Jesse “Newy Fishin” Dedman
Newcastle Angler and Jewfish Enthusiast
Jesse has been fishing for jewfish in Newcastle Harbour for many years, but over the past 4-5 years has become fairly consistent when it comes to taking them on lures. He reckons he’s no expert, but during the interview he shares plenty of valuable insights gleaned from years of perfecting the “jewfish on lures puzzle”.
Jesse’s Top Jewfish Fishing Tips
- It can take a bit of time to figure out jewfish fishing on lures, but don’t give up. Eventually it all clicks and the fish start coming much more easily.
- Time of day or phase of the moon are unimportant for Newcastle Harbour jewfish fishing, it’s all about the tides. Jesse finds that the period either side of the tide change fish best, while the slack water period is usually fairly slow. When these periods coincide with a low light period (especially dawn, but also dusk), you have prime conditions.
- Jewfish move around the system but are frequently associated with hard structure such as pylons, wharves, channel markers, rock walls and so on, especially when they drop into relatively deep water. Start by looking for these areas, then look for signs of bait using your sounder. Where there’s bait the jewfish are usually close by.
- The theory about the evenings of full moons creating a hot bite is a myth. Jewfish will definitely bite during these periods, but Jesse usually finds them a bit slower than other periods.
- Don’t be afraid to throw your lures close to structure as hooked jewfish don’t usually try and bury you in snags – although on occasion they might make a run that cause the line to touch something sharp.
- Don’t give up and don;t waste too much time changing lures. Jesse finds that when jewfish are biting they aren’t too fussy about lures, but that they can sometimes be present but not biting. You may find you get short periods when they bite freely and if you’;re busy changing lures or leaders you might miss the bite.
Jesse’s Jewfish Fishing Tackle
- Jesse has a light outfit comprised of a 3-6kg spin rod coupled with a 2500 size reel, 15lb braid and a 16-20lb fluorocarbon leader that he uses when the fish are away from hard structure and he can play them more leisurely.
- A 5-9kg 7’6″ rod, 4000 size reel, 30lb braid and 30lb leader are a better option when fishing anywhere near structure.
Jesse’s Recommended Jewfish Lures
- All of the lures Jesse recommends are fished in much the same way. Jesse likes to locate fish and position his boat to the side of them. He then casts his lures up-current and allows them to sink to the bottom. Lures are worked with fairly gentle raises of the rod, just enough to create some action in the chosen lure, then allowing them to sink again, maintaining a semi-taut line. If the current is strong you might only get 3-4 hops, but fish will often take these lures before you even get a chance to start working them.
- A 95mm Samaki Vibelicious is Jesse’s first choice and is very effective, especially on the drop. Jesse warns that these can become a little expensive as they’re not terribly snag proof. Colour is not supoer important but he prefers the natural baitfish patterns.
- A 4-5″ Paddletail soft plastic can also be effective when matched to the profile of the bait. Brand is not important, they’ll all catch fish on their day, but Z-Man, Berkley, Squidgy Fish and so on will work. The most important thing is to choose a jig head size that doesn’t plummet the lure to the bottom, but is sufficient to get it in the lower third of the water column for at least a few hops as it passes the fish.
- Locally made 100mm Pulled Hooks Stingers are a great option for Newcastle jewfish. As with the paddletails, it’s important to get the right sized jig head, but the curl tails on these lures allow them to be fish a little slower and more subtly.
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