Wednesday 27th November 2013

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

This week’s report kicks off with a top fish taken on the NSW south coast. George H writes:



A mate and his father in law went to a rocky beach just south of Ulladulla this morning to soak a bait. Set up their beach rods with pippies for bait, chasing some bream for dinner and next thing you know, one of the rods goes off. After a 15 minute fight, Ronnie pulls out this monster kingy. As you could imagine, there were high 5’s all round!!!!!


Pippies?? Okay, I’ll downrig some on Sunday. Thanks George! Some giant kings reported from further afield. Alex Thompson fished with Epic Adventures in Tairua:



 Hi Andy, seeing as you’re a big kingfish fanatic I thought I'd send you some pics from yesterday aboard Epic Adventures.

Awesome fishing over here, big fish nearly every drop!



That’s fantastic Alex, thanks so much for your pics. Tom and Chloe jigged Norfolk Island:



Andrew, here's a video from our Norfolk Island trip, you'll see some of the fish caught on your jigs. An incredible place if you ever get the chance to visit.



 SOLID GOLD, top quality video showing the size and power of those Norfolk kings.

To the fresh, and John Hazelwood says Proserpine Dam is producing:



Hi Andrew, as promised here are a few photos of my recent trip to Proserpine, fishing was tough but if one persisted and used 12 years of dam knowledge and fished just out of the square you were rewarded, not with great numbers but with some good quality fish.



All the fish under a meter in length appear to have been fed on steroids and angry pills, fish over a meter were just as hard combining all previous points with massive power.



The first photo is one of me holding a fish of 119 cm’s and exceeding 50 lb, all fish caught were released to give another angler or 10 the joy of catching such a magnificent fish and I can assure you that Lake Proserpine is full of them.  PS. I now have a few more reels that need the carbontex treatment lol.



Really good Johnno although I have mixed feelings, on hearing of your success. Reason being I towed the boat from Sydney to Proserpine one time and, on arrival, couldn’t launch. The bottom of the boat ramp ended in a shallow bay, which only came half way up the trailer wheels, thanks to the drought. Thankfully we found some success in the Whitsundays instead. As to boat ramp hijinks, Bruce Rayment provides this week’s What The Hey Moment:



Hi Andrew, beautiful Sunday morning 6am Dolans Bay boat ramp in Port Hacking. $100k worth of Touareg and trailer successfully launched. It's not called Wally’s Wharf for nothing!




Thanks, Bruce and Mike. You know I get a twisted kick out of these boat ramp disasters. J Yours truly got out from Sydney Harbour on Thursday morning. Around to the Gap where the kings have been recently, and glad to see Kez plus one of his besties on station:



and Klaus double downrigging, in his Black Dog Cat:



The lads informed me there were a few around, but mostly small. Good mark on the sounder:



Which Downrigger Cam later confirmed were kingfish:



Holding the live bait in reserve, we rigged some packaged Californian squid for downrigging. Two hook setup with short shank 7/0 through the top of the hood for towing and a tough but small VMC treble through the head, for short strikers. Hits came thick and fast. As soon as we were on it was cast in behind with a popper or SP, trying to multiply hookups:



The tackle matched the fish size, so even though they weren’t big we were having a top time:



Lotsa fun, but small:



but after ten or so littlies we were hankering for something bigger, so the call was made to head for the Twelve Mile to be there on the top of the tide. It was time for the bigger gear. Left to right: Jigging Master overhead combo (Dan), Avet on a Terez (Dan), Daiwa overhead on a Saltiga (Ed), Stella on a Rapala Jig Day (Ed):



Yet the jigging disappointing! Weather great, water a beautiful blue and 20.8, lots of fish BUT – all barracouta:



Klaus checked in, he scored 16, with the best going 70cm. Looking at the forecast, we’ll be back out again on Wednesday.

Les sends a funny and for those unaware, ‘Stella’ is the model name of a high end Shimano reel:




Andrew Graham selling his 5m Whaler tri hull. These are well known for punching above their weight:



For Sale !! $13500 5m Whaler fibreglass  call 0407073587


dunbier trailer++50hp mercury 2stroke++80lb min kota electric with ipilot & remote++ Raymarine A50D sounder++all safety gear++70L fuel storage++Live Bait Tank

Rocket launcher++ Tee Top included++Stainless Steel Prop

Extremely stable and reliable boat. Perfect for lake or reef fishing, Being a Tri hull cat it sits perfectly in swell at rest allowing anglers to move about the boat freely without rocking!


Matt Loraway sends a positive deepwater update:



Blue eye are on at Browns…got couple of these puppies on Wednesday in glass out conditions, not even 0.5kt drift rate …and a surprise lost little gemfish that got left behind by his mates when they left long ago!


Nice one. Good on you, Matt. Our Man in the Sand confirms:



Hi Andrew, our mate Ronnie went out wide and caught his first Hapuka on his big electric reel.....when you are fishing at 2000ft you really need one and a big one at that. He only got one because you need dead calm conditions if you are going to find the right spot again in that depth. It was another one of those days where all was rosy until the wind kicked up at midday and we all headed back in. Lots of flathead and snapper being caught, and still a few salmon around, if you can get a break in the weather and get out early.


Good advice, thanks Dave. Leo says that deepwater tasties are on the tooth in the Apple Isle, too:



We didn't find any midwater fish or makos but got a feed including a frost fish and the blue eye that went a PB for the boat 12kg. Cheers, Leo in Tassie


Thanks Leo! Please keep these updates coming, we don’t hear enough from Tassie. To bays and estuaries, and when I see kayakers hook up next to us the extra challenge involved in landing one from these craft really hits home. Ben Heath managed it:



I set off at 5am to chase Tailor and Salmon in Sydney Harbour. I wasn't far from Rose Bay, Tailor were busting up all over the place; I had my light rod with a 20g twisty on it in the water, I stopped to change the lure on my other rod and the twisty must have sunk to the bottom, as I started to paddle off, boom! My light rod was bent over and line was streaming off the reel. I thought it might have been a salmon, but when I grabbed the rod it felt different. I let it take a few runs and slowly got it to the yak, that's when I saw the shape and colour, I couldn't believe it! My first Mulloway from the yak, on 10lb braid and a 20g metal. He was 63cm, not a keeper with the new rules, but I was more than happy! I returned him to the harbour to fight another day. I also wanted to ask you when your soft plastic spoon hooks were going to be available? Cheers mate, Ben


About 12th December Ben, just in time for the holidays. J Simon Milne’s a pretty amazing bloke, on the water whenever possible. A new challenge last week, eastern Victoria:



His fishing mate Jock writes:


The tide was running well and Simon was up front as a mid 40's EP grabbed the lure and fought well, followed soon after by a couple of mid size fish. Simon said I should have a turn up front and I reluctantly agreed as I didn't want to get a bigger one(that was my story any way, and I'm sticking to it).The inevitable happened though and I boated a great but slightly skinny EP of 50 cm then my best EP of the spring at 52cm. So it was out of the chair and Simon back in and he was rewarded with his best EP on the next cast with a great 47cm fish



I take my hat off to you, Simon! Getting there when it’s firing is the key to estuary perch.


To politics, and regular readers know I have a pretty big bee in my bonnet about NSW Fisheries Minister, Bodgy Hodgy Hodgkinson. Her government promised NSW voters that, if they were elected, the Green bias against fishos developed over a long time by the Labor-Green coalition here would be corrected. Not only did that not happen, in some ways Bodgy has made things even worse. Bans on squid fishing in the Harbour, slashing bag limits without any scientific justification, setting up an expensive and wasteful agency (MEMA) to ‘advise’ on marine parks, and now, five new committees – one for each marine park - which will of course be stacked with greenies. Submissions, letters, public meetings, every reasonable tactic possible has been used exhaustively, to no effect. Bodgy is such an unprofessional Minister that she won’t even reply to correspondence from other MPs. So what hope do we the average fishos, have of a hearing?


So I ran up a quick screed which fitted onto two pages, covering not just her failure as Fisheries Minister but other recent disasters relevant to her other portfolios including:


The massive rise in water costs (despite overflowing dam storages);

and her new plan to charge people to lease grave sites to the public (!)


Printed off a few dozen of these and sent them to businesses in Yass, NSW. That’s the centre of her electorate and where she has her office. I actually expected a few abusive phone calls or emails telling me to keep my city nose, out of country business. But guess what? Those who know her best are just as disappointed as we are. Read on:


Hello there, Andrew Hestelow from Downrigger Shop fishing tackle in Sydney here. Hope you don’t mind a letter out of the blue? I want to air an important issue with you, being local MP Katrina Hodgkinson. Being from a country family, I’m a National Party member myself. But having watched the disasters our Party has unleashed on the country – for instance, Oakeshott and Windsor– my radar’s always tuned for pollies who put their own career ahead of what’s best, for the public. And Ms Hodgkinson – or as we in the fishing fraternity call her, Bodgy Hodgy – makes Oakeshott and Windsor look like saints. Please read on to discover the trail of wreckage she’s left in her wake? And how that’s affecting the rest of the State - making her a ticking time bomb, as regards the O’Farrell governments’ re-election chances.


Firstly, fishing. Yass is a long way from the ocean, and Bodgy is big on ensuring that – locally – anglers have nothing to complain about. Example on the left, a silly photo op at Pejar Dam last month.


But the misery she’s brought to small coastal towns is a disgrace. So many of them depend on recreational fishing families for income, at holiday time. Yet without reason, Bodgy (in her capacity as Fisheries Minister) has decided to cut fish bag limits by up to 60%. This, only two years after the O’Farrell government promised to ‘Restore The Balance’, between the Greens agenda and what the public wanted.


Recently, 400+ fishos attended a protest meeting in Coffs Harbour. Regular Aussies, not the type to complain, but Bodgy has pushed them over the edge. As one of them said to me at the meeting, ‘I worked and paid taxes for 40 years so that, in retirement, I could finally fish to my heart’s content. This government has left the marine parks in place, they’ve increased fishing license fees, and are about to cut bag limits. It’s like there’s been no change since Labor.’


He’s right. The only change has been, change for the worse. Hodgkinson promoted the biggest greenie in Fisheries, Bill Talbot, to State Aquaculture Manager. Meaning new aquaculture projects have no chance whatsoever. An exact comparison would be if animal libber Laurie Levy were put in charge of live cattle exports. Remember that, only three weeks ago, the state government scored a 27% swing against itself while losing the Miranda by election, to Labor. The crisis is real, and Bodgy’s a big part of why.


For instance, instead of opening marine parks to rec angling, she’s advertising for greenies to join ‘advisory committees.’ Imagine the professional busybodies putting their hands up for this:



It’s not just fishermen who are fed up with her failures. She’s the Minister for Water too. Check out this Letter to the Editor below, published in the Daily Telegraph last week.

Think about that, for a moment. Typical homeowner, worried about cost of living, cutting back on watering the garden and taking shorter showers. Water storages are at record high levels. Despite cutting water usage by 40%, his bills go up by 70%. Bodgy can’t even arrange to economically  deliver something that falls free, from the sky.


But what’s really prompted me to write to you is a story in Friday’s paper. In an act of utter stupidity Premier O’Farrell made Bodgy the Minister for Cemeteries. How hard could that job be? Don’t ask:



Can you believe this?? Rent In Peace. It’s not enough, that she makes our lives difficult above ground. Thanks to Bodgy, you’ll now have to *lease* your own grave.


Enough. I’m guessing you know ten people locally who’d make a better Member for Burrinjuck. If you’re aware of anyone in the electorate – not Green or Labor  –  considering running as an independent against Hodgkinson in March 2015, could you please let me know? Because volunteers and donations would flood in, for that person’s campaign. Thanks for reading,


The local feedback has been even harder on Bodgy than my own views. I couldn’t even print some of the comments, but suffice it to say that voters in Burrinjuck are so disappointed too. On the basis of this positive response I’m sending out another 100 this weekend, just to test the waters. Checking if someone locally is prepared to stand against her for preselection or, run as an independent. The answer is political, always has been.









My deepest thanks to (of course) our readers, but extra gratitude to those who take the time to send in pics and reports. Be assured that your contributions are valued and that I do feel undeserving of all the kind words received – even though, without your contributions, there would be nothing to write about(J)


Until next week,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director