Thursday, May 31, 2012

Alvey reels – an Aussie icon

For many of us, especially those that grew up in Queensland, our first fishing memories include using an iconic Alvey side cast reel. Alvey Reels Australia has been producing their side cast reels for over 80 years.

It all started in 1920 when Charles Alvey, an English migrant, developed a simple, durable reel from wood and cast gun metal that was easy to maintain and would cast great distances.
Four generations later, under the direction of Bruce and Glenn Alvey, the great grandsons of Charles, Alvey continues to manufacture and supply, not only reels but whole range of quality fishing equipment such as rods, bait pumps, bait buckets, fishing bags, pliers, tackle boxes and rod buckets.

 Rob Duncan sales manager for Alvey Reels Australia gave Fishmax a tour of their Carole Park factory. Here skilled and dedicated staff, apply the latest technologies in fiberglass, carbon fibre and graphite materials, to manufacture the simple to use, reliable and rugged reels, we are all used to. Metal lathes, hydraulic presses and injection moulders are used to produce all the parts required to build over 60 different models.

Alvey products have always had a reputation for being durable but not wanting to rest on their laurels, the company strives to constantly improve and innovate. Before a model is released it undergoes extensive testing and then limited release until feedback proves the new model is a winner. While the company still produces stainless steel backing plates, ultra tough graphite has become most common. Graphite reduces weight considerable but is so tough that Rob even has a video of him on you tube driving over it with a 4wd drive with absolutely no damage.

Innovation is continuous. For example, the new turbo cast release mechanism which is lighter than metal, tougher and not affected by corrosion.
With such dedication to innovation and ‘best practise’ manufacturing standards fishermen can be confident a new Alvey will handle sun, sand and saltwater and give virtually a lifetime of great fishing.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The guys at Nitro Boats in the USA make some great fishing platforms full of terrific accessories - here is one of our favourites! This has gotta be the must have fishing boat accessory for the fisherman who is on the dating scene!

(Thanks to reader Andrew for sending this one in! Seen a funny fishing video? Send it in to )

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Celebrity Fishing Interview - Andrew Hart says "fish light for fun"

Exclusive FishMax Interview

Andrew Hart's enjoying the Eight Series of HL&S
Andrew Hart, one half of the terrific Hook, Line & Sinker  team for over 10 years, shares a few minutes with us to answer our questions and share his views of some of the best fishing spots in Australia . Andrew and his co-presenter Nick Duigan, are  currently on their eighth season  of Hook, Line and Sinker.

FM: What’s your earliest fishing memory?
AH: From a very young age I had an older cousin who used to take me fishing, so my first memory was with him while on holiday on the Gold Coast. I can remember catching a little bream on a handline.

FM: Where is your favourite fishing spot?
AH: My home state of Tasmania! We are lucky in that we get to fish right around the country and have come across some of most mind blowing fishing in some of the most spectacular and remote places. But, Tassie tops the list for me. The Central Highlands for fly fishing for trout, the East Coast estuaries for huge bream and then offshore for tuna and striped trumpeter. And the best part – it’s never busy! Just don’t come in winter!

FM: Your best fishing story?
AH: My wife wanted to catch a marlin so we went to Cairns and I talked a mate into taking us out for a night. She got her fish in the first afternoon, a nice Black of about 200 pounds. The next morning it was my turn and after an epic 2 hour fight on 37kg, we somehow got a look at the biggest fish I’ve ever seen. Not prepared to say how big, but bloody big. The worst part – no cameraman to make an episode of HLS. I fear that a fish that size will be very hard to catch on camera!

FM: Favourite fish recipe (either describe the dish or give the recipe if you prefer)?
AH:Very spoilt living on the East Coast of Tasmania to eat plenty of Abalone and Crayfish – but favourite would be crumbed flathead or striped trumpeter. Use Panko crumbs and add a bit of parmesan.

FM: What’s the biggest fish you’ve caught?
AH: The marlin mentioned earlier. Let’s say she was 950 pounds.

FM: How often do you go fishing?
AH: When making the show (around 6 months of the year) we go fishing usually every second week to somewhere in Australia. But I’m lucky I have a fishing mad wife, so I guess I get out at least once a week.

FM: Where is the most exotic place you’ve been fishing?
AH: Recently did a fishing/filming trip to a little place called the Kimberley… Wow! It was our first visit and you can believe the hype. Barra, Jacks, Queenies, GT’s, Jewies, Fingermark – and heaps of other hard pulling fish. We visited Kimberley Coastal Camp in the Admiralty Gulf. Will definitely be back!

FM: Do you have a fishing tip you’re willing to share?
AH: Fish as light as you possibly can. Lighter line, lighter leader, lighter sinker/jig head and smaller hooks will all result in many, many more bites. Then the fun starts, trying to catch a big fish on light line!

Nick and Andrew show us what it's all about!

You can catch the eighth season of Hook, Line and Sinker with Andrew Hart and Nick Duigan, on 7Mate at 5pm on Saturdays.

Words: Stevo Perry Pics: Hook, Line & Sinker

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Very Funny Fishing Video

Fishing is full of dangers including fish with sharp teeth, even sharper hooks and filleting knives and of course, for the boat fisherman, the ever present danger of the sea - but a sheep? Really? Check out this very funny video sent to us by one of our readers.

Seen a funny fishing video, hilarious fishing pic or got a funny fishing joke? Make sure you send it to us at 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Is This the Best Fisherman's 4WD?

FishMax Exclusive: Our motoring journalist, Digger tells it like it is after a tough trial of the Ford Ranger XLT Double Cab 4x4 on Queensland fishing hotspot, Fraser Island

From the time that I picked up the Ford Ranger XLT Double Cab 4x4 it began to impress. The wife and three kids were dropped off in the ‘morning run’. All of the Ranger variants above the base model have scored a five star ANCAP rating, providing peace-of-mind for the trip. There was plenty of space for the kids even with school bags inside the cab. The ride was satisfactory, not soft but I was hoping that it wouldn’t be, in anticipation of putting it to work on Fraser Island over the coming three days.

Back to the shed to load up for the trip, and again the stand-out feature is the space, both in the cab and the tray. Inside, the large centre console, big door pockets, under-seat storage and even more space behind the back seat made it easy to stow anything that wasn’t waterproof. The forecast was for rain and the FishMax crew had already started ringing with concerns for how much space we would have. “Don’t worry”, I said, “we’ve got space...”  The tray is nice and deep (even deeper than the competitor’s), is a good square shape with no inconvenient nooks and crannies, has plenty of tie down points and has a robust tray liner. Four eskies, eight rods, tackle boxes and buckets, cooking gear and clothes hardly made a dent in the tray capacity. The dedicated fisherman is going to need a better way to stow rods though, maybe a rear bar in the tray to hold your rods over the roof-line, secured on the existing sport-bar.

The next part of the trip was the 300km up the highway to River Heads, picking up the rest of the FishMax crew along the way. The trip was comfortable with the 3.2 litre turbo diesel and big wheels making it an easy drive on the highway. Although Southeast Queensland doesn’t offer many opportunities to use sixth gear, I could see how it could offer an economical advantage West of the Great Divide, or on good motorways. The extra torque meant that the small towns along the way are crossed easily with anything from 3rd to 5th gear. The suspension set up gives a pretty good ride, but you know you’re not in a ‘soft-roader’. There was plenty of time to press all of the buttons and get used to the cabin layout. Everything that you would expect from a brand new model was in easy reach, easily found and nothing was overly complicated. All around visibility was good. The engine gives out a pleasant low rumble without being loud.

By the time we arrived at River Heads we had more tackle, eskies and bags in the back and four big guys and an esky in the cab. There wasn’t a single complaint about leg or shoulder room from the back seat, and I think that another couple of hours in the driver’s seat could have been done easily.

Driving across the island was so easy. As I was hoping, the ride was spot-on. The combination of the torque, the big wheels and the suspension meant that the Ranger could lope along at low revs smoothing out the tree roots and pot-holes as well. The very respectable approach and break-over angles meant there was no ‘pussy-footing’ around the occasional wash-out or log.

On the beach, the Ranger continued to impress, making easy work of the soft sand, creeks, rocks and the occasional steep climb off the beach. When the weather turned bad, there was even room for the four of us to get in out of the rain and stretch out and warm up for a while. In fact, when the fishing was rubbish, we just drove around enjoying the ride and the scenery. And, at less than 10litres/100km off the road, we could afford to.

Would I buy one? Absolutely.  The big winners for me were the big, torquey turbo diesel, the suspension set-up and the space, both inside and out. The new Ranger is an excellent truck for my style of fishing.

Words: Digger P Pics: Stevo Perry & Ford Australia

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hook, Line & Sinker Back on the Box

Popular fishing series Hook, Line & Sinker is now in production with its eighth season after signing a deal with 7Mate for free-to-air broadcast of 20 new episodes beginning this Saturday, 19 May.

Scheduled for Saturdays at 5:00pm, the 7Mate run includes 20 brand new, premier fishing episodes as well as some of the boys’ best episodes from their previous 7 seasons. And thanks to Andrew and Nick we've got great Hook, Line and Sinker videos to giveaway.

Shot entirely in  High Definition for awesome fishing video, hosts Nick Duigan and Andrew Hart take viewers across Australia to find the best fishing spots, provide fishing and cooking tips, and always provide a laugh with their wacky sense of humour. Hook, Line & Sinker is a program for all who love the outdoors, with trips planned for 20 brand new episodes, including:
  • Treacherous Ocean adventures – Darwin to Bathurst Island on only one tank of fuel!
  • A world first - Catching a barramundi behind a remote controlled boat
  • Australia's ugliest fishery – visiting the areas you’ve never been and the fish that live there
Aimed at both the serious and casual fisherman, Hook, Line & Sinker is an adventure packed and
often hilarious fishing show headed for 7MATE, Saturdays at 5:00pm from 19 May.

Nick Duigan and Andrew Hart have been producing Hook, Line & Sinker for 10 years, when the
pair first met in the news room of Southern Cross Television in Tasmania. They then 'borrowed' some
camera gear, took holidays and made two pilot episodes of the show while working as news
journalists in 2000. The show then ran in Tasmania only - where the boys continued to work on the
local news, while going fishing whenever they could! In 2006 Hook, Line & Sinker went to air on the
Southern Cross TEN network - with Regional Australia quickly learning to love the duo, who are the
first to admit they don't know everything there is about fishing - in fact that's one of the shows
differences - the boys put in the things other fishing shows leave out!

If you missed out on past episodes of Hook, Line and Sinker, we've got 3 great DVDs to give away. Simply email to go in the draw.

The small print: competition closes Midnight Thursday May 31, 2012. Free to enter. One entry per person. Winners drawn at random. Prize not transferable of exchangable for cash. Judges decision is final. By entering this competition you agree to receive emails from Fishmax including our newsletter, but you may unsubscribe at any time. We take your privacy seriously and will never send you spam or sell your personal details.

For more info on the Hook Line and Sinker Season 7, visit the official website:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Win an Awesome Nomad Fishing Trip

At FishMax we love the guys at Nomad Fishing Charters [Ed: watch out for our feature on our next Nomad trip later in the year] and we reckon any blue water fisho would to0, that's why we had to share this great contest from marine electronics maker, Simrad.

Simply sign up for the Simrad Yachting Newsletter for your chance to win. a once in a lifetime fishing trip.  In conjunction with Nomad Sportfishing Charters, one lucky person will win a charter trip to the Bugatti Reef in the Coral Sea for themselves and two friends which will take place in February 2013.

To enter the competition, which is open to Australian residents only, participants are required to sign up to receive the free Simrad Yachting Newsletter which can be found at . All participants will then be entered into a prize draw with the winner being randomly selected on the 1st November 2012.

The total prize pool includes a 3 person charter, valued at $3,500 per person, with Nomad Sportfishing Charters.  The winner must be available to join the charter from Feb 11 2013 until Feb 14 2013.  The charter includes 4 days of fishing, and 3 nights aboard the 80ft mother ship at the Inner Bugatti Reef in the Coral Sea.

The full terms and conditions for the competition can be viewed at .

Simrad Yachting offers marine electronics, chartplotters, autopilots, echo sounders, fish finders, GPS, marine instruments, Radar, VHF for all leisure boats. For more information visit the Simrad website.

For more information on Nomad Sportfishing Charters,  visit .

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Best Way to Catch Estuary Perch

Vicki Lear shares Estuary Perch Secrets t the Shimano Shack

Many find fishing Australia's Estuary Perch (or EPs as they are known) incredibly frustrating and others simply overlook them as a target species but they are good fighting fish and make excellent eating.

If you're looking for the best way to catch Estuary Perch, take a look at this article by seasoned hand Vicki Lear at the Shimano Shack. Vicki knows her stuff and her advice on not just where to catch Estuary Perch but what are the best lures to catch Estuary Perch and the best fishing gear to use for Estuary Perch reads like a very short Estuary Perch fisherman's bible.

Take a look at the full Estuary Perch Secrets here.

For more technical information, here's what the  Native Fish Australia says about Estuary Perch:

Scientific Name

Macquaria colonorum

Other Common Names

Perch, Gippsland perch
In western Victoria often incorrectly called Australian bass


To 10 Kg (22 lb). In Victoria frequently to 540 mm and 4 Kg (21" and 8.8lb).

Conservation Status

Common, widespread


Most common in estuarine waters.  Generally prefers more saline water than Australian bass, with which it is often confused, but nevertheless quite often found in locations with very low salinity.


Coastal rivers and lakes from the Richmond River in northern New South Wales through the whole of the Victorian coast as far west as mouth of the Murray River in South Australia.  Abundant in most streams in its distribution, especially in southern New South Wales and Victoria.


Spawning is believed to occur in the lower sections of estuaries.  Breeding may commence as early as July to August in New South Wales, but usually occurs much later, into November or December, in Victorian waters, especially in the western regions.


Estuary perch appear to feed loser to the bottom and have a less varied diet to that of Australian bass. Their diet consists mainly of shrimps, prawns, worms, bivalve moluscs and smaller fish.


Usually overlooked as an angling target, estuary perch are a good fighting fish and is readily taken on artificial lures and baits such as sand worms, prawns and Bass yabbies.
Tends to run "hot and cold" and often seems to move up and down the lower parts of rivers streams with the tide, perhaps maintaining some preferred salinity level.  Can be very abundant at times.
Easily confused with Australian bass, may be differentiated by their deeper, less cylindrical shape, their relatively larger mouth and their relatively more pointed snout.

On the table

Very good eating.

In the aquarium

Not really suitable for aquarium use, estuary perch often do not handle well and can be difficult to maintain especially in summer.