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Species Spiels: The black jewfish (Protonibea diacanthus), by Nick Martin

The black jewfish (Protonibea diacanthus), by Nick Martin

Common names: black jew, black mulloway, blotched jew, mulloway, northern mulloway, spotted croaker, spotted jew, spotted jewfish

Identifying features: The black jewfish is a large long-bodied fish. They are black to bronze colour on top with silvery sides and a yellow underbelly. They have dark pectoral, pelvic and anal fins. As a juvenile they have many black spots on the upper half of the body as well as the caudal fin. They derive the name black jewfish partly because are they are darker than their southern cousins the mulloway (Argyrosomus hololepidotus) but more so because they go a darker, blacker shade when they are dead.

Size and lifecycle: Black jewfish can grow to 150cm and tip the scales at over 40kgs. However, typically and average jew is between 8 to 12 kg and around the metre mark, making the fish 2-3 years of age. In terms of the lifecycle of a black jew relatively little is known. What we do know is that they aggregate to spawn in large numbers normally between September and December which corresponds to the build up to the wet season.

Diet: Black jewfish are opportunistic carnivores which will feed on a wide range of animals including squid, fish, octopus and crustaceans. Black jewfish are found in creek, river and estuarine systems as well as around off shore reefs and wrecks where they generally feed on the bottom around structure, drop-offs, deep holes and trenches.

Distribution: They black jewfish is a migratory species found in coastal waters throughout the Indo-west pacific including: India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, China, Japan and Australia. In Australia they are found from northern Queensland all the way around the top end to northern West Australia.

Fishing Qualities: Black jewfish make an excellent table fish. For tips on cooking black jewfish checkout our recipe section on our website.

Fishing techniques: Black jewfish are a schooling fish, and so are not a particularly hard fish to catch once the school of fish has been found. Finding the fish is the hard part and fisherman will defend their secret ‘jewy spot' with their life!
Black jew's are mainly caught through bait fishing, using either livebait such as mullet or deadbaits such as pilchards or squid. The live baits can be fished on a simple running sinker live bait rig, whilst deadbaits are generally fished on a paternoster rig just off the bottom.
It is important to use heavy tackle when fishing for black jew's as once hooked they will take a monumental first run which will be straight towards any structure which is nearby. I would suggest using leader and braided line with a breaking strain of at least 50lbs.
Black jew's are also often tempted by soft plastics. These plastics are to be worked in a similar fashion to when you are spinning for flathead ie.

1. cast the plastic out
2. let the plastic sink to the bottom
3. flick the plastic off the bottom
4. hope the fish strikes
5. let the Plastic sink

In terms of the soft plastic of choice i highly recommend to berkely 7 inch Jerkshad either camo or curried chicken in colour.
CAUTION!!! Black jewfish caught in depths of 10m+ are highly likely to suffer Barotrauma. In fact in a recent study 100% of black jews caught in depth over 15 metres suffered fatal injuries!!!
Sooooo...... Once you catch dinner move to a shallow spot or target another species.


Stuart Reid's 50lb Pending World Record PNG Black Bass

Pending World Record Black Bass

Papuan Black Bass are renowned the world over as the toughest pound for pound freshwater fish in the world, and the place to find the biggest Black Bass is PNG's Gulf province. The current all tackle world record Black Bass of 46lbs, and the fish pictured (caught on 19/6/14, by Stuart Reid, Fishabout) which is the pending world record at 50lbs, were both caught from these rivers.

Once you feel the strike you know that no freshwater fish can come close to the power. Watching 100kg guys get knocked over on the strike, reels give way, rods break in half and 130LB pound braid snap from the pound for pound strongest fighting fresh water fish is a sight to behold. If would like to experience the thrill of targeting PNG Black Bass and Barramundi in remote areas with very low fishing pressure contact us now. *2017-18 spots selling now* ... read more

Kadavu Island - Great Astrolabe Reef

Fiji Macky

The pristine Fiji Islands are home to the South Pacific's finest sport and game fish, including massive GT's, monster dogtooth tuna, yellowfin tuna, dolphin fish, wahoo, spanish mackerel, black marlin, blue marlin and plenty of reef fish. Many of these species are endemic to the Great Astrolabe Reef (one of the largest barrier reefs in the world), which is the reef that encompasses Kadavu Island, Fiji.Fishabout now offer 6 and 8 day fishing packages to explore this marine wonder of the world, which include 3 and 5 days fishing respectively. For more information call us on (02)8922 2651 or click here

Endyalgout Remote Fishing Camp

Sunset at Endyalgout

Fishabout is pleased to now offer remote fishing trips to Endyalgout Island, one of the best fishing locations in Australia. (Nestled on the south east of the Coburg Penninsula).

Situated on a shell grit beach under shady trees, are several permanent tropical friendly safari style tents, raised on wooden platforms.

Looking out past the resident Crocodile you can see miles and miles of enticing mangroves, barely touched creeks, rivers, rock bars and channels, all calling your name.

From monster Baramundi up to 130cm, to big Black Jewfish, Threadfin Salmon, various Trevallies, and some of the biggest Golden Snaper to be found anywhere, Endyalgout Island is truly a dream to fish.

Pricing ranges from $4350 (4 days, 3 anglers per boat) to $6910 (7 days, 2 anglers per boat)

For more information please call us on (02) 8922 2651 or click here