Monday 7th July 2014

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

East coast fish just don’t know its winter. Sean Morgan, at South West Rocks:



still catching mackerel on the northern reefs and out at the FAD the water is alive with good size mahi mahi. We were fortunate to be the only boat there on Monday, and with water temps of 23 degrees, a good downhill current and a tank full of slimies it was a recipe for a great day fishing.



Every live bait that hit the water produced an immediate hit, with the dollies ranging in size from 6 to 8kgs. Terrific fun on spin gear. We ended the session with a dozen beautiful fish, the last few being released. The highlight of the day was witnessing a large marlin charging around the FAD smashing everything it could. With flying fish bouncing out of the water I was kicking myself for leaving the heavier gear at home... but there's always next time.


SO JEALOUS. And, grateful. Ethan Montford fished Port Macquarie Saturday 5th July:



Got these yesterday, the FAD was swarming with dollies! We got the king in 200m of water, found a bit of structure



Excellent. You’re a long way offshore there, Ethan. Tim Morrow snappering off Port Stephens:



We kept these to eat, prob threw back about the same amount just legal and a heap of undersized pinkies. all the bigger ones were on plastics. My best snapper session so far, loving it! Cheers, Tim


Impressive, Tim! Jay Barker at Port Stephens too but chasing squid, not reds:



Andrew, report as promised. Managed to find lots of squid, dropped a few down as livebaits and landed a pan size red but not the kings we were after. Ended up with a great feed of greeneyes, it's always a bonus when you can eat the bait at the end of the day! Will try and put a bigger bend in your snapper combo next outing. Cheers, Jay


Please do, Jay! We got out too, on Thursday. The Peak, dead as a doornail. Browns Mountain quiet, but we put a few gemfish on the deck. Then some good luck, we ran into Leo Yu on Spotterone, who suggested a drop on Twelve Mile reef. By the time we got there the wind had backed right off, the water was a deep indigo blue and the golden afternoon sun made the place look picture perfect. Powering up the sounder, I felt the old ticker jump 100 beats per minute as a big bait ball came into view, at just the depth the kingies like.



Down went the jigs, and it was on like kingie kong. Not huge fish but plenty there, twice we had quadruple hookups:



Such a great session and hoping to do it all again on Tuesday. A few canny friends and clients have made a good call – bailing from the icy winds, and heading north for some warm FNQ action Steve Lee:



Hey Andy, just a quick report from Cairns. I've taken off up here for a week to escape the cold. Went out today with Darryl from Fish Tales charters and this time we hit the Russell River about 40mins south. Again not a lot of fish but a stunning spot and I got my first three blue salmon. The best was 70cm so really good fun and had me doing laps of the boat before finally netting him.



Blue salmon, what a great sportfish they are. Jack Lapsewicz enjoying his Port Douglas break too:



To tackle, and a timely inquiry this week:



Gday Andy, I have just returned from 7 years in London (your newsletter was the only thing that kept me sane over there) and my bro in law bought me a new Jigging Master PE5N reel as a welcome home present. I need to buy a rod and some braid to do it justice - primarily want to chase kingies/snapper/tuna(?) out of Sydney - what do you suggest? Is your house rod up to the task, or I should I pay up for one of the Saltigas?


Firstly, thanks for those kind comments! Two options, the first being our new Hercules overhead (shown above) which just arrived this week. Five feet six inches long, rated to 24 kilo, trigger grip reel seat for comfort and just 260 grams for jigging all day. Only $120, that one can be mailed, so pretty hard to beat. Another good option is the Rapala Jig Day:



Six feet long, two piece with foregrip join, 280 grams but with an amazing line rating, being 50-100 pounds. Fuji trigger grip and I know a lot of blokes don’t care about this but it’s a rod that looks really good, too. Price $160, or $180 with a Fuji gimbal butt, which we install here in Sydney. Here’s some recent feedback from owners:


Jay Barker I got the Jig Day spin from Andy a few months back, very nice rod.


Michael Lazar I have the JM pe4 on the jig day. Very nice rod considering the price.


Boats, and so jealous of Our Man In The Red Sea’s new one. How’s this?



Hi Andrew, at last after 39 days on the water from the USA my boat arrived in Muscat. Here are some photos. Now we are going to fish, fish and fish more. Regards Jan


Please do! And send us some pics of the fish taken from your beautiful new boat, Jan? Disasters aplenty in the strong westerlies we’ve been experiencing. Eamonn had the camera ready for one. This’ll be a prime kingie spot this summer, if not refloated:



Hey I know you love sinking boats on moorings...this one was taken today in Pittwater. Maybe not so much as a non sea worthy boat but wind chop that sank....


Matt Reid from Raptor Charters spotted this one at Tunks Park:



Disgraceful that the Harbour is full of these rotting mooring minders, while Maritime officers order boaties back to the boat ramp - because their fire extinguisher is two weeks past expiry. But for real tragedy, Facebook reader Addiction Fishing at a trailerboat mishap on the M5. Bloke towing largish boat runs into the back of a petrol tanker. Boat moves forward on trailer. First pic:



Pic 2, trailer mast almost flattened:



Here’s how far the boat moved forward:



Sad stuff, but a good reminder to strap down our trailerboats in case an emergency stop necessary. And talking about trailerboat emergencies, arguably the worst is when you wake up one morning to find your boat and trailer gone. Stolen. And it happens more often than we think. Facebook readers will remember the stolen boats we’ve helped recover there by sharing owner’s pics and details:



One had 500 shares and 90,000 views and was thankfully found within two days by readers keeping their eyes out for it. But the real answer is a GPS tracker, a small unit (70 x 45 x 20mm) which incorporates a battery and SIM card, is concealed on your boat, and transmits its location when you send it an SMS:



Ebay and Gumtree are full of junk ones that don’t work as promised, and have no manufacturer support. After weeks of testing we’re about to offer one that is pre supplied with a SIM card, is super easy to operate, is accurate to ten metres (it shows the *part* of our front yard where its situated, on Google maps!) and costs under $100. Here’s a pic with the cover off, so you can see how small it is compared to a SIM card:



And here’s a great story showing how effective they are:



Back on the water, and David Brabazon from WA brought home this delicious mix of emperor and sweetlip. Well done, bloke:



took the down rigger out the other day and trolled for 2 hrs with a California squid on a snell rig.............didn't get a bloody thing lol. However went out 2 days later 35kms and bagged out on Nor West Snapper and Red Emperor..........and beer Regards,  David


Blimey. What a mouth watering bag of tasties. Adam in Nauru sends an amazing pic – small boy, big sailfish:



Here is my 8 yr old, Elijah, and 4 yr old Titus with Elijah's second and biggest sailfish, 24kg, caught on a Boone dorado jig, red and black squid. Yes it all got eaten, but not by us :)


Well done, Elijah! Please keep us informed as to the boys’ angling progress, Adam? Even further afield and Peter G sends a good one:



Andy, this pic is from my brother fishing in Alaska.  "Its a great day when you are throwing back 20lb salmon because they are too small!”  Its non stop action all day (about 20 hours of it) and its been going on all week. You have got to do this.


Too right I do, Pete! It was fishing for those on Lake Michigan that got me started on the whole downrigging thing.



To politics, and back in 1968 I was in 3rd class in primary school in Sydney. A pretty happy time, especially since I was fishing three afternoons a week for fantail leatherjackets off Musgrave Street Wharf. But amongst my young classmates there was someone who got on everyone’s wick:



Marion was the kind of kid who always sucked up to authority. And in doing so, she felt that gave her some authority too. Like Lisa Simpson, she was a pretty good student but annoying, in class. It used to drive us all nuts when Miss Merewether would call for nominations for Duster Monitor. This important job involved bashing the dusters together out the classroom window, to get the chalk off them. Marion’s hand would shoot up like a Nazi salute. When our teacher looked like she might give this plum job to someone else, Marion would add a ‘me, Miss!  Me, Miss!’ to the mix. Years later I heard on the grapevine that Marion had thrown herself into Woy Woy Channel, after being diagnosed with Chalkosis. J The point of this little trip down memory lane is that back then, Marion was unique - and that’s not always a good thing:



Now it seems the whole world is infested with Marions. One of our clients attended the Homebake festival and was given a brochure produced by the multi-national green corporation Pew Group. The pamphlet featured a bunch of fishermen demanding the Coral Sea be locked up for a marine park – meaning both commercial and recreational angling restrictions, as we have seen with every other marine park in Australia:



Recently, when a commercial fisherman at Narooma called for pretty much the same thing down there, he was greeted with responses ranging from online abuse to (I’m told) shunning, from locals. He then said that he had been misquoted by the ABC. And given that organizations’ green sympathies his defense wasn’t hard to believe.


So it’s best to firstly check with the people who were calling for more fishing restrictions, to make sure that the greenies weren’t yet again displaying their usual dishonesty. Here’s an example. John King, who’s ‘fished Hat Head for 45 years’, supports the greenies campaign for more fishing lockouts – but in the Coral Sea, not in his own backyard:




Our Facebook readers were not impressed:


Luke Slavin and Steve Cleghorn like this.


Matt Pilley You fish hat head mate.....for 45'll get em. Steve CollopyMatthew Wheeler Ivan Mate Angus McCabe Simon Sczepaniak



Leigh Turner So now its ok to support lockouts, just as long as its in some one elses back yard? Are you shore his name isnt Joe king. Love the part about the pros hauling tonnes of tuna & twice a day hauls, and they wonder why there's no fish.


Les Palmer If it's true then it sounds like another Valerie Taylor to me. Belt the s out of it while it's there and then campaign against it when they have decimated it. On the other-hand, if it is fabricated propaganda, then John King (AKA 'Johno') would have an open and shut law-suit case against 'Pew'. We all know who Johno is, so it won't be too hard to ask him. There's an AGM at Hat Head on Sunday and I'm hearing he'll be there.


Ron Abdilla Been going there not long after Ron made a tape off the place. It's every Christmas we own the hill backed on to the creek / boat ramp. For 2 weeks.

After some 30 years hate to be locked out by greenies. 🎣



Chris Wallis Where did you find this story Andy it smells very fishy. He hasn't fished Hat Head for a while if he thinks beach haulers are rarely seen...... they are there every day.


Rowdy Taylor They obviously didn't have bag limits then if they were getting fish by the tonne 45 years back ....


Ben Harris yeah what the coral sea have to do with fish stocks at hat head


Scott Sapsford Stinks of PEW to me.


I wrote to Mr King last week seeking confirmation his comments as advertised were correct. Will report back if a response is forthcoming. Next up was ‘Pasco Riso’, in Cairns:


Have you ever noticed the way greenies want the ‘enjoyment’ for future generations? What’s wrong with this generation? Anyway, Riso is a greenie pretending to be a fisho, and the pic above is ancient. Here he is posing in front of Greenpeace’s ship:



Terry Spackman from Cairns wants fish to have a ‘safe home.’ Spanish mackerel have to be nice to garfish, that sort of thing:


But then I find a picture online of Terry Spackman in a ‘Vote Greens’ T-shirt. Colour me shocked:



Basically greenies pretending they were fishos who supported marine parks closures. Deceit and dishonesty the greenies’ stock in trade, so no surprises there. But one testimonial couldn’t be explained so easy, being Gary from Debrett’s Seafood in Mooloolaba.



Why would a seafood distributor support a marine park? I wrote to him with a respectful please explain. And he’s sent a lengthy response,  key excerpts below:


G’day Andrew,


~5 years back a small group of Commercial Fishers in ETBF (including myself) and based mainly in Mooloolaba commenced discussions with SEWPAC regarding their plans for marine protected areas off the East Coast and Coral Sea areas.


As the 4 operators represented ~90% of the historic ETBF catch in the Coral Sea and a fair majority of the Eastern catch we grouped together for further detailed discussions.


PEW and WWF were supporting a major park (100% no take) in all the Coral Sea and had apparent support from the Environment Minister. ….


… So in general if there had to be large Marine Protected Areas we all preferred that it be in the Coral Sea and not as had been first presented to us over the highly productive major seamounts and coastal areas on our close Eastern grounds and which would have impacted detrimentally on the many operational ports along the NSW and Queensland coastline including many state based operators such as prawn and crab fisheries.


I supported the final outcome with all our group on the basis that a suitable industry adjustment package was available to restructure or remove impacted effort.


Happy to discuss further with you.


Regards Gary


The real story is that ecobags like Christine Milne and Tony Burke had/have so many people in this country terrified for their future. With just a press release, these parasites can shut down a forest, a fishery, a mine or even a whole industry, like live exports. If the green misery makers have your back against the wall you have to make a judgment call as to what is best for your employees and family. Real fishos don’t support marine parks, because they know how much fishing means to themselves and to the rest of us. The only ‘fishos’ who would support these lockouts are fakes like Spackman and Pasco, and those facing financial peril like Gary Heilmann. And that’s comforting. Until next week my friends, and please keep these great reports and pics coming in. Our 4800 newsletter readers enjoy them nearly as much as I do. J Cheers,



Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director