Thursday 27th August 2015

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

With the winter winding down and the weather warming up NSW offshore fishos are digesting an inconvenient truth – that the bluefin season is over, before it ever really started. The water’s too warm, the current’s pushing too hard from the north but the clincher is all the tuna news is from the deep south. This 153 kilo giant caught at Portland yesterday and posted to Wild Blue:



Note the 102 kilo lying on the deck. That’s on top of the two junior records caught off Tasmania last week. Leo Miller:



Hi Andrew, big tuna haven't left Tas by the looks. Last Friday the Nichols guys released 3 around 100 before 10am and dropped a 4th. yesterday they got a double hookup with Stewarts 10 and 12yo on strike. Toby (10) took almost 2 hrs on 37 and landed his 119kg and Sam took 3.5 hrs on 24 to boat his 112. Both pending world records! Also plenty of school fish off St Helen's up the coast too


Awesome! But it’s not just the size, it’s the numbers. Check Andrew Westlake’s sounder screen off Port Fairy last Sunday:



And here’s his crewman back at the cleaning table:



Off Port Fairy today (Sunday), no barrels but landed 21 school tuna and saw an insane number of birds working small bait


Nothing else for it but we Sydney fishos need a new plan for 2016. A trailer boat convoy to Portland next August? I’ll be driving the chartreuse microbus. J But just because the Sydney tuna season’s been flatter than Miley Cyrus’ chest, doesn’t mean we’ve desperate and fishless. How’s this for a big city red? Well done, Andrew Yeung:



g'day Andy, thought I'd share this mornings catch with you. Snagged a nice red on plastic in about 20m of water off Sydney. Cheers Andy, was released to fight another day. Hoping tight lines for you this weekend!


Dan Abadir reporting a great day on the water. Kingfish on the tooth right through the depths of winter this year, I reckon they’ll be swarming as we head into spring:



The 12 was on fire today … I was running on 30min sleep due to work commitments but it all worked out well and fired up.


Very nice my friend and look at those conditions. Dan Anderson out from Sydney on Saturday, perseverance often the key to cracking the code:



Pulled 5 off the 12 yesterday Andy. They were taking live baits and jigs, was slow going at first but once we sounded the 1 and only patch of fish we worked them and chased them all over the place!!


Sean fishing warmer climes and bringing home a top bag of reds and pearls. Isn’t it great to see pearl perch numbers roaring back?



Hi Andy. Quick report from the Gold Coast. Been smashing the Snapper on every trip out. All fish have been on the 36's. Last week we bagged out in a few drops. The week before luckily we bagged out on Snapper n Trag before the NSW border protection failed and allowed your plagues of bloody Leather Jackets over the border. We did our part of reduction of this pest.


Deepwater season winding down although hopefully still a few more weeks to go. Glen ordered a Tanacom combo and took it out for his first visit to Browns:



Hi Andrew, had a good Sunday testing and getting used to the Electric Reel Combo, worked a treat. Takes a bit of getting used to detecting the bite and fish on at these depths. First time I did not think I had a fish, but noticed drag slipping a fair bit so cranked it up and broke off to what I believe was a shark running off with a fish as started moving off from the boat much more than the drift before breaking. After getting the hang of things, next two drops brought up a nice Cod and then a Large Gemfish. Man these fellows are angry customers when out of the water, this one swallowed my pliers when trying to extract the hook.



The reel and rod combo worked a treat. Only thing that I need to figure out is when line count gets back up to nil, the reel stops and I need to manually wind in the last line that I assume was lost to the drag on the counter. How to you override this safety cut off at the end of the retrieve?


Glad to hear it all worked for you, Glen! That pliers pick is a classic. As to your Tanacom, the motor will stop retrieving – after three warning beeps - when you have five metres of line out. That’s a great feature which prevents the sinker being pulled through the tip guide. When that happens you can either wind the last few metres in manually, or hit the reset button to bring those up using the motor. Here’s our resident expert Mev managing our 750 like a boss:



Congratulations Tony! What a fantastic result. From the Centennial Park website:



Tony Steiner is a top bloke who runs the carp fishing experience at Centennial Park in Sydney. Now he’s won an IGFA record. From their website: ‘….the common Carp species was recorded at 89 cm in length and caught for the All-Tackle (length) record category. The fish weighed 19.7 kg and was caught on a three kilo line taking approximately two hours and 45 minutes to bring in!

“I was actually stalking this particular fish for about six months and unexpectedly came across it after taking a Kids Big Fish clinic. After I saw it I ran back to truck, got the rod, bait etc and threw out a gentle cast. The fish came up to the bait, smelt it and swam away. To my surprise he actually turned around and came back – took the bait and then swam away.” – Tony Steiner.


What a battle that must have been. To tackle, and here’s a welcome review. Note that the rod in the 702 snapper combo will deliver great performance but being mostly graphite, needs some extra care? Having said that, you can’t argue with these results, even though they’re over the rod rating:


Gday Andrew. Im back at work now and spent the last couple of weeks trying to destroy your seaside reel and snapper rod. Still havnt managed to, but I had them smashed by some unstoppable sambos, but the same day my saragosa 14000 and 24kg tcurve rod was getting smashed too so they were quality fish.! I have more rods and reels than I need but that little snapper combo is still my favourite. It landed a 97cm Dhuie in 27ftm of water at Jurien last week and the following night fishing tiny 3/0 circles at the 25ftm wreck at Jurien I had a ball on mulloway up to 9kg on it.



Click here If you’d like to know more:


Here’s a good deal lads. Timbo saying our camping light is taking up too much space at the warehouse and he wants half of them gone. Usually $25, now he says FREE with any order valued at over $100. So this is our Fathers Day Special. Two position handle:



Can’t tell you how good these things are. I’ve used them for camping, squidding, spotlighting bunnies, and they were a life saver during a blackout because they are both a lantern and a spotlight:



Each one supplied with 240V and 12V chargers. Only qualification being, the deal is for Sydney orders only – due to the extra postage involved. For outside of Sydney, let me know where you are, and we will add postage at cost? Lastly, a light jigging combo inquiry. Trust me lads, we are going to have a HUGE jigging season this spring. And not just kingfish, we jigged a keeper amberjack last week:


G'day Andy, big fan of the shop and the facebook page your running, shows you know yout stuff and its impressive to see that your happy to share it. Just emailing regarding a jigging combo, how much would a pe3 jigging rod and daiwa exceler 4000 set me back?


No Exceler 4000s in stock but I do have a good alternative for you?



Being the FE8000SW reel. 8 ball bearings, gear ratio 4.8:1, weight 490 grams, EVA reel knob, spooled with 240m x 30-pound colour change braid. PE3 jig rod perfect for light inshore jigging. 6 feet 6 inches, ideal length. 170grams, like a feather in your hand. Copy – not genuine – Fuji K series guides. These are just sensational on a light stick because the frame has a springy suspension effect, meaning they can soak up heavy loads while still being light and small.



Split butt with gold trim, it’s always nice to have a good looking rod. The whole combo (rod, reel and line) only $190 and yes, it can be mailed at cost. The idea of these single foot rod guides is that if line gets wrapped around them it slips off, rather than getting tangled up. And that increasing the guide height (especially the ‘choke’ guide) benefits casting.  But I reckon the really big benefit is the suspension effect provided, when the stripper guide can flex under load. PE3 jig rod only $95:



To boats, and Chris Colvin pleased with his new purchase:



Picked up the new toy yesterday. Very happy with it. Need to get it out there!!


Dang right you do Chris! What great timing, you’ll be set like a jelly with that weapon this summer. Couple of nice blokes at the ramp last week, also very pleased with the first water test on their new purchase.  A custom built centre console plate alloy barge, useful for carrying equipment or light vehicles, diggers and the like. Both made keen fishos, they jokingly mentioned considering installing a game chair up front and lowering the loading door in order to fight the fish from the bow:



News of The Weird and anyone can make a mistake! But gee this happens a lot. Jamie Illistom on the scene of a tragedy at Foreshore Drive ramp at Botany:



Unusual markings on this maori cod. Thanks to Sean Uren:



Thought u might get a kick out of this. Was in the gold coast paper


Yours truly out there earlier this month. The morning started at Roseville ramp, meeting up with the super keen crew of Mev, Serk and Franky. Knowing we had to be back early I packed two 80s, figuring that if we were to find any big fish we would need them to be dealt with quicker than usual. That proved to be a good call:



Only 50 metres from the boat ramp and already dealing with the unexpected. This bloke a bit embarrassed that he had launched and drifted away from the pontoon, without first checking the outboard would start:



Down to the Centurion but live bait hard to find. On to the Artificial with plenty of mark showing, but nothing biting:



The HDS-7 has had it, by the way. Getting worse every trip, can’t even read the depth at Browns, let alone mark fish. After lots of hemming and hawing I’ve lashed out on an HDS-9. Out to the Twelve, which was bare as a badgers’ backside. Not a promising start. But as we’ve seen several times this season, things can turn around in a heartbeat when the stars align. On to Browns. Maybe 12-15 boats there, with a nasty westerly chop making line management difficult. With that forecast to back off we weren’t worried. Twin Tanacoms set up and baits sent down into the inky depths. A hookup on the starboard outfit which seemed to get heavier the higher we lifted it in the water column. I’m guessing a hapuka or bass groper? One single fish judging by the unvarying load and steady, slow tail beats. Brought him up to 180m – more than half way to the boat and couldn’t lift him any further, including with manual assistance. Just discussing whether to put the rod in a fighting belt and lift using the rise and fall of the boat when the line broke:



Pic by Franky. The collective mood brightened considerably when Serk boated this solid gemfish on the port side rig. Another one coming up on the starboard combo got sharked a hundred metres down:



Thanks to Franky Tsang for this pic too. With bottom fishing generally slow – not just us, but boats observed nearby – we decided to break out the 80s for some sharking. One gemfish belly strip under a balloon fifty metres back, and one on a sinker fifty metres down. Not long before the deep bait got hit:



Serk battled it like a champ, with his new Braid harness a timely purchase. When we got it boatside it was just the right size to take and the boys were very keen for some mako steaks. I sunk the metal gaff into the right hand side of its head, Serk planted the bamboo gaff into the left. But try as we might, with three blokes pulling as hard as we could, we couldn’t get it over the gunwale:



The only way forward was to tail rope it and drag it in backwards. Conscious that the shark had neither jumped nor crashed dived – meaning it had plenty in reserve – I tentatively moved a third gaff into position around its tail wrist. The plan being not to pierce the skin – given the likelihood of it going ballistic – but to encircle the tail wrist with the gaff. When that was done it went ballistic anyway. One gaff head torn off the aluminium pole and the bamboo pole broken, after giving 25+ years of good service:



With the wind blowing harder than forecast and an early return essential for both work and Scouting commitments it was time to bail. Especially since a nasty westerly chop meant a long slow trip home. However as we progressed it steadily backed off and by the time we got to the Twelve conditions were perfect for a quick jig session. They were there. Here’s Franky going hard on the new PE3 combo:



And here’s the result, a chunky 70cm:



What a great day. Good weather, plenty of fish – with some highs and lows, reminding us not to get too cocky. What an incredible resource we have straight out the front of Australia’s largest city, with these fantastic sport fish pretty much on tap if the weather plays ball.


To politics, and the NSW government latest attack on boaties and fishos is a ban on parking your registered trailerboat in the same spot for longer than three months:



The usual whiny fusspots lit up the local newspaper letters to editors page. Two hundred years ago these crazy cat ladies would have been village busybodies. ‘100,000 homeless people living in their cars.’ Sure, hon:



But is there an alternative option for boat storage available? Yes, public moorings. Excepting that thousands of them are occupied by hulks which are unregistered and no condition for use> scott Thomas spotted this one with a *tree* growing in it:



And here’s a junker clunker that’s been sitting on a public mooring at Roseville for years. Note that NSW Maritime’s regulations for moored boats are really strict. Boats cannot have any corrosion, or growth on the hulls and must be ready for use either under sail or power:



So let’s not pretend the NSW government cares about helping owners store their boats and trailers. This is simply another revenue grab, in exactly the same way Roads and Maritime Minister Duncan Gay’s expansion of the speed camera program is a revenue grab. I’ve written to a couple of current affairs shows enclosing these pics and asking if they’re interested in a story. If you spot any of these junkers please take a pic and send it to me? Will onforward it to the journos and keep readers posted as always. Thanks for reading and thanks even more to those generous souls who take the time to contribute,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director

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