Thursday 12th December 2013

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

Steady reports incoming, everywhere from Tassie to  Sydney, saying blue eye cod are on the bite. Blake Matthews, off  Jervis Bay:







Always glad to receive a report from Tasmania. Leo Miller’s is no exception:


Hi Andrew, the weather was perfect yesterday so I gathered a crew and went off the bottom of Tas.



Striped trumpeter are good this time of year and we bagged out in 15 mins at the first stop.

Then went to the shelf and caught a heap of deep sea goodies.



All up 12 Striped trumpeter kept (landed over 25 tho and released smaller models), 10 Blue eye, 10 gemfish and 15 grenadier. Went 100km sth of boat ramp.



Blimey. Can you send some of those glass out Tasmanian conditions up our way, Leo? Closer to home, and Gavin Lau had a tough one in Middle Harbour. Made even tougher by a tantalising find at the end of the day:



Hey Andy we did not have much luck today. We started off collecting lots of nice slimies right opposite of Clontarf where they were busting. We thought we will be in luck today as we got some nice king candy baits. We made our way to south head along those cliffs but nothing touching the slimies and nothing much on sounder. We left too early as we found out later those 2 kayakers that ya saw last time again got into those kings after we left. DAMN!!! Overall it seems the Harbour is very quiet hopefully the next few weeks when the water heats up the kings will be inside. BTW 2 kayakers got into about 4 rats 60cm on squid strip and it was a feeding frenzy lasted only 10 mins. However when we back at Tunks we found a 112cm fresh frame and it wasn't from Matt Reid, as we saw him come after we were back at the ramp.


Fuzzy phoned for a few micro jigs, then sent through this pic. DOUBLE WOW:



Mate of mine, jew on micro jigs 35-40 grams.


Now that’s interesting. I’d never even heard of micro jigging jewfish until two weeks ago. Now I’m hearing about it almost every day. Kevin Preston still kicking goals out of Greenwell Point:



Hi Andrew still getting some nice reds around The Banks and a few kings. Heres a pic of a 3.5 kg Reddy I got today on a 5 inch peppered prawn


Very nice, thanks Kev. Oliver Evans is a bloke I run into everywhere – mostly, downrigging the Harbour or Longie. Now I hear he’s been targeting a new area of ops:


G'day Andy, I’ve just gotten back from Namotu island Fiji where I was living and guiding guests of the resort fishing for the last month. To say I had a good time is an understatement.



After hearing from the previous fisho that not much was caught I'm happy to say that every day I caught fish. Mahi, Spanish macks, wahoo, yellow fin, marlin and GTs.





Looks like you made a lot of visitors happy over there, Ollie! Thanks for this excellent report mate.

At the other end of the size scale, Matt Loraway’s one proud dad:



My little man 20 months old with his first fish from down at JB. One very happy little angler, hopefully this has him addicted now!


Gold. I still remember my first fish with Dad – a toadie, at Barrenjoey. Not quite as big as your lad’s blackfish, Matt. J Out last week with a top crew of keen young blokes – one of whom, Mitchell, fished the night before, catching squid to save us time. Now that is above and beyond the call of duty.





Pandemonium resulted, as multiple kings hooked up




although all small, including this. One king on the tow hook, and one on the stinger:







The kings went nuts. All small, so we geared down as far as 6 kilo to match them.



Poppers, hundred gram jigs, big soft plastics, at times we had four on simultaneously. They love the Halco Roostas:



A keeper trevally came off a downrigged squid too:




112cm and 102cm at Old Mans Hat


Nice one. Back out there this week filming Phil’s twin downrigger setup on his small inflatable:



I’m fascinated by this new trend where blokes like Phil, Klaus, and David Vassalo are downrigging solid kings out of boats 12 feet long – or, smaller. Update in next week’s report. His adventures are amazing, but a tad worried Al’s gonna get bitten one day.


Had an awesome experience swimming with a hammerhead that was released unharmed - crazy creature. Cheers Al



With Christmas just around the corner we’ve been racking our brains here at Downrigger HQ, trying to figure what present we can give to the clients without whom we wouldn’t even be here.

The Daiwa 4500T is our number one reel, we’ve shipped hundreds of them over the last two years:



They’re sent to clients with the factory drag washers which are not carbon fibre but are pretty dang good. Tim, our shipping manager, has precut a stack of carbontex drags to fit this model and then wiped them down with Saltiga drag grease which we got from our Man In The East. If you’ve bought a 4500T from us and remember when, send me your postal address by email? We’ll pop a free set of correct size replacement drags in the mail, along with a how to page. Two minute job, and you won’t believe how smooth your reel’s drag system will be.  Dan Abadir’s always finding interesting stuff on the Net and forwarding it on for our readers to view:



I found this posted on the shimano FB page. Wow ha?






To boats, and a new Mercury 150HP 4-stroke went on the ‘Carolyn Jane’ in September 2012. Last week we passed 500 hours usage on the outboard, which I mentioned on Facebook.  Here’s service costings, might be of interest for those considering an upgrade:


Oct 2012    – 20hr service             $617

Feb 2013    –100hr service            $617

April 2013 – 200hr service            $769

June 2013 – 300hr service            $475

Aug 2013   – 400hr service           $728


Nov 2013 – Water in fuel              $549

1st year – Sept 2012- Aug 2013   $3206

Total 500 hours service costs      $3755



Lots of chat (3500 views, 50+ comments) on the Facebook page, with most readers pretty shocked that I spent this much, in one year. And there’s not doubt $3700 is a lot of money. Here’s two samples. Chris Sun:


Andy, if you’re just idling a lot of the time (i.e. when downrigging), those hours dont count towards service hours. Marine mechanics will tell you differently but i have access to oil analysis and servicing my engines at 250 hours with approximately 50 of those being load hours has less contamination than 100 load hours


Matt Fraser:


I service my own engine every 100hrs a 200 Etec, 3yr 300hrs service parts: water pump, thermostats x2, plugs x6, fuel & oil filters, anodes, de-carbon spray, synthetic gear oil and a few other small items is about $280. I don't always change the plugs. I check the gaps ,clean, test and replace them, and the water pump doesn't need doing every 100hrs either, they are the most expensive parts in the service, about half the cost. The thermostats can be checked, tested and replaced also, another $70 odd. The savings can be made when doing it yourself as you can check and test, but not really viable when labour costs enter the equation. With the savings I purchased the Evdiag software for the laptop and a workshop manual which covers every aspect of the engine. These always come with me in the boat along with 4 spare fuel filters, a fuel line extraction pump, a set of pre-indexed spark plugs, thermostats and enough tools to cover anything that I am capable of doing myself.


Good advice, lads. But note – I can barely change a light bulb, much less a spark plug.


To politics, and a great letter in this month's Afloat magazine, about (NSW Maritime Minister) Duncan Gay's obsession with lifejackets. Don Hartley says we should follow the money trail, always good advice with NSW pollies:




The back history of NSW Maritime needs a little explanation. Lately I’ve been hearing some horror stories about that department, some serious, some not so serious. Not serious would include issues like the swarms of corroded and unused boats on public moorings which keep legitimate boaters on the waiting list for years:















Right. Two days after starting work, Eddie Obeid was on the line. What was he calling about, Steve?





How is this relevant to us, as fishos and boaties? Because Eddie Obeid is a previous NSW Fisheries Minister, and inflicted fishing licenses on us all - and Steve Dunn was his CEO:



LOL. ‘My charismatic mentor, Eddie Obeid.’ Last week, ICAC released a video of investigators removing $31,000 worth of charisma from Eddie’s office safe. The cash was skimmed from Obeid’s three cafes at Circular Quay – the ones Eddie called Dunn (or as ICAC calls him, Mr Fix It) to extend:




Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director