" report..... from all accounts I have read they fatigue pretty quickly.

Assuming you were using mono/FC leader - when you brought it in did the end of your line look all cloudy/white instead of clear? If it was a shark their abrasive skin can wear the line really badly and break it or your knots, they sometimes roll around and can get a few meters of leader wrapped around them. That's not to mention the sharp hardware at the business end!

Anyway keep at it i'm sure this will just make you more determined..... I'm still on my beach jewy quest as well - about 9 months in to it so far and no jews landed but plenty of sharks.

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Yting - I'm there with you friend. Also been chasing that elusive beach Jew for years with no success. Closest I came was at Cronulla beach also - two hookups but no joy. 


I'd have to agree though that 50 mins seems way too long to be fighting a Jew - if your gear is under pressure for that long there's a good chance something's going to give.  

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If it makes you feel better I caught a metre + off the rocks up the Central Coast and couldn't get it up off a lower ledge. Was originally fishing for bream and flatties off the beach with pippis and decided to go up on the rocks to try and get a few bigger bream.

Of course hooked a massive jew and got him to the lower ledge. I couldn't go down, it couldn't come up. No other fisher folk around so no chance of borrowing a gaff.

A bypasser held my rod as I tried to bring it up inch by inch by hand, got half way up and line snapped.

Still hurts thinking about it swimming off giving me the bird with its pectoral fin :)

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Thanks everyone for your comments.

It was suggested that it may not have been a Jew and yes your right I didn't see it so I'll never know 100% for sure. What I can tell you is that it wasn't a ray. I've caught these several times and you pretty much know once they bury in the sand and it's a stale mate. This thing fought with big head shakes like I've never experienced. I've caught 3 good sharks before off Cronulla but this didn't feel like that either. I was hoping when I inspected the line that there would be a clean break indicating a cut off from a sharks tooth, however the end of the line was all curled like when you have a knot that pulls lose. I don't think a shark could stay on for that long without breaking off anyway. Just my opinion. It was 25lb leader but not fluro carbon just plain old mono. I think this is was partly the problem. I will definitely buy some FC now I'm starting to believe.

Agreed in hind sight 50 mins was too long and I started to realize that towards the end. Inexperience I guess. Maybe I was over cautious early on and it cost me in the long run.

I do like the scull drag idea, I've seen that done before.


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Great write up, I was there with you. There is nothing worse that losing a good fish because of a knot failure. I lost my first few jewies within sight. One off a breakwall when a wave crashed down on it out of nowhere and the second (a biggie) when I tried to drag it through the shorebreak too soon. I also lost a few good fish when I first tried the snood knot and was doing it wrong (one of my mates has never forgiven me). 10 years of trying though; jeeze you must be shattered.

I would up the leader to 40lbs minimum. 50 won't harm you. Doesn't really need to be FC either. Any leader material should do. Assuming you are surf beach fishing, I think with the turbulence in the water, sight isn't so much a factor. Fight shouldn't go more than 15 minutes though my PB is only 115cm so maybe a monster is going to take 50 minutes.

If you keep at it, you will get one. You have hooked up and that is the hardest part. You have learned your lessons. Go get the next one and you will be on a high for weeks.

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