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Jewfish - Advice please


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Hi everyone,

Have been after a sizeable shore Jewfish for a while now and I think I am getting closer. Had some interest in a bait tonight and just want some advice.

I'm focusing on less fished spots and putting into practice all the wonderful information I have found here.

The spot I am fishing is the edge of a narrow river section where it opens back up to a wider section, my thinking is that the current is too strong in this section when the tide runs so the changes are when the fish will make their moves through this deeper run to feed and move.

There are plenty of mullet jumping out of the water, baitfish and prawns so the way I figure this is a great spot on the top or bottom of the tide, really the only time you could successfully get a good bait out into the middle.

Onto tonight, I had 4 beautiful tough fresh as a daisy dead baits ready to fish the hour surrounding the bottom. Big solid pure Jewie morsals. Plenty of mullet jumping. My first bait was getting plenty of picks and the occasional pull by small bream who eventually shredded it. This happened to the next bait as well.

I then lobbed out my prime bait dead on the turn. Everything became incredibly quiet and calm, the mullet stopped jumping and there was an instinctual sense that this was the right time. About a minute later a small consistent wait began to put pressure on my line. A small bit of line 10-20cm would occassionaly be pulled from the reel, but quite gently, distinctly different from a bream tap tap tug, but not with any pace or gusto. This was a weight which would slowly pull some line then stop, but the weight remained and after about a minute of this pop, the weight released. Bait despite being quite tough had all been taken. Now. SHOULD I HAVE STRUCK? I was waiting for a bit of accellaration, a proper run but each time I kept saying, just a little more. Was this likely a jew mouthing the bait or am I being hopeful? When the water is slack do they take it lightly?

Just looking for any advice really so I don't keep going back for no reason. 

Cheers Raiders


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Hey man hows it going! Sounds like your well on the way to cracking the code :) Mulloway can be very cautious when fishing with dead baits, they can mouth a bait and if they feel any resistance they will just drop it and move on, one method is to always hold the rod and as soon as you think theres something taking interest free spool some line to them so they can move off with it. Always use the smallest sinker you can get away with  at last a good meter of leader to allow the bait to present itself nicely, then i run two snelled 4/0-7/0 suicides depending on the bait size.

I only use livebaits or softplastics for Jew (Sps when i cant catch any live bait)


Baits; Mullet, Tailor,Squid,Yakkas,Pike
Fresh is best but Live is better! If you can get a solid size mullet or tailor (30cm or more) then your chances of picking up a  Double figure Jew will greatly increase, the smaller poddy/finger mullet and smaller herring will normally interest the Soapies before the big fellas.

Tides & Location;

Usually the first hour of the run in, the high , and then the first hour of the drop is the best time to target  out of river mouths as they wait for all the bait to be pushed past with the current, any deeper holes you can find with some slack current is a great starting point, they move from hole to hole whilst hunting. 

Once the tide hits high i remove the sinker and let the live baits swim out by free spooling, I always set my drag to fighting pressure and once that Jew hits they dont mess around and you want those hooks set properly so you have the stopping power , ive lost many solid fish with the bait runner engaged and leaving the rod in holders. Which results in a run but no fun!

Alot of fishos swear by moon phases and atmo pressure and so on but ive honestly found it doesnt make much difference, ive caught double figure fish in the middle of the day and also blanked on supposed 'perfect conditions' . However i do think that any tides at the 1.8m or above mark seem to hold more fish in the rivers here maybe due to the bar being so shallow and the mullet all school up together in the harbor making them easy picking for bait :)

As an old salty once said to me ' Your ability to catch Jewfish is your ability to catch the bait' ;)  

Good luck and hope to see that monster jew photo soon!

Tight Lines...Cjay

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If it was a jew it would pik it up and run with it to use water pressure to push it into mouth  when they run with it hit them  they dont have hands so there is only one place it can be   in there mouth...your bite sounds like a ray chewing it to pieces...rick

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1 hour ago, bluemarlin said:

Thanks Cjay excellent advice. I was holding the rod but it was just a little half hearted. Maybe a livey will entice more interest!

Give it a try and see how you go i guarantee its a bit more exciting!

Nothing quite beats the feeling of free lining  a skittish mullet/tailor at night and feeling them change direction then grow ten times bigger with the force of a freight train ;)

With the dead baits unfortunately all the pickers will have a good bash no matter the bait size,  when using a bigger live bait theres no doubt when you get that screaming run :D  The bigger fellas can have a good solid three separate runs in them before they come belly up, and even then they can have a few tricks up their sleeves!

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Plenty of solid logic behind what you are doing so you are well on your way. Keep questioning and learning and you'll get there.

I'm doubtful however that the fish that took your bait was a Jew. Jew have grasping pointy teeth that are good for holding a bait but dont tend to slice it up or bite off chunks. Usually if a Jew grabs your bait and drops it you'll bring back in a bait with very little damage to it other than a bit of crushing and some pin %%%%% teeth marks. If a jew is taking the bait off your hook you should have a really solid run as it rips it off your hook.

Every jew fisho seems to have a different theory on when to strike, free spool etc haha. For me I fish circle hooks, rod set to fighting drag in a holder and pointing straight at the water with a small amount of slack line so they feel nothing when they first grab it and then as they start to move off they dont feel the slow bend in the rod, just the jolt of the drag kicking in. With the circle hook it normally does its magic and all you do is grab the rod once drag is peeling off and start fighting the fish. I fish pretty much exclusively dead baits from a boat. Again, each to their own though.

One last question, what weight leader are you using, personally I find heavier weights deter the fish in still water. 30Lb is usually plenty (again they dont have cutting teeth) unless there is structure they can get to.




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Awesome thanks everyone. Yep keeping my leader nice and light to avoid spooking an already rare fish.

Sounds as if it wasn't a jew given the descriptions of the run. My thinking was that with no flow perhaps the fish had just taken it into it's mouth and was just sitting there moving off very slowly.

I will keep trying until I hear the scream, cheers. 

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I always fish for them off the beach rather than rivers but always leave the reel in gear with a pretty solid drag setting and rod in a holder. Have nabbed a few jewies this way but might have missed more by not allowing a run and then striking - who knows? Maybe I'm too lazy to hold the rod all the time! Generally have 2 rods out so am always working between them re-baiting and re-rigging after bronzie bite offs etc. and holding one doesn't work.

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I tend to agree with Volitan.  Sounds like a crab was playing with your bait.  Try circle hooks mate and set your drag accordingly.  I only ever use circle hooks and never strike, they just pick up and run, with the drag set correctly the hook will do all the work.

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