Friday 5th June 2015

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

Things looking good, as most of Australia heads into the Queen’s Birthday weekend. East coast forecast is fair to excellent and there’s plenty of quality fish around. Craig Marsay proved that last Saturday:

 

 

Great day off Nambucca Heads, 1 of 10

 

Gee you’re kicking some goals this year Craig. Just north, and Alan Goggin writes from Coffs Harbour. This bloke is amazing:

 

 

Hi Andy, how are you mate?  Bad weather at the weekends has stopped me getting out in the yak the last month or so.  Been putting in the hours chasing Jewies instead. Paid off big time last night. 120cm and 16kg was the biggest with 2 others around the 10kg mark. Cheers Al

 

Cheers to you too cobber and have a great long weekend. A hundred kilometers southward and Steve Ley ordered some tackle, mentioning he’d been getting into some prime Forster gold. How’s this for a beautiful big king? 13 kilos, he got two of them:

 

 

That’s a cracker Steve, thanks for the report! Trent Bracey jigging up a storm late last week:

 

 

G'day Andy got out to Texas yesterday with about 10 other boats. They were a bit patchy but were quality. We got 7 including a 104cm all caught on your 250 gram jigs with no hits on the livies.

 

That’s a beast. Murray fishing the same mark:

 

 

Hey Andy, went out to Texas on Tuesday and got into some kings on Jigs, been a while since I have jigged but the kings were out to play. Most Kings were in the 90cm range. I think I need a bigger esky. On a side note can you send me a paypal request for 50lb colour change braid and 10 assist hooks, my internet is very flakey since the storms here a month ago and Telstra still not able to fix so internet time is very limited. Should be $100 if I worked it out correctly?

 

Correct! And grateful for your order Muzz. Dave C and crew had a blinder on Monday:

 

 

Hey Andrew, hope your day out wide was an absolute cracker like ours. I took a couple of the guys from ‘Lighthouse Homeless Youth Initiative’ out to the Banks for their first Kingy session and we smashed it. The Banks were dead but we went out a little further to the Block n Cheese (100m deep) and found it solid with Kingis. Pretty much every drop we’d have double and triple hook ups on your 250gm jigs, landing well over 20 fish and keeping 13. All the other boats out there were doing the same. What a day! Flat as and had to go home because our arms were too tired to turn the handle by the end. I don’t think the boys really understood what a special session it was, first time out, must be like that every day, hey. Ha! Ha!... I wish!

 

No mate it wasn’t but I still had a ball. Dave’s referring to a drive yourself charter we went on that day, full story HERE.

 

All they wanted that day (at the Peak where we were anyway) was live bait, not jigs. This chap proudly showed us his king. The only keeper we saw caught there, and his fish bigger than it looks in this pic:

 

 

The next day Mev (who had been aboard) went out again – but stayed inside the heads:

 

 

Hi Andy, after yesterday I couldn't help it so u head out into the harbour.  Your rod worked a treat pulling this harbour king.  Mev

 

Sheesh!  After all these great reports, and with the final insult being that solid king boated right in front of us, you’ll understand why I was blowing a fuse to get out there on the Carolyn Jane. After picking up the crew we headed over to Lady Jane beach for a squid session in the clear water running over the broken kelp and sand, on the run out tide. Plenty there:

 

 

Out to our mark and some solid bait showing on the sounder. Kingfish spots warm and cool through the season, but don’t normally switch off like a light. In this case I knew that the fish numbers had been declining but was still pretty confident that, on the turn of the tide we’d see some action. A live squid off the downrigger on a slider rig. With these, the tow hook goes through the top of the head and the stinger treble just under the skin between the eyes. Before baiting up the tow hook is adjusted so the rig length matches squid length:

 

 

With the turn of tide due at 11.00AM we dropped down a big squid head as well, in the hope of hooking up two. First strike came on that one, a solid battle for Chris:

 

 

This chunky 102cm got the whole crew fired up:

 

 

After the tide change things quietened down, as expected. So we gave ourselves an early mark and headed back in, more than happy with the good one in the chiller bag. To tackle, and Scott using our Ryobi 24 kilo jig combo - $270 for rod, reel and line – to land this beautiful sambo, off WA. Don’t spend a zillion bucks on some fancy rod and reel, lads. Consider buying a combo that will do the job, then spend your savings on a trip to Fiji or NZ. It’s the fish you catch that matter, not the brand name on your tackle:

 

 

Your combo goes alright. This was 1.3 m long. Not sure of the weight. But was a hell of a fight. On a 7 inch plastic. Quality combo you sold me. Smooth as.

 

Glad you’re pleased, Scott! I love mine, that’s all I use on every jig trip now. We’ve been working hard on another combo readers might find interesting but first, some back story.  Having only fished for bluefin tuna twice I’m as far from expert on them as you could possibly get. But I am good at listening, when clients tell me about their tuna fishing experiences off Sydney. And the feedback is pretty consistent, especially from trailerboat fishos. Three major concerns:

 

1. the tuna zone starts at Browns (22nm out) and extends to Heatons (40nm out) and beyond. Meaning that perfect weather with almost flat seas is essential, for chasing them in a small boat;

 

2. At the tail end of their run across the Bight and up the east coast almost all the fish are big, 80 – 100 kilos and up;

 

3. the bite often starts late afternoon and a hookup on a standard Tiagra 50 can mean a fight going on into the dark, and lasting for hours. That brings a heap of concerns including crew getting seasick or feeling nauseous, after sundown; skippers worrying about getting back to port in the dark through a sea full of whales; and blokes aboard who say things like, ‘I have to be at work at 7:00AM.’ Which is understandable. You don’t read about it much but plenty of big bluefin have been intentionally broken off, as the sun sinks below the horizon.

 

Putting it all together we’ve decided to offer an 80W combo (and possibly a 130 Wicked Tuna style swivel rod holder combo, more about that later) for this tuna season. Quality tackle but at a good price like all our gear, because you don’t want to spend big bucks on something you won’t use all year round. Like our popular electric reel combos. Here’s the first one:

 

 

The rod is a Tuff Tackle 3-piece IGFA 80-pound ‘King Mackerel.’ It has foregrip and butt section joins. Reel seat is a Pacific Bay Permalign HDCLB4-BG made from anodized aluminium:

 

 

Looks good. Foregrip is 40mm diameter Hypalon, chunky and very comfortable to hold. Roller guides are heavy duty Pacific Bay ER models with Teflon coated stainless steel bearings:

 

 

The guide frames are machined from solid marine grade aluminium. Overall length of the rod is 75 inches, a little over six feet, rod weight 1.25 kilos. Reel is an 80 Wide 2-speed holding 1000 metres of 80-pound mono. Originally made for Quantum, it’s the big brother of our tried and tested 20 Wide:

 

 

Combo $760 including rod, reel, line and yes this one can be mailed so, inexpensive delivery.

Twelve months warranty on parts and labour.

Send an email for more pics and specs? Here’s the combo under ten kilos of drag:

 

 

News of the Weird and Steve Wilson finds a pest – I mean, cute marine mammal – in his fishing spot:

 

 

Now i know why its been a bit slow on the fishing front in north harbour. Sammy the seal is back in town

 

I can tell that one’s in pain, Steve. Probably best to end its suffering humanely. J The more things change, the more they stay the same! ‘Fishing News’, August 27th, 1982. Thirty three years ago:

 

 

Andrew Wily pleased with the resolution on his structure scan. As you would be:

 

 

Les finds something pretty pongy on the sand:

 

 

 The strange things you find washed up. I was driving to town along Smoky Cape beach today and found this dead fish. I dunno what it is. It's been dead a fair while and all dried out.  I'm thinking it might be something from the deep. Out of curiosity I don't suppose you or your readers might know what it might be (apart from being a dead smelly fish)?  I'm hoping it's not undersized cos the tape measure won't help much in my defence.

 

Some of our switched-on Facebook readers nominated it (correctly) as a Smooth Boxfish. Whatever it is, it looks pretty damn whiffy. The other big news is that deepwater bottom fishing’s heating up. Mick O’Toole off Sydney last weekend:

 

 

Solid blue eye, imagine how good that will be on the plate. Nick reports a giant blue eye down south:

 

 

Paul lazzaro's 26kg blue eye taken off Bermagui

 

Thanks, Nick! Planning a run to Browns this weekend for some deep dropping, your pic’s got me fired up. Our Man in the Sand at Jervis Bay checks in. Thanks, Dave Tweedie:

 

 

Hi Andrew, Good day out chasing the Reds with Simos from Simos Afloat , fishing charter Jb. A good friend and a top charter operator  A dozen reds,a bucket full of Morwong Flatties and a big gurnard , plus a huge cuttlefish out wide, which promptly spat all over us, great fun  Cheers from down south  Dave and Kate  PS I am absolutely stuffed today, not as young as I used to be , but still having good fun.... Dave

 

Sent Jack an invite to a hairtail session, turns out he’s in Port Douglas! Lucky dawg has some rigging suggestions, too:

 

 

One interesting thing – most of the day was slow and fish were few and far between. Then in the afternoon on the slack tide I put on the only rig I had with the green glow bead on it. From then on I was hooking up about every second drop and the rest had no change.

We were fishing in between 30 and 45 m – so it seems to make sense, it was dark there on partly overcast day. Today I tied  6 rigs with large beads – see what happens next time.

 

Top bloke and pro UK carp angler Roy back from the home of big carp – France. Scored some monsters, this trip:

 

 

Hi Andrew,  Just returned from a trip to France, went to a new venue caught more fish than anybody else, so was rather pleased & managed to bank two carp at 54lb one was 54lb 4oz & the other 54lb 14oz.

 

Beast of the lake! Look at the tail wrist on that thing, well done Roy.

 

To politics, and Sean Leonard spots some Sydney Harbour clunkers, taking up space an actual boater could use.

 

 

Couple of mooring minders in Sailors Bay. I haven't seen them move in 10 years.

 

 

Pitiful. And, typical. Check out how strict NSW Maritime’s regulations are, for boats on public moorings:

 

 

NSW Maritime don’t enforce their own mooring regulations. Because if they did, thousands of moorings currently holding these hulks would be freed up for boat owners. The downside – for them – being that marinas and boat stacks would empty out overnight. Their corporate mates wouldn’t like that at all. But I blame the Maritime (and Roads) Minister, Duncan ‘Double Demerits’ Gay. He’s the same blowhard who told fishos during the 2011 state election that, if elected, he’d get green tape and red tape off fishos’ backs. And then doubled it:

 

 

Let’s not pretend these speed cameras are used for safety reasons? Under Gay the fines from these alone have increased by around 130 percent. The same revenue raising happening on the water:

 

 

A reader writes in:

 

I … read on your blog that you were pulled up when offshore for not having your charts, are you aware if print outs from Navionics are sufficient or are the full marine charts required?

 

 

A couple of things to mention on this one. Firstly, let’s not excuse Maritime. The paper chart requirement is not just a ridiculous and expensive requirement for open trailer boats, it’s an indication of just how lazy and revenue-driven Maritime is. I have three separate GPS systems on my boat – not including the phone. But this bureaucracy pretends a decades-old regulation is still relevant in the digital age, so they can make money off long-suffering boaties. What I’ve done is, printed out a digital version of the chart onto an A4 page, folded it and put it in the tackle box. Will it work? The answer is, probably. Keep in mind there’s always an option of disputing your penalty notice in Court? I always do that, not that I’ve had one for ten years. For anyone who hasn’t you might find it worthwhile and quite an eye opener. Yes, you have to lose maybe half a days’ work. But you will find the magistrates are very aware of enforcement agency over reach, and take your side. It feels great to have a win against the busybodies and red tape merchants using safety as a fake excuse to tax boaties. If you need a chart of your local area for printing out in this way, send me an email? Not SMS or PM. Will send you a digital file but please look up the chart number you need online first. They will start with ‘AUS’ then a number. In closing, as I always say, thank you most sincerely to our readers and especially, contributors. The effort you put in is truly appreciated, by our 4600 readers. Until next week,

 

Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director

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Things looking good, as most of Australia heads into the Queen’s Birthday weekend. East coast forecast is fair to excellent and there’s plenty of quality fish around. Craig Marsay proved that last Saturday:

 

 

Great day off Nambucca Heads, 1 of 10

 

Gee you’re kicking some goals this year Craig. Just north, and Alan Goggin writes from Coffs Harbour. This bloke is amazing:

 

 

Hi Andy, how are you mate?  Bad weather at the weekends has stopped me getting out in the yak the last month or so.  Been putting in the hours chasing Jewies instead. Paid off big time last night. 120cm and 16kg was the biggest with 2 others around the 10kg mark. Cheers Al

 

Cheers to you too cobber and have a great long weekend. A hundred kilometers southward and Steve Ley ordered some tackle, mentioning he’d been getting into some prime Forster gold. How’s this for a beautiful big king? 13 kilos, he got two of them:

 

 

That’s a cracker Steve, thanks for the report! Trent Bracey jigging up a storm late last week:

 

 

G'day Andy got out to Texas yesterday with about 10 other boats. They were a bit patchy but were quality. We got 7 including a 104cm all caught on your 250 gram jigs with no hits on the livies.

 

That’s a beast. Murray fishing the same mark:

 

 

Hey Andy, went out to Texas on Tuesday and got into some kings on Jigs, been a while since I have jigged but the kings were out to play. Most Kings were in the 90cm range. I think I need a bigger esky. On a side note can you send me a paypal request for 50lb colour change braid and 10 assist hooks, my internet is very flakey since the storms here a month ago and Telstra still not able to fix so internet time is very limited. Should be $100 if I worked it out correctly?

 

Correct! And grateful for your order Muzz. Dave C and crew had a blinder on Monday:

 

 

Hey Andrew, hope your day out wide was an absolute cracker like ours. I took a couple of the guys from ‘Lighthouse Homeless Youth Initiative’ out to the Banks for their first Kingy session and we smashed it. The Banks were dead but we went out a little further to the Block n Cheese (100m deep) and found it solid with Kingis. Pretty much every drop we’d have double and triple hook ups on your 250gm jigs, landing well over 20 fish and keeping 13. All the other boats out there were doing the same. What a day! Flat as and had to go home because our arms were too tired to turn the handle by the end. I don’t think the boys really understood what a special session it was, first time out, must be like that every day, hey. Ha! Ha!... I wish!

 

No mate it wasn’t but I still had a ball. Dave’s referring to a drive yourself charter we went on that day, full story HERE.

 

All they wanted that day (at the Peak where we were anyway) was live bait, not jigs. This chap proudly showed us his king. The only keeper we saw caught there, and his fish bigger than it looks in this pic:

 

 

The next day Mev (who had been aboard) went out again – but stayed inside the heads:

 

 

Hi Andy, after yesterday I couldn't help it so u head out into the harbour.  Your rod worked a treat pulling this harbour king.  Mev

 

Sheesh!  After all these great reports, and with the final insult being that solid king boated right in front of us, you’ll understand why I was blowing a fuse to get out there on the Carolyn Jane. After picking up the crew we headed over to Lady Jane beach for a squid session in the clear water running over the broken kelp and sand, on the run out tide. Plenty there:

 

 

Out to our mark and some solid bait showing on the sounder. Kingfish spots warm and cool through the season, but don’t normally switch off like a light. In this case I knew that the fish numbers had been declining but was still pretty confident that, on the turn of the tide we’d see some action. A live squid off the downrigger on a slider rig. With these, the tow hook goes through the top of the head and the stinger treble just under the skin between the eyes. Before baiting up the tow hook is adjusted so the rig length matches squid length:

 

 

With the turn of tide due at 11.00AM we dropped down a big squid head as well, in the hope of hooking up two. First strike came on that one, a solid battle for Chris:

 

 

This chunky 102cm got the whole crew fired up:

 

 

After the tide change things quietened down, as expected. So we gave ourselves an early mark and headed back in, more than happy with the good one in the chiller bag. To tackle, and Scott using our Ryobi 24 kilo jig combo - $270 for rod, reel and line – to land this beautiful sambo, off WA. Don’t spend a zillion bucks on some fancy rod and reel, lads. Consider buying a combo that will do the job, then spend your savings on a trip to Fiji or NZ. It’s the fish you catch that matter, not the brand name on your tackle:

 

 

Your combo goes alright. This was 1.3 m long. Not sure of the weight. But was a hell of a fight. On a 7 inch plastic. Quality combo you sold me. Smooth as.

 

Glad you’re pleased, Scott! I love mine, that’s all I use on every jig trip now. We’ve been working hard on another combo readers might find interesting but first, some back story.  Having only fished for bluefin tuna twice I’m as far from expert on them as you could possibly get. But I am good at listening, when clients tell me about their tuna fishing experiences off Sydney. And the feedback is pretty consistent, especially from trailerboat fishos. Three major concerns:

 

1. the tuna zone starts at Browns (22nm out) and extends to Heatons (40nm out) and beyond. Meaning that perfect weather with almost flat seas is essential, for chasing them in a small boat;

 

2. At the tail end of their run across the Bight and up the east coast almost all the fish are big, 80 – 100 kilos and up;

 

3. the bite often starts late afternoon and a hookup on a standard Tiagra 50 can mean a fight going on into the dark, and lasting for hours. That brings a heap of concerns including crew getting seasick or feeling nauseous, after sundown; skippers worrying about getting back to port in the dark through a sea full of whales; and blokes aboard who say things like, ‘I have to be at work at 7:00AM.’ Which is understandable. You don’t read about it much but plenty of big bluefin have been intentionally broken off, as the sun sinks below the horizon.

 

Putting it all together we’ve decided to offer an 80W combo (and possibly a 130 Wicked Tuna style swivel rod holder combo, more about that later) for this tuna season. Quality tackle but at a good price like all our gear, because you don’t want to spend big bucks on something you won’t use all year round. Like our popular electric reel combos. Here’s the first one:

 

 

The rod is a Tuff Tackle 3-piece IGFA 80-pound ‘King Mackerel.’ It has foregrip and butt section joins. Reel seat is a Pacific Bay Permalign HDCLB4-BG made from anodized aluminium:

 

 

Looks good. Foregrip is 40mm diameter Hypalon, chunky and very comfortable to hold. Roller guides are heavy duty Pacific Bay ER models with Teflon coated stainless steel bearings:

 

 

The guide frames are machined from solid marine grade aluminium. Overall length of the rod is 75 inches, a little over six feet, rod weight 1.25 kilos. Reel is an 80 Wide 2-speed holding 1000 metres of 80-pound mono. Originally made for Quantum, it’s the big brother of our tried and tested 20 Wide:

 

 

Combo $760 including rod, reel, line and yes this one can be mailed so, inexpensive delivery.

Twelve months warranty on parts and labour.

Send an email for more pics and specs? Here’s the combo under ten kilos of drag:

 

 

News of the Weird and Steve Wilson finds a pest – I mean, cute marine mammal – in his fishing spot:

 

 

Now i know why its been a bit slow on the fishing front in north harbour. Sammy the seal is back in town

 

I can tell that one’s in pain, Steve. Probably best to end its suffering humanely. J The more things change, the more they stay the same! ‘Fishing News’, August 27th, 1982. Thirty three years ago:

 

 

Andrew Wily pleased with the resolution on his structure scan. As you would be:

 

 

Les finds something pretty pongy on the sand:

 

 

 The strange things you find washed up. I was driving to town along Smoky Cape beach today and found this dead fish. I dunno what it is. It's been dead a fair while and all dried out.  I'm thinking it might be something from the deep. Out of curiosity I don't suppose you or your readers might know what it might be (apart from being a dead smelly fish)?  I'm hoping it's not undersized cos the tape measure won't help much in my defence.

 

Some of our switched-on Facebook readers nominated it (correctly) as a Smooth Boxfish. Whatever it is, it looks pretty damn whiffy. The other big news is that deepwater bottom fishing’s heating up. Mick O’Toole off Sydney last weekend:

 

 

Solid blue eye, imagine how good that will be on the plate. Nick reports a giant blue eye down south:

 

 

Paul lazzaro's 26kg blue eye taken off Bermagui

 

Thanks, Nick! Planning a run to Browns this weekend for some deep dropping, your pic’s got me fired up. Our Man in the Sand at Jervis Bay checks in. Thanks, Dave Tweedie:

 

 

Hi Andrew, Good day out chasing the Reds with Simos from Simos Afloat , fishing charter Jb. A good friend and a top charter operator  A dozen reds,a bucket full of Morwong Flatties and a big gurnard , plus a huge cuttlefish out wide, which promptly spat all over us, great fun  Cheers from down south  Dave and Kate  PS I am absolutely stuffed today, not as young as I used to be , but still having good fun.... Dave

 

Sent Jack an invite to a hairtail session, turns out he’s in Port Douglas! Lucky dawg has some rigging suggestions, too:

 

 

One interesting thing – most of the day was slow and fish were few and far between. Then in the afternoon on the slack tide I put on the only rig I had with the green glow bead on it. From then on I was hooking up about every second drop and the rest had no change.

We were fishing in between 30 and 45 m – so it seems to make sense, it was dark there on partly overcast day. Today I tied  6 rigs with large beads – see what happens next time.

 

Top bloke and pro UK carp angler Roy back from the home of big carp – France. Scored some monsters, this trip:

 

 

Hi Andrew,  Just returned from a trip to France, went to a new venue caught more fish than anybody else, so was rather pleased & managed to bank two carp at 54lb one was 54lb 4oz & the other 54lb 14oz.

 

Beast of the lake! Look at the tail wrist on that thing, well done Roy.

 

To politics, and Sean Leonard spots some Sydney Harbour clunkers, taking up space an actual boater could use.

 

 

Couple of mooring minders in Sailors Bay. I haven't seen them move in 10 years.

 

 

Pitiful. And, typical. Check out how strict NSW Maritime’s regulations are, for boats on public moorings:

 

 

NSW Maritime don’t enforce their own mooring regulations. Because if they did, thousands of moorings currently holding these hulks would be freed up for boat owners. The downside – for them – being that marinas and boat stacks would empty out overnight. Their corporate mates wouldn’t like that at all. But I blame the Maritime (and Roads) Minister, Duncan ‘Double Demerits’ Gay. He’s the same blowhard who told fishos during the 2011 state election that, if elected, he’d get green tape and red tape off fishos’ backs. And then doubled it:

 

 

Let’s not pretend these speed cameras are used for safety reasons? Under Gay the fines from these alone have increased by around 130 percent. The same revenue raising happening on the water:

 

 

A reader writes in:

 

I … read on your blog that you were pulled up when offshore for not having your charts, are you aware if print outs from Navionics are sufficient or are the full marine charts required?

 

 

A couple of things to mention on this one. Firstly, let’s not excuse Maritime. The paper chart requirement is not just a ridiculous and expensive requirement for open trailer boats, it’s an indication of just how lazy and revenue-driven Maritime is. I have three separate GPS systems on my boat – not including the phone. But this bureaucracy pretends a decades-old regulation is still relevant in the digital age, so they can make money off long-suffering boaties. What I’ve done is, printed out a digital version of the chart onto an A4 page, folded it and put it in the tackle box. Will it work? The answer is, probably. Keep in mind there’s always an option of disputing your penalty notice in Court? I always do that, not that I’ve had one for ten years. For anyone who hasn’t you might find it worthwhile and quite an eye opener. Yes, you have to lose maybe half a days’ work. But you will find the magistrates are very aware of enforcement agency over reach, and take your side. It feels great to have a win against the busybodies and red tape merchants using safety as a fake excuse to tax boaties. If you need a chart of your local area for printing out in this way, send me an email? Not SMS or PM. Will send you a digital file but please look up the chart number you need online first. They will start with ‘AUS’ then a number. In closing, as I always say, thank you most sincerely to our readers and especially, contributors. The effort you put in is truly appreciated, by our 4600 readers. Until next week,

 

Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director