Friday 8th May 2015

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

Wind. Then rain. Then some more wind, and some more rain. That’s been the story on the east coast for the last ten days or more. Thankfully we squeezed in a trip offshore, in between the storms:



First stop Spit Bridge, which when the water’s muddy is always worth a drop for jewfish:



Previous success has required fresh or live squid. All we had was fresh frozen. That wasn't good enough. Down through Middle Harbour with signs of devastation all around. This big yacht sunk in its marina berth:



Out to the Artificial Reef but still murky brown even out there. And the sounder dead:



So on to the Peak we went. Down with the (100 gram) jigs and into the action. Here’s me having a ball on our light jig combo:



Fish bigger than they were last trip, up to 85cm:



New crew member Mitch enjoying the red hot kingie bite. I’m hooked up in the background:



Bill Stroulios’ paintings were featured in the last report. Good to see him and a mate out there, getting into some solid ones:



Kings stacked over pinnacles always gets your ticker racing:



With some nice fish in the chiller bag and the pressure off, we decided to look further afield. A trip to Browns Mountain via FAD 21 just the ticket. Three miles east of the Peak a dramatic colour change encountered, as the water switched from murky green to deep blue. But no current at the FAD, never a good sign when you're chasing mahi:



They were there, small, not motivated enough for popping. Micro jigs and cut bait worked:



On to Browns but only three boats there, which is never a good sign. Cuttlefish on the top hook, bonito strip on the bottom hook, freespool the Tanacom to 425 metres.



Small gemmie on the second drop, here’s nine seconds. Interesting it’s in copper spawning colours already:



But overall Browns was dead. Ignore the gaps in the bottom contour. The ping speed was slowed down and I was reversing to keep the line straight, meaning the transducer in the air bubbles loses its signal:



Time to pull the pin. But what a coincidence, Twelve Mile Reef on the way home. Mitch on first but it proved to be a barracouta. He paid a heavy shark tax, on the way up:



Then Tameem hooked up on a BOTR (Beast of the Reef). How’s this for rod bending:




103cm and 10.5 kilos. Well done, bud:



Great day and great crew. But you can’t spend every day chasing kingies so, I’m taking a break with a little light reading:



Dave Clarke at the Banks, Friday 1st May. Weather looks iffy but the fish were there:



Hi Andrew, the Kingis were firing early at the Banks this morning. Conditions were a bit lumpy, making it a little uncomfortable, however glad we went. After grabbing some livies at the bait grounds at Greenwell Point, we plugged our way out to the Banks to find two commercial boats and one other rec fisho. Seeing the commercial guys hauling good kings in over the side as we pulled up, we knew they were there. Jigs over the side and first drop my younger brother on his first trip out caught his first King ever, about 70cm (Pic attached) We headed for home with two 90s and Dans 70, a short, sharp but satisfying session. Oh I’m out of pink jigs I’ll flick you an order. Cheers Dave


Please do Dave and thanks for the report. Fishos doing all they can to get out there regardless of weather. Light tackle fanatic Sam Higgins and friends fishing sheltered waters, finding a few fish too:



Long time no chat! Starting to get into some middle harbour kings again after a bit of a dry stint.



Thought I'd send through a few pics of recent kings we have caught floating unweighted chunks of pilchard down a burley trail.

Mainly rats but a couple of legals!


Good job, Sam. If you burley, they will come. To boating, and Mick from Motorsport Marine sends news of some boats stolen overnight from his yard. One recovered already and some helpful type took a pic of another one hitched to a Jeep. Are those NT number plates? Because NT is where no boat registration is needed:



Andrew can you share our Facebook posts today (Thursday 7th May), of stolen boat, trailer & motor packages please Glen Cadoo gave me your contact Thanks Mate


Of course! Any mate of Glen Cadoo’s is a mate of mine. Good luck, I know you’ve already got one back. John Hazlewood sends a sad reminder from way back when. Older readers might remember the shock when this news broke:



But what it was that got me writing to you is in the (last report.) Murray Chapman, now would he be the son of the late Garry Chapman ? The late Garry Chapman swam for Australia in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, was a gun fisherman, I fished with him as a mate, fished against him in the NSWAFCA Titles and fished with him in teams representing NSW in the Australian Titles. Garry was lost at sea in the seventies along with another mate named Ron Nelson in the Peak area, they were never found. Great days those. Garry’s dad Arthur Chapman had a Sports Store at Rockdale where most of the icons of fishing once worked, Garry’s brother Owen looked after the ski section. Just fantastic it was you could go in and have a chat to the late Jack Erskine, Dick Lewers, John Bethune and others, they were the days.


They certainly were John, and thanks for writing. Noel sends a pic of his restored Huntsman 23. I started crewing in one of these back in 1979, with a very unique skipper:



Hi Andrew, thanks for the chat earlier. Here is a pic of the Huntsman we have just finished. Looking forward to hitting Browns. Would be real interesting to know if it was the Huntsman you used to fish on back in the day.


Don’t know Noel but it’s great to see how well you’ve restored it. Good memories. Joe Ritchie and Ocky Lember up on that tiny flybridge, and Grant and myself working the deck at the Banks. Peering over the gunwale in amazement, that we can see rocks on the bottom six miles out. Then jumping a foot in the air when Joe opens up on the yellowfin floats with his M1 carbine to, quote, ‘liven things up.’ Happy times and thanks for the pic. Here’s a really good idea for boaties. Thanks, Zoran Kiternas:



Hi Andrew, on a few of the fishing forums people have been raising concerns about their neighbours complaining of the noise when they were flushing their outboards. I have not had that problem personally but I was always apprehensive about the loud bark of my 200HP EFI 2 stroke - fearing one day my time would come. Last weekend I was housebound and found myself with spare time to progress an idea that I have had for some time - a simple DIY Outboard Exhaust silencer. So here it is, my latest invention packaged in a youtube clip, something other boaties may appreciate….(or at least the neighbours will !) If its of interest please feel free to share. Cheers, Zoran



Around the traps and Richardson Marine in Warrnambool reports an interesting capture:



Mark Parnell caught this rare butterfly mackerel / butterfly kingfish / butterfly tuna at Port MacDonnell a few days ago.


Fascinating. Top fisho and regular contributor Alan Goggin finds a real screamer, as Jay from ‘Hard Merchandise’ might say:



Hi Andy, hooked this bluefin last weekend on a live yakka. Within a minute or two 300m of braid had disappeared down to 3 wraps of braid on the spool, rammed the rod in the holder and Had to give chase as fast as I could paddle. 5mins later and I had the fish yakside. Man I wish this stuff wasn't seasonal! Cheers Al


Don’t we all, Alan! Keith Newman fishing a beautiful part of the world:



Two of us had a top day on the Nambucca this week.


Make room for me, Kevin! Heading up there this winter, targeting blackfish off the breakwalls. Craig from WA ordered a Tanacom combo, and attached this pic of his son and heir with a quality dhufish:



To tackle, and Tim the shipping manager demanding I make some room before the next shipment arrives end May. We can ship both these items anywhere in Australia. First up, a Zodiac 6-person inflatable raft. Never used, service due. Supplied with static release, rope handles, and custom aluminium strap to secure it on your boat. The ultimate in safety gear, $160:



Next, an inflatable boat. 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 not needed:



3.2m (10.5 feet) inflatable boat, top quality, brand new, never used, and comes with a big range of accessories including aluminium slatted floor, pump, oars, 2 bench seats (not shown) tie down strap for fuel tank, transom panel for outboard mounting, storage bag etc. Suit anyone looking for a small fishing boat or big tender, and priced around 40% less than a comparable model from Island Marine or Whitworths, at just $750. We can ship it anywhere in Australia. Send me an email for further details, or more pics? Last but not least, and Friends and clients know of our mini disaster here recently, when a tree fell on the roof during the big storm. The SES were fantastic, fitting a tarp to the roof in driving rain and working until 1.00AM - even though they had to be at work the next day. Tree removed on Monday, new tiles fitted on Tuesday, all looking good. But one thing I will say was a Godsend when the power went out, was our torch/lantern combo:



Family members grabbed those and used them for both getting around in the dark, and lighting up their rooms. $59 for two, including 240V/12V chargers *and delivery*. When you need them, you’ll be glad you’ve got them. Overseas, and Darryl on patrol in the UK. Thank heavens our fishing access is (effectively) protected by the Queen’s Chain, in Australia:



No trout or salmon fishing as the rivers are jealously guarded and hard to approach. Some had four fences to climb! I did manage a fish in the North Sea just south of Aberdeen. No success but not really surprised as there's not much sea fishing as they call it here. I've bought you a couple of magazines on your beloved carp, its exceptionally popular and they even have a weekly magazine. The pic I have attached is only a small portion of a lake taken through the window of our train from Edinburgh to London. It would have been nearly a km long with blokes every few metres. I think it was in Nottinghamshire.


Carp, you say? Get home soon! Maybe you should have gone south not north, ol buddy:



To politics, and the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust wasting our license fees again by funding another pointless carp tagging program. NSW Fisheries have a carp specific herpes-type virus available which would kill that species the way myxomatosis killed rabbits. They don’t have the guts to release that into the Murray-Darling because (I’m told) of fears of huge legal claims possible from koi owners losing their valuable fish. If anyone can confirm/deny, please do:



Releasing tagged carp, to find out how they ‘move up and down the river system.’ How ridiculous. Those wanting to get their hooks into the fourteen million dollars generated byNSW fishing licenses every year have *no* shame. Last but not least, with winter coming fast everyone’s getting prepped for deep dropping season out wide. Readers from Noosa to Portland calling and writing about gear and techniques for fishing 400 metres down – or more. And why not? When it all comes together it’s just so good:



So I uploaded a couple of audio files for those who haven’t fished out wide but are thinking of giving it a try this year.  Rambling shambling first in a series covering weather, crew, species, tackle, and generally how to get the best return from Browns Mountain - but applicable pretty much anywhere:



Hoping you find them interesting. In closing, can I say how grateful not just myself but our readers are, to those who contribute their pics and reports? I get all the glory but it’s your generosity that makes this worth reading. Until next time,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director