It has been a series of ups and downs at Port Stephens for Ambition. Missing the first 3 weeks up there due to an engine failure and having to sit by the sidelines while the bite was running hot is not something I recommend either for the nerves or to appease frustration.
When we did finally got into action the bite had slowed somewhat. There were and still are plenty of small to mid sized Blacks around but you have to work to find them and put up with very crowded conditions . One day they are at Seal Rocks then at the Lighthouse or the Gibber, lucky ones or those in the know manage reasonable numbers while the rest work hard just to get a bite.
Fishing out wide has been complicated by the high temperatures and the speed of the current out there. Whether it is worth going out there to chase Blues is questionable but there have been some good sized Dollies taken as well as an unusually large number of Wahoo, good food fish at least.
With the Interclub competition on this week-end it will be well worth watching the results…
Finally the installation is finished and she ticked over first time; thank God for Danny Frizzel mechanic extraordinaire, there were a few anxious moments with wrong parts but it all came good in the end…
Sea trials tomorrow then its back to the ocean to refill my veins with salt water and maybe catch a Marlin or two…
Well as my new engine gets closer, hopefully within the next week or ten days I sit in frustration hearing about the good bite which appears to be happening all along the coast.
Blacks being found inshore, I have heard even close than the artificial reef off Sydney and close in off Long Reef as well as the inshore reefs off Port Stephens. There are Stripes, the occasional Blue and good sized Mahi Mahi further offshore though they are a bit harder to locate unless you are on the South coast.
The water out wide off Port Stephens is still very hot around the 28 to 29 C and as you would expect other than some flying fish not much else in it . It seems strange that in an El Ninio year the water is so hot.
Kingfish are still making their presence felt and downrigging seeming the way to go.
As I sit here writing, hearing the reports and looking at the good weather the salt water in my veins is slowly diluting I’ve got to get another fix real soon…
Because of my ‘blown’ engine and with a couple of weeks to fill in I went out on ‘Gale Force’ and fished the Bill Heyward Memorial tournament over last week-end: that is some boat.
To say I was glad to be on a plus 50 footer would be an understatement as on Saturday the seas were scary verging on frightening and the weather atrocious. Sunday was a turn around with calming seas which by afternoon were dead flat.
Out from Long Reef there was and still is a good bite happening with average sized Stripies being hooked regularly but as usual hard to keep on the hook, basically if you could find bait there were fish there, persistence being the key. Among the Marlin there are some good Dollies and even a couple of Yellowfin were in the mix, closer in shore small Blacks were encountered – it doesn’t get much better than this off Sydney.
Here’s to hoping it continues for a while yet…
After a good run up to Port Stephens yesterday Sunday was an anticlimax.
The water in the Port is like liquid chocolate then out around 30 fathoms it turns greeny-brown and at fifty to a clean green were there is a lot of bait and we raised a couple of small Blacks.
Further out around the 70 fathoms was a very marked colour change and a jump in temperature of nearly 2 degrees where at least one boat raised a couple of Striped Marlin. From there on the temperature just kept increasing as you went out : I recorded 27.3 degrees out wide and other boats were registering up to 28.5. I know there is a high degree of inaccuracy in these readings but it is still very warm even though the colour is amazing and looks very fishy.
Results for the weekend, amongs those fishing was disappointing for the amount of effort put in, and the bite on Saturday had moved further South. The big problem was the general lack of bait – if you find bait and stick with it you are in with a chance and this was made difficult in the 2.5 knot current.
Next weekends weather is not looking real good at present but hopefully it will turn things around – ever the optimist…
Due to the great weather over the last week the out-wide fishing is an unknown quantity but with what looks like a great week-end coming up there will be ample opportunity to fill in the gaps.
Previously there were some very large Mahi Mahi taken along and around the shelf and I had run into a long liner out wide and caught a nice Yellowfin the currents would indicate they could still be out there. Kingfish are still making their presence felt on both inshore and offshore reefs and there have been some huge Kings taken by spearfishermen also.
All in all this week-end offers a good opportunity to do some exploring in comfortable conditions unless of course the weather does its thing.
I went out on Sunday with a plan which is unusual for me since I generally let the conditions on the day govern my approach. But after looking at Saturday’s chart with a ‘Zero’ line close inshore and hearing from the local ‘bottom bouncers’ that the water was hot in close, almost lapping up to the cliffs I planned to look for Marlin in close.
However, on Sunday there was no hot water in close and the current was raging so it was off to look for the good stuff. The temperature and colour didn’t get appreciably better until into the 80 fathom area but we kept going. After the 300 fathoms the water cooled to less than 20 degrees with no appreciable life but I was going out.
In the 700 fathom area it started to warm again I and there were birds both searching and working but on something small which I couldn’t make out.
Anyway to cut a long story short I found a Long liner and he was setting so I spent some time in the area where there were groups of birds heavily working on baitfish being pushed up but because of the current they were moving by quickly. As I worked one of the groups we had a triple strike and I saw the ‘Shotgun’ explode and really scream off, unfortunately whatever it was straightened one of the hooks. One of the others fish just threw the hooks so we ended up with one out of three, a nice 38 kilo Yellowfin.
Through the day there were some nice Mahi Mahi taken one of which is a potential Junior record going 22 kilo’s on 15 kilo line. – a good effort.