Down Down, Deeper and Down

January 13, 2020 3 Comments

Down Down, Deeper and Down

Summer time is downrigger time and I’ve been out there chasing kings on average twice a week – in the new mini boat:

They’re around! Hovering about the bait schools, waiting for a chance to strike:

Only downside – as you can see above – is that the bait schools are so massive this season that the kingfish can hardly fit another mouthful in. I’ve been finding them, but no big ones. Yet:

Thankfully some clients have been doing way better. Here’s Connor Costanzo out downrigging the Harbour with his son, over the school holidays:

99 cm on 30 pound line
Caught on a 5000 stradic and a storm gomoku

NICE. Further north, where the warm currents are pushing south, Sean Morgan’s been nailing them:

Hey Andy, out with my brother Keiran yesterday at the Port Macquarie FAD. We were the only boat out there for ages, water temps 23.8 and only 1 kn of current. The fish weren't thick but it was certainly worth the trip, half a dozen or so. The rat kingies made a mess of the little black poppers, time for some treble upgrades!

Fantastic! Gee you do well. Yes, I upgrade those bass hooks to VMC 6x for kings. Grateful for the killer report, Andy

Dollies love the mini black poppers Sean mentioned – nearly as much as they love a downrigged yellowtail:

Four black poppers including delivery for just $50. If you’re only using them on 10 kilo line or heavier, mention that in the ‘note to merchant’ section, when ordering? They come with trebles suitable for bass but we will retrofit them with heavier treble hooks for no extra charge:


With temps offshore Sydney getting down as low as 18.9 to 19.2 all the kingfish have been up in the estuaries, in the warmer water. Recently we headed out through Broken Bay on James Taylor’s beautiful Blackwatch ‘Black Rat.’  But on clearing Barrenjoey Head the water temp was registering at just over 18 degrees! Luckily James had his downrigger aboard. It was one of our earliest models, way over ten years old. But still worked perfectly:

Idea! Go back into Pittwater and downrig around the moorings at Scotland Island. The water should be way warmer and the kings should be around. Both hopes came to pass:

We ran a live slimy mackerel off the downrigger. Maneuvering the big boat around the moorings in a nasty cross wind wasn’t easy. But James handled it like the champ he is. A few passes and BANG. We were on. This 72cm not the biggest king we’ve ever caught but it was good to find the fallback plan had worked:

Our downriggers are made from heavily anodized solid aluminium, and with basic care will give good service for many years. Matt Prior writes:

Gday Andy
Mate I want to thank you for the quick delivery of the handle that fell off my downrigger
Also mate I’ve now had a pair that I bought off you approx 6 years ago now and there both still going strong. I’ve seen posts where other blokes have problems with them seizing up, but every time I’m finished with them I’ll let the drag off and spray lanox all over. There still like new
Cheers mate

After sales service never stops, with us:

Thanks for the downriggers earlier this evening Andrew.
This is just to reminder that you were going to send me a map of the spots you mentioned up at Pittwater. All the best

Thanks for your orders last night! Don’t have access to my plotter and waypoints but here’s a rough map of some favourite spots:
Green is the Valiant wreck. Good for slimy mackerel;
Yellow is squid. On the Barrenjoey flats best squidding is in 3 metres;
Blue is yellowtail;
Red is kings;
There are plenty of other spots but these are my favourites.
Like to know more? Click the link below:


STOP PRESS! Raffael Alterio scores with his new downrigger Sunday 12th January:

We land very happy with the downrigger cheers

Thanks for reading and best wishes for some red hot fishing as summer heats up,

Andrew Hestelow
Managing Director
Tel. 0402075000

3 Responses


November 15, 2020



November 15, 2020


Troy Smith
Troy Smith

October 28, 2020

G’day Andrew – been considering going down this path for some time now and really not keen on the plastic downriggers for the same price if not dearer in some cases. I am currently having a 6.1m plate boat built in Brisbane and am waiting for borders to open to get up and finish of internal specs. Considering a downrigger in that process and wondering what the shipping costs are to get to Maclean Northern NSW 2463.
Any rough idea would be greatly appreciated.

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