Friday 7th February 2014

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

Marlin off the rocks! And our correspondent Wayne Marr was on hand to record it:



I was at the Tubes last Saturday and I had the box seat seeing this Black Marlin being brought in off the rocks. That could not happen very often! Est at 100kgs and took only 20 mins I think.



Fantastic, Wayne! So glad you thought of us. Billfish success for Tony Comito off Sydney:



Hi Andrew, this is the 1st Black Marlin that I have caught out of my out of my own trailer boat on Saturday 1st of February wide of 12 Mile.


Memorable accomplishment Tony! You fish so hard, you deserve this success. Some other firsts to report, now that marlin are riding the currents south. Todd Cameron writes:



Hi Andy, here's a pic of Wazza with his first marlin. North of the Carpark on Saturday, trolling live slimies.


What a great first marlin. Thanks for letting me know, Todd. Mark Way from Kiama GFC sends a top pic. Water looks SO GOOD:



Lacky Rogers first Marlin, a Striped of approx 80kgs that was tagged in Jess Sams Comp at Ulladulla on ‘Karizma.’


Thanks Mark, good omen for the Shellharbour comp this weekend. Some big kingfish around too. Chris Colvin, last weekend:


A very productive day out in the blue off south Sydney. This one went 15.9 kilo. Jamie's arms were that tired he needed a hand to hold it up. Also pulled a 1 Mtr, 90 cm and 4 other legal ones in a mixture of jigs and live bait.


Fantastic big city king, Chris. Malki writes today, with perfect timing:


Hi Andy do you carry any jig sticks for overheads?


Hoo yeah. Rapala Jig Day, 6 feet long, rated to 100-pound braid, Malki.  Here’s Andy Wily using his on a Kiwi kingfish, last week:



.Fuji reel seat, weighs just 290 grams. I use mine every trip now. $160 each, or $180 with a Fuji gimbal. Matt Reid (AKA Mister Kingfish) scored another triumph for his clients on Wednesday. The lucky angler celebrated with a nerve calming ciggie, just like I did on just about every fish from 1975 to 2005 J :



Just nailed a 1m Harbour King on a downrigged squid


Excellent, Matt. If you want your first kingie, contact Raptor Charters. He’s the man. David Clarke just back from the Ranfurly Banks. An incredible result, this place must be the number two spot in the world for big kingfish now. Really grateful for your exciting report, Dave:



Hi Andrew, a mate of mine and I joined a group on a 5 day live aboard charter out to the Ranfurly Banks NZ last week. Enchanter and the crew did not disappoint!! All eight or us fishing landed PBs, with Kings up to 38kg being landed.



Its estimated well over 200 hundred fish were landed, with packs of 20-30kg kingies monstering stick baits, poppers and jigs. Mate… your jigs held their own against much pricier models, slaying multiple large Kings. For those who are looking for the Holy Grail in Kingfish fishing, I cannot recommend stick baiting on the Ranfurly high enough!! What a Trip! Cheers Dave


Gotta do that one day. Biggest day of the month here at Downrigger HQ is when ‘Tight Lines’ (the Sydney Gamefishing Club magazine) arrives in the mail. We all down tools and keyboards while the outrageous jokes in the Saintly Whispers column are read out, for the enjoyment of all. Here’s a classic from the current issue:


I hate all this terrorist business. I used to love the days when you could look at an unattended bag on a train or bus and think to yourself, ‘I’m going to take that.’


He he he. John Nichols in awe of this offshore powerboat being launched at our local ramp, Roseville. Apparently this beast has twin turbine engines and produces 3000HP:



Just a pic of a small 55 footer being launched at Rosey yesterday. Twin turbine engines!!!! Expensive way to hit the water!!!!!


To the other end of the boating scale and long time readers know of my plan to offer a small boat which can be used for saltwater fishing - including offshore, when conditions are appropriate. Still a work in progress, but we imported various samples of both folding and inflatable boats for testing. This one arrived after we settled on the folding boat option, meaning it’s now for sale:



3.2m inflatable, brand new never used, very good quality and comes with a big range of accessories including aluminium slatted floor, pump, oars, 2 seats (not shown) etc. Suit anyone looking for a small fishing boat or big tender, and priced nearly 40% less than a comparable model from Island Marine, at just $950. We can send it anywhere in the country, at cost price. Send me an email for further details, or more pics? Cheers, Andy


No boat ramp? No problem. This could be the answer to the Widowmaker Ramp, at Coffs Harbour. Thanks to Andy W, for the pic:



Being barely able to change a light bulb I’m always in awe of blokes who can use tools – screwdrivers, hammers and the like J Chris took it one step further by adding our power knobs to a selection of his reels, and then generously sending me a pic and a ‘how to’:


Andrew, at last couple of photos of the power knobs fitted to my reels.



Firstly cut the original knobs at the shaft adjacent to the arm leaving the brass insert attached to the arm. Drill a small hole through the brass insert to allow the new longer screw to attach the power knob to the reel arm.



Job finished. This system could be used on many types of reels and I have used these at the Barrier Reef bottom bashing and they work great. Regards Chris




Hi Andrew, I have finally fitted the reel knob you sent me to my Penn 850. Job was a bit tricky and would have been nice to match it with a black and gold colour reel. However happy to pass on any tips if you get any clients intending to also fit to the old Penns.


Great! Last but not least, Tim Beck extra pleased with the reel knob on his Stradic. Looks good!



You just need to grind/file a bit off the back of the handle so enough thread comes through the other side, countersink the hole, and then you are away.


Eighteen thousand fishos is a lot. I’ve calculated that, if they all stood rod tip to rod tip with a jigging rod in each hand, they’d reach from Downrigger HQ to Twelve Mile Reef. Which is why I’m very grateful that eighteen thousand new visitors checked out our website, in January. Thanks, lads:



Anthony Ball! Not just taking his mother out for a run on the Harbour, but putting her onto some good fish:



Hey andy, tough day on the water today with that wind but managed to get my mum her first Jew and a 82cm king both on micro jigs, the Jew was under so we carefully released it back to fight another day



You’re a good fisho and you’re a good bloke, Andrew. Fished with young Callum on Friday, we found a few but generally had a tough one inside the Harbour. Dropped him back at the ramp and headed home, then an hour later received this pic and a report by SMS. Meaning that his catch rate increased, once he got off the boat J:



It's me again Andrew, just wanted to say thanks again for the day - I had a great time.  At the boat ramp with Dan I caught my pb flathead of 64cm on 2kg leader :)


I’m speechless! And that only happens once every 10-12 years. Tell me how you’re working your magic, Callum. Charles Sacco reports kingfish bite still cooking, in western Vic:



Hi Andy, The 100gram Jigs did the job at Port Fairy.


Glad to hear that, Charles.  Anton has some good local news too:



Hi Andrew, hope all is well over the border. Was wondering if you could spread the word about our comp coming up in a few weeks. This is a great event being the largest sanctioned comp in Vic plus we have a great sport fishing section for those not part of GFAA. Would be greatly appreciated. Cheers, Anton


Not at all buddy, I hope the event’s a huge success. Dan Abadir sends a crazy video, bloke fighting a big shark off Stockton Beach.

Definitely worth a look:







To politics, and NWS Fisheries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson AKA Bodgy Hodgy  ‘gives’ $22,000 of our fishing licence money to the University of Western Sydney’s River Farm Project, and gets a photo op in return:





Yep, the ‘United Nations University Regional Centre of Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development – Greater Western Sydney.’   That’s UNURCCEESD –GWS, for short. J  UWS partners are the Hawkesbury Environment Network:





Great. Our fisheries license fees going – even indirectly – to advertising a Greens forum on ‘redistributing wealth.’ Like they did in Tasmania? Here’s another news bulletin from the HEN website:





Bodgy Hodgy took $22000 of our fishing license fees and gave it to a joint UWS – HEN project. HEN used the funds to advertise a forum where Green MPs attacked her own government’s policies. But that’s okay, because Bodgy got a photo op out of it. She’s a team player – but only for Team Bodgy. Why? Because Katrina Hodgkinson’s electorate of Burrinjuck has been abolished by the Electoral Commission. To stay in Parliament after the March 2015 state election, she needs to win the new seat of Cootamundra:



We’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen. I invite readers to imagine where NSW angling would be, after another four years of Bodgy. And we need to protest at any further use of our fishing license fees for her personal PR projects, too. On last week’s expose of the sanded over entrance to the boat ramp at Coffs Harbour, Michael Slater writes:



Hi Andrew, after your newsletter on Coffs Harbour, for what its worth I sent an email to the Coffs Mayor voicing my concern that she is placing boaters at risk, and certainly not making the locating attractive to anyone whose holiday includes boating. We are but small voices in the wilderness. I wonder what Fishing World, ET, iFish, Big Fish Small Boats et al think about the place when they promote it so vigorously in their shows and publications?


Good question, Mike. Just south of Coffs and I have never been one to automatically condemn commercial fishing. We have to share the resource with non fishing Aussies and when flathead fillets are $49.95 a kilo in my local fish shop, something’s wrong. Having said that, some pros are their own worst enemies, and the number of complaints I hear about the mullet netters who camp just north of the Macleay River bar each autumn is incredible. It looks like locals have had enough:



Chris Wallis writes:


Hopefully, this is the beginning of the end of the disgusting practices exhibited by interstate beach haulers on the north wall of the mouth of the Macleay River last Easter.


Just as a reminder, for over three months between March and May 2013 commercial fishers from Queensland set up a gypsy camp on the north wall during the “mullet” season. Tents, lean-to’s, shanties and even caravans were set up with total disregard to the disposal of rubbish or effluent or to the rights of the general public.


These people treated the general area of the beach, the dunes and the training wall as their private domain to the point of verbal and physical intimidation toward members of the public who wanted to access that area for their recreation.


The accompanying photos show remnants of the camp and assorted rubbish that is still there to this day plus the new signs erected by Crown Lands prohibiting camping.




It seems odd that NSW licensed commercial fishers are not permitted to fish in Queensland yet here in NSW it is open slather whereby if you have a licence from anywhere, you can fish NSW waters and take your profits and sometimes the fish , back to your own State.


We acknowledge that the mullet run is a legitimate fishery but there are rules and regulations not only for the fishing but also common decency which must be adhered to.


At this point we do not wish to stop these fishers earning a living but we can insist it is done in a proper and legal manner.


Sounds fair. A campsite covered in Woodstock bourbon cans and toilet paper’s a bit much. Thanks so much to all our readers ,and supersized thanks to those who send in the pics and reports we all enjoy and are inspired by. Don’t stop ‘til you get enough,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director