Your Cart is Empty


March 26, 2019



Many words have been written about the elusiveness of the humble but sort after Jew fish or Mulloway, which are often referred to as ‘ghosts’.

The two main species of Jew fish which are most common are the Black Jew and the Mulloway, which is often referred to as a Silver Jew.  However, the Silver Jew is actually a different species within the family and a smaller specimen. 

Whichever of the two species Aussie fishers target, they are equally as brutal, both built with genetically strong muscular flanks which demand respect and frequently bully those who dare chase them.

I haven’t had a lot to do with the southern Mulloway, but having resided in the north for most of my adult life, the Black Jew I have had the occasional dog fight with. 

In North Queensland, anglers refer to Black Jew as a jewel in the crown, a prize or bucket list fish.  But, in Central Queensland and the Territory they are referred to as pests, vermin. So, when I rolled into C.Q. the North Queenslander in me immediately raised an eyebrow or two.


Black Jew

These are common features which help identify a Black Jew fish:

  • Three to five dark bars and many small black spots (about size of pupil) on the upper half of the body,
  • Top of the head and caudal fin has many small black spots (about size of pupil),
  • Pectoral, pelvic and anal fins and lower part of caudal fin are black

in larger fish the bars and spots are obscure or absent.

Silver Jew or Mulloway

These are common features which help identify a Silver Jew fish:

  • Silvery blue or grey back
  • Whitish flanks and belly
  • Lateral line a series of pearly spots
  • Fins are grey or brown
  • Pectoral fin has a black spot at base 
  • Edges of jaws and inside of gill cover are dirty yellow.

Although they have distinguishing features, they fight very similar; hosting that trademark large paddle tail, you know that you are in a scrap with a jew fish from their strong surging runs and stubbornness to enter the net.  The Black Jew can be distinguished by the absence of the black spot at the base of the pectoral fin and upon capture turn a dark shade of black, which prevents confusion.


Both species of Jew can be encountered in many areas, most of which host heavy structure.  Deep holes or rock formations, rocky headlands and man made obstacles such as jetties and wrecks all play host to these lure munching, silver tyrants.  Many an angler has been left with their pants down after an encounter with the humble Jew fish.


Back in the 1980’ & 90’s, live baiting a ‘BIG’ Jew fish was the pinnacle of fishing in this country, long hours often at night in the freezing cold was spent trying to catch the ‘Ghost’ of the ocean.  ‘BIG’ Jew in those days propelled an angler to sport fishing stardom!

As angler’s knowledge of the species have grown and modern luring techniques have evolved, a ‘BIG’ Jew on lure, particularly a hard body off the rocks for the Dog lovers down south, is now puts you into ‘BIG’ Jew royalty!

Picture of the Jew Dog 150mm handcrafted timber fishing lure with a rattle

As many Dog lovers craved the rise to royalty, the Top Dog had to diversify the range of Old Dogs to accommodate the sudden thirst for such stardom.  From this the ‘Jew Dog’ was born and it has been more successful than some of the big dogs of the world, larger than Lassie, more sort after than Milo & Otis and put’s the ‘TIN’ in RINTINTIN.

I have only ever had the pleasure of landing ‘BIG’ Jew fish on soft vibes. Vibes or any plastic artificial in fact allows the angler to fish various parts of the water column, which make them a versatile option.


I personally have found that much like Barramundi, Jew fish tend to congregate and bite hard during the full moon period.  During the first full moon in June fish will congregate in massive around some of the areas mentioned and feed hard.  It’s not uncommon to get a bite a cast which provides arm burning sessions that can leave to in a heap craving a gym membership to peruse some match fitness.

However, be weary that Jew fish are vulnerable to barotrauma, particularly when extracted from water as deep as 8 metres and more.  They really don’t release well, so if you plan a big session be aware of the impact you may have and educate yourself on correctly venting a fish. 


There is something mystical about the old Jewie.  They attract and a demand the attention of anglers around Oz and rightly so.  They are physically ‘BIG’, strong and reside in places that are unforgiving but remain enigmatic, with many unknowns.

Love them or hate them, the Jew is a fin’d friend that this Dog Handler loves teasing with a Jew Dog treat.

Tight lines,

Westo aka #1 Dog Handler

For further information click on the links below:

N.S.W. Fisheries

Queensland Fisheries

N.T. Govt


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Tales from the Dog House

Picture of an Old Dog Lures Pug Cone Popper
What's in a design?

February 08, 2022 1 Comment

I can honestly say...when it comes to design I’ve never had an original idea!
These Old Dog Rippers aren't fizzers...
These Old Dog Rippers aren't fizzers...

February 16, 2021 1 Comment

Top water fishing is exciting and visually spectacular way to fish...
Mutt Deep 90mm with a Barramundi caught during sea trials
The Mutt (Junior) by Mutta

September 01, 2020 1 Comment

What makes a good jerk bait? Balance!, Balance!, Balance!

Stay updated with the latest Old Dog news, products and limited edition colours!