Dan’s Top Jewfish Fishing Tips
- Jewfish are often seen as a challenge, but once you get them figured out they can actually be fairly predictable.
- The three places to look for jewfish in Lake Macquarie are in the vicinity of bait balls, in places where there are hard man-made structures such as sunken boats and around natural structures such as ledges or channels that are used by jewfish as transit lanes.
- In recent years Dan has found that fish aggregated beneath bait balls tend to be well-fed and less responsive to lures. He’ll start by targeting the fish beneath bait because they’re easy to find thanks to the birds working, but will move to targeting hard structure if the fish aren’t responding.
- Jewfish anglers on Lake Macquarie are often frustrated by uneducated fishers spotting birds and then driving their boats straight through the bait ball. A loaf of bread thrown on the water surface creates a good diversion, as it drifts away from the bait balls, lures the birds away and diverts the boat traffic to extend the bite.
- Dan favours the lead up to a new moon and prefers a runout tide at the northern end of the lake and run in tide at the southern end and suspects it has something to do with the nature of the structure and way the pressure points and eddies are created.
- There are definitely spots that fish better on particular tides or particular conditions and you’ll need to put in the hours to figure out when and where to fish. For example, don’t get caught up thinking that because fish bite well on a full moon in some spots they’ll bite well on a full moon at all spots.
- Dan finds his results deteriorate when there’s a southerly blowing, whilst a north easter or a westerly fish well.
Dan’s Preferred Jewfish Luring Tackle
- A 7’ Samaki C12 spin rod, Abu Garcia CR Roxanne spin reel in size 2500-3000 with 10-15 lb braid and 12-14lb fluorocarbon leader.
Dan’s Top Jewfish Lures
- Soft vibration baits are deadly on jewfish. Dan likes the Samaki Vibelicious in 70-120mm sizes for water over 6m deep as the forked tail enables the lure to get down faster. He prefers the Samaki Thumpertail in water less than 6m deep as the tail slows the fall of the lure. These are cast in the vicinity of the fish, allowed to sink to bottom and then worked back with slow, high lifts of the rod, winding to keep the line semi-taut between lifts. The speed of the lift should be just enough to feel the lure vibrate, fish will mostly hit the lure as it drops between lifts.
- 4” to 7” Jerkshads are great when the tailor are eating a vibe. Jewfish might only bite for 20-30 mins, so time wasted unhooking tailor after tailor can cost valuable opportunities. By using a 6/0 jig the number of tailor that are hooked is minimised, but jewfish tend to take the lure more assertively and get hooked. A 1/4 oz jig head is a good start, but adjust according to conditions – a 3/8 oz jig may be required, but 1/2 oz would very rarely be necessary. Allow the lure to sink and then slow roll it back through the schooled jewfish.
- Hard body lures such as the Samaki Redic are great when the weather is windy as other styles of lure can be difficult to get into the zone and keep them there. Jewfish often feed more actively when there is surface wind, so trolling a hard body around areas where they’re holding, using a 7m diving hard body keeps the lure in the zone. Impart plenty of twitches, as per barra fishing, Dan hasn’t caught any jewfish by leaving the rod in the holder. Dan doesn’t find trolling to be a useful prospecting tool, but instead finds the fish using side-scan and then works the area over with the lures. Dan finds that an electric motor is essential if the lures are not going to be a long way behind the boat.
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