Iluka – Middle Bluff – More Jewfish – 10 Feb 2011

Thursday
After a successful session at Middle Bluff on Wednesday, I was back again by 5.30 am on Thursday morning. There were a few clouds but the sky was much clearer than the day before. The swell was marginally bigger.

It was still pretty dark. I started off with the GULP 5” Jerkshad in the curry chicken colour, this is a red and yellow combination soft plastic lure. I decided to fish it on a ½ oz 5/0 jighead so it could find the bottom, through the heavy swell. I was three jerks into the retrieve on my first cast and bang – I hooked up. The fish took plenty of line, sat in the current then took off again but for a much shorter, slower run. I tightened the drag a bit and took up the slack. As the surge pushed the fish over onto the ledge below – I pulled hard and there was a sickening crack! The rod tip had broken off but the fish was on the lower ledge and still attached. I wound the leader round my glove and carefully dragged the fish up – getting a thorough soaking by the swell, in the process.

5.30 am - 70 cm Jewfish and the rod tip he broke

It was a good sized Jewfish, at just over 70 cm. I unhooked it and dropped it in the keeper pool. I had a look at the rod, my 9ft Rovex Aureus. It had broken between guides three and four – I had not really high sticked it, but perhaps it had been knocked or cracked and this had finished it off. I was disappointed. It is only a couple of months old and has been fairly lightly used. I will take it back and see what Rovex think. The Aureus does not appear to be as tough as the Bario. I jogged back to the car to get the Rovex Bario – 12 Ft, which I have had for about two and a half years. It has performed very well, landing numerous fish in similair conditions. After a 30 minute round trip I was back on the rocks.

This time, I tied on a GULP 5” Jerkshad in the satay chicken colour, this is a pumpkinseed and yellow combination. It was quiet for twenty minutes or so and then just as I was lifting the plastic out of the water, at the base of the rocks – it was pounced on and a significant fish took off with the lure. I turned its head from the initial run but then it ran back past me, heading north, parallel with the shore. I kept the pressure on but it soon had the line rubbing on the rocks and suddenly, ping! It was gone.

Perfect conditions for Jewfish at Middle Bluff


The ledges can help you get the fish safely up the rocks


But the swell can also rob you of the fish


You can only carefully retreat or duck when this happens!

I tied on another jerkshad in the same colour and cast out. As it dropped into the water it was smashed by Tailor. I struck but there was no hook up. I let it sink again and when I lifted the rod I had a fish on. It was a decent Tailor about 55cm long. I landed it and threw it in the keeper pool.

I cast straight back out. Again, just as I was finishing winding in the soft plastic, it was grabbed. This was a good fish. It took off for a long initial run but soon tired. It did this a couple more times but eventually I had it back at the foot of the rocks. I could see it was a nice size Jew (around the 80cm mark). Just then a monster wave came over but when the water flooded away the fish was still on. Unfortunately the wave was part of a set and I had to retreat from the edge. I loosened the drag. The next wave tangled the leader in the sea squirts and as the water rushed away the fish went with it, leaving the jighead lodged in the rocks.

55cm Tailor on a soft plastic jerkshad


Tailor and Jewfish in the holding pool at Middle Bluff

A few casts later I caught another Jewfish around the 50cm and mark and 30 minutes later I caught another one, about the same size. I changed to a Jerkshad in the lime tiger colour and after a short interval I hooked another 50cm fish at the base of the rocks. I landed it and it joined the others. I carried on fishing until about 8.30 am and caught two more fish that were under 45cm and so were released.
I was soaked but it had been a great mornings fishing and I could not wait for the next session.

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