Friday 19th July 2013

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

The killer smiles on so many dials, when the weather lets us get offshore! Paul Johnston:



Another great day off Crowdy Head yesterday (Sunday) with light winds to no swell. We headed the 38kms out and jigged kings in around 170m of water with the best going just under the metre at 98cms. We ended up with 8 kings and left them biting to chase Bar Cod. We then headed further south and landed a few small Bar Cod before returning for a few more kings. 2nd drop to the bottom with bait I landed this great 17kg Bar Cod.


Beautiful! Grateful for your report, Paul. Sean Morgan fished off SWR on Wednesday:



First drop of the jig in 150m I nailed this kingie; 85cm. Fought every inch to the boat. Drift #3 gave up another kingie, smaller at 70cm, but still a nice fat rat. Terry hit a couple of smaller bar cod and then we got nailed by the dreaded leather jackets. A jig or two, a few circle hooks and a couple of kilos of lead later we decided to try wider in 350m with the electrics.



The NE picked up and we couldn’t hold bottom with the 1kg sinkers we were using, so decided to call it quits.


Excellent. The mid winter doldrums so good, for getting wide. I left a carton of heavy sinkers out for Nathan Halliday before heading up to Port, on Friday night. He put them to good use:



Hi Andy, thanks for those sinkers. I’m happy to say they came in hand and did the job for us! We left Roseville around 5am and like the rest of Sydney headed straight out to Browns. We had 5 Gemmies up and landed within about half an hour of arriving. We then trolled NE from browns for about 20km looking for Tuna of any variety. Unfortunately no hits at all but from the radio chatter it didn’t sound like anyone was finding them. We got back in to Roseville around 2pm. Looks like a few Blue fin turned up later in the evening but didn’t hear of anyone getting on to them in the morning. First time we have been out to Browns so we were pretty pleased with ourselves. I must say the fish were magnificent eating!



The sizzlin' goodness of Nathan Halliday’s gemfish steaks. Anyone else discovering that gemfish are the Food Of Love, or is it just me? Rowwwrr. J Sydney's keenest fisho (or at least in the top five!) Bruce Rayment was of course out there doing it, both days:


Hi Andrew, fished both days over the weekend off Sydney. Saturday set a new PB for a family fishing trip off Sydney venturing in excess of 40nm offshore to Heatons Hill without finding any Bluefin.



Ventured out again on Sunday in the best conditions I've seen off Sydney in some months. Got our bag limit of Gemfish at Browns in a few drops. Got sharked a couple of times as well.


Not surprised ol’ buddy, the way the gemfish run is getting bigger every year. Can you imagine the burley trail of milt and eggs created when thousands of those big puppies are spawning, at Browns? It must pull in makos from Nowra and beyond. Kayden fished Browns and brought home some giant gemfish:



Blimey, you could throw a saddle on those beasts. Some typically generous feedback from client and friend Chris Adams:



it was great seeing you at browns last week with Jay and crew, As you know fishing Browns Mountain is one of the most exciting unpredictable fishing locations around all made very easy and loads of fun with your BIG 80W electric reel, I am on my fifth season this year and it’s never missed a beat I love it and appreciate it being exactly what you told me it would be JUST PERFECT thanks again are some great gem fish I and three great mates caught all from one mark at browns and a big mako also........



Glad to hear it’s still going strong after five seasons because, after what you’ve put it through, I’m always expecting the reel to fall apart like the Bluesmobile:



Readers, do yourself a favour and click on the link below? Chris winds big mako sharks right up to the transom on his 80 Wide electric reel then, teaches them some manners:


Regular contributor and expert fisho Chris Wienholt had a memorable session last week:



Hi Andrew, managed to get out last Thursday to target bluefin- What a day!! Fished well wide of Heatons (with most of Sydney) for some great fish. All were taken on the troll, with big schools on the surface. None were weighed but the largest was estimated in the vicinity of 100kg. Up past 1am cleaning and cutting but everyone went home happy with a swag full of bluefin steaks


Yet another of your angling accomplishments Chris, I admire you mate. To points south and Barry Preston and son fished off Kiama, bringing home this beaut bluefin and plenty of tasty albacore for the table:



hi Andrew here are a few pics one is youngest son mitchell preston with blue fin 61 kg off jb 30-6-13 the other is my grandson with his first alby 5.5 kg on 8kg line 16-7-13 off currarong 800 fa on a pilly riley preston cheers barry



That’s fantastic, little Riley fishing wide with Team Preston. Keep us up to date on his angling accomplishments, Barry? Captain Roscoe hosted some VIPs aboard 'Signa', this week. Hogwarts gamekeeper Rubeus Hagrid, and supermodel Miranda Kerr:



For a big fish report from Tuna Town, we turn to Mark Way from Kiama GFC:



Sondal took ProFishEnt out and did a big run from Kiama to Browns Mt wide and struck an 8 way hook up (some spool jobs & bust off's-they only had 3 anglers on board) that resulted in 3 over 100kg (100;124.5 & 131kg) with Scott Brown getting the biggest.



Big Eye Tuna record to Tim Monck on Xiphias with a 57.5kg tuna that took a squid bait 100m down on another over nighter on weekend. Matt Noferi is certainly coming up with some Club first after a good run on Broadbills.


Amazing! Looks like a scene from Wicked Tuna, what a season some blokes are having. Big news from Sydney too with friends Eddie, Ben and Jay finding two big bluefin and boating one. Ben’s great pics tell the story:



Hey Andy, went out on Saturday with Jay, Ed and Mike and with Ed's expertise we were able to find some fin after I have been trying to get one for 3 seasons.




We found them 10nm ne of Heatons in 19.5 degrees but it wasn't the best time to hook up on them because we were running low on fuel but man they put up one hell of a fight on 24kg, I drew the short straw and had to use the spare Surecatch gimbal and harness while Jay had the luxurious Black Magic set. I fought my fish for 5.5 hours while Jay gave Mike a turn, after my fish was gaffed the drag on the other reel was pushed to sunset as we had to get home soon with the drift pushing us 1.4nm an hour north. Mike put another 30 minutes of sunset drag onto the fish but he was losing strength quick so Ed took over and put some hurt onto the fish but it was inevitable once the fish took another run and busted us off.



My fish went 84.3 kgs at the Sydney Game Fishing Club. Special thanks goes to Ed for getting us out there and especially getting me onto my first sbt, thanks again. Cheers, Ben


Fantastic mate and congratulations to you and the whole crew, I know how hard you worked for that achievement. It goes without saying how grateful I am for your killer pics and report too. Our Man in The Sand Dave T brings home the tasty from Jervis Bay:



Hi Andrew, we had a bit of normal fishing,{bottom donging} on Saturday. Great weather ,calm seas and a feed to take home as well, all for 10 litres of fuel. Cheers from down south Dave and Kate


Flatties in the golden winter sunlight, good on you Dave. Yours truly headed to Newcastle on Friday night, all excited about my first run in Rod Coleman’s new Trophy to Allmark. Also aboard were Rod's son Hayden and mad keen Karuah fisho Ross McIntosh. Little Beach boat ramp in the half light of dawn and our first (and only) disappointment. The ramp completely covered in soft sand and at this time of tide, way too risky for launching:



Many other trailer boats having the same issue there. So typical of the NSW Maritime Minister to do nothing about this problem, while he spends literally hundreds of thousands of dollars on his obsessive life jacket wearing campaign. Finally launched at Soldier’s Point and off to Tomaree Head, for live bait.



Out to Allmark in some pretty unpleasant chop, mostly caused by localised squalls. The big plan for me was testing a new economy reel we’ve modified by adding carbontex drags, a ball reel knob, s/s bearings and colour change braid:



This barracouta first on the deck:




After a quiet hour or so we found a patch and Ross opened the account:



Nice Allmark king on a 300 gram jig:



But things weren’t on fire for us by any means. Eventually we figured the kings really wanted live bait, but we had brought less than ten out because, in the past, jigs have always worked so well. Matt O’Brien passed a net load of spares over to us, thanks Matt:



That got the hookup rate back on track:



Solid king for Rod:




Around twelve boats on station, by late morning. Plenty of kings being caught, and plenty of happy anglers enjoying a beautiful day offshore. Where else would you want to be?



A double for Rod and Hayden, as the south westerly starts to pick up:



With two each on ice we took an early mark and headed back into Port. Once inside I was hella impressed with Ross’s beautiful big Everol reel. Haven’t seen one for years, and rarely in this good a condition:



Last stop was at Nelson Bay Tackle to say hello. Friend Wazza is now the proprietor, good luck with your new business champ:



Thanks most sincerely to all the lads for a great day offshore. Steve Batishall out there too:





Hi Andy, we were in the unpainted custom ally boat and we also had more success with the livies. If you ask me you can't beat a slimy. Got 2 on jigs and 3 on livies but lost a couple on livies also. Steve.


Good O Steve and thanks for writing. Let’s get back there as soon as the weather allows? Eldest son Jeremy fished Browns same day, and hooked a solid gemfish using his light game outfit. Halfway up to the boat Mister Mako arrived:



That worked out as you’d expect. Craig Booth had difficulties finding gold but compensated with some red:



Hi Mate, went out yesterday north of Texas for a look but didn't find much with the jigs, only landed one rat. We had Yakkas & bait out as well and ended up with some nice Reds. Current was moderate from the north & temps about 19deg but very little sign of Kings.


Jim Fleming sends an amazing video. The Cyprus Cement freighter ploughs through a marina, crushing flybridge cruisers in its path. Horrifying but fascinating, thanks Jim:


Steve Jones rafts up with his besties after a tough day jigging and popping off Townsville. Thomas Aquinas said it best in the 13th century: 'envy according to the aspect of its object is contrary to charity.' Bang on, Tommy:



Dinnertime already? Pass me the goggles, I’ll be back in a moment:



Steve Jones, what a stirrer. I have plenty of Shimanos and do NOT endorse this message. But it's still funny:




To politics, and I’m guessing ‘self funded south Strathfield retiree Kevin Hegner’ is a fisho. Here’s what he told the Daily Telegraph about Tony the Phony’s move from the Fisheries portfolio, to Immigration:



Go, Kevin! Received an envelope with no sender ID this week and when I opened it, discovered it contained a big guide to the new South Australian marine parks. Horrible!! They’ve made the boundaries so complicated that in many cases you’ll never be quite sure as to whether your fishing spot is legal, or not. Here’s the boundary key on the map, a warning to us all as to how bad it can get:




Randwick Council in Sydney now wants to ban trailer boats parked on streets. These nanny state wankers sicken me:



Will NSW Maritime Minister stand up to Randwick mayor Bowen on behalf of boaties? Not. A. Chance. Yet with boating and fishing under attack from the NSW government some natural leaders have appeared, to defend our recreational rights. One of those is Mark Winser. He’s opposing Manly Council’s plan to shut down the only boat ramp east of the Spit. Thanks for all you’re doing, Mark:


Hi Andrew, wish I have been fishing a bit more but family commitments have been intruding! However thought your readers might be interested in a quick update regarding the ongoing battle to keep Little Manly Boat ramp open! Some of your readers may have heard that Manly Council have rezoned the two houses adjoining Craig Avenue car park/ramp from open space/public use to private residential so they can be sold off for development. There has been an ongoing protest ( and the group held a well-attended rally outside the Council chambers on Saturday where I spoke on behalf of recreational fishers and boaters. Up until now the majority of the protesters have been environmentalists so it was a bit interesting but the group seem to be happy with the idea that fishos are also interested in the same things, keeping public access, preserving the environment from over development etc etc. There seems to be a divide and conquer approach from Council, one week before the rally a sign suddenly appeared at the ramp:





A bit strange you may think? Have a look at the minutes of the Council’s foreshore committee for April (last) year:







The existing ramp is a bit rough and sandy and can be hard work solo especially in a sou east swell (nowhere to tie up etc.) and there is virtually no parking however it is the last harbour access for the northern beaches east of Roseville and gets a fair bit of use. Its proximity to good bait grounds and old standbys like Old Man’s Hat and North Head makes it very economical and quick also. If the houses get rezoned and sold off it won’t be long before the ramp goes, clearly this is what Manly Council are angling for.


Exactly, Mark. I’d put Manly Council on the same level as Randwick Council for trustworthiness. Namely, zero. Good on you for having a go! It’s blokes like you, Chris Wallis, Dan Bode, Geoff Parker, Les Palmer and Co. who are leading the fight against the war on our freedoms and, inspiring us all. Fishing has given us so much and now, we have to put something back.


Take a look at the pic of young Riley Preston above. Unless we get stuck in now, kids like him will never know the fishing experience we’ve enjoyed. They’ll be taxed, licensed, have their bag limits reduced, locked out, smothered with Green and red tape. Want to help Riley have the same angling opportunities we have? Complete the attached form, and mail it in. Thanks for reading and double special thanks to all our contributors, without whom this email report would just be a subject line. Until next week,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director