Wednesday 28th January 2015

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

Kevin Bardsley. Big man, big boat, big kingfish:



Love your news letter makes me drool here in melbourne I have caught loads of kingies in nsw eden bermie etc  but never in melb till tue caught this one trolling an x rap off phillip island  went 1.3 mt 10kg big for melb . Regards kevin


Great fish, Kev! Matt Frischknecht and crew had a big day off Sydney’s northern beaches:



Had some real good luck yesterday out near dy


Nice. Gee I could go some of that action Matt, I’m in the middle of a dry spell. Scott Raine’s new downrigger delivering results:



Thanks Andy it works a real treat!! First real run with the new down rigger 90cm off live squid


Top stuff Scott and thanks heaps for the pic. Mark F getting results with our 100gram jigs, and now wants to try the 40 gram size. I dropped one of those down deep under some surface boils on the Harbour last Sunday, and hooked up this bonito:



Hope you had a good weekend. By the way, really enjoying using the 100g jigs and caught more Kings than i can remember on them. They have opened up a whole new perspective on jigging in the shallower reefs for me. Hence my excitement in the 40g jigs. My wife and I have been outfishing all the boats around us with the 100g jigs. Must be killing those around us. Technique may be playing a part also, but pretty sure the jigs are doing the job.


Crazy story from Chris Colvin involving the outfit shown above:



Hi Andy, pretty slow day by Nambucca standards. Good feed on the snapper combo I recently got from you, very pleased with it. Unfortunately I dropped it overboard in 70 Mtrs. Tried for one hour to snag and gave up. An hour later my mate winds up some extra braid. Cuts it and ties either end to a separate rod. Winds first rod up and pulls in my rig, with two fat snapper on it. Winds second rod up, winding up 200 Mtrs of braid with the rod on the end!! Fantastic. So glad you'd put a knot on the end!


So am I! New crew member Will Bazley scored this beauty off Sydney Saturday 24th January:



Hi Andy, yesterday we had an awesome day out on the water.  We were lucky enough to hook a really massive Kingfish - Measuring in at 103cm.  Also had heaps of fun with the dollys, but they were all undersized.


That’s okay, with their growth rate it won’t be long until they’re keepers. You’d think deepwater spots would be shut down by summertime currents, but canny blokes like Greg Costello still find a few:



 I got this blue eye first drop with the braided line I purchased off you recently, first drop I got a double header. The line is great.


Nice blue eye Greg, congratulations. Yours truly in the middle of a fish drought of Biblical proportions. Here’s what happened when we dropped – just once - a live bait down at Twelve Mile Reef the trip before last. Each scratch is a leatherjacket bite:



A miracle we even got it back. Callum at least got us on the score board with this beautifully marked mahi:



But generally it’s been really tough for us, offshore. Hopefully the hoodoo will lift next week. Roving reporter Fred Burley on the spot last weekend for deployment of the Shoalhaven Artificial Reef. Can I just say how grateful myself and so many readers are, to the blokes who take the time to update us with important news items, like this? Very, VERY good of you:



Find attached photos of the reef being deployed yesterday at 7am. All finished by 5pm.

Just have to wait now for the fish to find a new home!!


That won’t take long, Fred. To boating, and how’s this? Triple 350HP outboards on a centre console at Point Piper.

I wonder how fast you’d get to Browns in this rocket sled?



At Long Reef last week and watching fishos retrieve their boats by driving them fast and hard onto the sand – after first disengaging the tilt lock. This Sea Devil was then cranked onto its trailer with a power winch. That arrangement worked very well indeed:



As we’ve seen previously, not all retrievals at Long Reef work so well:



Some holiday frustration around. Jamie annoyed at a bloke heading down to the ramp with his boat crossways on the trailer:



Hey Andy, Check this out. This monkey was traveling down the M5 then on to foreshore drive and into the boat ramp. Its no wonder people have problems with boats falling off the trailer. Seriously can you ever imagine towing a boat without a tie down strap.


After all the disasters we’ve seen in previous reports, that is pretty risky. Dan justifiably annoyed at some bloke blocking the launch prep area. Damaging the car not the way to go but I can understand the frustration – because Sydney boat ramps are frustrating enough, without this:



Andy check out this w@nker. Just cause you own a hummer H2 doesn't mean you can park your trailer anywhere you want. Obviously he can't read the sign and hell lets just make it difficult for everyone at drummoyne boat ramp. I should have keyed his car....


But the main boating news this week was the theft of Paul Murray’s big plate trailerboat. He wrote to me last week requesting I mention it on the Facebook page:



Hey andy my boats been stolen (from Coffs Harbour) have been told to post to you and would soon hear about it thanks


By Wednesday night the post had received 361,984 views and 7,073 shares. Thanks to all our good hearted readers who shared it on their pages. Lots of leads coming in and every single one is checked out:



Good timing too, as John D sends a nice note about our GPS Tracker. One job  this weekend being installing the tracker in an old GPS antenna. I’m told by a client that works really well. Then again, unlike me, that client has basic mechanical skillz:



Andrew, many, many thanks for taking the time to post such a detailed explanation about GPS Trackers as a security measure on boats.


Not at all, John. If there’s anything we can do to stop other boat owners going through Paul’s experience, we’ll do it.

More details here:


Disaster Pic of the Week courtesy of Andrew Bagnall:



Live from little Beach Port Stephens


Thanks, Andrew! Glad it wasn’t me - this time J Glen Cadoo, always putting others first and denying himself. This man is a saint:



Hi Andrew. Big decisions have had to be made. Our wedding anniversary is coming up an I always forget about a pressie for her. I know that i told you that we were going to get a nice matching pair of downriggers off you but she's been a good old stick and I think she deserves more. Life is more than just fishing. I thought hard and decided to buy her this new alloy boat trailer. She was speechless and didnt say anything but I could tell by the face impression that she liked her brand new shiny silver present. Picked it up on ebay for $7900. Big bargain i think.


Good call. You make me realise how much my bride really wants a new burley bucket and flying gaff. Across The Strait, and Leo Miller stinging for swordfish season to start. Until then, he’s making do:



Hi Andrew, still no swords landed in Tas yet but the water was looking nice when we were out Tuesday. We got a nice little mako as by catch and a nice Rays bream. Also some gemmys from the bottom. Saw 4 makos free jumping that day also.


Mate I’m expecting big things from you this year. Please keep us all in the loop? Jay Taylor and team out for some red hot jigging:



Hi Andy, just quick snap from the weekend. That's me in the white with the lovely DRS 100g hanging out of a nice AJ and my old man in green with his example pulled up with one of your Hercules rods. Could not have asked for a better trip.


Great, mate. Pleased you had a top trip and even more pleased you let me know about it. Bert Hall in amongst them up north:



Thanks Andrew, paid and excited to test out some new gear.  I have attached a few photos of some fish caught using your 100g, 250g jigs and 50lb colour change braid.  All caught offshore from Townsville, Queensland which makes for a change to your usual Southern reports.



100g and 250g jigs have proven themselves time over on Cobia, Spanish Mackerel, Trevally and Cod to name a few species.  Look forward to trying the 40g jigs and the new spinning combo, Thanks again for your assistance,  Bert


It’s *your* assistance with these great pics that deserves thanks, Bert! Jay Barker in Darwin and finds a hottie to pose with his trevally. How does this man work his magic???



managed to find a cute local to hold the fish for me so they look bigger ;)


Glass out seas and a gold spot, that’s heaven. To tackle, and Craig has a question:


what rod reel can u recommend for those micro jigs 40g and even 100g ?



We have the perfect set up for 6 kilo light jigging, Craig. Had a ball with this combo on 65-80cm kings at the Coolooli through early December. They have backed off there but as autumn approaches they’ll return to that spot, the Annie Miller, Artificial Reef, etc.



Here’s specs:


  • Reel:   Lesson 3000. Our No. 1 reel by sales, popular and proven.
  • Ten ball bearings so, super smooth winding.
  • Carbontex drags. 5.2:1 gear ratio, only weighs 280 grams.


One of the best things about this reel – which often gets overlooked, but which I find important –

is that it’s got a really comfortable handle for winding;


  • Rod: Devil Killer light jig. Split butt, 6 feet 3 inches, Fuji reel seat, rated to 120 grams and PE3 line.

This rod looks really good, too;


  • Line:   200 metres x 6 kilo colour change braid.

Drop to the marks showing on your sounder screen. Lift, wind, and bang – you’re on;


Price on rod, reel, line complete is $170, with a twelve month warranty on parts and labour.

Great combo, great deal.


New micro poppers arrived last week, a lot of work’s gone into these:



The story is that, last summer, we had a ball popping kings at Long Reef and dollies at FAD 19 using mini poppers.

Here’s 60 seconds of a typical session with our $95 light combo:



The go is, three kilo line, and small bullet shaped poppers for distance casting:



But when I went to buy some for this season Arafura Tackle told me the one above – the Kingfisher Poppet – was discontinued. So we ordered our own, with one important change – matte black colour, all over:



The idea being, maximum contrast. A client visited to pick some up and told me why he was  so keen on them.

Most poppers have a silver belly, and he reckons that makes them way more difficult for the fish to see.

‘If you were trying to catch a cricket ball, with the sun in your eyes, what colour would you want it to be?

Silver, or black?’

Good analogy. 4 matte black poppers, fitted with Owner trebles, for $45 including delivery.

 Good deal.

Phone or email if you’d like to try some?


To politics, and Les Palmer and Chris Wallis from Ecofishers taking charge and getting things done for NSW fishos. This time, organizing politicians to attend a future of fishing forum in South West Rocks last weekend. Here’s Les’ report:



We had a good turn-out at the Politicians Fishing Forum with attendees coming from Sydney through to the Clarence Valley (Grafton) both by the recreational and commercial sector. There were a lot of hard-hitting questions asked of the Nationals (that of coarse had to be taken back to the Minister for a response...but, I'm not gunna hold my breath waiting for that to happen). The Labor representative was completely out of her league and really had no idea of what fishing actually was (fail). Mr Smith from the Fishing Party (again, not to be confused with the Shooters & Fishers Party) waffled on for a while and agreed on a few things but slammed an issue of great importance, whilst his colleague decided to take the floor and rave on about acid sulphate soils and farming (which wasn't at all relevant to the purpose of the The Shooters & Fishers Party held themselves well above the others on the day and showed serious concern for the future of fishing. No question was left unanswered and the Shooters & Fishers Party accepted and agreed to all of our policies (Win). I know which way I'll be voting in the 'Upper House'.


In the photo, right to left, Fran Armitage, Melinda Pavey (speaking), Peter Johnson, Chris Wallis, AKA 'The Bodyguard' (MC, and Chairman of ECOfishers), Robert Brown, and Bob Smith (catching up on 40 winks).


He he he. Bob Smith is a good bloke, but being a good bloke’s not enough. We’re facing a well organised well funded anti fishing blitzkrieg from people who want more marine parks, lower bag limits, costlier fishing licenses, and more red tape. And I’m talking about the NSW Libs and Nationals. J Do we support someone who turns up at election time every four years, then snoozes off at a fishing forum? Or do we support a party with five MPs across the country and hopefully two more, after the NSW state election? Anyone can make promises, delivering results is not so common:



I know which way I’ll be voting on March 28th. I say this every time but it would be so wrong, not to say it. And that is, a great big thank you to all those who send in the pics and reports we all enjoy. I get the compliments from readers but without your contributions there’d be nothing to read. Please keep them coming because we’re all most grateful. Until next week,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director