Friday 18th July 2014

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

The big news this week is the run of tuna, off Sydney. Jason Hotop:



Hi mate, good and bad day on the water yesterday (Wednesday 16th) to say the least! After hearing about SBT being caught on Tuesday we fuelled the boat and shot out wide yesterday. By 11am we had a triple hook up and landed all three. Estimated at 50kgs and 2 @ around 70kgs. About 3 hours later we had a quadruple hook up, all landed and in the 90kg range (attached is a photo of one). So the day went 7,7,7 with 4 kept and 3 released. All within 5-10NM SE of Browns Mountain. Great fishing, shame the boat then lost all power around 4 pm and we had to sit in a 30knot Westerly broad side, 25 miles from Sydney for 3 hours in the complete dark until Police towed us home (they were fantastic by the way), finally getting back to Sydney around 11pm. What a day!!


Mate you have got me so fired up! Clearing the decks and assembling the tackle for a run early next week, when the wind backs off. Matt Cassar out there on Thursday 17th July, he deserves a medal for fishing in such dirty weather:



Still on the way in from Browns got a nice 25kg-30kg yellow fin no blue fin today very wet and wild out here a very slow trip back


Beautiful fish Matt! Fingers crossed we do half as well, next week. With planning underway I phoned Jason for advice, and in his usual helpful way he sent some lure recommendations:



Just a follow up on our conversation earlier and your enquiry re lures. On both occasions we hooked up this lure went off. Bought one today for my boat on special at BCF for $29. Also dark purple skirted (approx 6") Pakula lures were effective (green one not touched first time but hit second session). Also red/white laser pro got hit. All trolled at 8 knots. Good luck next week.


Excellent! Very grateful, Jase, will follow your advice. Ross Hutton out wide too but deep dropping, not trolling:



Clunker bassy from today (Tuesday 15th)  caught south of Browns 60kg


Big bass groper, Ross! Well done. We were out there on Tuesday too but parked right on top of Browns. The gemfish spawning run has started, here’s Dan with a good one on our Tanacom 750 combo:



On the way out we passed over Twelve Mile and checked in with Kevin Olsen, who was jigging there with a first timer mate. His tiller steer boat such a weapon, if conditions suit. That’s him on the right:



Just as we arrived the New Bloke hooked up, and I managed to get pretty much the whole fight on video:



Still having interpretation issues with the new HDS-7 but if fish are about it’s not hard to confirm:



Those high bait balls at 40-60 metres are a guaranteed promise of kingfish. Forget dropping all the way to the bottom.  Just count five colours down in your colour change braid and start jigging. Worked for us:



Not big kingfish, but plenty there:



Jigging’s hot, at the moment. Great weather forecast for next week on the east coast so if you can get a day off work, go for it. And stop by here on Saturday or Sunday if you want to check out gear? I’ll be working all weekend and fishing midweek, given the local forecast:



Jake Coxon jigging. When it’s on, you gotta go – if you can:



Kingfish dominating the offshore reefs, knife jigs doing the damage!


Dave and Ben out there too. As I discovered years ago, fresh kingfish have an aphrodisiac affect. Look at these lovebirds. Just out for a walk – but started grappling like bandicoots as soon as they got downwind of the cleaning table:



Hi Andy, after seeing your midweek report we had a quick (pretty unsuccessful) bait stop and then punched straight out to twelve mile to catch high tide. I thought it was going to be crowded but we shared it with three other boats and found that the edge of the reef was holding bait and kings. All but one fell to jigs and new addition to the boat Ryan more than doubled his lifetime kingfish tally and picked his first one up on a jig. Me and Ben also had a ball. I hope that they are still there next week!



Excellent, Dave! Some good ones there. Trent wrote for some tips on fishing Texas Reef, off the NSW central coast. Top spot in early autumn because just south of the reef there’s a giant trap field meaning that, after a jig session, you can have a ball chasing dolphin fish there. This time of year it’s kings only, which suited Trent just fine:


G'day Andy, looking at doing a push to Texas Reef tomorrow and giving your 250g jigs a go. Any chance of any marks or advice you might have for that area? I have the standard fishnet mark but it looks like a big area. Good luck tomorrow if you’re heading out.


Hello mate, there is no extended hard reef, at Texas. It’s a plateau with little bumps and pinnacles holding the fish. A bit like Allmark. What you do up there is drive around with the rods ready and the sounder optimised for the depth. When good marks are spotted, save that waypoint, then return to it for a drop at the appropriate distance after having taken rate and direction of current or wind into account.



G'day Andy, your advice was spot on. Managed 10 fish between 70 and 80 cm with your jigs out fishing the livies 8 to 2. There was virtually no bait around Texas so finding the fish was hard work but when we found a good mark your jigs did the rest. Thanks again for the info.


Anytime bloke, glad to be of help. With bluefin and yellowfin on the boil most inquiries this week have understandably been for heavy tuna gear. Clients tell us the usual 24 kilo gear can take hours to get these big fish in, especially if big swells and seas make the fight even more difficult than usual.

So I recommend our 37 kilo combo being the Daiwa Saltiga SA-B 56HF-DD bent butt rod at $240 (in the combo) and our 80 Wide 2-speed lever drag reel fitted with carbontex drags  at $470.

We prespool the reel with one thousand metres of 80-pound mono and set the drag at 12 kilos. Total $710 for rod reel and line:




The rod is a 2-piece and can be posted, so of course can the reel. This combo can also be used for deep dropping at Browns - if you have someone to share the winding. J I’ve even fitted a rotating rod holder to my gunwale so the rod can point in the direction of the running fish, ‘Wicked Tuna’ style. Here’s a ten second video:



Many readers with more time and money than yours truly heading north, for the winter. Piero and son Alex stopped by for tackle a couple of weeks ago, ahead of a Cairns trip. Sounds like all went well:



Just got back from our fishing adventure in Cairns and what an experience. We fished a couple of days on Blackout and landed some great fish. Our biggest GT was 22kg although we were smoked by a couple of 30kg plus numbers.



We also managed to get onto  a school of Queenfish with every cast landing a fish over a metre. My son Alex landed the biggest fish, a 1.5 metre Cobia. We weren't able to land any Spanish Mackerel as were bitten off every time. Andrew they loved your knife jigs.


By crikey I could go for some of that, Piero! So over packing the beanie and gloves aboard. Sam Hunter took the flyrod to Weipa, so jealous of that excursion too:



To boating, and doesn’t this make you mad? Mel Bailey writes:



Stolen from NSW SES South West Rocks Unit - sometime over the weekend - V hull flood rescue boat. Anyone with information please call crime stoppers on 1800 333 000.


Please keep your eye out for this one? Not the only disaster this week, Leo Yu sent a pic from Bobbin Head. Are these endless car sinkings for real? I know this spot well. No gradient, so it could not roll into the water. The car would have to go over the gutter, then cross a grassy strip, then up and over a low stone wall.



Hi Andrew, spotted this right next to the bridge at Bobbin Head at lunchtime


The other wacky news this week is the barramundi run in Sydney’s icy Harbour. Phil Dunne:



Hey Andy the Barra are going off in the Parra ATM. Got three the other day


He! Breaking out the gold Bombers, Phil. Ben Foster made a discovery in Middle Harbour:



Hey Andy, found this guy dead in MH this avo. Any idea how he might of got there??




For those interested in our GPS Tracker some good news. Michael writes:



Good Morning Andrew, very interested in your findings re the GPS tracker.  One question I have is the battery life?  Is it wired to the vessel battery to ensure its operable?  Once you have completed the R & D I am sure this will be a good seller for you - I know I'll be putting one on my personal boat, really enjoy your newsletters - ONE day I'll get up your way and fish that Browns Mountain!!


Three options, Michael! SIM card, internal battery and a charger are supplied with the Tracker. Each battery gives about 10 days use, and the Tracker sends you an SMS when battery life falls to 5%:



That’s a good option if you normally have the boat stored somewhere safe, but you’re towing it on holidays to a place you’re not so sure about. But when your boat is parked out the front of the house for months on end (like most are) it needs continuous 12 volts. So either hard wire it to the boat battery or, connect to the 12 volt 7amp/hour battery pack we supply for electric reels. Our estimate is this unit will give the Tracker 220 days of power:



The Tracker will fit under the canvas flap so everything’s in one package. Stow it anywhere the Tracker can see the sky and you’re done. I’m putting mine in the anchor well. The battery is supplied with 12 volt and 240 volt rechargers included for $39:



Total price all up around $100. Send me an email if you’d like to see the owner’s manual and decide if it’s for you?



To politics, and readers know the scorn I bear for greenies and animal libbers. Why wouldn’t you be scornful of people so ready to condemn, yet so ignorant of the facts? Check this out. Greenie fusspot Penny Bachand is enraged to discover that film director Steven Spielberg has hunted down the last Triceratops on earth. It must be the last one because they became extinct 66 million years ago. Apologies for the bad language in Penny’s Facebook post:



Here’s Penelope Bachand. If only she’d spend as much effort on dental care as she does on condemning others:



But that won’t happen because, with greenies it’s all about feeling morally superior, never about their results. These parasites cost us billions per year, yet Australia has the worst record of species loss on Earth. And only wealthy Westerners could be so up themselves as to think that fining someone for boating near a humpback whale, or driving a Prius,  means they are ‘saving the planet.’ Now the rolled gold hypocrites from Sea Shepherd have been fined - $15000, a slap on the wrist – for spilling up to 500 litres of diesel into Cairns harbour. Thanks to reader Perry, for the heads up:



Yet if there’s one thing worse than greenies like Penny, it’s greenie scientists. The science is solely in support of the agenda and actual observations take a back seat to bodgy computer modelling. Peasants like us who are actually out on the water all the time are ignored. That’s how we got insanity like their grey nurse shark campaign, Peter Garrett’s ban on fishing for makos, the declaration of green eyed sharks as endangered, etc, etc.


One of their primary targets of attack is deepwater fishos. ACORF even considered a ban on electric reels at one point, to their utter shame. And when, a few months ago, the NSW Fisheries Scientific Committee announced that they were seeking to declare gemfish an endangered species, we weren’t particularly surprised. The fact that mako sharks eat more gemfish each day around this country than the recreational take all year didn’t matter. The fact that gemfish size and numbers show a spectacular increase every year didn’t matter. The fact that from July to October you can turn on your sounder at Browns Mountain and register a solid band of gemfish, at times 100+ metres thick, schools containing hundreds of thousands of fish, didn’t matter. Check this sounder pic showing countless gemmies at 500 metres:



And these Fisheries scientists are so dishonest they’ve even scrubbed a five year old page on the ‘rebuild of gemfish stocks’ from the Commonwealth Fisheries Management website. Note the Web address:


The carbon tax repealed in Canberra yesterday and that’s relevant, to the proposed gemfish restrictions. Why? Climate change scientists rorted research (particularly the tree ring data, and the infamous ‘hockey stick’) so they could ‘hide the decline.’ Then they fed dishonest data into computer modelling programs to come up with ridiculous predictions on everything from rising seas drowning Pacific islands, to polar bears needing sunblock.  In the case of gemfish, anyone who’s out on the water knows there are bigger fish and more of them, every year. So how could NSW Fisheries scientists say that numbers are falling and  more catch restrictions are needed to *save* the gemfish? Just like with climate warmies Michael Mann and Tim Flannery, their gemfish doomsday scenarios are based on computer modelling. Here’s a graph from the Atlantis computer program forecasting not rising temperatures but rising gemfish numbers, if restrictions are introduced. What nonsense:



Anyone who has actually been to Browns Mountain in winter time knows that gemfish are not threatened, they are thriving. So I sent a Freedom of Information application to NSW Fisheries, asking whether any of the scientists involved had actually been to Browns Mountain.


I didn’t expect an honest response. The real intent was to show the contempt they have for an obvious reasonable question. And that was proved beyond a doubt. The FOI lady eventually phoned to say she would soon be sending the response. When I asked her why it had taken so long, when the Act says a response must be supplied within six weeks, she replied that the six weeks means working days only. Which gives you an idea of the arrogance these people display, not for just us fishos but for the law of the land. The official response is below, note that the date she’s shown is out by over a month:



No answer at all because they know that, to answer, would show them up for the lazy frauds they are. Where to from here? To the Ombudsman. That option’s worked really well, in the past. It’s just sad that the NSW Fisheries Scientific Committee is stacked with Penny Bachand types. Will keep you informed because if they get away with this gemfish scam what other popular rec species will be next on their list?


Lads, in closing, can I thank our contributors from the bottom of my heart? It’s you blokes who provide the pics, the reports, the tackle recommendations that nearly five thousand readers enjoy each week. And if you haven’t sent anything in previously, it would be great to hear from you. Especially from SA or WA, we want to hear from you. It doesn’t have to be about some giant fish. Anything and everything relevant to fishing, boating, or the fight for our right to fish is of great interest. Until next week,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director