Mulloway, also known as Jewfish, are popular targets for many anglers due to their size, strength, and the challenge they present. Mulloway fight hard once hooked, making them a rewarding catch for any angler.
There is definitely something very special when it comes to chasing Mulloway on soft plastic lures! It is very rewarding seeing a big slab of silver Mulloway finally come to the surface. You take that mental photo to relive the moment and one of the reasons we get so pumped about fishing.
This article aims to provide a guide on some of the techniques used for being successful with soft plastic lures when targeting Mulloway / Jewfish.
Where to Find Mulloway
Estuaries: Mulloway are often found in estuaries, particularly around structures such as bridges, jetties, and rock walls.
Beaches: They can also be found off beaches, especially near river mouths after a big rain flushing the bait fish from the system.
Deep water: Larger Mulloway tend to be found in deeper water, often near reefs or drop-offs.
Jew can be targeted throughout the coldest winter months with slack water, Dead low and Dead high tide, being the most favourable.
Some hot-spots in South East Queensland are the entrance to the Brisbane River, Logan River, Rainbow Channel leading up to South Passage Bar in Moreton Bay, The Saltworks around Karragarra Island and a well know SEQLD hot-spot being Jumpinpin Bar entrance (Inside the Bar).
The Gold Coast Estuaries are also great places to find Jewfish and most anglers try their luck along the pipeline at the Spit leading out to the seaway bar entrance.
Northern NSW is renowned for Big Jewfish and Anglers can be seen at night fishing off the rock walls and bridges in all the river mouth entrances from Ballina, Yamba, Maxville to Newcastle.
Choosing the Right Rods and Reels
Rod: A medium to heavy rod is recommended for Mulloway fishing. A rod between 7 to 10 feet long, with a line rating of 5-10kg will see you land most fish.
Reel: A spinning reel is typically used for Mulloway fishing. The reel should have a good drag system to handle the strong runs of the fish. Reels for small Jewfish can be as small as a 3000 however, when chasing big Jewfish a 5000 size reel is more suitable.
Line class: Depending on the size Jewfish you may encounter depends on the line class and where you are fishing. If fishing drop offs with little structure then a lighter braid can be used like 10-15lb and a rod length of leader of 20lb. If fishing near structure then a 30-40lb braid with a 40lb leader may be more suitable.
Choosing the right lure
Soft plastic lures are highly effective for catching Mulloway. The best types are those that mimic their natural prey, such as mullet or squid. A lure size between 4 to 6 inches long will cover most size bait fish. Jerk Shad, Paddle Shads, Curl Tails, and our deep belly Paddle Tails have all caught Mulloway / Jewfish.
It's a good idea to select a lure that closely matches the size of the baitfish available at the time. This will help make your lure more enticing and increase the chances of attracting a bite.
Our recommendation for Gobblers Lures best lures profiles are our 3.75 & 4.75-inch Paddle shads, 4.75-inch & 6-inch Jerk Shads and 4 inch Paddle Tails and Curl Tails.
Personally I prefer our Paddle Shads when targeting Mulloway. The vibration from the paddle as it swims or drops means the fish can always locate the lure throughout the retrieve. Mulloway have a very distinct lateral line running from just behind the head all the way down to the tail. This line enables the fish to pin-point the distance and direction of its prey or lure. You can see the lateral line in the below photo. It's starts just behind the gill casing about 1/3 down from the top of the fish.
If fishing at night, a dark or solid coloured lure presents an easily detectable silhouette for the fish to hit.
Adding scent can also be the different between getting a hit an not.
Rigging the lure
Use a jig head to rig the soft plastic lure. The weight of the jig head should be chosen based on the depth and current of the water.
When using any soft plastic lures, rigging them on the jig head straight is essential. Taking your time to rig the correctly will result in the lure swimming perfectly and you will get more hits.
The weight of the jig head should be chosen based on the depth and current of the water you're fishing in.
If trolling the soft plastic lures, a heavier weight jig head will be required to keep the lure down in the water column.
Retrieving the lure
There are several techniques you can use when retrieve the lure:
Paddle Shads, Curl Tails and Paddle Tails. Slow Rolling.
Cast it out and let it sink to the bottom. When you see the braid line go limp your lure has reached the bottom. Then you can slow roll it (retrieve it slowly) allowing the lure's built in action to work for you.
Paddle Shads, Curl Tails and Paddle Tails and Jerk Shads. (Hopping)
Cast out and allow the lures to flutter down to the bottom. Lift the rod tip around a meter and let the lure fall back to the bottom. Take up the slack braid while it is falling in case the lure is hit on the way down which is very common.
Jerk Shads, Paddle Shads.
You can use the same technique as above with a Jerk Shad lure, however, now you impart action into the lure via the rod tip. While slowly retrieving the lure use short sharp jerks of the rod tip to make the lure dart erratically. Then by pausing the retrieve the lure will fall mimicking the movement of a wounded prey. This action can trigger the predatory instincts of Mulloway and increase the likelihood of a strike.
Remember that fishing conditions can vary, so it's always a good idea to experiment with different lure sizes, colours, and retrieval techniques to find what works best for you on the day.
Best Times to Fish for Mulloway
Tide: Mulloway are often more active during the change of tide.
Time of day: As mentioned earlier, night time can be a good time to fish for Mulloway. However, they can also be caught during the day, particularly in the early morning or late afternoon.
Season: Mulloway can be caught year-round, but they tend to be more abundant in the warmer months.
In conclusion, catching Mulloway on soft plastic lures requires the right techniques, locations, and equipment, as well as patience and persistence. With these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to landing a big one!