Fishing Tips – Fishing Lures For Jewfish (Mulloway) Article

Fishing Tips – Fishing Lures For Jewfish (Mulloway)


On the back of a cracker season for Jewfish on the far North Coast of NSW Australia. I thought I may be able to impart with some observations, that may be handy for those about to embark on chasing Mulloway using hard body fishing lures. It took me some time to land my first Jewfish which fell to a soft plastic fishing lure at dead low tide off the far north coast rocks of NSW in what I have come to understand is {for this spot at least} perfect water. It should be noted that capture was on a new moon in August in the middle of a bright sunny day soon after lunch under clear blue skies.

Fishing Tips: Conditions for catching a Jewfish:

There is a great deal of mythology surrounding Mulloway, and a great deal written about them and spoken about them amongst fisherman. Full moon, high tide, low pressure systems, night time, dawn or dusk, foul seas, cold foul weather, dirty water the list goes on. Having landed a couple from the stones now, I have come to think of my own criteria, that is not exclusive, but a series of boxes I tick when looking at the places I may be able to fish. This may change from place to place, the fish and the bait fish may behave differently in your neighbourhood for any number of reasons, to how they behave in mine. Proximity of rivers or estuary , depth of water , structure and migration pattern of fish, bait with water temperature may be some of the things in play that differ from place to place. What is important is to keep at it, and take note of the times that you or someone you know has landed fish and what was going on with the wind, moon, tide, sea temp, season, baitfish etc. You will soon have your own personal set of boxes to tick that are more pertinent to the place and methodology you chose to fish.

My personal opinion on why this year (2007) has been a better year locally for me, is that there have been many more days with fishable low pressure systems and manageable swells.

My perfect criteria now is a manageable swell, that gives coverage for the fish, an outer sand bank or reef that breaks into a deeper hole spreading white suds across it with structure in that critical space I can spread my lures. I like to fish low tide for less water more fish and the ability to be lower on the water. I rarely fish late into the night these days as I often fish solo, and I am getting older, but I can see the benefits of doing so for sure, just remember safety first. I rarely catch fish on the tail end of the waning moon but if the water is perfect I will definitely not lose hope.

Fishing Gear:

I started with an Alvey Fishing Reel 650s on 7144 Snyder Glass blank Fishing Rod, the old translucent orange brown model which, although I have moved on to other Fishing rods, if I could take one rod to heaven, would probably be it.

I now fish with solid threadline Fishing reels, My current Fishing Reel being the Shimano Stella 10000 and custom graphite rods 10-11ft. Built for me personally

by Rohit Lal of King Rods . I have 10 and an 11 ft Longtail H rated at -6 0unce cast 40lb. Which after nearly 2 yrs testing Rohit is contemplating making this fishing rod as standard available build.

I also started with mono fishing line at a lighter breaking strain of 20lbs on the Alvey Fishing Reels. Eventually I became tired of damaging fish and losing them only to see them float away as shark food and made the decision I was going to fish heavy. Changing up to reliable cheap Monofilament fishing line in various brands, which included brands such as Penn & Suffix in around 40lb breaking strain for pain free dismissal of any damaged line like the first 30 ft or so after a bumpy landing and I use 40- 60lb Jinkai Leader or Ande Leader material for a trace. With braid I fish even heavier line for extra assurance with abrasion resistance and longevity although my drag settings have never really changed from the 20lb mono, I am now usually fishing 50lb nylon coated tuff line xp. Again this is a choice set by expense and the harsh nature of the area in which I fish, I would be happy to fish for the same sized fish with 15lb elsewhere.

The AVERAGE size of Mulloway I target being 12- 20 kg’s although the last 2 years has seen a major increase in smaller fish, 5- 8kg model schoolies.

The Fishing Lure.

Well what a journey that has been. I have tried many lures and have had some degree of success with many of them, including locally made boutique models, modified no name bibbed lures. Changing split rings trebles etc. to VMC or Owner treble hooks. But have come to settle on a couple of must haves as a personal choice, these are Halco Laser Pro Fishing Lure in the 190 DD 2 metre diver. I have a couple of favourite colours although I have seen all colours work at one time or another and Rapala X-raps which seem to work in any colour to at least attract the tailor, they are bar none the most efficient tailor lure I have encountered. The X-raps have only been a recent addition to the arsenal but have taken a couple of nice fish and have a casting advantage. Also quickly caught the tailor that have accounted for some great fish, when I have decided I have had enough of spinning and changed up to bait.

But the Halco Laser Pro Fishing Lure 190 DD size remains my personal go to lure. It has an almost indestructible bib system, this is not the case with many other manufacturers, who make lures that may cast better and swim well, but cannot be trusted after a couple of bumps against rock, leading to bibs breaking trebles snapping out of there placement etc. The Halco 190 2m also has a free moving weight inside consisting of small bearings which serve both as a rattle and to take the weight to the tail when being cast. I tie these to a 2ft or so trace with a swivel and this seems to help the lure rifle freely after a cast gaining better distance and less fouling. Very important to, when you stop winding they float.


Firstly, as I mentioned in the beginning my early fish were taken on soft plastic fishing lures, this progression has served me well for a number of reasons, not least of which is to understand the bottom, the current, the movement and speed of the lure and the strike zones of the fish. And all this at the bargain price of $2 or so for every lure lost to a snag as I went through this learning curve. I still make sure I have a small arsenal of 6 inch shads in a lighter and darker colour, brands Like: Storm Soft Plastic fishing lures  like or Squidgies have all caught many fish for me. The major difference with hard body fishing lures is the ability to get a much straighter line in retrieve if you wish to and in the right conditions at a relatively slow speed. Whereas  soft plastic lures will be much more effected by the running currents. That may sweep them sideways at such a speed.

Try to quickly get an understanding of the way the wind and the current are working. Although standing still and repetitively lobbing into the same hole may account for passing fish, moving and poking around the entire available environment will account for allot more. A perfect day, the wind will be blowing your lure on a cast in the same direction as the current, making the bib work harder therefore deeper and slower on the retrieve. Distance out to sea is not a number one priority.

But you’re not quite ready to cast yet. Make sure you have worked out a couple of things, particularly if you are alone. If you do get a fish first cast, and believe me this happens, and mostly when you aren’t ready for it. Do you know where you want to steer it to be landed? Is the gaff ready etc.?

Speed &  Steering:

I have often been asked what type of action I put into the lure, the best action for sure with the above mentioned criteria working in your favour is low and slow. However to be honest I try everything, pulse, fast, a couple of speed throughs then a slow drive by, stop/start, the whole gambit. The action to steer the hard body fishing lures as apposed to soft plastic lures is more sustained and exaggerated placement of the rod tip. The difference between tip down and being low on the water can be critical in gaining depth or avoiding structure. The same with the point from which you tow the lure keeping it away from the ledge, but this all quickly becomes second nature.

I have learned if I am to push lures as close as I can to submerged structure, it became prudent to fish with a soft drag setting and stop at the first bump, this way I avoid burying lures into snags as often. A quick hand to the spool will sink the hook if it runs.

Most jewfish will only have a couple of good runs in them but with a little swell and current that big paddle tail and wide body can make for an interesting time getting them to somewhere they can be landed. For this reason if a good-sized fish heads for open water its often best to let it, and wear it down away from danger and structure.

Having said that, even fishing as heavy as I do, I have just been absolutely mugged by some fish?

I haven’t begun to cover many aspects of hard body lure fishing for Jew fish such as break wall fishing, there are many great articles already in existence about this and my preference for the relative solitude of surf ledges leads me away from that being a particular area of my expertise, although I have done it and know many who do it with great success and many of the same principals apply.

Good luck and remember the two most important principals are stick with it and make it home safe!

McNulty .aka “happy “

Edited by Fishing Tackle Shop Ocean Storm Fishing Tackle.