Wednesday 01 May 2013

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

G’day lads,


Nathan Love kept me at a fever pitch of excitement with daily reports from his south coast kingfish expedition. Here’s highlights:



G'day Andrew - just thought I'd some shots of this morning's efforts - My old man's PB kingy. Sure as hell beats going to work!!



heres another one from today (Thursday) -  day 3 of what most are saying was the best 3 days of kingy fishing we've ever had.



Justin with another 1m+ fish - if it's any consolation, I keep on missing out, but good to see everyone else having fun.


Well done Nathan, thanks so much for letting me know.



From south coast to north coast, and Peter Watkins writes in:



Your jigs working well on the north coast...



Sheesh! That’s beautiful. Why can’t I catch kingies like that?? (whimper, sniffle.) Pete and Nathan, please send me your postal address? Will pop some DR Shop polo shirts in the mail by way of thanks, because we’ll use these killer pics on the website. And as to the website, can I just pause to thank our readers and clients from the bottom of my heart, for your support? Over ten thousand visitors in April, I’m truly grateful for that result:



Duncan Forrest has had a few disappointments recently, but it all came good on Sunday. Perseverance is so important, in fishing:



We didn't get to 12 mile, we tried Longie (which was dead) and stopped outside Nth Head in 12m of Water, and downrigged a largish yakka - and it got smashed you know the result.   It went 86cm.  Pulled like a train and initially reefed us, but we managed to recover and George drove the boat off the bommie and we scored the fish. Stoked!


Why wouldn’t you be stoked! I knew that with your never say die attitude it would all come good, Duncan. Matt Loraway knows the key to success when things are tough is keep moving, until you find the fish:



Went out to look for some kings on Sunday but no luck and only found jackets at Peak with 10 other boats.

Caught quite a few XL size of the tasty buggers to keep tho


Drove out to Shelf to only find 21.5 degree cold green water so did not bother wasting fuel trolling around, which seems like good idea seeing results from competition boats. Came back into some of the wrecks off Botany and cleaned up this fella on live yakka…he almost got me back down the wreck to cut me off, it was close !


Fantastic! The old live yellowtail, delivering such good results at the moment. Matt Reid AKA Captain Kingfish spared time to send in a report:



Hi Andy it's been a great week for this time of the year with plenty of kings and some nice Dory as well. Fished a wreck  off Sydney with thirty other boats with boats hitting each other and that was enough for me.I went other places which was great and found fish in the high 80cm with three triple hookups and only two people on board making it lots of fun. See you on the water this weekend.



See you out there cobber. Lads, if you want your first – or hundredth – kingfish, just call Matt and book in. For me, last Wednesday was a have-to-deliver day. Michael Gates is a top bloke, a mad keen fisho and kayaker who has been stuck in the Czech Republic for the past couple of years as a work necessity. That’s a landlocked country, so Gatesy tortures himself by scanning downunder fishing forums for trip reports. He’s back in the country for a short time and we arranged to go out along with John Verano, an old mate from Byron Bay. Johnny catches some big fish up at Byron and his favourite spot Hervey Bay, and I knew the onus was on me to deliver some action.

Straight to the wreck, where promising mark was showing:



Both Mike and I dropped kingies, mine from an LJ bite off. Gatesy took one keeper tailor on a knife jig. But with the wreck providing frustrating fishing we headed north to the Artificial and Northerners, but nothing found. After a coffee at Manly Wharf and some bait gathering at North Harbour, a new plan was required. With the wind backing off late morning we decided to run east, and jig the deeper reefs out wide. First drop and I was on:



All legals, and all going hard:



The action was fast and furious. Not big kings but lots of fun on light gear:



Last week, I wrapped electrical tape around the rails 65cm apart so that jiggers could measure their kings without having to leave their station. That worked so well on Wednesday, especially when we had a triple hookup:



At one point this snipefish came weakly paddling past:



We then geared down for some micro jigging:



The fish weren’t big but they were all legal, with our best at 78cms.



We left them biting and headed in around noon, everyone pleased as punch with the day. Ivan followed suit on the weekend:



I read your report last week and your suggestion to hit some of the deeper reefs. Organised a few mates and we headed out yesterday. Boated 3 kings from 68-85cm. Lost another at the boating trying to net it and several on the way up due to tackle failure. Also got 2 Samson, 5 barracouta and 15 LJ's. We lost a heap of gear!



I’d call that a pretty good mix of sport and table, Ivan! Rocket had a top sesh off Forster. Aren’t teraglin roaring back, numbers – wise?



Gidday Andrew ' finally got a nice day on the water . Here is a pic of a few hours of pleasure .I also  have sent payment for the rod Cheers Rocket


Report regular Wayne Hogan is up in the Gulf with his lovely wife Louise and was thoughtful enough to send me a regular progress update. I will admit to having mixed feelings on sitting in front of a computer screen, while looking at this happy twosome with their procession of rippers:




Hi Andy Louise and I are currently up the Gulf, here is a photo of a good GT that Louise caught today, we have been here a week and have caught fingermark, Barra, Spanish Mackeral, grunter, blue salmon as well as a few muddies, awesome trip so far



Hi Andy Louise caught this Barra today, went 80cm



This is yesterday's catch, a very nice 90 cm fish


Awesome is the word! Dan Selby from Sydney Sportfishing tells me he’s selling his Honda outboard. He’s a meticulous man whose boat appears immaculate every time I go past, so chances are this would be a wise purchase for anyone interested.




Hi Andy, another great news letter :-) Just wondering if you could let your readers know I’m selling my 2009/10 Honda 60hp tiller control four stroke out board. It has around 800hrs has a s/s prop and digital rpm/hr meter gauge. $6500. will be put in a crate next Tuesday so can be couriered if required. Dan 0405 196 253


Butch's kawa kawa displays un-kawa kawa behaviour:



really surprised to find it so far up in the middle harbour. It devoured a live squid and as you say took off at a rate of knots. …. Just for you interest attached is a picture of a Garrick I caught last week in the Kynsna Lagoon in South Africa.

You troll live mullet behind the boat.  Also a real fighting fish.



African Garrick! Here’s something relevant and a bit disappointing I found in the local seafood shop last weekend, Butch:



Some helpful feedback on last week’s pic showing dozens if not hundreds of anglers, on the Geelong pier, back in the 60s. Chris B:


I think Tommy Ruff from the Geelong Jetty, Andy.




Hi Andrew, as a kid with my mates we went to Geelong pier and caught gar fish and that is exactly what it was like all the way up the pier. Between 60s and early 70s.  Great report always look forward to reading it. Charles.


Thanks for the input, lads. Dave C stopped by for two downriggers for his new Contender, then sent through a pic:



hi andrew here’s a few pics of the boat i promised to send you, the downriggers aren’t on yet, I’ll send a few more when they’re mounted next weekend, cheers david


WEAPON. Typically generous advice from readers for David B, as regards his barra trip to central Queensland in a month or two:


Hi Andrew, great read and keep up the good work.  Info for David heading to Awoonga;


 We were up there in late Jan this year and we only got two half days in before the weather moved in, we arrived late on the 18th January due to gearbox issues and there were reports of fish being caught that week at various places around the dam with reports of 80 -90 cm fish being the norm, an 80cm specimen was caught on the morning of the 19th January by the park managers son with local guide Rod Harrison on a 70mm hard body. We used 70-120 mm hard bodies at different depths for a few bumps and pushes and had some good follows on soft plastics (hollow belly’s and scum frogs) rigged weedless on the surface with many fish pushing a bow wave across the surface and then simply trailing off; although we got skunked I suspect the fish were starting to feel the effects of the low heading down the coast. I didn’t feel so bad when I spoke to a couple of other boaties back at the ramp and the park with even less to tell than us.



I’d probably think the fishing will be fairly hard considering the amount of water and fish that have flowed over the wall in the floods (pic attached) one could only imagine but by the pic and report that Pat L sent  from the Boyne in February’s report most would probably suggest to fish the river. Oh and don’t forget to take a 9 iron for the cane toads.


Give Sandy a call at Lake Awoonga caravan park on 0749750155 to see what’s going on and also check out the Gladstone Area Water Board Site  for open closure status. if Rod is still staying at the park go have a chat with him on latest developments.  My contact details are as follows,

Cheers,  Craig  65 663 292   0412 445 250


Bob Greenhill has some helpful barra trip suggestions:



Hi Andrew, in answer to David’s query in your last newsletter about fishing at Proserpine for barra, he should go to Proserpine Bait and Tackle (owned by the legendary Lindsay Dobe) for information. The staff are very helpful.

As evidence, I enclose two photos of barra caught in the open dam section. Note the lures which were trolled and constantly twitched. The first was caught by me with long hair and the other the next day after a haircut. Regards Bob



I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; fishos are a top bunch of blokes. A lot better than netballers, I’ll tell you that story one day. Renowned greenie and animal lib fighter Gary Mallard is trying to track down a carp fishing spot not too far from his home town of Bega. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know? He’s a top bloke who does lots for the cause:


For a very long time I've aimed to get away from home to have a crack at carp. Alas, I know nowhere local-ish where carp can be fished with sufficient certainty to make a journey worthwhile. I'm located in Bega, on the NSW lower south coast.

Do you have any insights as to where a fella might be advised to wet a line?


A bit further south than Awoonga, and regular reporter Grant Bennett needed all his (considerable) skill, last weekend:



Hi Andy, fished up at Rainbow Beach last weekend with the team from Power Boat Anglers Club. Had my offshore soft plastics rod (6-10kg spin stick, 20lb braid and 30lb fluorocarbon leader, Shimano Saragossa 4000 reel) out with a 7" SP on a 7/0 TT jig head, hoping for a snapper, coral trout or sweetlip. Didn't expect to hook a huge Spanish mackerel!



After a 40 minute fight, we eventually got colour and up came this 22kg model.....thank goodness we had one of your "long" fish bags rolled up in the boat, but the mackerel only just managed to squeeze in, it was that broad across the body. Attached photo was taken later that night.







Proud dad and good friend John Smart sends word of his daughter’s success:




Here is Ciara's first rainbow. Beautiful autumn conditions around Oberon over the Anzac weekend, The creeks are low and clear with a smattering of trout, The fungi are finishing up in the pine plantations And there are a few old quince trees ripe to go around the old abandoned mud(wattle and daub) homesteads. But take a warm jacket


Good advice! We’re having a bit of an Indian summer right now, but as soon as the first cold snap arrives that will be gone for good. To politics, and what a scam so many marine research projects are. Steve L forwarded an invite to a talk on luderick research this week:



Here’s what your hard earned taxpayer dollars were used to discover:



Wow, blackfish move downstream after heavy rain. In other scientific breakthroughs, marine biologists have discovered bass like to eat cicadas, and mako sharks are often unpredictable. If anyone knows how much was wasted on this farce, please let me know? On a topic that’s not so funny, Steve Ng says Roseville boat ramp was worse than ever on the weekend:


Here's some pics from just being at the boat ramp for 5 mins on Sunday.  I'd hate to see what capers the whole day would have unveiled...



Pic 1...$1m upgrade and two pontoons and the guy in the blue ally decides to moor on the rocks, blocking the first lane whilst he parks his car.  He then returns to moor the boat on the pontoon!  Why didn't he do that in the first place rather than getting his wife and kids to hold onto the boat on the rocks.  Would have been safer (and more considerate of course).



Pic 2....crew couldn't get the boat off the trailer despite some reverse thrust and heavy pushing off the bow.  The guy owning the Hooker boat in the same lane was looking very nervous (and so was I) as if the boat did come off the trailer it would have flown into his with the amount of reverse they were using.  Once they eventually got the boat off, the driver couldn't drive it to moor it on pontoon so just drifted in between the two lanes (blocking them of course) - thats why they're facing the other way despite just launching They did leave the area eventually, but managed to hit the boat on the port side on the rocks for good measure.


I'm not having a go at anyone as we're all new to boating at one point , have to learn and will mistakes in the process (I've made my fair share and continue to do so)!  My gripe is how much of the design of the new pontoons is causing this problem.  The number of times I've seen people moor in the first section of the pontoon and constantly having to ask them to move as they're blocking the ramp for people launching or retrieving.  It would seem logical but the design just encourages it. Don't want to be just one of those people that just complain, but what can we actually do to change it or is it all too late and we just have to adjust to the new normal?


Well mate the temptation is to get furious with new boaties at the ramp, who have no idea what they’re doing. And I have surrendered to that temptation many times, in the past. But look at your pics. Why is there a gigantic pontoon down the middle of the boat ramp, creating two lanes which are so easily blocked?  Answer: the people who designed this layout, and wasted one million dollars, are too arrogant and too ignorant to ask the opinion of those affected by their incompetence. And Maritime Minister Duncan Gay, who prior to the election made such a big deal about consultation and new brooms through the dead wood etc ,does not listen to boaties. John L writes in:


… it is amazing to see the amount of support there is collectively amongst us who enjoy the “Outdoors” pursuits. The political arena is not very palatable but seems that it is the only way to fight for what we believe in.  Keep up the good work with highlighting issues that affect us.


Here is my pet gripe. The poor planning and lack of consultation for the pontoon addition at Blacksmiths boat ramp\Swansea channel a few years ago is a good example. Trashed a good 3-4  lane ramp by taking away one lane and plonked a pontoon right through the middle of the small bay we have to manoeuvre in. Not real good when there is big trailer boats launching and retrieving in numbers. And it is the only “big boat” ramp on the sea side of Swansea bridge.

Yes the pontoon is a great idea but why not run it around the side extremities of the bay and leave us some room to move.


Same story as Roseville, and more boat ramps scheduled to be vandalised in this way. Johnno, this is not a ‘pet gripe.’ Boat owners in NSW and around the country pay many millions of dollars in licenses and registration (or as we should really call them, boat taxes) every year. And we get stuff all back, not even the courtesy of consultation. What to do about it? Vote. Vote for the party who have consistently supported our sport, and who have runs on the board on everything from reopening Fish Rock, to the Fishing Inquiry, to the Marine parks review:



Thanks for reading and thanks even more, for sending in reports and pics. I get all the thanks just for assembling reports into one email, but the fact is without your generous contributions there would be nothing to assemble. J Until next week,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director