Tuesday 10th June 2014

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

Luke Latty kicks off this week’s report with an amazing trip to Long Reef:


Hey mate myself Rob and James went out and could honestly say it was the most enjoyable king session any of us have ever had! Around 50 legal kings up to high 78cm boated on poppers, stick baits and your micro jigs at Long Reef! They were smashing garfish (which were jumping clear out of the water in huge schools) on the surface and climbing over each other to hit the surface lures. At one point there were 10+ kings creating wash on the surface as they chased down my stick bait!


Wooo, wish I’d been there. Thanks Luke, and grateful to James for the killer pic. Jay and Kevin Olsen jigging too, SEQ amberjacks:



Hi Andrew, wish I had photos from the weekend to show you how well the jigs went off Rainbow Beach but alas all I have is a piece of frayed leader and a dead arm :) One of your pink 100g jobs is now a lip piercing for a badass Amberjack that took me to school!  I had a solid Golden Spotty trevally come up a few drops earlier that could barely pull line from my Stradic but even almost locked up this thing just went for the bottom like I wasn't even on the other end. Alas, that's fishing I suppose.


He he he. Well Jay as the Duke said, ‘if you’re thrown, get right back in the saddle.’ Clinton braved the rain last week, the result made it all worthwhile:



Started out of Shoalhaven heads at 5.30am on Sat May 31st with Roy Brooks from from Sealady Fishing Charters. Started Jigging with this nice King the result…


Beautiful, Clinton. I’d go round Cape Horn for a king like that. Sean Morgan says winter species have arrived at South West Rocks:



Searching around we stumbled across a pinnacle holding a lot of bait and some interesting bigger returns. We went through our livies in pretty quick time; they were lasting less than 10 seconds on the bottom. They accounted for three kingfish (85-88cm), 2 bar cod, 2 snapper and a few nannygai. Once the livies were done we resorted to bait, but if it didn't have a heartbeat they weren't interested.


Done by 11am and heading back to the ramp. Great way to start the winter season, all quality fish and Terry and I ending on (almost) and even count.


That’s a nice bar cod Sean, well done. Half way across the country, and Mark Rawles’ beanie is a reminder to us that winter’s coming fast. He’s fishing Tumby Bay SA:



Giday Andrew, jigs have arrived .They should do the job just fine thanks. Heading off tomorrow for kings. Landed some 25kg kings the other day and hoping for bigger tomorrow. Bluefin tuna are just everywhere atm.


Thanks for the pic Mark and please keep in touch. We don’t hear nearly enough from South Oz. With some brutal westerlies blowing this week many readers have fished inside, with the mighty Hawkesbury seeing plenty of interest. Proud dad Gavin B writes:



Hi Andy, we thought we would try our luck in the estuaries on Saturday (31st May) instead of heading off shore… we saw lots of life in the river system including flathead, bream, tailor.   My son Will (13 years old), caught this beauty Flathead which was his personal best measuring in at 54cm.   Caught near Wiseman’s Ferry.   A great day out on the water!!! Will LOVES reading your fishing report each and every week, so he is keen to send you a picture of his catch!


And I’m keen to receive it! Thanks for keeping us posted and please send your address so we can pop tackle samples in the mail to Will.  Nearby, and Richard Massad reports the winter bluenose bream run starting. A good option, if it’s blowing too hard to get wide:



My mates went to Berowra Waters yesterday, caught 16 bream biggest going 48cm 1.9kg. Great to see the system so healthy


To boating, and these seafarers spotted on the Harbour by our roving reporter Graham D:



Andrew, these 5 souls were seen heading from North Harbour across towards the Harbour past Dobroyd Bommie which was working. I was stunned with the lack of freeboard, I wonder if there were PFDs aboard, note the last pic ?!/!



Blimey. Okay, at least there’s plenty of ballast amidships. Elsewhere in the Harbour, another of (Maritime Minister) Duncan’s Navy goes to her final resting place. Dan Abadir:



Here you go Andy... Another one bites the dust. At Drummoyne boat ramp, apparently it’s been there for more than 4weeks.


What a shame they don’t go straight to the bottom, Dan! At least we’d have a quality bream spot. Yours truly got out for a run this week but, due to raging south westers, we were pretty much restricted to Bonito Alley:



Which didn’t worry me at all, because there were stacks of fish on tap and we had the place to ourselves. As always in shallow water we kicked off with a downrigger session:



That produced a stack of hookups, one of which I recorded on downrigger cam:



Will upload that to Youtube this week. Once we hooked up on the downrigger it was on for young and old – bonito, kingfish and salmon on everything from poppers to SPs and even jigs:



I was very pleased with the new snapper combo:



Even though nothing big encountered, it was casting poppers out of sight. I took it up to the footy field for some distance testing:



Results, best out of three casts: 9 inch unweighted SP, 41 metres. 40 gram micro jig, 64 metres. Over the moon about that. Here’s the concept. The idea with this combo is light weight and long distance casting but with grunt in reserve- in case you hook a big red. Designed for casting poppers to kingfish, SPs and pilchards to snapper, unweighted live baits for dollies, metals for salmon, all as far as possible. Responsive tip, so light bites can be detected. Specifications on the rod:


Length: seven feet

Type: spin, two piece, can be mailed meaning delivery not expensive

Construction: graphite

Rating: 6 - 12 kilo line, 5/8 to 1.5 ounce jig heads

Weight: 200 grams

Price: $80


And the reel:



Model: SW 5000

Weight including line and ball reel knob:   480 grams

Drag, 14 kilos waterproof – 5 carbontex and 5 stainless steel washers

Line capacity:    240 metres 30-pound colour change braid (included)

25 metres 10-kilo 100% fluorocarbon leader (included)

Gear ratio: 5.5:1

Ball bearings: 7

Price including fitted ball reel knob: $170


So $250 for the combo including rod, reel, colour change braid and fluorocarbon.

Ross posted a positive review on the Facebook page:


I have one of these reels I've had it for 18 months and I have tried to kill it but it seems indestructible. They are well worth the money it feels a lot smoother than my Daiwa Saltist. Mine has landed a 17kg kingfish jigging off Allmark last winter and did it with ease. For anyone who hasn't got one of these reels you should add one to your collection. You won't be disappointed. Tight lines


Thanks cobber. I should also mention our 1.5m retractable tape measures arrived this week. We’re adding those free to every order excepting carbontex (because they won’t fit in the envelope):



Game fishing reports a bit light on this week due to dirty weather out wide. Before the big blow Adam from Blue Reef Charters put his clients onto this beast in fish form:



G'day Andrew, thought I'd share this you and your readers. We landed this mammoth Dolly last week off Sydney in 200 fathoms. This big boy hit 26.9kg and went 1.98m. The biggest I've ever seen. He demolished a 12inch skirt and gave the 24kg gear a work out.


What a beauty and thanks for your update. The Kiama Tournament faced some weather issues but those magic waters still produced quality fish. Mark Way:



Kiama GFC's postponed Tournament was conducted on 31st May & 1st June with good weather for Saturday but poor conditions for Sunday. Water temps off shelf were still around 23 degrees with Blue Marlin, Tiger and Mako Sharks, Mahi Mahi in the mix. Steve Banks took his boat Frantic up north and found some good water with bait and Billfish making a good mix for angler Steve Liddle with a solid Blue Marlin that weighed 150.5kg on 24kg to take out Heaviest Marlin.


But the real action in SW Victoria where the bluefin run continues apace. Andrew Westlake fished Warrnambool Sunday 8th June:



Hi Andrew, caught these 3 just a few kms from the ramp in 45m today. Plenty of fish but they were chasing very small bait and were finicky.


Two words, Andy: FLY ROD. J Some good feedback from the deep dropping fanatics too. George from Rooty Hill RSL Fishing Club caught this giant blue eye. Small pic, big fish:



Hi Andy some nice blue eye caught at Browns on Sunday biggest being 27kg weather was great, got a good workout on our winches


Alex Opadchy tried some deep dropping off Sydney:



Thanks, got the jigs. We were out at Browns recently and whilst things were a bit slower than I'd like we still managed to hook two blue eye, unfortunately one got sharked on the way up. Sure there was more down there but the battery on the electric reel died so that was that.


And in Western Victoria, Dennis Mahaven extra pleased with the first sea trial of his new electric reel combos:


Hi Andrew, well we are just back from a three day trip to Portland where 14 boats from the Beaumaris Motor Yacht Squadron  enjoyed superb fishing and weather. The blue fin were really on although all were around the 12 – 15 kg mark and no barrels in sight. I heard a barrel or two were caught up the coast a bit at Apollo Bay. All 14 boats caught SBT and between us we also had school sharks, a huge  gummy, albacore and dollys  not to mention a vast array of bottom fish. We caught 13 SBT in the first session  on my boat and left them as our arms we hurting! ( All but 1 released ). Photo 1  We had more  success over the next two days. One of our group kept going and caught and released 30 SBTs in one session.



We headed out wide with the Daiwa Tanacom Bull 1000s  with the Saltiga bent butt rods you sold me and a mate and FIRST DROP I pulled up a nice Blue Grenadier Photo 2 and , at the same time, my mate Richard pulled up a pair of Trevalla Photo 3.



Not large but typical for the area. They will be superb eating. We caught a few more Trevalla and a Pink Ling over the rest of our drops . Fished down to 500 metres without a hitch.



Not everyone enjoyed the success in deeper water without an electric as you can see from this picture of our third crew member  Clive who pulled this monster up from around 160 metres! ( Photo 4 ) The electric  outfits worked great, were easy to use and are allowing  to fish in a new way , thanks for your prompt friendly service and great prices!


My pleasure Dennis, truly glad you’re so pleased with those setups. 3000 klicks away and Andrew Turner bought a Tanacom 1000 Saltiga bent butt combo from us months ago, but didn’t get a chance to try it out until last week. Great result:



22 Kg 104 cm Bass Groper caught this week north of the border at the Shelf. Also caught were a 17 kg model and a trevalla. Cheers Andrew


Excellent. I’m hoping to have an encounter of the trevalla kind at Browns this Thursday, Andrew.




To politics, and it’s good to have something nice to say about NSW Fisheries. They’ve finally moved on the menace who’s been selling gill nets on eBay for years. Readers will remember how many times I’ve railed against this outrage, the bloke even uses pictures of netted bass and eels to advertise his products. Sean writes:



Looks like your campaigns are working! From the latest DPI newsflash;


In another matter a Sydney man discovered by DPI fisheries officers attempting to sell illegal fishing gear online has been fined and placed on a 12 month good behaviour bond. Following an anonymous report from a member of the public, fisheries officers discovered a man from Rockdale had listed illegal gill nets for sale on a popular online sales website. The man faced Sutherland Local Court and was found guilty of three counts of failing to make a record of a sale of commercial nets and selling a commercial net to a person who was not a commercial fisher. The man was convicted, fined a total of $2000 and placed on a good behaviour bond for the next 12 months.


That’s a welcome result, well done Fisheries Enforcement. In less positive news, Steve Bowler from Shooters & Fishers Party spent the weekend on the NSW south coast:


Just thought I would share the local’s take on two of the ramps down there and a few pics. Currarong’s boat ramp:



Subject to heavy wave surge and there is nowhere to tie up your boat or facilitate safe boarding of passengers. Car & trailer parking is some 200 yds away out of view of the ramp, in what would best be described as a field:



Blimey. I can just imagine the boghole that becomes, after rain. No wonder it’s 4WD only.


Callala Bay ramp:



Cannot launch and retrieve at low tide due to not enough gradient to get sufficient water depth. “Greens” stopped dredging of a small seagrass area that would have facilitated low tide usage.



Incredible, what we put up with from this government. $18m taken from boaties each year and its ‘DANGEROUS ROCKS … SLIPPERY SURFACE’:



Nine months to the next election and well before that date NSW Maritime Minister Duncan Gay will start in with the promises to get our votes. But in the words of The Who, we won’t get fooled again. Thanks so much to our contributors! I get all the credit just for assembling your feedback into an email, and that’s not fair at all. Please keep the pics and reports coming. Anything and everything to do with this fantastic sport, that means so much to us all. Until next week,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director