What a windy month we’ve had! Many anglers struggled to wet a line during early April as wind speeds reached 135km/h. However, those able to find a break in the weather enjoyed some great fishing.
We are right in the middle of the jewie season that un-officially runs from around March to June. These hard fighting creatures are something of a fishing Holy Grail, as they can be extremely hard to locate.
I have caught less than a dozen mulloway and by no means proclaim to be a mulloway expert. I have, however, caught a few while fishing small livebaits for school sharks. I’ve also turned up the odd jewie from Warneet over the years, and I have noticed some interesting things:
Mulloway are very fussy eaters. They definitely have a fondness of live baits.
Fresh cut baits will also work, but freshness is the key.
Try fishing water less than 6m deep. Look for natural drains and channels that concentrate small salmon, mullet and other baitfish.
Jewies love flounder. A channel that feeds off a large shallow mud bank is an ideal location. Last year I cleaned seven mulloway for customers and five contained flounder remains.
Mulloway are real hunters. Fishing gentleman’s hours will result in some fish, but the regular catches will be had before dawn.
In previous years the biggest Western Port mulloway have been caught by professional fishermen after dark while netting bait species in the shallows.
Finally, patience is the key. Rug up, sip the coffee and wait with confidence.
Charter skipper John Stuber rarely misses a decent bag of King George whiting. He has had success in 6-8m along Middle Spit, and reports that several moves have been necessary to find the fish, but a little berley will keep them on the bite. Pipis and mussels have been the best baits.
I fished for whiting with some mates on three consecutive nights recently. We boated 45 fish from just 1.5m of water. We used peeled prawn, squid strips, mussels, Bass yabbies and pipis for bait.
Fishing in such shallow water is an absolute blast. The fish often fight very hard as there is only one way for them to swim… across the flats!
Gareth Bull had an interesting time while chasing gummy sharks near Tortoise Head. A seagull swooped in and picked up a pilchard he had cast. Concerned for its wellbeing, he slowly retrieved the line in order to free the little fella when a bronze whaler shark of approximately 50kg decided that the gull would make a nice lunch! The shark broke the surface not far from the boat and took the bird, hook and all. Gareth was relieved when it eventually bit through the 100lb leader.
Customers Quiggy and Simon also hooked an angry bronze whaler. The guys were fishing in 30m of water near Seal Rocks when the 60kg bronzie ate a whole tuna bait. It just goes to show that there are plenty of Noahs out there.
May is prime mulloway time. The key to catching them is to play the numbers and be patient (photo: Jarrod Day).Reads: 2016