Thursday 27th June 2013

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

The weather has been nothing short of horrible for two successive weekends here in Sydney, and that’s kept a lot of boats on trailers. Thankfully our interstate readers have sent in some top reports.

Adventure machine Phil Gruhl went wide – and I do mean, wide – of Brisbane, and reaped a reward using our big electric reel:


Hi Andrew, I put in the hard yards pushing out 115 km from Brisbane departing midnight on the new moon with 25knots of following sea, on the promise of it dropping at first light. The wind did drop but the first bite never occurred until 9:00AM.

It was worth the wait with a nice 35kg PB Hapuka coming up.



Another drift and the 28kg blue eye was on the deck.



The fish were on the chew and it looks like we may be in for a good season if only the wind would drop.



Wow, that’s a nice bass groper too. Well done Phil and thanks heaps for sending.


 As you said, so many clients champing at the bit for the wind to drop, so they can get wide. Bob Greenhill writes:


Hi Andrew, some time ago you included in your newsletter circular a photo of your deep water rig for Browns Mountain, etc. If it is not too much trouble, could you send me a copy of the photo please. I am trying to get out there but the weather is crook. Regards Bob.


Two in the mail with my compliments, Bob. Three things to mention about the rig:


1. 13/0 circle hook. Gotta be a circle when the ride to the surface takes six minutes;


2. Small lumo bead. Chemical and battery lights not needed in the inky blackness at 400 metres;


3. Easy to store and deploy. Cut one metre of braid off your reel. Tie one end to the bottom ring of your 3-way swivel, the other end to your sinker. Cut one more metre off your spool. Tie one end to top ring of the three way swivel you’ve already part rigged, and the other end to the bottom ring of your second 3-way swivel. The line from your reel attaches to the top ring of that swivel, then you’re ready to bait and drop. Don’t thank me, just send 5 kilos of frozen blue eye cutlets. J Chris Wienholt’s ready for some serious winter deep dropping:


Pays to keep in good with my local steel merchant. These are off cuts of 32mm reo bar, 300mm long with a 1/2 inch washer welded to the top. Each weighs about 2.5kg, perfect for dropping at Browns (when this bloody weather improves). A carton of beer got me 24 sinkers, happy days!!


Good O, Chris. Reel, rig, sinkers all sorted. And guess what arrived at Downrigger HQ today? A shipment of Daiwa Saltiga Dendoh SA-B56HF-DD. That’s the one shown bent like a banana, above. Here’s a better look at this brute of a rod:



Price $280 and it can be easily mailed around the country.

This one’s ideal for deep dropping, swordfishing, mako or tiger sharks on 37 or 60 kilo gear.


When it comes to boats for Brown’s, it would be hard to better the 240 Outrage CC. Here’s one I drooled over at Avalon on Friday:





That is one sweet looking weapon. I’ve been counting down the days until Nathan Love got back from his big Weipa trip. It was worth the wait:



G'day Andrew - got back recently from our annual Weipa houseboat adventure and thought I'd share a few photos (just for the sake of variety - don't want it to become a kingfish-only newsletter):



Dagnab it Nathe what’s so wrong if it does become a kingfish – only newsletter?



Would that be so b-


Ummmm, okay I see what you mean



Strewth! Some blokes will do anything to get their hook back:




‘Quick video’? Nathan, I’ve watched thousands of fishing videos, and yours would be in the best five ever.

Do yourself a favour and click the link above, our Facebook readers thought it sensational:



Matt Eggleden sent in a report on a place that fascinates me, the fishing park in Bangkok:



Stopped off for a few nights on the way home from the UK and fished Bungsamran lake about 45 mins outside the city centre. It's a bit like shooting ducks in a barrel but I can't complain as I caught about 15 fish in around 6 hours varying in size from around 10kg up to 30kg.  I thought you'd like to pass on the tip to all the fishos out there to give it a try if they are ever in Bangkok.


Great fishing report, always a good read.


Too right I will Matt and thanks, for your kind words. Too see how amazing Bungsamaran is, check this short video:



Still overseas and Steve L sends in something a bit wacky – in a good way:



‘In Japan, learning how to cut sushi starts in preschool and toys make the learning process so much easier.’


LOL. Dean Paton sent in this half fascinating, half horrifying pic of trouble on a bar:


Crikey. Something similar (but not so big a wave) happened to me coming out of Crescent Head creek with Ken M in a Quintrex CC, a big greeny breaking on the bow. That was thirty years ago but I’ve never forgotten the feeling of knee deep water, inside the boat. J  Closer to home, and a combination of weather and following up matters from last week’s Melbourne Show kept me off the water:



But I’m heading out tomorrow (Friday) and packing the gear this afternoon:



From top to bottom:


Daiwa TB750 electric reel, spooled with 50cc braid on bent butt rod. For gemfish and albacore, at Browns;


Strudwick 702 with Seagate Light 3500H spooled with 30 cc braid. For casting garfish into the washes at South Head;


Tokushima HK7500 reel on DRS 24 kilo jig rod. Testing this reel tomorrow as a possible addition to our line up, jigging the Wreck and the Peak. Pleasantly surprised to find this combo weighs only 760 grams;


Bent butt rod and 20W two-speed game reel spooled with 500m 50-pound cc braid, topped with 100m 50-pound mono. For mako sharks.


Pretty much ready for anything, just hoping the weather and the fish play ball.


Other bolder fishos were out there doing it, when conditions permitted. Peter Richards, at Nambucca:



Caught this Jewie (4.7 kg) on 4 kg flathead spinning gear at the beach today


Nice one! And some hard core types were out there when conditions DIDN’T suit. Matt Morton:



Well it was a wet old weekend on lake Macquarie last weekend saw round 6 of the Berkley Evinrude teams series (bets) plenty of good bags were taken at the tournament.


Even with the wet weather still had 70 boats turn up, we had our sounder go the day before while we were pre fishing but we still managed to get our bag to weigh in on an edge bite on Cranka Cranks. One lucky angler managed a 83 cm flathead during the bream tournament on 2lb fluoro.


Thanks so much and congratulations, Matt.


Gary Cole says that, north of the rain belt, the tailor run is in full swing:



The boys on Moreton Island, Saturday morning. Smallest 3.5 kg---4.1 kg


And at the other end of the country, Westy had a big day (and night!) off Warrnambool on Wednesday:



I went out twice in the one day, an early session off Port Fairy and then a night session off Warrnambool. We got bitten off 4 times by School sharks at night..Was a great day. First trip in 7 weeks, and I made up for it.



Well done, mate.



To politics, and the big news is next Wednesday’s protest meeting against the 50% cut in bag limits here in NSW:



Speakers as follows:



1. Geoff Parker, for rec fishers;


2. Andrew Fraser MP, the local member (and top bloke);



3. Rob Brown, Shooters & Fishers Party;


4. Peter Turnell, Rec Fishing Manager at NSW DPI;


5. questions from the floor.


Lots of fishos going, should be a very interesting affair. I'll have an update for our readers as soon as it finishes. Here’s a Prime TV news clip about the protest, Geoff parker lays out the issues very well indeed:



Les writes, from South West Rocks:


Hi Andrew, it appears that the meeting to be held at the Coffs Harbour Deep Sea Fishing Club regarding the DPI's ridiculous 'bag and size' limit proposals is beginning to gather momentum… it is important for recreational fishermen to attend and have their say otherwise if we do nothing and let more and more restrictions and bans slip through the cracks, there will be no recreational fishing left to talk about.


The Club is situated at the end of Jordon Esplanade, Coffs Harbour.  Simply drive to Coffs Harbour Jetty, turn right into Jordon Esplanade at the round-about and follow it along to the southern end of the Harbour. The meeting will kick off at and I would encourage everyone who is capable, to attend.


Well said ol’ buddy and I’m looking forward to a catch up with you at the event. John Larsson from Richmond Valley Anglers is another who’s not going to sit in the stand, while other blokes pad up:



Hi Andrew, (we) have put together the attached reply to the DPI discussion paper on bag limits. Noticed a few references to the discussion paper and also the ANSA gentleman responding in your weekly news. Also the recent beach hauling of bream and comments about same have attracted affair amount of attention lately.


Your readers and followers may find our response ringing the same bell.  We are currently collecting support from many different clubs and organisations up and down the east coast.  We will hand deliver the final submission with support before the 31st July.


Top work John and good on you, for having a go. Lads, has your Club lodged a response to the discussion paper?


If not, ask them why not. Nambucca Heads Offshore FC writes to NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner (their local MP):



That’s good. That’s very good. RFAC Chairman For Life Bruce Schumacher (seen in the video above) reports two whiting and a bream caught at Woolloomooloo docks, this morning. Bait, marinated cockles:



Thanks Bruce and keep these great reports coming in. J Fitz lets (Federal Fisheries Minister) Tony Burke know how he really feels:


Mr Burke, I will be voting Liberal in the coming election, I am less than happy with your decision to lock out amateur fishers in Australia, please stop sending me appeals for donations to Labor, you guys are in for the biggest hiding ever, your party and the Greens are going to be decimated big time, any money I have will be donated to the Shooters and Fishers party. I can however send you all the money from my old monopoly game. My voting intentions for the September election will be:








Coincidentally, the Re Elect Tony Burke Committee held a ‘Show Your Support For Tony’ rally at Belmore Oval, last Sunday:



Tony, a bit harsh, forcing your kids to sit in the stands like that. In other NSW fisheries stupidity, here's Steggs with a greeneye shark AKA dogfish, caught on my boat in June 2010. These things swarm at Browns Mountain, but now NSW Fisheries have banned their capture. Plus anglers must stop fishing and move the boat elsewhere, if one is caught:



New fishing arrangements have been implemented in NSW to assist with the rebuilding of Harrisson’s Dogfish  and Southern Dogfish  populations and to provide protection for other dogfish species in NSW waters. Dogfish are a group of small to medium sized deepwater shark species. Dogfish species are not commonly targeted by most recreational fishers but may occasionally be caught as a bycatch when fishers are targeting other more highly valued species such as Bar Cod, Blue-eye Cod and Gemfish.

Southern Dogfish

Summary of new recreational fishing arrangements for dogfish



These new fishing arrangements are necessary as CSIRO research studies have indicated the east coast populations of Harrisson’s and Southern Dogfish are at only 10% of their unfished biomass. Similar restrictions and trip limits are also in place for commercial fishing, as well as a series of new fishing closures restricting certain fishing areas and methods. If you catch a dogfish and are unsure about what species you have caught, DPI encourages you release it carefully and immediately. If you incidentally catch a Harrisson’s or Southern Dogfish while fishing for other species, you should release the dogfish and move to another fishing location.


I wonder which greenie at the CSIRO cooked the data, for this scam?

Dogfish swarm at Browns, and are targeted by nobody. When you release them boatside, they swim away with no apparent barotraumas. Out fishing tomorrow and will post a report on Facebook and the forums if anything interesting happens. PLEASE – keep the updates and pics coming in? My mailbox clogs with nice comments about the weekly report, but all I do is organise it into an email. The real thanks are due to our contributors, who take the time to share their stories. Until next week,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director