Tuesday 01 JANUARY 2013

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

G’day lads

Christmas/New Year is always a fantastic time for fishing around Sydney - if the weather plays ball. So when Peter G invited me out on his big Noble on Sunday morning, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. First stop was the bait grounds off Clontarf. With slimy mackerel and yellowtail in abundance there was plenty of boats on station:

Around to the Gap for a downrigging session but brown algae accumulated on the lines, and as we all know kingfish don’t like that:

I already knew the same syndrome was happening up at Long Reef, meaning our only option was deeper water. Thankfully conditions were pretty good so Pete powered up the 225 and off we went, to Twelve Mile Reef. The first few drops showed nothing much had changed, with young Chris and Andrew racking up an impressive score of leatherjackets:

But then we started to mark small clusters of fish 40 metres down and soon after Peter and myself hooked up, on barely legals:

Then Chris took a heavy hit, and battle commenced:

Short 40 second video here:

Final result a 92cm kingfish, with Chris justifiably pleased with such a top capture:


Pete’s a gourmet too, and sent a pic of the catch prepared for a holiday lunch:

If you’re going, forget deep jigging the main hump. Work around and about using your sounder, looking for fish holding in the top half of the water column. Adjust the boat for drift and drop down fast. That worked for us!

Peter CC fished Long Reef too:



Hi mate, we got a heap of kings in the 70 to 80 range, took Mike from work out for the first time fishing with me and got some nice kings as well. Cheers, Peter

Chunky kings, Pete!

Further south, our Man On The Spot at Kingfish HQ (AKA Jervis Bay) writes in:

Hi Andrew, the boys on Simmos Afloat had a hard day.2 king fish caught early and then zero for the rest of the day. That's the way it is at this time of year, get your Kingies early because by 10 am it is a "car park" at Lamonds Head.



A 15 and 22kg king were caught there yesterday and that seems to be the spot for good bait schools at present.. ...but that can change overnight and then you need to go prospecting.  Cheers from Down South, Dave and Kate



Good one Dave, and thanks for keeping us up to speed.

With a stack of friends and clients holidaying down your way (including Matt) I’m hoping for some good reports, next week. And talking about good reports, Andy W took advantage of top weather in western Victoria, to fish wide of Warrnambool:

Two days in a row and two great trips. Day one, three Gummy shark. 22kg, 15 and 8.


And 18 snapper and a good lot of squid. Two top days on the water



Beautiful. Now mate is that the same albatross I was hand feeding, a few weeks ago? One leg, one eye, mako bite on right wing, answers to the name of ‘Lucky.’ If yes, chuck him a pilchard and send him my best for 2013. I don’t mean to be rude but who would have thought, ten years ago, that blokes would be heading to Victoria for top fishing?

Tony Comito:

Hi Andy, had another fishing trip in Port Phillip Bay and we had another red hot fishing session on a snapper school. This fishery is amazing. Also had a fish with Matt Reid last week:



By jingies you are unstoppable Tony. Well done!

To South Australia, and as regular readers know I track the southern bluefin run across the Bight with feverish intensity. That’s why I was over the moon, when Dave Hall sent in the first report of the year:

Hi Andrew, just letting you know that I have been using the 20W reel combo outfit to great effect on an early run of SBT here in SA.


I have caught 20 fish up to 18 kgs in the last two days and the reel, line and rod have been excellent.  So much so that I would like to order another outfit please for $385, the same as I ordered 6 months ago.  If I paid by CC now how long before you could deliver please?


Hmm. Checking online I find that Victor Harbour is 1493 kilometres from Sydney. Meaning that if I grab a 20W combo and leave in an hour, I can meet you at the local boat ramp by lunchtime tomorrow.

 J David, glad to hear the bent butt combo is working so well for you and grateful, for your report and pics.

Still on gamefishing, and Mark Way from Kiama GFC has a welcome South Coast report:

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Striped Marlin on the Bite n Blacks will surely follow!

We took Sea Eagle for a bottom bash last Thursday and found Flathead were on bite and this has continued with Mowies and Reds being reported by Trev on consecutive charters off Kiama in his boat Kiama! It was our first run out in Sea Eagle since she has been fitted out n ready for action.

Saturday we went out in My Way and trolled around 60 fa reefs back to 40Fa with water looking and feeling very much like Marlin would be about but failed in an hours short trolling to raise a fish. The radio reports indicated Canyons had some good Stripes around 80-100kg's being seen with some smaller fish jumping in 30 odd fathoms but none were brought to the boat….. Sunday saw Platypus go out early and come good with first Marlin of Season, a Striped of approximately 90kgs on 37kg to skipper John Kondrachas. Well done John!

Good news from South West Rocks, where so many clients and friends are holidaying. Small blacks around but weather making things difficult.

Peter G:


I can't claim credit for these but thought your readers may like to get the holiday season juices flowing.   The pics are from my brother in law and nephews that had a late start out of South West Rocks last week.  These 2 Shannon is holding are 3 .5 and 4 but they also got another at 3 and 1.5 plus a few trag in 45m.




Beautiful reds! Up on the Tweed the blue current is carrying all kinds of sought after trophies.

Wayne Bardwell:

Hi Andrew, thanks, please can you send me a blue head and a red head if possible. Here are some pics of our fish this past weekend. Got 6 Wahoo and 2 dorado. My 6 year old got his PB Dollie and 3 Wahoo.

Blimey. The wahoo and mahi are bigger than your lad, Wayne! Thanks so much for sending and I’m sure the Head Starts will keep bringing them aboard. It’s not all saltwater.

Trout specialist Dave Tinworth headed for the Monaro, over the break:

Hi Andrew, happy New Year


The trout are still biting in Eucumbene, even though the water is starting to warm up. Still managed to catch a few early on the flat line if you had lures that could dive to 18 to 20 feet and are prepared to get on the water an hour before sun up, then move onto down rigging as the days warmed up. The fish are in beautiful condition, solid, fat and full of yabbies, as this one with my mate Peter shows. Best regards, David



Typically generous of you to share that excellent advice, Dave! Lads, if you’re going, follow David’s recommendations to the letter? They’ll work for you.

Fishing fanatics Will and Alice headed across the pond for the Christmas break:

Hi Andrew & Carolyn, just a few pics whilst in NZ attending a wedding.  Weather was lousy except for one overcast day which we certainly made use of.  Was hoping to fish at the Ranfurly Banks but caught these babies about 20min shy of the banks, in the “Ranfurly Channel”.  The wind picked up, then we shot over to the East Cape Is for more fishing. Then on the way home, we pulled up our cray pots at Hicks Bay, to find these lovely babies in them. We snap froze the fish and crays in dry-ice for the journey back to Oz, which we declared and everything was kosher.  Gonna do it again another time. Certainly thought of you both!

Just sensational. Will looks pleased as punch with those nice hapuka and as for your crays, I’m speechless. Which happens about once a year.

J  Dan from Mingara Fishing Club on the Central Coast asked me to add some info about the Clubs’ upcoming fishing comp. No problem at all, Dan:


G’day Andy

Love your work in compiling the weekly report and the contributions from all the readers.

I thought you might be able to share with readers the upcoming Mingara Central Coast Invitational Fishing Tournament. This is the premier fishing competition held on the Central Coast (NSW) annually and is open to all anglers who reside outside of the Central Coast – in other words, local anglers are not eligible to enter resulting in a fairer competition for all our visitors.

Attached is a picture of last year’s winners, Windsor Leagues Club, who will no doubt be looking to retain their title in 2013.

That’s what I like to see, Dan. Happy fishos who’ve done well, sharing their knowledge with youngsters coming in to the sport.

To politics, and so much intel received over the horrendous state of NSW boat ramps – including ones where millions have been spent – or rather, wasted. Yes, the disaster below is the owner’s fault. But take a look at the drop off on the ramp sides and consider how much we pay for boat and trailer rego, each year. Chris Sun writes:

Here's a nice boat that a family dropped on Bayview (Pittwater, in Sydney) ramp engine first.  The sterndrive lower unit was smashed and gear oil ran everywhere. Their trailer has 2 chains, one off the winch post and one turnbuckle off the trailer. They took both chains off at the top of the ramp and the winch slipped and dropped the boat. Guys, if you're going to undo the turn buckles at the top of the ramp, at least leave the winch post chain on.  Sometimes the winch ratchet might not be clicked in properly, or winch cables/belts/ropes do snap with age.

Good observations, Chris.


Here’s signage at the Soldiers point ramp:

The story with Roseville ramp becoming clearer. The Parkies blocked off one lane by putting a pontoon down the middle of the ramp. Now, blokes tie up on the pontoon close to the water's edge, then go park their trailer. That blocks a lane until they get back:

Peter sent in a pic and comment:

notice the boat on the RHS it is waiting for the other one to move so it can go right in the middle. Honestly this is just a punch up waiting to happen Cheers Peter


Too right it is Pete, and thanks so much for documenting this proof. What gets me is with this stupid arrangement is the way passengers now wander around the area where large boats are being reversed. Check the pic above! That’s a tragedy waiting to happen. Here’s how it ended up, the bloke with the stern drive boat perfectly blocking two lanes:

Here's my two cents on this shambles. There are basically two types of boaties: the ones that launch less than five times per year, and the ones that launch more than thirty times per year. The modifications to Roseville ramp were installed without consideration of the reality of those who launch less than five times per year. That was a stupid move by those responsible, and is putting people at risk of injury - or worse. I don’t blame the boaties themselves because there will always be new people coming into the game and launching/retrieving is a learning curve we all had to master. Much more to follow on this topic, next week.


Thanks so much to all our readers and reporters, it’s your contributions that makes this little newsletter worth reading.

So please – keep the updates coming in! Until next week,


 Andrew Hestelow