Thursday 5th September 2013

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

Just amazing, the way fishos burst into action when a weather window appears. Rod Findlay:



down south on Murriweeni from Broken Bay GFC... 35kg Yellowfin on a 4500 Saltist... Caught 3 others all around this size and pulled hooks on a 60-80kg fish on a popper.... Crazy fishing


TRIPLE WOW. Thanks, Rod. Regular contributor and mad keen fisho Bruce Rayment in action, too. Firstly Sunday, with his sons:



How good is that?? Seriously. Then back out again, next day:



G’day Andrew, Monday 2nd September fishing with Matt S and Chris W on my boat Avalon we scored 2 Albacore, 1 Yellowfin of around 10kg, 1 at 30kg for Chris and 1 at 32kg for me. Awesome days fishing! Tuna have been messing with my head over the past 12 months and the last two days fishing have been so satisfying.



Such beautiful fish, the yellowfin. Well done boys, I heard the excitement on VHF but being 20 miles north, was out of range. Damien Clarke:



Got this the same day as Bruce, in the same spot.


Fantastic Damien, let’s pray they stay for another week or two. The weather’s improved off the Gold Coast, too. Dimitri went wide:



Hey mate got these 2 fin on Sunday on the shelf off the Gold Coast on Sunday. First heavy tackle fish in the boat and it was a double hookup. Unfortunately I had a rigger snap. Also spent half an hour hosing the floor when we started trolling again.


I can see why that was necessary! Thanks Dimitri, great to hear from you again. One more incredible gamefish capture, from Wade Harper at Sydney GFC:



Saturday night on Lock & Load 31/08/13 (out of Sydney) Cheers Wade


Swordfish! So many have tried, and so many have come up empty handed. Duncan Forrest took his lad out downrigging on Sunday. What better way to spend Fathers Day?



Hey mate, down south coast for kings. My son Danny got his PB kingie about 8kgs


Nice king, congratulations Danny. Deepwater fishing on fire too. Peter G:



Matt and I headed out to Browns for some gemfish fun. Matt insisted on bringing his favourite deck winch while I took along my electric.   Despite mocking from nearby boats about 70's technology we both hooked up at the same time and there was a beer on for who ever got it in first.  Luke Skywalker taught Yoda a lesson and beat my electric to the top by 100m (but I was sitting back with a beer in hand)


He! So is he using some kind of shortened game rod, on the Reef Queen? Bob Greenhill, still fishing Browns at age 72 and scoring nice gemmies. Not just a top bloke but inspirational, too:



Hi Andrew, I went out to Browns on Sunday as my Father’s Day present. About 30 or so  boats there. Only caught 3 gemmies and 1 sea perch (?) on my Daiwa Tanacom 1000 Bull which performed exceptionally well. There were a few frolicking whales which went right through the middle of the fleet. I could see that if they hooked up, this email would be coming to you from off Tasmania about now.





Hi Andy, the extra grunt of the Tanacom Bull 1000 came in handy out at Allmark Tuesday. Thanks for your sound advice.


Anytime Dan and glad to see it delivered for you. I took my smaller TB750 wide of Sydney last week. On arrival at The Mountain we set up for first drop in our favourite spot, halfway down the western side. The sinker touched bottom and we were straight on, with a nice gemfish coming aboard:



With the wind picking up and reports from clients that the current was roaring I went all out to minimise drag on the terminal tackle. When it’s windy you just want to get to the bottom fast because there’s nothing worse than endlessly reversing into a steep swell. So, 2-pound barrel sinker, tiny lumo beads, and frozen baby Cali squid. Rig doesn’t look special but it worked really well:



Next drop produced a nice curve in the Tanacom 750 combo:



Being a small blue-eye on one hook, and a prime gemfish on the other:



My mate Rod (above) had his son aboard and the lad was mad keen, to catch a mako. The best bait for these puppies at Browns is, of course, gemfish. But with a chiller bag full of prime gems on ice the last thing I wanted to do was, cut up a dinner-to-be. Just then, we spotted a cluster of seabirds squabbling off the bow. The dominant one had its wings flared, which always means it’s defending a floating meal:



Scooting straight over, we gaffed a gemfish. Amazing it was still on the surface, considering how they had pecked it to pieces:



Off to the east side to get clear of the fleet, and we got the burley going. Bait was a gemfish slab suspended under a balloon about 50 metres back. I was marking some (presumably) albacore schools down at 250 metres but couldn’t get a knife jig down in the fast drift and we didn’t find any sharks, either:




But no problem. With a bag of deepwater tasties everyone was upbeat. Back to Roseville in a nasty worsening SE sea, and back home before peak hour maxed out. Back home and opened up Outlook to find some top snapper reports in the ol’ inbox. Phil Russell:



G'day Andy, headed out last week with great weather, after a couple of hours my mate had bagged out on some nice smaller snapper using paternoster rig fishing the bottom,  4 nil but  I persisted with floating baits down slow. Well finally paid off cheers Phil


20 pounds, what a beauty. Steve Callus found the reds too but, south of Sydney:



Hi Andrew, went out with Danny and in  my cousin Mick Mizzi in his boat and we decided to go off Shellharbour fishing behind Windang Island in 75 meters temp was 15.8 deg. It was not long before Danny landed a nice snapper measuring 50cm this was a first for Danny never catching a snapper before.



Next it was Mick`s turn and it was a beautiful snapper of 60cm this went on for two hours with a mix bag of nannygais and morwongs. just as Danny was pulling the anchor to head for home and i had one last cast and i was on and it was a beauty  65cm a total of 12 snapper. What a great day with good company and weather.




Hi Andy the yellowbelly are waking up at Windermere dam I caught this one on Thursday on fly


Mate that is quite an accomplishment in the cold water, well done. Dan Abadir, happy as all get out with his beaut new trailer boat:




Hey Andrew.  Just picked up my new boat today and would love a copy of how to fish Browns. Still have to save up and purchase a furuno and a downrigger etc. But I’m getting there slowly. (Above) is my brand new 5.8 Surtees Work Mate. Im so excited lol


Dan that is one top setup, you’ll have some unforgettable good times aboard that one. And when you do, send me a pic or two? J  Truly in awe of the blokes who produce good snapper from Sydney's hard fished waters. Dave Thomas is one of those:



Hi Andrew, I'm a big fan of your email news letter. I thought I would send you a photo of the 75cm Snapper I got on Saturday off Sydney's Northern beaches. I got it on a 6inch Berkley Gulp Pink and White.


That’s a real accomplishment Dave, well done. Michelle hit the breakwall at South West Rocks:



G'day Andy my mate Ross sent this pic of his daughter Michelle on the Macleay wall last weekend. Michelle is a hunting and fishing mate of Hayden's from way back. She really knows what it is all about


I can see that!  'Women want me, fish fear me.' A timeless message of hope, brought to you by Downrigger Shop:



Les put one next to his brand new outboard:



Very pleased to seeing these being proudly displayed but, at the same time, somewhat embarrassed. The reason is that, when we first ordered them, I talked about it in the weekly email and invited friends and clients to send me their postal address so I could mail free stickers when they arrived. When they got here Tim, our shipping manager, told me I had screwed up, because the cost of sending them out in a packing tube interstate was around $10 each – which really added up, when you see how many we had to send. So these are free but we can only send them with orders, or give them to fishos who stop by, or give away when I’m visiting fishing clubs. On the topic of bumper stickers, Les has decided to take the gloves off:





Got to say ‘thanks’ for everyone’s support! August Web statistics arrived, and it’s another ten thousand plus visitors for the month. I guess that means fishos like what we’re doing so, will keep doing it harder than ever.



News of the Weird file was empty this week, and I was starting to worry. But then Kevin Olsen stopped by Botany Bay ramp on Thursday afternoon, to see if anything interesting was happening. It was:










Hi Andrew, went up to Hervey bay last week for my brothers 50th birthday bash. Flew from Newcastle to Brisbane than hired a car for the drive to Hervey. 3hrs on the rd and out the car into his with him blowing up that we are going to miss the tide, and out for a fish in this.1hr ride in this horrible chop to just be on the end of the bite and the sun setting:



Pulls up to the spot and the sounder is fair glowing with fish and the first bait goes down from me, tap tap and all hell breaks loose. Now we are fishing in pretty shallow water so all the way to the top this fish pulls drag and nearly rips me out the boat. A nice 7kg Reddy hits the deck with my bro saying, hope the big ones are still here lol



Love the work you do mate and the bloody greenies have locked up some of the prime grounds up there with there typical survey on the fishos of where they were getting fish, so they could find out and impose fishing area bans as the bright sparks didn't know where to look. Shows how smart some of them are lol They also locked up one great spot where they get squid, seems thats an agenda Aus wide. Happy fishing mate ;-)


‘Tap, tap and all hell breaks loose.’ I like that one Wayne and thanks for your kind words too.



To politics, and the farcical ban on fishing for squid in north Sydney Harbour is a snap shot of all that’s wrong with NSW Fisheries policy under Minister Katrina Hodgkinson, AKA Bodgy Hodgy. Squid are under no threat at all. They swarm in countless millions around every part of the Australian coast. Yet in the very heart of our biggest city, daffy Katrina has approved some idiotic squid fishing ban based on a technicality that goes back to the early 1980s.



Malcolm Poole from the Rec Fishing Alliance explains:


As you will read below, Fisheries will now clarify the term ‘finfish and fish with fins’, so on the 1st September there will be no difference in the terms so it will be illegal to catch and take squid or cuttlefish in the North Harbour Aquatic Reserve as well as other reserves covered by the regulation.  So the gloves are coming off very soon.


My last ditch effort is to get in place a moratorium until such time as the Government accepts MEMA’s Marine Estate Strategy, it is adopted and made law, then there should be a review of all the regulations it impacts on.


I was grateful to receive a call from Fisheries Director Geoff Allan on Friday, after raising this at last weeks’ meeting in the city. Message content not so pleasing, being confirmation that the ban would go ahead and be enforced from September 1st. The situation is that for a first offence there will be a warning, second offence means a fine. Maybe, in a way, it’s all for the best? Because this is happening in the last week of the Federal election campaign, and there’s a lesson to be learned. Here’s the promise made by the NSW Coalition government when they wanted us to vote for them back in March 2011:



‘Restoring the Balance’ refers to reversing Labor’s lock it up and leave it angling ban policy, and getting back to science-based management. That hasn’t happened. There is no science in the ban on squid fishing, and no science in the cuts to bag limits. Yet like so much in politics we must decide who best represents our interests by weighing up policies from all sides. Aaron received an email showing Labor’s learnt nothing from the outrage over marine parks:



Les writes:


I know it's not my place to tell you what to do in 'your' weekly report, but I wondered if at this critical time it might be a good thought to add a section of exactly how to vote in this election because we're only going to get one shot at this and given the huge following you have you would have more chance of getting to the people as compared to most other mediums. Anyway, it's just a thought. I really want to see the Shooters & Fishers be successful in this election and gain more power which in turn would siphon down to us rec-fishermen.









Until next week my friends, thanks so much once again for your pics, reports and contributions. Keep them coming! And it doesn’t have to be some giant gamefish. Send in a pic of your boat, your catch, your take on outdoor politics, anything and everything that comes to mind. There’s no aspect of this sport we love that isn’t interesting, to our readers. Cheers,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director