Thursday 20th June 2013

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

Big fish news is from western Victoria, this week. This 118.4kg bluefin caught in 30 metres of water at Julia Reef, near Portland:



Screen capture from the Portland boat ramp on Wednesday night. Big tuna frame there:



You can view the static cam here, always worth a look on weekends:





Closer to home, and Mitchell Burge sends a timely warning:



My fuel filter blocked at Browns this past weekend and I was a dead fish in the water. I carry basic hand tools and bypassed the filter which was only recently replaced and was soon on my way. Anyone heading out for these long trips should carry the basic tools.


Good advice, Mitch.


Sam Higgins scores a nice birthday present:



Andy, hit the Harbour this afternoon for my birthday with a couple of mates. Burleyed hard at sugarloaf and floated a pillie tail down and snagged this 70cm beauty. Kingies are few and far between for me so I was absolutely stoked!


Good one, Sam.


Unstoppable Raptor Man doesn't let rain and wind keep him at home:



Hi Andy, with all this bad weather I have had people cancel charters.

So myself and some mates have been fishing the Georges river with great results.



Fish have been in good numbers with over 35 blackfish a session and up to 36cm.

Matt reid Raptor Charters 0404880148


Excellent, mate! Blackies are my fallback option too.


Norm Midcalf targeted sheltered waters during the big blow:



Hi Andy I just got back from 4 days fishing Lake Mac(quarie) for sambo's there are so many up there it got tedious. Easily had 100 come over my gunnels from Friday to Monday There are a lot of stonking kingfish around the Island outside the bar too rough out there this time.




Rocket scores something special, off Forster:



Gidday Andrew, quick update on the fishing up our way and yes the winter stock is firing up as this pic shows. The Reds and Teraglin are around in good numbers as well. Just wish you and the wife well down Melbourne have a safe trip hope to see you soon cheers Rocket


Thanks Rocky! Wayne and Louise scored a top pearl perch too:



Hi Andy, Louise and I are currently at Wooli chasing snapper, here's a nice Pearlie Louise caught on Friday cheers Wayne


A lovely pair. Thanks for your best wishes, Rocky!



Carolyn and I had a ball at the Melbourne Boat Show, meeting clients from Victoria and Tasmania, and displaying the new folding boat. Lots of interesting sights including the new Evolution centre console, at the Show. Not my cup of tea because the seats and helm are set too far back, but it would make a great barra or flyfishing boat:



This wacky fishing wagon was quite a head turner:



Visiting client with a funny T shirt made us both laugh:



But the big news at the Show was the incredible level of interest in our folding boat project:



John E writes:


Hi Andrew, how do I find particulars of the "Pocket Rocket" boat. i.e. Dimensions (folded and put together), Weight (bits and total), Motor horsepower and cost as it looks like what I need to take away with the caravan.


Firstly, the boat will be the same length, being 3.3 metres. That works really well. Folded, about 85mm thick:




Here in NSW, a 5HP outboard means a boat license is not required. In combination with the fact that no trailer is required, the saving is several hundred dollars a year. But it’s not just the money. If you’ve ever had to take a number and wait at the RTA, to renew your trailer registration, and sat in front of ten glass windows where only two are manned, you’ll know time’s a factor  too.



So the situation is that we are proceeding with producing a prototype here in Australia – one that will incorporate some modifications for ease of assembly, and also reduce the weight. Will keep you updated via the weekly report!


Still in Vic, and Tony Jones sets me straight on the Geelong pier pic from a couple of weeks ago:



Your picture of Cunningham Pier in Geelong shown a crowd of anglers lining the edge of the pier were fishing for Warehou  Seriolella brama  (other common names Snotties, Snotgall Trevalla, Haddock, Sea Bream as well as others) The fish move in schools and it is like a Mexican wave as the school moves along the wharf and anglers haul in fish. At other times the school will cruise up and down the pier but not bite. Most anglers in the picture were using “Ned Kelly” rigs consisting of a long pole and the line tied to the end of the pole. It was set so that when a fish was hooked and the rod lifted the fish swung into the angler’s reach. These fish were very common all along the southern coast, Corio Bay at Geelong, Apollo Bay and Portland. The suggestion the anglers were catching Tommy Ruff is incorrect, while tommy ruff are found in Victoria waters they are generally small and not in large schools. The fish were available for anglers from May through until July with a shorter run of fish around Christmas. Unfortunately in the mid 1980’s commercial catches rose from about 1200 tonnes annually to almost 3500 tonnes annual for 1987 to 1989 and then over 4000 tonnes in 1990. At this time the inshore run of these fish disappeared and now they are rarely caught by anglers. Before the mid 1980’s cricket score catches by anglers could be made but unfortunately many were wasted and disposed off in the tip. In Portland the police were often called to direct traffic on and off the Lee Breakwater because so many anglers were keen to try their luck they were causing a traffic jam.


Thanks Tony! The knowledge and experience amongst our 4000+ readers is quite extraordinary.


To Western Australia, and whoever found this on their morning stroll got a surprise:




You gotta wonder how many giants are out there. Chris Daniel’s big Edencraft would make a great boat to chase blues with:



What a weapon, our big electric reel looks just right in the rod holder. Regular crew member Darryl is on a Scandinavian odyssey, squeezing in a cast or two whenever circumstances permit. He writes from Norway:



Also a picture of my new-found fishing mate from Poland who works on the North Sea Oilrigs. We shared a ledge for 30 mins in Bergen harbour where he caught two of these things called Saya apparently and good on the chew. He was dragging 40g metal slices through the water outlet from the Bergen Aquarium. I, who had no slices and was using a wobbly plastic thing with a spinner blade bought for zander, caught nothing. Ah well, at least I've fished in Norway. And I've got France and Spain and Malta to come! Hope Melbourne was good for you, Cheers, D



You’re amazing. Thanks, Daz!


Lloyd from Esprit Charters in Bermagui sends news of a fantastic achievement:


Hi Andrew, a shot of fly fisherman Frank Bluch from Victoria with a pending world record Alby on 2kg tippet that we got a couple of days ago on Esprit, out of Bermagui, after 1.5 hour fight. Frank holds 11 world records with 5 pending.



He reckons his greatest achievement was in North West Provence in Canada with a 30.5lb lake trout on 1kg tippet after 4.5 hours. The line broke when tested by the IGFA officials at 1.8lb. He is certainly a man of great endurance and patience. Our next record attempt will be on yellowfin and mako. Cheers Lloyd, Esprit Charters Bermagui




Here’s the details, please contact Anthony if you know or see anything?:

had third party on it. Well you guessed it, in the early hours of this morning, out the front of my house in West Hoxton in SW Sydney, some scum bag has knocked it off. God help your soul if I find you. This truck is not just any truck, it is a family treasure which is why we have not sold it. It is important to all of us. Now that it has been stolen whilst uninsured is a double blow to the guts. Please keep an eye out and call me if you spot it on 0411 774 859. It has number plates VQQ.164, Isuzu 200 wide body with an alloy tray on the back which distinctively leaned to the right following years of loading up timbers on the back. Also has a red manual hoist. It is typical Concretor’s truck. Please keep an eye out for it.


Another request from Gary Cole at GDR Truck Parts, in Brisbane:


Hi Andrew, I am selling my boat, I believe you have a lot of guys that follow your fishing reports there may possible be someone chasing a near new boat. Its your call thought if you want to post it. If it sells we can come to some bonus incentive. Let me know!!



Goldstar Adventurer (02/2011) Received in May 2011, they used it in the 2011 tackle & tinnie show as a display.



"Smokin Da Reefa"  6m Centre Cab

Suzuki 140 hp engine 4 stoke. 64 hours on complete outfit.

Dunbier dual axle gal trailer, led tail lights. Approx 10 months rego on boat & trailer


Lowrance HDS7, Chart Plotter/Sounder, Australia Map Card

GME-GX600 VHF Fusion FM/AM/IPod Docker Sound System Price $55,000.00



Always happy to help if there’s room in the report, Gary.



To politics, and with the NSW government’s war on anglers this section pretty much writes itself. Peter G naturally concerned about the insane squid fishing ban, in northern Sydney Harbour:


Hi Andrew, I was originally going to send an email to Fisheries asking a question but I would like to get your view on it first if I could please.  I was wondering the enforcement of the reserve what would happen if you were inspected within the North Harbour Reserve and had freshly killed squid and/or some live squid in the tank? The reason that I ask this is that my mate pointed out that the imaginary line that crosses the top of little Manly point allows squidding in a very narrow but productive squidding area bordering on the reserve. If we were squidding here, got inspected and had to point out the officers that we are not actually in the reserve and therefore not committing an offence, then the officers could simply wait till you were on the way through the reserve and get you then. What are your thoughts?


Flattered to be asked, Pete! I think the ban is only on fishing for squid, not having squid in possession? The best way forward is to always document any encounter with Maritime or Fisheries. That includes a photo of the officers, and if you can, a photo of your GPS screen showing the position. Because in many ways these guys are morphing into revenue raising parking police, now. I’m disgusted with the way some of our so-called angling representatives are silent, over the 50% bag limit cuts in NSW. Especially ACORF chairman Bruce Schumacher, whose response to requests for help has been … well, less than helpful:



But now Wayne Hogan brings welcome news from another quarter:



Hi Andy, not sure if you have seen this, good to see ANSA opposing the new proposed bag limit changes, makes a nice change after their leaderships’ pathetic opposition to marine parks, one could draw some conclusions to their political bent cheers Wayne


That’s good news and thanks as always, Wayne. Leo sends through a useful link, too:




I stumbled across this bit of info that appears to be fairly significant research into the sustainability of fish stocks in Australia. It could well be a big shot across the bow of the "halve the bag limits" and "more marine parks" brigade if used to full effect. I would love to see someone contact the author and have him on our side. Here are a couple of notable quotes:


" is claimed that fishing is a major factor in the degradation of the world's oceans These warnings, seeded predominantly from those non-government organisations (NGO's) that stand to benefit from fostering gloom and doom and sensationalism are not consistent with the most recent assessments of the impacts of fishing and, most importantly, they are based predominantly on information that is not relevant to contemporary Australia."


" 2009 Australia was ranked 4th out of 52 countries surveyed for sustainable fisheries management."


Here is a link to the document as well so you can view it online. Look for "Australia’s Out-Dated Concern over Fishing Threatens Wise Marine Conservation and Ecologically Sustainable Seafood Supply"



Really good! Thanks, Leo. A state government embarks on a round of consultations with anglers as to future policy directions. Of course it's the Victorian government, not NSW:



As to angler’s meetings, let’s not forget the one at Coffs Harbour scheduled for Wednesday 3rd July? I’m going:


For anglers anywhere between the Tweed and Port Macquarie who would like to hear straight from the horse's mouth the rationale behind these ridiculous new bag limits that DPI Fisheries are proposing, there will be a public meeting at the Coffs Harbour Deep Sea Fishing Club on Wednesday July 3rd, starting at 6.30 pm. Speakers will include Peter Turnell, Head of Recreational Fishing DPI Fisheries, and local state member Andrew Fraser. We'd like to see a good turnout from concerned anglers on the night, so I'd appreciate it if you could mention the meeting on your weekly fishing update.


Andrew Fraser is the local MP and one of the all time good guys. He’d be ten times better as Fisheries Minister than Bodgy Hodgy, so we need to hear what he has to say. And I’ll be there to record and photograph proceedings for our readers. Why not ask a Fisheries representative to visit your Club, and explain their plan to cut bag limits by 50%? Send an email requesting a representative attends your next meeting to:



If we don’t fight, we lose.


Good luck to all our readers this weekend and my undying gratitude to our contributors.

If you’ve got a pic, an opinion, an inquiry or a story to tell, let’s hear it! Cheers,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director