Monday 22nd December 2014

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

The jury is in and the verdict is, we’re having one heck of a kingfish season. Gary Letton:


Hey Andrew short report on your jigs. Went out last week and smashed the kingfish up to 120cm and a few small sampsonfish now I was quite happy with your jigs they kinda dominated as mates has others yet mine was getting the fish


Top fish, Gary! Really grateful you wrote. Simon scored this beautiful 103 off Sydney on the downrigger:



Greg (from Calmwater Charters) and (son) Jake Joyes out there last week. When I came up with our company slogan ‘women want me, fish fear me’ I had these two in mind:


Caught 3min ago in 90 m off  broken bay


Fantastic, well done Jake. Kings aren’t much sought after in northern NSW which is why, when the currents get moving, our hard fished metro waters get constant replenishment. Having said that, here’s one bloke who’s always chasing them around South West Rocks. Sean Morgan, this one went 95cm:


Regular contributor (for which I’m very grateful) Bruce Rayment scored a personal first, last weekend. Congratulations, champ:


G'day Andrew, had a top day on Sunday with Mike Spitzer east of Port Hacking tagging our first big (for Sydney) Black Marlin on 15kg tackle on Avalon. I was on the rod to land my first Marlin on my boat. Nothing like an early season fish to give you motivation for the months ahead!


Too right! Here’s confirmation summer’s arrived:


Hi Andrew, went out with a mate in his boat today, from Crowdy, water warming up, first dolly for the season and also bagged out on Trag. Cheers, Roger Crowdy Bay Charters 0428655701


But it’s not all east coast action. Jigaholic Dave Clarke is one of the keenest fishos I know. His energy levels are off the scale. That’s why he’s always tangling with big fish:


Hi Andrew, love it when a plan comes together!! All the stars lined up for my Perth/ Work/Sambo trip this year. Thanks to a great skipper (Craig) from Saltwater Charters for squeezing me in and finding the Sambo jigging trip yet!! Gonna stick with Saltwater Charters from now.


Always been a believer in sticking with what works, Dave. Rob on a WA jigging charter too:



Hi Andrew, managed to fit in a Sambo jigging trip last weekend. Took along those 420g jigs to try out. They went down a storm with the Sambos, boated a couple but unfortunately most were either unstoppable (using PE6) or got sharked! Was very interesting that the two blokes fishing next to me were using jigs in the $40 price range and were getting less takes than me, as they say, the fish cant see the price tag. They were pretty surprised when I told them what my jigs cost. The Skipper was also impressed and asked for your website details.  Anyway I will be ordering some more today. Cheers, Rob


Please do! Some interesting news from the Apple Isle this week. Brendan McDonald:



Hey mate, hope you're well. My mate just stumbled across this Sun fish on the rocks in Lindisfarne, Hobart. Pretty rare sighting, especially there!!!


Leo’s gearing up for the season:



Hi Andrew, no swords here yet but a heap of big Calamari (haven’t got a decent pic tho – wee only got 1 good one 4 weeks ago but more around now. We got out wide the other day and managed 5 nice blue eye from 6 to 12kg and a nice gemmy tho. A mate went to the marks again this weekend and scored 5 good BE again to 11kg and a few grenadier. The boys who chase crays have been nailing plenty too.  Cheers, Leo


Best wishes to you and yours for Christmas, Leo! Please keep our readers up to date with broadbill and bluefin updates this season, if not too much to ask?

To boating, and some sad news from Dan Abadir, who attended the funeral yesterday of the two fishos who drowned at Botany last weekend.


By all accounts they were top blokes, meaning many mourners attended:



Hey Andy sorry for the late reply. Had one of the hardest/worst days ever... Double funeral  It was intense and very depressing to see two of the greatest guys get buried. Over 1000 people were at the church and about 800 people at the cemetery.


Of course it was cobber, sorry from your loss. No good can come from this tragedy except perhaps a reminder to us all to put safety first when on the water. To happier topics and James Marlay picked up a downrigger for his good looking Lewis CC Squid Inc. He didn’t waste any time christening it:



We spotted the new Evinrude outboard at Roseville ramp recently, heading out for a day’s water testing. Interesting concept, side panels with five or six colour options. This pic doesn’t do it justice, it was very striking indeed:



Had an interesting afternoon last Thursday, fishing on an 85-foot 115 tonne motor yacht in Middle Harbour. Here’s the helm:



And here’s the bathroom:



I was thinking about making the owner an offer, but no burley bucket or live bait tank was a deal breaker for me. Boat Pic Of The Week goes to Sean, who single handedly bested this beast off Sydney from his Quintrex CC, and showed it to us as we were heading out to the grounds. It got us fired up, I can tell you that:



We couldn’t find one as big as that showstopper but I was pleased with this 90, downrigged on a big slimy mackerel:



Note to self: he looks 85, hold the king closer to the camera next time J Check this short downrigger cam video I recorded at 20 metres just before this one hit. Crazy kingfish numbers out there at the moment:



A few days later and we were back outside, this time light jigging. Up to a wreck off Long Reef and everything promising good fishing. Clear water, good sounder shows, correctly matched tackle and most importantly, an enthusiastic upbeat crew. Here’s a short clip showing what happened next, three hook-ups in forty seconds:



Most of the kingies were right on the legal mark, with a few around 70cm. On 6 kilo tackle we had some great sport:



I’ll say it ‘til I’m blue in the face – we are gonna have some hot fishing, in early 2015. Snapper and bluefin in Vic and SA, kingfish and dollies in NSW, mackerel and marlin to points north. Everyone I talk to feels positive about the season ahead.



To tackle, and a client stopped by on Saturday morning to pick up some tackle and asked me why our gear is so cheap. The inference being that because the rod and reel was inexpensive, the quality was lower.


When you make a purchase in a tackle store, the proprietor orders a replacement for the item you’ve bought. So, if you’ve bought a Shimano rod he contacts Shimano, and orders another one. Shimano Australia in turn places an order with Shimano Japan, Shimano Japan add it to their production at the factory where the rod is made, perhaps China. The rod is sent to Shimano Australia, who then deliver it to the store. All these middle men have to make a profit on the rod and have to pay delivery costs down the chain. They also pay rent or interest on their offices, warehouses and retail stores. That adds up.


We operate a home showroom with storage at a friends’ warehouse. No office overheads. We buy directly from a manufacturer who ships to us mostly by sea freight. No middle men. We operate on volume discounts. No premium mark ups. Which explains why I have a great Christmas deal for our readers:



Ryobi was a huge tackle brand when I was growing up. A Japanese company known for quality and in my rusty memory bigger than Shimano or Daiwa during the 70s, and perhaps early 80s. Their business focus has changed to power tools which is why they have dozens of products at your local Bunnings. But the quality is there. I’ve been using their 4500 size jigging reel all year and not only has it never let me down, it’s still as smooth as the first day of operation. It’s caught dozens of kingies.



We buy from the factory via our agent and get a very good deal.

For someone looking for an economy, 50-pound spin reel that doesn’t compromise on quality

I honestly can’t think of a better option.

$140 for the reel including colour change 50-pound braid,

or $260 for the combo including a perfectly matched 5 feet 6 inch jigging rod.


Here’s specs:


Ryobi Ecusima 8000vi

  • Gear ratio 5:1
  • Drag 8.0 kilos
  • Ball bearings 6
  • Weight 550 grams
  • Supplied prespooled with 200m 50-pound colour change braid
  • Stella 20000 type chunky reel knob
  • Price $140


Send me an e-mail for more details, or check out more pics here?



To politics, and some think I’m kidding when describing greenies as mentally disordered but all the proof that’s needed is Ian Cohen. He’s the one in the Greens cap looking like John Cleese on holidays. Note the local dive company – the greenies’ best friends – in the background:



Cohen was a NSW Greens MP who wrote a book called ‘Green Fire’, about his enviro protesting career. It’s a creepy autobiography of self worship. Cohen paints himself as a super greenie who flies in to save the day when other greenies have stuffed up. Wilderness Society accomplishing nothing, at a month long forestry protest? Cohen arrives and in a week has shut down the local timber mill. US Navy coming to Sydney and all the local commies have done is write a letter to the SMH? He gets on a surfboard and paddles out to confront a USN destroyer, with his hired photographer in a nearby boat focusing the lens on Cohen’s pecs. Don’t look for commonsense in Ian’s message. Getting his face in the papers is the only message he wants to deliver:


Ten days ago Cohen held a photo op at Byron Bay to demand rec fishos are locked out of marine parks:


Cohen comes across as the green Justin Bieber – under talented, over rated, and surrounded by suckups tolerated only as long as they tell him how brilliant he is. But one thing he’s right about is that the NSW government is no threat to the Green agenda. Premier Mike Baird is a sympathiser and Pittwater MP Rob Stokes could switch to the Greens party in a heartbeat. And, just before Christmas, NSW Fisheries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson has agreed to Cohen’s demands at 20 out of 30 marine parks:



By ‘amnesty’, Bodgy means a kind of temporary permit to fish. To add insult to injury, Bodgy reaffirmed the declaration of southern bluefin as ‘endangered’, despite their numbers increasing exponentially around southern Australia every year:



So why did Bodgy ban rec fishing in 20 marine parks on Friday, despite angling having no effect whatsoever on fish replenishment? Because it’s what the greenies want. And why did Bodgy declare bluefin tuna to be an endangered species in November, despite the SBT population explosion since foreign longliners were banned from the Australian Fisheries Zone? Because it’s what the greenies want. Matter of fact, banning fishing for bluefin is one of their major campaigns, and to succeed with that they have to tell major lies:



So what can we NSW fishos do about it, considering the next state election is only three months away? That’s easy. We need to do what Victorian fishos did last month – vote for the Shooters and Fishers Party:



Shooters and Fishers won two Victorian seats – the same number as the National Party, which by the way is the party Bodgy belongs to.


The Greens only fear one party – Shooters and Fishers:



And that’s who we have to support next March, using one out of our two votes. Every fisho, and his or her family and best friend, needs to vote Shooters and Fishers at the election. Because as Cohen and Mehreen Faruqi know, SFP is the only party defending our fight to fish. Please think about it, my friends? Because ruthless greenies like Cohen, and ambitious cowards like Bodgy, represent a huge threat to our right to fish.


In closing can I wish all our 5000+ readers a wonderful Christmas, and a happy New Year? This is the 183rd fishing report yet not even one could be completed, without your pics and contributions. And for that I’m eternally grateful. Back in 2015,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director