Friday 14th November 2014

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

Lotsa kingfish reports this week from happy fishos. And why wouldn’t they be? They’re the best combination of fighting ability, eating quality (if looked after properly), and most importantly availability, for metropolitan anglers anyway. Which is why we love them. Dave from Palm Beach in Queensland:



I have attached a pic of recent success with the rigger


That’s a beauty and thanks for writing, Dave. Dave Vassallo finding Sydney gold:



Woohoooo just under 110cm of down rigged Sydney kingfish what a fish what a fight !!!!!!


Mate my prediction is you have a big, big summer ahead. Team Bazley out there too:



Hi Andy, had a good day at Twelve Mile on Saturday managing to get 5 kingfish in total and also lost a few as well. The biggest of the day is the ones I'm holding in my hands in the picture with them reaching up to 80cm. Cheers, Will


Awesome. They’re getting bigger every trip, Will! Peter G at the Twelve, same day:



These guys jumped onboard on Sat from a mysterious secret location off Sydney. 4 of us fishing with livies, your jigs and pillies. We had to leave them biting to be back for a kiddies birthday party.


Excellent. Things shaping up for a huge summer, Pete! But the bite’s not just happening in Sydney. Jonathon went to Allmark off Port Stephens, my favourite jigging spot:



Hi Andrew, finally got to Allmark on Saturday for a decent session. We made one trip there previous but the weather was not very good for jigging. Your jigs did pretty well, pink/blue was the colour of the day for the kings - Grey/black was super effective on leather jackets. Green wasn't very sucessful at all. I have attached 2 pics of some of our catch, largest king almost made 90cm and stretched my arms pretty good. Best part was the hit on the 3rd stroke from the bottom when right beside a boat who had just told me they were having a very quiet morning. They watched me fight it to the top and were open mouthed in awe when we gaffed it over the side. Perhaps their jigs were not up to standard...


Perhaps! J Mid north coast, and Chris Colvin out on the water:


Headed out from Nambucca yesterday. Biggest one went a metre and the other was 93



Nice brace of kingies, Chris! Good to know Guido’s back on the water, now that snapper have arrived in Melbourne. Just like with our dolphin fish off Sydney recently, it looks like this warm dry spring is getting fish on the move earlier:



I met you at the Melbourne boat show 2 years ago. My mate bought the downrigger for his Haines Signature. He has since gone to live in Thailand, but I still get your reports. They are great fun: snapper are finally on in Melbourne. I had cardiac arrest in June 2014, still unable to drive until end december but  finally got on the water via one of my sons


To tackle, and Frank from Predatek Lures super pleased with his reel knob swap. If you haven’t tried one, the improvement in comfort is incredible. Especially for the types of fishing where you’re winding all the time, like spinning or jigging:



Hi Andrew, I had already purchased the knob from you but was unsure how to fit it to the TD SOL 3000. Thanks for the info, it made the job easy. It has transformed the reel, a great modification. Thanks once again. Photo attached. Regards Frank


Glad you’re pleased, Frank! I ordered 80 yesterday, plenty of colour options:



Here’s Tameem’s hard body minnow squid jig. Never heard of such a thing until he brought it over.

Anyone tried them and more importantly, do they work?



UK client Roy back from a big trip to France. Carp fascinate me. They’re the metro freshwater version of kingfish – hard fighting, available everywhere, and now that some genius has figured out how to clean and cook them, pretty good on the plate:



Hi Andrew, I gave the Carbontex drag washers in my Shimano Mgs reels a good work out whilst in France. I managed to bank four twenty pound plus carp, five thirty pound plus carp , nine forty pound plus carp & three over fifty pounds, the largest at fifty three pounds


Congrats Roy and good to hear from you. One good bit of gear I barely ever mention is our dryboxes:



What I do with mine is put jigs, reels (especially electric reels) and anything that’s particularly sensitive to corrosion inside. It’s got an O ring recessed into the top so that, when you close it, not even air can get in. This means unused tackle doesn’t need to be washed down when I get back from a trip, because it was never exposed to sun and salt. And the braid doesn’t fade. Clients who have them love them. And I love mine too. Now Tim tells me they’re taking up too much space in the warehouse and he wants them discounted, to free up some room.

Here’s a top deal.

For orders of 250 and 420 gram jigs,

all multiple orders of braid and all reels excepting our light spin combo,

fish chiller bags,

we can add a dry box for $20 *including delivery.

* Pretty incredible offer because they are $35 online elsewhere – plus freight!:




A mate who lives in NQLD posted this- bugger!


That’s just tragic. Addiction Fishing at Terrigal Haven, when this sorry event unfolded:


Sad stuff. I spotted this one in Hervey Bay last week. Boat maybe five metres long, I don’t know the back story:



I was there because good mate John Verano invited me for three days camping and fishing at Fraser Island:



After loading up with supplies and fuel we launched early afternoon, kicking off with a 60 kilometre run to Rooney Point:



John’s friends Sam, Holly and Ben already there:


Our camping spot was fantastic. Basically just a couple of shady casuarinas high on the beach, but it was great to get off the boat at the end of the day:



After we got squared away the hunt was on. We spotted a marlin in 4 metres of water and John cast a popping fly on his ten weight. The fish turned, hooked up and went nuts. Here’s a short video of some of the action:



As well as marlin we targeted the Bay’s insane light pelagic fishery. Easy to do, just watch for working birds, position the boat upwind of the school, and it’s on for young and old:



The spreader bars attracted plenty of marlin, but it was hard to get a hookup. So whenever things went quiet we chased kawa kawa (mackerel tuna.) This foul hooked model gave me a solid workout:



Saturday morning brought an end to what had been a fantastic but too short trip. John wanted to micro jig a favourite reef half way back to Urangan. As we jigged he left an SP streaming in midwater. A fish hit hard and after a torrid battle proved to be a golden trevally:



Whatta place, and thanks to John for a magical three days. Some good reports from other exotic locations this week. Firstly, Adam in Nauru:



So here is Titus's latest effort, a 13kg wahoo he got in this morning after 10min or so, the feistiest wahoo of recent days. he caught it on a red and black williamson wahoo catcher he had a smaller one on earlier that after 20 min of fighting dolphins for it…they finally gave us just a head back…:( so after this one his arms were toast :) not too shabby for a soon to be 5 year old :)


That’s incredible. How’s he going to top that when he matures into a six or seven year old, Adam? J Calm weather on the Reef gave Kim Ngov some red hot fishing:



Hey. Just used some of your jigs in Cairns. The GTs love them. Same as the Spanish macks



Glad to hear that cobber and thanks so much, for these great pics. Oliver Black is a top fisho, great photographer and a chap who fishes on the ‘Carolyn Jane’ every so often. He’s got a great part time gig happening, guiding in Fiji:



Hi Andrew, I've just arrived back from Namotu island,Fiji where i spent the last month guiding guests aboard the awesome 28ft center console "the duck.’The gear you gave me to test proved effective in the Fijian waters. The small micro jigs did well on the trevally, coral trout and reef species. The light flick stick i took (snapper combo) got a good work out on some nice emperor and some fat blue spot trevally off the beach.



  The black/purple Zuker feather/skirt copy got me the biggest mahi of the trip.  I managed a lot of Mahi,some good spanish mackeral, GT's and a few marlin also.  Unfortunately the yellow fin were not be found. On the last day i managed some huge (13kg) skipjacks. This suggests the yellow fin should be nearby.


 If anyone is interested in visiting Namotu for a week of fishing heaven google "namotu island resort fiji" For around $2500 they can get 7 days of as much fishing,surfing,snorkelling and relaxing as they can manage. All fishing  aboard "the duck"is included in the price.  "the duck" has 5 tiagra 30W,downrigger,top notch sounder/gps,twin Yamaha 60hp 4 strokes and is built heavy strong and stable. This is an incredible boat for the size. It weighs bloody tonnes so she is stable and smooth as can be, while still cruising at 20knots in messy seas.



The only expense they will have is a bar tab at the end of the week, and if their guide put them on some fish a nice tip is always appreciated. The island sits on the barrier reef at the edge of the mamanuca island chain. At times all species can be caught within a 2 minute run from the island. Within a 3 mile run from the island you can be fishing in over 1000meters of water. This is prime mahi,marlin and yellowfin territory. However the yellowfin will come all the way up to the reef and into the channel. Closer to the reef the main targets are spanish mackeral, sailfish, wahoo, dogtooth tuna, GT's and all the reefies, coral trout emperors etc. All trolling gear is provided with the boat, if you'd like to target GT's on poppers or do some jigging we suggest you bring your own equipment.


Well mate it certainly does look like paradise, so if anyone wants Oliver’s email please get in touch.



To politics, and readers will remember the case of Bill Athanasellis, who was busted for fishing in a marine park from Point Lonsdale wharf:



Disguised as recreational fishermen and carrying fishing gear, Victorian fisheries officers mounted a SWAT-type raid, busting Bill in the middle of the night.


Fisheries officers Phillip Travis and David Burgess in plain clothes confiscating Bill Athanasselis tackle on Point Lonsdale Pier at about 2.40 am on 19/03/14.


Next day, they did a type of perp walk with his fishing tackle then manufactured press releases which were published widely, in much the same way cops show off a criminal’s firearm or knife. The only problem was that Bill wasn’t in a marine park. He was on the Point Lonsdale Pier which is a popular fishing spot, outside the park boundaries. As to whether his baited hook was inside the park, that is open to conjecture.


The Fisheries goons ordered Bill to stand away from his tackle while the bait was in a tidal stream and did nothing to prevent the line from going out despite Bill’s protestations that it was doing so. Although the line was not measured in Bill’s presence, they subsequently declared that his bait was 169 meters out and inside the marine park. However, that is open to conjecture because both Bill, and an independent witness who was neither friend nor relative, and who was on the pier at the time came forward and signed a statutory declaration supporting Bill’s version of events. Both said that it was the fisheries officers themselves who let Bill’s line go out for at least another 45 minutes before marking the line then winding it back in.


Besides; a report commissioned from a marine architect revealed that the phenomena of hydro-dynamic drag meant that the length of line measured would not have represented the distance that the line was out from the pier. He was prepared to testify to that in court if necessary.


The whole thing was a PR stunt. Documents obtained under FOI showed that the “hit” on Bill was sanctioned at the Warrnambool Head Office after a photo of Bill and a large shark that he caught from the pier was shown in the Geelong Advertiser on March 13, 2014.


Other documents, again obtained under FOI, showed that at 3.45 pm, on March 17 2014, fisheries officers obtained Bill’s vehicle registration details from Vic Roads under the pretext of obtaining “Vehicle detail for old mate”(which was clearly written on the leading document (attached). The green element in Fisheries Victoria clearly wanted to make an example of Bill; fisheries officers got their overtime at taxpayers’ expense and Bill had his tackle confiscated.


While fisheries officers were ordered by the court to return Bill’s tackle, his reel was badly scratched so Bill refused to sign the release form; so now they are stuck with that, and of course the photos that were taken of the scratched reel.


I know a lot of readers say they don’t want to hear about politics, but this shows what we fishos will increasingly face if we keep our heads in the sand. Fisheries are no longer about promoting recreational fishing but regarding recreational fishers as prey, in much the same way that speed camera management views motorists.


Here in NSW we still have the power - if only we realised it. There are more licensed fishos in NSW than there are green voters. The March 2015 election will be upon us before we know it and if we vote the same way we always have, what happened to Bill will eventually happen to us too. We have to make sure that neither Liberal nor Labor wins control of the NSW Upper House next March. Neither of those two parties give a stuff about our right to fish. You get two votes. Vote for whoever you like in the Lower House. Vote for Shooters & Fishers Party in the Upper House. If you want to save our sport, if you want to make sure future generations can fish, that’s what you have to do. Because the double whammy of Green prejudice and government harassment is turning steadily and strongly, towards the sport we love. Until next week and as I always say, please keep the pics and reports coming in. So many fishos enjoy hearing about our readers’ adventures. Until next week,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director