Fresh brings on the jewies
  |  First Published: April 2004

CONSISTENT rain has fallen on the Hastings area over the past month, somewhat alleviating the dry conditions which have been the norm over the past couple of years.

A good fresh in the Hastings has brought much-needed nutrients down the system, kick-starting some hot fishing action. As the water clears some more great times will be on offer, so get off your butts and get into it.

The rocks have remained consistent over the past month with a number of species on offer. Some good tailor are still cruising the stones with reports of fair size choppers being taken from headlands and beach gutters.

Bream have made their annual appearance with some solid fish from beach and rock gutters. With the cooler months now on our doorsteps, catches will become more consistent with big travelling bream making their annual pilgrimage.

With the annual tailor run now certainly clicked into seasonal groove it is time to grab the jew pole and put the effort into capturing some of these big chrome critters. Jewfish are suckers for a fresh slab of tailor dangled in front of their noses. Jew can often be found feeding beneath a school of marauding choppers.

Consistent success on jew is a science, with moon phase, tides, baits and rigs all key ingredients. These next few months are prime jew fishing times with seasonal movement of many smaller fish along our coastline, such as tailor, mullet, blackfish and bream – all top tucker for a big jewfish.


The estuary certainly resembles Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, with a fair fresh surging down the Hastings. As the mud clears it should be action stations as many species will be feeding freely. High tides around the new and full moons will bring plenty of clean ocean water back into the system so that the lure-chuckers can share some of the fun that the bait-soakers have had to themselves in the dirty water.

Meanwhile, large jewfish have been prowling the wall areas, snacking on the schooling mullet which are waiting to run back up the system as the fresh clears. Large minnows or soft plastic lures are attracting the interest of jewfish with anglers landing hefty specimens. Fish to 25kg are nothing to sneeze at and definitely fit that mould of a ‘fish of a lifetime’.

As the dirt clears I expect many of our so called Winter species will click into gear, with the annual fun of blackfish and bream now on our doorstep. Last year’s run of fish was very good so fingers crossed for another dose of good action.


The lousy mackerel run continues with a virtual no-show of this speedy species again. Don’t despair – maybe with luck a few late season mackerel might stray into our area.

Something to cheer about: Cobia have been quite co-operative over past weeks with some fair fish on offer. Not all of them have been huge but fish between 8kg and 12kg are certainly welcome in my fish box. Besides being a great sport fish, cobia are certainly succulent tucker.

Bottom fishing has still been a bit of a lottery, with screaming current still hampering fishing on the wide grounds. As we move on into Winter I expect this to change as the elevator that brings speedy fish to our area through Summer backs off to a trickle, making bottom-fishing much easier.

A few snapper have been poking about the close reefs. As the weeks push on this action should pick up and reach its peak through Winter.

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