Mulloway or Jewfish are an illusive species to chase on coasts around Australia.
Ranging from deep to shallow water, mulloway are a popular target for divers and fishermen alike and hold a special place amongst anglers with Jew Holes kept secret and visited in the cover of darkness or when no one is around. Finding these fish can be a needle in a haystack proposition, but when you do happen upon a school, make sure you keep it to yourself or you might find within a short period of time the fish aren’t there any longer.
These 5 tricks have come about over years of looking both successfully and mostly unsuccessfully for these fish. While you might get lucky and find a fish straight away, many anglers and divers spend years without finding one, often until shown a hole or technique. This list applies to fish found on headlands. Finding fish in deep water or on beaches is a different affair.
1. Don’t overlook the very shallow spots.
The experience of encountering a monster mulloway in shallow water is somewhat unforgettable. It is hard to describe the scale of a school of 30kg fish holed up in 1mtr of water. During the day jewfish can often be found in shallow holes seeming to rest up and generally drift passively on the bottom in washy rubble areas.
2. Broken Wash Behind Bommies
Areas that are broken and provide wash, without the direct pound of the surf, give mulloway a place to rest without getting too battered into the rocks.
3. Go Where None Have Been Before.
Inhabiting such shallow water in close proximity to rocks, makes Mulloway vulnerable to heavy fishing pressure. Going beyond the regular spots and seeking out untouched stretches of coastline with prominent rocky headlands is a great way to adventure and find new spots.
4. When the sun goes down.
Having dived with a school of jew in the same hole on numerous occasions during the day, My curiosity was peaked to find out what they get up to at night. I ventured into the regular haunts with a torch on two separate occasions and was surprised not to find any fish, in a spot that held fish over 80% of the time. On my way back in I came across a couple of smaller jew ferreting around the shallows looking intently active.
5. Don’t get obsessed
Remember to target other fish as well! It makes finding jew all the more rewarding, and many frustrating hours can be avoided if you spread your attention to many fish!
Winter in southern climes is sees the seasonal run of pelagic fish like spanish mackerel and cobia head north with the warmer water. Species like Bream, Snapper, Whiting and tailor are more of a year round proposition and get a little more attention from spearos in the winter. We headed out in hope of a snapper and although there were no monsters around we managed to get a good feed of fish, and Dan ended up with a small pan sized fish for the table.
I had a disastrous day out on the water in the kayaks when taking a couple of mates spearfishing out to a local reef.
With crystal clear water we all got a little too excited and let our enthusiasm get in the way of our preparation! Having a relatively new kayak and being the first trip out for the other guys, I will admit that I was way to relaxed about securing gear onto the kayak before making the trip through the 2-3 feet of swell and as Murphy’s law dictated, the something that could go wrong, a flip of the kayak, did go wrong.
The result was a lost Iphone, snorkel and mask, and just about all the other gear onboard spent about half an hour in the ocean before we could recover it. Luckily the weight belts sunk straight down and we methodically retraced the path from kayak roll to find them sitting on the sand.
As with all good troopers, once we fell of the horse we got straight back on! I spent 2 hours diving without a snorkel which was laborious to say the least, and nearly speared a nice snapper which did a matrix manoeuvre around my spear. Dan managed a nice little Jew in the wash and Luke speared a great Tarwhine.
The day was somewhat saved by the few fish we brought in, but having my iPhone (which was in a dryphone case) lost to the sea with a bunch of my marks on it, was very disappointing.
Seeing as the kayak has no in hull storage, I have since changed my setup so that everything in secured in a drybag that is secured to the hull. In the event of a roll over, even at a worst case senario that the drybag snapped off the hull, it would still float with all my gear safe and dry within!
I encountered my first Bluefish while diving in the solitary Islands.
The fish was around 45cm and sitting at about 8mtrs depth. Unfortunately at that depth the blue was more of a grey but the spots were still visible on it’s back which made me double take on the odd looking drummer! These fish are pretty uncommon in NSW but are prevalent out in Lord Howe Island. I wonder what ecological conditions prevented them from establishing healthy populations in NSW? Possibly too much competition from species like Drummer and Blackfish, or perhaps not enough small offshore islands to inhabit.
It was pretty tame and I was able to get pretty close for a few photo’s.
There are a number of dry bags on the market to suit almost all smart phones. Some offer shock proof and waterproof claims. While the dry phone case from drystore is not shock proof it is still 100% waterproof and perfect for all ocean lovers! All functions of the phone can be accessed through the case and while we don’t recommend using the case underwater, we have tested them extensively (our tester took his phone out surfing) and when used correctly they can be fully submerged without incident. One of the best uses for waterproof iPhone cases is fishing. Most modern smartphones will allow you to use a gps application like Navionics to access charts, upload your marks and navigate to them. For fisherman this means you can use your phone as a backup GPS, safety device and phone! Check out the dryphone case from drystore.com.au dryphone waterproof iphone case