Tuesday 05 FEBRUARY 2013

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

G’day lads,


With two consecutive weekends of filthy weather on the east coast, things have been tough locally. I headed out on Sunday with a keen crew but had to turn back just a few clicks offshore in view of the five metre steep peaks and cresting (or even, breaking) swells.

Matt Reid was way smarter, stayed inside the Harbour and put his young clients onto a few:


Dutchie stopped by for tackle on Sunday and left pics of good fish he scored on our downrigger - before the weather turned dirty:

Andy, caught on live squid and cuttlefish downrigging the Tripod

Couple of beauties there, Dutch!

Just by the way, the Tripod has taken a big hit:

I got out last Thursday with Ian and my nephew John. Wanted to start the day with some mixed fruit but wouldn’t you know, left the spoon at home and had to make do:

Water very brown all through Middle Harbour, but we were able to get good live bait up at Manly. Straight around to Long Reef, and the swells breaking in six metres of water inside White Rock had to be seen to be believed. Looked like Waikiki! No-one else there, we downrigged around for an hour, nothing seen on the sounder and not a touch on the live bait.


Lines in, and off to the FAD. Dead as a doornail, no current, no fish, no marks on the screen. Down to South Head for another hit of my latest craze, being jigging with micro jigs. Even that was quiet but we did manage a few. Ian tried out his new Rapala micro jigging rod:

Johnno put an outrageous load curve on our light combo:

All kings small and put back over the side carefully:


Looking forward to doing it all again on Wednesday, with hopefully some bigger kings around.

I’ve ordered a thousand 40-gram jigs to arrive end of February, but Joel reckons he can’t wait:


WHERE: Crestwood Community Centre

ADDRESS: Corner Crestwood Drive and Chapel Lane, Baulkham Hills

WHEN: 7:45PM Wednesday 13th February


Don’t be nervous, come along. The Seabees are a top bunch of friendly blokes.


Andy is there any advantages of using assist hooks on microjigs as opposed to trebles

Too right there is, Nick. The idea of this caper is that there is a fantastic underused sport fishing resource just outside most ports on the east coast. That is, small yellowtail kingfish, stacked up over reefs (including artificial homemade reefs, more about that next week) in the 30 to 50 metre zone. In the past we’ve skull dragged these puppies up to the boat on 24 kilo line. Now, we are using matched tackle and 40 gram jigs and having a fantastic time fighting them on light gear. Everything else stays the same, especially the jigging action. But because most are undersize they have to be carefully returned to the water.


That’s a lot harder with trebles, because so often when they’re used they end up inside the kingie’s mouth, pinned at three points, and damaging the fish during the removal process. A single Mustad 4/0 Hoodlum at the top of the jig works well and speeds up return to the water.

Professor Jack has a helpful update on the seasickness remedy recommended last week:



Thanks, Jack! It’s horrible when someone on the CJ is too sick to enjoy the day.


Rob W has a suggestion:



Helpful, thanks Rob.

Kevin Preston sends in a pic of his beautiful marlin, taken just before the dirty weather arrived:


here is a pic of my 80.5 kg on 10kg line striped marlin caught on 20/1/13 at Berry on The Step it is an ANSA state sport fishing record.


That’s an amazing accomplishment Kevin, congratulations.

Doug E from Port Lincoln says our jigs delivered results last weekend:


Recently off Coffin Bay your knife jigs cleaned up, photo 1 of many.


Glad to hear it and hope the game combo works well for you, Doug!

Nick P our roving reporter for the Downrigger Times took pics, at the scene of a stuff up:


Hey Andy I watched on as this poor blokes boat got washed off Central Coast's Pearl Beach. Apparently he was drifting around in Broken Bay when the wind got up. He then had trouble starting his outboard and got washed up in at Pearl Beach. They had the boat anchored in the sand for a while but the swell got up and flipped it.


That’s sad, Nick. Pearl Beach pretty steep and exposed. Nothing heard from Our Man in JB this week??

Further north, cyclone remnants are still giving trouble. Glenn C decided to postpone his surf fishing plans, at Brisbane:

Listy is pleased with his Daiwa reel knob upgrade, and sent a few pics to show its working:

No worries Andy, just wanted to add that I gave the new handle I got off you for the Saltist a go, and mate, it was brilliant! Thanx to Tim? for fitting it for me.

Have passed that on to him Listy and thanks, for your kind words. We’re fitting them to just about everything now. Not expensive and SO much more comfortable in a fight, or even when just reeling in:

Thanks to those readers who sent this account about a ‘huge’ black marlin that supposedly sunk a boat. It turns out the marlin was tiny and the boat was backing down too hard, but as I’ve shown so often, why let the facts interfere with the story?

A fisherman off Panama was battling a huge black marlin when the battle took a turn for the worse. The fish sank the boat. Or as Marlin Magazine put it on its Facebook post, "Marlin Wins!" Not all the details are in, but apparently the captain began backing down on the huge fish, a common practice in big-game fishing when a fish is taking line. He puts the boat in reverse to chase the fish.

One commenter on Marlin Magazine's Facebook post who apparently had some knowledge of the incident said that the captain fell as he was backing down on the fish at full throttle. The boat took on too much water and, finally, there was no correcting the situation. Marlin Magazine reported that the boat went to the bottom of the sea and everybody on board was rescued by the photo boat. And, of course, the fish got away.

Operator error. Dang shame to see a nice rig like that go to the bottom.

While we’re talking about boats Shahir is importing a range of inflatables, which look the goods:


Hi Andrew, thought I may share this with you, we finally had a good Australia Day out on the water and on our OZ TIGER RIBS, we are the importer of those RIBS into Australia, ( JC MARINE ) It was a great day on the water family really enjoyed it … shame we don’t actually have any photos but there that much Salmon busting up in harbor everywhere and any where you went they were there we managed to land a couple on some of your lighter outfits it was great fun.


They look good, Shahir!

Still on matters marine and Les seeks help, from our wise and experienced readers:



Hi Andrew, I wondered what your readers thoughts were.


I have a Trailcraft' (about 6mtrs) with a 125 HP straight 4 cylinder 2/stroke outboard spinning a stainless 20'' prop.


The motor has only done 650 hours but it costs far too much to run, I mean it costs about $20.00 just to start the damn thing so I'm going to repower the boat in the next three or four weeks. I need a lot more economy and a lot less noise. Something that's got some grunt over the Macleay River bar but can also handle an economical long days trolling. I'm tired of paying $100.00 to $120.00 in fuel every time I go for a fishing trip. I'm now down to two options.



Stay with the 2/strokes and get a 150 HP E-Tec

Go for a 4/stroke and get a 150 HP Yamaha


You can bet our readers have some worthwhile insights, Les. Over to you blokes, let’s hear your thoughts! And I must thank our readers, because we passed ten thousand website visitors last month:


That’s fantastic, and I’m very grateful for your support.

Angus Cooke has just returned from his annual fly fishing trip to NZ, where he scored these beauties:

The first is in the Rough and the other in the Ohikanui.


30 plus degrees every day and hardly a cloud in the sky for 7 days straight!


Amazing that such skinny water produces big fish, but that’s Kiwiland for you. See you at the Rod Fishers lunch on Thursday and looking forward to hearing what (NSW Fisheries Minister) Katrina Hodgkinson has to say.

Still overseas, and carbontex client Roy G from the UK sent pics of his recent carping adventures. Check these beasts out:

And this one, nice fish:

To politics, and regular readers will know that I’ve got a bee in my bonnet about mooring minders. That is, junk boats, sitting on public moorings in the Harbour, which not only aren’t ever used but could not be used, due to their state of decay.

I have no personal interest in this issue. What does get on my wick is seeing NSW Maritime officers endlessly inspecting recreational boaties, while mooring minders rot away all across the Harbour. These could be used by boat owners who actually go boating.

Why are there so many clunkers taking up space, when at the same time a wait of years is required for access to a public mooring?


Visual Suitability of Vessels on Moorings


Vessels must be visually suitable for the bay and be maintained in a seaworthy condition which means being capable of undertaking a voyage.

The vessel must be of a style considered by Maritime to be consistent with the general style of vessels moored in the bay.

The vessel must be kept clean and tidy.

The vessel must be kept free of bird droppings, vermin and insects.

Painted substances must not be peeling, flaking, crazed or otherwise deteriorated

Metal surfaces must be kept free from rust and any other forms of oxidisation.

Marine growth on the vessel’s hull must be kept to a standard acceptable to Maritime.

A vessel will only be deemed to be in a seaworthy condition if it is capable of undertaking a voyage.

Note that some of these eyesores have been moored for 15 years plus with no registration displayed, no means of propulsion (like a sail or motor) available and have never once been moved from their mooring, except perhaps for the odd anti-fouling. Maritime boats go past them every day while on their way to fine some boatie for having an unapproved life jacket aboard.


Fifteen years or so ago I used to visit a big property out West several times a year, to both fish and hunt. Amongst the sprawling outbuildings there was a small one which had a warning sign on the door, ‘Do Not Enter’. This was the poisons room, and I am not talking about Ratsak. Some pretty crazy stuff in there from decades past including Larvacide, a poison gas we used on rabbit warrens; arsenic based sheep dips from the 1960s; SAP, a horrible phosphorous poison used on wild pigs, and worst of all, sodium cyanide, for foxes.


This deadly cocktail stayed in the poison room behind lock and key, because what can you do to dispose of chemicals like that? Eventually, the government wrote to western division land holders, and arranged collection of all these poisons by Hazmat teams.


The floating junks don’t represent any threat but in a way the same circumstance is occurring, being what do you do with your junk mooring minder? It can barely float, much yet be used. But you don’t even have a trailer for it anymore. Even if you did, where would you store it? From what I’m hearing this is the real reason the Harbour is chock-a-block with so many junk boats.


If you’re out on the water and you see a boat down at its mooring, a sunken boat dragged up on the beach, or are subject to a heavy handed or generally excessive Maritime safety examination – send me the details. Or better, send me a picture.

I’ll keep it completely confidential but unless we register our protest not only will things not change, they will get worse. Thanks for your support my friends, and please keep these pics and reports coming in. It’s your generous contributions that make this little newsletter worth reading. Cheers,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director