Thursday 11 JULY 2012

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

G’day lads,


Well the big news this week is the fishing over the weekend which has been nothing short of insane, both on the top and bottom, between Sydney and Kiama. We start our coverage with Spiro’s report:



Andy, went wide off Kiama yesterday SUNDAY– bagged 2 SBT – 80 kg each and 7 Albacore.


Mate I know how hard you’ve worked for a big one, delighted to hear of your success.

Kassem was out there doing it too:

Sunday 08/07/2012 headed out off Botany Heads around 8:00am, amazing day calm clear perfect fishing weather. Decided on heading out just past Browns ended up 55-60km out. Started trolling out there for around 3 hours then decided to call it a day, then BAMMMMMMM 4 hook up the Okuma t50ws going off their heads. Tangling up at the same time. lucky there was four of us on the boat. After 10min of fighting one got off. still three to go. Oh yeah reason it got off, it broke 15kg over head Okuma Titus snapped the line. After another 10 min we got the baby 8kg tuna. Another 20min finally at the boat was 55kg bluefin tuna.



5 min after that the last and final fish 65kg bluefin tuna. To think we were actually winding up the rods when the reel I was winding in went off. But what a day.


Sensational, Kassem! PS: hope your mum’s got a Whirlpool.

Top bloke and gun fisho Peter Garrett writes:

Hi Andy, with all the talk of Bluefin around, Ed and I took a run out to Browns on Sunday on his awesome 8m Hydra Sports. …. we had just completed our 3rd drop on the electric around for a nice Gemfish and Silver Dory (my second) when Ed noticed some fish busting up around around 300m inside Browns.  A quick change of tactics and we deployed some Halco 160s onto a 24kg and a 15kg rod. They were pretty much nailed as they hit the water.

Ed lost his on the 15 and I managed to get mine to the gaff in around 20 minutes after Ed strapped me into the harness.   It was 54.6kg on the scales.

Sensational! BTW, tuna bags are rated to 45 kilos not 55 kilos, amigo. J Whacking a warranty replacement one in the mail to you tomorrow, and thanks so much for this top report. To round up our bluefin tuna coverage I must add Al McG’s video, it really is extraordinary. Mate, don’t make a habit of jumping into the water off The Shelf too often. We need hard core Greenie fighters like you around:


Check out this wild footage of a tuna frenzy off Sydney yesterday. As soon as i jumped out all the sharks turned up!

Chris W fished the bottom at Browns Mountain, and sent in some nice feedback on our electric reels:


HI Andrew. Well finally made it out to Browns to give the electric reel a work out. Weather couldn't of been better, and very little current as well. Boated several good fish, one massive blue eye, but probably lost just as many before they got to the boat. Got sharked a few times as well as made a few mistakes with the gear but once we worked out what we were doing got fish on every drop. Plenty of boats out there and all seemed to be on the fish. A fantastic day on the water. Best regards, Chris

That’s a lovely bag of deepwater tasties Chris, well done. I could just cry when I think of the way we used to put those little rock perch back over the side – until someone put me straight, on their eating qualities.

Chris Adams was out there too:


Hi Andrew, well went out to Browns Mountain on Saturday with sunny seabreezes forecast, it was raining when I got to the heads still, and got a half a km out and said ‘boys, it’s rough!’ and a lot more than the 11 knots predicted. Cheers, Seabreeze! So anyway had a good crew and all as keen as mustard to power on so we did in my awesome boat 610 Trailcraft, with the water hitting the windscreen and making us feel like goldfish in a bowl and ploughing through water that was going that high it wasnt even hitting the deck behind us, gotta love self draining decks!! Things did settle a bit tho and the sun came out and Sydney got the rain :).........

OK fishing was awesome had great day with solid blue eye to 14 kilo and bumper gemfish to 8.5 kilo not every drop but moving from mark to mark was productive and trying some different spots was good too.

Andrew I had the best experience doing one drop with the 80 w electric winch I brought from you, with it going down 50 metres or so and stopping for 20 seconds, I was like, whats going here, I even had my finger holding braid trying to feel what was going on silly could of lost it!!!! then took up slack hit motor and it was on striped marlin twenty metres from back of boat came up sat 2 or 3 foot out of water, done a head shake like a indian at a seven eleven servo trying to sell me bread and milk two for five dollars then took at 200km per hour and ping all over but was fun.

Andrew thank you again so much for all your ongoing support and advise, and just becoming a good friend of mine, and also if you have any clients that have a hour up there sleeve give them my number and I will tell them all about your electric reel cheers.




Mate don’t even mention it, I’m very grateful for your pics and report, let alone your kind offer. And I reckon if our reel needs any testimonials the pics of that beautiful brace of blue eye cod will do just fine. Aren’t those gemfish huge, the biggest I’ve seen this year. Well done champ.

Kiama came alive with bluefin on Sunday, and the ever reliable Mark Way sent through a report:

The combination of great weather (calm sea n low wind with sun thrown in!) plus large schools of big Bluefin Tuna proved to be the ideal draw card for a crack at the "big n's!" although they were out around 30 nm making a big run out n back the only option to get to the temperature break. On Saturday Keep it Reel ventured up north and hit a "Blue Mine Field" with multiple strikes on big lures accounting for 8 fish with 7 over 100kg's and biggest going 135kg's for anglers George Tome, Robbie Bird, Brad Lindsay and Jeff. They bagged out early so skipper Todd Lindsay headed back in and weighed all fish by 2.30pm!

Sunday saw Karizma, Profishent, Barmaid and Tunami all out fishing for Blues. Karizma's young guns got amongst the action with Laughlan Rogers catching a 63kg fish on 60kg tackle for a pending NSW and Australian record claim; Casey Rogers caught a 64.5kg Blue on 37kg whilst Aaron Shelly captured a 64.5kg on 24kg. Profishent came in late with a 115kg Bluefin to Steve Bova. Barmaid skipper Glen Byrne told me all they could catch was Albacore but the go was using bigger lures for the big blues. The fishing action was all on top of temperature and there were a heap of boats out there with those connecting being on the school when it came up!

By crikey this is exciting.

Martin fished the Harbour last week and even inside the Heads, the fish were on fire:


Last weekend we organised an overnighter in the harbour. Leaving home at 3:30pm Saturday, the plan was to find some squid, find some livies and bunker down for an overnight jewie. Long story short, couldn’t find any squid, and livies were near impossible to find although we did manage 2 EP’s on the sabiki rig!


We found a spot in Middle Harbour that was sheltered from the wind and bunkered down with a bag of pillies and some Cali squid. Dinner and drinks were done and by 1am we had our rods set and retreated to the cabin for a couple of hours sleep.


Woke up at 6:30 and while I was working on the bacon and eggs, Scott checked the rods. He says “there’s some weight here” and whilst I was still flipping the bacon over, he says “GET THE NET!!!”


This beast at 92cms took my bait but managed to wrap all 3 rods around itself! She looked beautiful coming up and once she hit the deck, she showed some signs of life so after a few happy snaps, we swam her and watched her slowly swim to the deep.


Good call mate on a big girl, like that. Off topic, could you please send me an email? Got a work related inquiry for you and can’t find your details anywhere.

Further south, and Dave T from JB says that tasty bottom ooglies are on the bite there too:

HI Andrew, the weather has been pretty lousy lately but the boys finally made it out in the last few days. Plenty of Morwong, leather jackets and a few flatties from down south, near the old light house, and out wider at 1800 ft  2 gem fish , 5 blue eye cod and 6 bonito on the way out made it a great day for Ronnie and the crew on Shark Bait. From other reports from the crews out at the shelf and trolling along the coast the top catch was a Big Eye Tuna at 84.8 kgs, quite rare for here l believe, and a blue fin tuna at 95.4, as well as some some good size Albacore. For those fishing inside the bay the flatties were few and far between as were the squid, but happy fishermen just the same enjoying a few days of good conditions. Regards from the Bay, Dave and Kate


Best regards to you too Dave and looking forward to seeing what happens at JB, this weekend.

As to inshore, Greg Reid from Bay & Basin Sportsfishing says that the big tailor in last weeks’ report are not as rare as we might think:

LMFAO with that report Andy. Crashed tackled by a feral, look out. Good on you for having a go.


You’re a thinking fisherman Greg and that’s why you do so well. Carolyn and I spent five days at the Melbourne Boat Show and had an absolute ball, catching up with heaps of friends and checking out all the boats and gear. Andy W stopped in on Sunday and I was glad to hear of his success the previous day:

Managed a run on the tuna off Warrnambool, on Saturday in pretty windy conditions. Thanks to a radio call from Bruce in a nearby boat, we were able to go over to an area holding fish. We managed 5 fish from 7 hook ups and the best fish went 26KG. Good to see you at the Melbourne boat show


Good to see you too.

Lee Rayner’s talk on snapper fishing was well received:

Enviro Guy’s talk on why marine parks are essential wasn’t quite as popular:

I don’t usually do boat reviews because I’m always worried about getting someone’s nose out of joint, with negative comments on their pride and joy. But in this case there aren’t any negatives because the boat in question came across as a hot little weapon and reminded me of my all time favourite – the Seafarer V-Sea. I was browsing through rows and rows of polished metal and fibreglass, when I came upon the Evolution 500 Sportsfisher.

I’m no expert on boats but I do know that a new one is a big purchase, and understandably the wife is often involved. The manufacturers are fully aware of that factor so they put in little cushions up the front, and fold down rear seats supported by dinky aluminium poles in rear, with the hope that the Mrs will be enthused about comfort levels. But the fact is that it is very hard to compromise between the sort of boat you need for hard core fishing, with the type required for a day on the Bay with the wife and kids.



If that compromise has to be made – and of course it does, all the time – then Evolution have done a great job. They started with a hull with a big flare and a good V to get the spray moving out and down – not out and up. The seating is genuinely comfortable but the boat itself is all business and is beautifully finished, both inside and out. At $36000 it’s not cheap, but there aren’t a lot of real bargains with boats – excepting the odd receiver’s auction. If you’re looking for a boat for family and fishing you could do a lot worse than checking out the Evo 500, if it suits your budget. And no, I get no benefit from these reviews.

To points north, and Hayden Coleman had a fantastic snapper session off Port Stephens:



G'day Andy. Just a quick report. Hayden has been pulling a few snapper fishing out of Nelson Bay. I fished with him the previous week and only took 2 and a few bunnies. Another boat fishing another reef about a k away flogged us with a dozen snapper . Rodda


What a great pic and what a gun fisho Hayd is, Rod.

Across the country, and Mark Crewe from Perth sent in this pic of a magic capture too:



Hi Andrew here is a pic of a massive dhu caught by my mates son 30 km out from Jurien Bay What a fish would loved it to have been mine but made our day, fish of a life time.  Great report mate


Thanks Mark, and sincere congrats on that beautiful dhuie.

In the NT, Ben Dixon sends word of a fantastic barra trip, with black jewfish on the tooth in a big way:



Hi Andrew, thanks for the regular updates they are great. I just wanted to share a few pics from our trip to Melville Island last week – some spectacular scenery, a few crocs and some excellent fishing.



120cm Jewies on soft plastics and light barra outfits was very exciting. Not to mention catching the elusive Saratoga. Amazing place.

Ben, what’s amazing is that our readers are so generous as to send in their great reports for the benefit of others, just like you have. Happy personal memories of the Tiwi Islands too, because I got engaged at Barra Base. Spent all week with the engagement ring in the bottom of the tackle box amongst the Nilsmasters, figuring it was best to pop the question on the final day - so as not to spoil a top week of barra fishing, with the risk of rejection.

J For our Sydney readers – of which there are well over one thousand – Arthur has a helpful photo update, on progress at the Roseville Boat Ramp:

Hi Andrew, latest photos on the progress of the ramp upgrade at Roseville, apparently it will be ready by 10 July! You be the judge. By the way I took these today 8 July. Hope they remember to fill in the big hole next to the ramp …. looks more like the end of July at this rate.

Arthur, it looks to me like they have totally screwed up, and just cluttered the ramp with structures that will increase the time necessary for launching and retrieving. We’ll wait and see but that just doesn’t look right. Phil D has an interesting take on Roseville ramp:


G Day mate that’s a classic re the lone protester at the smoke and mirrors gathering in Warhonga. Just thought you might like to know that I wrote to NPWS regarding the Roseville ramp upgrade. My correspondence related to the fact that I had bought a NPWS pass principally so I didn’t have to pay the parking fee every time I used the ramp. Low and behold I was given a two month extension on my pass to compensate for the period the ramp has been out of action.

So if the main reason you bought a Parks’ pass is to access the boat ramp, send them a letter? On the basis that an extension is deserved for an equivalent period, to the time the ramp cannot be accessed. Weird and wonderful requests come through all the time and a recent one from some good keen blokes in Karratha was a first. That is, could we engrave a couple of reels for an upcoming presentation?


It turns out our local engraver has a computer setup and can do automatic engraving in multiple fonts at just $35 per message. In this case the message was a little risqué but the job turned out beautifully, actually my lousy photography doesn’t do it justice.

Lads, if red hot blue eye and gemfish action plus big bluefin on the boil aren’t enough to get you pumped, here’s the icing on the cake. THE KINGIES ARE BACK. And you better believe I’ve been waiting a long time, to hear that. Craig Booth writes:

Hi Mate, had a good day out on Sunday and bagged out on Kings at North Texas. Last drop of the day I landed a 101cm at 9kg. Fav Jig of the day was one of yours in straight silver, the other fav was a redhead/silver. I've recommended your jigs to some mates so you might get some more orders.



Music to my ears amigo, you don’t know how welcome this news is. Talking about music, didn’t that bloke in the first pic play bass on the last Frank Zappa album? To politics, and lots of feedback about last week’s argy bargy with the greenies:


To politics, and lots of feedback about last week’s argy bargy with the greenies:

Ian writes:


Well done ….  three cheers for a monumental exercise in restraint a good thing you were not armed with one of your very expensive fishing rods and reel, they could make a horrible mess of a Green.


What I really needed was some soap and water Ian, that would have scattered them like quail. Blake made me laugh out loud:


I hope you have been able to wash off the feral smell after being what appears to be ‘hit from behind’ by the Paddle Pop Lion. I am sure you will get plenty of willing support from your Downrigger Shop supporters to go along with you next time you venture into the depths of Brown Town.


Too funny! As to some of our cheeky readers who asked how a sawn off feral got the better of me physically, well . … the sun was in my eyes. J Sincere thanks to all those who supported me at the online forums while I was away in Melbourne, too:



Moving on, and Dave from Lord Howe writes in about the Margiris:


Hi Andrew,


Thank you for all the work you are putting into the political scene and trying to protect the fishing rights of all Australians. Living on Lord Howe Island & a charter operator, I have only just become aware of the proposal to allow the second largest factory trawler in the world to work in Australian waters. They want to take 17,500 tons of jack mackerel & blue mackerel from Tasmanian waters. What next!


I find this particularly hard to swallow given the extent that the current marine park network proposal Gillard & her cohorts are trying to push through at the moment. It's easy, no bait fish no fishery. This lesson should have been learnt from numerous examples all around the world. See the following clips




Just another example of mismanagement by Gillard & her cronies that will have us all on our knees one way or the other. Hard to imagine the Greens are letting them get away with this one. Keep up the good work.


 Dave & Glenys Gardiner

Fish Lord Howe P/L

Greenback Fishing Tours

Greenback' Eatery


Beats me Dave, it honestly does. Why anyone would want  Australia to host 70% of the world’s marine parks, and lock out so many pros that flathead fillets cost $45 a kilo at the fish shop, is beyond belief. And now comes word of a new threat to the rec bluefin fishery:

  Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director