Thursday 30th May 2013

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

Out jigging off Sydney on Thursday and first stop the Artificial Reef, where a Fisheries boat was deploying an underwater camera:



Water temp was 22 degrees plus with a northerly current, and things definitely had a fishy feel. We jigged an undersized or two at that spot but with Fisheries’ buoy and trailing rope  right on top of the reef, decided to head in under the cliffs. Beneath Macquarie Light I saw some silver flashes, pinned a live yellowtail and cast in. The hook up came before I’d even closed the bail, a solid salmon:



Out to the wreck, and down went the jigs. The place has been very hot and cold lately. Even when hot kings have sometimes been small. When cold it’s a graveyard populated only by zombie leatherjackets. Thursday, it was on fire. New crewman Steve has not done much jigging, but was hooking up non stop:



This 70cm hit my jig like the hammer of Thor and ended up in the esky, for his pains:



Tom phoned up and was 3/4 of the way to Long Reef when I advised heading south, pronto. He arrived and went into action:



We had to go soon after, because I had tackle clients visiting all afternoon. But what a great morning, and how fortunate we are in such a big city to have this top sport fishing resource just offshore.





Next month Kev! So simple, but it works so well. Silicone spray on the reel winch. Did mine this week, the sun blasted salt sprayed plastic soaked it up like nectar:



Peter says there’s still some Spaniard action happening, on the NSW north coast:



Hi Andrew, we were wearing your team Polos on saturday and they gave us remarkable mojo... Kye threw out a 5" plastic on a 10lb flick stick and 20 mins later this 120cm version appeared. His first Barrie and a handsome fish.



We went on to success with different species but this was the remarkable part of the day.


Magnifique! Still hoping I might get a Spanish before the season ends Pete, Stan from Wooli told me today there’s still some around. Philip V (our man in PNG) purchased a 20W game combo, and headed out to engage some local sportfish. Results positive:



Hi Andrew, I went out last Saturday to test my new reel and matching rod. I was very impressed with its performance (top class) landing two Mackerel and one Barracuda. This is the biggest amongst the catch.  The weather in Kimbe Bay of PNG is very calm during the last two weeks and hope it will continue as I am planning to go out again this coming weekend.


Philip, wonderful to hear from you! And very grateful for your pic and report. Alan W stopped by for a stack of tackle on the weekend, and got me very inspired with his plans for a five month trip on a converted trawler, from Sydney to Princess Charlotte Bay. After a bit of arm twisting he’s promised to send through regular updates of adventures encountered. Here’s the boat he’s taking, just about ideal:



And here’s Alan and his mate kicking back with a well earned cold one on the Carmel Dee’s foredeck:



I can feel cares and worries drifting away just by looking, at this pic. Fitz has been keeping me up to date on the progress of the beautiful rowboat he imported from the USA:



Shakedown cruise was a success, some nice blues for the pot:



Team Iori from Sydney GFC sets up their new Barcrusher 670. Looking good, especially with the new downrigger in the starboard stern rod holder:



Matt Iori stopped by for one last week, and left me some great pics of his SWR trip:



Fantastic, Matt. Here’s the rig used that day, just about ideal for the mid north coast (considering the boat ramps):



Marcellus Loh’s weapon up there too:



Thought you might like this pic taken earlier this year on the Macleay River at SWR after a successful day on the marlin. 2 year project so far and still finishing her off. It even has autopilot. :) Boat name "NO LIMITS"


Too right I do, that’s inspirational Marcellus. Wayne Tonkin from Warringah Anglers sends a reminder of the Batemans Bay tuna tournament, two weeks away:



Eden GFC linchpin Warwick Jobe took the family to SA:



The Photo of Kimmy Jobe is the largest White Pointer ever caught in the world on fishing line and this one was caught on 24kg by a local and came in at just over 1500kg and 5.5m long and was caught around 20km off the coast of Streaky Bay. The record will now stand as the species has been protected as you all know. This monster is a local attraction for tourists and no wonder when you get close to it !!!!!


Blimey. Imagine how many seals disappeared down that buzz saw maw, before she went up on the gantry. Can they ship a couple to Montague Island, Warwick?  Anthony Raco must be one of the keenest fishermen around, which is why he so often produces results. Last weekend’s Canberra competition no different:


The Band of Brothers Fishing Team spent the weekend fishing the Canberra Yellowfin Tournament out of Bermagui as "Team Simrad".



Monday dawned and we headed out nice and early. After finding a patch of sauries, the first pass saw the Pakula Fluzi in Evil colour get nailed on 15kg outfit. Thinking it was a tuna, we settled in for the fight with our gun female angler Valentina Raco (my wife) on the rod.



Much to our excitement, the fish surfaced showing off its acrobatic skills! It was a nice Striped Marlin! A short fight played out before we tagged Valentina's first ever Marlin, a great relief after a few years of trying!



Knowing we were not too far from the lead, we set up a cube trail to try and tag some Tuna. We managed to tag 3 Albacore which left us just short of the Champion Angler, but did take out Champion Angler Day 3 and Valentina did exceptional against all the boys.


Absolutely magnificent. The marlin’s quite nice, too. Thanks so much for this update and congratulations to Team Simrad, Anthony. Readers will remember that, a couple of weeks ago, I clamped our suction light onto the boat hull, went and did something for half an hour, came back and started hooking up squid – even though I’ve never seen a squid, in the actual spot where the boat is moored. Now Andy W has come up with another handy use for this little wonder. The light and its stainless steel bracket are easily removed from the suction cup base:



After doing that he mounted it on the rail under the boats’ sun top, pointing forward to illuminate the cabin:



Then, was kind enough to send me comparison pics, firstly showing the cabin in the dark:



And how well it lights things up, when switched on:



Thanks Andrew, very generous of you. These T6 Cree lights are such a top bit of kit, and an absolute steal at $75 delivered. Send me an email to place an order, or for more details?



To politics, and fishos justifiably ropeable on our Facebook page (insert link) about the swag of bream dumped in the scrub at Seal Rocks, presumably by an illegal netter:




I hope that NSWDPI-Fisheries have tracked this down now and verified the incident as occurring, if not then please check with the Myall Lakes National Parks and Wildlife Services office which manages the Seal Rocks area, it was reported and investigated by a local ranger while the power lines Linesman who reported it was there waiting, he found them off the road in the bush near the base of a power pole he was inspecting.


Shocking stuff and please keep us posted, my friend. NSW anglers still furious at Fisheries Minister Hodgkinson’s plan for an across the board bag limit cut of 50% or more. Kevin F points out that Fisheries are so contemptuous of anglers’ opinions they’re not even bothered with the facts:


First paragraph of Section 1.1 says it all “The latest scientific surveys indicate that the bag limits for these commonly caught species are rarely reached by most recreational fishers (less than 1% of fishing trips.”  If the limit is only reached on 1% of trips, why the reduction – it makes no practical difference to the number of fish actually caught, but effectively penalises the odd lucky group who do catch more – bloody nonsense science!


I guess it’s like ‘climate change’, Kevin. You pay for the data that enables your political agenda. In this case, the payment’s made with our fishing license fees. Merv M makes a good point:


One thing I have noticed although bag limits are being reviewed and halved there are no discussion papers on halving the licence fees.


Yep. If you’re halving our allowable catch, you should halve the fees we pay to fish. Jack L has an excellent rant about the way things are going, and makes some telling points too:


Good on you, Andrew!!!

I find it absolutely disgusting what our civilisation is coming to. It is somehow acceptable to express these leftie views and sympathies – it is such a warm feeling and deep, satisfying sense of camaraderie. If you don’t fall into this fold you are simply a redneck.


And the whole thing is enshrined in an ever growing number of rules, regulations and laws propped up by “community expectations” and “social standards”. What a croc of sh#%t! What is good about having “appropriate legislation” if nobody enforces it? Disrespect and disregard for the law in general, that’s what it is. Just look at fishing. Countless “debate” and “consultation”, a torrent of bulls##t.


Size limits, bag limits, off-limits zones.


‘Size limits, bag limits, off limits.’ There’s a campaign slogan for you, SFP. Steve Ng writes on Sunday:



Hi Andy, here's some more classic capers at Roseville this afternoon...luckily it was quiet so not too bad.  Yellow boat on the left and bowrider on the right have blocked the ability to launch or retrieve on their lanes turning a four ramp lane into one!  I've had to angle my trailer on the left to give myself half a chance to drive it on as the yellow boat is in the way.  The pontoon on the side only had one boat on it so plenty of room to moor it but people just like to get their wife or kids to hold onto their boat at the beginning of the ramp.  Seems like a very selfish way to launch and retrieve a boat as everybody has to wait until you get out of the way.  It'll be better to move this whole pontoon to where the old one was leaving it as a four way ramp.  The current design just encourages people to leave their boat in the way.


Maybe installing some lowline concrete dividers between the ramps will ensure that the remaining two lanes stay as two lanes.  To be fair, it was this guys first day with the boat so you're generally worried about a lot of stuff (ie not sinking your car or hitting something) so he did a pretty good job.  We've all been there before!  However, check out the two boats behind him.  Not a lot of room to reverse off….


The whole thing is a complete shambles Steve – cost too much, took too long and doesn’t work. What I find most fascinating is that Maritime are stonewalling and for that, I blame Minister Duncan Gay. He’s the one who promised genuine consultation with the outdoor fraternity prior to the 2011 election, and events since have proven that to be a bald faced lie. Maybe he could learn something from a politician of character?


Bob Baldwin MP, (Federal Liberal member for Paterson and Shadow Minister for Tourism) is a bloke I have a lot of time for. He was a diving instructor and started Scuba Industries of Australia, a dive gear importation business for many years. Now, he operates a beautiful flybridge Albemarle out of Port Stephens, and fishes as often as he can - given his busy parliamentary schedule.


With a Federal election coming up and anglers having suffered from the declarations of marine parks, at both State and Commonwealth levels, largely made at the behest of Greenies right around the country, often influenced by foreign interest groups, I thought the time was ripe for an interview with the man. We talked on Tuesday, after he’d just come out of a Party Room meeting.


AH:     Any news for fishos out of the Party Room meeting, Bob?


BB, MP: We’re looking at moving to disallow the Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network Management plans. And we’re not waiting until after the election to do it. But whether it can be achieved will depend on which way the Independents vote.


AH:     So Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor are needed, to get this through? Oakeshott is in a coastal seat, and Tamworth has thousands of fishermen.


BB, MP: Yes, as well as Andrew Wilkie, Peter Slipper and Craig Thompson too. Our plan is to stop the process in its tracks, to allow a genuine consultation process to begin. Then we will sit down with recreational and commercial fishos to discuss. The intent being, preservation and recreation.   They both can be achieved.


AH:     Sounds good!


BB, MP: I dived Hastings Reef off Cairns recently, and saw some of the issues first hand. Vast closures can mean too many fishers and divers, concentrated on one reef. We need reefs spelled for a few years, while others are accessed, to spread the visitation load. Farmers call that crop rotation, and its good management practise. Locking up reefs is at huge cost to Australia’s tourism industry. We need preservation, sustainability AND productivity all at the same time. That can be achieved if you take people on the journey with you.


AH:     Agreed! Thanks for your time, Bob.



Apologies for those who wrote in regarding fishing closures around marinas and boatsheds, many of them made without any legal authority whatsoever.



That story too big to add to this week’s report, so we’ll hold it over. Thanks to much to our readers and contributors, without whom this little weekly newsletter would be nothing at all. You do the work, and I get the praise. So unfair but all I can do is express genuine gratitude, for your reports and pics. And of course beg you to keep sending them! Until next week,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director