It doesn’t happen that often, but how good is it when a distant fishing thought morphs into a plan and then actually plays out how you hoped it would! Well sort of.
April generally marks the start to the Melbourne Jewfish season, with the cooling of the weather, drop in water temperature and subsequent rainfall, and when the Jewies follow the baitfish up into the metro rivers to feed on the abundant amount of food.
With my new Jewfish outfit all setup and ready to go, I was pretty keen to give it a run and a window of opportunity presented itself, and it just so happened that I had a morning free in amongst house, father and pregnant wife duties. I checked the weather and the tides, both actually looked pretty good. Bonus!
So with a lunchtime deadline I hit one of the Melbourne metro rivers in my Hobie Outback in search for my first Jewfish for the season. Things seemingly started well but then turned pear shaped quickly. I marked a small school of Jewfish in my first location and within 5 casts my 5” keitech soft plastic was sucked down with that barely noticeable “tick” a Jewfish bite gives. My new Generation Black Pinster loaded up and my 2500 Freams Z started its work.
I managed to keep the fish away from structure on its initial run, and after its second lunge back for cover it swam out into open water turning the kayak effortlessly as it kept changing directions and swimming under the kayak trying to get me all tangled up. After a solid minute on the line, a few big head shakes and “pop” the hook fell out of the fishes mouth. Damn!
Shattered. I had lost my chance. You generally don’t get too many hook ups with mulloway in a single outing, so I thought the fish of 1000 casts had won this session.
I moved on down to my next spot where I sounded up some big schools of bait, then on my second pass out a little wider I luckily marked up some more jews sitting mid water, a promising sight!
Unbelievably 2 casts later I hooked up to my second jewie for the morning, this one felt as weighty as the first, and I started praying that lady luck would be kinder to me this time round. The fish tried hard as it could to rid itself of my 4/0 jighead, lunging back to the bottom and then from one side of the kayak to the other, spinning the kayak a full 360 degrees in the meantime.
Finally after what felt like an eternity a beautiful big silver Melbourne Jewfish surfaced next to the kayak, was lip gripped with trembling hands and hauled into the kayak for a few happy snaps.
At 90cm long and a new pb for me I am one step closer to getting that magical metre fish.
When things fall into place like that so easily you really can’t take it for granted, as generally fishing for a species like Mulloway is not this easy and requires a lot of persistence and effort with the angler needing to be prepared for numerous donut trips!
As for my new Jewie gear, I was very happy with how it handled the bigger fish. The Generation Black Pinster II is only a 2-5kg rod so it was operating at its higher end, but I prefer to have a lighter rod for feeling the subtle bites of a jewfish, the hundred of times you have to cast in a session, and I like to be able to keep a good bend in the rod, keeping tension on the lure in the fishes mouth.
The 7kg of drag the 2500 Freams Z gives is ample and the ATD (automatic tournament drag) allows you to have plenty of drag pressure set if fishing close to structure. 10lb J-braid is as tough as it gets and is perfectly suited to casting the heavy jigheads and giving me confidence around structure.
If you have the patience and want a challenge, have a go at chasing the silver shadows of Melbourne’s metro rivers!