Thursday 15 NOVEMBER 2012

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

G’day lads,

A couple of pics from today’s charter of a lady anglers first marlin and her partners first wahoo. Both fish were caught trolling in close and we are looking forward to a good pelagic season this summer.

Top news Rod, and very grateful for this update. At Coffs, Troy Boulton reports the Hot Currents tournament was hotter than ever:

38 BOATS / 166 ANGLERS / 6 JUNIORS ANGLERS / 7 FEMALE ANGLERS from all around Australia

fished saturday, blown out sunday , fished monday , fished tuesday


9 MARLIN TAGGED, (3 striped, 6 blue )









4 MARLIN (1 striped, 3 blues)

4 yellowfin tuna



Congratulations, Troy! That’s a great result.

Dave McDonald booked a charter, at one of Australia’s most remote locations. He’s super pleased with how it all went:


I can recommend Monte Bello Safaris. We just spent a genuine full five days fishing up there (leave Sunday come home Saturday) and had a blast.

There boat the "Kylin" is a 63 foot west coaster built for this very charter she has twin Scanias and is an absolute machine covering the 120 nautical miles in eight hour from Exmouth marina to The Montebellos.


We arrived to a dolphin dance show at the back of the "Full Monte" which is a purpose built house boat anchored in Claret Cove where the charter has three tinnies at your disposal, plus a custom built jet boat for eco tours. They have a resident Queensland Groper that lives under the house boat that is big as a small car which they hand feed, squid can be seen and caught under the lights at night as well.

We caught our 20 kilo of reef fish each including Red Emperor, Coral Trout, Ranking Cod, Saddle tail, Crimson Sea Perch, Estuary Cod, Green Job Fish, Nor'West Snapper, Cobia and many many more! We dived for crays which they cooked for us and even had a feed on the last night on Big Muddies which where delicious. The house boat accommodation made the trip comfortable and roomy.



Glad you did so well Dave, and thanks for sending.

Thanks too to Jan in Oman and other readers who sent the email about fishing and boating disasters to me:

These are the milder ones, I don’t want to put readers off their breakfast:

If anyone knows the story behind this one, please share:

I got a real kick on receiving this video link. Mev and his mates stopped by for a 4500T kingfish combo, and I added a squid slider rig to the deal. They headed for The Spit and caught a nice kingfish, the angler's first:



95 centimetres from straight under the bridge and I know how hard you’ve worked for that one, Mev. I wouldn’t be happier if I’d caught it myself. Dave T has a JB update, for which I’m very grateful:

Ron and his son Austin had a day at the 'Shelf' recently on a perfect day weather wise for a change. Young Austin outfished his Dad bringing in 3 Abacore to Dad's1 big eye and a couple of small sea perch. Other fishos have been bringing in Drummer, salmon, flathead and squid when the weather permits. The water temp is coming up but the weather certainly limits the fishing time at good old Jervis Bay Regards from down south Dave and Kate


Albacore! Thanks Dave, how I miss jigging those puppies at Browns. Oh well, next year.

Mark H sent in a pic showing how the wrap on his new CC will look, this summer:



Opened an envelope posted from WA, to find the story below. Well done, Rowan!

Seven hours! Fitz fished south west WA for some prime seafood:

Nice. It’s been too long since I’ve had a grilled mullet fillet, and that would be the most under rated table fish in Oz.  Still in the backblocks, and Dave M and his mates fished the Top End:

Still in the backblocks, and Dave M and his mates fished the Top End:

Karen and I plus 5 other St George Sportfishing Club members recently took a trip to Darwin for a week of fishing. The 1st 4 days were spent on a live aboard around the Peron Islands.

The balance of the week was spent chasing Barra with DNA. We picked a tough week to fish offshore, full moon and massive tides, 7m. Even though the fishing was tougher than we expected we still caught some good fish.

The 2nd half of the week was great with day 1 on the Corroboree Billabong and the 2nd day on a very secluded Billabong in the Kakadu National Park. Best Barra was an 89cm caught by Karen’s youngest son.


Glad to hear it went so well, Dave.

Horrible video, 1.5 minutes. Trailer boat getting swamped and rolled, at Long Reef boat ramp:



Steve S:  Very sad to see... I feel for the owners. But despite the caption, in my 45 years on and around the water, I've never seen a genuine "freak" wave. It's a term regularly misused by the mainstream media whenever someone is washed off the rocks... Tends to exonerate careless behaviour because, after all who could have anticipated a "freak" wave? We need to purge it from our vocabulary. The only true "freak" waves are tsunamis created by undersea seismic activity. The rest of the time there are sets, patterns and general variability in wave height and some swells will always be larger than others. There also has to be a biggest wave for each hour, day or week. That isn't "freakish"... it's statistics at work.


Matt F: The ramp shouldn't be closed, it simply shouldn't be used by boats of that size in those conditions. If the boat can't be held against the surge by one or two people then the boat and/or the seas are too big. I agree with Steve no such thing as a freak wave. We never see freak waves just breaking on the shoreline, it's only when an incident occurs that we hear about them.

Talking about Facebook, I was packing up the gear for Fridays’ trip and I noticed that yet again, a carefully resealed pack of Berkley Gulps had leaked all over the tackle table:

Took a pic and popped it up on the FB page, to see if this was happening to anyone else, or if it was just me. Didn’t the feedback light up! Here’s a selection:


Dan W: They're shocking Andy. Everything they touch gets a coating


Kurt O: even the so call sealed containers that you can buy and put Gulps in leak

Anthony S: Yes Andy I have suffered the same and overcome the problem by converting to Squidgies


So it’s not just me. To add insult to injury, I found this on a Gulp ad online:


The resealable packaging ensures your lures are always fresh, soft and scented ready for use for long periods of time.

Horse hockey, Berkley! We had big plans for a run to Allmark on Friday, but out wide the water was murky green and looked horrible. There was only one boat there, which is always a bad sign. The kingfish telegraph is pretty efficient and no matter where you’re fishing – Long Reef, Texas, Allmark, wherever – you want to see a stack of boats when you get there. In our case, there was just one boat, and they were fishing the bottom for nannygai. We did score a new first on the way out – a thumper wobbegong on a knife jig, of all things:


But apart from a snapper or two, things were quiet. Trying again next week. Our new supplier of outdoor lights is a very switched on operator (he he) and amongst all their great gear they have these lockable plastic tool boxes. Started using them for my tackle and other gear and have found them a dream come true for keeping everything in one place so you know where it is, as well as dry and protected. And these tool boxes hold a lot of gear. Because on the boat we never know what we’ll be chasing next, I usually put reels on the rods and stow in the rod racks before leaving. Then when we get back, I find that half the rods and reels haven’t been used, but they’ve still been blasted by sun and salt and need a clean. Just recently, I’ve changed that system. Here’s the reels I took to Allmark on Friday:

Clockwise from top right:


Daiwa Tanacom 750 and power lead;

Daiwa 4500T jig reel;

two of our 3500s for bait gathering;

a new jig reel we are testing;

and a 20W game reel.

They all fitted comfortably into our new dry box, which come with an O-ring and are lockable:

That kept sun and salt off the tackle I didn’t use. I decided to pack all the boat safety gear into one too. Check this out:

Three flare packs;


fire extinguisher;

first aid kit;

backup waterproof VHF;

aircraft tape and the V-sheet.






The whole lot fit neatly in the dry box, and with the big handle is easy to carry.


Then when I got down to the boat I find out they stack one on top of each other and make a great little seat, if you’re on a wharf or whatever. Really handy.

These dry boxes are only $25.

Delivery to Sydney, Newcastle or Wollongong is $8,

to Brisbane, Melbourne or Adelaide is $19.

If you’re ordering braid, jigs, monofilament or reels, we can ship your order in one of these dry boxes –

after deducting the usual delivery charge. That’s a great way to get one cheaply. Mention when you’re ordering, for a top deal?

Talking of New Zealand, new client Dennis is a tough old Kiwi who now lives in Australia but was regaling me with great stories from when he droplined for hapuka, hunted pheasants over spaniels and all that fantastic NZ stuff. After some threats and begging he promised to send through some pics of the old days. Number one, kingies:

The charter boat (catamaran) is called MV Astraea and is available from Whangamata on the east coast just north from Tauranga. The 2 old boats are the Enterprise (red wooden hull) which was skippered by Dave Monker who is the current Harbour Master at Whangamata.

The other one is an old steel yacht converted for long line fishing, skippered by Guru. Asking commercial fisherman to take you on a trip is quite common in New Zealand, and can be a much cheaper option. The commercial guys know all the good spots and they have room for stuff like a pallet of beer, 100kg of ice and 80kg of bait, absolutely no home comforts but, which keeps the women at home “Good Stuff”.


Thanks so much Dennis, that blue eye is gigantic.

The Timor Box some 200nm north of Darwin continually proves be an absolute blast with conditions ideal for Great Fishing and catch rates to match. Darwin Reef n Wrecks run 5 Day Timor Box Adventures t these grounds and can honestly say they are one to go on the Bucket List ….

in our last two trips there were a few strange looking species such as a very long Alligator Gar or Tube Fish as well as a prehistoric looking Eel Fish. And a magnificent Whale Shark, I have attached a copy of the Whale Shark Photo

I had always heard that the Wessel Group and the English Company's Islands were Australia's number one spot, for Spanish mackerel. Looking at the pics Craig's sending in, it's time to review that finding! Can you imagine how fast and hard the first run of a mackerel of the size above would deliver?? As to whales, Sydney’s The Leader newspaper ran some stomach churning pics of white sharks tearing a baby whale apart, off Cape Solander:



Not the time or place for a refreshing dip.

Andrew has an inquiry about transducer placement:


I've purchased a lowrance HDS5, I was wondering if you could send me a pic of your transducer, I would like to see if I have mounted it correctly. It works great until I get up to about 10 knots then the screen starts to play up and it's like it's not scanning anything. I believe it's the transducer causing the problem.


The boat’s at Port so I can do that midweek. Meantime if any readers have suggestions, please let us know?

Kurt writes in about his Moreton Bay adventures:

Hay mate been getting into the mackerel of all sizes up in Brisbane atm. The technique has varied from trip to trip, some have been caught on livies, some on pillies and other on slugs. We quite often use them as bait to chase sharks. Here is a link to another vid on YouTube from us... like and subscribe

Very interesting, Kurt! Is that a J-hook on top and circle on the bottom? Looks very businesslike, please send a pic or two of the results.

Greg writes:


Andrew could you send me a locking pin of one of your downriggers as I hit a wave an snapped one I sent a photo so you know the one thanks drew let me know the cost???


No cost Greg and in the mail, same day. We pride ourselves on warranty so any readers needing parts or whatever, please get in touch.

The Port Philip Bay snapper run gets hotter every weekend. Herb L:


Reds in PBB     Bagged out again this morning on fresh silver whiting....  having trouble getting one over 6kg....but the bigger ones  are far and few  in between in Port Philip Bay.  So much for circle hooks they are swallowing the 5/0’s as well..


What a horse! Pass on my compliments to the lad?

To politics, and while driving up to Port Stephens last week I was listening to talk radio. Pensioners and single mums were calling in to the station in shock, having just opened their first electricity bill since the carbon tax was introduced.  Whatever your take on the politics of the issue, there’s no denying two facts.


Firstly, that a carbon tax on Aussie families won’t lower global temperatures by any measurable amount. Because, relative to the rest of the world, we produce so little carbon.


And I was reminded of this when John P wrote today about a big dive boat he spotted off Magic Point, Sydney. Readers will remember that Magic Point is closed to most forms of fishing in order to ‘protect’ the ‘endangered’ grey nurse sharks that live there:

If you’re a dive boat though, just drop your anchor – in heavy weather – and drag it right across the main aggregation:


John writes:


but I was alarmed today when I was trolling some lures off South Maroubra and was confronted with a large 35 - 40 foot Pro Dive boat which was anchored no more than 70 metres away from the rocks. I don’t know if you’re aware but as I understand the law, there is a 200 metre NO anchoring zone parallel from the point all the way back to beach.  I was disgusted to see this because they are the so called conservationists but I'd hate to see what that boats anchor would do to the reef due to size of the vessel. Also they would have been anchored on top of the aggregation.

Good on you John for taking action, and bringing this to our attention. Just like with the carbon tax, grey nurse sharks are a worldwide species found in the Atlantic, eastern Pacific and Indian oceans. Nowhere else are fishos locked out like they are here, matter of fact in the USA the grey nurse shark (correctly called the sand tiger) is a popular recreational species. Yet Australians, with world’s best fisheries management, suffer lockouts up and down the coast:

And just like with the wave generator, there are big bucks to be made by those who can turn a grey nurse aggregation into a money machine - like South West Rocks Dive Centre has with Fish Rock, and Pro Dive are doing, at Magic Point. It stinks. More next week and as I always say, please keep the great pics and reports coming in! I get the compliments but it’s you lads doing all the work J. And for that, both myself and our readers are very grateful indeed. Cheers,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director