Thursday 01 AUGUST 2012

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

G’day lads,

With seas too rough to fish wide of Sydney last weekend, it was good to hear our readers elsewhere got offshore. Dimitri writes:

hey mate, got out on Sunday for a fish off the Gold Coast, got some livies as the sun came up and lost a few to fish. After finally filling the tank I decided to drop one down on my brand new live fibre venom rod and Saltiga braid, 5 min later I got hit and brought in my PB kingie of 18kg. The rest of the day wasn’t overly interesting.

Ha! I would have been celebrating the rest of the day after catching that beauty, Dimitri.

Wayne was fishing up your way, too:

Here are the pictures of my snapper caught off Moreton this last weekend. Looking forward to testing the new Saltiga JG-60 and Exceler 4500 reel. Cheers, Wayne

What a magic brace of reds, well done Wayne. And that’s a great combo, please send a pic or two of the biggies you catch on it.

Chris W is a switched on operator who tucked in under the cliffs, away from the south-westerlies which have been making fishing difficult off Sydney:

Hi Andrew, ducked out this afternoon for a quick session after work. Headed out of the Hacking and turned right. Only had a couple of hours but the bait was pretty thick everywhere, loaded up on some yakkas and deployed the downrigger pretty much right against the cliffs. Managed three keepers in about an hour or so of downrigging. Nice to see all the kingies haven't headed for deeper water over winter!

It certainly is Chris, but you gotta be out there chasing them to have your level of success. Glad the downrigger is working so well for you. We’ll have a display model at the Sydney Boat Show – but we’ll be there on Friday only. Stop by for a catch up, if you’re visiting?

Matt C introduced his little lad to the joys of inshore sport fishing:

Hi Andy me and my son Zander went out fishing today in the Hawkesbury River headed out to Lion Island to be confronted with acres of salmon busting up everywhere. From the first cast me and my son were hooked up to salmon all morning until our arms hurt.

 i would cast the softy out for my son and he wound it in, with a hookup every cast he had a ball. Not bad for a 4year old I lost count how many fish we released a top day on the water even in the strong wind.

What a fantastic report! He looks as pleased as punch with himself and why wouldn’t he be, with all those beautiful salmon on deck?

Kyle from sent through an update on their bream fishing competition, last weekend:

Hi Andy, just thought I would update you on our latest comp we had. held its second fishing comp for the year on Sunday the 29th of July. This time the target was Bream, with a forecast of strong winds and cold conditions a lot of teams ended up pulling the plug during the week right up to the day before the Comp.  With only 20 teams entered, we all arrived at 6:00AM for check in and registrations followed by a short brief with a shotgun start at 7:00AM.

The weather conditions were perfect, not a cloud in the sky or any breeze about which made the conditions for guys perfect for the next 4 hours. Then the winds started to pick up and clouds rolled in, which looked like it was going to turn nasty but didn't.  Team by team they started to slowly come back in with the first team arriving back around 11am with a bag of four bream. The total amount to be allowed to be weigh in for this comp.  Others soon followed showing up with 1 or 2 fish until we completed the weigh in at 1pm.  There was also a bbq and drinks for the guys followed by a presentation.  1st place went to team Seamen with a total of 1.749kg, 2nd place went to team Victorious with 1.738kg and 3rd place going to team Comic Relief with 1.647kg

Biggest bream went to Team Comic Relief with a bream going .944grams just under the 1kg mark.  It was a great day had by all and looking forward to the next one. I have included a few photos for the day for all to enjoy Many regards, Kyle Hesketh

That sounds just great and I’m so glad you took the time to send me this report.

I haven’t been on the forum much lately because, with no outboard on the boat, there hasn’t been a lot of fishing going on. But the new 150HP arrived at Shannon’s workshop this week and will be installed on Monday, meaning I should be able to contribute something worthwhile in the near future. I went up to check it out on Tuesday arvo. It was an emotional moment for me, thinking of all the good times we’ll have together:

You cheeky sod! Being desperate and boatless I went land based, last Friday.

Darryl and I headed down to The Spit and set up at the end of the flood tide on the south side rock wall. Good ribbon weed was available at the spot, which made things very easy indeed. We got the burley going, chopping up some weed and mixing it with sand in a little bucket, and it wasn’t long before the downs started coming.

I had forgotten how much fun it is, watching a float slide under the water - and the good account luderick give of themselves.

…. even though the ones we tangled with weren’t particularly large.

When the tide slowed, so did the bites. So we decided to move across to the rock shelf at Obelisk Beach. That produced a couple more fish.

A very enjoyable afternoon, and quite a trip down memory lane for me.

I always get a buzz when an email from Ben Hathaway appears, in the inbox. This one’s a cracker:

Hey mate, I hope you enjoy the pics, just came back from a trip up South West Rocks and what a trip it was.

The madness didn't happen until the last night but when it rains it pours, we managed two Mulloway, mine going 20kg and my mates 15kg which I graciously passed my rod over to him after he had snapped his earlier in the day on a low hanging tree lol, he may also be looking for a new 10000+ size reel if you sell any.

You bet we do, amigo:

The Daiwa Windcast. Comes with an aftermarket reel knob and two spools. 14 kilos of drag yet light weight, super comfortable to use, and not expensive:

Send an email for specs and pricing?

Bill Dimitropoulos got justifiably fired up about the beautiful Haines CC in last week’s report:

I love the Haines up at the Hinchinbrook. I have the exact boat in original condition! It’s my baby. They are a brilliant boat! See my pics attached.

Beautiful! You gotta be proud of a little gem like that,

Bill. Mark from Shellharbour GFC generously sent this great story on a game fishing battle royal:

Hey Andrew ,its Mark from Anticipation, Shellharbour game fishing club.

I had a great day out with young gun junior Phillip Lamond. We headed wide of Kiama canyons about 2 weeks back now with just Phil and I on board, we were looking for the elusive blue fin , most of the day was quiet then a few fish started turning up. Fellow club boat Rip n Tear hooked up and graciously gave all the coordinates over the radio (a fine gesture good on you Mick K.)

Anyways we headed over but nothing so I said to Phil will head back to where we got some albies before, then out of nowhere long starboard rigger pops and the 80 wide was howling, then before we could say anything the port rigger pops, and that 80 w is screaming. I slowed boat down then starboard corner goes off, I looked at Phil ,but before we could say triple the port short corner took off ,now we had 4 x 80 wides screaming their heads off. All big blue fin and only 2 of us onboard. Whilst slowly moving forward on the auto pilot, we got our belts and harnesses on solo, and got ready. Then the port rigger stops, fish gone (luckily) now 3 still on. Phil on the starboard corner, I’m on the starboard rigger and the port corner is fighting itself. We were screaming and shouting, ‘how good is this!’ I had enough time whilst harnessed up to call out the co ords over the radio, then back into it. My fish was ripping the 37kg off the 80w, in seconds the spool was reduced then snap, gone. Line snapped, prob too much line pressure. Any way Phil was still well and truly hooked up and losing a mountain of line.  I grabbed the port corner, fought that fish for 25 mins only to straighten the treble 15 feet from boat (should have been running stronger singles.)

Phil’s fish was now very very high, almost marlin like. So with all the gear in we could now chase it. Phil did a tremendous effort and fought the fish for 45 minutes on stand-up 37kg gear. Phil is a big kid, but man that's hard work for any one. But he never gave up, we got it to the boat and we went through the plan. I was to trace and Phil would stand ready with rod in 1/2 drag just in case I had to dump it. The trace popped up, i grabbed it and took a few wraps then over came the fish. I said to Phil .... look at the size of this! Anyways all was good and just when went to put the gaff in it went nuts. I yelled to Phil, ‘I’m dumping it!’ and I let go. Phil was prepared and off the fish went this happened 2 more times then on the 4th go I got a gaff in just near the a@@e (anywhere will do ) and Phil then got one in, we got a tail rope on and the fish was ours .

Having not had any experience with big blue fin I had no idea how big it was, we tried but we couldn't pull it in over the slide, so fellow club boat Online offered assistance and club president BJ jumped aboard and all three of us dragged it in. it was a stonker, later at gantry it weighed in at 98.6kg on 37kg, club record for adult let alone junior and now pending “World Australian & NSW Record”

A great fish, great angling by a very good young kid, I was so proud of him for battling on ,once the weight was called it brought a tear to my eye ,maybe I’m getting old. Or maybe I’m just soft I don't care. It was the fish of a lifetime and I’m glad I was there to share the experience.

What an unforgettable experience. Thanks so much for sending, Mark!

Steve L forwarded this video of a hooked mako going ballistic, off the California coast.

Client and gun fisho Andrew Linhout stopped by for some tackle, and promised to send through the monthly report he writes. Really good stuff:

Fishing the flats on the lane cove river is never as productive in the winter as the summer; however this July has been unusually quiet. Usually dusky flathead can be caught all year around, however even scented soft plastics aren’t doing the trick at the moment. Persistence has yielded a catch of large bluenose whiting on two occasions this month, both on dusk using Gulp 6 inch beach worms in Camo colour. I find when the going gets tough and the fish switch off if it necessary to use extremely light fluoro carbon leader such as 4lb Vanish and ultra light Jig heads such as 1/40th ounce Nitro torpedos. This requires a very slow retreat allowing the Lure to sink naturally to the bottom.

Bream fisherman will most likely focus their efforts on deeper water over the next few weeks as the bream seem to move into deeper holes to get away from the fresh water. This means it’s time to get those Vibes/Blades out of your tackle box. I find the best method of catching bream in deeper water is to locate them using your depth sounder, and drop your vibes directly under the boat, dangling the lure in front of their nose (irritating them). Lures like Berkley’s MF40’s can give you the ultimate edge with the use of Berkley’s famous Pheromone infused in a soft Vibe. This form of fishing can also yield by catch such as the Prized Mulloway.

During Floods Mulloway tend to lay in ambush in deep holes waiting for pray to swim/ float past. With a good sounder it is possible to locate ambushing Jewies lurking in their hole/cave. I find Gulp 7 inch jerk shads the most effective soft plastics when targeting big Jew, using the lightest possible jig head that will allow you to reach the bottom.

If Soft Plastics aren’t your thing then you will be happy to hear that the most effective method of catching Mulloway in my opinion is still using Fresh/Live squid. Freshly killed arrow squid seem to work best in the upper reaches, whereas live Southern Calamari can’t be beaten around the harbour and the entrance of the Hawkesbury.

Good advice Andrew, and thanks so much for sharing it.

A bloke in Florida has just caught his 200th broadbill swordfish, almost all of them in the daytime. You've got to wonder when this type of fishing is going to take off here:

ISLAMORADA — It certainly was not a large swordfish that was dragged over the transom of the Catch 22 charter boat on July 11 offshore Islamorada in the Florida Keys.

After all, its weight of about 70 pounds was not the priority to those involved in the landing.

What counted was the incredible milestone achieved for a 63-year-old Florida Keys light-tackle guide and his close friends, who worked together to pioneer fishing for swordfish during daylight fishing hours. Swordfish also are known as broadbills.

Vic Gaspeny was the one who reeled in his 200th swordfish that afternoon. It’s believed to be the most ever caught by a single angler on manual sportfishing tackle.

Sylvia still hopes to get Giuseppe onto a fish. But just when things were looking promising, a shark turned up to disrupt proceedings:

It was a Reef near the Cape at Moreton Island. WOGBOY has still NOT CAUGHT ANYTHING (my grocery bill is getting higher).

Be strong! At least sharks are interested, meaning you’re half way there.

J Maybe Sydney fishing expert Gary Brown could help:

Good on you Gary, hope you have a big rollup.

John Leach sent news of a handy product from the USA:

Hi Andrew, been in contact with Gerry by email and the best we can do at this point is to go on eBay USA and punch in live bait clip. I will email him again to see if we can deal direct with him but will let you know. I think I could send you down 1 or 2 if you like.

Please do John, will take some pics and do a review for our readers.

Graeme Henderson writes in, from sunny Queensland:

Hi Andrew, got out in the beautiful Pine River last Saturday. Got this cracker Flathead, was on my own so this was the only photo taken. I also include a pic of the view was a really lovely morning. Also a pic of my recently purchased tinny.

Good one Graeme! The boat looks ready for business and that’s a solid croc too.

To politics, and lots of feedback on last weeks’ moored hulks story. Chris W writes:

I regularly fish Hen and Chicken Bay at the opposite end of the Harbour (or Parra River if you prefer) and there are many more examples of boats moored but never used. There should be a minimum use clause in the mooring agreement. Cheers, Chris

‘Minimum use’, good call. Mario says it’s no different north of Sydney:

Thanks for the updates Andrew Luv the pics, in regard to moorings it is pretty much the same in and around Newcastle Harbour. Harbour side of Stockton the only thing they aid is the housing crisis for some Bream and Seagulls. Luv your work Regards Mario

Take some pics of the hulks for me, lads? The more evidence, the more likely we can get things changed. Bruce Vaughan has insightful take on the issue, borne of personal experience:

Response to the mooring issues, with possible solution.

Hi Andrew, I have a 26 ft Caribbean which I used to keep on a mooring at Port Stephens.

The boat is now dry stored, as I have just spent a fortune re-powering the boat and don’t want it degrading on a mooring.

I still have the mooring, as I would also like the option to leave the boat moored on the occasional weekend, or when the weather is good.

Remember you don’t ever own a mooring, you are leasing the space in the water, and you own a bit of concrete, float  and chain.

My issues with the whole mooring system is this:-

Maritime won’t allow you to keep your mooring unless you have your boat on it.

Also they won’t allow any other vessel to use it while it is registered to me. (unless it is registered as a commercial mooring which is more expensive)

They don’t have any means of tracking mooring service history. (Not service for 2 years, should be automatic lease termination and vessel removal at owners expense.)

There is no system in place to allow utilisation of vacant, serviced moorings.

These rules are what drives the wrong behaviour, they encourage people to leave boats on moorings, just to keep the mooring.

The domino effect of this is what you have shown in the photos. So Maritime are causing their own problems, and availability issues for the rest of us.

Exactly. I’m in correspondence about this with two officers at Maritime, Bruce. Forwarding your observations to them, with a request for response. If nothing heard, will take it to the Minister and the media. Thanks to those readers who got stuck into the greenies – on their own website! J That’s me on the far left, ready to go with the megaphone:

Hi Andrew, I met you the other week when you were down in Melb for our Boatshow, I was the one who suggested you should have decked that idiot greeny or at least charged him with assault. I personally hope you do have him charged as they play the game as if the laws do not apply to themselves. Being a long time Duck Hunter down here I get sick to death of their antics, lies and bullsh1t. Anyhow its your call and keep up the good work. Would you please send me down one off 1000 mtr spool of 50 lb. colour change braid at your convenience

Thanks, cobber. As it turns out I was contacted by Hornsby Detectives but decided not to proceed, considering it would be a waste of valuable police time. Wayne Tonkin from Warringah FC has a good point to make, on the greenies’ plan to ban fishing at Narrabeen Lagoon:

I'd just like to add a few comments. Pelicans and other seabirds have wings, they fly around. I've seen Pelicans at Long Reef boat ramp fly off towards Narrabeen Lagoon in the afternoons. Some obviously don't watch much TV as there have been numerous programs showing the increased wildlife in Central Australia from the rains in Queensland and other places. Where do they think the birds come from? Ever noticed them very high in the sky circling in the air currents. There is a possibility that they may have picked up lines and hooks at other locations.  Maybe we should ban smokers and picnickers as well after you see the amount of cigarette butts and garbage that they leave also. It's all too easy to blame the fisherpeople. People have died fishing off the rocks. Why aren't they focusing their emotions towards this practice rather than focus on an enclosed piece of water that sees fishing as a leisurely and safer pastime for the elderly, the young, the handicapped, infirm and wheelchair disabled. Only one word - EDUCATION.

Well said, Wayne. In closing, a sad story, but maybe some of our readers can help:

Hi Andrew I am one of your readers. I am from Victoria. I have been reading your newsletter for a few years now and greatly love fishing of every type. I even bought a little bit of gear from you once.

I was so impressed with all the great deep sea fishing stories it prompted me to get a large boat but because I am only a single parent pensioner buying one was impossible. So being good with my hands I decided to build one. So I saved for a very long time and got materials epoxy and all, and began to make my 24 ft dream. Which I guess brings me to what I am writing about, all those boats moored just rotting in the water. The people who own them should be ashamed of themselves when people like me and my boys who would treat their boats like gold. Its criminal they do not deserve them.

My dream may not even happen now. We had a house fire 3 weeks ago which took everything except the clothes on our back. Even my beautiful half built boat not to mention the motor for it that took me years to save for. And all my fishing gear that I had collected for 40 years since I was a kid all gone, so it will be a very long while if ever till me and my 4 boys can ever get out on the water and hook into a big fish.

So the people who have that much that they can let it rot in the water need to realy take a good look at themselves. I’m not sure why I’m writing this letter I guess when you lose it all it just plain give you the sh!ts to see such a waste regards Bill Bulkeley

ps check this out

in the pic you can see my poor old burnt motor and the back of my boat which is all that was left of it

I wrote to Bill,

What a horrible story, so sorry to hear that! Hey mate – why don’t I put your address in the newsletter and blokes could send you their spare tackle so you could commence rebuilding your gear collection. Every fisho I know has got extra gear they don’t need, especially me! Let me know if that works for you because I think it’s a good idea, Andrew

Here’s Bill’s address, lads. If you’ve got anything surplus to requirements, pop it in a postpack?

Bill Bulkeley

P.O Box 327


Victoria 3450

My sincere thanks to all our readers, and especially those who send in their reports, pics and their opinions on matters political. Keep it coming! Cheers,

Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director