Sunday 19th January 2014

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

More good news, from the NSW north coast. Sean Morgan, at South West Rocks:



A beautiful dolphin fish off the FAD. They are hitting anything that moves at the moment, they must be there in their thousands. Great eating fresh, but don't freeze well.



First kingfish of the day, hit one of Andy's jigs after four cranks. He ended up being sashimi tonight, his other side will be sushi tomorrow night!



Blimey, look at the size of that LJ. Thanks, Sean! Still in sight of Smokey Cape, and Kayden reports:



a picture of my brother Hartley Dhyon with his first marlin off Hat Head, the fish went 33kg caught trolling


Excellent. Hoping a few of those are riding the currents south, Kayden. Nearby, Steve Lee and a mate found some hot mahi action:



Hey Andy, I haven’t had much of a chance to hit the water but did bring my brother in law’s Riviera 39 down from Port Macquarie on Sunday. Bad conditions made for a gruelling 12+ hours behind the wheel but we did manage to hop our way past a bunch of FADs on the way down. Starting with the Port Mac FAD at dawn, the water was lumpy but not too bad. We picked up a few smaller dollies, nearly all on soft plastics cast near the FAD, before heading off. Great fun on the lighter gear and I lost an absolute stonker near the boat that I thought was going to spool me at one stage. The hooks pulled when he made final dash though. Bugger!! … as we came past the Forster FAD there were stacks of mutton birds circling and some dollies jumping so we dropped the skirts out, picking up another reasonable fish and this beautiful critter at just over 7kg (familiar looking rod?


Good one, Steve! We found a few last week too, but nowhere near this size. Andy Muir says our light combo has been working well:



G'day Andy, headed up to Broughton Island last week between southerlies and had a little fun with the light spin combos I got off you. The minister for war and finance got a new PB snapper of 58cm and I managed a nice haul of trag, all caught on soft plastics using your combo in 40M north of the V. Will be back up in the Bay next week to see if the little outfit can handle some dollies at the fad.




Andy thought you might have been interested in this. Found washed up at Taree West on the Manning River. Approx 25 km from the ocean. Marlin 2.5m lower jaw to fork. Approx 110 kg based on length. Cause of death unknown but possibly injured or sick and had been washed in on the spring tides. Unlikely to have been dumped, no gaff marks, no line rub marks no hook marks.


Thanks, Phil! Sad to see, but I guess that happens every day out there. South coast, and John Klapsis on holidays, livin’ the dream:



Today Batemans bay / south Durras. Geee I make it look easy!!


He! Looking pretty relaxed there, Johnno. Locally, and Jack Olmos is a fisho I’ve always admired. Not just due to his constant success, but because he’s generous with sharing information:



Hi Andy! Wacko Jacko here. Just a quick update, quite a few big brute kings lurking around the shallow reefs....couldn’t stop some submarines! But we managed a few crackers.....also got some nice Jewfish too! I will come round' later this week and give you some spare assist hooks....i have plenty. Cheers, Wacko


Thanks so much, cobber. Jack’s pic got me motivated, so out we headed trying to find ourselves a nice kingie too. First stop Watsons Bay, to pick up Rico. To the west, a big scrum of boats around the Yellow Can. News of Jay’s solid king the day before had got out:



Having arrived at the ramp a bit late, I didn’t want to waste time on livebait gathering. So we used frozen Californian squid, kindly home delivered by Chris from Big Al’s Tackle. This bait has worked well for us lately. Head Starts deployed too:



We kicked off at The Gap. This place has worked so well for us lately we couldn’t go past without a quick downrig. Some there but mostly small, although this one gave me a good workout:



But generally, number and size of kingfish was down compared with recent sessions. Possibly a tide thing.  The big message of this summer is that if something’s not working, change the plan. So off to Browns we went, with a diversion via FAD 19. We passed through the ripples of a current line about seven miles out and when we got there the water around the  floating can was boiling like a trout stream:



Nineteen was swarming with mahi. Mostly small, but some just oversize keepers there:



By now we had caught 20-30 kings and mahi, but had not found anything big. With Browns no longer an option (current too hard and fast) we headed for the Twelve. Current roaring there too but good marks on the sounder so, down went the jigs. A triple hook up on the second drift was welcome. Here’s the best one of the day, a chunky 80cm for Rico:



With good weather forecast another run was planned a couple of days later, back to Twelve Mile Reef. With two of those aboard having never jigged previously, some instruction was in order. They both mastered it very quickly. Not a lot of mark on the sounder but we had the place to ourselves, at first. In this pic the yellow mark is leatherjackets:







and Tameem swung a 88cm aboard:



A great morning on the jigs and thanks for your company, lads. 100 gram jigs arrived this week:



$55 for ten (2 each x 5 colours) including jig bag, jig wrap and delivery.

 Now that’s a good deal. Call 0402 07 5000 or email me, if you'd like to order?



Got back from Twelve Mile and opened up the inbox to find Jason Hotop had had a huge day, out wide:



Hey mate, thought you might like a look at the attached. Caught, tagged and released yesterday 09th Jan. Approx due east off Palm Beach, past the shelf in about 450m of water. Water temp only 21.9 so didn’t hold out much hope but then it all happened!! Hooked the Blue at 11:30am followed by the Stripey about an hour later. No luck getting a Dolly or Tuna on the way home for dinner though. Great day’s fishing!!



Congratulations, Jase. End of an era! Klaus Parsons tells me he’s selling his awesome little weapon, one which has been the downfall of countless kingfish off South Head and elsewhere:



G'day Andy, Hope all is well. The time has come to part with the BlackDog Cat, as I have a new rig on order. If you would be so kind to list this on you site, maybe one of your readers might be interested in the safest 4m boat on the market. Details are as follows :


2011 BlackDog Cat 4.0 XL , low  maintenance easy to clean boat.


Tow weight approx 550kgs   Self Draining Deck with Scuppers. 4 x stainless rod holders  LED Navigation lights, LED internal lights.  70 liter underfloor fuel tank with 45 liter plastic fuel tank in the nose.  Anchor well with Anchor, chain and rope.  Full boat cover. 2011 60hp Evinrude  Etec tiller steer with power tilt and trim 160 hours on the clock receipts and service records. 2 x props Standard  Stainless  2011 Aluminum I-beam trailer LED lights, spare wheel, Jockey Wheel, trailer lock.

Lowrance elite 5 sounder with maps 50/200 transducer. Epirb, VHF, 2x live bait tanks, off shore flare pack, lifejackets x 2 Awesome all round boat that can handle the rough safely. Whether it be scuba diving, spearing, skiing or fishing. More details can be found here Boat is listed on boat sales. $19000 ONO




Just a brief heads up for interested readers. We start testing our new carp fishing rod pod, next weekend. Andy Holmes writes:


Hey guys, any news on when rod pods will be arriving?





Hi Andrew, my mate Locky and I went fishing with Epic Adventures in NZ – on your recommendation. We had a tough but great day and scored this nice kingie. Can’t recommend Epic highly enough, these guys know what they are doing! Also thought I’d share the pics of my kingfish vacuum sealed which I brought back to Sydney - customs officers were very impressed!  Thanks again for a great recommendation mate!

Cheers Marc


Excellent! Really pleased you had a successful day, Marc.



To politics, and here in New South Wales barely a week goes past without some new attack on boaties and/or fishos. Many of them are small or not directly relevant, but in total they make our lives more expensive and difficult. And nobody needs that, at the moment. A reader who would prefer to remain anonymous writes in about the new restrictions, at Coffs Harbour wharf:


Note that last line, ‘exemption permits may be issued by Crown Lands to specific harbour users.’ I wonder which bureaucrats and well connected VIPs will be getting those dashboard passes? Our correspondent says:


Here's a little gem for your next weekly missive. Just when there appears to be some real activity regarding fixing Coffs Harbour's dreadful boat ramp, the Department of Trade and Investment Crown Lands is turning the marina area at Coffs into 30 minute and two hour parking, with a paltry 65 all day spaces allotted, which are nowhere near the marina. So if you intend using your boat for any more than two hours and can't find a long-term spot, expect to cop a ticket.


These spaces will have to be shared between fishing charter operators and their clients, whale watchers and their clients, divers, live-aboard marina residents, mechanics, shipwrights, commercial fishermen, people having lunch at the restaurant, plus people fishing two major game tournaments, and the Dave Irvine snapper comp who choose to leave their boats in the water for the weekend. 65 spaces simply isn't enough!


Of course it isn’t. You wonder why so many Aussies go to Vanuatu, Fiji or New Zealand for a special fishing experience? Not hard to deduce why, when you see how difficult bureaucrats make it here. On the plus side, it’s gratifying to see that more and more of those affected by anti-fisho, anti-boatie prejudice are prepared to fight back. Sami Omari writes in:


Hi Andrew,


Not sure if we've actually met in person but am sure I've seen you floating about on the water.


Your reports and political comments that come through are always worth a read and I have another piece of challenging political action that doesn't seem justified.


The boat ramp at Bayview Park in Concord is earmarked for permanent closure between sunrise and sunset due to "security issues". I've lived in the area for a while, am an avid fisher/boater and use the boat ramp often. Anyone could previously obtain access to use the ramp after hours however the letter sent by council says they are no longer renewing keys.


The security issues, if there are any (I've never had an issue while boating launching at night or in the morning!) will likely remain as people can still park their car outside the gates and walk into the park at night - I can't see how a blanket lockout will assist and have offered to work with council to come up with an alternate solution.


Just check the unbelievable arrogance of the letter below, and ask yourself how genuine an offer of consultation would be, from someone who would write to a ratepayer in this manner:



I've responded to the fellow in charge, Mr John Osland (Director of Technical Services at Canada Bay Council via email on asking what the security issues were and noted that they've seemingly acted (by not renewing keys) without stakeholder consultation.


I also cc'd my response to the Mayor ( and all Councillors listed on the council website as the blanket ban unfairly disadvantages the vast majority of the boating community who are responsible.


Good on you for having a go, Sami! It will only take a few more blokes to follow your lead and we can start to turn this thing around. Gary Richards has some feedback on the Tin Can Bay dolphin story in the last report:


Andrew, briefly on the Tin Can Bay dolphins .... we were there over recent holiday time ... the boat ramp is adjacent to the little beach where the dolphins are fed and photographed .... we were at idle in the boat awaiting our turn at the ramp with 4 y/o grand-daughter on board  ... two of the offending dolphins took it in their minds to give us a personal and private display of their antics right beside the boat... we were not feeding them .... it was the gleeful peak of our  grand-daughter's holiday . All good.

Tch, Gary. Dolphins still breaking the rules by being friendly to humans. You're supposed to feel threatened by humans, Flipper! Not coming around for a pat or a pilchard, or bow riding in front of a giant container ship:



Hey, you with the blowhole! Final warning. Act frightened of humans, or you’ll be relocated.


Of course, the greenies greatest asset is the bias of so many journos. Here’s a prime example, where some bludger at a Byron Bay newspaper has barely bothered to change a greenie press release. It is this kind of incompetence that lets the lies about global warming, dams drying up, our kids will never see snow etc, to build up a head of steam. If you’ve got 60 seconds to spare, click on the link and leave a reply? Glad to see a few Facebook readers have done that already:



Until next week, my friends. Genuinely grateful for your support, and special thanks to those who take the time to send in pics and news. Keep it coming and thanking you,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director