Wednesday 27 FEBRUARY 2013

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

G’day lads, fishing mate Darryl is back from central Queensland and shattered that his annual trip to Awoonga Dam was wrecked by heavy rain. He’d know countless thousands of barramundi went into the Boyne River, when the flood reached eight metres over the spillway. So I’d better not show him this report, from Pat L:


Andy, went for a look in the Boyne today for any escapees.

Recaptured one that went just over 110cm, jumped about 5 times and had a fair bit of go for what this fish has gone through on the last month or so, with its trip from Awoonga. Looks skinny in the photo but was a solid fish and the marks would be from its trip over the wall. A couple of smaller fish around as well. Caught on Killalure Krazy Deep on a Calcutta/Egrell Rod. Just doing my bit to keep the peace with all these escapees out on the loose!


Top job Pat you bounty hunter, you. Yep, put em away where they belong – on the barbecue! But mate is it the end of an era for the barra paradise, that was Awoonga? Appreciate your prediction if you’d care to share.

Simon Jackson fished further north:

last Thursday big barra went 102cm … caught in the creeks around Townsville in Cleveland Bay

Magnifique! Looks windy for January, Simon?

Coral jigging fanatic Dan Goodhew was even  further north, at Cairns:

The barra have been chewing their heads off in Cairns at the moment, so at least we have had something to chase down instead of reefies

Beautiful. Trust you to be out there whatever the weather, Dan.

 Bob from BK Charters announces the Return Of The Mack, to Gold Coast waters. Yes, Queensland fishing has been horribly affected by floods, wind and rain. But perhaps things are finally coming good.

don't know if ya know but its been the slowest start to our mackerel season for us in the 26 years I've been doing fishing charters on the Gold Coast – but theyre finally here – Ye Harr!!!


Ye harr yourself Bob, and thanks for letting us know the season’s underway.

Nathan sends a request for specialist mackerel tackle:

G'day Andrew - first of all, thanks for providing such a great fishing report, keeps me sane on these blown-out weekends we seem to be having down here (Bateman's bay) Quick question - will you ever be getting smaller knife jigs?  We have an annual houseboat trip to Weipa coming up, and jigs in the 80-120g size are the go-to for jigging Spaniards - its a hard size to come across in a proper knife jig without paying a fortune.


Nathan, what a fantastic pic! They really are one of my all time favourite fish and I have GOT to get back up to Nam(bucca) for a major sesh downrigging ‘barries’ with Mister Cobia, as soon as this ruddy rain stops. As to small jigs, the answer is yes. Malki asks the same question:


Just wanted to say thanks for the knife jigs I received last week. At $7 each rigged and shipped they are astounding value, and they Look Great! Haven't gotten a chance to use them yet but I'm sure they'll produce the goods. Do you have any coming in at a smaller size, 150, 180 gram?


If all goes well, I have 500 40-grammers and 500 100-grammers leaving the factory in early March. And you can bet your sweet bippy the price will be good. Here’s a 40 grammer after a kingie dragged it across Sydney’s artificial reef:

You know when they disguise new cars being tested on public roads, by adding fake wings and panels? Well now they’re doing the same thing on the water. Hard to believe that beneath this camouflaged exterior is a 700HP Bridge to Bridge race boat. Our Man in the Sand, Dave T from JB, writes:

This amazing “craft” is powered by a 4hp motor and has a kitchen, bedroom downstairs and a sun lounge complete with solar panels, on the top deck and of course a bbq area!!!!!. Hope they have some life jackets somewhere.


So do I Dave!

Walking past the chemist in Willoughby Road on Sunday arvo and spotted their front window display for Cardio cholesterol meds. Centre stage, Fisho Jim in his fishing vest, showing the barramundi he's just boated now his cholesterol levels are all good. Only downside, the barra's been scaled. And how’s that sunken eye? The barra, not Jim:

Epic fail, Cardio Guys.

Ever wondered what effect the pictures and reports our readers send in have, on lonely Aussies far from home? Michael G writes:


Thanks for your help and for providing me with appropriate fishing pawn during my stay in Europe.  Your frequent reports WITH PHOTOs have helped me through many dull winter evenings in the Czech Republic.


‘Fishing pawn.’ Here you go Gatesy, a pic so hot it should be in a plastic bag in the servo magazine rack. Nathan’s cobia, from his last Weipa trip:

Something our readers might find interesting, about these fish. This was told to me by Nambucca’s Man of Mystery, AKA Master Cobia. If you want to know about cobia, he is The Man. Why? Because he was lost at sea as a lad and raised in the wild by a school of cobia, that’s why. He taught me all I know:

Anyway, I asked why schools of cobia follow big stingrays, through Moreton Bay. I said, ‘Master Co, do they eat the prawns and little crabs, the rays dig up in the sand?’


He looked at me in his patient Nambucca way and said, ‘Grasshopper, look at the powerful body of a big cobe. Do you think a few squirt worms would keep that fuelled? Now look at the huge wide flat mouth of a cobia. And meditate on the fact that stingrays give multiple live births, while swimming.’  Master Co is so wise. One day I will snatch that knife jig from his hand, and it will be time to leave.

One of our suppliers – not clients – is selling a pretty amazing game reel. It’s an original Japanese made Daiwa SLT50W. It’s never been used or even spooled, accessories are still in a sealed bag:


This SLT50W was made around 1975-1980... I have kept this reel more than 20 years. It is the last model of Sealine tournament produced in Japan, they stop producing this model because they could not compete with US made reels like Penn.  Daiwa price was higher than Penn Internationals because the Japanese yen was high during that period.

If you have any interest, let me know?

Here’s another kind of reel, sent in by Greg S:


I thought you would like this one!!! A bit of toilet humour!!!


He he. Yeah, I spool that kind pretty fast.

 J Roving reporter Mick Tait was on the spot when tragedy happened, in Perth:

The old Freo Bridge just down from the Left Bank Friday Evening 22 Feb 2013. Ouch!!!  I could hear the crunch from inside the car!

Ron Camp went to the ANSA comp last week at Nowra and managed a new record flathead. Now this is impressive:

5.64kg caught on 1kg line won Estuary Division. Pending NSW 1kg line class record beating old record by about 0.6kg

Beautiful, Ron. She barely fits in the tank!

A pity they can’t enforce their mooring regulations, with the same obsessiveness they enforce their life jacket regulations. Here’s a party boat in Watson’s Bay photographed Tuesday 26th February, a current model Suzuki 140 rotting on the transom. Gee some people must be loaded:

Passing through the Heads last week was amazing. Despite little wind, the surge and chop was almost vertical. Matt L explains why:

Have you ever seen this!….the current is raging like a river offshore it was making rapids at entrance to Harbour and Botany on Tuesday like a Bar with the tide pushing out against it. Once I crossed the rapids the temp jumped to 25-26!...looking at this no wonder with the peak heat water pushed hard against coast now..but still dirty green


Signing up for Fishtrack myself soon, Matt.

Rocky surprised the hell out of me two weeks ago, by catching three squid in succession on his tiny Ecogear blade in North Harbour. He’s made some modifications and now it’s catching nice fish too. This whiting went 45cm:

Matt Reid from Raptor is back on the tools onsite which is probably a good call, considering the forecast. But he’s having a great season and sent a few pics to show how it’s progressed:

By crikey, your clients give those Exceler combos a workout:


But they keep delivering, and that’s what counts:

Dave Clarke does an annual bassing canoe trip with his mates. This years’ one was a corker:

a few of us try and do an annual Bass/Kayak trip down one of our great water ways on the south east coast of OZ each summer. This year only a Melbourne friend and I could make it, with us having the best trip to date. Total tally landed was: 79 Bass in three days with the biggest four fish measuring 47 to 50cm (fork length)

Myles had a good result last week:

we fished the first hour of the run out tide, hoping to pick up a king moving through middle harbour and BAM, a good 70+Kingie in amongst the moorings which is always entertaining!

That is just what it’s all about, Myles! Hard fighting, not difficult to catch, and you can get them in your own backyard with the right techniques. And of course, hella tasty, I packed away half a good size fillet tonight. Cooked in panko and duck fat, of course. Ian Treseder is a mad keen fisho, an excellent videographer, but most of all a top bloke who I’m so glad to be friends with. I’m helping him with dietary advice, you gotta start the day right:

He posted this link on Sydney Angler, yours truly demonstrating bait catching and rigging  live squid – plus the results, when a solid kingie finds it. Great vid, not long, and with lots of positive feedback online:


Hey everyone, here is my latest episode, it features Andy from Downriggershop extending his knowledge to us on how to catch live bait and where to look. I hope you enjoy, please feel free to post feedback. Regards, Ian Treseder


Mate that is a work of art, thanks so much.

Across our wide land there is one state that consistently produces big game fish, and has way better weather than NSW or Queensland. I speak of course of Tasmania:

I have attached a picture of a southern Bluefin I caught off SE Tasmania last weekend approx 50kg so you get an idea of what I'm up against down here. Cheers, Richard Thomas


My heart goes out to you, Richard! Check out what we’re up against here. Chris Wallis writes from Kempsey:

I know many people are suffering but when the floods come, some of us can think of nothing else to do but take photos of water. This was going to be  a fun weekend to discover what the new bypass would mean to Kempsey and celebrate the longest bridge  in the southern hemisphere.

The irony of all this is that a sign advertising the benefits of the bypass lies in the middle of a flooded paddock.


Sheesh. What a shocker we’re having weather wise in 2013. STOP PRESS just as I was about to send out this week’s report, emails and calls started coming in about a big bite on small pelagics, in Sydney’s Middle Harbour. I passed through a fleet of flyfishing craft yesterday there but didn’t realise the fishing was white hot. Rod Baker:

Gday Andy, good to see you at The Spit yesterday. Been getting into few kings and other pelagics inside the Harbour this week. There are a few good fish in amongst them as my clients got smoked twice today on heavy set drags. Back out there again tomorrow for another shot. Hope all is well Look forward to the news letter each week keep up the good work. Regards, Dan Selby.

To politics, and as expected lots of feedback confirming the mismanagement of Lake Conjola, by the local council. Brinos L:


Hi Andrew, it has been some time since our last call. Hope you and the family are well. Interested on your news about Conjola. I spent the last week in January at Conjola with my wife and daughter.  Saddened to see the channel blocked with still water. Most of the locals were not happy. I have been visiting Conjola since the late 70's and seen the benefits of tidal water into the Lake. Whiting up to 480mm back in  2003.  Hope to catch up soon.


Greg Stevenson:


Check out Lake Wollumboola at Culburra, it also becomes putrid, and I think the authorities take a dim view when the locals try to help nature. They have even made a bird habitat and sanctuary near where it opens to the sea. I haven’t been down since the 90’s, and last time I was there, in 4 hours I didn’t see a prawn, let alone catch one.


Just depressing, that you have to fight for a commonsense result so often. I was cheered by a report from boatowner rights fighter Dave Anderson, in Brisbane:

Hi Andrew, yesterday saw Ramp It Ups first action.  4 of our local councillors and 60 - 70 Ramp It Up members for breakfast which was pretty good considering weather was less than 5 knots.  Numbers changed as people left and arrived but all in all a good turn out.  We had the trailer bays at the point 100% full by 8.30am.  pics attached.  We think that we have made our position clear to our Council and hope for some positive outcome. Regards Dave

Well that is fantastic and thanks so much for this update. Mate, can I just say how much I admire you? There are so many of these events happening around the place. Arrogant bureaucrats, councillors or MPs, making commitments  and then breaking that agreement or worse, running their own agenda. But what they don’t like is to have a light shone on their hijinks and for the public to learn of their dishonesty. It just takes one person, like you, who has had enough and is sick of being pushed around, to take charge and the fightback is underway. Good on you champ and please keep us updated, on progress? Until next week, my friends. Thanks not only for your great pics and stories but for your support and kind words too. Don’t stop sending them in! tight lines,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director