Friday 05th July 2013

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

With unending dirty weather off Sydney, the only way to get results is to challenge the elements. Matt Reid’s an expert at that:



Hi Andy, fished with some great mates today with Scotty, Haven Charters



We got some great fish up to 113cm and many around the 1m mark



Top job cobber, and good on you for doing well on a rotten weekend. We fished close in same day, with a combination of 3 metre swells and driving rain making things miserable indeed. My eyeballs were in pain from the driving rain, and that’s no fun. J The good news is that bigger boats out wide had the success we’ve all been waiting to hear about. Craig Burn:



On Tintola, yellowfin, 6 inch Pakula on the shot gun


That gets me pumped! Joe from Shell Harbour Charters sent a positive update too:


Hi Andrew, Joe here from Shellharbour Fishing Charters. Fished yesterday 28/6 for a speculation, on tuna.  Found good schools of albacore out in the 1000s and smashed them on your jigs. Could have caught them by the 100s.  Better still was the fact that we found blue fin in 400ftms and a long liner was there as well getting them in good numbers. Looks as though it is about to finally start


Such good news Joe because I’m heading out on Monday, specifically chasing albacore. Leo has an albacore report too:


Hi Andy, after hearing your advice of kings back at the 12 mile, I had to go have a look myself. Conditions weren't great, but we managed a couple of kings after moving to avoid the Barracouta that seem to have taken up residence.



We moved out to Browns after that, and found Albacore Tuna. The other boat that we were with managed a few of them on jigs down deep. They wouldn't come up our cube trail, but they are definitely there! Surely the yellowfin and Bluefin can't be far away? Water is still quite warm at 19.5 degrees, but a brilliant blue out there.




G'day Andrew,  Adam Cree here from Blue Reef Fishing Charters Sydney. Just touching bases with you on your Dyneema braid. I've had the same line on my reels for 3 years. Most reels have been topped up with a little fresh line, and must say excellent braid. Considering its used week in week out, it's certainly stood the test of time and quality. Enjoying your fishing reports and have uploaded some photos from our recent trip to Browns Mt. Big Blue Eye and lots of them. Perfect weather and a great crew. South Syd Fishing Club enjoying a days blue eye fishing. This 30kg our biggest of five caught.



Cheers again Andrew and spreading the word on your fantastic braid. If you like, I can send you fishing info, photos and hot spot reports from Sydney offshore reefs. Cheers Adam


What a nice email and thanks for writing, Adam!


We’ve gone to all colour change now. I find it’s helpful not just when jigging but to tell how much line you have out when trolling and even, how far you’re casting:



Our crew got out to Browns on Monday too. First serious spot, The Peak. As soon as we came off the plane I could see the spot was swarming with kingies, because they were marking so well, on the sounder. Down went the jigs and triple hook-ups resulted:



Although nothing bigger than 75cm found:



With the wind backing off, the call was made to run to Browns. Some good mark there too:



It was a pretty important test for the Tanacom Bull 750. The concern had been whether it was too light and had too little line capacity, for Browns:



Both worries proved wrong, with solid gemfish coming aboard on every pass:



Lots of interest in these electric reels at the moment. Here’s the pricing:


Daiwa Tanacom Bull 750 on matching bent butt rod spooled with 50-pound CC braid: $1050



Daiwa Tanacom Bull 1000 on Saltiga SA-B56HF-DD spooled with 80-pound CC braid: $1250


Both outfits supplied with weights and rigs, and can be mailed to your door.


We kept the strip baits streamlined, for a fast sink rate:



That worked really well. Their copper colour proves the spawning run is well under way already:





The crew voted for more jigging, so it was back into Twelve Mile Reef. This place used to be my number one kingfish spot and we have taken hundreds if not thousands of goldies from it over the years. But lately it’s been either dead, or infested with leatherjackets. Happy to report the good old days are back again:



The drift was straight south to north, which aligned perfectly with my marks:


With the chiller bag bursting at the seams we were putting 85s back over the side:



What a great day. Big smiles and happy comments from the crew were the icing on the cake.  The action hot down south too, with Al McGlashan getting some killer pics and video wide of Jervis Bay:



hey buddy had a blinder on the tuna some 40 miles off JB. Swam with them and sat tagged a record number of 45-65kg fish for science. Just wait till you see the footage for Big Fish Small Boats!!


Can’t wait, mate! Steve found blues in the same area:



Went 50nm off Ulladulla Sunday where long liners shooting strings. Long 3 hour run out in sloppy chop, fished four hours then four hour run home. Was it worth the trip? Sure was, five Tiagras screaming with only three on board is a fun game to play on a 6 metre trailer boat…


Our Man In The Sand sent in a timely report, looks like JB’s the place to be:



Hi Andrew

Just got this picture through from Terry of Simmo and crew out at the shelf today with 3 nice blue fin.  So the fin are off the bay if you put in the effort. We  were not there so don’t know the exact size or any details.  Cheers from down south, Dave and Kate


Good on you Dave. Amazing sailfish photos published in the Daily Mail. Definitely worth a click:





To points north, and Trevor Jane has taken a break from his usual offshore angling and has been working the riffle runs in the shallows of Moreton Bay:



I have been out doing a little bit of flathead jigging recently and getting results I target interesting choppy or ruffled water and work it with little white soft plastics.





Hi Andrew, that’s how fishing during thunderstorm affects your tackle. It turns your fav graphite stick into a feather duster thus ensuring its afterlife. Jack




In other disaster news, the MOL COMFORT broke in half 200 miles off Yemen:



1700 containers lost. Quite a few readers have experienced the Thai fishing park mentioned in last weeks’ report. Chris writes:



Hi Andrew, greetings from the UK. A couple of photos from a recent trip to Thailand. The place was Bungsamram. The fish a Giant Mekong Catfish weighing 90kgs. Rod  30-50lb class boat rod. Reel Okuma 80 size loaded with 35lb mono. Hook 1/0 owner gorilla. Fight time 1 hour 20 mins. I had to keep reminding myself that this was freshwater fishing.


I probably had about 9/10 fish that day between 20 and 50 kgs. Except for the big one.The reel was brand new.  1 fish (just!) and now buggered, gears stripped and bent shaft. A second 1/0 size conventional reel was also scrapped on that day. The good news is that I can recycle the Carbontex drag washers!! Best of luck with your meeting on the 3rd July.



One hour twenty minutes. That’s incredible, well done Chris.



To politics, and Tony Zann from Fishing NSW magazine reminds us that as well as cutting bag limits, NSW Fisheries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson (AKA Bodgy Hodgy) is raising license fees. With the NSW government, the rule is you pay more, and get less:




Pathetic. But the big news this week is the protest meeting at Coffs Harbour Deep Sea Fishing Club on Wednesday night. Geoff Parker from the Club did some fantastic work in promoting the event, scoring TV coverage here:



and here:



The place was completely packed out, standing room only, and they had set out 300 chairs:



First speaker was Geoff himself, who calmly laid out the absurdities in the NSW goverments’ plan to cut bag limits by 50%.



He asked where the science was, and then showed that Fisheries own data proved that populations of recreational fish are stable. Next speaker was Peter Turnell, from Fisheries. I have met Peter before and always found him helpful and positive. Quite frankly I felt sorry for the bloke, having to sell the cr@p sandwich assembled by Van Der Walt and daffy Brian Schumacher, and approved by Bodgy Hodgy. Peter’s only defence to Geoff’s devastating opening innings was to lamely argue that the bag limit proposals were prompted by concerns about over fishing - from rec fishers. Thanks for the laughs, Pete! If the ‘rec fishers’ were Stinky and Bruce from ACORF, or the yuppies from the Council of Freshwater Anglers, we might believe that. But on the front line in Coffs, fishos were absolutely furious. Brett Smythe from Nambucca FC asked why the paper came out, before the planned angler catch survey?



Poor Peter from Fisheries just looked on helplessly. Don’t worry Pete, we know you’re only following orders. Angler, fishing writer and top bloke Scott Amon asked the Fisheries people, ‘your own catch data shows that snapper numbers and catch rates have doubled since 2005. So why are you halving the snapper bag limit?’



Good question, for which they had no answer. To review:


■ the current NSW government, to get elected, promised fishos that future policy would be science based and consultative;


■ instead they are jacking up license fees, cutting bag limits by 50%, wasting revenue on pointless ‘research’ and boat ramp pontoons that make launching more – not less – difficult;


■ and, having it all signed off and enabled by the hand puppets on ACORF (the Advisory Council on Recreational Fishing) who for a travel allowance, a sense of self importance and a few iced vo-vos will okay anything Hodgkinson sends down.


But guess what? I’m staying positive. When you see 300 plus fishos keen enough about their sport to muster on a Wednesday night it’s impressive. And when you see natural leaders like Dan Bode, Geoff Parker, Les Palmer and the like take the lead it’s reassuring. Has your fishing club lodged a submission? Send your president an email to check. Has your fishing club asked a Fisheries representative to attend a meeting, and explain the new restrictions and higher charges? They work for us, even though they don’t act like it. Still upbeat about the meeting, I stopped at a Lake Duncan to wet a line:



A 'Lake Duncan' is a giant boatramp carpark pothole. Caused by (NSW Maritime Minister) Duncan Gay's wasteful spending priorities, some are so big they hold good fish populations. I took a 2 kilo yellowbelly from this one at Mooney, on the Hawkesbury. J Until next week my friends, thanks so much for the pics and stories you’re sending in and PLEASE – keep them coming! Cheers,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director