NSW Central Coast Jewfish Enthusiast
Garret is neither a tournament angler nor a guide. He doesn’t write articles or look for sponsorship. He’s just a Central Coast dude who’s passionate about catching jewfish on lures from the boat, beach and rocks and does better than most at getting amongst them. A quiet achiever who, thankfully, agreed to come and share some tips.
Garret’s Lake Macquarie Jewfish
- Unlike estuaries to the north and south, Lake Macquarie doesn’t generally experience a lot of tidal flow, so it’s not possible to look for pressure points or eddies.
- The most reliable way to find jewfish in Lake Mac is to find working birds that signal tailor or salmon feeding on bait. Jewfish are usually down below, near the bottom feeding on scraps and picking off the bait.
- Usually the bait in this system is whitebait, hardyhead and herring and the jewfish are not waiting at an ambush point for an easy feed, they’re moving around to catch the bait, so it’s important for the angler to keep moving too – as soon as the sounder “looks like a desert” it’s time to move back upwind and start a new drift.
- Garret fishes with a heavy drag to ensure maximum chance of a good hook set, then quickly backs the drag off once a fish is hooked and takes his time to play it to the boat.
- Nobody goes onto Lake Macquarie and catches jewfish every time, even if you’re on the fish it can often be difficult to get a bite. The more you go out the easier it becomes, but doughnut days remain part of the deal with jewfish.
- Garret likes a high barometer with a storm front approaching, a little bit of wind and overcast conditions, even rain. Time of day, moon and tide are unimportant, jewfish can be caught on any tide, moon phase, tide or time of day….. finding feeding fish is the only important thing.
Garret’s Lake Macquarie Jewfish Tackle
- A crisp, fast action rod in the 5-8kg range with a 3000 size reel, 15lb braid and 20lb leader is a good general purpose combo for Lake Macquarie. It’s possible to fish lighter, but you’ll spend a lot more time trying to extract stubborn fish.
Garret’s Lake Macquarie Jewfish Lures
- The 5” ZMan Diesel Minnow in Bad Shad colour is currently Garret’s favourite jewfish lure, but that can change from week to week and he rotates through a large variety of lures. This lure is fished on a relatively heavy jig head, 5/8-1oz in a 6/0 or 7/0 hook size, depending on wind. The heavy head allows for longer casting and covering more ground, but also gets the lure past the tailor better and down to the bottom where the jewies are waiting. The heavy weight also allows the lure to be worked quite aggressively, which is part of Garret’s secret sauce. The lure is lifted quickly off the bottom and then the line is wound back down as the lure falls, keeping the angler in contact with the lure. Most jewfish take the lure at the top of the lift or on the drop and bites are easily missed if that contact isn’t maintained.
- The Prolure 130mm fishtail is another great paddletail plastic that wrks very well in Lake Macquarie. It’s rigged and fished in the same way as the Diesel Minnow.
- For those new to this style of fishing a soft vibe in the 95 – 100mm size range is a great lure to start with. It’s fished in exactly the same way as the paddle tail soft plastic but it’s much easier to stay in contact with the lure. Zerek Fishtraps and Samaki Vibelicious soft vibes are very effective, but the 95mm Nomad Vertrex Max is Garret’s current favourite.
New Age Fishing is a new tackle store located in Swansea, owned and operated by a young bloke, Brent, who happens to be a mate of Garrets. Brent know Lake Mac jewies pretty well too, so why not drop by next time your in the area and check out the amazing range of ZMan plastics available?