Friday 22nd May 2015

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

There’s only one thing worse than sitting in the office with rain beating against the glass and trees whipping wildly in strong winds outside. And that’s when the weather finally starts to clear but you can’t go offshore - because it’s the weekend, when so many clients visit. So as reports started to come in on Saturday and Sunday, there was nothing to be done but find a crew for one day this week. Will Bazley kicked off the good news:



Hi Andy.  It's been a long time for us to be able to get out to sea, but the wait was worth it. I got my PB today - 96cm Kingfish! All round great day, we caught squid and had plenty action and catches with kings.


Nice work my young friend, your report motivated us all to the max. James from the beautiful black Lewis CC Squid Ink reported some quality gold soon after. Well done bloke and good on you for sharing:



Andy, before and after shot of one of the five kings taken on the weekend while jigging off Sydney. First time using the jigging combo I bought from you and it worked a treat. Safe to say I’m pretty much addicted now … Need to order some 200g jigs



Sashimi looking great! Brad Gray sent word on Sunday that blue eye are back on Browns:



G'day Andy had quite a good day at Browns considering the weather with the 20 other boats out there with plenty of electric reel noise we got 1 blue eye 7 gemmies and the highlight was the massive tiger shark having a sniff of the back of my boat


By now I’m wound up like a steel spring. Then Matt Loraway cranked up the pain:



Conditions perfect out at browns today then this pig turned up. Still only little baby gemmies tho


Blimey that’s the biggest I’ve seen in a long time, Matt. When John Klapsis checked in I nearly blew a fuse:



Hi Andy.... Me and my "Pocket Rocket" went wide out of Sydney just short of Heatons Hill and landed this yellow fin by cubing.


So by the time Will, Jay and myself met up at Roseville boat ramp, anticipation was up in the stratosphere. We headed straight to the Peak, in order to be set up well before the 9.00AM high.  Plenty of boats there – always a good sign. Three LFBs on station – not so good a sign. First jig drop and Will is hooked up – the best sign of all:





A super fat 90cm fish, which went 8 kilos on the scales. That’s a good start:



Even though we saw other boats hooked up, we didn’t see a lot of kings boated. There were some interesting sights though, including this nice Seafarer CC. The owner told me it had been built at the factory on a V-Sea hull. Good parentage:



With a nasty chop and a fast drift the procedure was one we’re quite familiar with. Power up north of the reef, drop jigs, reverse the boat where possible and jig hard. About 20 metres off the bottom is where they were holding but not in big numbers at all. Jay hooked up next and boated a nice 70:



Maybe one or two more put on the deck but, under size. With the plan being a short session, it was jigs out and back to port, with a stopover at the Artificial. Lots of sounder mark but too evenly spaced, meaning no predators. Only result there was a foul hooked yakka, for Jay:



Despite a grand total of zero fish for yours truly, I really enjoyed Tuesday. Trailering, launching, fishing and washing down the boat was a breeze. And getting home two hours before school zones started a big plus too. Got home, opened up the email, and found friends and clients had been out there doing it too. Craig Marsay:



Great day off Nambucca Heads. 20 snapper, 2 bluefin, 1 parrot, 1 sampson



Chris Colvin’s snapper the icing on the cake from the weekend just passed. This size not easy to find around Sydney meaning a good indication, for the season to come:



I’ll go on the record with a prediction this winter’s going to be top fishing. Snapper, kings, salmon (yes I like them) makos, gemfish and bluefin tuna will all be in good numbers. Get your boat and tackle sorted now so you’re ready to go when the weather plays ball. To offbeat news and a client called up from Tasmania recently wanting some jigging gear because this summer just passed has seen kingfish in parts of the island where they haven’t been known for a long time. He tells me a great story which readers might enjoy too. His mate owns a squidding boat and he often helps out as crew aboard. They get out to the grounds after dark and swing out powerful halogen lights on boom arms to port and starboard. The lights are a powerful attractant and when conditions are right the squid rise like a carpet around the boat. You can look over the gunwale and see thousands of eyes reflecting in the light. The jigging machines – like the one below – are turned on and fishing starts. The combination of lights and squid attract swordfish too and we all know how many of those can be found off the Tasmanian coast. Several times he has been looking over the side at the exact moment a swordfish attacks, sweeping wildly with its bill to stun and kill squid. Instantly the water around the boat turns inky black as ten thousand squid all release ink at the same time, for protection. That must be a sight to see:



To tackle, and John P pleased with the lantern spotlight combo offered in the last report:



I would like to order 4 more of the lantern/torches. The other two are great and will be handy for our frequent  blackouts.


Good call, John! Ours were just the ticket when a tree fell on the roof during last month’s storm. $59 for two LED lantern spotlights, multi position handle, includes 240V and 12V chargers, AND delivery. Excellent gear at an excellent price. Don’t know whether it’s because of blackouts, night fishing, or (as I use mine for) electric reels, but lots of orders for our 12 volt 7 AH portable battery. That one comes in a heavy duty canvas bag with shoulder strap:



Supplied with all accessories including 240V and 12V chargers:



For $39. Good deal.


Now brace yourself my friends because Jan (Our Man in The Sand in Oman) competed in their tuna competition last week. How’s this for a few nice yellowfin?



Some mahi bycatch too:



Don’t forget that Jan has invited any of our readers passing through Oman to a day’s fishing on his beautiful 33 foot centre console? From the pics he sends that would be an unforgettable experience. Back home, and Leo Miller checks in with impressive Tasmanian swordfish news. Leo Miller, what a legend he is. He and his friends breaking this new fishery wide open, quite possibly the most exciting development in Australian angling history:



Hi Andrew, swords are still being caught in Tas and Jumbo tuna every day. We sworded sat on 10kg and hooked one; had him on for 2 hrs before he wrapped and busted. Went again Monday with several other boats around; 5 swords landed for the day including one we got going 143kg; it fought like a train tho and took 3.5hrs on heavy tackle to land. They were all around the same size. One other hooked up the coast had a guy on for 5 hrs before the  leader snapped; they said it was a really big fish.


I’ll bet it was. Darryn Bromley pleased with his giant barra. What a beauty:



PS I didn’t mention that I won the money/vouchers from Biggest Barra for Day 5 (last day of the Barra Nationals) which also turned out to be biggest of the comp for 2015


Glen Cadoo reminds us just how bad the weather was, late last month:



Trawler makes a couple of attempts at entering the bar at Mooloolaba. Swell and wind increasing as weather system starts hitting the Sunshine coast


Adam sends a report from Nauru. His little spuds are going to be champion anglers, judging by the frontline experience they're getting in their junior years:


Here is giddy's recent big catch a 1.5kg rainbow runner He caught it on a pink and purple zuker rigged on fluorocarbon, and he reeled it in on our big beast 9/0 everol reel


Excellent! That Everol brings back some good memories, Adam. This pic from Dan does the opposite:



I can’t look at that pic for longer than a second, it’s stomach churning. In that list of fish a few paragraphs I forgot to add one species that’s definitely on the rebound. Hairtail. Not the best fighters, not the best on the plate, not always easy to catch. But they have got a special appeal, an X factor if you will. We’ve been night fishing for them twice in the last fortnight and had ourselves a ball. On Friday, Ed stopped by late afternoon ahead of a hairtail session and showed me a video he’d found on jigging them:



After watching we decided to give it a try tonight. Rigged a few 40 gram jigs with a stinger treble and a light mono wire leader, just in case. That proved to be a very good call.  Just like the previous week, nothing much happened until darkness fell. By that time we had plenty of fresh yellowtail strips ready to go. Tougher than pilchards, they come into their own when the fish are going nuts. As they were on Friday:



Ed used an ancient Wilson rod, made back in the early 80s or maybe even late 70s. Its super slow action soaked up the hairtail lunges and was just about ideal for the job:



With the esky steadily filling:



I reckoned it was time to try the micro jigging technique we’d been watching on Youtube. A 40 gram jig on the Ryobi overhead combo with a red glowstick mounted on the top of the wire trace. The technique was short sharp lift and drops – not slow jigging, closer to mechanical jigging – and staying in the strike zone for as long as possible. Some solid hits told me things were working. Then, a hookup:



And this wasn’t the only one I boated, meaning jigging hairtail is a good new option. I’ll admit to getting a bit over excited at how well it worked:



What a top night, we took home three each. Note to self - time to repaint the deck:



Give it a try if you live somewhere they can be found? Micro jigging these a great way to go because hookup on the upswing drives the point home into their famously hard jaws.



To politics, and a giant secretive multinational corporation’s been sprung telling blatant lies:



Greenpeace have been rorting their tax-free charity status with lies like these for decades, but the government says there isn’t enough evidence to revoke their privileges. When I wrote to Environment Minister Greg Hunt suggesting he waterboard the Greenpeace CEO to get that evidence, he wouldn’t even respond to my correspondence. How rude. J


Back maybe 25 years ago an infamous Aussie grifter was in the news non-stop – Peter Foster, from the Gold Coast. His scam was bai lin tea, a weight loss beverage that had no benefit whatsoever, but was marketed skilfully to the overweight and made him a multi millionaire. Early on he had kind of a lovable rogue persona and was dating Page 3 Girl Samantha Fox so, always in the media.



The authorities came down on him like a ton of bricks with fines, confiscations and multiple jail terms here, in the UK, and the USA. Last November he was arrested while hiding out in Byron Bay:



Foster’s big mistake was in not using an approved marine science scam. With those, any grifter with a few letters after their name can claim that coral is bleaching, the earth is warming, grey nurse sharks are endangered, or that a carp tagging program is of scientific benefit - and score free money, from governments who care nothing about the tax payer. Having said that, in amongst the scammers and Lysenkoists, there are a few scientists brave enough to risk their careers for the sake of truth. Add Peter Ridd to that list:



Swindles, scams, bodgy data, false advertising - and greenies. Good on you, Professor Ridd! Australia’s in your debt.

Until next my friends and as I always say, please keep the great pics and reports coming in?

They mean so much, to so many. Cheers,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director