Wednesday 07 NOVEMBER 2012

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

G’day lads,


I guess some readers think I’m a bit kingfish obsessed! But by crikey it’s fantastic to have large hard fighting tasty fish swarming close to a big city, like Sydney. Peter CC downrigged Long Reef, on Sunday:

First couple of spots there was nothing, then after moving to another spot and downrigging for about 30 minutes, all off a sudden the rod in the downrigger goes off – about 3 minutes in the fight the king just runs – thus smoked and busted on the bottom, within 2 seconds of this happening the other rod goes off and a 102cm King on board. Yippeee back in the meter club. High fives and yes I question it now but man hugs.... into the Downrigger shop chiller bag to keep the king minty fresh for the table.


With this we are straight back into it and bang DR goes off again this time the drag is like tightened to 50000 foot pounds ( mind you I believe it was set to probably 49990 for the previous king) or more and Sean boats a nice 108cm very fat kingie. Now with both fish bled and on ice and cooling nicely in the downrigger shop chiller.

We continued to troll for a while and then the rod gets a hit, and this time yours truly got a turn and a 110cm comes over.

Despite how much more space there was left in the chiller bag (we could have fitted another 2 or more in there)

we decided that 2 kings over a meter was enough for a feed so we let the 3rd one swim another day.

You know it is a great day when your first fish is over a meter, and it is the smallest.


What a fantastic result Pete, you really have got the place wired now. Here he is releasing a good one, ten second clip:

Ian T fished Longie too:

We caught them to start on yakkas and when we ran out as we lost some to busted off or maybe poor rigging on our part. But Eric rigged up some squid from previous Sydney sessions and they smashed those no problems and then on dead yaks as well. After that the wind came up and everyone out there left. But not us we stayed on and caught another 3-4 each on soft plastics.

Ian posted a top video of the day, too:


Good on you Ian, keep the reports coming!

Matt from Raptor Charters was out there both Saturday (overcast), and Monday:

Hi mate, what a start to the king session from last week with the kids and its only getting better. Out Saturday and got fish inside the Harbour and on the outer reefs with the best going 103cm.

Had Sunday off due to a first Birthday that i just could not miss.


Out again today Monday and the best fish today went 121cm and was taken on your downrigger and Exceller 4500 combo that did it with ease... Matty Reid RAPTOR CHARTERS 0404880148


What a horse! This is so exciting Matt, imagine how good this summer will be if it all keeps happening. Lads, if you’re in Sydney and you want your first kingie, don’t dither around. Now’s the time. Call Matt, and book in. Once you’ve caught one you’ll be addicted, just like the rest of us.

 J Leo stopped by the Newcastle Show for a catch up:


It was good to see you at the show. I hadn't intended on driving all the way up there, but I had nothing better to do, and I wanted to have a look at a boat sorta up that direction anyway, so why not drop in! It's not a bad little show actually, a whole lot more laid back than the Sydney events. You asked for some more info about the kingfish that I sent you the photo of (taken earlier this year) –

Yes, I'm very keen to get out to see how you use the downrigger in a real world situation. I've tried and failed, so any tips would be handy! I also want to see how this jigging caper works. I can't raise a single thing jigging, so it would be good just to see someone doing it.


Next month I’ll be restarting the downrigger clinics Leo, and you’re very welcome aboard. As to downrigging, last week we talked about catching bait quickly and easily. Here’s how to deploy them. Firstly what you’ll need, at the business end:


The bait, represented here by a 9 inch soft plastic lure;

A wire rig for mackerel or two metres of 80-pound fluorocarbon, for kingfish;

Size 18 rubber bands, from Officeworks;

Bait needles, in this case the latched ones we supply free with our downriggers.


To start, attach the rubber band to the needle and pass through the bait’s eye socket, being careful not to injure the eye ball;

Draw the rubber band all the way through. Disconnect the bait needle when two equal loops are either side of the bait’s head;

Pass the hook through both loops;

Note that this is for kingfish – setting up for mackerel is shown further below. Now twist the hook a full 360 degrees, and pass it back through the main loop. It will look like this:

This method of bridling a livebait has multiple benefits. Firstly, the rubber band will absorb shock transmitted by the no-stretch braid line, so often used these days. That keeps your bait in better condition, longer.


But the greatest plus is that the rubber band loops balance the bait, and the hook point rides upward. The popular method of hooking a livebait crossways through the nose is not good for trolling or downrigging.  The bait will be unbalanced from the get go. That’s because the shank side of the hook is always going to be heavier than the point side. Here’s a nine second video showing a slimy mackerel swimming perfectly, after being rigged exactly as described above.

One thing to mention, on this topic. The three-hook stinger rig performed incredibly well at Nambucca in autumn 2012:

That is, small tow hook at the front, sliding loose small hook just behind the dorsal fin, and tiny 6x strong VMC treble on the tail wrist. All rigged on light mono wire. This rig does break the rule about unbalanced hooks BUT because they are small, the effect is not too dramatic. I’m going to try a modified version of that in Sydney this summer, and will let readers know how it goes. If this set up is too risky during the unhooking process, I’ll be dropping it as an option. The Nambucca trips proved how deadly it was for hook ups, but the downside is how dangerous it could be, when trying to unhook a wildly thrashing kingfish on the deck. Particularly in view of a horrible email a reader sent me today, showing pics of fishing, boating and trailering accidents. This being probably the mildest amongst them:

I was in Melbourne on Friday morning and couldn’t believe how cold it was. 11 degrees, plus an icy wind, had me chilled to the bone. Herb says that, after the cold snap passed, the fishing really picked up:

Fishing has been great in Port Phillip Bay after the s/w blow… Rob, Michael and myself endured a 20 knot s/w wind with waves breaking over the bow to allow Rob to catch a 5.99 kg Red for the T Tree comp in the junior section. Let’s see how we go. We don’t have a picture of that one as we cleaned it after weigh in at Carrum at 11.00 pm!

Today the lads consisting of Michael and Steve Lonsing boated and released numerous fish up to 5kg..... the extra yards catching fresh squid at Rye on Tuesday paid off.. The big fish went on fresh squid trip whilst boats around them never turned a handle.


Aren’t they getting bigger each year, Herb? Snapper you used to travel to Arno Bay for, you can now catch close to Melbourne.

Al McG was on the Bay too, getting some footage for his new TV show:

some pics for you buddy - fished Port Phillip for the Big Fish Small Boats, and managed 72 snapper in a few days 2-5.5kg which made for some insane footage

Lovin’ the blue fins!

Matt Reid is first and foremost a family man, and it’s always fun when his cute kids come along when he’s picking up tackle. He takes them out on the water too:


G'day Andy, well the wife went to Melbourne with a few friends to the Cox Plate and I had the kids. It was two days fishing with the kids and they got some great fish. Saturday was down to Wisemans Ferry and the target was Jew, and Jew they got, not big but good fun. The water is alive with live bait which is good to see. Sunday was a day of rest and Mum is home Monday. With the weather looking great, a call to a mate, the kids pulled a sickie and we hit the outer reefs of Sydney. It started with gathering bait that did not take long and the Kingfish hunt was on.

First bait in the water was soon converted with the kids all getting great fish and pulled around the boat many times. The smiles on faces say it all. Matty Reid  Raptor Charters 0404880148

Gold! They’ll never forget these memories with Dad, Matt.

Sean’s a family man too:

The plan was to take the boys to fish Lake Glenbawn in a friendly comp, second year running. Unfortunately Josh took sick a few days prior and made the decision to stay home. Jeremy and I headed up a day early to test the waters. It truly is a beautiful dam, reminds me of a lot of memories, I went there several times in the 1970’s with my family, and in the mid 90’s brained the bass with a good mate of mine George.

We found the fishing pretty tough over the weekend, a big dam with a lot of water and so many possibilities. Some anglers were nailing 15-20 bass a day; they were holding in the flats at the far end of the dam, but there was no real size to them.

Unfortunately we didn’t do that well, although we did manage a few nice fish. What made up for it was the conditions; absolutely superb!


Looks like you did pretty well to me, as both a fisho and a father.

Same with Dean:


Hi Andrew how’s things hope your fishing well Attached is a photo of my son Jai with his 1st mako that we caught on the weekend off Port Kembla. Thought you could use it in your weekly email newsletter, he weighed 25kilo and was 125cm long. Regards Dean Paton


Beautiful! Doesn't the boat look great too, Dean.

Spiro’s got a new product which will be of interest, to many of our readers:


The universal design of the E-LOCK™ fits most popular GPS, fish finder, chart plotter and VHF brands.


Works on most electronics that utilize a mounting bracket and knobs

Protects property and deters theft

Simple, compact and easy to install

Eliminates the hassle of uninstalling and reinstalling equipment

Reduces wear and tear on plugs and wires

John Mac got some tackle for the big weekend he had planned, and sent through a pic of his trophy from last year:


Hi Andrew, here is that pic I said I'd send of the jew which won me the Hawkesbury Classic last year 2011, 8.4kg.  Thanks for the braid , leader & shirt. Great stuff. All spooled up & ready for the weekend.


Great mate, let me know how you went?

Our Jervis Bay Man On The Spot – Dave T - put a report up on a Sydney forum, and took flak from a couple of online dropkicks:

Hi Andy, just a short report!!!!! 4 of us went out for a fish this morning.....boated 48 flatties as you  can see in the pics ,in about 4 hours Thought l'd share it on Sydney Angler but what a mistake!!. We could have legally caught 80, but the negative comments we got on our 48 was amazing. What is wrong with people? Are they bad fishermen and can't catch a feed themselves or just envious or are they all Greenies and reckon we shouldn't catch any let alone under the bag limit. We don't set the bag limits, the government does. We could have caught another 32 and still been legal. They fed 4 families and their friends, certainly no fillets were wasted. Won't bother to post on S.A again!!!

We were catching 2 at a time on a paternoster rig and the third was following ithem up to the boat. They certainly were in a crazy mood. lt has been quite a while since this happened. Out wide the odd yellow fin is showing up and some reports of big Kingies being caught The weather is starting to pick up as is the water temp but with the nor easters after lunch you run for cover. Regards from JB, Dave and Kate


You’ll be happy to know those two bullies have been banned, Dave. Sorry that happened.  I wouldn’t blame SA generally, there’s plenty of good blokes on that forum.

Glen Booth had an answer to our fish ID question, from last week:


Bellowsfish, matey!

And Spiro even provided a link:


The fish Species is a Bellowfish


Thanks lads, will know next time. It’s so good to be getting regular updates from WA.

Richard L writes:


… this beauty was caught out from Coral Bay this year- the fish is good too! We don't bring gamefish into the boat so nothing to show there.


Oi! That’s my line.

J Anton fished WA and had a big one:

Recently I was fortunate enough to spend 8 days on a live aboard charter at the Montebello islands in WA with Blue Lightning charters with 8 good mates. We caught  a variety of fish including the Coral trout, Rankin Cod, Spanish Mackerel, GT's, Red Bass, Spangled Emperor, Cobia, Sailfish and I was even lucky enough to tag and release a 130kg Black Marlin on a Saltiga 4500 and 40lb braid! Evenings were spent moored in some stunning bays eating the spoils from the days hard work over a cold beer or 3. We counted 22 slabs of beer and there were only 4 beer drinkers on the boat!


22 slabs, good work.

Thanks to the multiple readers who sent in the link to this crazy Aussie fishing video, of sharks hitting hooked mackerel. It’s up over 2 millions hits already:

My 4500T gets used weekly, and has seen plenty of action over the last two years.

We don't fit carbontex washers to these reels when new, because the factory Daiwa washers are very good straight out of the box. But after maybe fifty trips the drag was getting somewhat jerky, and the braid was sun faded. Time for a Blue Bottle makeover. Wallace sent a timely reminder:


hi andy i need a sheet of both sizes .05 and 1mm

just an aside, when you replace the washers dont forget to replace the fibre or plastic washer under the main gear not just the drag washers. it doesnt show in your tutorial, very important.(spinners under spool,  and conventional, under main gear)


Good call, because when I re-spooled the reel the braid stacked up at the front of the spool. This is a sign that the spool washer is excessively worn, and needs replacing. I did that, now she’s good as new. Still on tackle maintenance, and Johannes inquires:


Have received my rod/jigs + line

What is the best way to care for my reel once I receive and use it

I always wash mine in fresh water – after each outing and spray them regularly

Do you ever have to undo the screws and oil and grease them?

I wash mine in a light mix of warm water and CT18, an inexpensive but effective car wash.

That seems to work really well because it gets rid of the hard to shift gunk like pilchard juice, sunblock, even skin oils and the like. One thing I do find very handy for washing down tackle is a little stand that holds the rod and reel upright, shown above. Got a few of these left and they’re too heavy to mail, so anyone stopping by for a downrigger is welcome to a free one.

Our man on the spot in Finland (Jarrko the Downriggin' Bloke) says things are starting to cool down, on his local lake:

Blimey. That reminds me of Melbourne on Friday. Jarrko writes:


Now weather is turning to "exotic" from your point of wiew. Last Sunday morning when we went to Paasivesi lake there was 10 degrees minus and small lakes started to cover with ice. Big lakes like Paasivesi still has 8 degrees water temperature. And we got a little bit of first snow of this autumn.


... meaning it's prime time to get out there and into it. Salmon fishin' or moose huntin', these are the tough daily decisions for your outdoorsy Finn:


Weather is going to get warmer in couple of days so we can go trolling at least 3-5 weeks more. Fishes are biting hard and preparing for the winter. We have catched many nice salmons.

You certainly have. Keep these great updates coming Jarrko, the difference to Australia makes it all so interesting.

 Rob from Get a Grip Handles is on Facebook:


To politics, and I was very flattered to be interviewed by Jason from AHP. It starts out a bit slowly but covers a lot of country:


Andrew also discusses the assault that happened at the Wahroonga Park National Park Hunting Protest where he was assaulted by a Greens protestor while being spat on and called names by a female senior citizen.


We discuss many aspects of fishing on the show including:


Marine Parks

Fishing Exclusion Zones

Fishing Licenses

Beach, Boat, Wharf & Rock Fishing

The greens assault

And Much, Much, More

It was a great interview. I hope you all Enjoy it.


Andrew, Podcast came out phenomenal!!! Plenty of good laughs! Bit of Argy Bargy lol!!!!  Your the best!




Happy Shooting, Hunting and Fishing

Jason Selmes


Australian Hunting Podcast

Thanks Jase, I’m grateful for the opportunity. And thanks to the readers who wrote to NSW Premier O’Farrell, supporting his plan to cut the EDO’s funding:


Dear Premier, It is good to see that the Environmental Defenders Office is not exempt from your budget cuts. Please ignore their calls to be exempt. There is a lot better ways to spend the taxpayers money. The public has had enough of Green extremism. Regards Chris K


Spot on, Chris! The ABC ran a story on a commercial fishing family having both their income and lifestyle destroyed, by Federal Labor's marine park lockouts. Interesting account which touches on something covered too rarely, being the personal cost of the Green agenda:



Craig McGill gave Maritime and the NP&WS a serve in the North Shore Times:

Steve’s fighting the greenies via Twitter:


Here's a new space to join like-minded people and post "Greensfail" Tweets:



It might pay to watch and wait a while before contributing?


The Greens are sure to keep an eye on it - ha, ha, ha.




Twitter? Hey, Steve:

He he he. Lads, thanks so much for all these great reports and pics. You send them in, I get the credit, which is totally unfair. All I can do is pass on the compliments I get about the weekly report to those who really deserve them – you blokes, who contribute. J Until next week,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director