The Killer Kohga

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By Nabeel Issa

Different techniques come and go all the time and I find myself chopping and changing lures to find the most effective one. Some days the fish will eat anything you throw, but to fool the bigger ones, a little more thought is required. This article will focus on a technique that is new to me for targeting these big silver ghosts – Using the Daiwa Kohga Jig.

First things first, we need to locate the target species. When I head out to chase Jew/Mulloway, I will take a few different factors into consideration before selecting a spot. The time of year will influence where I fish – Warmer months I will target the Jew in the rivers and inshore areas, as it cools look to fish offshore and around river mouths. This helps narrow down the general area, now to find a specific spot, there’s 3 critical factors that a spot should have to show potential for chasing Jew.

  • Current –Find a spot with good flow. One of my favourite spots in Moreton Bay is right in the middle of a channel that experiences a lot of tidal flow. The fish don’t mind!
  • Structure – The bigger the better! Schools of Jew like structure they can get into and hide. Examples such as wrecks, artificial reefs, bridge pylons, big rocks and boulders, underwater caves etc.
  • Depth – Look for water depths of at least 8m and I have caught them in up to 40m deep.

Understanding how to use a sounder will help fast track this process. It will also be crucial for pinpointing the actual fish.

Once you have located fish, its about getting the lure right in front of their face. Jew/Mulloway that are schooled will not move far to take a lure, boat positioning and where you cast is very important here. Sound the school of fish and depending on your current or wind direction and set yourself up for a drift. If the fish are staying still, you will be able to just drop the jig over the side and use the electric motor to help you control the drift speed. To work the lure, I use slow lifts about 0.5 to 1m off the bottom. As you lift and drop, the Kohga jig will plummet back down while the trailing skirt will follow at a slower rate, this is when the hits will come. The small target right in front of a Jew is hard for them to refuse and is why the Kohga works so well! It is able to sink down quickly, but still offer a small profile for the fish to eat.

Gear selection is quite easy for this technique, a rod with a bit of power and reel to back it up will help keep the fish out of the structure. My preference is to use baitcast gear as it allows a bit more control with a lift and drop technique. I have used quite a few different set ups, but my 2 “Go to” set ups are below.

Outfit 1

Rod- Tatula 702MHB

Reel- Tatula 150 

Line- 30lb J-Braid X4  with 30lb J-Thread

Outfit 2

Rod- Spartan B511 2-3 PE

Reel- Lexa 300HS-P

Line- 30lb J-Braid X4  with 40lb J-Thread

If you prefer to use spin gear, a 4000 size reel matched to a rod rated at least 4-8kg will do the job just as well. Keep in mind, these are heavy lures, fished on relatively light rods, so ripping out casts with these is out of the question!

When you first open the pack, you will  notice, this lure is in 3 parts. The Jig, the Skirt and the assist hooks. Simply thread the Jig first, then the skirt and lastly tie the hooks on via the solid ring.

The Kohga’s come in a few different colours, so far, I have caught fish on all of them and not really found a preference. If it came down to picking favourites though, I would go with the “Sakura Glow” colour first as I tend to stick to natural colours where possible. I have been using the 60gram model so far, but in depths of 30m+ the next step up at 80gram will be worth a shot.

An easy lure to use, it sinks quick and can be fished by virtually anyone. For some reason it seems to get bites from the bigger fish too, this season we have had more 1m+ fish boated than any season before!

Some final tips to help you on your way to Kohga Success!

  • Jew don’t move far to eat a lure, get it in front of them!
  • Slow lifts big enough to allow a short free fall will get bites.
  • Try to stay vertically above your jig.
  • Pay attention to boat positioning and watch your sounder.
  • Set the hooks hard and get that Jew away from the structure!
  • Current, Structure and Depth – The basis for a good spot.

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