Keen Narooma fisherman and charter boat skipper Nick Cowley got what could be considered the catch of a lifetime when he hauled in a 101cm jewfish at the Tuross Bridge yesterday.
A fishing feat all the more remarkable given he was targeting estuary perch on a bream outfit with 6lb leader and braid using a small Squidgy soft plastic.
The big fish then took him right under the bridge and upstream, so not getting wrapped up on the pylons and snags is a testament to this fisherman’s skills.
“I had it one for about 20 minutes and it took us 300 to 400 metres upstream,” he said. “We chased it down with the electric but it took us for quite the ride.”
He caught the jewfish, or mulloway estimated around 9kg, casting a small plastic at snags on the side of the river just downstream of the bridge over the Princes Highway, hoping for an estuary perch.
A jewfish of that size was most likely targeting the EPs when it must have been distracted by Nick’s soft plastic, which just goes to show you never know what is going to latch onto your lure.
This was Nick’s first jewfish on lure, although he had caught some smaller ones on live bait. In the last month or so, there have been a few reports of decent jewfish in both the Clyde River and also the Tuross Lake system.
Other than the big jewfish, which Nick ranked up there with the best catches of his life so far, the day turned out rather well for him and his deckhand for the day, fellow Narooma fisherman Andrew Conley.
Andrew got a nice 60cm dusky flathead on a surface hardbody while the boys got a few bream around the mid 30cm mark, as well as six or eight whiting.
The weekend before, Nick Cowley and his mates were down at Brogo Dam targeting Australian bass to just over 40cm, but he said it was a tough session due to a southerly blowing through.
Nick also continues to be the poster boy for TAFE NSW Illawarra appearing in their advertisements in various publications and online.
In 2014 at just age 18, he was named TAFE Illawarra’s Student of the Year and was and still is one of the youngest professional skippers in the country. Click here for more
He will be back skippering the charter boat Playstation tomorrow and word is there were kingfish up to 80cm at Montague Island today and he was hopeful of putting his clients onto some good fish.