Wednesday 20 FEBRUARY 2013

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

G’day lads, I’m truly grateful for every pic and report, whether it’s about a pike eel or a blue marlin. But every now and then something spectacular arrives in the ol’ inbox:



Mark Way writes:

black marlin 90kgs hooked 800 meters off Blowhole at Kiama.


By golly by jingies that is one heck of a pic and thanks so much for sending, Mark!

Closer to home, and Chris Beverly would be perhaps the keenest kingie chaser in Sydney. I saw him out there on Tuesday:


We had 20 squid and landed 15 rats plus an 80 and a 90. One big belting also from an unstoppable on 90 braid and 130 leader.


Mate, I know the feeling! Four biggies have smashed me up in the last two weeks, it’s getting beyond a joke.

Chris took a pic of the waterspout that was in the Daily Telegraph too:


It was spectacular but by the time I got finished adjusting the new camera, the dang thing had faded away.

But it’s been a great week, starting with last Wednesday night’s talk at the Seabees boating club:

After a top night meeting some good keen blokes it was time to go fishing Thursday morning and hopefully boat a few. Stupidly left my sunglasses at home and had to make do with a pair someone had left next to the swing set, at the local park. Move over Spotters, these are the new fave shades:

Yellowtail easy to get at the bait grounds but only one squid scored so off we went, to Long Reef. The squid was deployed off the downrigger and soon attracted some interest:

Oliver pleased with his nice 85cm on a slider squid rig:

Matt from Raptor fished next to us and put his clients on to some beauties:

I hooked up to a stonker while popper fishing on three kilo. After a few minutes he pinged me on the bottom but not before stripping off so much line it took me ages, to wind the broken end in. Nephew John loves his jigging and enjoyed himself enormously:

The current has finally started to move and no motor assistance was required to downrig southwards. Get out there if you can. Listy’s been taking that advice:

Hey Andrew, fished Sunday for a couple hours out of Broken Bay. Trolled livies for ages for zeros. Hit up a couple reefs before I had to head in. Got a few good flatties and a flounder and then came across massive bait ball and still had baits down at the time and hooked a rat king at about 55cm's. Straight away out went a livie and I started Jigging. 2 drop of the Jig BAM! On, unfortunately what I thought was a king was a big Bonnie. I was still excited as it was my first fish on a Jig.


Mate, you just reached a whole new level of excitement. Nice pic and thanks heaps for sending.

Tony Comito kicking goals too:



Hi Andrew, good to see you on Sunday . This is the only keeper Kingy we caught on one of your silver jigs (6 rats put back ) also a good sized Bonito . Live baiting on yakka's accounted for two rats, a cuttlefish and sergeant baker . But the jigs were having better results at least catching the 80cm king.


Your energy is just scary, Tone. Always out there doing it!

Saturday morning in Sydney was all rain and drizzle which of course is what you want, when chasing kingfish. They are a species that very definitely don’t like bright light. Some nice reports came in early, via email and SMS. Matt Reid lets his pictures do the talking:

As I always say- if you’re in Sydney and have never caught a kingfish, phone Matt and book in. Only downside, he’s so popular there’s a waiting list now.

J George Tankoski sent this on Saturday:

Hey Andy, a couple of 80cm kings today off Longie. Your Saltiga had these fish their measure. These rods have so much leverage on these fish. Great fun out here today. Here's hoping for more.

Well done George and glad to hear you’re pleased with the Saltiga rod. Running low on those but we got a shipment of Rapala Jig Days last week. Here’s Oliver giving his a workout on Thursday. They load beautifully:

These Rapala Jig Days are a perfect match for 50 but can also be used for 80 or even heavier line. Only $160, spinning and overhead available. They can be mailed meaning delivery is cheap:

Josh T is looking for a new rod:


Great read as always. Just a question re the Daiwa Saltiga JG-511HFS Jigging Rod, could I team this rod up with my Stella 10000 and 50lb braid or would the reel be too big? After a great day jigging with Matty Reid I have the bug and am heading out again in April. Wouldn’t mind taking a new stick with me.


Good match! But check out the Rapalas too? We have put those on a new page on the internet site, a place where we’re listing all the tackle which is either on special or in limited amounts so, not enough stock for its own web page. Check it out, there are some good bargains there:


Meantime it was a rainy Saturday afternoon, and I was sorting out old gear ahead of this weekend’s Interclub. Lo and behold, my Shimano Club Demi:

Direct drive baitcaster, no gearing or drag. Weight 80 grams, spool width 30mm, never used:

Don’t suppose anyone would have an ultra tiny baitcasting rod, to suit? For 2 kilo line. If yes, please let me know price and details. That combo would be stacks of fun on slimy mackerel. Found some Sevenstrand marlin lures from the 1970s too, one so old it has a mother of pearl head and a PVC skirt:

Troy Denison is a top bloke whose company in Florida specialises in beautiful, high quality fish mounts. He’s always sending interesting material, but this time he’s excelled himself. Check this out:


Thanks for another great report… Do you happen to know what kind of fish this is?


He he he. Les sends a note of thanks for our readers advice on his boat re-powering, last week:


Hi Andrew, just a thanks to your readers who had input to my question about re-powering my Trailcraft. Thanks to Dave Warren, Chris S, Andrew W and Chris B.  I appreciate you taking the time to submit your thoughts. I'll keep you posted on the outcome. Cheers, Les Palmer


You’re very welcome, Les. Here’s a little more follow up from Jenkin Steed:


Just one more point of view on the 2 vs 4 stroke debate.   Cost aside, you have to carry far less fuel.  For a 10 day fishing - camping trip, with my old 40 Hp 2 stroke, I used to carry 80 litres in 4 tanks to make sure I had enough.   When I changed to a 4 stroke 50 Hp, I could drop down to 2 x 20 litre tanks and rarely had to crack the second one.   So even though my upgrade will never pay for itself in fuel savings, the convenience, weight in the trailer and saved space made it worthwhile.


Makes sense, Jenkin. On my mind too because I’ve got another outboard purchase coming up, this time a 5HP. With our new folding boat project commencing next week I have an outboard for sale – the one that came with the sample boat. It’s a 2-stroke Yamaha 8HP, which has had hardly any work at all. Comes with external tank, accessories, manual etc, and I was surprised to see it’s not much bigger than a 5 HP:

Took it up to my local guy (Shannon Outboards) for a lube and a fresh impeller and he gave it the thumbs up. It’s too big for the folding boat project (which needs max 5-HP) but it might make an ideal trolling or auxiliary outboard, for one of our readers? Best offer accepted, we can ship it pretty much anywhere, and if you need more details or high resolution photos, just let me know.

On matters boating, Aaron has purchased a classic:

This is the new boat Andy. She is a Key West 176 Bay Reef


That is a NICE looking rig. Forgot to ask Aaron – is this for Sydney Harbour, or elsewhere?

While talking boats Oliver Black sent in a pic of the weapon – perhaps literally – he’s just sold:

Ken M tells me a bloke selling his Quintrex 630 on Boatpoint is saying, ‘take everything except my (Downrigger Shop) downriggers!’

Ian Tresider is one of natures’ gentlemen, whom I’m enjoying fishing with enormously. As well as being your regular mad keen fisho he’s very skilled at photography and video and often posts short interesting film clips on Youtube. This one is typical:


Been a while and have been busy busy busy with work. So I put together a collection of a couple of trips. They consist of a trip out with Andy where it was tough and only managed couple of kings of which I didn’t get on film. A trip to terrigal beach for some land based armed only with soft plastics … Only a short video, hope you enjoy it and a good way to kill some time at work today.


A collection of stories video

Nice work Ian it’s another good one. Well having a wife that loves cooking means that I never  go near the kitchen. Not that I ever did in my bachelor days, because there was a great take away store just around the corner. The guy who ran the place knew my needs so well I didn’t even have to place an order. Just walked through the door and flicked my finger, like you do at an auction. Within two minutes a delicious feast would be ready – half a chicken and chips, large Passiona, and 20 Peter Stuyvesant. And weren’t they a full flavoured cigarette, just right for the debonair man of distinction. But I digress. J


So you can see why I’m totally out of the loop, when it comes to food prep. But I love eating any type of seafood, and that will never change. What has been a surprise is the number of people aboard this summer who don’t eat fish of any kind. Just last Thursday nephew John was telling me he doesn’t like the taste. Coincidentally, a week or so ago, I was listening to Kaj Busch on Al McGlashan’s radio show talking generally about this issue. I’ve never met Kaj, but you hear nothing but good things about the bloke. So I paid attention while he described a way of cooking kingfish, for the fussy eater. It didn’t sound too complicated or expensive so this weekend I gave it a go. What follows is not for anyone who knows their way around a spatula. It is for unimaginative fishos like myself who would consider a bit of extra cooking effort to be worth considering- as long as very little extra energy and/or expense was involved.

Firstly, you’ll need to purchase two items. Panko are Japanese breadcrumbs, $3.50 for a good size bag. Then you’ll need a tub of duck fat, or better goose fat. Cost ten dollars, about ten meals from the one little tub. Start by pouring yourself a coldie, because you need to be in a relaxed state of mind to cook well. Fillet your kingie, skin the fillet, then cut the meat into little medallions:

Pour the panko into a bowl, and dust the medallions:

While this is happening, have the duck fat heating up in the pan. Treat yourself to another cold one, this cooking is thirsty work. Pop the little kingie steaks into the hot pan until you judge they’re ready. Then serve with lemon wedges and something light and simple – in our case potatoes, cucumber and tartare sauce. Pour yourself a tall cold one, to wash it down:

Tasty? You betcha. Able to turn a fish avoider, into a fish fancier? Too right. Pour yourself a large cold one, to celebrate your contribution to humanity’s progress. Dig out that box of cigars your brother-in-law gave you last Christmas and fire one up, you've earned it. If anyone’s got any good cooking suggestions, let’s hear ‘em?

 Sam Hunter and family booked a cabin on Gabo Island and took his Polycraft along. Quite frankly I was a little nervous about the plan because even though they are great boats, that’s pretty wild country. Looks like I was just being a nervous Nellie, because everything turned out really well:


spent the week in Mallacoota and on Gabo Island eating walking and when the wind slowed down fishing. Memorable it was sharks seals penguins tuna attacking bait balls, Kings coming up from the depths to snipe at the bottom of the balls while the Bonnies attacked the surface.

Not many shots unfortunately, I was fishing for the most part by myself ( my son had to fly back) so I focussed on catching. Most of the fish I caught were big striped Tuna lots of fun on the 6. Got smoked by 1 or 2 kings, and found it hard to get the fly down to them most of the time.

So glad to see you got good weather, Sam!

Our Man in JB doesn’t let much get past him:

The weekend saw the boys out in huge numbers...37 on the middle ground yesterday, but with varied results. A few large Kings came in, one going 150cm, plenty of squid if you could dodge the leather jackets, and some nice flatties on the " secret spots" and snapper and morwong from the cliffs.

One hundred and fifty centimetres! I fish so hard, why doesn’t anything that big come my way?? DON’T ANSWER THAT DAVE. He he. Thanks heaps for sending.

To politics, and an issue bubbling under the radar but the subject of regular emails from up and down the coast. That is, the way Green tape is trumping commonsense, in environmental management.

Lake Conjola is on the New South Wales south coast, near Sussex Inlet. Like many sandy, coastal lakes it is a shallow body of water and where it opens to the sea is often closed by a build up of sand. That’s not good:


I spoke with campers (vans) who have been coming to Conjola for many years, however they will not be returning until the lake is open to the sea.  In the three days I was Conjola I fished for about 4 hours each day. I only caught 2 Legal size Whiting. Other people whom I spoke with have not even caught a fish.  One fisho drove near me asking if I had caught anything. I showed him the whiting, and he expressed “you are very lucky mate”, I have not caught a fish today and I have not caught a flathead since August last year and I fish Conjola every month for a week at a time.



…. I have spoken with Bob O’Brien who has lived at Lake Conjola for many years and was the Van Park manager for several years. I spoke with him for some time and he knows a lot about Conjola.  One of the main reasons that the channel changed was in the sixties some expert advised Council that Dune Fences were required. The Council erected the Dune Fences and the result was that with strong prevailing southerly winds actually blew the sand into the southern channel to the point that the channel was blocked.


I have sent Bob an email and asked him for photos when the channel was on the southern and northern side, and to provide me with any other details which will assist. If need be to collect the details I will go to Conjola and photos which are not digital can be reproduced accordingly.


Thanks so much Dennis, looking forward to an update. On the mid north coast is the fishing village of Hat Head whose boundary to the east is the sea and to the west, the local creek. The place is very dear to me because, straight after finishing school I went there on a fishing safari with my best mate. Who coincidentally sent me this last week, bought at the local store in 1974:

Hat Head creek has become so full of sand it is extremely difficult to launch a boat of any size, at the boat ramp. It turns out that’s due to flood remediation gates and just like Conjola, the green tape and red tape is deeper than the waterway. Wayne Hogan’s on the case:

Is this happening anywhere else? If so, please let me know. We want to find out how widespread the problem is and build a body of evidence. Hoping a reader or two has some insights to share. And to those already sharing them, a genuine thank you and a request to please keep it all coming. J Until next week,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director