Tag Archives: 12 Mile

Ambition report 31st.May’20

Bluefin off Sydney a couple of years ago…

As I look at my past reports I see that during last year’s May and June  Yellowfin produced some really good  fishing, most fish well over 55 kilo’s, here’s hoping…

Below  are   a couple  of paragraphs from last year’s    ‘Ambition Reports ‘….

Over the last few weeks Yellowfin tuna running between 25 and 70 kilo’s have been caught off Sydney. These fish are ranging over a wide area having been caught from wide and North of the ‘Bait Station’ all the way down the coast. Consequently they take a lot of finding and the changing conditions at sea every day don’t make it any easier. However once located the fun begins… if you’re lucky.’

Tuna time off Sydney...
Tuna time off Sydney…
Tuna time off Sydney…

Even though we arrived at the area late we managed this one fish and had another two strikes that sadly didn’t connect. I would have liked to stay until dark but the wind was picking up, probably doing 25 knots when we eventually left.

The bite was an early one and while we saw the end of it Markoo skippered by Benn Dullard had left port very early and managed four fish around the 35 kilo mark before we got there.

The area was alive.  There were more than a few Sperm Whales obviously feeding.  Also , Gannets all waiting for the tuna to push the bait to the surface.’

So with restrictions being lifted and competition fishing  commencing on 1st. June (tomorrow)  it is all starting to come together.

There was a Broadbill taken off the Southern Canyons yesterday and Ben Dullard on his boat ‘Markoo’ went out wide and found some Yellowfin tuna. The one he landed looked a good 60 to 65 kilo’s , unfortunately due to the current restrictions he couldn’t weight it, but that will change  from tomorrow.

Ben's May Yellowfin
Ben’s Yellowfin

Unfortunately  the weather is not looking too good for the next few days but Friday and Saturday look the goods. If you can trust predictions this far out.

Hopefully the fish will still be there…

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 Syste

Ambition report 13th.March’20

]Port Stephens to Sydney

I brought Ambition back from Port Stephens last Monday. I fished all the way down starting just North of the ‘Car Park ‘ trolling skip baits.

The plan was originally to come back on Sunday but due to the weather on Saturday my charter was pushed back to Sunday. Consequently we made the  trip back from Port Stephens  on Monday. Surprisingly the weather was pretty good as we left the Port even though the week-end’s weather  pad been pretty ordinary.

On the Leader…
Blacks in action...
Adam takes the leader…

The plan was to run out North of the ‘Car Park’, find some bait and troll skippies for an hour or so then put out the lures and work our way back  home to Sydney.

All went to plan, we found some bait and slowed down to put out the skippies, Adam had just put out one . Then as he was setting the  second one it was pulled out of his hand and a good sized Black tore off at a million miles an hour, so to speak. This fish gave a good account of itself giving us a good run for our money however the 24 kg. inevitably took its toll and the Black was soon released. Excitement all round as it was the angler’s first marlin.

A good Black…
A nice Black...
A nice Black…

 

 

 

 

So, with one fish under our belt, with the baits deployed we started again. It took a little longer to find the second fish and a bit more difficult to finally hook it. This Black came in on one of the skipped baits , hit it and dropped back without getting hooked. We then put out a live bait which it again picked up and again no hook up. Then while we were waiting and hoping for it to take the live bait again the other skipped bait was taken while it was sinking and this time the Black was hooked.

It was a strange fight in that the fish , quite a large Black that we called at least 120kg.,  never took a run and didn’t even go deep as you’d expect from a Black , So after a  very short  fight we dully released the Marlin .

Continuing our trip down we had changed over to lures. Oddly just past the Newcastle canyons the water started going green and cooling. I went closer looking for better water, no go. I went out to 500 fathoms , no change.  Conditions didn’t change for the rest of the run down. We did however get a strike from a good sized Striped Marlin on the Southern edge of the Norah Canyons. On examining the leader it was obviously the fish had been bill wrapped. The water was only 21.5 C , green and apparently lifeless.

Conditions don’t seem to be getting any better off Sydney as we approach what I’ve always considered the best time of year for our offshore fishing.

But ever being the optimist , it will get better.Nothing stays the same for long in the ocean.

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 Syste

Ambition report 2nd.March’20

Port Stephens Billfish in the form of Striped Marlin along with Blacks and the appearance of Blue Marlin were on the bite last week-end. Also amongst the Billfish  a good run of Mahi Mahi.

 

The Port Stephen Billfish turned on again last week-end. They were

Port Stephens March'20
Port Stephens March’20

big fish too. I heard of Stripies around the one hundred kilo mark and of at least one Black estimated at a hundred and fifty kilo’s by a very experienced skipper. Though they weren’t  in the same numbers as the Interclub the previous week there were  still enough  to go round. As usual it was a matter of find the bait and find the Marlin, so what’s new.

The baitfish along the shelf  were flighty and  difficult to stay in touch  with, however that is where the Marlin were. Those guys dunking bait into the schools didn’t fare as well as those covering ground by skipping rigged baits  or trolling live baits. Also, to make life more interesting for those dunking baits there were quite a few Whaler sharks in the mix.

Port Stephens March'20
Port Stephens March’20

The boats trolling lures also raised plenty of Marlin but as is usual the hook up rate not as good as with baits especially for the Striped Marlin. They did have the advantage though of raising the occasional Blue Marlin some of which I heard were on the large size. Apparently you didn’t have to go far to find the Blues either,  just wide of the ‘Car Park’ and other well known areas just over the shelf.

AMBITION…

I fished away from the crowds hovering over and trolling around the bait schools, looking for my own patch. I had quite a successful week-end skipping baits. The highlight, was after marking three or four fish under the boat , seeing four big Striped Marlin trying to eat two baits. We did hook two of them but unfortunately one was tail wrapped and while trying to keep up with it the other dropped off. It was pandemonium for a while  but we did get one of them.

Port Stephens March'20
Port Stephens March’20

So, Port Stephens Marlin. It would be hard to find a more productive area for catching all three species of our Marlin as well as all the other tropical species. The currents the bait  add up to a game fish  have.

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 13th.January’20

Experience Sydney’ hot Marlin bite , at present possibly one of the best bites for this time of years in years. It is ironic that I am taking Ambition up to Port Stephens in a couple of days  while Sydney’s hot Marlin bite continues.

Lee in action...
Lee in action…

Over the last couple of weeks Striped Marlin of varying sizes have been on the bite around the shelf. Just where they have been is the question. Generally you find them near the temperature breaks  where the bait is stacking up. So, find the bait and you find the fish.  Having  said that finding the fish can be the start of the problem. Striped Marlin being what they are can be the most frustrating of fish to hook up and keep hooked up. Small lures or bait are the go but even then nothing is sure.

Nice Stripy
Nice Stripy

In closer to shore where the bait has stacked up on the inshore reefs and off the headlands the Black Marlin have appeared. There was the occasional Black seen last week but since the water has warmed up inshore their numbers have increases significantly.  Reports of numbers of Blacks from further up the coast, around Coffs indicate  there could be more on their way down.

As I mentioned earlier in the report  I’m taking ‘Ambition’ to Port Stephens missing Sydney’s hot Marlin bite and will be there for the next couple of months fishing the tournaments and chartering . I still have a few days free and will keep you informed.

Tight lines,
Ivan

LINKS…

Weather and Sea State :

Buoyweather
Bureau of Meteorology
Radar
Seabreeze
Weatherzone
Weathercams
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

Home

 

Ambition report 17th.December’19

One of the biggest frustrations of running a charter boat is not being able to go out whenever you want. Especially frustrating is when you know the fish are there or when the bite is on. My situation last week-end.

Port Stephens Blue...
Blue Marlin…

And just to add to the  frustrations just hearing about the Striped Marlin bite off Port Stephens and Norah Canyons the previous week and the many encounters off Sydney last week. It finally happened, the greater body of Marlin moved into Sydney waters.

From what I have heard there were lots of boats out there with most if not all at least seeing a fish. As is usual with Striped Marlin for every fish hooked many were lost.

The Stripies seemed to come in a range of sizes with a few boats and experienced fishermen from SGFC tagging fish of around 100 kg. as well as fish in the 60 kg. range. It would appear there are a couple of year classes involved.

Port Stephens Blue...
Another Mighty Blue…

Will it continue ? Yes, it is the beginning. But at this early stage of the season the currents haven’t yet settled in so you still have to find the water and the bait.

I don’t know if anyone has heard about the Blacks moving down the coast in their annual run. I have heard there is plenty of bait waiting for them up the North but have heard nothing.

http://www.ambitioncharters.com.au

Tight lines,
Ivan

Don’t forget Port Stephens, the best Game fishing spot in NSW, I’ll be there and available from 20th.January’20 until 16th.March’20…

Blue Msrlin tagged
Tagged

LINKS…

Weather and Sea State :

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Weatherzone
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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

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Ambition report 2nd. December’19

That elusive Marlin.

At this time of year the  keen Game Fisher people are out looking for the first Marlin of the season. In most clubs this is a much contested trophy with a great degree of kudos and boasting rights  to the winner.

robs-yellowfin
robs-yellowfin

With that in mind and seeing that the water was warming up I and a four  other members of SGFC  went out hunting. On the way we had a look at the 12 Mile but it was loaded with Jackets and after losing two rigs we were off. Out went the lures and the hunting began. It was pretty lumpy going for a while  and I lost sight of a couple of crew members for a while, sleeping they said.

robs-yellowfin
robs-yellowfin

There was no apparent bait or birds working around the shelf so we moved on, working our way out. It wasn’t until near the thousand fathom line that we saw any  life.

A couple of Sunfish showed up near a temperature break in a thousand fathoms and I saw a school of what I thought were Striped Tuna. There was life here so I worked the break and was eventually rewarded with a crashing strike on the short corner. The fish took such a long first run I thought at first we might have found our Marlin. However the fish never jumped but it did stay near the surface . It must have taken two hundred meters on that first run and poor Rob had to work really hard to get it back. When we did eventually see  it was a Yellowfin we were a little surpised. It never went deep and never did that gut wrenching  circling.

robs-yellowfin
robs-yellowfin

So even though that elusive Marlin eluded us we did have a good 40 kilo’s of Yellowfin to satisfy our needs. At least until we get out again to chase that elusive first Marlin.

Tight lines,
Ivan

LINKS

Weather and  Sea State :
Buoyweather
Bureau of Meteorology
Radar
Seabreeze
Weatherzone
Weathercams
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

Home.

Ambition report 25th.November’19

 

Yellowfin Tuna
Yellowfin Tuna

November is proving to be a good month for Yellowfin Tuna. Though not the big ones of a few months ago fish ranging from 8 to 30 kilo’s  may be found.

I went out on Saturday  after many cancellations due to bad weather, I was going out come hell or high water. As it turned out the marginal  forecast for Saturday was wrong  and it turned out great, no wind all day, overcast with an oily sea,  just perfect.

I targeted an area  in 1000 fathoms were it looked like a cooler water eddy was forming . We put the gear out  inside the shelf  just in case that Striped Marlin just happened to be lurking around.  We put out a Stripy lure  also.

Yellowfin Tuna
Yellowfin Tuna

It was all pretty quiet, with very little bird action though we did manage a couple of Striped Tuna so at least something was moving around. As we moved into the cooler water  I started marking small schools of bait ( I assume ) down thirty to forty fathoms. We worked the area for a while and saw  a couple of Sun fish and the occasional surface flurry from something unknown.

As I reached the other side of the eddy  we had a screamer of a strike on the Shot Gun  quickly followed by another on  the Stripy lure and as Ron was clearing the lines yet another fish, we were on a triple.

As can only happen when Game Fishing a little madness followed. Ron went to sunset to get one of the fish in quickly which worked well until he got it close to the boat where it unfortunately cut off one of the other fish. That wouldn’t have been so bad but it was my favourite Brad ‘J’ that we lost.

We brought the other two to gaff, both fish in the 20 nto 25 kilo range, took some happy snaps and since it was now late we headed for home.

All in all a good day…

Tight lines,
Ivan

LINKS..
Weather and  Sea State :
Buoyweather
Bureau of Meteorology
Radar
Seabreeze
Weatherzone
Weathercams
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

Home.

Ambition report 30th.October’19

Spring Gamefishing is always a bit hit and miss but this Spring has been more unusual than most. The weather has been fickle and the currents even more so.

Day One:

I went out late last week during a break in the weather . The charts showed some good water East of Browns  and some colder  water out a bit further, the edge was the target. There  was a build up of bait just inside the shelf. So, hoping for that first Marlin the lures were put out.

Yellowfin Tuna
Yellowfin Tuna

Amazingly from just outside the shelf  to about 250 fathoms there was huge amounts of bait. I can truly say I have only seen bait like that at Port Stephens. Needless to say I worked it for a while , didn’t mark anything so after about an hour moved wider to the temperature break.

On the way there was still a lot of bait but in smaller schools. The whole scene looked very fishy and just to prove it as I started to work the area we hooked a  Yellowfin of around 25 kilo’s which made the inexperienced angler work for it. Their excitement was palpable.

Yellowfin Tuna
Yellowfin Tuna
Day Two:

I went out again on Sunday with some friends and club members. This time aiming for that first Marlin. After all the bait I had seen on my previous trip it had to be on the cards.

I couldn’t believe how much the water had changed. Inshore the water was blue and 20 degree but as we approached the shelf it got cooler and cooler. There was still plenty of bait around the shelf so out went the lures.

Strangely even though the water was getting cooler there was still huge amounts of bait out to 300 fathoms. A couple of boats South of me reported similar bait build ups. I surmise  there was a warmer current below the cooler surface . Well we continued out but this time I was marking good fish deep around the bait. I made the decision to bring in my shotgun (Brad ‘J’) and put out a  ‘Bluewater Livy’ . The idea was to stop the boat and let it drop into the bait school when I marked bigger fish around them.

As it happened the first time I tried it we hooked up. After a good fight that took two anglers we landed a Yellowfin of around 45 kilo’s. We continued, optimistism running high, unfortunately no more hook ups.  Later in the day and well away from the bait I marked what I thought was a Marlin. Sure enough the ‘Lumo’ went off but no hookup. I knew I shouldn’t have left that ‘Bluewater Livy’ out there because Murphy stepped in and it went off in a screaming run and then just stopped.

A lesson learned, like most , the hard way.

Tight lines,
Ivan

LINKS
Weather and  Sea State :
Buoyweather
Bureau of Meteorology
Radar
Seabreeze
Weatherzone
Weathercams
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

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Ambition report 21st.October’19

Decisions, decisions, which way to go  –  do I go North or South, stay here or keep looking . These dilemmas are what I suppose most of us face every day we head out.

These were the thoughts going through my head as I headed out last Friday. In previous days other boats found Yellowfin  East and South of Sydney   between five hundred and a thousand fathoms. However I liked  a patch of water showing on the charts to the North -East.

Yellow gold
October Yellowfin

Because of the weather conditions I decided to go East, work my way South and come back with the wind.

Inside the shelf I found heaps of bait  so put the lures out hoping for a Marlin which didn’t happen. We pushed on to the area were   previous reports indicated Yellowfin encounters but there was no sign no life, no birds and no bait. I worked the area for a while to no avail. To save the day we put out a Stripy lure and caught a few Striped Tuna which as a fringe benefit cured some seasickness.

October Yellowfin

So Saturday came around and there was no decision to make. We were going North-East to the patch of water in three hundred fathoms.

Again , around the shelf there was a good build up of bait so we put the Marlin lures out in anticipation  as well as a  Stripy lure for insurance. We didn’t catch a Marlin but we did get a couple of Striped tuna. Then  in the middle of nowhere the rigger with Blue Illusion went off and it definitely wasn’t a Stripy.

After a  short fight before a very excited and less than experienced crew , as can be seen on the video, we landed a Yellowfin of around 25kgs. Photo’s taken we continued on. At this stage one of the clients who was quite sick  started looking really bad with a couple of the others also looking the worst for wear. So with a nice fish on board we made the decision  to head back. However since we were still in fishy waters I suggested we continue trolling for a little longer . Unbelievably another strike , Blue Illusion again, from obviously a much bigger fish this time and remarkably  within a hundred metres of were we caught the first fish.

October Yellowfin

This Yellowfin went through two anglers and after and hour they brought to gaff. Back at the club it weighed in at 69 kilo’s.

Interestingly we caught both ‘fin  on blind strikes with no indication of bait or bird life and in much shallower water than previous  reports indicated. It makes you wonder just how many fish we drive over.

The other thing of interest is the build up of bait on and around the shelf . I don’t think it will be long before the Striped Marlin become more prevalent.

Tight lines,
Ivan

LINKS

Weather and  Sea State :
Buoyweather
Bureau of Meteorology
Radar
Seabreeze
Weatherzone
Weathercams
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

Home

Ambition report 30th. Sept’19

Unseasonal seems to be the catch cry at present. Even though the water temperature is  quite normal for this time of year  there have been species off Sydney that normally aren’t seen until the summer currents  come in.

Though we do often see a run of bigger Mahi Mahi in November a few have turned up  over the last couple of months in cold water. On Friday John Sartori in his new boat caught a good sized Spearfish  that he estimated at 40kgs. and yesterday both Rob Curry and we on Ambition both hooked Spearfish also.  Spearfish normally show up in the warmest water with Blue Marlin not in 19 degrees. Over winter a couple of Tiger sharks turned up . Whereas the normal run of Mako’s and Blue sharks didn’t eventuate  nor did the  much anticipated run of Bluefin.

We went out on Saturday in less than favourable conditions but it was forecast to abate . Also I know how Yellowfin like rough water. It was getting rough past the 12 mile so we put out the lures in anticipation.   All was going well until we reached the current, a Southerly current of at least 2knots and  the sea really stood up. The plan was to work down the edge of the current staying outside the rough water until I was South of Browns then to work out wider with the following sea.  Well the best made plans of mice and men, what was supposed to abate went the other way and the wind was doing a steady 25 knots.

The new plan was to run in, catch some live bait and hopefully a King. This plan worked until it came to catching a King and after a fruitless hour or two we gave up and returned to the club. The funny thing was that after the clients left, Rob my deckhand decided to put out one of the livies while we cleaned up. As luck would have it he ended up the a 70cm King.

Sunday was the opposite of Saturday, calm seas and a light breeze, hard to believe it was the same ocean. Without going into to much detail we trolled out to the thousand fathom line then worked North. We saw lots of Whales and Dolphins but little else. The radio however was really annoying. Yellowfin everywhere were the constant calls which would have been great  but they where all off Kiama, I had to turn the radio off.

I picked up a boat in the distance which looked like a long liner so headed towards it.  To cut a long story short as we approached  the boat we had a strike on the short corner. At first it looked like a Marlin doing its window wiper  imitation.  However as it settled down I could see it was much too small for a Marlin and was in fact a Spearfish.

So, that was the weekend two totally different days but both frustrating.

Tight lines,
Ivan

P.S.  – I will be in Port Stephens from mid-January until mid-March and am taking bookings now…

LINKS

Weather and  Sea State :
Buoyweather
Bureau of Meteorology
Radar
Seabreeze
Weatherzone
Weathercams
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

Home