Youtuber, Sandflats Fishing Gun
Karl has been fishing the sandflats of the NSW Mid-North Coast for over 25 years. In that time he’s notched up a genuine metre plus flathead, plus countless thumper bream, whiting and school jew. Karl’s Youtube channel is dedicated to helping aspiring flats anglers master the bread and butter species..
Karl’s Top Tips For NSW Jewfish
- It’s important to develop situational awareness. Jewfish usually give their presence away. If you know what to look and listen for, you’ll be able to find them. Listening for distinctive boofing” sounds, looking for the presence of birds and other signs will shorten the odds of finding fish.
- The “cricket season” months of October through until late March (even April or May sometimes) are the prime time to fish for jewfish in mid-north-New South Wales estuaries.This coincides with whitebait aggregations in the lower estuaries, with increased jewfish activity.
- Focus on fishing the tide changes. It doesn’t matter whether it’s low to high or vice versa, but the tide changes are peak bite times.
- Finding where the bait are concentrated is a key to success in mid north coast jewfish fishing.
- Bridges with lights are magnets for baitfish, as are eddies along breakwaters and backwaters. Jewfish and other predators are never far behind when bait are aggregating.
- When fishing for jewfish at night, avoid shining lights on the water. Karl has observed occasions when the jewfish have been “boofing” bait off the surface and have been spooked by bright lights shone on the water.
- When jewfish are mid water or are surface feeding it’s important not to put your lures beneath them as they won’t be taken.
- Karl finds lunar cycles to be irrelevant, with fish coming on all phases of the moon provides the session coincides with a tide change.
- Be prepared to lose tackle when fishing for jew around bridge pylons and oyster racks. Skull dragging them usually results in pulled hooks or broken lines. It’s best to let them run and try and play them around the pylons. Jewfish don’t tend to run for structure, but some lost fish and lures are inevitable in these circumstances.
Karl’s Tackle Recommendations For Estuary Jewfish
- Karl uses a Shimano Barra Raider 6-10kg spin rod with a 4000 size reel and 30lb braid and a 40lb monofilament leader when he’s fishing around bridges. Mono gives a little more shock absorption than fluorocarbon, which helps when they are hitting hard.
- When fishing the breakwalls Karl uses an Atomic Arrow medium light, which is lighter but is adequate when there is less structure to cut the line.
Karl’s Best Jewfish Lures
- Rapala X-Rap SXR120 is Karl’s first choice for targeting jewfishing around bridges and has accounted for a large number of his fish. He casts it across the front of the bridge pylons and fishes it with a twitch and pause retrieve where the currents permit. The idea is to work the lure along the edge of the shadow created by the light on the bridge, on the upstream side. Jewfish appreciate extended pauses in the retrieve.
- Karl likes the 85mm Atomic Shiner both as a trolling lure and as a casting lure from the breakwalls. When trolling, he fishes the lure around 25m behind a kayak and works the deep river bends that have coffee rock structures. From the rock walls Karl will walk along the rock walls with the wind behind him, listening for signs of jewfish boofing. He’ll then cast to where he hears the noise and works the lure back. Sometimes jewfish can be seen to be hunting in packs of four or five fish and it’s worth staying put and putting in plenty of casts until the fish respond to the sound of the lure.
- The Rapala Clacking Minnow is another great choice for school, jewfish in the NSW estuaries. This is a sinking lure that is again worked with a twitch, twitch, pause action. The pauses need to be kept a little shorter to prevent the lure sinking beneath the feeding fish.