Saturday 26th April 2014

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

Daytime trailerboat broadbill! The ultimate sportfishing challenge. Leo Miller’s up for it:



1205 we start retrieving the electric; it's loaded and struggling. I start winding the other sword rod in....


1207 As I wind the sword rod I feel some pressure and weight build and then the 80lb braid tightens and the drag slips "Hey boys, there's something on this"


1210 My line is fairly limp but I still have some weight, the unknown inhabitant on my hook is rising to the surface.... Just like swords normally do (but also as Makos can as I discovered the previous week).



1310 The fish "Wakes up" (swords apparently start getting a lot more active after a while in the warmer surface temps compared with the cold deep ocean temps) and starts pulling really hard, big tail beats and it starts stripping line with ease and it runs, and runs and runs... straight down


1315 It stops it's run and I've lost 400m of line and the wind is up, it's getting choppy, my back is aching, I'm dry and hungry, my legs are wobbly and I'm struggling to stand with the boat rocking and rolling....


1415 I haven't budged the fish for an hour now, I'm exhausted, dejected, it's rough.....


1416 One of the crew asks "Are you going to beat it or is it going to beat you". I recall in my mind all the effort and planning I've put in (not to mention the $$$), all the dreams of landing a sword... "I'm gonna win, I'm gonna kill it"


1420 we're slowly gaining line, meter by meter, pump by pump, circle by circle.... This thing is pulling like all hell!


1500 we've got about 200m out and I'm thumbing the spool hard now, we need to get this thing and soon; it's getting really rough to the point of dangerous, these things (if it's a sword) have soft mouths and the hook might pull, I'm stuffed and the line could be getting stuffed too.... So I thumb harder and really apply pressure... and start to gain


1515 I've got the mono back and my mojo with it! "Whatever you are I'm going to get you!"

1520 We finally see a huge shape arise under the ChoonaChasa and Kyle leaders the beast and then... "YES, It's a broadbill" and in goes the gaff and then another and a tail rope...





I'd like to add a massive thanks to Team Ica Age who stayed out near us for support and safety; you helped us feel confident enough to keep going when the seas were up. Also a massive thanks to my Crew; Game fishing is a team sport.


Just incredible, mate. 142 kilograms, I take my hat off to you, I really do. An accomplishment like that doesn’t fall in your lap. I reckon you’ll inspire many others, Leo. Australia swarms with broadbill, I remember seeing 11 unloaded by a longliner at Nelson’s Bay, and being told they were all taken in one shot. But it’s not just swordfish setting Tasmania alight. Leo sent a further report:



On top of my effort there have been a heap of jumbo SBT hooked and mostly lost in the last few days. If you hadn’t heard the best effort was the boys from “Mad About Fishing”. They went out in their 4m Polycraft and the younger brother, a junior hooked and landed in 30 mins a 105.15kg SBT on 15kg line; pending 15kg and all tackle junior WR



Right. 105 kilo SBT, in a four metre plastic boat. You Taswegians really know how to rub it in, don’t you? J What a place. Thanks so much for these killer reports Leo, don’t stop sending them.  A little north west, and Andrew Westlake ran wide on Anzac Day:



Hi Andrew, we got out for our first Tuna trip off Warrnambool today.

Managed two from four in fairly ordinary conditions. First tuna for these two blokes.


Excellent Westy, hopefully the first of many more. A bit unnerving, the way your crew member’s rugged up! Winter’s coming, but off Sydney you’d never know it. Our huge run of mahi continues. Leo Yu reports (from Tuesday, when we were out there too):



Hi Andy, after seeing you on the Peak, we decided to head toward the 12 Mile. We got a bit distracted along the way by fish traps, and happened across one that was in a current line, and surrounded by seaweed. We decided that this MUST be the one holding the fish, so we got stuck in. Found a 107cm, 95cm and 94cm dollie amongst the many 70 - 80cm models. Tried calling you on the radio, but someone said you'd left already.  Cheers,  Leo Yu


Typically thoughtful of you, cobber. The external speaker (at ear height) on the VHF broke off its bracket and I can’t hear the radio, when on the plane. Better get that replaced, it just cost me some good fishing. Paul O’Brien out there too:



Hey Andrew wasn't sure if they were still around but the dollies are thicker than ever and getting even bigger off Sydney. Keen to see how long they stick around for, till end of May would be a treat.


For anyone hunting them out of Sydney, here’s the good oil from Greg Radford. What a top bloke you are Greg, to share these marks:


E 33 52 632

S 151 33 643


There are now around 12 traps in this area and one fad spaced roughly 200 meters apart. All holding around 30 dollies each. On the first approach to each the fish swarmed when burleyed but went shy after members of there school mysteriously disapperared into the heavens above. So the approach was hit them once and move on doing circuits then come back hours later and start again. The biggest we landed was 89 but I was on top of the boat and could see bigger. There were also  more smaller dollies than I had seen in recent trips, so slabbed yakkas or whole pillies engaged them, but sticking with big yakkas eliminated this bycatch.


That’s gold. We tested our new 7-foot 2-piece (for mailing) 8-12 kilo rods chasing dollies on Tuesday. They will cast an SP out of sight:




Chris Whipp Yep keen for a price Andy

Scott Halliday Hey Andy, I will buy one, let me know when there in. Thanks

Stephen Cremerius Let us know when you've got them in.

Phil Skeoch Looks good $$??

Adam Young Josh Fidden

Daniel Abadir I'll have one pls. Order one please.

Adam Little Price?

Martyn Gal Shane Mchugh

Jarrad Cronin Looks good. Price?

Beecroft Hassarati How much are they

Grant Slender yeah wat will price be andy as I'm looking for a new combo

Paul O'Brien Tell us the price son!  BTW are the dollies still about? Need a good Friday feed....

Ricky Clarke That a saltiga ?

Luke Hosking Me also, combo with braid fitted

Mark Whittle keen to know a price on these andy

Raymond Jean Belle canne ! Bonne pêche!

Hey mate my names Anthony I live in thornleigh I'm interested in one of those snapper combos if you could let me no when they come in that would be great


Rods arrive first week May. Send me an email, if you want to know more? I’ll forward specs and pics. The other good news is that kingfish are moving out to the inshore reefs – and hungry for jigs. Dave Vassallo:



Gave your 100g jigs a work out today Andy!!!


Very good my friend, glad to see they’re delivering results. As they are for Brett Le Piastre:



Your 100g jigs nailed this kingy at the Artificial this morning. Kingies were in vertical groups on the sounder.


Isn’t that great? Straight out the front of the Big Smoke, kings on tap. George went a little wider:



Andy as discussed we jigged the 12 Mile today kings fired for 1.5 hours after 11am. Used your 300gram jigs pilchard colour. They were not touching any other colour. After 12.30 the bite went cold. Took 8 fish home between the 3 of us. Biggest went 93cm. Just sent the wife to the shops to grab the wasabi. Chop chop!


Mate that is great news because the LJs gave us a nasty doing over at that spot, on Tuesday:



Heading north of Sydney, and Jim Fleming sends word of a horrid accident at Camden Haven last Saturday:





This one sad too, although thankfully only egos were injured. Emma Thomasson:


Hey Andrew, bringing our boat in at Apple Tree Bay and this happened next to us...


Dear oh dear. Crikey some blokes get themselves into a muddle. Others are more organised. Jan sends a pic of his ultimate weapons rack. Note the FOUR large Planos:



Hi Andrew, I put new racks up in the garage so now all the rods are on the wall and easy to see and grab when we go fishing.


Yes, I can see how that works. Thanks Jan, I now see my tackle collection’s actually pretty small. Better make up for that! Still heading north, and Team Rayment yet again at sportfishing’s cutting edge:



We have just returned from 2 weeks family fishing holiday at South West Rocks. We managed 4 Spotted Mackerel on light gear including a 6.45kg fish and IGFA World Record Claim for eldest son James. The Spotted Mackerel were plentiful and the FAD up there still covered in good sized Dollies. The weather was great and fishable every day. We always leave there feeling like there is so much fishing left to do.


Two weeks at SWR! I’d give my right arm, for that. Congratulations to James too Bruce, I know how hard the family fishes to attain these memorable achievements. Peter Garrett there too:


Off South West Rocks.  Long tail (Northern Bluefin) 8.5kg on the lie detector cleaned.


Look at that. All muscle and attitude. The tuna, I mean. Thanks, Pete! A bit further north and no tackle needed. Johnny Verano reports some surfers dragged a sick one ashore near Byron Bay:



Found in the shallows at Broken Head beach this morning, swimming around boys grab it and kept it


Brisbane, and Trevor Jane’s back on the water:



Hi Andrew, I went for a fish off Moreton yesterday - just the one - heres a pic you might like.


Hoo yeah, I do like. Thanks, Trevor. More deep dropping, and in WA Steve Sims and his mates bought a couple of our big E80W combos last month and have been working them hard ever since. Last weekend saw another big session:



Andrew some pics of the fish caught yesterday. 1 pic of Dave Hart with a bass groper 60kg. This was the catch of the day, very fat fish. Electric 80s getting a good work out


Nice blue! Work em hard Steve and please – keep sending updates. The lads are certainly fishing a beaut aggregation:



Bruce from Port Hacking GFC has a request, glad to help:


Can you run this in your next newsletter for us. The tournament is a week away.


The least I can do! Way way east and Jamaal still on a high after boating some submarines across the Tasman. Dunno what I’m more jealous of, the kingie or his hair. Well done, bloke:



Hi Andy! New Zealand was a blast! I landed this solid 20kg Kingfish aboard Epic off Whitianga along with many other solid fish! I can't wait to get back over there cheers.








Hey, Flook – how about cleaning up your previous failures, before campaigning for new ones? Forget sucking in your gut and sticking out your chest for the Manly Daily photographer, it’s called priorities:



Our Facebook readers were furious. Carl Fyson:


   Mr Flook, having seen the article in the Manly Daily regarding your push for a no-take restriction at Long Reef, I have a few questions.

1. On what evidence are the claims that the area is "...totally depleted", "...totally ravaged" and "decimated", based on?

2. How far would your proposed no-take area extend?

3. Is what you are proposing a blanket ban on fishing inside the designated area or a catch and release only rule?

4. Could you outline a detailed plan for your proposal including how it would be enforced?


Carl Fyson, Local resident


Good email, Carl. Les wrote to Flook too:


Does history repeat itself Mr Flook...or is it just a Fluke...Mr Flook?.


Case File;

Linda Lovelace.

Past life; Pornography Star.

Current life; Advocate against Pornography.


Valerie Taylor;

Past life; Mass slaughterer of Grey Nurse Sharks.

Current life; Advocate against the slaughter of Grey Nurse Sharks.


Tony Flook;

Past life; Fisherman & Abalone Harvester.

Current life; Advocate against Fishermen and Abalone Harvesting.


I love the words in Eric Clapton's 'Un-Plugged' album;

"Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself".


We then found that Tony Flook, the bloke behind the campaign:



Had been a fisho himself:



So I sent him an email:


Hello Mr Flook, on hearing yesterday of your campaign to ban fishing at Long Reef I Googled your name – simply out of interest, to see what someone that selfish looked like. I immediately found the photo of you above from back in the day titled:  ABALONE: BALMORAL DIVER, TONY FLOOK   Could you let me know why it was okay for you to harvest the sea then, but you want others banned from doing the same now?  Thanks in advance, Andrew Hestelow


Here’s the real motivation behind the Flooks of this world – elitist intolerance:



I know a lot of readers’ eyes glaze over, when I talk about politics. But having fished for nearly fifty years I can see the storm coming. Selfish urban types of little or no accomplishment and even less tolerance, who want to impose their views on the unenlightened. To maintain our right to fish, Aussie anglers must present a united front against attacks on our sport or, dare I say it, our way of life. Because for many of us, fishing is a way of life. It certainly is for me. Until next week,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director