Big Jew follow Through
  |  First Published: June 2010

It is jewfish mania in the Clyde River at present with some of the best action in years going down. Fish from 8kg to 17kg have been common with countless tales of woe, with big fish winning their freedom around the oyster encrusted bridge pylons.

The key to success on the latest run of fish has been the use of big tailor as live baits. Tailor of 1kg+ are not easy to come by in the Clyde but the fish are there for the persistent angler working lures under the bridge lights.

From all accounts if you do manage to score a big tailor, then a big jewfish hook up will be highly likely to follow.

Despite the presence of schools of yellowtail and big garfish visible in the lights, those baits have been remaining untouched by the jewfish populace. Fresh squid too have been drawing a blank lately, which is normally one of the best baits available but has only been attracting the resident stingrays.

My jewfish addicted mate Pete Alkousis has been doing weekly trips from Sydney with lures, plastics and even the fly rod and drawing a total blank. Pete is a jewfish-on-artificials guru in Sydney with recent sessions of 30 caught and released fish averaging 5kg, and a personal best on lure of 20.5kg. However, he can’t seem to crack the Clyde’s jewfish pattern on artificials.

The breakwall too has seen some great captures from the wall and from boats and, if the grapevine is anything to go by, the fish are topping the 20kg mark. The coast continues to be hit with some heavy thunderstorms pushing dirty, fresh water seaward so the wall could well be the scene of some more big jewfish captures this month.

The ocean temperatures leading up to this report have still been surprisingly warm with patches of 23ºC water lapping the shore. This has resulted in an extended run of big bonito and small kingfish hanging around the rocks together with some large schools of big slimy mackerel. A pod of big longtail tuna were spotted ripping the daylights out of one school of slimies but unfortunately none strayed close enough to take a bait, frustrating indeed!

I would expect the temperatures to be around 17-19ºC by July, which will still be definitely warm enough to contain a few straggling pelagic fish heading back up the coast.

Offshore the currents are still bringing the odd marlin as my mate Rowan Griffin found out when a big striped marlin of around 120kg decided to crash his lure spread. He captured the whole event on film and released the fish after a long and spectacular fight.

Bad weather since then has been continually hampering our efforts to hit the shelf in search of tuna but with a week off in the pipeline we should hopefully get a few trips of cubing in right when the fish numbers will hopefully be at their best. It sounds like some really big fish are getting caught so I think the 10kg tackle will not be figuring into the equation this season.

Back on the rocks and snapper continue to be a viable target with fish to 6.6kg being captured together with some very hard to take losses of bigger fish.

Etienne De Cellis hooked a massive snapper that took three big runs and never looked like being landed before severing the line. But Eti re-rigged and managed to put a nice 4kg fish on the rocks that somewhat lessened the blow.

David Norman pulled the hook on a solid fish after all the hard work had been done. He had survived the fish’s lengthy runs and was steadily bringing in the spent fish when everything inexplicably went limp.

A week later I hooked a line burner that found something sharp to cut my main line. I had just re-spooled the overhead with a fresh load of 15kg line, but after that fish kept nearly 50m it looks like it already needs a new re-spool! Snapper fishing has been making it seem like I have Tourettes syndrome with all the expletives I have been screaming on the rocks lately.

Plenty of big swells have been pummelling the coast as I type so hopefully my luck will turn on the big reds soon.

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