Fog, cold rain, and winds. But the fish are there! The big buzz recently being a crazy run of big kings at Merimbula, on the NSW South Coast. Here’s Michael Frith:

 

 

Here's another good kingy I caught off the rocks at Merimbula

 

See the wharf in the background? Here’s a pic of it from Narooma News, note the popper:

 

 

Ken McCoombe, Joe Battaglia, Paul Brenchley and Bruce Libbis with their catches of big kingfish taken off the Merimbula Wharf last week. Fish up to 15kg have been caught from wharf, rocks and boats.

 

They’re biting in the Big Smoke, too.  Some great reports coming in and can I just say how grateful we are to the blokes who take the time to let our readers know what’s happening, offshore? Josh Graf:

 

 

Hey Andy Had a great day out at Texas off Norah Head on Saturday. Filled up with livies in the morning at Hargreaves reef and headed out. Within the first 3 drops we had our first King on board. Every 2-3 drops after that was a legal King. We bagged out before lunch and threw a few back to fight another day.

 

 

Good news is I only lost 2 of your jigs so won't need to stock up again just yet. But they definitely work a treat. We ended up switching to livies after about 12 fish as the arms started to give in. Plenty of boat out there and lots of kings caught.

 

Stock up, Josh! Just in case, you can’t be too careful, etc etc J  Steve Battishall out there on Saturday 30th July, and finding some cracker kings. How good is it that you can go wide with a few jigs, a few live baits, and a few mates – and come back with not just some beautiful fish, but with memories that will last you a lifetime?

 

 

the fish are there. 6 fat kings between 80cm and 1m. 2 good snapper also. the kings were coming on the bite as we ran out of livies . Busted on a good one too.

 

Hopefully he’ll be there next trip Steve. Murray M at Texas same day and, like the top bloke he is, sends a report for our readers on how things went:

 

 

Andy, did the Texas run today, along with about 12 other boats. Livies were easy to get. Found good school on the sonar and started jigging which worked a treat. First fish was a 70cm King. We also had a yakka down which was being harassed but not eaten. Had 3 jigged kings onboard before the first yakka got smashed. Which was just after tide change. Jigs were not working as well after the tide change so sent down more yakka, which resulted in more fish. Ended up with 9 kings up to 80cm Picture is Richard with 2 prized kings

 

Yours truly out last week and found some good mark showing on the western edge of the Mountain:

 

 

I say to Fitz ‘we’ve gotta watch the rod tip carefully for light bites and, if we see one, release some line so the fish can get the bait down.’ First drop to the bottom in 425 metres and, as soon as the line stops going out, he operates the power lever to bring it up 5 metres, away from snags. The rod tip slams down, loads up, and we’re onto a good one. So much for finesse:

 

 

Here’s thirteen seconds worth. The big ones fight all the way to the top:

 

 

Fitz super pleased with the first blue eye of the day:

 

 

From then on it was a steady procession of quality. Gemfish:

 

 

And more trevalla. They’re swarming out there at the moment but we didn’t abuse the resource:

 

 

 Fitz excited about catching his biggest ever blue eye trevalla. His previous biggest ever blue eye trevalla was caught about ten minutes before this one J

 

 

We got three good blue eye, a gemfish, and ice bottles into our $50 5mm neoprene chiller bag. Kept the catch cool. Such a great bit of kit:

 

 

 

Full story here:

 

Geoff Wilson keeping us up to date on south of the border news:

 

 

Craig Hicks with a nice brown trout from Lake Toolondo

 

Look at the spawning colours! I’m told these cold water sharks taste great, on the plate:

 

 

Aaron Habgood with a 30 kg school shark that he caught off Portland

 

To tackle, and Trent fits a power knob to his jigging reel and heads for Texas Reef:

 

 

G'day Andy, thanks for getting that reel knob to me this week. As you can see, I'm pretty happy with it. Cheers, Trent

 

You’re very welcome mate and thanks for the pic. More details here:

 

To Boats, and excited about a new 80-pound 24V electric outboard, which arrived in this week’s sea shipment. Chinese made and costing well under $1K. Planning to instal it next week and use for jigging, deep dropping and downrigging – but most of all, to cut 150HP outboard hours, and save money on the current $10 per hour Mercury servicing fees:

 

 

I'll be writing a stack of reviews on how it works and whether it was a good investment because if it cuts costs it might work for our readers. Steve Bowler from Shooters & Fishers Party one of the best blokes you could ever meet. No surprise to hear he helped a boatie in trouble:

 

 

Found some poor bastard with a broken drawbar (Eaten from inside with orange cancer – but a nice new black paint job on the outside!) He was changing lanes and the bar just sheared in half. Could have been a lot worse. Badly damaged his nice new Prado. We organized a flatbed and I suggested maybe electric brakes might the go. He said he thought the boat would be about 1800kg … I said that he might be surprised if he put her on a weighbridge!

 

 

Good old Aussie inventiveness. Needing a swivel seat for the boat? Pick up an office chair from a nature strip throw out. When the back rest wears out, pick up a new one from the wood pile. Brilliant:

 

 

Fascinating, Ryan! Crew member Darryl (on our boat) is very good at estimating the length of something showing on the screen. In this case, my guess is this is no single large fish. Maybe a school of albacore? Although I usually mark those around the 180-200m mark and not as well defined or concentrated as what’s showing here. Possibly squid? The depth is right for those:

 

 

I am hoping you are able to pass an opinion on these screen shots of my sounder. They were taken near the southern canyons off Sydney a week and a half ago on the Sunday around low tide between 1 and 2pm. This is in my little Haines. We were drifting while we untangled some lures and I noticed a few serious displays on the sounder. We cubed and jigged for two and a half hours but did not get any action. There were sauries and a slow temp break in the area we started in and it looked like at times (over the first hour) there was a school of something passing in and out of the sounder beam around the 300m mark but never came above 200m. We did not drop a deep bait as we already had 4 gemmies and I didn't want to risk a tangle on my potential first tuna if it happened. The sounder is a standard old school HDS5 gen 1 with the standard transducer. To my untrained eye the shots in the 458m depth look similar to the sword marked in Lee Rayner's recent post from Coffs Harbour. Thank you for any help you might be able to give me on what it might be down there. Ryan

 

I am no expert by any means but please try this if you’re going wide?

 

 

1. set your transducer to the lowest frequency option, for instance 50kHz or 83kHz;

 

2. slow your ping speed to 12, 10 or even 8;

 

3. reduce scroll speed to 1x;

 

4. If seas are sloppy (which they are not forecast to be) and you’re getting aeration around the transducer, have someone stand in the stern quarter where it’s mounted while you test readings;

 

5. if you have no idea of depth set it to plus 100 metres of what is showing on the outside (eastern) contour, on your plotter screen;

 

6. slowly increase gain until snow appears on the screen and see if a bottom line appears or at least, a depth number. Keep in mind that it’s not essential to read the bottom at Browns to catch fish – at this time of year, anyway. What is essential is to know if you’re going up the hill, or down the hill. If going up the hill keep lifting your sinker say 5 metres at a time to avoid snagging.

 

 

7. take a photo of the sounder screen (no flash needed) and a note of your settings and send both to me by SMS or email. Will try forwarding it to a friendly expert, for comment.

 

Deon sends disappointing news. I’m not a big believer in collective guilt and reckon the person who left the mess is responsible. But your point is a good one and thanks for writing. Will add to the newsletter:

 

 

Hi Andrew, see attached picture of mess left on Fish Cleaning station at Rowland Reserve in Bayview on 27 July.  I hope you can post this in your weekly newsletter so the culprits can see the error of their ways. We (fishers) have a hard enough time as it is and do not need to further fuel the greens vendetta.

 

 

To points north and Paul Frost adventuring:

 

 

Hi Andrew....thanks for the video and sorry about the delay in replying as I was in Canberra for awhile...now back in Adelaide. Have attached a dual photo of the saddle tailed sea perch I  caught in the Buccaneer Archipelego.....a delightful eating fish.

 

Glen Cadoo – what a card you are. And what a gun fisho you are, too. Now lads when I post up pic 2, please don’t anyone freak out about the size of the catch. He’s got a big boat and a big family and their whole life revolves around fishing:

 

 

Hi Andy. Finally got out on the weekend for a nice feed of pearlies. Was thinking of posting you down some but at it instead. After all its the thought that counts. Glen

 

 

Yours truly out again on Monday this week and keen to get to Browns Mountain to try for some more blue eye trevalla of the size we found last trip. We had all three sizes of Tanacom electrics aboard, and didn’t they get a workout as the day progressed:

 

 

First drop, maybe five minutes to the bottom, line stops going out, bring sinker up a few metres to clear the snag field. Tap tap tap, I’m on:

 

 

The limit for gemfish is only two per angler so when they’re swarming you’re going to bag out quickly. Which is why we’re always trying different things at Browns. I dumped a bag of pilchards into the burley pot and set a small live gemfish on a 13/0 circle four boat lengths behind the prop. It didn’t last long but that could have been due to my poor hook positioning. Meantime Fitz was filling the chiller bag with quality gems:

 

 

Here’s Fitz dealing with double gemfish like the pro he is:

 

 

But with a nasty nor westerly building (which won’t show on Seabreeze, because it was produced by a smallish offshore storm cell) everyone excepting ourselves and one other boat bailed. Whitecaps building so after a couple of drops it was back into the ramp. Thanks to Fitz for being great company and for filleting the catch.

 

To politics, and some nice feedback on last report’s Parsley Bay boat ramp story:

 

Andrew, great of you to pursue the issue of the wash down area in question. These councils are so full of s**t it is so disappointing. Please continue on the behalf of all anglers. Cheers Glen from Yamba

 

Appreciated, Glen. It’s sad that the only way to get these people to do what’s right is to complain. I should mention that Hornsby Council didn’t even reply to me but thankfully, I had copied in the local newspaper, who was interested in the issue and published a story on it. Bottom line, the people who lived near the washdown facility never complained about the noise:

 

 

 

More to follow on this one. In the meantime, Tony Nguyen saying the Parsley Bay boat ramp renovation is well underway, with NSW Maritime finally getting the message that boaties want the pontoon to one side. Not right in the middle, so we lose one launching lane:

 

 

Looks like the pontoon is on the edge rather than right down the middle

 

Well, well, well. Could it be that NSW Maritime is starting to take notice of what boat owners want? That would be a first. Lodging a Freedom of Information application with Hornsby Council to get to the bottom of this whole sorry affair. Will keep readers posted as always as that progresses. And can readers keep us posted on how you’re doing on the water? Without your generosity there’d be nothing worth reading. Until next time,

 

Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director

Thursday 4th August 2016

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

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Fog, cold rain, and winds. But the fish are there! The big buzz recently being a crazy run of big kings at Merimbula, on the NSW South Coast. Here’s Michael Frith:

 

 

Here's another good kingy I caught off the rocks at Merimbula

 

See the wharf in the background? Here’s a pic of it from Narooma News, note the popper:

 

 

Ken McCoombe, Joe Battaglia, Paul Brenchley and Bruce Libbis with their catches of big kingfish taken off the Merimbula Wharf last week. Fish up to 15kg have been caught from wharf, rocks and boats.

 

They’re biting in the Big Smoke, too.  Some great reports coming in and can I just say how grateful we are to the blokes who take the time to let our readers know what’s happening, offshore? Josh Graf:

 

 

Hey Andy Had a great day out at Texas off Norah Head on Saturday. Filled up with livies in the morning at Hargreaves reef and headed out. Within the first 3 drops we had our first King on board. Every 2-3 drops after that was a legal King. We bagged out before lunch and threw a few back to fight another day.

 

 

Good news is I only lost 2 of your jigs so won't need to stock up again just yet. But they definitely work a treat. We ended up switching to livies after about 12 fish as the arms started to give in. Plenty of boat out there and lots of kings caught.

 

Stock up, Josh! Just in case, you can’t be too careful, etc etc J  Steve Battishall out there on Saturday 30th July, and finding some cracker kings. How good is it that you can go wide with a few jigs, a few live baits, and a few mates – and come back with not just some beautiful fish, but with memories that will last you a lifetime?

 

 

the fish are there. 6 fat kings between 80cm and 1m. 2 good snapper also. the kings were coming on the bite as we ran out of livies . Busted on a good one too.

 

Hopefully he’ll be there next trip Steve. Murray M at Texas same day and, like the top bloke he is, sends a report for our readers on how things went:

 

 

Andy, did the Texas run today, along with about 12 other boats. Livies were easy to get. Found good school on the sonar and started jigging which worked a treat. First fish was a 70cm King. We also had a yakka down which was being harassed but not eaten. Had 3 jigged kings onboard before the first yakka got smashed. Which was just after tide change. Jigs were not working as well after the tide change so sent down more yakka, which resulted in more fish. Ended up with 9 kings up to 80cm Picture is Richard with 2 prized kings

 

Yours truly out last week and found some good mark showing on the western edge of the Mountain:

 

 

I say to Fitz ‘we’ve gotta watch the rod tip carefully for light bites and, if we see one, release some line so the fish can get the bait down.’ First drop to the bottom in 425 metres and, as soon as the line stops going out, he operates the power lever to bring it up 5 metres, away from snags. The rod tip slams down, loads up, and we’re onto a good one. So much for finesse:

 

 

Here’s thirteen seconds worth. The big ones fight all the way to the top:

 

 

Fitz super pleased with the first blue eye of the day:

 

 

From then on it was a steady procession of quality. Gemfish:

 

 

And more trevalla. They’re swarming out there at the moment but we didn’t abuse the resource:

 

 

 Fitz excited about catching his biggest ever blue eye trevalla. His previous biggest ever blue eye trevalla was caught about ten minutes before this one J

 

 

We got three good blue eye, a gemfish, and ice bottles into our $50 5mm neoprene chiller bag. Kept the catch cool. Such a great bit of kit:

 

 

 

Full story here:

 

Geoff Wilson keeping us up to date on south of the border news:

 

 

Craig Hicks with a nice brown trout from Lake Toolondo

 

Look at the spawning colours! I’m told these cold water sharks taste great, on the plate:

 

 

Aaron Habgood with a 30 kg school shark that he caught off Portland

 

To tackle, and Trent fits a power knob to his jigging reel and heads for Texas Reef:

 

 

G'day Andy, thanks for getting that reel knob to me this week. As you can see, I'm pretty happy with it. Cheers, Trent

 

You’re very welcome mate and thanks for the pic. More details here:

 

To Boats, and excited about a new 80-pound 24V electric outboard, which arrived in this week’s sea shipment. Chinese made and costing well under $1K. Planning to instal it next week and use for jigging, deep dropping and downrigging – but most of all, to cut 150HP outboard hours, and save money on the current $10 per hour Mercury servicing fees:

 

 

I'll be writing a stack of reviews on how it works and whether it was a good investment because if it cuts costs it might work for our readers. Steve Bowler from Shooters & Fishers Party one of the best blokes you could ever meet. No surprise to hear he helped a boatie in trouble:

 

 

Found some poor bastard with a broken drawbar (Eaten from inside with orange cancer – but a nice new black paint job on the outside!) He was changing lanes and the bar just sheared in half. Could have been a lot worse. Badly damaged his nice new Prado. We organized a flatbed and I suggested maybe electric brakes might the go. He said he thought the boat would be about 1800kg … I said that he might be surprised if he put her on a weighbridge!

 

 

Good old Aussie inventiveness. Needing a swivel seat for the boat? Pick up an office chair from a nature strip throw out. When the back rest wears out, pick up a new one from the wood pile. Brilliant:

 

 

Fascinating, Ryan! Crew member Darryl (on our boat) is very good at estimating the length of something showing on the screen. In this case, my guess is this is no single large fish. Maybe a school of albacore? Although I usually mark those around the 180-200m mark and not as well defined or concentrated as what’s showing here. Possibly squid? The depth is right for those:

 

 

I am hoping you are able to pass an opinion on these screen shots of my sounder. They were taken near the southern canyons off Sydney a week and a half ago on the Sunday around low tide between 1 and 2pm. This is in my little Haines. We were drifting while we untangled some lures and I noticed a few serious displays on the sounder. We cubed and jigged for two and a half hours but did not get any action. There were sauries and a slow temp break in the area we started in and it looked like at times (over the first hour) there was a school of something passing in and out of the sounder beam around the 300m mark but never came above 200m. We did not drop a deep bait as we already had 4 gemmies and I didn't want to risk a tangle on my potential first tuna if it happened. The sounder is a standard old school HDS5 gen 1 with the standard transducer. To my untrained eye the shots in the 458m depth look similar to the sword marked in Lee Rayner's recent post from Coffs Harbour. Thank you for any help you might be able to give me on what it might be down there. Ryan

 

I am no expert by any means but please try this if you’re going wide?

 

 

1. set your transducer to the lowest frequency option, for instance 50kHz or 83kHz;

 

2. slow your ping speed to 12, 10 or even 8;

 

3. reduce scroll speed to 1x;

 

4. If seas are sloppy (which they are not forecast to be) and you’re getting aeration around the transducer, have someone stand in the stern quarter where it’s mounted while you test readings;

 

5. if you have no idea of depth set it to plus 100 metres of what is showing on the outside (eastern) contour, on your plotter screen;

 

6. slowly increase gain until snow appears on the screen and see if a bottom line appears or at least, a depth number. Keep in mind that it’s not essential to read the bottom at Browns to catch fish – at this time of year, anyway. What is essential is to know if you’re going up the hill, or down the hill. If going up the hill keep lifting your sinker say 5 metres at a time to avoid snagging.

 

 

7. take a photo of the sounder screen (no flash needed) and a note of your settings and send both to me by SMS or email. Will try forwarding it to a friendly expert, for comment.

 

Deon sends disappointing news. I’m not a big believer in collective guilt and reckon the person who left the mess is responsible. But your point is a good one and thanks for writing. Will add to the newsletter:

 

 

Hi Andrew, see attached picture of mess left on Fish Cleaning station at Rowland Reserve in Bayview on 27 July.  I hope you can post this in your weekly newsletter so the culprits can see the error of their ways. We (fishers) have a hard enough time as it is and do not need to further fuel the greens vendetta.

 

 

To points north and Paul Frost adventuring:

 

 

Hi Andrew....thanks for the video and sorry about the delay in replying as I was in Canberra for awhile...now back in Adelaide. Have attached a dual photo of the saddle tailed sea perch I  caught in the Buccaneer Archipelego.....a delightful eating fish.

 

Glen Cadoo – what a card you are. And what a gun fisho you are, too. Now lads when I post up pic 2, please don’t anyone freak out about the size of the catch. He’s got a big boat and a big family and their whole life revolves around fishing:

 

 

Hi Andy. Finally got out on the weekend for a nice feed of pearlies. Was thinking of posting you down some but at it instead. After all its the thought that counts. Glen

 

 

Yours truly out again on Monday this week and keen to get to Browns Mountain to try for some more blue eye trevalla of the size we found last trip. We had all three sizes of Tanacom electrics aboard, and didn’t they get a workout as the day progressed:

 

 

First drop, maybe five minutes to the bottom, line stops going out, bring sinker up a few metres to clear the snag field. Tap tap tap, I’m on:

 

 

The limit for gemfish is only two per angler so when they’re swarming you’re going to bag out quickly. Which is why we’re always trying different things at Browns. I dumped a bag of pilchards into the burley pot and set a small live gemfish on a 13/0 circle four boat lengths behind the prop. It didn’t last long but that could have been due to my poor hook positioning. Meantime Fitz was filling the chiller bag with quality gems:

 

 

Here’s Fitz dealing with double gemfish like the pro he is:

 

 

But with a nasty nor westerly building (which won’t show on Seabreeze, because it was produced by a smallish offshore storm cell) everyone excepting ourselves and one other boat bailed. Whitecaps building so after a couple of drops it was back into the ramp. Thanks to Fitz for being great company and for filleting the catch.

 

To politics, and some nice feedback on last report’s Parsley Bay boat ramp story:

 

Andrew, great of you to pursue the issue of the wash down area in question. These councils are so full of s**t it is so disappointing. Please continue on the behalf of all anglers. Cheers Glen from Yamba

 

Appreciated, Glen. It’s sad that the only way to get these people to do what’s right is to complain. I should mention that Hornsby Council didn’t even reply to me but thankfully, I had copied in the local newspaper, who was interested in the issue and published a story on it. Bottom line, the people who lived near the washdown facility never complained about the noise:

 

 

 

More to follow on this one. In the meantime, Tony Nguyen saying the Parsley Bay boat ramp renovation is well underway, with NSW Maritime finally getting the message that boaties want the pontoon to one side. Not right in the middle, so we lose one launching lane:

 

 

Looks like the pontoon is on the edge rather than right down the middle

 

Well, well, well. Could it be that NSW Maritime is starting to take notice of what boat owners want? That would be a first. Lodging a Freedom of Information application with Hornsby Council to get to the bottom of this whole sorry affair. Will keep readers posted as always as that progresses. And can readers keep us posted on how you’re doing on the water? Without your generosity there’d be nothing worth reading. Until next time,

 

Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director