Friday 24 AUGUST 2012

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

G’day lads,


Ballina, what a great place.


Johnny V fished it Monday:


Just beautiful, cobber.

Marc fished wide of Ballina too. Looks like you North Coast blokes have had all the good weather, this week:

We headed out yesterday on another picture perfect day off Ballina. The whales were jumping with joy and the fish were on the chew in the afternoon. We fished the 42 fathom line late in the afternoon. Bob was using a octo jig and Sean was using live bait. We were all catching fish but the jig - Downrigger shop, was out fishing everyone else 2 to 1. My jig has a few battle scars on it now.

We also fished out wide and caught some nice bar cod.


Bob had his grandson on board but unfortunately the little bugger was sick again. That’s 4 trips in a row. He is in year 4 at school. Do any of your readers have a good sea sickness remedy?

You are so consistent, mate! Thanks so much for sharing your pics and I’m sure someone will have a good suggestion or two, for dealing with a seasick child.

Craig Booth went jigging too, looks like the spring season is starting to heat up:

Hi Andy, had another good day out off North Texas. Had a collection of Jigs used and I noticed that your jigs were quicker getting down and seemed to get more hits, no real standout in colour though this time. Lost a few to the jackets so I will probably need to order another lot soon.  Links to forum posts & pics.




Andy, bang for buck I can't fault your jigs. Had some cheap & expensive ones to compare them to and they hold their own and then some.



Jig colour was not as important this time as getting on the fish. Very small patch of kings then the jackets took over. The only colour that didn't work well was orange/silver.


That’s very kind of you Craig, glad the jigs work so well for you.

Dave Clarke jigged Jervis Bay. Things generally quiet, but some excitement on the way back in:

Hi Andrew, thanks for the downrigger and gear I bought a few months back (you dropped me off at the train station). As you know the weather has kept the fishing days to a minimum, but Dad and I did managed to get out off Greenwell Point for a jigging session yesterday. We worked hard all day, at different spots but it was very quiet! With only one legal king in the boat we thought we’d stop at our flatty spot on the way home to get a feed and dad landed this ripper sand flathead (62cm) his best to date…


We also came across a feeding frenzy, seals and dolphins, couldn’t see any tuna etc, the slimies didn’t stand a chance!




Alex – who I fished with last week – has an update on his colander hull issue:


After further investigating the holes on the underside of the boat there were a total of 8 drill holes. 3 on the port side and 5 on the starboard side. Not only did they drill through the floor when screwing in the seats, but they also missed twice beforehand. I have fixed the holes and on a fishing trip yesterday, seems there are no leaks.

I went to Texas reef, at least I think it’s called Texas reef to try jig for kingfish.  There was no current and not many fish. On fishing the bottom we got 5 Snapper to 50cm and an 80cm kingfish that took a large dead yellowtail. However the highlight of the day was a free jumping marlin about 2.5 meters long, going nuts.!!! Just jumping around as if it was hooked, however it definitely wasn’t hooked. Is that normal for this time of the year? water was 100 meters deep and 18 degrees. I should have my sticker kit tomorrow hopefully too......should make the boat look that bit better. How’s your motor coming along? On the boat yet?


Sheesh. Glad to hear you’re back on the water amigo. It’s a bit early but seeing a striped marlin offshore in spring not unusual, Alex. The new motor went on the boat on Wednesday and we had the first water test, late that afternoon:

40 knots. That's ten knots faster than the boat's ever travelled before. We'll lose a lot of fishing caps over the side, this summer:

The lads at Shannon Outboards put our name on the gauges at startup, which is a nice touch:

Me? Nothing exciting, this week.

Fishing at The Spit in Sydney, for blackfish:



And fiddling around with some float and rigging options, for our light spin combo. It’s working but I haven’t caught a big one yet, which is needed to test the setup.

Meantime hardcore clients and friends are out there, getting stuck in. Paul caught this beauty:



G’Day Andy, I had a chance to fish Monday this week here off Old Bar and landed this great snapper on a floating ganged Pillie. The snapper went 900mm long and weighed 7.32kg.


Sheesh, what a beast. These pics are getting me SO FIRED UP. Good on you, Paul!

Dave T says there’s the odd snapper around JB:



Hi Andrew, fishing has been a bit hard to manage here at the Bay. lf the swell does not interfere then the wind does and the water temp is low ...low.. and lower still.  However those who can pick a window, anchor up and burley the results are there. Fletcher and the boys did well up the coast, 10 snapper and a few squid. Simmo and his crew did well also with snapper, morwong , latchet and a few flatties. Bit short on news.. bit short on fish..bit short on good fishing days.. but all happy at the Bay. Regards Dave and Kate


Glad to hear it David.

Dean is justifiably proud of his new rig:



Thanks for your reply Andrew looking forward to your newsletters & looking forward to ordering lots of gear off you I have attached some photos of the new boat with the kids in front of it after we picked it up if they are not good enough let me know as I am hopefully putting it in the water this weekend for the 1st time and no doubt there will be more photos I would like to order the Zuker clone lures by credit card if possible  Regards Dean

Very nice! I hadn’t realised how much like the Jopalos they are, Dean. If you’re running in the motor on the Harbour this weekend, give me a buzz? Because I’m doing the same thing!

Trent stopped by for a downrigger. He’s a keen fisho, but the family are mad keen wakeboarders, which made for an unusual install:



G'day Andy. Had to have a look this afternoon. I think this should be fine with enough clearance from the side and the prop.  What do you think? I'll hopefully test it next Wednesday.


That’ll work fine, Trent.

Dave B has a wacky update, not surprisingly from NZ:



Sweetmans Reel Fishin' in Huntly has made an epic Shimano couch - the drawers are "ice boxes" to keep the essential refreshment cold and on hand, knobs are reel spools, bottle openers on each arm, rod holders included and the rest is simply mint. Heaps of awesome!!


LOL. You could probably sell those on eBay for a thousand bucks each- until Shimano came down on you like the Hammer of Thor, Dave.

With the gemfish run peaking at Browns, we’ve been getting some nice feedback from clients, on our deepwater reels. Chris fished the Mountain on Tuesday, and reports:

Hi Andrew, hit Browns again on Tuesday with great success. The gem fish were everywhere and we had no trouble bagging out within a few drops with 3 people on board. Only got sharked once on the way up, which after reading other reports, seems we got off lightly.

Experimented a bit too, different rigs and different reels. I invested in a Tanacom Bull 1000, have it on the same bent butt rod as your reel. Both had a few pros and cons but on the whole both worked really well. The power and the heavier braid on the 80W was a definite advantage when bringing up 2 fish. I also used a larger, size 13/0 circle hook(vs a size 8 or 9 on the Tanacom), both with 80lb multi strand wire on the rigs on the 80W and found them to be the best hook and rig (can see them in the pics and how good the hook ups were).


Also did some research on the most economical sinkers, can pay up to $3 per pound for sash weights ($15 for a 5lb weight). After seeing one of your reports using deformed reo bar as sinkers I looked into it, a 6m length of N32(6.3 kg/m) bar works out around $70 to buy, and cut into 400mm lengths works out at just under $5 for a 5.5lb sinker, just need to drill a hole to attach it. PS any idea what the go is with half fish counting towards your bag limit? Cheers mate, Chris Wienholt

Wooo. Some beautiful dinners there, Dave. I know it’s all a part of the great tapestry of Nature, but it’s a wrench when the bronzies and makos hit your prize gemmies, on the way up.  I do reckon our big reel is the way to go when that’s happening, because the less time spent retrieving your fish the less time the sharks have, to attack:

Jason has a question:


I enjoy your updates so thanks for those. Mate I want to take my son to Browns on Tuesday to get a shark for him which would be his first.


Do you have any suggestions on where I can get some burley on Monday. I'm not normally a shark fisherman but I know I need a lot. Any contacts or suggestions would be much appreciated. I don't have a pot to mash through so I was hoping to find some frozen blocks of mince or something suitable.

Hi Jason, if you don't have a berley pot, put the chopped up fish in two keeper nets. Or, in one of those old style plastic laundry baskets. But keep an eye on them because they could easily get bitten off by a mako. That's why you need two.


For the berley itself, four options. 1. Grab an esky and go trolling the boat ramp cleaning tables/rubbish bins, the previous afternoon. 2. Pop down to Sydney Fish Markets and ask if they can give you/sell you some fish frames. 3. Buy a carton of trap bait pilchards. 4. Fish around the Heads on the way out for bonito and salmon, they're in plague proportions at the moment.


Good luck on Tuesday, please use CIRCLE hooks only, no J hooks? And, get a pic or two for me, if that's not too much to ask!


Thanks Andrew. I got some heavy duty onion bags today which i will use use. Wasn't sure if you needed the fish to be minced but from what you are suggesting it sounds like I can just put frames and off cuts into the bags and maybe give them the occasional shake. Maybe I'll chop it up a bit and add some tuna oil and then freeze overnight before use. I hear there is no shortage of makos at Browns. If I get any I will definitely get some photos and give you a report.


Please do! Rob headed wide of Sydney earlier this week:


Hi Andrew, ventured out to 12 Mile yesterday.  Only managed to get 3 yakkas at North Head, they were there but not interested.  Rough run out with the westerly persisting and running into  sth swell.  First few drops out our precious yakkas got destroyed by LJ's.  Decided to target them and got a feed in the esky.


The wind dropped and sensational sea conditions. My mate Rich landed a nice size barracouta on a fairly light and somewhat chewed trace. I dropped one earlier.  The fish was totally loaded with worms which was a shame.  Gave the 4500 combo a go for jigging and it felt great. I felt like I was semi coordinated doing the jigging as about my second time at doing it. Unfortunately LJ's claimed 2 of your jigs and loading of hooks and sinkers.  Also got a few morwongs out there. Got a great run back doing about 25 kts.



Got a bonito trawling South Head and a few good size squid in the hbr so good day out.  Could not see anything at wreck you mentioned? Do you sell spare spools for the 4500? Was cleaning it and spool rolled of table onto cement and damaged the side of the spool where the line comes off. I cleaned it up with wet and dry but will have to see whether the line catches on it.  Also would like a blue handle knob for my Saltist 6500 too. Thanks Rob


Wow, the squid is massive! Good mixed bag Rob but keep your eye on Mr. Percival, in the background. Those pelicans can pinch a fish off the cleaning table in a heartbeat, when they’re really hungry.


To politics, and when we were kids my sisters and I used to love watching the TV show Happy Days.


Set in early 1960s Wisconsin, the show was about the Cunningham family, especially son (right foreground) Richie. The show was a huge hit and ran for several seasons but when the ratings started to taper off, the writers cooked up some pretty crazy plotlines to keep viewers interested. In one completely ridiculous episode the family went to Hawaii, where leather jacket wearing Arthur Fonzarelli jumped a shark pen, on water skis:

According to Wikipedia:


The greenies jumped the shark this week:



Andrew Bolt’s been checking Hoegh-Guldberg’s previous predictions:



This stuff’s important, because the agenda-driven scientists who provide ‘proof’ for Green programs are often professional alarmists – or proven liars.  Hoegh-Guldberg has form, in terms of his coral bleaching BS. Every few years he gets a few easy headlines, claiming the reefs are dying due to global warming. When I was a kid, the reef was supposed to be dying due to the crown of thorns starfish. When I was a teenager, it was supposedly at risk from oil drilling. Now it’s in danger from ‘overfishing’, so Tony Burke has declared the world’s largest marine park, to ‘save’ it.



From the link above, here’s some more Greenie ‘science’ proving the lockups actually benefit us:


Australian Marine Conservation Society Coral Sea campaigner Fiona Maxwell said recently released research from the Keppel Island group had shown the emergency of major potential benefits to amateur and commercial fishers.


Right. Banning fishing benefits fishermen. Nice try Fiona, you win this week’s Hoegh-Guldberg Bodgie Science Medal.  Keep jumping that shark. Martin Issa writes on FB:


They should bypass that idea and go straight for underwater air conditioning!! Or better yet, get the Labor gov to bring back their B.E.R. scheme and build a massive COLA over the Great Barrier Reef!


Good one, Mart. But don’t give them any ideas! J Matt C:


That sounds good until the first storm hits and its blown down and kills thousands of fish and turtles and anything that swims into it


Exactly, Matt. Michael D forwarded a letter from his local MP about the Prospect Reservoir fishing access issue:

Good on you Mike. The story with this one is that no local fisho (to the best of my knowledge, apologies if I’ve got that wrong) will step up to the plate and drive the campaign, to open Prospect Reservoir to fishing. We need people like the CAFR crew from South West Rocks or Greg Barea with the mako issue, to fight this battle. A local bloke who’s sick and tired of being pushed around by the Hoegh-Guldbergs and Tony Burkes, of this world. Hopefully we’ll know more after discussing with Western Sydney fishos at the 4x4 and Fishing Show, at Eastern Creek in October. Craig from Fishabout Tours in Sydney Harbour writes in, about the Roseville boat ramp fiasco:


Hope all is well. I read the bit in your newsletter about the ramp. I’ve had a whinge to Parks and  Maritime  (it was a collaboration) as I also think it is a disgrace. Let me know if I can offer you any support if you decide to take it further.

It is a disgrace Craig, and it needs to be fixed. NSW Ports Minister Duncan Gay is a pretty good bloke but with a massive workload, since he’s the Minister for Roads too. He’s probably unaware of his department’s mismanagement so between the Roseville ramp farce and the mooring minder issue, I’m writing to request an appointment. Will keep you posted and if you want to come along, please do.


In closing, as I always say (and I mean it sincerely) thanks to all our readers and especially, our contributors. I get some amazing feedback on the weekly report but all I do is, assemble the pics and reports our readers send in.


And for those I’m very grateful indeed! Please keep them coming, until next week,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director