Monday 23rd June 2014

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

WOW what a week. Big fish north, south, east and yep, west. We kick off locally with a giant yellowfin tuna taken east of Sydney on Thursday, by Matt Loraway and Peter G:



We ended up bringing home a 164cm YFT (75kg on the charts) and I even got you some photos.  Matt was the angler so will let him send through photo and details.


Beautiful, what a beast! Pete, thanks so much for dropping in some prime sashimi on Saturday afternoon. Can't wait to tuck into it. Elliot Cura backed up on Saturday, how’s this for a starter tuna:



Hey Andy, always reading reports you put up with useful intel. Today it's my turn to report back. Headed straight out this morning to about 5miles west of Browns and set the spread with a plan to hit the 500fa mark and head nth in search of tuna. Water temp was 20.8 but to my amazement about 5miles east of browns the Tiagra screamed and we were on. 20 minute fight and we managed to land a yellow fin! It was big too! 54kg on the scales, this is my first yft and something have been chasing for a long time. The fish fell victim to a X-Rap in blue pilchard.


Thanks for your kind words Elliot, and congratulations on that fantastic tuna. Bluefin still working their way north and Andrew Westlake got wide in perfect conditions on Saturday:



Hi Andrew, a great day with 8 SBT off Warrnambool today.



Magnificent fish aren’t they? Thanks Andy, glad to hear of your success. Regular readers know how obsessed I am with the trailerboat broadbill fishery Leo Miller and his mates have blown wide open off Tasmania, through autumn. This one, maybe the biggest yet, caught on Saturday. 238 kilos and thanks so much to Leo for the pic:



This follows on from Simon’s release of a beauty from Leo’s boat Chasin Choona only a week or so ago:



With perfect timing, Trent writes:


Hi Andrew, looking to buy an over head reel for the upcoming tuna season. Can you please send me a list of prices on your gear and maybe some advice as to what you would recommend for yellowfin/marlin.


And Matt inquires:


G'day Andy Just wondering if you planning on heading back to Heatons this winter?

If you are, keep me in mind, id be very keen to come for a run if you want another boat. Probably have another boat aswell that will be keen. might be able to get a few together for a trip out there.  Cheers Matt



Peter adds:


Hi Andrew, what gear would you recommend if I wanted to target Tuna this winter?


Here’s my plan for this season:


The primary mission for me when out on the water is to be hooked up. I leave the VHF running all day and recently heard a game fish skipper call his mate and say something like, ‘I’m in 500 fathoms, been trolling for eight hours, haven’t turned a reel, haven’t , marked any bait, haven’t seen a bird.’ Fishing like that gives me the shivers because I had so much endless trolling back in the old days on ‘Jay-ah.’ Putting it all together, here’s the rough plan:


1.         Browns Mountain is the kick off point, 22nm east of Sydney. We will be fishing there every week if weather permits, chasing our usual targets: gemfish, albacore, makos. The VHF will be on and we’ll be listening for any reports to the east;


2.         Aboard the boat will be two of our heavy Saltiga bent butts matched with two of the 2-speed lever drag game reels we sell, both spooled with 100-pound line:



Rod:   Daiwa Saltiga bent butt model SA-B 56HF-DD. Five feet six inches long with Pacific Bay bent butt at one end and AFTCO restricted arc swivel roller tip at the other end. This rod is rated to 150-pound line. It’s a weapon. Price $240 in any combo, we sell dozens of them for heavy deep dropping matched with the Tanacom Bull 1000 reel:



or our E80W electric reel. It’s a proven weapon:



Also used for big tiger sharks and broadbill swordfish.


This combo fits into the new vertical swivel rod holders we installed last weekend, Wicked Tuna style. Rod butt rests on a golf ball rather than locking into the cross pin. Here’s a ten second video:



 The idea is that, if you get a hook up, you let the fish run under 15 kilos of drag with the rod in the holder, so that it burns itself out twice as fast as it would on 24 kilo. I might even be spooling one with 130-pound braid so that 20 kilos of drag can be applied.


We want to avoid the experience I’m hearing from clients whereby you are way east of Browns, you hook up late in the afternoon, the fight is with a fresh fish as night time closes in and the tuna has to be busted off because one of the crew has to be at work the next morning or the skipper is worried about hitting a whale in the dark on the way back in. That last one is my concern, we have had a couple of close calls and there are more whales every season.


3.         So we are deep dropping or shark fishing on Browns and we hear some radio bluefin reports coming in from the east. If like last year, the lucky fishos share their way points, we will just pull all the gear in and power out further, then deploy two 80s. But I do not plan on going out to troll endlessly for no result. Actually it’s just a bigger version of what we are doing on the Facebook page, being that when conditions suit and the kingies are on as reported by readers, drop everything and go. And if the tuna don’t turn up we’ll still fish for gemfish and makos at Browns. Which is where Matt had a ball deep dropping this week:



Hey Andy, blue eye are on at Browns. No issue raising a few of these on Thursday. Current very manageable, and some medium size gemmies made an appearance on the deck too!


Great mate can’t wait to get into them! Heading north and can you *believe* SWR still swarming with tropical speedsters, in late June? Les reports from Thursday:



Hi Andrew, went for a fish off Grassy Head yesterday. Did well. I was the only boat up there and was only at 'my' spot for only a couple of hours to bag-out on Spotties/Spanish & Yellow Fin. Great day, great weather. The ocean was as flat as a board as was the bar crossing, and there was barely a breath of wind. I fished wide and deep with the water temperature around the 22 degrees. The fish were working deep. I was setting my baits (live slimies) about 10 mtrs under my floats.


Good one Les, what a great bag of rockets. Trevor Jane fished wide of Brisbane last week on his big Noble:



Hi Andy - took a couple of mates out for a fish - we did okay


Oh, yes. Yes, you did! Jack Lapsewicz battling FNQ weather unpredictability but still finding a few:



Went fishing yesterday.  After 1 hr run to the reef in 2.5 metre seas and driving rain we all looked like a bunch of cats after a tumultuous affair with the washing machine. Then it settled a bit and after a turn of the tide fish started to bite. Got 6 keepers and gave a big bream away to a fishless bloke as we had enough to eat.


To WA and here’s one big dhufish! Well done, Tim:



Hi Andrew, its Tim from the west. Here is a great example of winter fishing off my local port of Binningup (Close to Bunbury) last week with mates. Around 35 miles out in 44m of water.


Wayne in WA pleased with his first jigging trip. I always get such a buzz on reading this type of feedback:



Hi Andrew, A photo of my first real attempt at jigging with your equipment I purchased from you. It did it a lot easier than I thought it would. To refresh your memory it was a jig day rod and 4500 daiwa reel with 250 grm knife jig. At Coral Bay WA. Regards Wayne.


Wayne you are hooked now and there are many years of jigging addiction ahead. I KNOW. To downrigging, and fitting this el cheapo $40 Officeworks camera with a bit of aluminium strap to my downrigger weight has been the best move in a long time:



Not just because I’m recording strikes but the footage also shows whether the fish are around, on the bite, or whatever. Here’s a couple of short examples you might find interesting.


First one, 40 seconds. Kingfish hooks up on a whole Cali squid, goes nuts for a few seconds, then planes along with the rest of the school following. At the 30 second mark it freaks out and you can hear the rubber band break. Keeper king but not large, maybe 70cm.




Second one, 25 seconds.

Rig: spoon hook with Matzuo stinger hook, on 80-pound fluorocarbon

Bait: large California squid

Dropback: three metres


Chris Colvin reports a find. Amazing, how many rods go overboard:



G'day Andy. Fished Jerusalem Bay into the early hours of this morning. No hair tail but picked up this ensemble with 6 oysters attached. Reel is a Sienna not sure on rod!!'


Wayne from Warringah Anglers sends word of their annual tackle auction next month. I was at the one last year, it’s a great night to get rid of your old stuff and, buy new stuff. Remember the rule: always take home more than you brought J



Still on tackle, and we have a few rods needing repair but the guy we normally do this with is super busy, at the moment. Is there anyone around the Hornsby/Hills/North Shore area who is experienced with rod repairs? Nothing too challenging, some missing guides damaged in transport, ten broomsticks needing roller tips, and two rods requiring glue injected under the reel seat. Ongoing requirement considering the volume we’re supplying now. Can pay in cash or tackle:



After posting a pretty amazing video on Cranka Crab bream lures, Wayne Faulkner from EfishnSea Bait Supplies generously sent me a couple of samples:



Can’t wait to give these puppies a try, their action has to be seen to be believed:



Just about to put the weekly report to bed and Peter Cole-Clark sends a pic of his red taken off Sydney on Saturday. Magnificent fish, snapper:



What a beauty, Scrat! It’s all happening out there, I need to take a break from this computer and get into the action myself.




To politics, and as we’ve seen so many times the biggest threat to the sport we love so often comes from yuppies jumping on the green bandwagon for self advancement. John Vaughan from Castlecrag being a prime example:


Hi Andrew, not sure if you have seen this? It was in one of the local free rags. Another over opinionated do gooder with absolutely no idea. I don't know about your boat but mine throws out a wake 3 times bigger at 8knots than it does at 28knots. Also, what about king tides? Should we ban them too?



Our Facebook readers went ballistic:


Matty Skip Snelo, Brad Martin, Steve Larsson and 4 others like this.

Mark Dwyer Keep giving it to em Andy


Ben Foster I live almost directly behind where this photo is taken. It is not the fishos that are at fault as we create almost no wake above 15 knots. But it is the 4.8 million dollar yachts and cruisers that leave sugarloaf bay and bantry and head to the spit at 25 knots that create 3.5 mtr swells that absolutely obliterate the foreshore. Moored boats rock so violently you can see the keel almost surfacing!!!  I have

lost an I phone due to It sitting on the grass bank 2+ meters above sea level, countless tackle boxes and other things because of these monsters!! A speed limit should only be enforced on boats over a certain weight/ size.  I carry spare snapper leads with me now for target practice!!!


Igfa Fly Having had a boat in Powderhulk bay I have to agree with you on that one. Bigger boats like mine are the issue - they need to slow down. Stuff sub 7m has minuscule effect.

Jim Allen Have often wondered if, in the distant future, our present day rubbish tips will be historically significant too


Matty Skip Snelo Same as the fools that buy a house near an active mine then complain

People need to get better hobbies I swear  Keep fighting Andy If we give them an inch they take a mile


Laine Harris I love people who move into an area knowing there's industry or other noise there then complain about it. Like the idiots that move to a cane farming region then bitch about the


Daniel Xerri Regardless of what you do you can't stop erosion to an object that's 2 foot from the waters edge. And who is to say a king tide isn't what's causing it. The article suggests no scientific proof that it's being caused by boat wash. Tell you what the north shore is a nice place but such an abundance of wankers.


Ben Chadwick Ban everything. As long as we ban people that wear outfits like that first.


Roger Pricter His house is probably on original aboriginal land and during construction probably destroyed some aboriginal artifacts


Ben Foster Almost certainly mate. The 15 million dollar mansion at the end of the headland cut a tunnel through the rock to install a lift to his drive in boatshed!!! All heritage or aboriginal land. You can build on, but not modify or alter what exists......


Andrew Crosweller First class wanker.


Mario Agius Pompous, and self opinionated, knob


And plenty of similar comments not suitable for publication J . But Vaughan isn’t the only publicity seeker hoping to advance himself with a display of green political correctness. I grew up watching male movie actors doing manly things on the big screen. Charles Bronson in ‘Death Wish’, Paul Newman in ‘Hombre’, Gene Hackman in ‘The French Connection’, Clint Eastwood in ‘Dirty Harry’ and my all time favourite John Wayne in ‘True Grit.’ Which is why I’ve never understood the appeal of Leonardo DiCaprio, the boy man who has to grow a beard to look over 21. Glad to see the Daily Telegraph isn’t falling for his greenie BS either:



Have you ever heard such nonsense? DiCaprio:


there’s no proper law enforcement capacity and little accountability for violating the law. It’s the wild west on the high seas.


The truth:



It’s the same old story we’ve seen countless times. A mixture of selfishness and ignorance from people happy to take our money but intolerant of our sport. If that wasn’t the case, how could a farce like this happen?



Dangerous rocks below surface? CHECK

Submerged reef just offshore? CHECK

High surf? CHECK

Slippery surface? CHECK


And the toilets 250 metres thataway. Why? Because fishermen and boaties weren’t asked as to where the boat ramp should be placed. The John Vaughans and Leonardo DiCaprios of this world consider themselves better than us peasants and the only real protest we have is our vote. Which is why, here in NSW, we need to get organised for the March 2015 election. We were lied to in the 2011 election and, ever since, have endured an unbroken torrent of higher taxes and more restrictions on this sport we love. We need to send a message to the misery makers that we won’t be taken for granted again. The greenies are already campaigning hard, here’s a billboard they’ve installed in the heart of (new Premier) Mike Baird’s electorate:



They’ve got the (taxpayer supplied) dollars, and the organisation. But we’ve got the numbers, and that’s what counts at election time.


In closing, sincere thanks to all our readers and double special thanks to those who take the time to send in the pics and reports we all enjoy. If you haven’t sent anything in previously, please think about contributing? I get so many emails of thanks but without your contributions there’d be nothing to report. And it doesn’t have to be some giant tuna or swordfish, any aspect of fishing, boating or tackle is of endless interest. Until next week,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director