Monday 19th October 2015

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

Confession time. My fishing plans for this spring already high and dry on the rock of failure. Thankfully, readers so much better at it than me J. Brenden Wilson, wide of Brisbane:



Hi Andrew, the jigs arrived yesterday and as promised here are some picture of the AJ's we got yesterday.



Brenden’s mate hooked up below. In case you’re wondering yes, these blokes are from Queensland J



Here's the fish. That's a nice amberjack:



Thanks so much Brenden! Feedback locally pretty disappointing, especially considering how good the weather’s been. So many friends and clients out there, but not finding the fish. Hamish Read one of the successful few, which doesn’t surprise me at all:



Hey Andrew how did you go off port stephens? We bagged out just after midday & stayed in the same area for all the fish!, southern end of the perch grounds. Most were in the early 90's, all on your 100gm jigs on micro gear. No fat ones but two with tags! Talk soon


Well mate I never got to Port Stephens. Too snowed under with work, dang it. Planning a run later this week though. Hamish backed up last Sunday and even though fish weren’t about in numbers, he still found gold:



I went for a fish in my mates formosa 580, live baiting & jigging for kings out at the perch grounds yesterday. Tuff day at the office to say the least. Wind was pushing us south & the current down deep was heading north, hardly any boats out there for a Sunday was also a bit unusual. Only landed two kings, one was well under size & the other was in the 90s and around the 7-8kg range, nothing hit a lively either! I did jig up a new species on your 100gm jig, a nice pearl perch, dinner tonight!


Well done bloke, twist the knife why dontcha? J Murray off Newcastle last Sunday too:



Hey Andy, took a mate fishing yesterday trying the inshore reefs to see if the Kings are back. Livies still very hard to get but managed a dozen. Trolled around the Bull (off Norah Head) for an 85cm King then headed over to Birdie Island where there were big school of kings, mostly between 65 – 75cm. Hopefully we will be up for a good inshore season


Confident that’s on the cards, ol buddy. Jon Kelemec pleased with his nice red:



No worries Andrew many thanks for your professional service. I just arrived home myself from a trip offshore. We came home happy with a great mixed bag of table fish. Best fish today was my 3.75kg snapper. It's a shame I didn't snag it on your combo!


It’s a crying shame Jon! My only comfort being your sending this quality report. Dan Abadir discovers estuary perch. That’s a milestone in anyone’s life:



Andy tried my first ep session Sunday night and could not believe how hard these fish fight. We were using 4pound line so there we were busted off way to many times. But i can say my first ever ep was 33cm and the biggest we got was 42cm. Here is a pic of my first Ep ever.


Slimline Dan (lost 14 kilos in three weeks, well done champ) then backed up with a trip offshore:



Hey mate. It was a quiet one today but still had a ball. We tried hard all day but no kings. Took a  trip up to the 12 marked heaps of kings but no takers on jigs and yakkas. A few boats were getting a few but we did manage 3x 40cm snapper and wrestled a seal for my second red but i ended up ripping the fish right out of sammy the seals mouth. (He had no chance with the Jigging Master at full strike) lol we also put out the skirts to see if we had any takers but nothing. Everything was perfect tuna smashing baits, water temp was 23 degrees but we ran out of time. Have a look at the battle scars on the snapper. Also my mate Dave with his PB snapper.



Lots of readers focused on an early marlin season, and with temps and currents picking up fast that’s a reasonable target. Sam’s on the board:



hi andrew, the new rod handles like a beaut. Bagged a heap of striped tuna on it, the black feathers were hit everytime before the other skirts and most time the only one with a hookup. We hooked and released a striped marlin as well, no yellowfin tuna though, 45 min fight to bring it to the boat. bout the 95kg mark


Well that’s just great. Congratulations on that beautiful fish and glad to hear our tackle’s working so well for you too.  Mark Way from Kiama GFC pleased a new club member scored an early season marlin:



New members "the Wilson's" fishing on their boat "Chasin Tail" have been going to join up for last couple of weeks and finely joined today. Welcome aboard! They tagged a Striped Marlin last weekend in 80Fa off Shellharbour trolling on a JB small Dingo in Lumo


Still cold in southern NSW, meaning deep dropping the go. My guess is that over the next few years some spectacular catches will be made as new spots are found. Clients happy with the quality fish they’re scoring:



Hi Andy, got a triple hookup on Tassie Trumpeter (using your Tanacom 750 combo.) Awesome. Sent a photo. Cheers, Ian


On the topic of water temps, grateful for a conference call from Peter and Nathan at NSW Fisheries with the story on FAD deployment. Here’s what’s happening, subject to weather:



To be installed this week:  Forster, Port Stephens, Newcastle, Swansea FADs. To be installed next week: All Sydney FADs.  Nathan mentioned dolphin fish have already been caught at Bermagui so hopefully some will hold on the Sydney FADs soon after they’re deployed. That’s good news. To tackle, and Paul Williams pleased with his new reel knob. Looks fantastic:



Looks awsome. Thanks heaps. Very happy customer.


This one looks terrific too. Pleased you’re pleased, Ben Wilson:



Hi Andrew drop in on Saturday to pick up handle and braid just letting u know that fishing reel looks great!!! Will be getting some more soon


Please do. Brenden pleased with his set up too. If it’s the sort of reel where you don’t do much casting or winding (on your trolling rod, for instance) probably not necessary. But if you’re going to be winding all the time, for instance jigging or spinning, once you’ve tried one you’ll never go back:



One more! Aaron pleased with his upgrade. Once you’ve tried these you’ll never go back:



To boats, and Stuart sends something I haven’t seen before. That’s a great idea:



Hey i remember a while ago there was some conversation on ways of getting big fish /sharks into small boat here is a pic of a slide on the back of this boat


That was us! Three crew members pulling hard as we could, but we just couldn't get a mako over the gunwale. Ended up breaking two gaffs. Adam Kelly mounts an h2oglo LED to his transom:



Looking forward to using at north / south head for squidding - bloody bright would recommend


Good idea Adam! I need a setup like that because the more you want to get some, the harder squid are to find. Four Yamaha 350HPs, a jet ski and a helicopter. Seriously where do you guys FIND this stuff?? Regular contributor Chris Colvin, thanks so much Chris:



Looks great will head out this weekend when back from qld! On another note. Saw this picture today. Trailer boats at their finest. Everyone should have one!


A bit local oriented but some good news on wreck discoveries off the Sydney coast recently. First up the Yamba, a 28 metre tugboat found in 73m of water six kilometres off the Heads:



Here’s more information, from a Sydney dive forum:


Thanks to the tireless detective work of Scott Willan, we were fortunate enough to find and dive a new wreck off Sydney heads over the long weekend. The wreck, as yet to be identified is a small vessel that we guess is about 40m in length, now sitting in 72m of water. The hull is largely intact however the absence a boiler or engine strongly suggest the wreck to be scuttled.

Our initial dive was only 37min on the bottom, so we’ve more questions than answers at this stage. Conditions on the day weren’t the best, with limited vis and poor lighting. We did find small glass and porcelain artifacts, as well as coal on the site. Future dives to the site will allow us to measure the length accurately and hopefully use historical records to identify the wreck.

The site was reported to NSW Heritage this morning, and is located at 33 50.828’S 151 21.103’E (WGS 84 DD MM.mmm).



That’s a sizeable wreck in the perfect depth to hold kings and snapper. If you’re fishing off Sydney maybe load those marks into your GPS and check it out when passing? And let us know how you go. Now to Big Momma, another recent discovery - HMAS Pioneer. Here’s more intel:



The size and direction of the shipwreck should provide an easy target to either shot or anchor on. The bow is facing south-east, with the stern towards the north-west.



Bottom composition is mostly sad with some rock, so it is conceivable to snag a rock and not be on the wreck. My preference would be drop a shot mid ship (33 51.850’S 151 19.844’E  – WGS 84 DD MM.mmm) and excursion from there depending on what you want to see.



The unmistakable sight of a rudder and stern was the first glimpse we got of a vessel that has been forgotten for some 83 years. From our initial landing spot, we moved up through the twisted metal, coiled cabling, beams, plating, and on it went until we hit the pointed bow of the once 93m long ship. The signs were all there at that the ship had been scuttled, but who could blame me for a quick look for a bell around the bow.HMAS_Pioneer_by_Allan_Green_SLV_H91.325_2122

Sitting in 67m, the dirty conditions made for a rather dark dive on the day. The 45 minutes we spent on the bottom gave us reasonable time to cover the length of the wreck and capture stills and video for identification purposes.

It took a team of maritime research boffins a week, and us another dive on the site to say with reasonable certainty that shipwreck is that of ex-HMAS Pioneer. A light cruiser originally built for the Royal Naval as HMS Pioneer, she entered the Royal Australian Navy in 1912, was stripped down and sold off by 1926, and finally scuttle outside Sydney Heads in 1931.  DIVE VIDEO




Note that late spring is the best time for jigging off central NSW? But if you’re not in the Sydney area, maybe consider checking local dive sites to see if they’ve found any interesting wrecks lately. Because there’s no doubt that a wreck on open sand or mud provides structure fish just love. Overseas reports and Derryn took the family to Fiji recently. They had a ball:



Hi Andrew, how are you mate? Just a quick check in on the Fiji trip. We caught some good fish in the two weeks but myself and my two boys got blown away too many times by unstoppable big GTs. Was using the Daiwa 4500 sized reels with 50lb braid 80lb leader and popping rods I bought from you for the last trip a few years ago.



Need to up tackle to 6500 sized reels with min 80lb braid and 100lb+ leader. One of the toughest things about fishing Fiji is the substandard gear on many of the charter boats. This is best alleviated by bringing your own.


On standby with whatever size tackle you need, Derryn! Appreciative of this top report too. Andrew stopped by for a stack of gear ahead of a big kingie mission, and told me about his recent trip to Fiji. Jealousy ragin' through my cholesterol choked veins:



Overseas client Borred pleased with his carbontex. Gotta try for Mekong cats at Bungsamaran fishing park, before they nail down the lid on my cheap pine box:



thank you very much for reply. i heard many of my friend are using sticky grease for their fishing game, they said it helps increasing drag power a little bit. also im looking forward to test the new drag washer that i got from you


Roy Gibson fishing in France. These big ones fight so hard:



Hi Andrew, I'm still out here in France fishing for Carp. just starting my second week here! Luckily the lake has limited internet access! So I couldn't resist sending you pictures of two of the biggest fish I've had so far! The biggest weighed in at 66lb exactly & the second biggest was 60b 2oz, also had some 50b + fish & 40lb+ fish & a few 30lb+ fish too!


Inspiring my friend because I’m heading out carping this coming week! And looking forward to it very much, will report back if anything interesting happens.



To politics, where some *very* interesting developments are happening. In the last report we looked at newly introduced legislation in NSW forcing owners to move their parked trailerboats every 28 days. Just as relevant to readers in other states, because revenue grabs don’t recognise boundaries.  There’s an extensive background to this one, most of which has been covered in previous reports. A visiting client asked me the other day, ‘Andy, what makes you think NSW Maritime is corrupt?’ Short answer, Independent Commission Against Corruption findings:


The documents above worth reading, if you have the time. Previous Labor Maritime Minister Eddie Obeid’s consigliere (Steve Dunn) was so certain he was untouchable that, when ICAC started its investigation, he marched down to the local police station (at The Rocks) and carpeted the senior officer there. Fed up with Labor’s corruption, NSW voters threw out that government in March 2011. What did the new (current Liberal/National) government do about the corruption in NSW Maritime? Hired Steve Dunn to shut down the Game Council, that’s what:


So the question for current Maritime Minister Duncan Gay is, what have you done to clean up NSW Maritime? After all, Tonette Kelly spent *eight years* operating her conveyancing business out of Maritime’s offices (see link 1 above.) Everyone working there knew what was going on, but no one said anything. What’s going on there now? Here’s an indication. Soon after Gay became their Minister, NSW Maritime embarked on a crazy wasteful scheme of installing pontoons down the middle of boat ramps up and down the coast:



That involved the loss of at least one lane and slowed launching and retrieval, especially on busy days. Next on the agenda was a hands-off policy for the thousands of unused hulks taking up public moorings in NSW. I’m told the waiting list for a public mooring is around eleven years now. Meantime bays and harbours are full of clunkers that not only *are* never used, but could never be used. Michael Gates:



Near Tunks park.  The bay near primrose park is just full of these boats


Dan M sends a classic example of Gay’s Navy. Keep in mind that, under the very strict regulations for moored boats, Maritime will fine owners whose boats show corrosion, poor maintenance, no means of propulsion etc etc. the reality is that BSOs drive past these hulks every single day to bust fishos over insignificant infringements. Why? Now there’s the story. More to follow on that one, much more:



Check this one out, keeping in mind that under Maritime’s own regulations moored boats must be corrosion free and ready for use:



Next in the government’s dirty war on boatowners was a doubling or even tripling of safety gear inspections by Maritime and Water Police. In the middle of winter this year I asked one police officer – politely – why I had been inspected three times in three consecutive trips. His reply? ‘Our boss doesn’t understand it’s the same guys out here all the time.’



He was a nice bloke but that’s hard to believe – because they write down the registration number of every boat inspected. Which brings us to October 2015, and the boat trailer parking ban:



Now why would the legislation exclude box trailers, caravans, wood chippers and the like? Well, as we’ve seen, this is just the latest attack on boatowners from a government department notorious for corruption – and for covering up their corruption. But why? Who benefits? What purpose could there be in making on water storage, on street storage, and boat launching more difficult? Consider that as you view the advertisement below, and keep in mind that thirty million dollars was invested in this facility. Thanks as always to those who contribute pics and stories and please – keep them coming. Our five thousand plus readers are just as grateful as I am. Until the next one,



Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director