Thursday 14 March 2013

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

G’day lads,


After a summer of floods, howling winds, and brown water on the east coast, things are FINALLY starting to pick up. And thankfully, it’s not too late. Blue skies and traditional nor’ easters meant a lot of readers were out fishing, last weekend. Ross and Lew Ireland had an exciting encounter:

  G`day mate, just a quick one to let you know Lew lost his first marlin at the boat today, a nice lil black about 50kg at a guess, nice fish on 10. Water came good at 63 fathoms and was 25.4deg, had the strike just past the colour change, patches of flying fish, so all is not lost n will try again next weekend.


Go get em Rossco, and keep me informed. And, please pass on sincere congrats, to Lew?

Peter and Marelize of Tsutomu Lures are justifiably pleased about the WA Blue Marlin Tournament results:

Congratulations Team Spoil Sport (Reece, Ryan, Monte, Dale & Dane) for taking out Champion Boat at last night’s 2013 Blue Marlin Classic awards night. The tournament was held from Perth and over 3 days the guys managed 5-3-3, of which all 3 Blue marlin were taken on a 11" Tsutomu Evl Apollo Plunger, plus a 12kg Dollie on a Tsutomu Jetted plunger to wrap up an awesome tournament. The team has also automatically qualified and have been invited to partake in the 2014 Offshore World Championships to be held in Costa Rica!

Congratulations, Peter.

PS why is that crew member’s right hand bandaged with what looks like a sheet and electrical tape? Good weather meant Sydney locals were chasing kingfish on the weekend. Steve Wilson took his yak out from Manly on Saturday:


Hi mate,Gave your Exceler another work out this morning at  nth head. They went 85, 81, 71.


Top job Steve, well set up Hobie you’ve got there.

Gatesy sends word of a beauty caught from a kayak too, this time at Long Reef:

a few of the kayak blokes went out in pretty average conditions after the same dirty weather.  That is a stonker of a fish to pull from a Kayak. FYI it officially went 101cm oh yeah and caught on 20lb leader and mainline chasing snapper on a small strip of fresh squid. This guy is a freak.  He catches more big kings from Kayaks than any of the others.  He plays softly softly and leads them to deeper water before going for it, where as everyone else (me included) lock up and drag and get pulled into the reef – game over


That’s a ripper. Jay out there doing it in the Harbour, with his mate:

Hello mate picked up yakka today at Balmoral and ducked around the Harbour, managed a nice fat 85cm specimen which was a great fight on 15lb braid and a couple of rats and bonito. Pleasant conditions, fish stopped biting as soon as the current slowed down.


Yes mate they have been somewhat tide sensitive lately. But I predict we’ll have a big finish to the season.

Rob Haslam, on Tuesday:

G'day Andy, myself, Craig and Craig's mate Chris went for a quick arvo session today off Barrenjoey looking to find some kings to test my new jigging rod out. Well we found a decent bait ball and down went our 120g jigs and on the first drop, triple hook up! Landed all three with one going 70 the others just under legal. Next drift picked up another that went 68cm. From then on we only managed rats but still great fun. The new 5"6 is awesome, very light  with plenty of guts. Can't wait to see what a meter plus model thinks about it.  Thanks again!


What a great result Rob and so glad you thought to send me this pic and report. Yes mate they are just amazing rods, especially when you consider they cost $110. I’m such a believer in light parabolic rods which soak up the fish’s energy, especially those hard plunges boatside. Here’s Winston giving his a workout on Sunday:

And here’s Bruce Rayment downrigging off Sydney on Monday:


Hi Andrew,


Managed to fit 3 days into my schedule to fish.


Sunday – green water all the way from Port Hacking to the shelf. Came home early with Zeros, trolling lures.


Monday - Fished south of Sydney using 2 of your Downriggers with Chris W. We got 25 to 30 Kings on live yakkas and dead eating quality Squid. 9 keepers between 65cm and 70cm. Couldn’t find any bigger models.


Tuesday – Back again for more of the same. Fished with Matt S, got another 25 to 30 on live yakkas and box squid bait. 8 keepers between 65cm and 70cm. Again, couldn’t find any bigger ones.


Yes mate we had the same result on Wednesday (not finding big ones), but with a great bunch of blokes aboard and magic weather I didn’t give a hoot.

Threw some unused garfish into the bush out the back on return. My little friend cleaned them up as usual:


Rowan Thursby scored two beauties off Port Stephens:


We thought we'd get the boat out for a run before Trailerboat at the Bay and thought an early morning plastics session would be good. With a very slow start to the morning And only a few legals coming in, my light rod took off, in the next 10 secs between moving rods and nets, my deckie Matt's rod went off as well…well a few minutes later It was high fives all round with a nice pigeon pair of 5kg Snapper on board


Rowan! Do you have any idea how much that picture makes me seethe with rage, at my personal snapper failure? Very grateful for this top pic but right now I need to be alone, to come to terms with my shame.

The TrollPro3 is an underwater housing that is designed to house your GoPro and allow you to capture all the fishing excitement. The hydrodynamic design and keel weighting of the TrollPro3™ Underwater Housing provides a highly stable platform at trolling speeds (up to 11 knots) for clear, wide field of view video recording on the camera’s removable data card.


Stop by and check out his stand? There’s no charge to visit.

We won’t be there because our new boat isn’t quite ready for display. We have unpacked and assembled it though, very pleased indeed:

A huge thanks to Mick O’Brien, who completely rebuilt my damaged boat trailer so she’s ready for some big road trips this winter:

Chris S sent some good news on Sunday afternoon:

Andy, fished Middle Harbour this arvo for kings on a friend's boat.  Afternoons are usually not that productive for me so I wasn't hoping for much. Used about 20 squid (heaps of pickers around) and ended up with a mixed bag of a kingy, a bonnie, a snapper and a bream (all caught on trolled squid).


Congratulations, Chris!

Dan and Kylie treated Carolyn and myself like royalty, at the Mingara Fishing Club tournament the weekend before last. We arranged to rendezvous at Longie on Sunday. That never happened, for good reason:

G’day Andy, hope you had a good day on the water today. Along with my cousin, Samuel and I launched at Brooklyn early and filled the live bait tank. We were planning on heading to Long Reef to meet up with you, but along the way, checked out a spot in Broken Bay. With a good showing, we dropped some livies down and that started a great session catching kings. We caught nine around the 80cm mark and just as many undersized ones too. Photo of Samuel with a fish we took home for dinner.

When we came in to Parsley Bay boat ramp, a boat was upturned right near the ramp. Not sure what happened, but a barge was brought in to lift the boat and turn it the right way up after draining it.


Please pass on my congrats to Sam!

Steve researches his Dad’s boat mishap:

Came across this while looking through the family archives  - thought it might be of historical interest.  Has the Hasting bar changed? My Dad was lucky to survive.   Regards Steve

Here’s one to dream about. Taken on a spear by Dave McDonald:


Here is a picture that that you would like as I know that you are a fan of the Hoodlums, this fished weighed in at 37 kilo and was 1.65m it was speared at Port Augusta South Australia and I tell you mate there are bigger ones than that down there. I want to beat 40kg this year, it is cold murky estuarine water and there are some bigger fish than that down there!


Go get em, Dave! Here at Downrigger HQ there is one regular event which fills us with hilarity every time it happens. I speak of the arrival, by mail, of the Sydney Game Fishing Club’s  magazine, Tight Lines. The game fishing news is great but what we really love is the politically incorrect jokes section, ‘Saintly Whispers.’ Each month, I memorise a couple and repeat them to people fishing on the Carolyn Jane. Those who are aboard for their first time think I’m a master wit and should have my own Tonight show. The regular crew, who hear them maybe ten times each month, wonder if I’ve got Alzheimers. The regular crew, who hear them maybe ten times each month, wonder if I’ve got Alzheimers. J So I thought our readers might enjoy them just as much. Here’s a goodie:



There once was a religious young woman who went to Confession. Upon entering the confessional, she said, ‘Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.’


The priest said, ‘Confess your sins and be forgiven.’


The young woman said, ‘Last night my boyfriend made mad passionate love to me seven times.’


The priest thought long and hard and then said, ‘Squeeze seven lemons into a glass, and then drink the juice.’


The young woman asked, ‘Will this cleanse me of my sins?’


The priest said, ‘No, but it will wipe that smile off your face!’ J


Myles has turned his attention from kingfish to jewfish, with equal success:

Hey Andy ….after ending up with about 4 leftover squid from a shocking session at Longie early on Saturday morning (don’t ask, but didn’t turn a reel), and noticing the high tide at about 8:30pm, I thought I’d dust of the surf gear and hit the beach. I’ve never fished a NSW beach before, so I just went to a Northern Beach I’ve heard can produce, found a nice deep gutter and tossed out a couple of half squid. It was all quiet up until about 7pm, when I landed a big Sambo, and shortly after, a couple of nice tailor. Then just on dusk, my ‘Innovator Light Surf’ bounced a little then went slack. So I picked it up, felt a few more bounces then the rod started to load, and load and load….next thing I was off up the beach chasing a solid fish. Thankfully, after too many sharks on previous missions, I felt those distinctive head thumps I’d only ever read about. After a couple of solid runs, and the usual anxious moments in the wash on a steep beach, I’d landed my first Jewie! Fish went 86cm and made for one very happy angler!


Mate that is fantastic, and I say that as someone who lost a nice one last week while fishing with Mev atBarry N sends news of a bass tournament, in Sydney’s west:


Good news from our Man in The Sand, Dave T from JB, who’s back on the water after overcoming some medical issues:

Hi Andrew, great excitement in the Tweedie household tonight after a long and frustrating 2 years ,finally got the OK from the Specialist to take our own boat out. It has had new bearings and new tyres on the trailer and we have religiously started the motor and turned the steering wheel every couple of weeks, so hope all is well…. great day out in our own boat yesterday, even if we didn't get going till 10am and only for 4hrs. 3hrs trolling for zero!! then 1hr bottom bashing for 6 flathead..

For 2 people who used to bag out 9 times out of 10 it was a tad disappointing. …. Just proves that we are a bit rusty and not organised, but lying in a hospital bed 2 years ago l thought l would never see the day again that l would go fishing. … I'd forgotten what a joy it is to be out driving your own boat and can't wait for the next trip we do. Regards from down south, Dave and Kate


It is a joy and glad you’re rediscovering it, my friend.

To politics, and whenever I hear someone say ‘all politicians are bastards’ or ‘pollies are only in it for themselves’ a pink mist of rage blurs my vision. Why? Because it’s not true. And if ever proof were needed of that, check this out. Neil Dodds writes from Melbourne:

Hi Andrew, I saw this article in the Melbourne Age newspaper this morning, I do not know if you know about it but I am sure you do ??? Anyhow I hope it is true.


Yes cobber it is 100% true, and an indication of how much influence the tiny Shooters and Fishers Party are having on the politics of access to public waters and lands. Note that, in the clipping above, ‘the Opposition’ refers to the NSW Labor Party. That bunch have thrown their lot in with the greenies, at the exact time Australia’s mood is changing. And here’s how much it’s changing. Wayne from Warringah Anglers writes:

For those of you that missed the news last night, the Fishers and Shooters Party have been working away at the government little by little and have come back an amazing gift for us Fishos. The Party has managed to give us back 85km of fishing grounds that we were locked out of. Thanks must go to them and receive our support for our fishing future. Refer to the attached press release from Robert Brown of the Shooters and Fishers Party.


Exactly, Wayne. And here’s what it all means in practice. Thanks to Marc Sams for sending:

The Marine Parks Authority is gone. Steve Larsson sends this update:


If Labor are upset, the Greens are in a white hot fury:

‘Biggest threat to marine environment is now the O’Farrell govt.’ Have you ever heard such nonsense? Lads, please- just one or two lines of thanks, to those who do SO MUCH for us:


Robyn Parker MP, Minister for the Environment:

Robert Brown MLC, Chairman of the Fishing Inquiry:

Katrina Hodgkinson, Minister for Fisheries:


But the best was yet to come. Fitz was first with the exciting news from WA:

Here’s video:






Personal Explanation



The Hon. ROBERT BROWN, by leave: I wish to make a statement to explain possibly having misled the House last night in my adjournment speech on the Western Australian election results. In that speech I said that the Shooters and Fishers Party had won a seat in the Western Australian upper House and that it looked as though it would not win a second seat. I can inform the House that on current figures it appears as though the Shooters and Fishers Party may be about to win that second seat.


Mr David Shoebridge: Leave is withdrawn.


The PRESIDENT: Order! The Hon. Robert Brown will resume his seat. Leave has been withdrawn.


Leave withdrawn.


Incredible. I’ve known Rob Brown for a long time. Here we are surveying the kit ahead of a week’s deer stalking and trout fishing in New Zealand, maybe twenty years ago:

Proud to be his friend, and even prouder to think of what he and his team have accomplished in the face of incredible hostility from the media, from other political parties - and even some people on our own side. Lads, if you’re thinking about getting involved, if you want to put something back in to the sport that’s given us so much, or if you understand how important the federal election on September 14th will be, get in touch with Shooters and Fishers. These people deliver results. At the end of the day, it’s results that count. Not promises or consultation. Results. Until next week, thanks for your pics, reports and support,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director