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Jew from the Cooks


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Just a bit of background before I get into this report: having just started a new job in the last month my fishing time has been cut drastically short (can't complain after a good stint of fishing over the past year!) and I have only been able to get out once or twice a week for fleeting sessions bashing plastics and pinging lures. Bait fishing has been a weekend thing and most of my bait fishing has been directed toward bagging my first king of the season, which has thus far escaped me.

That said I have had a couple of sessions throwing out jew baits. I have only ever caught one jew, about a year ago which clocked in at 62cm. I've had some late nights and many hours sitting by an idle rod hoping for some action since, but alas no jew as of yet. Managed a couple of squid last Sunday morning that I kept in the fridge intending to eat but ended up asking my mate if he wanted to use them to toss some jew baits out on Thursday night. Yep, he said, he was up for it - but only if we fished the slack tide and focused on this time only.

9:15pm: Finally rigged and ready. Sliced up some squid and tossed out the head. Had a nice bend in the rod and a good strike but no serious take. Head was still in tact. Threw it out again.

9:45pm: The tide was now on the turn. Water still as the night with no wind or current. No more good hits on either rods. Flicked some plastics hoping for a flatty but without much earnest effort.

10:30pm: Still no action. A couple of tentative nibbles. I had now switched to a strip of squid cut from the mantle. Decided if I wanted to get a decent night's sleep I'd have to pull stumps at 11.

10:45: An hour after the change of tide and the water still flat and unmoving. I was sitting on my camper chair flicking through the news when I noticed a little dip in my rod. Funny, I thought. Jews will sometimes pick up the bait, drop it and come back. At least that's what I've been told! I decided to keep watching just in case.

Not two minutes later and my rod folded over in the holder; line started peeling out and I was roused from my inactivity by the sweet songs of my drag whirring off. I leapt from my chair and just about flew over, pulled out my rod and held my hand out ready to grab the spool for the strike. Waited, waited, waited and then wham! I hit it. My mate wasn't sure if the fish had pulled off so I yelled out to him that I still had it.

As I clambered down the oyster-covered rocks I started thinking: was it a jew? What could it be? We were in at a depth of two or three metres at best. I suppose it could be a ray but once I had the fish under control after the first run I decided it wasn't that. It's not a king. It's not a large bream. It's gotta be a jew then, right?

My mate, up on the bank helped me stay calm with his coaching. Take it easy, it'll come in. And it did. Not much of a fight, I must say, but adrenaline pumping hard. Confirming it was a jew, I lifted it up rolling it over onto the rocks. A jew, this time of legal size.


Many happy snaps later, we got out the measuring tape. This fella clocked in at 77cm.


Will be taking this one over to the girlfriend's place for dinner very shortly. Her mum is an amazing chef and will be able to do more with it than I ever could. Can't wait!

With that we decided to call it a night. I will say that the excitement of the session made it difficult for me to get to sleep and I did have moments at work on Friday where I zoned out and drifted off with my thoughts of the night before.. Now the addiction begins!


Edited by Mike89
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Well done Mike you must be stoked!!!

i must say it's been great reading your reports starting with first salmon, first luderick, first squid and now first legal Jewie. 

congratulationa on the PB they're a beautiful fish aren't they?

make sure your chef cooks the jewels, they're the best bit. Cut the head in half laterally you can't miss them.

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Good work. Jew will swim into shallow water at night. Have caught them on the surface, feeding with tailor, in water that was around the 30 to 40 feet deep mark.

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That's one of the best reports I've read Mike. I actually shivered at the perception of you sitting there in the darkness of a cool night, until the action started. It's very easy to lose a good fish by doing something rash, but you stayed calm and collected till you had your prize. Very well done. Hope the eating experience is as good as the catching one. BN

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Cracker fish and report, but yeah eating fish out of the cooks river like f1shen mentioned should be a rarity. Its my local waterway and despite the good fishing the pollutant levels are extremely high from past/present industrial waste and its urban locality. 

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Good one Mike . The odd Jew from the Cooks near the entrance to the bay would be ok .I hooked one last yr near the road

bridge at the top of the tide at dusk on one of the go to plastics it was over 80 cm but it would not recover so I kept it and

it cooked up ok ---- I am still here now .


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Cheers guys - yes I am pretty stoked with this one!

Tried again last night at the same spot but no takers! Different conditions though: high tide, a stronger current and a bit of wind. Might wait until some calmer nights and if I have the time head out again for another mission.

I had no idea that the Cooks was polluted and there are recommendations not to eat anything caught out of the river. I assumed that connecting to Botany Bay the water would be cleaner than the harbour and anything caught here would be fine to eat. Guess it goes to show you can never assume! Thanks @f1shen for the link.

The chef cooked up a nice stew with the wings and tail boiled in for the flavour. Tasted great. I don't think I'll be sharing that link with the chef however! Hopefully no problems as it was caught very close to the entrance. Next time I will release the fish for sure.

Cheers all!

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