Mulloway also is known as a Jewfish or Silver Jew is a prized catch for anglers in the southern half of Australia. These fish can be very difficult or quite easy to catch depending on where you live and chase them.
I grew up in Victoria fishing the Barwon river At Barwon Heads, and Jewfish are a highly prized fish to catch there and very difficult! I know anglers who have fished there for over 30 years and still have not landed one. the average size of a Jewfish in the Barwon River is about 15kgs but it is possible to catch them up to about 40 kgs.
I now live on the Gold Coast in southern Queensland and Mulloway are fairly easy to catch here. Don't get me wrong you still need to know some tricks of the trade and a bit of luck but smaller fish are a lot more common here, 5 to 10 kg range and if you know your stuff and have a lot of luck you can get them 30 kg plus, though this size is very uncommon.
I, on the other hand, got lucky in Victoria and caught Mulloway in the Barwon River as a child and into my teenage years. I was lucky because I was taught by some of the best Mulloway fishermen in Vic. Over the years traveling around Australia I have picked up a few more tricks which have helped me to become a very successful and well known Mulloway fisherman.
The Gear For Mulloway.
You Don't need top end gear for these fish, You do need sturdy gear with good drags.
My reels are a TLD 15 and a Speedmaster overhead reel
My rods are Silstar 10 kg short strokers ( For offshore fishing )
The line is 15 kg Stren mono
When landbased fishing for Jewfish you will need a 10 to 13-foot rod rated to 10 to 15 kg to suit a large spin reel, overhead reel or Alvey that can hold 500 meters of 15 kg mono.
My Mulloway Rigs.
My offshore rig is very simple but I will be honest a lot of people do not like this rig. For me this rig fishing offshore for Mulloway is deadly.
First, you will need.
Two meters of 60 lb, Penn 10x trace, Two x 8/0 octopus hooks, Size 8 to 10 ball or egg sinker, One large soft green bead.
Now tie a 2 hook snelled rig with at least 5 inches between the hooks this is very important! If you put the hooks to close together you will miss strikes.
Now put the green bead on top of the top hook and then put the sinker on top of the bead. That's it rig made. Now attach it to your main line.
Using this rig offshore is very simple!
After putting the live bait on slowly drop to the bottom (make sure you do this slowly so the bait and sinker stay together).
Once the bait and sinker hit the bottom wind bait about 2 feet off the bottom and put the rod in the rod holder in gear and wait.
Make sure your drag is set properly. When the rod buckles over you on!! That's it. You don't need to let them run with this rig they hook up the first time they grab the bait.
When I am beach, rock or river fishing for Jewfish I would use another very easy rig. This is a running sinker rig similar to the offshore rig
the only difference is that the sinker is above a swivel placed two feet away from the hooks.
When fishing with this rig I put my rod into a rod holder and have my reel set with a very light drag this time as Jewfish will do two runs
so on the first run I do not want the fish to feel anything is wrong and drop the bait just let him go. On the second run up your drag and strike!
As this is the run he usually swallows the bait. First, run he is just scaling the bait DON'T STRIKE.
My Favorite Live Baits For Mulloway.
Mullet (Inshore fishing)
Pike (Inshore and Offshore fishing)
Salmon (Inshore and Offshore fishing)
Tailor (Inshore and Offshore fishing)
Silver Trevally (Inshore fishing)
Sandworms (Surf fishing)
TIP FOR SURF FISHING.
When chasing Jewies in the surf try using locally caught fresh sandworms. Use the running sinker rig after dark with a single hook and use the whole sandworm. Thread the worm on the hook and about a foot up the leader and leave the rest just dangling.
When using live baits make sure you follow your local size and bag limits.
When to Chase Mulloway.
My rule when I go fishing offshore is if the weather is good (safe) I go. I don't worry about moon phases or tides. Yes, they do help the fishing and I have learned if you wait for the right tides and moon the weather will be bad and you will never get out fishing and you won't catch them sitting on the couch!!!
When Landbased chasing Mulloway you can be a bit pickier I usually like the new moon up until the night before the full. I do not like a full moon for Jewies or fishing in general. Saying that a lot of people do like a full moon. Your choice! I prefer to fish over tide changes high or low but I prefer low tide and the first two hours of a run in tide. This will be different in other locations. Jewies will bite day or night but I generally find night time better. Less boat traffic and noise.
Lure Fishing For Jewfish.
Jewies will hit a variety of lures inshore and offshore. Here is a basic break down.
Try a slow rolling hardbody lure in the surf, deep holes in rivers and around bridge lights at night if there is bait under the lights.
I like grub tail plastics in river mouths, deep holes up rivers and shallow reefs(under 30 meters deep)
My favorite lures offshore for Jewies are Micro jigs ( 60 to 80-gram flutter jigs)
Slow jigged around bait schools on shallow reefs.