Cameron Harlen-Robertson

Northern NSW Rockwall Jewfish Specialist

Cameron is one of the youngest guests we’ve had on the ALF podcast, but that doesn’t mean he’s a lightweight! He’s been punching well above his weight in the jewfish stakes for a number of years and I figured it was a good opportunity to see what the next generation of jewie lurers are up to! 

Cameron’s Tips For North Coast Jewfish On Lures

  • It’s not necessary to always fish at night! Plenty of jewfish can be caught during daylight hours. That said, many people find night fishing is a good place to start and fish are sometimes more willing to eat after dark.
  • Jewfish lack stamina. Generally, after the first run, you can turn it over you can turn the fish and essentially bring it in belly up for the rest of the fight.
  • It’s important to observe seawall etiquette. Don’t impose on others by getting too close, and also help out other fishos when they need a hand whilst fighting a monster. If you fail on these things, your reputation among the seawall jewfish community will weigh you down!
  • Persistence and being at the right spot at the right time will pay off. Rainfall plays a big part and the seawalls always fish very well for jewfish when the rivers flood and the fresh pushes the bait and jewfish down to the mouth.
  • If there’s been no rain for a while, look for bait and/or current lines where there are waves and white water. Make sure never to cast right in the middle of a bait ball! The bait will usually react to this by swimming straight down and away from it, taking jewfish away with them. Once again, a big no-no with wall etiquette!
  • Southerly winds work best, and the fish will often be in the white water on the lee side of the rockwall. Even more so if there is dark or dirty water coming from the river. A cloudy, overcast day with an approaching storm front doesn’t hurt, either.
  • Many jewfish anglers swear by lunar phases, Cameron likes the four days leading up to or after a new or full moon. You can catch Jewfish on any moon, but if you’re new to it and want to increase your chances, go out at these times.
  • Safety on rock walls is critical. Wearing a life jacket is a no-brainer at times but avoiding putting yourself in situations where landing fish is dangerous or difficult is also important. Ideally, look for places where you use waves to slide the fish into a rockpool, then can go down and grab the fish safely. Fish with people you can trust.

Cameron’s Jewfish Tackle

  • Cameron always takes out a light set-up as well as a heavy set-up. The light setup is used for fishing plastics in the 5-7 inch sizes, and occasionally up to 10 inches.The heavy setup is for larger and heavier lures.
  • For the light set-up a Stradic 4000 spin reel loaded with 30lb Tasline and a 40lbs leader are coupled with an 8’ rod in the 6-9kg range.
  • For the heavy set-up is a Penn Prevail 10-15kg rod with a 5500 (or sometimes an 8000) size Penn Slammer reel, 50 or 60lb braid with 50–80lb leader.

Cameron’s Top Jewfish Lures

  • A hard body is great when you’re specifically looking for the bigger size of fish (be careful not to be always out looking for the big fish or you can expect a lot of fishless days). Very large hard bodies are the best and Cameron suggests Leavey Lures or Croaker Lures. These can be cast beyond the bait and slow rolled back beneath the bait schools – the slower the better. Switching between lures and mixing things up is also productive.
  • For the plastics, a Jerk Shad is the #1 pick, with either the Berkley Gulp! or Zman doing the trick. Cameron exclusively runs TT jig heads, mostly between 3/4 and a 1 1/2 ounces. Work these lures with erratic rod lifts and drops.
  • A paddle tail such as a Berkley Hollow Belly can be very effective if slow rolled and allowed to stay in contact with the bottom.

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