Many years ago, at the beginning of my fishing journey I caught a Jewfish… It wasn’t just any Jewfish, it was a fish of a lifetime! I’m well aware of the journey that many dedicated Jewfish exponents endure, and in many ways, I’m no more than an imposter. I hadn’t devoted the countless hours, no, days and nights and years into my capture. I hadn’t done my time learning the dark art nor studied the tides and moon phases and combined that with my vast experience and knowledge of the species. No, on my very first attempt, and I’m not exaggerating, on my first go, I caught a 130cm, 50+ pound specimen.
OK, so here’s the deal. Back in 2005, I did a charter with Craig McGill on Sydney Harbour. Target species: Jewfish. I hadn’t decided which fishing pathway I was to take at this stage, and I figured what better way to learn than from an expert.
I’d fished with Craig once before on an uneventful, unsuccessful work outing, and we’d talked at length about these mythical, elusive creatures. I got a call from Craig some months later whilst in a hotel room in Amsterdam. He’d had a cancellation, and the tides and moons were to align the week I was to return.
A day after I landed back in Sydney, I boarded his boat and we went collecting squid, targeted John Dory, and had a relaxing cuppa whilst we waited, and waited and waited…
Then all of a sudden, Craig stood up, “it’s time” he said, started the motor and headed to his spot. We deployed a couple of live baits, I sat back down and waited for what seemed like a moment and the rod went OFF! It was all a blur from there until I sat back on the deck holding that monster!
Well I can safely say, I have quite consciously never gone out targeting Jewies again since that day – I’m certain I’ll only be disappointed. That is, until a couple of weeks ago. Vicki wrote her article about the “Jewbilation” of chasing Jewies that got my interest. I said to Josh that we should give it a go, and I’ve talked to a few people recently who’ve made it their life’s mission to crack the Jewie code. The weekends photo’s of Damien Skeen’s Jewie (check out yesterday’s Monday Morning Gallery), that he caught on Bream gear at St Georges Basin during the BETS round there have tipped me over the edge.
A couple of messages tonight with Vicki and Scott, and I’ve lined up 2 pretty admirable mentors to guide me through what I hope to be a rewarding apprenticeship. I don’t have expectations of another 50 pounder in a hurry, but hey you never know…
All images courtesy of Craig McGill