Tuesday 21st May 2013

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

Fishing success is about persistence. And if you downrig Jervis Bay persistently in May, you will find success:



Andy, George landed an 8keg KF at JB today, we've been searching for the elusive (for us) 100cm+ models, still lots of fun, we picked up some rats too


Fantastic. That 100 is just round the next headland, Dunc. North, to t-shirt country, and John McC ordered four of our light game reels only a week ago. He hasn’t wasted any time, putting them to use:



The wahoo was caught on your 16W, the big doggie was on Penn 50 standup last year. I've hooked over 50 of these now, landed only 4. Amazing fish



Yes they are, and you’re a pretty amazing fisho to best one that big. Sean Morgan fished his home waters of South West Rocks last week. Intended species not found, but the compensation was fantastic:


Headed out yesterday with kingies being our target fish. The forecast of 15-20kn westerlies was pretty accurate; by 10am we hadn’t turned a reel and both Terry and I were on the verge of calling it quits. We were being blown off our target area so quickly that the jig hardly touched the bottom before we had to reposition. We motored down to Fish Rock looking for some protection, but found the conditions pretty horrible there as well.



By 11am we had tucked up on a bommie close to shore, the wind stopped blowing and the sea flattened almost immediately. All the mother’s day prawn/crab shells were dispatched as berley and then it switched on, a hot jewie bite right at lunchtime. We managed six fish on deck, with an equal number being lost (including a thumper being dropped boat side). Added to that were a samson fish, some well-conditioned bream and to top it off a 7ft hammerhead for Terry, managed skilfully to the boat for release. Amazing how quickly a day can turn around. No kingies, but pretty happy with the second prize!



The mackerel season is now winding down, with a few fish still being caught but it’s been tough going. With the absence of slimies over the past couple of months, we resorted to using live yakkas (which, from what I thought I knew, spotties didn’t like). The last session saw 10 hits on yellowtail, with 4 being boated. Not great stats, but terrific fun anyway. No single session with report-worthy in its own right, but a few pics from the tail-end of the season.



Neil, with his first spottie and biggest fish to date. A super nice guy who cooks a mean curry!



Terry with a late season spottie. This one nudged 6.5kgs.


Chris, happy he finally managed to catch a fish!


Exactly our experience down here this autumn, Sean. If Plan A not working, go for Plan Z. Big changes are working well this season. George writes in with a tackle query:


Andrew, I was interested in one of the Power Knobs for my Daiwa Ballistic 4000 which I saw on your website – couple of questions please:


What colours available or is it just one?

What material are they – aluminium?

Colour variants come and go George but at this point we have a good selection, being:


Black & silver

Blue & gold

Blue & black

Red & silver

Red & black

Gold & silver


They are brushed aluminium, very nice indeed. I am half way through a ‘how to’ installation page, have attached that in case it’s of interest too.  Let’s start with the basic equipment required. From left to right:



Spinning reel – in this case, a Daiwa 4500T;

Replacement reel knob, from Downrigger Shop;

Small Phillips screwdriver and small blade screwdriver;

Loctite 242.


Start by disassembling the replacement reel knob, and laying out the components. Note that ours are supplied complete. You don’t have to buy bearings or re use the old ones, we include two new:



We’re ready to go. Using the small bladed screwdriver, carefully pry away the dress trim on the factory reel knob:



Revealing two internal screws:



Remove those too, to expose the knob shaft screw head:



Undo that one, and slide the knob off the reel knob shaft:




Hi Andrew, don't know if you've seen this before but may be of some interest, Annie Miller wreck, South Head



Too right it’s of interest and thank you, Greg. Very likely I’ll be there on Wednesday. I always look forward to any correspondence from Dave Tinworth. This man has extraordinary success on the Monaro, and it’s all due to his scientific approach, to downrigging:


Hi Andrew  hope your well, thought I would  share this with you. Fished a charity comp down on Jindabyne last weekend to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis, a great family event.



The first day was tough with 80kmh winds, and the next day -4c and dead calm, with the boat still covered in ice well after sun up. My mate Ray Gallo picked up this 66cm 6lber down rigging on his way to winning Champion Angler


Beautiful, look at the markings on her. Thanks, David. With a big winter of bait fishing ahead – gemfish, makos, and hopefully some tuna cubing - I decided to lash out and buy a Bait Mate. We’ve been using the top of the live bait tank, and that’s a poor substitute.





Hi Andrew, this is my ”Baitmate” bait board, with 2 extra rod holders welded to the sides .   We have extended the drain holes to the burley  bucket as you can see. One of the best things we have bought for the boat Cheers Dave


Very nice my friend. I had a wacky dream that the board could go in on the side but checking it out more closely that’s never gonna work. Will follow your example. Chris Sun has always been very helpful with sending pics and reports of his kingfish adventures off Sydney. So when he asked if I could advertise his boat in the weekly newsletter, the answer was a quick yes:



Dan Abadir fished Kiama for snapper bait and maybe, winter lunches. Because a client told me that smoked slimies are so delicious:



Not a lot of local reports due to howling westerlies all last weekend. Those that did get out stayed in close. Scott Woodhouse:




Nothing special today, just a feed of flathead and my brother’s son Mitchell caught this 1.1mtr school shark off Bird Island Norah Head, it was his second time fishing, he’s now got a new hobby


Good on you for getting his addiction started Scott! Tony Comito sends in a sad story, Bill’s cry of pain to the Men’s Shed Help Line:


I really need your advice on a serious problem.


I have suspected for some time now that my wife has been cheating on me. The usual signs: if the phone rings and I answer, the caller hangs up. She goes out with the girls a lot. I try to stay awake to look out for her when she comes home, but I usually fall asleep.


Anyway last night about midnight I hid in the shed behind the boat. When she came home she got out of someone's car giggling and buttoning her blouse.


It was at that moment while I was crouched behind the boat that I noticed a hairline crack in the outboard engine mounting bracket.


Is that something I can weld, or do I need to replace the whole bracket?


That’s horrific. Stay strong Bill, if anyone can get you back on the water the Men in the Shed can. Weather way better off the Gold Coast on Sunday, so Trevor went wide:


Hi Andrew, did a fish off GC yesterday:-


Picked up Bill at 4.30am for a 5.30am launch at GC and headed out through the seaway at predawn. Bill was at the wheel and ready to catch some deep sea things. Did a highspeed troll outwide - Bill had to suffer looking into the sunrise


Went to Riv Ground and Jim's Mountain - here is Jim's Mountain on the sounder



We did heaps of drifting across the formation for zip zero zilch then when away from the ledge in flat country in 530m a small gemfish was caught. We drifted this spot for more and got none.


Some hours later two more were caught once again not on any formation but in the flat country in the middle of no structure and once again we tried to get more on this spot for zero. It wasn't easy trying to get exact spot in the wind as it was a pretty solid 15knots early and needed the motor about the drop a lot to keep over the bait.




We had the wind drop off to calm about 2pm and the last few hours was easy fishing without having the motor about the line. Bill did reckon the fishing was a bit hard on his finger pushing the button on the reel - however I don't think he is keen for a manual winch given that we probably did about 20 to 30 drops in 400m to 650m and only got fish on two drops and no bites at all on any other drops.


About 10km closer to shore there is a steady slope from about 200 to 300m. Just wonder if this is the spot we should have worked - but also thought Jim's mountain had some pretty good formation too although deeper.



We did high speed trolling back in arvo on a calm sea and then cranked the boat up to 55kph for the last 20km to get in before too dark. Cheers Mate, Trev


Good one! So Bill takes the shades off when facing blazing sunlight, and puts them on in the shade? He needs to write to Men’s Shed. To politics, and the rage over NSW Fisheries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson’s plan to cut bag limits by 50% + continues. Dan writes:


I saw that bag limits were dropped across the board for a variety of species, but the one that struck me as sheer stupidity is Jewfish are still legal on 45 cm, but all research suggests they don't spawn until they are at least 60-70cm (depending on which scientific papers you believe)


The fact that they drop limits across the board for recreational but don't touch commercial, and then don't examine legal size or listen when anglers report a drop in species caught, smacks of your standard government incompetence or apathy.


Exactly. Wayne Tonkin from Warringah Anglers is a calm level headed type, but he’s got his dander up over this BS:


Andrew, just a quick note re the Fisheries review of the Bag Limits. If you look at page 10 of the Discussion Paper, in the notes where Mahi Mahi is discussed, I think the last sentence sums the whole entire discussion paper up. Note the quote I've extracted.

Currently there is little or no scientific justification for the size limit restrictions and their removal is proposed to simplify fishing rules.



If so, then why was the bag and size limit introduced in the first place.


You could argue that there is no valid reason to make any changes if this is the sort of feeble explanation they put in place for just one species, you could apply it to everything.


Wayne, I went to Westfield Hornsby yesterday to pick up some bait for tomorrow. Here’s what I found in Woolworths:




‘South American flathead’ can be bought online, at the Chinese Ali Baba website:





As no hopers like Tony Burke and Katrina Hodgkinson shut down rec and commercial fishing expect to see more of this muck on our shelves – and, on our plates. As Steve said on our Facebook page, first drop and the day’s fishing is finished for you, Bill:



Hodgkinson is using dodgy data to screw NSW anglers the way that’s been done elsewhere. Steve Furge writes from WA:


Guys, might as well get used to your bag limits – this is what we’re permitted in the west



Notice anything? Top left hand corner. The ‘simpler rules’ are 43 pages long. Steve, nothing personal, but your experience in WA is what we have to learn from. Not meekly surrender to.


So where are we at, here in NSW? A little over two years ago the Liberal-National coalition won government. During the campaign, MPs like Andrew Stoner and Duncan Gay made countless promises to anglers that a new day would dawn, and the so-called conservatives would get the greenies off both boaties and fishos’ backs.


That hasn’t happened. As Maritime Minister, Gay has proceeded to waste millions of dollars on a mad Labor scheme to put disabled access pontoons down the middle of most NSW boat ramps:



Gay’s folly can be compared to Peter Garrett’s pink batts or BER schemes. Brian writes:


Hi Andrew, just reading this week’s report and Pauls comments about the Crowdy Head ramp. Frankly I don’t see 600k in it but, can anybody?


I work in the public sector and live in public housing and I am astounded by the waste and the utter rip off by contractors who are engaged to conduct works under government contract, State and Federal.


I’m sure I’m going to irk some egos here but, I have too many factual accounts of over quoting and handball contracts being passed along the line where so many get a cut and no-one actually does anything.




Would that have gone down? 'Let the peasants eat basa!' sez Dodgy Hodgy, (NSW Fisheries) Minister Without A Clue:



Thankfully, some of our representatives padded up and are on the pitch. Ecofishers leading the way, while others dither and fret:


Informal discussions with a number of Ecofishers members indicate they are not happy with the way this discussion paper has been presented and at the moment a majority don’t agree with lowering any bag limits because of a lack of science. The link for the discussion paper is



Chris from Ecofishers has organised a petition, which I’ve attached to this email. Click the link above, and make your views known. Print off the petition, get your mates to sign it, and mail it in. If we don’t fight we’ll lose, it’s that simple. Next week, a great story on marinas and boatsheds who ban angling without authority:



If you’ve got the same thing happening locally, send me a pic and a line or two? Carolyn and I will be at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show all next weekend. We’ll have all our tackle on display and of course, Pocket Rocket:



Stop by, say hello, and give me your opinion as to whether Australian fishos could use a boat like this? Because this a direction I’m thinking of heading. Thanks to our readers and of course our contributors. Please keep it coming – pics, reports, opinions, jokes J. You supply the material, I assemble it into an email and get all the thanks. But it’s the guys and gals who write in who deserve the gratitude of our readership. Cheers,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director