The author with a jewfish caught in 16m of water on a Samaki Vibelicous lure.

Start your jewfish journey

Pitto has caught a heap of jewfish with the author over the years and his favourite lures for them are metal vibes.
These fish can really fire up on cloudy or rainy days, like they did on this occasion for Marko.
Jimmy has had a lot of success fishing for jewfish and they always put a smile on his face.

I HOPE you all had a safe prosperous Christmas and new year and were able to catch a few fish. In this month’s article I hope to give you a few tips on how to target one of the most sought-after and often elusive species found in our rivers, the mighty mulloway, which are often known as jewfish. Let’s start your jewfish journey! jewfish journey

There have always been a ton of theories and myths surrounding this species, mainly based around moon cycles. I have put a lifetime into experimenting and documenting what I believe are the best ways to try and maximise my chances of catching what many anglers call the ghosts of the estuaries.

A great place to start is deep water that has a heap of bait holding close to the bottom and fishing either side of tide changes seems to work best. Occasionally I will spend up to 15 minutes sounding a deep hole to try and locate bait holding, and if I don’t find any I’ll quickly head to the next hole.jewfish journey

Mulloway are an apex species in our rivers and will migrate up and down the system until they find an abundance of food, even if it means heading right up to the tidal limits of a river. What I call a deep hole is anything over 6m, with my best success coming from 8m and beyond.

When it comes to bait schools, it doesn’t matter if it’s schools of mullet, herring or prawns – this species is not fussy and will eat whatever is on the menu. Now we’ve found our deep hole with a heap of bait on or near the bottom, we need to prepare our attack around tide changes. I have caught jewfish at all hours of the day, but a tide change around low light periods is a real bonus.jewfish journey

I have caught hundreds of jewies over the years on bright sunny days, but even though the conditions might be uncomfortable for us anglers, overcast or rainy days can increase the chances of reward. It is thought that jewfish can only be caught during winter, but the truth is they can be targeted and caught all year.jewfish journey

Many anglers choose to target jewies with live bait such as poddy mullet or herring, which work extremely well but for me it is all about lures. Soft plastic lures work a treat on this species, but I have consistent success with metal and soft-bodied vibe lures. The good thing about lure fishing is that you can hedge your bets with a couple of fishos and have different lures on to see which product works best on the day.

Of course, you can swap your lures around when fishing by yourself. When using lures, the technique that works best for me is to drop the lure directly to the bottom and use a small jigging action that keeps it hopping up and down within 1m of the bottom. I call this technique ‘tea-bagging’ and it’s dynamic for catching jewfish and every species feeding along the bottom.jewfish journey

The real art to this technique is keeping the lures on the bottom, especially when there is a current flowing. This is done by keeping your line vertical, and you can achieve this by making adjustments with your petrol or electric motor in either forward or reverse, constantly working with the speed of the tide and occasionally the wind.jewfish journey

In a perfect scenario, your boat should be drifting at the speed of the tide and your lures will pendulum straight down and hold contact with the bottom. I hope this short article helps you catch one of these iconic fish, and I look forward to chatting with you next month.

If you’d like to book a charter, please visit my Facebook page for more info.

About Brad 'Smithy' Smith

Smithy has been working as a full-time professional fishing guide for over 20 years, which makes him southeast Queensland’s and northern NSW’s longest-serving guide. Above all the commitments Smithy has in the charter industry, his overriding passion has always been to pass on his specialist experience to anglers and teach people of all ages and angling abilities the correct techniques required to catch all the Gold Coast’s estuary species on a variety of different lures. Smithy’s unique charter operations guarantees you will catch fish on lures or you don’t pay.

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One comment

  1. Went on Smithy’s Charter & learnt this among many other important aspects of Fishing.

    Got a mangrove jack on the day & lots of Bream.

    Went back and used this technique to target Jewfish several times & finally worked it out and got 12 boated jewfish on the first time every getting one.

    Unbelieve wealth of useful knowledge in this article.

    Kind regards

    Jaxon Avery

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