Thursday 19 SEPTEMBER 2012

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

G’day lads,


amazing reports coming in this week!


We kick off with the most incredible one, being two sword fish caught off Kiama on Saturday night.

The unstoppable Mark Way writes:

Team Xiphias lived up to their name with another night time adventure scoring 2 broadbill swordfish on squid baits down deep in the dark of night. Matt Noferi's fish went 51kg on 24kg whilst Tim Monck's went 65kg on 24kg (Club Record) to get Summer Point Score off to a great start! During the night they also had a huge Broadbill swim around a balloon on the surface and throughout the night, hooked and released Blue sharks - but were so absorbed in the Broadbill action didn't bother to tag em.


Dan Wong sent in a top report on kingie jigging wide of Port Stephens, last Sunday:


Hi Andy, just wanted to drop you a quick note on our trip to Port Stephens on Sunday.


We arrived at the ‘Mark just after 9am, immediately deploying jigs. With Ivan’s words playing in my mind, I feared a long painful day of waning motivations, long, surly silent periods and fishless blisters... but 4 cranks off the bottom – first drop –  my jig got smashed. Then Buckaroo (Mark) got hit, dropped it, hit again, landed it... first drift, 2 fish to the boat. Only smaller fish, but still up to or around 80cm.

PIC 1 – Mark’s 6th ever jigged king on a DRS red/white/blue (tried to get more shots, but my camera exploded on the day, so this is the best we have)


The madness really began on the second drift, with a double, triple then quadruple hook up on healthy fish all in the late 90’s. This set the scene for the day with at least another 3 quad hook ups and even 3 or 4 quintuples!! Brownie, Trent and Brad all squared up against the transom doing the Kingy side-step.

PIC 2 – mine taken on a DRS green & gold


The bite was non-stop for 6 heavenly hours and we left them on the chew. The average size was 90+cm, with 2 metre fish thrown in. The best jigging I’ve experienced since Lord Howe.


PIC 3 – Mark with another nice fish on the same jig


Fish were hooked and landed on EVERY DRIFT but one, (which was the second last for the day), however that was very quickly righted by the last drift, resulting in yet another quad hook up. In total we kept 23 fish for the table – and to share with the skipper and decky – and released somewhere in the vicinity of 40... comfortably breaking Ambition’s record at the Allmark. The fishing was just incredible.



PIC 4 – this greedy bugger hit a DRS jig right on the bottom and found the reef. He then turned around and took another jig and was landed with both in his gob!

PIC 4 – this greedy bugger hit a DRS jig right on the bottom and found the reef. He then turned around and took another jig and was landed with both in his gob!


(Right. So he took one of our jigs first, and someone else’s brand second? It all fits. J)


The DR shop jigs really produced today with myself and Mark using them for the majority of the trip. White sided jigs fished well early, but as the day went on they scoffed all colours. All in all a fantastic trip with great guys to an amazing fishery.


Thanks again for the jigs – I think Ivan’s going to hit you up for some in the next few days. I used to buy $30 and $40 big brand jigs, but the DRS jigs, I believe, outfished the big brand badboys. Get up there mate - The Kings are on the March. Cheers, Dan



Client and mad keen fisho, John Hayden, stopped in for some gear last week, ahead of a live aboard charter wide of Darwin:

Trip to Timor Box was unbelievable! Day 1 we had 21 different species on board. Coral trout at 10 &, 11.5kg, spanish mackerel 15,19, 20 &23kg. Just to name a few of the species, coral trout, coronation trout, gold band snapper, red emperor, spotted cod, red bass,  giant trevally, Spanish mackerel, sharks, a sting ray and believe it or not we hooked up a sea snake on the troll. Are we going back? TRY & KEEP US AWAY!

Well done Johnno, truly glad to hear you had a big one.

Paul Grant caught the fish of a lifetime on the West Coast, and was kind enough to send in a pic and some nice comments, on our braid:

 Andrew, thought I'd drop in this photo of this sambo from last Saturday, we were camped in 35m of water straight out from Ocean Reef, WA. This was caught on the floating mulie routine, needless to say it was a back breaker for 5-10 mins and your braid held up effortlessly. We guesstimated it at 30+ Kg, it was released with no dramas. We saw a tuna that dwarfed this sambo but we were unable to hook it properly after taking a livey, it took some old skippy heads like popcorn around the boat! Ah well one day!


Double WOW! What a beautiful fish and what a GREAT PIC. I have *got* to chase Samson one day, Paul.

Talking about Darwin, I was scanning some pics from the old days for an upcoming magazine story, and found this blast from the past. This croc grabbed my Nilsmaster Spearhead when I was fishing for barra, back in the late 1980s. He's probably big as a school bus, now:

Enough to make you cry.

The lovely little alloy catamaran Mixin rots on her mooring at Little Manly in Sydney, last weekend:

Bob fished the NSW north coast:


Home from a week fishing at Minnie Waters.

We had a great trip.  Caught a bunch of snapper for the freezer and a bag of Teraglin fishing the close reefs.  I lost one monster red after he bit me off after a 30 minute fight using 12 pound test line.  I had another cut me off after he ran so hard that I simply could not get the rod out of the rod holder.  He took 150 yards of 20 pound line under drag before cutting me off on the reef.

Caught another useless mac tuna while fishing the trag reef and picked up an accidental snapper of about 6 KG among the trag also.  A nice surprise.

We went out to North Solitary island Sunday, arrived at daybreak.  Caught a few nice reds before getting some live bait and trying for the masses of kingies hanging at the north west corner of the island.  There was a professional fishing boat hand lining kingies one after another, but when we hooked up on any the local resident 20 feet long great white shark took them from us one after another before we could boat them.  Oh well.  After our Arno Bay white shark adventure we decided not to continue playing his game in case he became too excited.


That’s a top bag of prime fillets, Bob. By crikey I wish I was launching off the beach at Minniewater, this weekend. But just too dang busy!

Grant Bennett justifiably proud of his beautiful 11 kilo red:


Hi Andy and the Surtees team in NZ!

Thought I’d send you a couple of pics of a couple of snapper I caught on Sunday from my Workmate 5.5 on my annual trip into northern NSW. I can’t say exactly where (but it was north of Coffs Harbour......) or I might not live to catch another one, so I am informed. Kicked off with a 6 kg plus snapper on the same rig as below, then followed up with this 11 kilo beast:


A PB by a country mile, and unlikely to beat this one unless I go to Sth Aussie and chase a big one down there. Wooohooo! Happy days!


Very nice indeed Grant, and sincere congratulations on boating those two beauties. Glad you’re pleased with the Surtees too, I was hella impressed on checking them out at the Tinnie & Tackle Show, in Brisbane.

Chris K got in early on the Vic snapper season:

Hi Andrew, well we got out for an early start on Sunday morning to see what was lurking in Western Port waters, I had it on good authority some reds where around, so my son Daniel and I wondered out for a look see.

A lot of barren ground for some 35 minutes before we sounded up some feed on the bottom, set out 3 of the 4 rods and within 10 minutes number 1 started to bounce around, 5 minutes later this lovely specimen was on board for dinner,

17 meter depth, 12.6 degree water temp, near to 5.30am at the end of the run out tide, Fresh silver Trevally steak was his preferred breakfast, Fish weight just under 5kg, our P.B. for Snapper fishing so far, here's to a good season.

Beautiful, aren’t they? The blue tinge on the fins always looks so good, Chris.

Ross writes in with an interesting query:


G`day there Andrew, Rossco here from up Lake Macquarie, Was wondering if you can forward the pic of the juvenile marlin you had as we are sure we got a mac today and had 3-4 juvenile marlin in them, we got some pics but are on Lew`s phone. Appreciated if you can zoom up the pic.

Mate I’m not sure, but there’s a lot of similarities! Here’s a tiny marlin:


Maybe one of our readers knows?

 Captain Ross says he has a couple of spots available on Signa out of Kiama, this weekend:

Reef Fishing this

Sunday 23rd Sept 8

spots available ring

to book leaving at 0600 returning at 1400 everything supplied $120 p.p


Captain Roscoe TM


PH: 0423 251 603



Magnificent capture, Roscoe! The morwong are worth having, too.

Dean and Number One Son went wide of Port Kembla, on the new rig:


So my son and I finally got the new boat in the water for the 1st time unfortunately the conditions were a bit messy but it was good to be back on the water. Unfortunately the 1st fish on board was a a rock cod but the 2nd was a nice mowie, photos attached. We ended up with a couple of reds ,trevally and the mowie over all very happy with the new boat and my young bloke was rapped as I let him drive it out of Port Kembla harbour. Talk to you soon Regards Dean Paton


PS I received the 10 knife jigs heaps rapped with the quality and the value for money have showed them to 6 other fisherman so far and they were very impressed you can expect some more orders soon

Good one, Dean! I’m still on a high with the new outboard and paint job, it gives me a buzz just getting on the water. Keep these progress updates coming?

Bruce R took the son and heir out, too:

Well – a fishing report from today as promised, but nothing to get too excited about. We were on the water Sunday morning by 6:30am. Step 1 – Gather the live bait. We drew blanks on Squid, but the yakkas plentiful in Bate Bay. Filled the tank and headed south of Port Hacking for some downrigging. Despite having 2 downriggers and gun Kingie slayer Chris W on board Avalon we drew blanks.

We ended up resorting to a quick FDOS – the Flathead Drift Of Shame off the back of the Jibbon Bommie on the way home. 3 Jackets including a first one for son Clayton and a small Flattie.

Now mate don’t be too tough with your self assessment, because a lot of downrigging clients had the same issue, on the weekend. With water temp at 15.7 degrees live squid or cuttlefish are essential, for motivating the kings. It will get easier as the water warms.

Bob writes, from Newcastle:

We are planning on going to Norfolk Island for a week later this year with our wives.


Do you have any contacts for charter fishing while we are there?


We do not want to go on a shared charter with a bunch of other fishos on a big boat.  We want to fish together with the charter operator in a smaller boat.  Just two mad keen fishos and the charter captain. Any information that you have would be helpful.


Good timing, my friend! I just received an e-mail from the nicest and most professional bloke over there being Dave, from Charter Marine. Top bloke, top boat, knows his home waters like the back of his hand:

Hi Andrew it’s been a while, hope all is well. I still enjoy your emails and the stories. The kingies are starting to fire out here at Norfolk. We have been getting smoked by some big fish lately. Four hundred gram jigs, eighty pound braid, two hundred pound leader still can't stop them before the reef. Great fun for all. This one made it to the table, yummo. Kingy is so underrated, one of my favourite eating fish. Defo my favourite to catch. A nice fellow I took fishing the other day sent this one back to me. He gave us a good run this guy we were lucky to get him in. Happy fishing this summer I will keep you posted on what else comes in. You will have to get out to Norfolk some day, I know you will love it. Cheers Dave Bigg Charter Marine Norfolk Island

To politics, and Tony (The Phony) Burke is backpedalling like a squid and pumping out plenty of ink, in the wake of his super trawler back down last week:

The Coast to Coast conference is of course a Greenie gabfest, and Burke is desperate to regain some cred with his greenie mates. But he’s going to have to work harder, because on the same day he discovered concern for seagrass, scientists say seagrass is in great shape:

Australia’s had some pitiful environment ministers, but Burke hits a new low. Let’s not forget that the 18,000 tonnes of baitfish can still be caught? The only change is that boats other than the Margiris will be doing the catching.


Regular readers will have followed our monitoring of the disastrous ‘renovations’ to Roseville boat ramp, here in Sydney. As we have grown to expect, Parks & Wildlife, and NSW Maritime, made no attempt to consult with those affected, being trailer boat owners. Instead, they went ahead with modifications to the ramp, which made boat launching slower and more difficult. It now turns out that the same level of arrogance and thoughtlessness is rampant in Brisbane too, but this time from a local Council. Dave writes:

My name is Dave Anderson. I am on a crusade. I am trying to obtain what is rightfully boaties’ and that is trailer parking availability.


Wellington Point reserve has 6 lanes of ramps (1 x 4 lane & 1 x 2 lane). Maritime Services Queensland guidelines recommend there be 135 bays for trailers there. There are 75. On every fair weather weekend it is usual to see half of these bays filled by cars without trailers. Fathers Day just gone was a great example. 6 bays taken up by boat trailers, 69 by daytrippers.

2 of those 6 trailers had been boxed in by cars. Some bays even had 3 cars parked in them. Cars and boat trailers were parked on median strips, and there were 2 cars parked on the 2 lane ramp. The worst I have seen there was on 29/07/12 when there was no room for boaties to rig up, as there were 6 cars parked in the rigging bays. i have attached some pics of that day.

Council committed its officers to doing a report and the officers recommended that the parking allocation status quo remain and enforcement be increased with emphasis on weekends and public holidays. At councils meeting this week, councillors saw fit to vote against these recommendations and instead have proposed a "trial period" of "shared parking" whereby they are effectively legalising parking in a further 11 trailer bays for daytrippers.


These changes by council somewhat contravene the conditions MSQ puts in place at the design stage and will see us with less than 50% of recommended. As we contribute via registration fees to the costs of ramp and parking facility upkeep are we not entitled to receive a reasonable level of service?

I have the names of more than 50 angry boaties prepared for a park in protest at the point. i am after more.  Please include my number 0423148941 and this link to the forum thread:



Trevor Jane adds:

Support from some Councillors:


‘Phil Weightman lost his seat … because of the Moreton Bay Marine Park rezoning.’ GOLD. And if we want to overturn the marine park lockups, let’s campaign against Burke in his seat.


Thanks for reading my friends, thanks even more for sending in reports and pics! Until next week,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director

Tel. +61402075000

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