Dan’s Top Tips For Hawkesbury Jewfish
- Most people fish too heavy for jewfish. For the school fish up to around a metre, 10lb line and a 10lb fluorocarbon leader is fine, and 4-6lb line can often be enough.
- Jewfish are clean fighters and can usually be played out on light gear without fear of being snagged up.
- When lure fishing most fish are hooked in the mouth, so light leaders can be used and usually come into contact with teeth.
- When the fishing is tough, switch to leaders of 6-8 lb and apply some S-Factor or Pro-Cure scent to the lure to increase chances.
- The Hawkesbury system has tons of natural structure including natural rock walls, sandstone boulder, back eddies, reefs and deep holes. There are not many wrecks and only two bridges, which are known jewfish structure but only really fishable on tide changes. Juno Point and Flint and Steel are two well known jewfish haunts.
- Tide changes are the critical times to fish. On neap tides the tide changes are slow, giving a longer bite window and on king tides they’re fast, so the opportunity to fish effectively is limited to short periods. Fish seem to be active around the middle of the day in this system.
- Jewfish are a year round proposition in the Hawkesbury system but prefer quieter water with less boat traffic, so the summer months can be tougher.
- School jew love to feed on prawns, so periods around the new moon tend to fish especially well. It’s worth having some lures that are good prawn imitations in your kit around these periods..
Dan’s Preferred Jewfish Tackle
- Dan uses a 7 foot, 3-6 kg, one piece rod matched to a 2500 size reel and 10lb braid for throwing soft plastics in the 3-5” size range, along with a few of the less bulky 6” lures.
- For throwing lures of 6” or more, Dan uses a 6-8kg rod with a 4000 size reel with 15 lb braid.
- Dan has a preference for fluorocarbon leaders and reckons a 10lb leader is amply strong and abrasion resistant enough for Hawkesbury jewfish.
Dan’s Top Jewfish Lures
- Pro Lure 130 Fishtail in any colour. 3/8 oz is a good starting weight for jig heads, but switch up to a ½ oz or even 3/4oz jig head if conditions dictate. Use any lures with slightly deformed tails on the heavier jig heads. Cast it out and work back with long or short hops. If fish are more active, try slow rolling it back with occasional pauses. This is Dan’s go-to lure for trophy Jew when he doesn’t want to be distracted by by-catch.
- 5” Scented Jerkshadz from Z-Man Lures is deadly and also takes big bream and flathead as a by-catch. These slender profile lures are more effective in stronger currents than the paddle tail styles and cast further as a bonus. These lures are worked with more twitches than the paddletail styles.
- Squidgie 100mm Fish in Bio Tuff. These are fished in much the same ways as the Proloure but have a different action and vibration. Expect the strikes during pauses while the lure is on the drop.
Episode 575: Jewfish Roundup With Greg Vinall
Greg has hosted the Australian Lure Fishing Podcast since the very first episode in January 2019, being the interviewer for every one of the first 500 episodes. When he’s not interviewing top notch lure fishers he’s making wooden lures, chasing northern estuary...
Episode 569: Lake Macquarie On Lures With Dan Guilfoyle. Part 1: Summer.
Lake Macquarie might cop a lot of fishing pressure over the summer months, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great opportunities on offer for those in the know about how, when and where to fish! Dan Guilfoyle shares a lifetime of local knowledge for those keen to hit the water in the coming months.
Dan’s Business And Sponsors
Sydney Sportfishing Adventures is Dan’s guiding service that operates on Sydney Harbour and the Hawkesbury systems, targeting jewfish, kingfish, bream, flathead, estuary perch and more. Contact Dan on 0405 196 253
Prolure Australia, Shimano Australia and Lowrance support Dan and his guiding business.