Thursday 28 March 2013

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

G’day lads, How good is this? Rogers Edwards from Crowdy Head Charters writes in on Monday:

Hi Andy,  just a quick note, took some of the junior members from our fishing club out for their annual blue water trip yesterday, great conditions and bait busting out of the water everywhere, had a bit of a troll around one of the schools with hard body lures and picked up some bonito and this stand out Kingie. The young lady in the pic did a great job with a little encouragement from her uncle, we finally  gaffed the fish after about 15 min. 125 cm overall, 12.95 kg. Kind Regards, Roger Edwards Crowdy Bay Charters Mob 0428655701


That’s fantastic, Rog! Thanks so much for sending. It never fails to amaze me the way those who know what they’re doing can find big kingfish, inside Sydney Harbour.

Chris Beverley and friend did just that:

Had a good session on the Harbour. 15 decent sized squid and a few cuttles to start then it was into the meterys!!

Well done, Chris!

Sean AKA Salty Dog caught a ripper, at The Spit. Go the Dawg:

Caught this today Andy stoked as mate 1m+

Note downrigger. He took public transport to the city, and walked up Pitt Street with a 110cm 15 kilo kingfish slung under his arm. The plan was to weigh it at a mates’ restaurant. Some of our clients got camera phone pics and sent them through to me. Ben Squire:

Live squid off Taronga at 11am. He was walking down Pitt street with a 110cm king at lunch.  Legend


He! You’re a funny bugger, Salty. Lads, I’ll be at Warringah Anglers Club next Thursday, talking about kingfish and how to catch them. Stop by and say hello? They’re a friendly bunch and I always like to meet our readers. Here’s the details:


When: 7:45PM Thursday 4th April

Where: Time and Tide Hotel Dee Why (out the back in the covered area)

Topics: downrigging, jigging, fishing with soft plastics for kingfish


See you there, I hope!

Clinton’s mate Wik kicked off his addiction with this beauty, last week:

this is my mate Wik. We've been fishing seriously for about two years. He is know as Mr Eel as he is a specialist at picking up those buggers. Here he is in Sydney harbour about a week ago with an 85cm King. His first. He's stoked! Can you pls add it to your next e-mail. Best, Clinton


Oh, he’s hooked now, Clint. I know that look!

Mike Lazar happy with his fish from the rocks:

Malabar LBG. Stoked to land this king last week on a yakka. Took my first one but he was a hungry king and came back for seconds. Hooked!!!


Serves him right!

Matt Reid from Raptor Charters has been onto them, despite tough full moon conditions:

Hi Andy, well what a mad couple of weeks with working two jobs; keeps me flat out. Four days fishing and three days formwork every week. I need one more day in the week for a day off. The fishing has been great with plenty of fish from Amberjacks, Almaco Jacks, Samson-fish, Kings and Bonito. The fish have not been huge but some nice fish up to the 98cm mark. It has been funny with one day the fish going for live Squid the next day they were on Yakkas and did not touch the live Squid. The next day they went Slimy, so it pays off to have a variety of baits. It was good seeing you on the water Saturday and I hope the boys enjoyed their fish. I'm out this Fri, Sat, Mon and Tuesday, so if you’re out, give me a call and share info. Matty Reid RAPTOR CHARTERS   0404880148

Lads, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Matt is THE MAN. Husband, father, formworker, action movie star but first and foremost, kingie hunter par excellence. Give him a buzz if you want a top day on the water. Talking about par excellence, Ian Treseder fished with Matt on Monday and put an incredibly good short video up on Youtube. You’ve *got* to check this out:


Hey mate, here is the trailer of my latest video from Raptor. If you like it you can pop it up on your Facebook. Thanks mate, hope you are well and kicking goals....

Steve Wilson’s a mad keen diver, angler and kayaker, always out there doing it:


Shall keep the variety theme going.......... Took the kayak to Middle Harbour and caught this samson fish

Noice! Exceler box is a nice touch too. J Good on you Steve.

 Ben Heath hit the Harbour too:

Hope you had a great weekend fishing, I certainly did. Here's a couple of pics from yesterday morning - I caught an 80cm King just off North Head, it's the first one I've landed in my Kayak so I was pretty chuffed! Got him on a live squid I'd caught early on. Once again the fish bag was excellent in keeping him cold and fresh and is perfect for the back of the kayak.

Well that’s just fantastic. Gee you are having a great season.

 RU 4REEL Charters received expressions of interest, from amberjacks:

We have finally seen the light at the end of the tunnel with what looks like a run of good weather forecast for the next 2 weeks. We still have some midweek dates available for charter. If you would like to get out and amongst some of the fishing off the Tweed while the weather lasts give us a call at Ru4reelcharters and we can get some rods bending.

Good one, Rod.

Marc Sams, cookin’ up a storm wide of Ballina. This makes my cold servo pie and plastic bottle of Dare look lame:

We headed offshore yesterday. The mackerel weren't playing the game but at least we were having a good feed.

Hi Andrew thought i would respond with a picture of a Cuttlefish taken at Rottnest Island by a mate, in response to the one in your article, not saying everything is bigger in the West but! Cheers Karl


Sheesh!  ‘Honey, I caught dinner'.

Listy punted back, deep into WA territory:



Hey Andy, I thought I would contribute to the East/West Cuttlefish debate. I got this fine specimen 2 Sundays ago on the Central Coast. After I got a couple happy snaps, I waited until we came back to our spot to start the ink/burley trail. Didn't it work a treat!! I converted it into 2 Rats 55 and 57 on one P'Noster, at the same time my unweighted tentacle went off and pulled up (a) nice 65cm Amber Jack. It was mayhem for a few minutes! Good Times.


Beautiful, Listy! Or rather, horrible.

David O’Brien weighed in for South Australia:


Hideous. Its eye seems to follow you around the screen.

Matt Cassar from Sydney put two freaks of nature on the scoreboard:

Then Arthur brought out the big guns. Game over:


Hey Andy, here's my contribution to the cuttlefish "wars." This fired up creature stole my live bait just wide of North Head (NSW) a few years ago. Pity I don't have a photo to show the actual size, as I didn't want to stress it out anymore & just released it next to the boat. However, the hook I used that day would have been a 6/0 Mustad Hoodlum, that might give you a rough indication on its size.

Monster! I don’t need the tape measure to tell that’s a biggie.

In other wacky news, a mad keen QLD fisho becomes a dad for the first time. So what does he do? Puts the little tacker on a brag mat, and sends the pic in to Bush and Beach magazine:

Thinking fisho Andy W comes up with a top idea - using our suction base lights to get out of the harbour safely, in the pre dawn:

Trying the suction base lights on the early outings when we leave in the dark, but have to watch for Cray pot and marker floats. Have mounted them far enough forward that they don't reflect on the hull and am running them off the little battery in the bag.


Yep! Such a good bit of gear. Confession time, Andy: I dropped mine overboard accidentally, to the full length of the cable. So it was maybe 2.5 metres underwater? Hurriedly pulled it up, still shining, has never missed a beat since. They really are bullet proof:


$65 is a steal for a Cree LED, let alone one this good. Click here for more info or to order one:


Gus Cooke had a top trip to New Zealand:

Dear Colonel, I keep sending photos every year but never make it into your report. What about this 6 1/2 out of the Rough last Sunday and this 7 1/2 out of the Lewis last Saturday ?

Mate the only reason your stuff would not be in the report is because I am weeping with rage and envy at how well you do, on those big browns. Which happens with pretty much every pic.

J Still overseas, and Our Man in Oman Jan van Wyk was having a quiet deep drop in the Red Sea, when a big Australian went past. Firstly, the fishing:

Then, a visitor:


Australian built Ferry operating in along our coastline. Oman has got 5 off them and 3 more on order.  Whizzing by at 80 km an hour. What a sight you guys in Auz know how to build boats.

Good news and great to hear from you, Jan. Stephen from Eden GFC reminds me their tournament is on the weekend after Easter:

Phil G pulled an overnighter 90 klicks off Brisbane. His commitment was rewarded:

5 am sees us drowning a few baits on some new territory and the fishy gods are on my side with a double of a 45kg BassGroper and 20kg BlueEye Trevalla.

To politics, and one magazine I always enjoy reading is Bush and Beach Fishing, out of Queensland. This months’ issue has an outrageous story which – if you didn’t follow this column – you might consider hard to believe. That is, a local Council proposal to charge $5 an hour to park your boat trailer at boat ramps in Tweed Shire:

Five bucks an hour, to park at a boat ramp??? Knowing how many fishos are in the northern rivers I thought this one needed confirmation. It’s all true:



Who do these Council busybodies think they are? When is enough enough, with slamming long suffering boaties? Check out this list of fixed costs for my current 6.4m trailer boat, owned for 26 years:


1.         National Parks pass, to launch at ATB or Roseville: $65 per year.

2.         Boat trailer annual rego:                          $156

3.         Boat trailer pink slip:                                 $36

4.         Boat annual registration:                         $126

5.         Boat insurance:                                           $364

6.         Boat drivers license: Annual cost:           $ 53


$800 in government charges and insurance annually, before the Carolyn Jane even goes in the water. Then on top of that there’s maintenance and overheads – outboard servicing, trailer brakes & lights, new boat paint and engine every ten years.


After digesting this outrage an email arrived from Les with a report on his meeting with the Parkies and Kempsey Council over the Laggers Point ramp. Standard tactics, the bureaucrats’ intent is to make everything so expensive and so slow, with so much red and green tape, that by the time it’s finally approved we’ll all be in pine boxes:


Hi Andrew, after being on this Laggers Point boat ramp issue for a few years we finally had a meeting with NPWS on Wednesday 6th March.


Those in attendance (in support of opening the ramp) were myself, Brian Vanderwalt (Manager of Recreational Fishing Programmes, Coffs Harbour), Malcolm Poole (Chairman for RFA 'Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW'), Lee Burdett (District Fisheries Officer, Hastings Fisheries Compliance) and (in opposition) was Russell Maddley, Neville Nunney and Cathy Island of the NPWS.


In brief; we were met with the much anticipated arrogance and rhetoric from the NPWS but anyway we battled through and presented some good arguments for the re-opening of the boat ramp. It just felt to me that NPWS went there looking for a fight rather than to look for a compromise.

The main issue we presented was the matter of safety for boat owners trying to cross the dangerous bar of the Macleay River when there was a perfectly safe ramp at Laggers Point.


This was met with their argument that the safety of campers who intentionally pitched their tents right beside the ramp was of a far higher importance than seeing people tipping their boats over trying to anticipate the bar crossing with the potential of killing someone.


Another part of their argument was that it annoyed campers when fishermen would turn up to the publicly funded boat ramp, on a publically owned and council controlled road, that "the noise of boaties constantly trimming our motors up and down was a major disturbance to their sleeping time".

Further to that it was put to them that their signs contradicted themselves (as per my report in your newsletter a few weeks back) that the sign at Laggers Point boat ramp (when it is closed) says to "use the beach access behind the NPWS office some 600 metres up the beach for the launching of boats", however, when you get to the designated beach access it says "that if you use the access you will be hit with a $300.00 'On The Spot' fine and that you have to go back to Laggers Point boat ramp to launch". In a state of embarrassment NPWS conceded that I was in fact correct and they couldn’t make any sense out of their own signage.


So after two and a half hours of the rhetoric and excuses it turns out that one of the main reasons for NPWS closing the boat ramp is that they're panicking about losing money from campers, however we put it to them that they can still have the campers because most of them are 'boaties' and 'fishermen' anyway, it's just the boaties want to be able to use the boat ramp that they own.


It's just a big 'money thing'; get as much cash as possible, whenever possible, and stuff the public. a result, we all decided to do the usual garbage as in "get a working group together" and NPWS will work with us to come up with a compromising solution.


One of the proposals that we all agreed could be a compromise was to design and build a better access road (duel carriage-way) above the existing approach road.


Council has already agreed to fund the surveying side of things but we would have to try and scrape up the money from somewhere to fund the main works, perhaps $500,000.00.


Anyway, it's a start to a long drawn out process/project, as are all projects that involve Council and government departments. I'm anticipating that if we keep on with this we 'should' have some sort of a resolve by this time next year, hopefully.



Disgusting. You deserve a medal for going through that on our behalf, Les. Closer to home, and John Pennisi finds that the newest boat ramp in Sydney – the giant Foreshore Drive ramp, at Botany Bay – is closed by 8.00AM, on a Sunday:


Hi Andy, went fishing this morn( don't usually fish weekends). We returned to Port Botany boat ramp at 8 am after an early session to find the ramp closed due to the car park being full & boaters being turned away. I find this disgusting, as soon there is a fair weathered day which falls on a weekend I believe this is a common occurrence!! All that reclaimed land and they downsized the amount of parking since relocating the ramp for the port extension. I will send photos from my iPhone. Not sure if they are any good to you!  Thanks for giving somewhere for me to vent!


YOU’RE VERY WELCOME, my friend. This is ridiculous, an early closure at Sydney’s biggest ramp:

What really gets on my wick about these boat ramp farces is that the Minister responsible here in New South Wales is Maritime Minister Duncan Gay. If it was someone known to be hostile to the outdoor fraternity (for instance, previous Labor Ports Minister Joe Tripodi) we could understand being treated like dirt. But before the State election Gay made all kinds of promises to fishos and boaties that, should the Coalition be elected, there would be a new chapter written in public access politics. His rhetoric at the South West Rocks Country Club sounded like fire and brimstone but at the end of the day, it was just hot air. Thankfully there are still a few pols with some fire to spare. Bob Baldwin MP, in Parliament House Canberra last week:

Thank you, Bob. And thanks to all our contributors, without whom this email wouldn’t add up to one paragraph. Wishing all our readers a wonderful Easter,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director