Catching Mulloway On Squidgies Soft Plastics: Part 1

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Part 1: Catching Mulloway On Squidgies Soft Plastics

By Steve ‘Starlo’ Starling

Mulloway or jewfish are the biggest and most highly-prized target species found in our southern estuaries. They also occur along beaches, off rocky headlands and over inshore reef and gravel patches. Catching jewies on Squidgies — especially during daylight hours — is something that many anglers aspire to, but relatively few ever achieve, especially on a regular basis. This two-part feature is intended to help elevate you into that winners’ circle!

Although it has taken some anglers a long time to realise this fact, Squidgies are highly effective when it comes to catching mulloway or jewfish. Some of the most productive tails in our range for jewfish are the larger Squidgy Fish and Whip Baits, our bigger Shads, and also the Slick Rigs, Mongrels and Pro Prawns. However, there isn’t a tail in the Squidgies range that won’t take a mulloway on its day. Often, it’s more about where and how you fish your Squidgies than the exact tail or jig head you choose — something we’ll examine in detail in Part 2. Most importantly, however, whatever tail you choose, always add a smear of S-Factor to your Squidgies when chasing mulloway… They love it!

When choosing jig head weights, pick heads sufficiently heavy to keep your offering down near the bottom in the prevailing depth and current, and with hook sizes from 2/0 to 6/0 to suit your chosen tail size. Most jewies are hooked in the bottom third of the water column, although there are certainly exceptions to this rule.

Remember, these are powerful fish, so always choose a jig head with a good, strong hook. Our Squidgies Weapon Heads are perfect for the task!

As for gear selection, fish up to about 15kg or so living in estuary, bay and harbour environments can be readily tackled on a medium-weight spinning outfit based around a 3000 to 5000 size Shimano reel and matching 2 to 2.2m medium-weight Shimano spin rod. With a cool head and a little luck on your side, it’s also possible to land even bigger jewies on this relatively light gear.

Your main lines can run anywhere from 4 to 10kg breaking strain, depending on the terrain, and we strongly suggest using tough, reliable Power Pro Braid. Add a rod to a rod-and-a-half length of 16 to 30 pound (8 to 15kg) Ocea fluorocarbon to the end of your line as a leader, using a proven, compact and cast-able connecting knot such as the FG Knot, Slim Beauty, Double Uni or Albright (you’ll find all of these on-line).

When chasing bigger mulloway, or fishing in rougher conditions (such as off rock ledges and break walls), you may need to beef your tackle up accordingly, but you’ll be surprised at the size of the jewies you can regularly tame on the gear just described, especially if you set your drag correctly and take your time when you hook that whopper.

Next time, in Part 2 of this feature, we’ll look at some more specific detail on where and when to look for jewies or mulloway, how to work the tides, and the best ways to present your lures… Don’t miss it!

For more on catching mulloway and many other species, visit Starlo’s blogsite at www.starlofishing.com

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