Friday 6th March 2015

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

The big news this week is from offshore - exactly as you’d expect at this time of year, with currents racing south. Blue Hughson:



Just enquiring if you sell the line counters that are included in the downrigger kits as a separate item? The one that came with my downrigger now lives at the bottom of the 36s east of Southport Seaway after the little girl in the picture sent it flying with a swipe of her tail! Upsetting – yes  Worth it - HELL YES!!!!!


Replacement in the mail, Blue!


Chris Colvin at Nambucca Heads, opening the batting on Saturday with this nice mackerel:



Hi mate just got this bad boy in your snapper combo. Gave her a work out. No problem at all.


Then, would you believe, he backed up on Sunday with this prizewinning red:



Went out again today from nambucca with your snapper combo for PB snapper. All the best


Mate that is fantastic and I’m so glad you wrote. I was using my snapper combos on the weekend too but for something completely different – carp fishing, at Richmond:



Some Facebook readers wondering what the benefit is, of the rod pod and alarms. Video below shows a good example. Rods up and out of the muddy pond edge, held securely. No tension on the line, meaning wary fish can move off with the bait and feel no resistance. Blue LED flashes for a few seconds after a bite, so you can tell which rod is getting the attention. Most importantly for me, the beeper alarm. When I go carping the family comes along. It’s a social event. I’m often paying no attention to the rods and reels. With the rod pod system I don’t have to:



Out wide still the source of excitement, with many readers having close encounters of the beaked kind. Matt Loraway:



With great conditions and hot 26 degree water most boats headed out wide and found a desert but we felt there would be better water up north and in close off Northern beaches for the inshore temp break so we set a course up there and had Zero boats around us. Found current lines everywhere and then a big pool of coral spawn bunched up in about 50 ftms in 24.3....



As soon as lures passed it we had a very violent hit on the rigger and and 30 mins later a 80-90kg stripey boatside. Beautiful ultraviolet healthy fish swum for a few mins and then we watched him swim away. You can see from the pics how "challenging" the weather conditions were offshore on Sat too as a bonus!


Wow. What a day! Thanks muchly for this top report, Matt. So many clients ordering Head Starts this week I started to ask why. Turns out there’s a massive mackerel run at Coffs Harbour, with 300 boxes going through the Fishermans Co-op last weekend. Plenty there for rec fishos too. Ricky Hollis writes:



Almost 10 kg of spottie


What a ripper. Thanks Rick, heading north soon in a quest for that action. Sean in the same area, en route to the Gold Coast:



we found the Spanish the hard way trolling mono tppr lures. 4 rods hooked up.

Only the rod with wire was landed. Changed all over to wire


That just goes to show how many are out there, Sean. Team Rayment always up for a challenge, this time fishing 1 kilo line:



G'day Andrew, back from the ANSA Nowra Comp. Whilst not as big as it was in the glory days of ANSA in the 1980s and 1990s, it still attracts many keen and skilled anglers fishing a variety of disciplines. Saturday in St.Georges Basin for us produced 10 Flathead and a Bream between eldest son James on Beakie and Belinda and I on Avalon, virtually all on lures. I scored the biggest Flathead of the day between us, a 69cm, 1.94kg  model on 1kg mono. Even after 40 years, it is always good to fish this magnificent estuary.


You ought to do a how to video Bruce, covering everything from the brown water to the blue, because you’re a master of both. It could make the boat tax deductible, too. J Michael Gates is a bloke I genuinely respect because despite his busy career and young family, he’s out on the water whenever possible:



I actually bought a deep fryer like that at Christmas time, Gatesy. But Carolyn won’t let me use it. She says I’ve got to watch my weight, and mentioned something about a ‘spare tyre.’ Hmmphh! I’m still a fine figure of a man – excepting perhaps some (barely noticeable!) hair loss:



Another legend – John Klapsis – took this beast of a flattie from hard fished waters:




Yesterday arvo Botany Bay on 6lb mono in 6m water


Beautiful. So many fillets, so little fryer. Dave R takes his daughter Harbour sharking. Mine would freak if I even suggested it:



I love the summer and the beach fishing that comes with it - I put my eldest onto her first beach shark tonight (and her second so far and the night is yet young)


Gold. Pure GOLD.

To tackle, and Tim’s given me a list of rods where we only have one or two of a particular model in the warehouse,

meaning not enough to offer online.

Specs and pricing below, some really good deals there:


Daiwa Phantom Jig 602HB. Overhead, split butt, 2-piece, 6 feet long, weight 350 grams.

Rated to 250 gram jigs and 50-pound line.

Tough overhead stick, ideal for live baiting or trolling. $95


Daiwa Saltist STJ 66MHFS. Spinning rod, 6 feet 6 inches long, weight 350 grams,

Fuji reel seat and guides, one piece.

Rated to 160 gram jigs and 50-pound line.

Excellent medium jig or jewfish rod. $110



Snake Tournament. 5 feet 9 inch, weight 390 grams one piece rod with aluminium gimbal and Fuji reel seat.

Rated to 40-pound line but we will warranty it for 50-pound line.

Bulletproof boat or jig rod, $80


Shakespeare Ugly Stik BWS 1102. 8 feet long 2-piece, weight 460 grams.

This one can be mailed. EVA grips, Fuji reel seat and guides,

rated to 30-pound line.

Ideal for just about anything involving casting or spinning,

would be a good rod for off the wharves and rocks too. $85.


Tournament 8 feet spin. Fuji reel seat and hook keeper.

2-piece meaning it can be posted so, cheap delivery.

Great rod, I was using mine on Tuesday.

Ideal for popping and soft plastics,

rated to 30-pound line and 120 gram lures. $130.


Send me a PM or email if you’d like close up pics?


With the crazy Spanish mackerel run happening everywhere from Noosa to Port Macquarie, Ben Brown’s idea is a good one. Pre installing Head Starts on garfish, then cryovacing and freezing:



I’m not much of an innovator but when someone else has a good technique I’m onto it like a rat on a rope. In this case, heard about some fresh garfish at Sydney markets, so I shot down to Pyrmont for a couple of kilos:



And followed Ben’s advice to the letter:



Planning to run up a big batch ahead of the Coffs trip later this month, because these will drive the spotties and Spaniards insane. Simon Peddle and son caught this nice one using Head Starts last week:



Here’s how they work:



To Tasmania and how exciting is it, the way that State’s becoming such a gamefish capital?

Thanks to Leo Miller, our Man in the Apple Isle, for this sensational update:


Hi Andrew, we went in a light line comp on Saturday and sworded for most of it without a touch. Best fish was a 142kg mako on 10kg for a pending state record. Only 2 Albies weighed.



However….. Earlier in the week there was a 137.4kg sbt landed! Down south the tuna are ON!! And there’s a lot of better fish in them this year with about a dozen in the 50 to 80kg class landed in the last 3 days with not many boats down there. A few highlights include



Mates found a massive school of all big fish busting. 1st pass hooked a monster and hooks pulled 10 mins in. 2nd pass got a 57kg on spinning braid in 30 mins. 3rd pass got a 62kg on 24. While fighting their fish they tried jigging knife jigs and got numerous follows from 50 to 100kg+ fish but no takes. Then when fighting the last one they watched the biggest of the jumbos come up under the mutton birds and start eating them! Mate got a 60kg on 15



Too good. What’s happening reminds me of the early days when Richard Obach and Co broke the Cairns marlin fishery wide open. Boats, and some pretty sad and crazy stories sent in by our readers. This one sad:



And this one crazy:



Here’s the story:


Rod Baker’s an old mate of mine (I’ve been his best man twice) who’s a saltwater fly fisho out there doing it multiple times per week. After ten years in a 14-foot tiller steer he needed to upgrade. Now he’s realised his dreams and bought this Century 22 CC powered by a Yamaha 300HP. It’s gonna be a whole new world for the bloke:



Not much to report from yours truly. Having a shocker of a season, but I know things can change in a heartbeat. Getting a kick out of jigging and popping small kings and mahi and the crew’s enthusiasm is contagious too. Here’s Tameem, hooking up on his new micro jig stick:



One for me on the Ryobi light combo. It’s my go-to micro jig outfit now:



Some bad news. At the Artificial Reef on Wednesday (4th March) and a seal pinching hooked kingfish. We don’t want that at the start of jigging season:



After watching this pest raise hell all around the reef we decided downrigging Mugs a way more appealing option:



This Samson pretty much the only result but at least the seal was a few miles away:



Staying positive and out there again next week, looking for Mister Big.


To politics, and took this pic of animal libbers protesting Stardust Circus on the way back from carping at Richmond on Sunday.



Born to be wild.’ The animals were born in captivity, airhead. And what’s Steppenwolf got to do with it, anyway?


On our relatives’ farm at Collarenebri an estimated eleven thousand kangaroos died, during the last drought. Cousin Don found eight koalas who, crazy with thirst, had gone into a dam, got stuck in the mud, and died a horrible death. Yet you’ll never hear of animal libbers helping out with fodder drops, during drought time. Greenies fought tooth and nail to prevent hazard reduction burning, in Kosciusko NP. So that national park burnt to ash, causing the horrific death of countless native animals.



How often do you see a greenie in a bush fire brigade? Meantime these turkeys at Richmond were protesting against the keeping of circus animals - all of which are extremely valuable, and looked after with the greatest possible care. Note that animal libbers are just as opposed to fishing as they are to pets, zoos, and the keeping of circus animals:



But I’m not worried. We’ve got the numbers to beat them politically and – ever so slowly – fishos are starting to realise that.


Until next week and thanks so much to our readers and (especially!) contributors,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director