Monday 5th December 2016

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

SENSATIONAL. Thanks so much, Callum Birch:



Attached an epic shot of an airborne wahoo going in for the kill on a popper.  The photographer Hannes Ribbner kindly let me share it.


The best pic I’ve seen in a long time and thank you. Brett sends the story of his 16 kilo albacore caught off Sydney last week. Top stuff!



It was about 50 kilometres out. Epic event. I got about six striped tuna and downsized my tackle to 6-kilo spin gear, for trolling. Then got a double hookup on albacore. Lost one at the boat, then got the rod out of the holder for the other (which had broken in half by this point.) Fought the fish off the half remaining rod. Had lost my gaff overboard with the lost albacore so had to grab that one by the gills when it came to the back of the boat. Got them on little Pakulas the size of a middle finger.


December is kingfish time off Sydney and they are, from small to XOS models. Richard Jamieson writes.



Andrew belated report from the weekend. Beautiful day out on the water Sunday. Spent an hour or so catching squid then headed north. Tried Mugs for no success, then Long Reef where I picked up this 69cm model. Did not see another fish caught despite dozens of boats – so they definitely were not plentiful. Cheers, Rich


Helpful report, cobber! It can often be just helpful to know when things are quiet as to know when things are on fire. Trent Bracey at Newport Reef:



Sharks and seals attacking a giant salmon school at Avoca. Amazing close up drone footage that gets better and better, as the video progresses:



Mark Way from Kiama GFC always firstest with the mostest:



Josh Thomas has been catching some good sized Kings


Western Sydney, and Kim Ngov carp fishing with the family. Such a great way to introduce friends to the sport we love, and a top option when it’s blowing too hard to get offshore:



Check these out. Fish out of my creek. The kids are having fun catching these.


Geoff Wilson sends an update from south of the border. Appreciative of all you do:



Ben Young with a nice snapper taken off Clifton Springs



Aaron Habgood with one of the snapper he caught offshore from Port Phillip Heads


Fur seal attacking a school of snapper in Port Phillip Bay. These animals making fishing difficult all the time now. Thanks to Dan:



Tasmania, and Leo ‘The Legend’ Miller out wide of the Apple Isle for a family day:



We went out the weekend before last to chase Calamari, then wider for Striped Trumpeter then a little further (60km out total) for Blue eye trevalla.


We found the squid and worked away for 15, of which 7 came in a row in the space of 4 mins. Not big ones but a good size. The wind had now dropped as was our plan so we headed to the shelf to chase Striped Trumpeter in about 150m.



The Furuno came into its own when it found a nice looking school after not long. Using both electrics and overheads we got down there with fresh squid heads. First wind up out of the 3 rods we had 7 keepers! The limit is 4 and (16 that day) and it didn’t take long to bag out. Young Lochie was loving it too although just using the electric with me.


To tackle, and with gamefishing season imminent so many inquiries for that type of gear:


Hi andrew. Hows it going. I am chasing 2 light tackle 15kg roller tip, straight butt game rods?



It’s going great and nice to hear from you. But I’m sorry to say we no longer offer straight butt medium game rods – because bent butts are so much better and once you’ve tried one, you’ll never go back. Ours is a 15-24 kilo 2-piece that weighs only 850 grams. Five feet six inches long with roller tip and only $140. Ideal for trailer boat fishing, when you have to move fast around the deck to keep the line clear of the prop. So much more leverage and comfort! Would you consider that one? I’m going to send you some forum and Youtube links where they’ve discussed bent vs straight butts and come down overwhelmingly in favour of bent. Thanks for your inquiry, Andy


read it here



Snuck down to the Apple Tree Bay boat ramp on Tuesday night after Scouts and left one of our $20 camping spotlights tied to the pontoon, and shining down into the water:



That’s a great way to have squid on tap when you do a pre dawn launch, the next morning. The bad news is, I slept in, and didn’t arrive until the sun was well up. J The good news is, the light was still shining! Quality rechargeable battery in these:



These are only $20, and that includes 12 V and 240 V chargers. They have a swivel handle and can be used as a camping lamp, or spotlight. Great gear at an excellent price.


Hey Andy, what is the best to use the spoon hook and soft plastic? Is it best to cast out, let it sink to bottom and then retrieve or do you troll with the downrigger?


About three years ago we were into casting big soft plastics at structure in Sydney Harbour, Steve. But everyone else was into it too. Meaning you would arrive at a spot like the Tripod and there would be three or four other boats there.



The bite was hottest at the height of summer, so we often had to deal with a fast north easterly drift, too. Long casting was the key but that gets pretty hard to do into a strong wind when you’re blocked by other boats. I had imported some of these but dealing with the supplier was difficult and the product was very expensive. So we sourced them through our regular supplier.



The first day we have attested them we pulled a couple of kingfish off the Tripod - right next to a bloke fishing with live squid! I can still remember the dirty look he gave me. Using the two rigged ones you can see in the pic above, I took a pic of them just before Mev and Ed cast in. Not big fish, one tiny! But any king’s a good king and they chose these, over live squid:




So the three big benefits are 1. The lead spoon increases casting distance; 2. The spoon increases sink rate (which is important, because the fish usually show on the sounder about five or 6 metres down) and 3. The spoon gives the 9 inch soft plastic a fantastic wobble retrieve. Give them a try and get back to me? You won’t be disappointed. Cheers, Andrew




Are your carbon fiber sheet material made from solid carbon fiber all the way to the core? I am new at this. Another supplier from USA uses some thin layer of carbon fiber strand that gets glued to some thin fiberglass board. The edge is white, instead of black. How are yours different?



Yes, ours is solid carbon fibre all the way through, with a black edge. The glued panels you have described do have an application for other purposes but are not what you want for fishing reel drag washers. Go ahead and place an order? For sure you will be pleased, everyone is.


To News of the Weird (and this week, Sad.) Does anyone remember the Nullarbor Nymph? Supposedly a small girl who wandered off into the desert, while her family were at a truck stop in South Australia. J Raised by a pack of dingoes, barked and howled instead of speaking, and ran around the scrub in the nude catching kangaroos for food. The whole thing turned out to be a scam by a bloke who wanted to promote his new motel. Anyway, the ABC sent a film crew to interview this old bushie who collected sandalwood out there. Interviewer: ‘what’s your take on the Nullarbor Nymph?’ Old bushie: ‘any bird running round the scrub in the raw out here would bloody soon burn off what’s bobbing!’ Take note Darci and thanks to Steve for the pic:



NZ charter disaster last week. Just horrible:



Just hoping NSW Fisheries don’t declare this North Harbour clunker a protected area? It’s been neglected for so long that it’s a habitat zone all on its own:




Heading north, and Chris Vlahos had a ball at Cooktown. How good are those conditions!



Hi Andrew,



Had a great time in Cooktown, weather was superb and caught plenty of fish. No big GT’s, and Spaniards were also scarce this year. Rod worked a treat and still got a good workout on the Large Mouth Nannies, Big Cod, various trevally and of course, always sharks and other unstoppables.


Darryn Jones out in the dory on the Coral Sea, and boating a top selection of reef species for the esky – plus an arm stretching cobia:



Hi Andrew

As promised some photos of trip.

I used the SW5000 for the trout, cod etc

Reel went really well. Got smashed a couple of times and had to respool but performed awesome despite the beating.



Caught a nice barramundi cod, great looking fish, swam him and sent him home.

The Cobia hit real hard right at the dory and pulled the gaff out of my mates hand but eventually got the fish and gaff back.

Caught this with the 80 lb braid and flouro you sent so thanks.



Not at all cobber, I should be thanking you. I remember when a resort in Hamish Reid’s hometown of Mission Beach posted signs in the gardens asking guests to stay inside, at night. The reason being that honeymooners had been involved in some nasty confrontations with wild pigs in amongst the frangipanis, after dark. Meaning you could deck a couple of big grunters behind the pool filter, then head out with a stack of our 100 grammers to jig trevally off a wreck.  That’s my idea of heaven:



Hi Andrew, had a great morning out with Ogi on some wrecks. Ogi hooked all the large fish and was unable to land any! Even after 20mins in, still no colour. They do love the knife jigs though. Let me know when you are getting the teardrop shaped ones, I will be in for a few. Paul from I Fish was just up here for a few days, trying to stop a few big GT'S, but the sharks got most of his. We were fishing one of the wrecks with him but they were only interested in his bait, not the jigs or plastics, we headed to another wreck but failed to stop the good ones, just a few little fellas. Cheers mate


Marc Vincent in the Atlantic. That’s a beast:



Hi Andrew, I was lucky enough to fish a 190kg bluefin Tuna of the west coast of France in September.  The skipper is a former world champion … I think he scored a total of about 50 fish in the two months the season lasts


To politics, and the big news is the SFFP win in the Orange by election here in NSW, last month:



That came just in time for us fishos because Premier Baird planned to announce marine parks around Sydney just before Christmas (and then go on six weeks holiday to St Tropez or whatever.) Instead he is dealing with a backbench revolt as Western Sydney MPs realise their jobs and benefits are on the line as the public wakes up as to how out of touch they are. Baird, who wasted $16m on crazy north coast shark schemes like tracking, tagging and drone surveillance, finally got the message that people’s lives are at risk and we don’t have time for his dizzy dithering:



Baird went into damage control and flew to Ballina to announce shark nets would be installed immediately – the same kind of shark nets which have kept Sydney beaches safe, for fifty years. He was met by the usual handful of ratbags:



Is that NSW Fisheries Minister Niall Blair in the shark suit? Note that Greenies protested meshed beaches yesterday - at Manly, a meshed beach. Local cafes stocked up big on kale, soy milk and rainforest certified tofu. If you’ve ever wondered why Australia has the worst record of species loss on the planet, look no further. The Greens – who have politicians, the Fairfax press, the ABC and 90% of bureaucrats sucking up to them – jump on every lame bandwagon, in preference to serious conservation:



In closing, thanks so much to all the blokes who send in the reports 4000 readers enjoy. Best wishes to all for a wonderful Christmas and grateful for your support,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director