Wednesday 21 NOVEMBER 2012

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

G’day lads, Sydney’s run of kingfish gaining momentum. Matt Reid has an update:

Hi Andy, another great week on our wonderful Harbour with some nice Kings taken inside, and on some outer reefs. Friday had some great blokes on the boat. With the wind and the rain we stayed inside the Harbour and found the Squid a little hard, but with some patience we got em and turned them into 90cm Kings.

Lovin’ the ciggie ash over the braid. I might have been guilty of that myself, back in the day:

Top stuff big buddy, if anyone can catch em you can. Now how many kingies have your poor suffering 4500T reels put on the deck?

One day those Daiwas will fall apart, like the Dodge at the end of The Blues Brothers J:

I got out myself last week, after hearing a whisper on the breeze that Glenbawn is fishing well. Andrew Tim and I headed up there on Thursday, for a quick evening/morning sesh. Andrews’ rig is an American style bass boat, quite the freshwater weapon:

We worked the narrow deeper bays, to get out of the wind:

The boat is fitted with the Lowrance scanning sonar:

That has both good and bad features. The good is that structure and fish are revealed as never before. The bad is that, if you’re seeing heaps but not catching anything, the frustration can drive you round the bend. One crazy idea from Lowrance is to have a touch screen, like an iPad. This was a good concept in their air conditioned head office and if you’re lure fishing only for bass on Lake Okeechobee, probably works quite well. But if you’re bait fishing, applying sunscreen and the like while regularly touching the screen, you will end up having to clean it pretty regularly. Fishing for us was not on fire by any means, but we did manage to put a few on the deck. Andrew put us on the scoreboard early with this nice bass:

Note that he’s one of those big blokes who make fish in pictures look small. Rod Coleman kindly sent me his secret weapon, being the Poltergeist 50 lure. It ran a little shallow for the crystal clear conditions but still delivered a couple of fish for me, being a bass:

Then a silver perch:

It’s been a long time since I’ve caught one of these on a lure. The lake is looking an absolute picture at 99% full with the water very clear, and lots of fresh drowned timber now that the drought is over. I’ve got a feeling that with the right barometer readings we could do a lot better. Get up there if you can?  Mark H went to Hawaii:

Mark H went to Hawaii:

The first photo is of myself empty handed after two days of Bone fishing on Ke’ehi Lagoon, which is a huge expanse of water near Honolulu airport. I hooked up to Bones, but they were upwards of 10lb and unstoppable. Bone fishing in Hawaii is relatively new and there are only a few guides and certainly no crowds on the Flats. I organised the guide through Nervous Water Fly Shop and was hosted to two wonderful days with Hawaiian guide, Ed Tamai. See details here:

The other photos are from Lake Wilson, Oahu Island. Also not well known, but a great impoundment for imported exotic fish such as Brazilian Cichlids and Peacock Bass up to 10lb.


Peacock bass, what a fish. As to bones, if anyone can crack them you can Mark.

Lots of interesting feedback on last week’s pic showing a big Noble centre cab high and dry, on a rock:

Mark W writes:


Hi Andrew, I can fill you in on the story behind this photo. My colleague here at work went out off Broughton Island (Port Stephens) on Good Friday and took a snap of this incident with his mobile an hour or so before this photo was taken. This is Cod Rock, part of Coal Shafts reef and apparently the vessel was travelling by GPS at night at speed when the skipper trimmed a touch too much off a corner and struck the rocks. He was knocked unconscious and suffered minor head injuries but no doubt the shape of the rock and the level of the tide must have been a saving grace to a certain extent. Below is the photo my mate took earlier that day when the tide was substantially higher.

Even more strangely, just after I had seen this photo and heard the story I dropped into my local chandlers to grab a few things and noticed a boat sporting a near new four stroke with a heavily mangled stainless prop and no skeg at all. We got to chatting and I realised this was the same boat so I had a chance to check it all out up on the trailer. The motor was pretty sick, lower unit totalled and had apparently run dry for some time and possibly overheated. The hull had actually stood up surprisingly well, it was towed back to land and didn’t leak a drop, the keel seemed intact with just some denting on both sides and of course some impressive scratches and gouges here and there. Still testament to the strength of a plate alloy hull I guess. I hope the owner recovered fully with no long term ill effects and is back into boating!


Thanks so much Mark, a lesson for us all there.



I can add to that story I'm a member of Marine Rescue Botany Bay we hear things down the grape vine. MR arrived on the scene the night of the grounding and the male on the grounded vessel asked for a tow lol (I wonder if it would have floated) MR declined and requested the male to leave the vessel so they could get him treated on shore the man refused and stayed on the boat all night. The next day water police arrived and took the guy for questioning from memory if was his first time on the boat not sure of the rest.

Thanks, Peter. I have an idea as to what might have been a factor in this mishap!

Bob G sends in something similar, thank you Bob:

Andrew, this is really taking a shortcut! Or was he just plowing the field?

Check out this 37’ 2010 Contender that "ran aground". Boat was only 6 hours old. Operator claimed he was doing 28 knots. Both people on board were 100% sober. Cost him $10,000 to have Tow Boat US pull him back to the water.  4 tow lines parted in the process.


Sheesh. I dunno, but it just makes you cry looking at these beautiful machines getting all smashed up.

Simon G went to the charter destination so many clients prefer, out of Gladstone:

Hi Andrew just came back from seven days fishing Swains Reef with Norval fishing charters. This is our second trip with these guys great fishing as usual here are a couple of pics

Coral trout, some beauties there too! I miss em Simon, I really do. Here’s me cooking up some trout nuggets on the Carolyn Jane at the Pethebridge Islets, back in the day:

If I took off my shirt these days I’d make kids cry and frighten the public. Probably did back then, too.

Oldie but a goldie, sent in by Robin N. Bloke fishing for Humboldt squid on a San Diego charter boat forgets you must never look them in the eyes:

G'day Andy I know how much you love these sorts of pictures ....


I do! Some crazy stuff happens out on the water, but for some reason I never have the camera ready when it does. That’s why I enjoy the wacky pics Robin. Something else I enjoy even more is when thoughtful readers send in good advice:

Read the article around losing the liquid from your Gulp plastics packets, making everything smell and causing them to dry out as I’m sure everyone else in the fishing world that uses these has had the same issues. And as you said even the Gulp purpose containers leak.

I have attached photos of a solution I use that is cheap and effective and you can pick them up at any major store for about $5. It’s a beetroot container. They seal all liquid without leaking you can see the different coloured /types of plastics you have and you can lift the basket out and pick the plastic that you want without getting the juice every were including all over your hands or losing any.

I got mine from Big W it’s a litre container but you can get bigger ones and I just buy the gulp refill bottle from a tackle store when I use the container the 1st time from then on happy days. I hope this helps you and your readers Regards Dean Paton


That’s terrific Dean, I’ll visit Big W ASAP for one of those.


P.S could you give me the dimensions of the water tight container you are offering for $25 the one that you showed on your last email with the reels & safety gear in them as I would like to order 1 for my safety gear but just want to make sure it fits


You bet! I explained that really badly, in last week’s email. Firstly, the drybox is made from tough polypropylene:

Lockable with a padlock, stackable (two make a nice seat) and super handy for stowing all kinds of gear:

It’s water resistant, with an O-ring seal:

Here’s the dimensions, pretty roomy: 37 cm long x 23.5 cm high x 21 cm wide.


Price is $25 each.

We can post these to Sydney /Newcastle/Wollongong for $8, and Melb/ Bris/Adelaide for $20. And that includes 9 kilos in weight! Meaning you can pack the drybox with a reel, camping light, spools of braid or knife jigs, and save all the postage on those items. For instance we send out 10 knife jigs in a 3-kilo postage satchel for $70, including a $10 delivery charge. We could send 30 jigs in the drybox for a saving of $30 freight (Sydney region) meaning the drybox would cost $3 delivered.

Let me know if you’d like to try one?

Kerri sent in some amazing pics of the huge fish he and his mates have been catching in SEQ. Firstly, a 132cm 27.6 kilo kingfish, from the Tweed reefs:

That’s incredible. This one’s a ripper too, caught in Currumbin Creek on a 7-inch pink shine:

Thanks so much for sending, cobber.

Spiro from Bluebottle Fishing has a great new product, being a boat latch for retrieving:


How it works:

Once you have fitted the snare to the boat and the latch to the trailer you are ready to launch.You reverse your trailer into the water, to the position suited to the ramp conditions.  You set the latch to the catch position then slowly release the winch letting you boat slip backward into the water.  The snare will then latch on the boat latch. Before climbing into your boat you set the latch to the launch position, climb into your boat and edge forward about 2-3cm and the latch releases the snare and you boat rolls back off the trailer into the water. To retrieve your boat you simply move the latch to the retrieve position, drive your boat on, it clicks into place and that’s it. The only winching to be done is probably 20cm - Easy !!!!



Sounds like a great bit of gear and hope it works well for you Spiro. Might have worked here?

Hi Andrew, thanks for another great newsletter!  Come on summer. Attached is a link to a video I took earlier in the year of some guys having trouble in rough conditions at the Haven.  Not as bad as the Collaroy vid but worth a watch.



Isn’t it a disgrace, the lousy facilities we boaties have to put up with? Thanks so much for sending Malcolm, sad and fascinating at the same time.

I’ll be at the NSW Upper House Inquiry soon, hopefully giving evidence but at the very least attending, on the day they examine the boat ramp issue. Will have a full update for readers in the report. Stopped by Long Reef ramp on Sunday, all quiet:


New ramp set for summer chaos, fights and conflict

There’s a saying that a little bit of information is dangerous. This seems to be the case with the authorities responsible for the recent upgrade of Roseville Boat Ramp, one of Sydney’s most popular trailerboat launch spots.


Forget the fact the job wasn’t finished on time. After all, the upgrade of Roseville boat ramp in the Garigal National Park was no stroll in the park. Some $1.01 million was spent on repairs and on a new ramp pontoon with disability access. We have since learnt a new amenities block was added too.

The old three-wide concrete slab, which at times could accommodate four boats being launched abreast, retains its gradual incline. It still necessitates reversing till the rear wheels are at least partially submerged.

But in its wisdom, the council added a centre pontoon to the ramp. On paper, this sounds like a good idea. After all, plenty of Queensland boat ramps have a handy pontoon running alongside to facilitate dry-feet launch and retrieval.


Ahem, here’s the rub. The pontoon running down the middle of Roseville ramp is almost three metres wide, taking up a valuable launch lane and, should a couple of boats be tied to it, it prevents others from launching.


This is sure to fuel ramp rage in the high season in summer, as those launching short-handed will likely leave their boat(s) tied to the pontoon and, thus, block the ramp while parking their car. Or at least that is likely to happen with a few boats tying off.

Exactly. How could anyone spend a million bucks and make the ramp worse? We’ll find out at the Parliamentary Inquiry, early in December. To politics, and it must be such an easy job, being the ‘environment reporter’ at the Sydney Morning Herald, owned by Fairfax Media:

Press releases pour in from Greenpeace and Tony Burke’s in house greenies and Cubby slightly reworks them for publishing. The emphasis not being on practical solutions to environmental problems, but on theatrical handwringing. So when a mako shark swum into a submersible ROV (remotely operated vehicle) and got stuck, Cubby and his buddies jumped to conclusions. Firstly here’s the pics. Note that sharks can’t swim backwards, so once this silly mako (?) stuck his head in the ROV it was all over:

Daffy shark probably thought the green hose line was an eel:

Cubby’s Twitter followers went ballistic:

‘Shred innocent creatures in the pursuit of profit.’ Carol, you greenie goose, want to see some innocent creatures shredded? Try watching mako sharks at work out at Browns Mountain in August. You’ll see them shred anything that swims past. With Fairfax’s share price sinking faster than a 4LB sinker at Browns, hopefully Cubby’s relentless Green propaganda will soon be shredded too:

In closing, I’ll be out at the Imperial Hotel Rooty Hill next week, giving a talk to SGFC members and visitors:


Stop by if you’re out that way, for a catch up? Last year’s one was a top night. PS ignore the bit above, about me supporting that young puppy Al. Probably just some printing error, but I won’t make a fuss about it J.


Guys, thanks so much for sending in the pics and reports, and please keep doing just that. I get all the nice comments but really, it’s our generous contributors who deserve the pats on the back. And note: you don’t need a story about a monster Spaniard or giant blue marlin, to send in a pic and an update. Anything from swordfish to leatherjackets is interesting. The richness of this fishing life we love is in the endless diversity of the experience. Until next week,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director