Lure Maker And Jewfish Addict
Scotty is an extraordinarily passionate angler who hand makes surface lures for cod and mulloway and has invested countless hours learning to target the latter species on shallow sand flats in the Coorong and other SA destinations.
Scotty’s Coorong Mulloway Fishing Tips
- The Coorong is a very large tidal lake system separated from the ocean by a long sand spit. There is a lot of water to fish, but Scotty tends to focus on the northern end closer to the mouth or the Murray River, as there’s more tidal movement in that areas, which is key for mulloway fishing.
- Unlike many east coast fisheries, mulloway in the Coorong are often better fished when there is tidal movement, although Scotty stresses they can be caught on any tide, day or night.
- When preparing for a trip, look on Google Earth for places where shallow flats of 0.5-1.2m of water are adjacent to a deeper channel. Jewfish will patrol and hunt in the shallow water mid-tide and return to the channel during the slack water.
- Much of the Coorong is very shallow and weedy. Finding blackish, wiry weed on your lure is a good indication that you’re near a rock bar, which is usually a good place to be. Fishing surface lures is about the only way to avoid the weed in these circumstances.
- Finding places where there is bait is key. The presence of schools of mullet and garfish are a good indicator that you’re in the right area, as are feeding pelicans.
- The Coorong is a very windy place, but fortunately wind is your friend. On glassy days the fish will be spread across the flats, especially if there is not much tidal movement. Wind tends to concentrate the baitfish and makes the location of jewfish more predictable. On really windy days the bait will often congregate in the shelter of a point, and jewfish will be found patrolling further out where the water starts to get rippled by the wind.
- Mulloway can be pretty spooky in shallow water and are easily alerted by noisy wading etc, so take care to move stealthily.
- Much like barramundi, surface feeding jewfish “boof” bait loudly. It’s not a bad ploy to sit in the dunes listening for “boofs” and figuring out where to fish from the direction of the sounds.
Scotty’s Mulloway Fishing Tackle
- A 3-6kg rod and a 4000 size reel, 20lb Berkley X9 braid and 20lb Sunline FC fluorocarbon leader.
- A swimbait rod, similar to what would be used for cod fishing, Calcutta 300D reel and 30lb braid with 30lb fluorocarbon leader is great for casting larger lures and wakebaits.
Scotty’s Mulloway Fishing Lures
- Walk the dog style stickbaits are perfect for prospecting the flats when you’re not sure where the fish are. They can be worked a little faster than the other lures mentioned herein, allowing the angler to cover more ground while searching for fish. The 120mm Jackson Tanto is a great option, as it is easy to work as a slow-medium pace, constant speed walk the dog lure but can also be made to do some shallow dives. Scotty switches the hooks for Owner hooks that are a little stronger.
- Hand made, jointed wooden wakebaits are great for targeting fish when there is wind and tidal movement and the fish and bait are concentrated. They don’t have to look pretty, just be solidly made and work well at very slow retrieve speeds. Try not to bomb in lots of casts, it’s better to watch the schools of bait and listen for a boofing jewfish, then cast past and to the side of the bait. Work the lure back as slowly as you can without disturbing the bait.
- The Croaker Lures Jewie Jewell or the K-Ten Blue Ocean are great options when very big jewfish are about and you’re not getting results with a wakebait. These are simply rolled back at such a slow pace that the head of the lure is barely below surface. The lure might not even be wobbling, but the movement and profile of the lure are enough to get a strike.