Thursday 14 JUNE 2012

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

G’day all,


With some filthy weather up and down the coast over the Queen’s Birthday weekend, incoming reports have been a little light on, this week. Thankfully some of our regulars pulled my irons out of the fire, at the last moment! Matt from Raptor Charters writes:

Hi Andy we have not had a chat for a while now I will give you a call towards the end of the week.  Myself and another mate just spent the long weekend at the Coffs Snapper Classic and got some nice fish. The weather was tough with plenty of strong wind, but the rain did hold off until the presentation. There were plenty of nice fish caught and the biggest for the weekend was a 101cm Snapper.


Nice ones mate and very timely too, because I'm headed to Nambucca for a weekend chasing snapper on Friday. Glad to see you defied the conditions and put a few nice fish on board.

Our Brisbane reporter Trevor Jane dealt with some dirty weather, on Sunday:

Did a fish recently out wide of Moreton, really had to scratch about but managed a feed of snaps and pearlies. Caught a heap but two-thirds were throw back models and many just under.


One thing worth mentioning about our Sunday trip off Mooloolaba was when we got home Ella said she thought of us out there as the weather at home was so calm and warm and just plain perfect so we must have had a great time on the water – well we seemed to find an offshore cyclone I reckon – anyway no big deal just another outing. The weather Saturday off Moreton was 15 to 20 knots mostly but we got a good spell of 10 to 15 knots which was pleasant so it was a nice day to be out.


Looks ‘orrible, Trevor!

Thanks for your report and pics.

Mark Way writes in,

from the South Coast:

Blue Eye on the Bite!

Greg Barea went fishing with Sondal on Profishent, for a top catch of Big Blue Eye on the weekend.

Good one Greg! There’s no doubt that as soon as the current and swell backs off, fishing the deep reefs will be red hot. Clients who travelled to Browns last weekend could not reach bottom due to the 2.5 knot current, but they were still marking excellent concentrations of fish. We have both our electric reels set up on a display at our Wahroonga show room now, and anyone who’s passing is welcome to stop by and check them out in operation. But with offshore dead as (as they say in Tairua) the one light on the horizon was reports of a hot hairtail bite, in Cowan Creek. Just one question – would they be able to find our live baits, in all that brown water? The only way to find out was to give it a go.

Down at Apple Tree Bay boat ramp on Thursday afternoon around 4.00PM, and loading kit into Spiro’s beautiful 6.0m Seafarer. At the ramp I met up with good mate Kerry Wilson, who was planning a night time kayak session of all things, and has installed rod holders in his car’s roof:

Kerry showed me his beaut new Barracuda kayak from NZ, of which he was justifiably proud:

A quick blast down the Creek to Waratah Bay, which was surprisingly quiet. A word of warning to young players, about that passage. Always have your plotter on, always keep a track, and always navigate directly down the centre of the waterway – for reasons that will be made clear later.


As well as our captain we had the two Michaels on board, one of whom being an expert with countless hours of hairtail experience, and the other having never even seen one. We moored up just inside the bay, got the burley going and soon had some large 30cm yellowtail in the tank.

Michael predicted that the hairtail would come on two hours after the 5.00PM high, as the tidal run picked up. And that’s exactly what happened:

The bites were as frustrating as ever, these quite large fish picking up the live baits as warily as a luderick and with several good ones dropping off the hooks, boat side. But some nice ones came aboard.

At one point a hairtail came to the surface and attacked a half dead live bait,

some of which I managed to get on camera:

They really are so different to the usual fish we target, but it’s that difference that makes them so interesting. Their front fangs grip their prey while the rear teeth do the real work. Keep your fingers well clear of the business end of a hairtail:

Hairtail fishing is always very social, and tonight the company was just great.

After a couple of hours and a few fish in the chiller bag we pulled the pin – at which point we realised just how heavily the fog had moved in. Thankfully, Spiro was able to navigate us back to the ramp by following the chart course made on the way down. Thanks to the lads for a great night on the water and looking forward to doing it all again as soon as possible!

To the south coast, and last weeks’ mini cyclone did enormous damage to moored boats in Jervis Bay. This must mean tragedy to so many:

Dave T writes:


 A lot of damaged boats over there but we only know what e saw on the news. We have been staying home by the fire but might get down to the ramp tomorrow to see what is happening. Regards Dave and Kate


Very wise, Dave. The dirty weather didn’t stop some hard cases getting out of Narooma, with some wild pictures resulting:

Pretty crazy stuff, and you gotta wonder if anything’s left in the overhead rod rack after one of those launches. Spiro’s looking for a popular reel for a project revamp and has a great offer for our readers:


I am looking for someone to send me their Shimano Baitrunner 6500B that has been neglected (not due to any fault of the user) for a complete makeover.

> service and clean

> new parts if needed

> line change

> carbontex drag upgrade

> reel handle upgrade


Cost -$0 for the chosen reel.


Thanks , Spiro Demopoulos

0409 333 380


That’s a great offer so if you’d like Spiro to make your Baitrunner as new, send him an email.

Further afield and our Amazon correspondent Rohan has sent in a fascinating update, on his latest adventure.

Got a chance to head down to the Pantanal which is one of of the worlds largest wet lands. We were fishing in the low season due to the fishing being more concentrated and while it was a great week the monster catfish we were hoping for eluded us. I caught some Dorados, Pacu (caranha), a million Piranhas, a Pintado and a small Jau which grow over 100kgs.


The one in the photo was kept although being just a pup and given to some local for food as it was being attacked by piranhas while being on the hook, releasing it would've ensured a certain slow death. I've always seen documentaries where the piranhas are small but many. These things are the size of a decent bring and in large numbers. I put a 600ml beer bottle in one pic to give you some sort of reference as to their size. They will easily take your finger off and have a mouth the would have no problem fitting it in.


In the pics you will see what I was told is a distant relative of the Piranha, the Pacu (caranha), it has a set of baby molars for teeth and have been told by the locals the big fellas have the crushing power of a horse, while that may be some what of an urban myth I don't care to find out for research purposes. It was caught using crabs and I  was hoping for the 10 to 15 kg monsters that lurk but could only manage these 2.

Just fascinating Rohan and it’s so good to hear from you, I’ve been wondering whether you’ve been too busy to get out on the water. Thanks heaps and please keep these updates coming.

Mark W sent in a note saying the jigging grounds off Kuta in Bali are on fire:

Ruby Snapper on bite again in Bali, as reported by my mate Agus from Mataharri Hotel in Kuta. I'll be back there in July/August. Thanks, Mark


Beautiful! But Can’t wait to see how you go in Bali, Mark. If anyone wants to know more, send him an email off the Kiama GFC website. Bali’s so cheap and the deeper grounds swarm with these hard fighting ruby snapper.

Henry Do generously added his bit to a drag washer discussion on the Brisbane Fishing online website:






I have a sheet of the stuff at home and have actually been making a couple this week for Certate Hyper 4000, Certate 3000 and my Saltist 4500H. If you've got a set of punches it's easier but not critical.







I'm not sure ordering a couple at a time makes a difference but I can tell you I've cut 9 3000/4000 sized spin washers for Certates and I've only used about half the sheet so it's well worth the $20 seeing as I paid $35 for the first set of 3 I bought about 8 months ago.

One bit of advice. This stuff is 1mm so 3 of them are thicker than 3 standard washers. All I did was put a piece of 180 grit paper on a flat plank and sanded them thinner, you can go gently cause it sands easily. You can do it by eye but I have a digital vernier to measure down to some precise sizes.

Below is the final version. I used a punch for the centres but scissors and hand sanded the outer edge




Washers.JPG (41KB)





+1 for Downrigger shop. Andrew is a nice guy as well.


I've bought a sheet to fix the drag on my 2506 exist and it now works perfectly. Now to invest in a hole punch...





aussie123 wrote:

Jack Erskine does a full range of Carbontex washers all pre cut to suit the different reels.

Have a look at this PDF for the various models he has pre cut washers for.



These were the first set I had and cost me $35 plus another $15 for the grease (best grease to use by far) but the sheet from downrigger is just as good and a fraction of the price.






tikki169 wrote:

I have a sheet of the stuff at home and have actually been making a couple this week for Certate Hyper 4000, Certate 3000 and my Saltist 4500H. If you've got a set of punches it's easier but not critical.



I bought a sheet of this mob as well, you will get a few reels out of one sheet and its pretty easy to manufacture them. Just a matter of tracing around the originals and using a sharp blade to cut them, grease them up and your good to go.


inner hole cut out


outline cut out

drag washers

Thanks, Henry and Muzz! Glad the carbontex is working so well for you. I honestly reckon that, without it, I never would have landed that 22-pound northern bluefin last month.

To politics, and perhaps because so many of us are house bound with the dirty weather, political commentary has been pouring in from our readers. Thanks to those who contacted me about the giant trawler the Labor Government is permitting to fish Australian waters. Bill Allen writes:

Hi again Andrew, thought this might interest you & the guys. This is a very worrying turn of events. Has the potential to devastate some of Australia's finest rec fisheries, including the Southern Bluefin grounds off SA/Vic/Tassie. 'Bout time it was brought to light. It has been kept very quiet & off the radar so far.


Just disgusting. Some pretty disgusting angler hate too in ROCK.ITT magazine, June 2012 edition:

Mate i thought of you when I read a recent article.


I get your newsletter email that I love and I have seen you on the water and ramp etc. I know that you take an active interest in all things fishing including our rights etc….mag is distributed in pubs and clubs on the northern beaches.


When I read the mag I came across an article from some friggin moron about " fish are not vegetables ………… it was extremely biased and confusing but the general feeling of the article can be summed up by his last paragraph " Fishing is utterly wrong on every level and in every form, from the recreational right through to the industrial. Fish are emphatically not vegetables. But a lot of human beings are morally vegetating". This guy (author) really s###s me now and his extreme views need to be challenged.


If i send you the article to read do you think you could advise on a way for him to get some feedback from people (fishermen) on his article. I might be over reacting but your advice would be good.


Good on you for bringing this to our attention, cobber. Here’s the link, scroll to pages 44-45 for the story. The comment quoted above is not in the online version:


Plus three feedback forms:





And here’s my little effort. Nothing complicated is needed, keep it brief and polite, feel free to copy or modify as you wish.


Hello there, thinking about your entertainment advertisement, in this month’s Rock Itt magazine. As a member of Warringah Anglers I was disgusted to read the opinion piece attacking fishermen, and to view the picture comparing our sport with the slaughter of dolphins in Japan. Could I respectfully ask that you reconsider advertising in Rock Itt? Thanks for reading, Andrew Hestelow


If you could take two minutes to do the same you would definitely be defending our sport. Because animal libbers are turning their attention to angling in a big way, as you will see in next weeks’ report. Thanks for reading my friends and please keep reports, pics, your take on angling politics and anything you care to share coming in! Until next week,