Tuesday 22nd March 2016

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

We kick off this week’s report with an amazing fish caught by friend and crew member Dan Abadir, in Botany Bay. How’s this for a big city mulloway?



Next day, Dan and his two boys took the frozen jewfish to his local tackle shop to have it weighed on certified scales:



Well done my friend, that’s one helluva fish. Kevin Bardsley scoring some nice ones on his NSW south coast holiday. Well done, bloke:



Hi Andrew, on a 10 day fishing trip from Melb to Bermi 3 days no luck saw marlin and got sharked twice but today came up trumps we went 5.4.3. A black around the 100kg mark and 2 stripeys around 80kg. 6 more days to go.


Sensational. Please keep us posted on any and all developments, Kevin? Makayla Buttigieg, what a young champion you are. Ten years old, fishing off Merimbula:



Steve from SFP says bonito swarming around the Heads. Looks like a Watson’s. That’s good news because they make great tucker and, marlin live baits:



Eric Rubin’s rainbow runner from Long Reef last month. Two fisheries officers inspecting his boat identified it as a kingfish J



Knowing almost nothing about the Wide Wide World of Web I jumped at Callum’s kind offer to set up an Instagram account earlier this month. Some nice feedback already:



Hi Andrew, brief Instagram update: happy client catching marlin at port Stephens with your downrigger



Troy Bell pleased too:


Downrigger is the best. Purchased about 4 years ago and it is as tough as. The downrigger shop has even provided several upgrades (star drags etc) long after my purchase. Talk about after sale service. Rods, reels and gear always being tested in the field and kept up to date. Intel on fish is relied upon and much appreciated. Keep up the good work.


Very kind of you Troy! Steve Battishall shows amazing willpower by letting the snapper of a lifetime go. Good job:



Hi Andy, just got back from a trip to SWR for the weekend. Landed this while fishing for mackerel ! Bottomed out the 10kg scales easily. Very old fish so decided to release


So good, Steve. Josh Campbell confirms the snapper season’s underway:



Hi Andy, hope all is well. Managed to get over to woody head on the weekend where the conditions were favourable offshore. We didn’t have to venture more than a few hundred meters to score this 83cm snapper on a live whiting whilst we were trying to jig some bait. Ended up with 9 in the esky before things shut down completely. The mackerel were quiet, however one did ambush a snapper we had hooked, but unfortunately bit us off.  Hooked up to a groper on one of your $99 spin combo. Had no hope of lifting him but the rod survived some serious stress as it was like trying to lift a bessa block up from the sea floor.


Live whiting! Taking a note, Josh. With a huge bunch of friends and clients heading north over Easter I was checking around some digital charts on Monday 21st.  Found this seamount east of Hat Head.



As high in the water column as Browns Mountain, but rising from way deeper depths. Posted the pic to the Facebook page and Dan Burns weighed in:



Trolled over it, decent mountain. Got a hit from a blue but no hookup


Okay well if anyone gets a chance to deep drop or troll over this seamount please let us know how you go? Still heading north and Trevor Jane celebrates the arrival of a new baby with two deepwater trophies. Good stuff:



Hey Andy, did a trip off Brissy before the wind got up and got a couple of these - tasty things.

Also got a parcel recently from you and your better half – thank you so much - btw little champion is going well. Cheers and all the best T & E


Brett Driver! What a fantastic barra season this man is having:



Hi Andy, got to Causeway about 1/2 run last Tuesday, there were about 8 blokes fishing live baits on the bridge with no luck. 1st cast with the old pink Nilsmaster 5 inch and a nice 110cm salty. I think I upset a few regulars , but that wont stop me throwing my old pink out on the bridge. regards Brett Cath and gang


To tackle, and Lawrie visited on Saturday to pick up a power reel knob for his 6500 Saltiga Expedition. Bought used online, in good condition, but the previous owner had added a big egg shaped silicone handle he doesn’t like. All sorted now:



Over the weekend we had an online tackle sale to free up some room in our chockablock storage room. A few good deals left so I’ll mention pricing. Please click the link for more details?



Daiwa Sweepfire 24A spin rod/8 feet long, 2-piece, 165 grams

Casting weight 20-40 gram/EVA grips/Line rating: 3-6 kilo

Price: $28 each, or two for $49. This rod can be mailed, with postage costs the same for two as for one.



Rapala Jig Day overhead rod, model JD-C-602MH

Six feet long with split butt, two piece with foregrip join, meaning cheap delivery by mail

Titanium guide inserts, weighs 280 grams, light and comfortable, with Fuji reel seat

amazing line rating, 50-100 pounds



This is a light powerful rod with a heavy line rating - but it’s not heavy to use. Rapala quality, perfect for downrigging, jigging, livebaiting for kings, mackerel or bluefin. Price $130, more details here:


To boats, and here’s a home made kayak spotted at Tallowa dam on Friday. Its owner bought the plans online! He and his mate camped up the lake overnight but found the bass fishing really tough:




Predator trailer boat at Crowdy Head, last weekend. All business:



Boat maker Craig Baer sends a great offer for NSW readers:



This is my current boat i am building its 6.9M 5mm bottom, 4mm sides, I will have the cab made this week, am flat out on it 7 days a week, if anyone is interested you can call me on 0403432266 any time of the day, ore come and have a look first hand at how a plate alloy should be made Regards Craig.


Good on you Craig. Gatesy wondering why such a valuable boat would be left to deteriorate in this way:



Andy, not just boats on moorings in crappy condition.  Must be a 50ft cruiser with green crap all over it.  What a shame, maybe they need the cash for $20 a minute fuel bill


Thanks, Mike! This one’s on a marina but NSW Maritime has incredibly strict rules about boats on public moorings. No metal corrosion, no seagull poop, no dirt or mess aboard. Those rules are never enforced - as long as the mooring owners keep paying their fees. Instead, Maritime officers hassle boaties over obsolete irrelevancies like ‘is there a rope on your fire bucket?’ or, ‘do you have paper charts aboard?’ Like with the Highway Patrol, it’s all about fines and quotas. Disaster time and Jess reports a nasty one. It could have been a lot worse:



Hi Andy Hows this for bad luck and good luck at the same time. Mate went to fuel up his boat last thursday afternoon to have boat ready for us to Fish early Friday .boats 6.8 plate .rig brought all new and just on 8 years old . Broke from draw bar which is still hooked up to towbar luckily it broke as he pulled up at servo the gutter stopped trailer. Lucky it broke there not on freeway doing 100km Hate the thought someone could of got killed.


A good reminder to us all about the importance of strong safety chains and shackles, Jess.


Remote locations, and Bevan Jones writes:



Andrew, here is a photo of my latest catch - 5.4kg GT of the rocks during the week.



I work at Wetar Island (not far from East Timor) in Indonesia and sometimes after work I go down to the rocks and cast poppers and sliders at GT's, Blue Fin Trevally and the occasional Spanish Mackerel.


Sounds great cobber and please keep us updated on any and all Wetar Island news. Ian Kemmis from Coffs Deep Sea Fishing Club sends news of the Coffs Harbour mackerel tournament. Big prizes on offer:



Hi Andrew, we are ready to roll, pls see attached flyer. Massive prizes and a great opportunity for anglers to visit the Coffs Coast. Lots of lucky angler prizes including a Quintrex 390 plus motor and trailer kindly donated by Jetty Boating. Anyone can enter. Anglers may phone me on 0428 659 122 for more info. Hope you can post this on your media. Thanks in advance.


No problem at all Ian and thanks for all you do. Dan reports an albino sailfish caught. Gotta be Cabo or central America:



This pic should really be in a sealed section, maybe with an R rating:



We all love fishing but that love must not get out of hand, lads. Geoff Wilson’s been sending some killer pics from Victoria, and for that we’re very grateful:



Grazio Dalli and Mende Bozinovski with their bronze whaler from the Point Lonsdale Pier last week.



Doug Smith and Jamie Ross with the two bluefin tuna they speared, The shoal was in just a few metres of water offshore from the Maretimo Homestead Gates along Portland’s north shore on Sunday (Photo: Bob McPherson)


Always get a big kick from hearing about a successful family fishing trip. Steve M out in tough conditions on Sunday morning (20th March:



Hey Andrew, I took my son out to the wreck where you filmed me bringing up a small king when we went out last week. We hooked up on this 65cm king within 20mins of being there. It is his first king and the first king I have caught on any boat that I have owned. He was absolutely stoked with landing this. We hooked up on another one but it spat the hook just as we got it to the boat.


Well that’s fantastic. Now mate with heavy rain forecast it’s a good time to mention something that happened to me a couple of years ago – pretty close to where you were. Maybe you and your lad could check it out next time? A good mate had just bought a top of the line side scanning sonar and ducked out between downpours to give it an on water test. Harbour water was coffee coloured from all the rain and he went up towards the Spit to get out of the southerly. Gave me a buzz in his typically generous way to say that the side scan was showing jewfish stacked up like logs, around the bridge pylons. I’ve only fished for them once or twice but this news made it pretty obvious that now would be a good time to try again. The boat was on the trailer and with a break in the weather just then I launched and headed down Middle Harbour. Live squid needed for the mission. With a quick session at South Head (where the water was clearer) I was able to score two. Back up to the Spit and, with no-one around, I decided to moor up on the western side to take advantage of the run out tide. The plan being to use a running sinker to get the squid down, but a long leader so it washed around in front of the main pylon. But that didn’t work because there just wasn’t enough run in the water.



So instead I moved in under the bridge on the northern side and dropped a squid down between the pylons. Felt a sharp tug and, figuring my squid had been bitten in half by a tailor, sighed and slowly wound it up. Looking over the side I saw a nice jewfish (maybe 15 kilos) following what was left on the hook to maybe a metre under the water. I was too surprised to stop winding J. Only one squid left so down it went. Hooked up immediately, with the fish running hard downstream. I could feel the line pinging like a guitar string through some obstructions and backed off the drag but too late. The 80-pound fluoro carbon was cut. Then noticed that someone had knocked giant chunks of oyster clumps off that pylon, which was obviously what cut the line down deep. You can see in the picture that the background pylon has lost its oysters. I screwed up, but the jewies were there and it was right around this time of year too. If you want to give it a try, please do?


How’s this for a great story? Fisho wins 300 million dollars on Powerball, shares the prize with his fishing mates:



Here’s the story:


Richard M ready for a week of flyfishing on the Monaro. That’s a good lineup:



Just finished packing :-) Red wines, french sticky and fistful of hoppers… what else could i need...


Nothing at all! Can’t wait to hear how the trip goes, Rich.



To politics, and a relative is an elderly lady who rents out part of her house to a boarder to bring in a few extra dollars. Some years ago one moved in who told her he was a Vietnam vet dealing with post combat stress. His story was pretty graphic, best mates dying in his arms on the LZ, that sort of thing. She’s a sympathetic person and doubled her efforts to make him feel at home, given his difficult history. Soon after moving in he started boozing heavily, and got a bit nasty when he was on the bottle. She got in touch with me to see if I could help. Given the special circumstances I contacted a friend who had been an officer in Vietnam and was pretty high up in the Veterans Association. He told me that the guy had never been in Vietnam and was simply a drunk who made up stories about his wartime experiences, to get sympathy. I replied that couldn’t be right because the bloke in question knew so much detail about the Vietnam War. My friend said that some of these con artists knew more facts and figures than he did – even though he was over there as an officer leading combat patrols, for two years. They learnt the jargon and the details from watching movies and reading books. He said the one sure way to prove it was to get the bloke’s enlistment number which he could then check out. When the lady in question asked for that he told her he had blocked it out as a psychological self-defence mechanism. Having proved he was a BS artist she told him to leave immediately, because his rent was overdue anyway.


I was reminded of this story last week when the Telegraph wrote about (NSW Premier) Mike Baird’s shark attack tale. Of course Baird’s BS is nowhere near as serious as stolen valour. But it ticks all the other boxes, especially the one where victimhood gives you extra credibility. This is the pol who, in a month or so, will sign off on the Hawkesbury Shelf marine park. We’d better prepare ourselves because I reckon it will be worse than we expect:



Until next week my friends. Wishing everyone good fishing over Easter and please let us know how you went when you get back,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director