Monday morning was my final fishing session on this trip to Iluka and I wanted to make it count. The northerlies had set in on Sunday and the result had been a couple of really disappointing sessions on the rocks at Woody Head. It was really frustrating. All of the good fishing spots were safely accessible on an afternoon low tide and there was a very gentle swell, but I could not raise a fish.
Around midnight, Monday a southerly change came through and when I got out to Middle Bluff, about 30 minutes before first light, at around 5.15 am, there was a light swell and a cloudy sky. I started fishing with the bright coloured GULP 5” Jerkshad soft plastics that had produced fish all week, rigged on a 3/8th 4/0 hook jighead. I fished like this for about an hour with no success and then switched to the GULP jigging grub in the nuclear chicken colour. After a few casts, the soft plastic was grabbed and bitten off, just beside the big bommy in front of Middle Bluff. I was out of jigging grubs so I put on a 4” minnow in the pearl watermelon colour and as I pulled it past the same spot it was grabbed again – this time it was a smaller fish – a tailor around the 30cm mark. As I was lifting it out of the water it wriggled off the hook and won its freedom. I carried on with this set up, but could not find any more Tailor – they must have moved on.
I switched to a GULP 4” minnow in the vader colour. I have been told these are a great lure for Jewfish/ Mulloway but have not had much luck with them. They are black on top and a crème colour underneath and look pretty much like a pilchard or hardy head. I put a few casts in but did not get a touch. I decided to just drop the plastic in close and just let it wash around at the base of the rocks. This worked – I hooked up and a solid fish took line on its initial run. I turned it round and pulled it towards the ledge. It took off again but without much power. I waited for the swell to lift it to a lower ledge and then pulled it up by the leader. It was a beautiful 58cm Jewfish. It was time to go so after a few snaps, I let it go and headed back to Brisbane.
It had been a good weeks fishing in Iluka. It is a great spot with so many options. The main species this week had been Jewfish but there were also quality Tailor, Bream and Flathead. I will definitely be back.