Thursday 01 August 2013

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

Every so often it all comes together – big fish, good weather, and the weekend. Ed Aspden:



Hi Andy, here is today's yellowfin. Sam Ayad's son Jerome caught it on 24kg. Was not weighed as we wanted him for food but we estimated under 50kg. We were about half way to Heaton's slightly north when we hooked up in the same area we got burned by a bluefin the afternoon before. Tons of big albies in the afternoon. No broadbill unfortunately. Our baits kept getting attacked by squid as we were trolling along at 2kts plus over night. Vicious creatures. Also note the cookie cutter scar on the tuna.


Wow. What a beautiful fish Ed and thanks so much, for sending me this report. Leo made the most of good weather, too:



Andrew, picked up a couple of Gemmies and a Blue Eye at Browns (Saturday.) There must be a few because we were hooked up within seconds of hitting the bottom! Only one was molested by a shark, but he just had a nibble and we got the whole thing back.



Very nice indeed ol buddy and congratulations on bringing home those prize tasties. Think of the great teams of history. Astaire and Rogers. Abbott and Costello. Turner and Hooch! Bruce Rayment and Chris Weinholt teamed up, for some kingie and gemmie action:



Bagged out on Gemmies today at Browns and got a couple of nice keeper Kings late this afternoon at The Peak on the way home. All fish caught using something from The Downrigger Shop!



Beautiful conditions made the day even more enjoyable.



We lost a heap of gear at Browns today, but had a good time and have some great fish to eat and share around.



It looks like you had an absolute ball out there Bruce, well done to all involved. Matt Cassar says kingfish numbers are picking up:



Went to the peak today for a jig because of your report had a ball lots of kings in the 68-80cm on your jigs and your jigging combo


I’m tickled pink to hear that suggestion worked for you Matt, because my dream is to supply fresh intel for all our clients and help them get onto good fish. Leigh from Terrigal Bluewater Charters sends in some great pics. He’s pleased with our downrigger too:



Hi Andrew its Leigh Merriman from Terrigal Bluewater Fishing Charters I brought a downrigger from you a few months back and it has been working a treat.



Our kingfish season has been firing over the last couple of weeks with bag limit catches most outings,fish up to 13kgs.


Fantastic Leigh, that big one is a BEAST. Lads, do yourself a favour, give the man a call and book in. We’re having a top kingfish season and you don’t want to miss out on that. What blows me away about this tackle caper are the helpful and positive blokes who step forward and contribute something worthwhile for no personal advantage whatsoever. Michael Lazar is one of those chaps. He ordered a couple of reel knobs and I mentioned to him that fitting to reels with pressed handles involves some trial and error.




He has two Pfleugers which fall into that category. So he took photos of the whole procedure with the thought that it might be helpful for others. Here’s his ‘how to’, which should work on Fin-Nors, Shimanos, Okumas and anything which doesn’t have a screw holding the reel knob, to the shaft.


1. file off the flattened tab that holds the original knob in place;



2.  you should be left with something that looks like this;


3. use a punch and hammer to hammer out the centre shaft. . you should have it removed like so. can you see how accurate I am with the punch




4. on the same side as you filed the tab off you want to make a counter sink hole. this is where the screw for the knob will sit. 7mm drill bit is used.



5. the screw should fit in nicely like so;



7. screw the knob on and enjoy!!



G'day Andrew just received the replacement knobs I ordered and wanted to show you what they look like on my pfluegers. Aren't they a treat! I will be writing up a tutorial on sydney angler tonight showing people to install them on these reels.



That’s above and beyond the call of duty Mike, I’m truly grateful to you. Team Downrigger went wide on Friday and, keen for some kingfish jigging, we detoured to the Peak en route to Browns for a drop or two. Not big fish by any means, mostly just legal, but the odd triple hook up kept the excitement levels up:



Frank over the moon with his first jigged king:



On to Browns where, like last week, I was not marking a lot of fish. We saw one chap pull up a string of four nice gemmies so, persevered. Eventually bringing our best one so far this season to the boat:



Coincidentally, Dennis writes in:


Hi Andrew, received them today thanks on another note can you post up a photo off your deep drop rig if you don't mind sharing, I’m interested to see how different they are to mine if much at all.


My rig super simple, designed for minimum drag and fastest sink rate. Line: 150 pound mono. Swivels: 250 pound Crane 3-way. Hook: 13/0 circle or semi circle. Lumo bead: smallest possible. Bait: piece of squid or bonito about the same dimensions as your middle finger, designed to get to the bottom as fast as possible. Whole slimy mackerel heads very good too Dennis:



With the wind backing off I put a shark bait out, but to no result:



Nearly 500 metres of line out, a big gemfish on the other end, but we’re not worried. The Tanacom 750 will bring it up no problem at all. $1050 including reel, CC braid, bent butt rod, sinker and rigs. All you need is the bait:



Another good gemfish and it was time to leave early:



Had a ball out there, thanks to a top crew. We need a new section called Mishaps. Brace yourself for this one. Brendan McDonald:



a photo of my mate that put his spear through his hand. He couldn't cut the spear so he had to drive his car to the hospital with it in. Once there, they couldn't cut it either so they ended up hitting it with a 6 inch grinder.


Yeesh. Bad day at Foreshore Drive boat ramp Botany, on the weekend. Klaus was on the spot:



Winching it back on didn’t work:



That’s just sad. Joe Soto fished from Adrenaline Rush last weekend:



Hi Andrew, went out with a few mates on Saturday to chase some blue fin wide of JB (55ks straight east of the heads) and we hit the  jack pot! 5 way hook up just to warm things up a little (on the lures), we got all 5 ranging from 40 to 80 kilos. As we were bringing those 5 in we all had turns at keeping the fish with the boat by throwing in cubes and mate, didn’t that work. We then started throwing stick baits and it was on again. I thought I should give those knife jigs I got off you and put them to the test, within 2 winds of the handle I was on to the second biggest fish of the day at about 60 kilo. What a day we went home with 6 and let 6 go and gave a mate one that had no luck.....oh and we left with the fish still on the bite.


Incredible! Thanks so much, Joe. Bruce reports his friend’s SBT success on Saturday:



The Bluefin taken on Glenn Hunter's boat Billfisher today


Yellowfin, bluefin, makos, albacore, kingfish, gemfish, blue eye. How good a season are we having?? Closer inshore, and Winston sends a nice note:



Hi Andrew, if you recall, about 3 weeks ago I came around to your place to buy one of your estuary rod and reel setups for the wife. (Birthday present). Today I was able to have a day of work so we headed into the Hawkesbury for a quiet day of fishing.  2nd casts Emma caught a 62cm lizard! She is totally wrapped in her catch and her new rod.


Glad to see it put to good use, Winston. Nambucca Man of Mystery AKA Master Co likes his light combo, too:



Gday Andy, went fishing on Sunday for Snapper and brought home these two fish - a 3kg and a 2.5kg, dropped another on plastics which I reckon was around the 3kg mark, threw back an undersized fish and got reefed by a very large snapper which I'm sure was over 8kg. He took a good sized live unweighted Pike off the surface which was trailing behind the boat and headed for the bottom. I turned him 2 or 3 times and each time he took off harder and faster for the bottom and into some soft coral. All I got to show for it was a piece of the coral about 4 inches long on one of the hooks. All the action was between 6am and 7.15am and zilch after that. Got all the fish on the 2 spin combo, I got from you which I'm absolutely loving and are now my preferred outfits for Snapper fishing. Keep up the good work of supplying quality gear at ridiculously low prices!


Will do, Fishing Mentor!


To politics, and the fight back over the NSW government’s plan to cut bag limits by 50-80% continues. It’s  corny but true – you know you’re over the target, when you start taking flak. And this week showed – as if we didn’t know already – that the greenies can dish it out, but can’t take it. Melinda Anderson is the environment officer at Port Stephens Council. She doesn’t like my take on the night time ban on crab trapping proposed by Fisheries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson (AKA Bodgy Hodgy):



Like all greenies, she’s light on fact and big on emotion.  A quick Google shows something she forgot to mention – that she’s running an online campaign, against crab trapping:











I always ask the same question in this type of circumstance. Who benefits? Who benefits from a dead shark placed strategically at a dive site, which had been lobbied for by a group of divers – the Terrigal Underwater Group? With the senior diver from Terrigal Underwater Group being the same bloke who found the shark, and who just happens to be a professional photographer? And who are on a Federally funded green grant:



At the end of the day the message is we must be eternally vigilant, in the fight for our fishing rights. Whether its dolphins caught in crab traps, or makos caught in anchor ropes, the greenies who hate our sport will stop at nothing to advance their cause. So keep the good stuff coming in! Not just pics of giant tuna and kingies (though they are always welcome!) but your thoughts on boats, politics, tackle and techniques. Because it’s all interesting, not just to me, but to our four thousand plus readers each week. Tight lines,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director