Ambition report 25th.February’20

This year’s Port Stephens Interclub could be seen as a make up for last year’s dilemma. The Marlin really turned it on. The Shootout the previous week-end  was a preview of what was to come.

Unbelievably the weather held off for the full three days of the Port Stephens Interclub tournament. Resulting in around 430 Marlin tagged by just over 110 boats over three days at the Port Stephens  Interclub .  Averaging over one Marlin a boat per day, not  a bad result.  The full results for the tournament may be seen a the NSWGFA  Facebook or web site.

Day 1
Interclub action
Interclub action

We on Ambition didn’t do too badly. We opted to skip baits to cover some ground and locate the bait.  I went well North of the crowd at the ‘Car Park’ and managed three tagged Marlin over the day, catching the first within minutes of putting out our first bait.  Below us at the ‘Car Park’  there was a bite happening but because of the numbers there  the individual results weren’t  so great. None the less some of the local boats stood out from the crowd.

Day two
Interclub action
Interclub action

I went back to where I’d been the day before but all had changed, the bait had gone. It was much the same all along the shelf. What bait there was, was holding deep .  After finally jigging up enough to use I again opted to skip baits and cover ground. I worked my way further North, around November 9, where a few boats were catching fish bombing the deep bait. However after a frustrating time watching several boats catch fish   I changed over to dropping baits on the bait schools , not a style of fishing I enjoy, and ended up hooking and tagging a Whaler Shark after a lengthy fight. So, that was enough for me.

It was back to skipping baits. We were a short distance from the crowd dunking their baits when a nice Striped Marlin hammered one of our skippies and we were on. After a short fight the Stripy was tagged and the baits  put back out . Unexpectedly just after we had set the baits a Black took a skippy and was off more in the air than the water. It was quickly tagged  and we were off again.  It took a while but again on the outside of the crowd dunking slimies we hooked and tagged another Striped Marlin, our third for the day.

Day 3

We headed out with great expectations, back to the same area as the first day. The bait was there again  and in fairly quick time we tagged two Striped Marlin, but then the wheels fell off. The bait disappeared  so it was off searching again. There was a bite happening further South . When we arrived several boats were fighting fish and all looked good.

Interclub action
Interclub action

I searched and searched but couldn’t find any bait. There were obviously plenty of Marlin and lots of boats hooking up  but where was the bait. We unfortunately didn’t end up catching any more fish . Later on talking to other skippers the story was much the same. Whereas some did find bait most didn’t but the marlin were definitely on the bite.

I theorised that the bait was quite sparse, the schools dispersed and broken up by the Marlin to a degree where most sounders couldn’t pick them up. Whereas those boats with  more powerful sounders could however mark the bait.

There were a few boats that went out wide and did find Blue Marlin. Two that I know of lost what they called very big fish. The Blues are usually at their best in Autumn as can be see from previous year’s results especially further South around Sydney.

Hopefully the bait will remain in the area and the bite will continue but if it doesn’t it will certainly be worth having a look out wide.

Tight lines,
Ivan

LINKS
Weather and  Sea State  

Buoyweather
Bureau of Meteorology
Radar
Seabreeze
Weatherzone
Weather cams
Ripcharts
C.S.I.R.O.
N.S.W Bluelink

Fishing Tackle :

Pakula Tackle
Global Tackle
Otto’s Tackle
Melton Tackle
Aftco
Campbell’s Pro Tackle
Electronics :

Furuno
Keogh’s Marine Electronics
Olectric Systems

Ambition report 17th. February’20

Port Stephens Shootout…

The  Port Stephens Shootout  went ahead quite successfully on the week-end in spite of  weather predictions of disastrous conditions.

Black Marlin at the boat
Black Marlin at the boat

Sadly it wasn’t  plain sailing for at least a couple of boats crossing the bar. The conditions on the bar at the entrance to the Port were not exactly favourable and a great degree of caution was required with the four to five meter swells rolling over the bar on the run-out tide.

However once past the bar, even with the swell it wasn’t too bad . The only problem was the very brown water which virtually made the inshore fishing a waste of time. Consequently most headed offshore.

Black Marlin at the boat
Triple header

The fleet was basically divided into those chasing Striped and Black Marlin on the shelf tagging and releasing  and those venturing further looking for the $200,000.00 money fish, a 258 kilo Blue Marlin.

Sadly the big one wasn’t found but several boats said they had lost a possible winner. The boat ‘The Cuban’ did find a Blue of 157 kilo’s  and took out the heaviest Marlin category.

The Shelf…

The water on the shelf  wasn’t fabulous. But  at the known spots bait was holding up  and lots of Marlin were caught by those dropping live baits into the schools and  trolling lures or live baits around the schools. Places like the ‘Car Park’ have came alive again after a couple of lean years.

Black Marlin at the boat
Black Marlin at the boat

Out wider there were quite a few Mahi Mahi and Yellowfin taken. Although they weren’t large fish ranging from 10 to 25 kilo’s they were potentially good food for big Blues.

On Saturday I opted to chase the big one  which we didn’t find  but Travelled a long way looking for the good water which we also didn’t find. What I did  find was a very, very brown current  but on the edge the water looked quite good. Consequently I trolled along the edge. There were a few birds  in the area  and the occasional patch of bait.  Then out of no where we had a strike , then another and another, a triple.  As it turned out we tagged a  Black Marlin and kept two 10 kilo Yellowfin  and that was it for the day.

Sunday was the perfect day, it was hard to believe that such a large ground swell could disappear so quickly. The guys bait fishing on the shelf, bombing the bait schools continued to have success and those chasing the big one tried in vain.  We ended up with a nice Mahi Mahi.

So while we didn’t end up in the money we had plenty to take home for the table.

Tight lines,
Ivan

LINKS
Weather and  Sea State  

Buoyweather
Bureau of Meteorology
Radar
Seabreeze
Weatherzone
Weather cams
Ripcharts
C.S.I.R.O.
N.S.W Bluelink

Fishing Tackle :

Pakula Tackle
Global Tackle
Otto’s Tackle
Melton Tackle
Aftco
Campbell’s Pro Tackle
Electronics :

Furuno
Keogh’s Marine Electronics
Olectric Systems

Ambition report 10th. February’20

Port Stephens February’20

Port Stephens fishing has been very inconsistent over the last few weeks. So how this latest weather system will affect the area is anyone’s guess. One of  the old time greats of Game Fishing always said  the wet years are the good years. However with both drought and floods in the mix who knows what may happen, I remain optimistic.

As I mentioned the Port Stephens fishing has been very inconsistent.

Striped Marlin Port Stephens
Striped Marlin Port Stephens

The run of Blacks down the coast  has ben really hit and miss  and moving down the coast very quickly. A couple of weeks ago their was an amazing bite off Seal Rocks. Two days later they were gone and they turned up at one of the inshore reefs off Sydney. Before this weather set in there were good reports of the Blacks at Coffs Harbour and South West Rocks however after all the rain and resulting dirty water inshore  who knows where they might turn up.

Mahi Mahi
Mahi Mahi

Further offshore the water looks or looked really good, a beautiful blue and 25 to 26 C but  running South at around three knots. Consequently there was hardly any bait holding on the shelf. Those who did venture out  found the occasional Striped Marlin and surprisingly a few of the Blacks also, as well as more than one report of Blue Marlin.

Mahi Mahi
Mahi Mahi

I guess we won’t know what to expect until after the weather clears. I would like to speculate  on what we might find but I’m not game. One thing though is with all the flood water moving down the coast there will be lots of flotsam of which to be watchful. In the past I have seen everything from big trees to bloated cows.

Tight lines,
Ivan

LINKS

Weather and Sea State :

Buoyweather
Bureau of Meteorology
Radar
Seabreeze
Weatherzone
Weather cams
Ripcharts
C.S.I.R.O.
N.S.W Bluelink

Fishing Tackle :

Pakula Tackle
Global Tackle
Otto’s Tackle
Melton Tackle
Aftco
Campbell’s Pro Tackle

Electronics :

Furuno
Keogh’s Marine Electronics
Olectric Systems