Thursday O9 AUGUST 2012

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

G’day lads


As someone with a serious kingfish addiction, Sean’s report from Monday was welcome news:



After weeks of crappy weather and other commitments, finally got out on the water today. Started with  some jigging for kingies; the first drop both Peter and I managed a good hook-up within the first couple of cranks. With both fish on deck I couldn’t help but thinking this was going to be one of those magic winter days, warm sun, light westerlies and the kingies going off…. Peter dropped a yakka down and ended up with this beauty; 92cm and well-conditioned. Every other drop after ended in tears; the leatheries had no mercy and stripped everything that went down, sinkers and all!


Top stuff, by crikey I could go for some of that action. The sunshine, too!

Justin T had a huge trip across the Tasman:



Hi Andrew, here is a photo of my pb king on a recent trip to New Zealand. A fat 42kg 145cm NZ beast, caught with a live yakka the size of my arm. King of a life time, thanks to my mate Ben Pokaia on Nomad sportfishing NZ for putting me on the fish. Our smallest king caught that day was over a meter and we got several of them. Can't wait to get back there...


What a beast! Congratulations, Justin.

I headed down to Tunks Park boat ramp in Sydney yesterday morning, and met up with Johnny V from Byron Bay, a great mate who I don’t get to fish with nearly enough since he moved north a couple of years ago. The plan was to fish from James’ beaut Bar Crusher 560:


We kicked off with a troll along South Head looking for a fresh bonito or two, for bait. That wasn’t to be. So off we went to the Twelve Mile. Nothing much to report, from that once renowned jigging spot. So next stop, Browns Mountain. On arrival I called up client and top bloke Warren A, who was fishing from an Excalibur. He told me they had already bagged out on gemfish and had landed a mako. We start every Brown sesh now with some bottom drops, and being in the middle of the gemfish spawning season made things easy:

We had the usual problems to be expected when they’re swarming, bite offs, fish lost to makos and the like. At one point a mako swam straight past the boat and other fishos were hooking up sharks nearby:

Al was on top of the Mountain in Strikezone, filming and tagging sharks:


With a few nice fish aboard:


t was time to put out a bait for the makos we had seen all around us. But wouldn’t you know, we couldn’t get a hook up! We even picked up floaters that had been mutilated by sharks and albatross:

But could not get one on the hook. Nonetheless, a very enjoyable day and glad to get out there, before the big weekend southerly hits. As soon as that blows through we’ll be back there again, most probably middle of next week.

With mako fishing on fire around the southern half of Australia right now we’ve put together a killer deal, on 50-pound monofilament:


2000 metres Stelco 24 kilo monofilament line, $85.00 including delivery and line counter. How good is this deal? Check these comparisons:


From BCF: 1200 metres Berkley Trilene Big Game 24 kilo line, $64.95 plus delivery

(equals $110 for 2000m plus delivery)


From Mo Tackle: 1000 metres Black Magic monofilament 24 kilo line, $99.00 plus delivery

(equals $200 for 2000m plus delivery)


From Rayannes Discount Tackle: 500 metres Rovex monofilament 24 kilo line, $34.95 plus delivery. (Equals $140 for 2000m plus delivery.) Al McGlashan says:


One of the most critical elements of catching big fish is fresh line.  I am not talking about new line you bought a year ago, I am talking about replacing your line every few weeks during the season. I check my line after every fish and if I find any nicks or grazes it is all cut off. This may seem like overkill but when you think about it a bust off is the most common way to lose a fish, and the best way to minimise it is with new line!


Give me a buzz or send an email, if you’d like to try an order.

Peter and Ed fished Browns on Tuesday too, couldn’t make that one but very glad to be invited:

Hi Andy, sorry you could not make it out with us.  We hit the 12 mile for some leather jackets.  Ed collected this Barracouta.  It was 106cm that we sent back to chase another jig.  It took one of your green jigs.



Sorry to have missed the trip Peter but keep me in mind, for anything that’s going? And if Ed is going to wear that outfit again, I’ll bring two packets of Kwells.

 J Neil Dodds writes from Melbourne, with some great ideas on deep dropping:



Hi Andrew, I noticed in your report the other week you had some info on "Sinkers" for deep drop fishing. The attached photos are what I have made up and although they take a little bit of time to make they are pretty easy and cheap if you have access to some old building "ReBar" , a drop saw, angle or bench grinder and electric drill.


All I do is work out roughly what weights we need, measure and cut them to suit, grind them up to remove sharp edges and drill them out.


I put a 180mm cable tie through the hole and then use a big rubber band to attach to the line as a "Break-a-Way" final attachment. For your info these are the six / weight details as per the main photo from top to bottom,


20mm Diameter Reo Bar


1. 520mm long    =    1.3 kg. or 2.86 lbs.

2. 410mm long    =    1.0 kg. or 2.2 lbs

3. 150mm long    =    0.4 kg. or 0.88 lbs


30mm Diameter Reo Bar


1. 305mm long    =    1.45 kg. or 3.2 lbs        Three of these together gives a pretty solid sinker weight 4.35 kg,s or  9.6 lbs

2. 150mm long    =    0.65 kg. or 1.43 lbs

3. 120mm long    =    0.50 kg. or 1.1 lbs

4. 100mm long    =    0.40 kg. or 0.88 lbs


These weights are pretty close but not "Dead Accurate" and good enough for the job, my mate and I use the big ones for fishing down around the 600 mtr depth and if the current and wind are going hard we just add another weight or more and rubber band them together to suit the conditions.


Really helpful Neil, I’m grateful for your generosity.


Squid. Pinching your livebait completely, or biting them behind the neck without you even knowing. Spiro's come up with the answer, a live bait hook with squid stinger:

Kevin had an exciting – maybe, too exciting – trip in central Queensland:


Left last Wednesday for a 3 day trip out at the Harold Patches off Lady Elliot Island  (75km out from Bundy) We loaded up the boat and trailer and headed off at 3:30pm to get there early, have a sleep and launch at first light. WELL let’s just say if it wasn’t for bad luck I’d have none.


60km from Bundy and just outside Childers we sheared 5 bolts off the trailer and dropped the trailer on the road doing 100kmh, no warning just bang and gone. Not what you want to see

Thanks to the RACQ they got to us before we were killed by suicidal truckies while waiting. Anyway on the way to Bundy we stopped at the sight of the incident and after about 5 minutes of looking I found the bearing buddy (bl00dy random luck) then I found the tyre about 250m from where it came off and about 150m into the macadamia plantation. We dropped the boat in the water and headed out. 50km out we are greeted by about 5 sets of paired whales and dolphins who when they see and hear us decide to come and show off:

All up for the day we lost about 5 hours fishing time and made it out to the reef where on the first drift my mate got this beauty, biggest red throat I’ve ever personally seen.

Thought our luck had changed, on board then came a decent trout and the biggest moses perch I’d ever seen to, looked more like a fingermark than a MP, I got a couple Coral cod. The weather then started to change so we anchored up for the night excited for a full day on the water. The weather turned a bit windy and chopped up in the night but still managed a good sleep on the deck. Morning comes and we start to head off and go to lift the anchor, well it appears we drifted off the sand and the anchor was set in the reef, no drama, happens often enough so we drive up the line so I can tie it off to pop it out and as I put the first look around the crucible the rope snaps, great no anchor, where’s the spare anchor at, to that question I’m greeted with “Back in Carindale, didn’t have the space”. +- 75km off shore and no anchor. O great.


We see a boat in the distance about 1km away so we motor over to it to see if we can buy a spare anchor or sort something out (Loooooooong shot) and no luck with that. We eventually decide to make the most of the day and fish/dive then head back to shore, so we pick a random mark we’ve saved and head off. About 45min into the drift my mate pops up telling me to mark the spot cause while diving on a fish he saw an anchor (what are the chance of finding a random anchor when we need on). I drop him a ski rope (they float) and he dives down to recover the anchor. As I’m pulling it up I state that this anchor is looking like it’s the one we lost (hahaha fat chance of that happening is the response), low and behold there is the eye with the rope snapped of followed by 2m of chain and bicycle tube around the chain, it indeed was our anchor. I quickly tie it all back up to the main line so I don’t forget and try anchor up later that night and chuck it over without the rope.

After many more Coral cod and a couple wrasse we move to the front of the reef into 32m of water where the current is pushing up against and on the first cast with a 100g raider I came up solid on a Spanish, the 5000H Saltiga made short work of it, came up at 105cm, my first 1m+ Mackerel and my first Spanish in nearly 16 months so was happy.


From there we left for a wreck about 70km from the patches, about 10 min into the crossing we get some serious wind and swell and the next 2 ½ hours are done in hideous conditions slapping the boat around and it’s only getting worse. We eventually pull up at the wreck and it’s not looking good to anchor up at overnight so we decide to radio VMR 488 for a weather update. When we turn on the radio there is an emergency weather update being transmitted advising ALL boat back to port with 30kn of wind gusting to 35kn forecast and now it’s 4pm. We have just done 2 ½ hours of hell and have 50km to get back to port.  Well we decided to make a go for it cause we can’t get close to shore and anchor so port is the only option, YAY another 50km of hell and 2 hours later we pulled into port.

This is what was on one side of us that we were trying to outrun, to the right it wasn’t looking good and just didn’t want to look at it, let alone take a pic of it


 So another day was lost having to come back to port that night, we decided to drive back to Childers and sleep the night in the free camping spots on the side of the road with the grey nomads.  After a good night’s sleep at 4:30am we head off. 5am the road comes to a standstill with a UTE having hit a bridge (thankfully no one dead or injured) 6am we get to set off again and all is going smoothly till we get to the other side of Gympie and pull over to swap driving and discover the other wheel has now developed an egg the size of a tennis ball (I’m now having a tantrum like a small child with his dummy having been taken away). Out comes the spare that I had found in the Macadamia plantation and we are on our way again.



O and here is a haul from about 2 hours one morning on Fraser. We put back another 40+ tailor. These were all over 35cm (Qld minimum size and a possession limit of 20pp) and were between 4 of us and ended up feeding 6 families.


Blimey. What an odyssey! Bottom line Kevin, you dealt with the hazards and made a tough trip work.

Closer to home, and Pete took young Josh for a run in windy conditions, off South Head:



Hi mate, you may remember young Josh. He help me test the red python rod so far he has caught under size kings, legal kings to 80 cm and now some nice bonito. That’s the side on the port side rod holder. It really is a nice all round outfit.


Yes mate I love mine.


On that topic we had quite a few queries about the red python rod combo after last week’s report, here’s more details for interested readers:

Daiwa Windcast 6000. These reels hold 660 metres of 30-pound braid. They have 14 kilos of drag and are ideal for jigging, and even make a great beach reel. We often modify them with an aftermarket handle. The pic doesn’t do the upgrade justice, they look and feel great:

Windcast is supplied with two spools, so you can select two line classes from 30, 50 or 80-pound braid. That’s really handy.  Not heavy, at 610 grams. Not too highly geared, at 3.9:1 ratio. They have an oscillating spool, which moves forwards and backwards during winding to lay a ‘basket weave.’ The line never stacks up on the spool lip, really good for long casting. Check this out:

Price for reel including spare spool, $240. It’s a perfect match with our six foot Ginro jigging rod:

This one is a two piece with the join at the top of the foregrip. It’s perfect for 50-pound braid and very forgiving, with a parabolic taper that bends right through the grip. Which is what you want. Price, $160, includes Fuji guides, reel seat, and gimbal. Some nice thread work on it, too:

While we’re talking tackle, Mick O’Brien sent in an interesting pic. Would you believe his mate hand makes identical copies of the Avon Royal luderick reel??:



Just amazing.

And on the topic of luderick, Steve took his youngsters out for a sesh on them in Sydney’s Pittwater:


Hi Andy, its been way too long champ and we are well overdue for a catch up. I have been getting stuck into good bags of blackfish recently and planned to get the kids onto them. How good is it when our expectations are not only met but blown outta the water as the smile on the kids faces were priceless as they pulled em in over 2 hrs of frantic fishing..



Made a call to my best mate earlier in the week and arrangements were made to get his tribe of kids an mine into some Blackfish on the w/e. Weed sourced and weather looking great we headed out sat arvo for a quick 2 hr session before dark with a couple extra kids to make it 8 fish at least to find…. Got to our spot and started baiting rods for the kids and by the 3rd rod I hear im on daddy,woooooohoooooooo . we help him out and this fish gives Jesse a bit of drama but eventually he is safely in net and hi 5’s all round…


Well we eventually get 4 rods out and floats were going down quicker than a (HEY STEVE THIS IS A FAMILY NEWSLETTER!) Kids were having a ball and I casted out for one of the kids and float didn’t settle as stopper hit float it just disappeared so I lift rod then go to pass to a kid and all hell breaks loose. After a lot of dramas I land a nice 42cm blackie but retire the rod as scuffed line and was hard keeping up with sooo many rods with fish going nuts.


This was truly a magical day I will treasure for many yrs and all the kids got 3 or 4 fish with a few around the 25 to 30 cm mark that were manageable even by my 3yr old master blacky  fisho Blake .. We kept a bag of fish and let a lot go and the smiles and joy were priceless.



I returned with my mate for a proper go in the morning and we nailed it big time. We ended up taking a good bag of about 20 odd fish with more than that either let go or self releasing from lifting without the net.most fish were perfect eating size of mid 30’s with a couple stonkers to 43cm. Heres a couple of pics and a vid of my 3 yr old nailin a blacky and his 8yr old brother netting it…  How stoked do ya think I am every time I watch it…. Hope ya enjoy it as I am smiling with joy reliving it as I type…

vid of Blake the Blacky Master



Mate they are magical times, I still remember taking me down to inside Barrenjoey and me hooking up on my first toadfish.  The video is a keeper.

To politics, and lots of feedback this week on the ‘super trawler’ FV Margiris:

Lads, be very careful signing online petitions about this issue. The Margiris license is issued by Joe Ludwig, the Labor Fisheries Minister.

The main petition is managed by GetUp, a Labor front group:

Hank writes:


Hi Andrew.  I have not heard back from Chris on this note to him below regarding the GETUP website.  Perhaps you have a better line in to him to alert him to the sleeper check box (ticked in default) on their website.  I think fishers ought to be alerted to the potential for them to be back door co-opted into supporting the GETUP Greenies on not just this but all their other agendas. Regards,  Hank


He writes:


Looks like another "poll" designed to prevent us from passing on our cultural heritage, eh? I wonder when they will come out with a poll regarding youths fishing? Please take the time to register a vote. Regards, Robert

PS I saw a fantastic banner up at a Cessnock Outdoor Show. It read.....



Exactly. The war on fishing continues, with lefty academics writing discussion papers about how cruel our sport is:

‘Usually morally prescriptive.’ Expect more of this BS from academia in the next few years. As to more BS, Enviro Minister Tony Burke is in damage control mode, ahead of anticipated swimmer deaths from white sharks this summer:

LOL, feel the urgency: ‘begun to look at scientific work needed to assess accurately shark numbers.’ Burke, you are an Olympic class phony. On a happier note, thanks so much to all the blokes who wrote in to support Bill, in his hour of need. Here’s a selection:


Dear Bill,


I read about your recent tragedy in Andrew's weekly newsletter and can I say how terribly sorry I am for you and your boys. It must be heartbreaking but I guess as they say, at least everyone escaped without significant injury or worse. However, losing everything except what you are wearing would be absolutely devastating.


I would like to support Andrew's suggestion about excess fishing gear, of which I do have some and would be more than happy to think it were going to a deserving home



I will send on to Bill some tackle to help him along – I have a pile of surplus stuff.




Hi Amazon Outdoors,


I have been a long term customer of your great company (Member FC128755) and I also subscribe to a great fishing and issues related to fishing, newsletter put together each week by a dedicated guy called Andrew Hestelow and in his latest newsletter there is a letter from a guy in Victoria, Bill Bulkeley, who has suffered some incredibly bad luck with a fire that destroyed everything he and his 4 sons owned. I have included the relevant part of the newsletter below.





Andrew Hestelow