Wednesday 20 JUNE 2012

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

G’day lads,


Confession time. The lack of kingfish around Sydney has been REALLY getting me down. So when Mike H wrote of his success on Sunday, it meant a big lift in mood here at Downrigger HQ:

The 3 days i had booked in Cairns were unfortunately ruined by the weather. I was unable to get out to the Reef but did manage a day in the estuary with Kerry from "Blackout Sports Fishing" and got a nice 75cm Barra.


Was once again greeted with some rubbish weather when i returned to Sydney and a broken rod tip in transit! it took us until yesterday to sneak out for a fish. We picked a little gap in the weather and headed out to 100-110m to jig and live bait for some kings. Lost our baits jigs to LJ's in the first 2 it was all going to be jigging! We found some good patches of fish and landed 7 fish in the 70 - 90cm range. Majority of fish on your jigs! We got smoked by 3 or 4 unstoppable fish...which was frustrating and exciting at the same time.


Are you around this week for a re stock of jigs, 50lb and maybe a new rod?


Great to hear that they are back, and nice to have a catch up today Mike. Quite sure you’ll be very pleased with your new jigging rod. On the topic of jigging, I’ve just written an article for this months’ edition of The Boat Mag. Just click here and scroll to page 26 if it’s of interest.

Are you ready for Reds?


f you’ve ever wanted a big one, just call the man and book in. Carolyn and I stayed at the Wooli Hotel in a really nice modern room that was cheap as chips, and late check out (2.00PM) after I got back from fishing was no problem at all.

Just by the way lads there’s no benefit for me, financially or otherwise, in making these recommendations. I do it only because I’ve given it a try myself, paid full freight, and had a ball. Any snapper’s a good snapper so send in any pics you’ve got. As my old girlfriends used to tell me, size doesn’t matter. J








Just sensational, Stan.


The other big news is the southern bluefin run, at Bermagui.  Al writes:


good stuff buddy got stuck into the bluefin yesterday best fish 69kg lots of 50-60s. The guys from SOMUCHFISHING caught bloody and we managed one - on fires mcglashan!


is it $70 post included right ?  i'll eft  it now and should be in your account tomorrow

 cheers, bret

 btw we have caught quite a few bluefin on them in the last two years. Heres one from Sunday (on a lure not a jig ) … we fought a monster on one for four hours last year but lost it when the "XXXX" reel carked it. Needless to say we don’t use them (that brand of reel) anymore…. I'll have a look through the photos to see if there is one with the jig hanging out of its mouth.


Please do champ because I would kill to see a pic of a nice SBT, caught on one of our jigs. Thanks for your order, too. Lads, the SBT are on fire. Don’t miss out this year, send an email around your mates, put a crew together and book in with Bret. Our Jervis Bay reporter Dave T says that despite the dirty weather, there’s been a few fish around:


Hi Andrew, not much action on the water with the terrible weather but a few hardy souls have been out. Steven and his mate caught these  ... a few bream and a 7and an 8kg groper off Plantation Point using black crabs gathered from the rocks at Wollamia boat ramp. A couple of other groper just straightened out the hooks and left. Have not heard of groper being caught on black crab before, usually they prefer red crab so l've been told!!!!


The off shore lads went down to Batemans Bay and at 2 thousand fathoms caught 5 Blue Fin Tuna , the largest being 69kgs and a 59, 57kgs and couple of smaller ones. They got back to Murrays ramp at 10.30pm and it took until 4am to clean the fish and then finish the filleting after a well earned rest.  Sorry no pictures...we were asleep!!!

 Regards from Sunny??? Jervis Bay, Dave and Kate


Beautiful! Pass on to that successful fisho that it’s one groper over 60cm, Dave?

I’m calling the one on the right for 59.5cm, best for him to be careful next time.

Andy W was driving through Melbourne this week, and spotted an interesting seafood offer:

The board reads:






     line caught




A Victorian Spaniard. Looks like global warming’s happening faster than we thought! Next week, prime Tasmanian coral trout, on special. To warmer temperatures, and Chris W has been in Broome:


What a ripper, they go so hard. The jealousy, it burns! Thanks heaps for sending, Chris

 I fished Nam with Mister Cobia on Sunday. No fish, due to the murky water after all the rain, but we did have a heart stopping moment – a whale passed literally 2-3 metres under our 4.8m boat, off Nambucca. Here's a pic of the wake:










It was a close call.

 Pat Little is living the dream, up north:


Andrew, we have moved to Gladstone a couple of months ago and are just starting to have a look around. Mostly fishing the Calliope River at the moment.


I thought I would send you a couple of fish (blue salmon, queen fish and a Barra) we have got over the last week or so, the queenie was on one of your $99 outfits with the light braid, I am not quite sure the rod and reel was made for this but it handled it well. I brought a couple for when I take our nieces and nephews out but I couldn’t help myself and I thought I would see how they go.


At the moment we have found live bait is working best but we have a got a few queenies on lures.


The Barra went a metre and we let it go after a couple of pictures. Whilst a bit windy lately the temperatures been good with nights around 10-12 and days mid-twenties. Talk soon, Patrick


Double WOW. Some absolute beauties there Pat, and great to hear from you too. Glad the little outfit works so well for you. Please keep in touch mate, it looks like you’ve got the place wired already. To politics, and a huge response to the article on the angler hate opinion piece, in Rock Itt magazine.

Mike Gleeson writes:


I read the article and was absolutely horrified by this complete load of rubbish. I am sending a letter to the editor and author. Thanks Andy.


Excellent, Mike.

Peter C:

As a member of Sydney Anglers I was extremely disappointed to read the opinion piece attacking fishermen in this month’s Rock Itt magazine. To view the picture comparing our sport with the slaughter of dolphins in Japan is simply disgraceful. Could I respectfully ask that you reconsider advertising in Rock Itt?


Too right it’s disgraceful and well done, Pete.



Hank from Warringah Anglers writes:


Amazingly over half the references you gave have fishing clubs associated with them: the Collaroy RSL Beach Club (Seahorses), the Time & Tide (WAC - us), Manly Fishos (Bluefish), Balgowlah RSL, Terry Hills Tavern, The Newport Arms (major non aligned club) and tied to the Dee Why Hotel (which used to have a formidable R & B based fishing club) via the owning family licensees - the Bayfields.  I'll get our people to bombard these establishments and also to get the contacts I have at the other fishing clubs whose sponsors advertise to bombard their own sponsoring pub / club.  Sadly this one is easy.


Please do Hank, if the angler haters are ignored they’ll only get bolder. Wayne:


You would have thought the Editor or others would have better control over things like that. Not a good way to keep sponsors. I noticed that there wasn't just 2 pages, there are others that go into animal welfare as well. I notice that one of the byliners that has a couple of pages also, is a vegetarian which explains most of the c#ap that was written. You have to feel sorry for them in the poor type of world that they live in. But then again, I don't.


Plenty of responses from the magazines’ principal advertisers, too:


Hi Andrew, you are speaking to a boat owner who is not opposed to a piece of fish now and again. I fear that if I were to take a stand and remove my advertisement from the Rock It magazine I would have to stop advertising our entertainment all together. From time to time all news papers local or metropolitan will carry some opinion pro life or otherwise. What we need are people to read between the lines. Speak of that I hope all yours are tight.


He he he. No need to stop advertising in Rock Itt, just an email to the editor will suffice.  From a major advertiser in the magazine:


I have just read the article and I totally agree. I have forwarded your email and a request to the editor that he should print an apology letter in the next issue.


Thank you! I would like to sincerely congratulate all our readers who had a go. Don’t think for a moment that this is a minor matter. The big story is of course (Federal Environment Minister) Burke’s declaration of 44 marine parks, in Western Australia:

Regular readers of our little report will recall that, two years ago, Enviro Minister, Peter Garrett banned fishing for mako sharks, then immediately took off overseas for six weeks holiday. Burke tried the same caper last week, announcing the marine lockups and then trying to bail for the Rio greenie gab fest. The timing was intentional, allowing Burke to both avoid criticism and media blow back here, while at the same time big noting himself in Brazil as to his greenie successes. Like so many other disasters it all blew up in his face, with the Opposition refusing to pair him in Parliament, meaning he had to stay and face the music. We start our round up of responses with Recfishwest’s take, on the lockups:

None, Dr Rowland. This is about political benefits – greenie preferences, at next year’s election. Geoff Ruse from Newcastle Ecofishers gets it right:


See attached for Federal Marine Park zoning, please remember virtual sanctuary zones are disguised under the terms like, special use zones, special purpose zones etc.etc.


Notice that there are virtually no restrictions around our capital cities where the majority our the population might be effected and therefore Labor might get even more hammered by voter backlash. Too bad for those who chose to leave the cities for a quieter life or those who just grew up in our regional towns and villages. Too bad also for those who want to get away to the good life in the future, or for their vacations.


I was part of the so called consultation, this single meeting to cover all Newcastle and the Hunter Valley consisted of twelve people, and we were told what was going to happen, they would not sit with us and map out any compromise. The so called consultation was a scam, planned meetings purely to lie to the public about our involvement in the decision making process.


Exactly, Geoff. The WA government is ropeable:




The truth is that recreational anglers have been flipped the bird(ie) by Labor in a desperate bid to curry favour with green voters and keep its powerful partners in the Greens Party happy.


Good one, Scott. Is there anyone left who thinks this is about the environment? Hank’s insightful take on the declarations:


The Tony Burke Commonwealth Marine Parks plan is just gobsmackingly staggering.  It looks just like a kid's colouring in book with join the dots.  Greenie Agenda: Get this stage 1 through.  Wait for a couple of years, making warm fuzzy murmurs about how great it all was and how it is achieving all its (unable to be measured in reality) goals and targets.  Ensure dissenters who protest by fishing are prosecuted to the maximum extent of the law.  Wait for the fishing population to get used to being excluded from our traditional fishing grounds.  Now bring in a second set of marine parks joining up several of the dots to make even greater total area Marine Parks than the Coral Sea + Great Barrier Reef Marine park. Trumpet what a top achievement this is for the environment.  Wait and repeat every 2 - 3 years until there is no more fishing rights to anyone in Australia.


WA Greenies want more marine parks already Hank, 44 aren’t enough:


MEDIA RELEASE   Released Thursday, June 14, 2012


Marine parks proposal welcome but more needed: Greens



Yep, that’s the pic she chose for her home page. Imagine the ones she rejected J. Meantime our self-appointed  ‘angling leaders’ are slamming the politicians who have fought so hard and so long, to stop these declarations. Jim Harnwell, on his Fishing World blog, announced only ten days ago that the marine park plans were ‘in limbo’:



Then got stuck into the Coalition, our only hope of overturning the marine park closures:


It has to be said that the Coalition has so far failed to adequately differentiate between rec and commercial fishing. Instead it appears to be favouring a "one stop" solution to the issue – ie, a populist approach based on opposing the Burke plans while not really offering any alternative strategies or policies.


Then attacked Senator Colbeck – who fought so hard and successfully, to overturn the mako fishing ban – and Senator Boswell, who was fighting greenies when Mr. Harnwell was in Kimbies:


This is disappointing to a degree as any angler with an eye to the future realises that phasing out unsustainable industrial fishing operations is key if we want to develop viable sport fisheries. Senators Colbeck and Boswell don't seem willing, at this stage anyway, to adopt that line of thinking.


The minute they adopt your line of thinking we’ve lost, Jim. On the topic of unsustainable industrial fishing operations, your pal Burke approved the FV Margiris fishing in Australian waters. There’s a petition website to fight that now, and thanks to Trevor for sending me information about it. Heading for 3000 signatures already:



This line from Harnwell beggars belief:



44 marine parks, Geoff Ruse says the consultation was a scam, but Burke is ‘listening to angler concerns.’ Here’s Harnwell post limbo, on June 14th:



But the federal Environment Minister has lessened the blow by avoiding closures around major population areas in southern Queensland, NSW and Victoria. ... Angling leaders now see working with the Government on the format of the management plans as the main challenge. Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation spokesman Allan Hansard said the Government should seriously rethink the plan in the context of access to marine reserves for Australia's recreational anglers.


Brave Tony Burke ‘bowing to pressure’, from the Greens. And angling leaders, ‘working with the government.’ Jim, you, Allan and Martin got all giddy about your imagined influence with Burke:

And your trips to Canberra:


He threw you some funding, and used you like groupies:


You want to lead? Then lead. Talk to those who are fighting the lockups and actually have some runs on the board – like Colbeck, and Boswell. Don’t run them down on your blog, or anywhere else. Work with those who have scored wins which benefit our fraternity – like the Shooters & Fishers’ Borsak and Brown, whose Marine Parks Moratorium Bill gave us five year’s breathing space. But most importantly tell Burke to stick his funding where the sun don’t shine:

Put your energy and intelligence into the fight against marine parks, not into apologising for Burke. He’ll be gone at the next election, I’d hate to see your credibility go with him. What’s to be done, my friends? Here’s what the government’s saying now:



My name is Peter Fitzgerald, I have financially supported Sea Shepherd since 2008, both with support at fund raisers, handing out pamphlets, writing letters to the paper supporting the anti-whaling cause, and placing a couple of coin collection cans at a couple of shops in Bunbury..


It was seeing whales often when I was at sea in Geographe Bay when I was fishing that brought me to Sea Shepherd, and it’s ironic that fanatical American based PEW ideology will cause me to stop supporting Sea Shepherd because of the green push to ban me from catching a feed of fish in my back yard. I am sure that Sea Shepherd will, and has lost any support from the West Australian amateur fishing community for supporting the Gillard-Green marine no-take lock up areas in Western Australia.


What cash and coins I have collected up to today the 16/06/2012 will be forwarded onto Sea Shepherd, but as of tomorrow, I will be withdrawing my coin cans from the Bunbury area. I will be continuing to oppose the Labor-Green no take zones, and will be supporting the Shooters and fishers party in the 2013 election. I resign from Sea Shepherd.


Well done Pete, you’re a man of principle. Please – send us some pics and a short report, on how the Fremantle meeting goes this Saturday? The motivation behind the marine park lockups is political, and our response must be political. In next week’s report we’ll have two draft letters our readers might consider copying and sending, to their local MP. Sorry to bombard you with politics this week but these marine parks are a big deal and if we don’t fight them we’ll be locked out forever. Until next week, thanks to all our readers, and double special thanks to those who take the time to contribute reports, pics, and political opinions to this little newsletter. Please don’t stop! Cheers,