Tag Archives: 12 Mile

ition report 19th.February’19

After fishing at Port Stephens for the last few days, I must say it hasn’t been great fishing. In fact by Port Stephens standards it is terrible.

Conditions at sea hadn’t changed much since I arrived at Port. The water out to 76 fathoms was cold and green. Beyond  the colour changes until at around the 80 fathoms line it is deep blue and the temp.  gets up to 27C and running at up to three knots.

On board I had Tony and three of his friends making up a team from Mackay for the ‘Shootout’.

Tonys Spearfish
Tonys Spearfish

Ironically on the two days before the tournament we raised four Marlin and a Mahi Mahi. We tagged a Black but the other three were small Stripies that took a run or two then dropped off. After examining the leaders it was apparent they were bill-wrapped. Such is the frustration of fishing for these fickle fish. All the fish we raised were on the edge of the hot water in the clean green stuff. During the first day of the ‘Shootout’ we fished the same area and couldn’t raise a scale. I couldn’t believe it. We never saw a fish the whole day. On the second day we went out wide, to the area where last year I had taken Tony to try and catch his first Spearfish and where I first used Peter’s Brad ‘J’.

As it happens someone was looking down on Tony. It was his turn on strike when we had a hit which turned out to be a Spearfish of around 20kgs. Well we thought our luck had finally changed but no, we didn’t see anything else all day. In passing I have never heard of so many Spearfish being caught in one day. I believe there were eleven taken and tagged. Interestingly there were also quite a few Yellowfin around also.

Who knows what will happen over the next few weeks. With so much happening weatherwise all along the coast anything could happen.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 11th. February’19

The juvenile Blacks should be at Port Stephens now so should the Stripes and even the Blues, but where are they ? Fisher people are finding the occasional fish, mostly small Blacks, but up until now there is no consistency.

I went out on Saturday with great expectations. Last week out wide there were big Mahi Mahi and we found a few Marlin. The currents have since moved closer inshore and even slowed a little.  All seemed well and on the improve.

We went wide, out into the hot current which had gotten even hotter. Whereas last week my guage ( I stress my guage ) was showing 25.8 to 26 degrees this day it went over 27 degrees.  Also, compared to last week there was no live other than the occasional Flying fish.

In my travels and after hours of fruitless trolling I passed over ‘Almark’. To my surprise I marked fish mid-water. I was surprised because with the current racing I didn’t expect to see anything. Consequently to save the day I suggested a jigging session to at least curb my clients frustration.

 

Almark King...
Almark King…

It took a drift or two to locate the fish, the wind and current making it quite a chore. However once I got it right the Kings started coming in. We ended up with twelve fish between 75 and 90 cm. with one over a metre. It was especially interesting when we had triple hook-ups as the boys had had more than a couple of drinks, but we won’t go there.

Almark King...
Some more Almark King…

 

 

 

 

 

As for the Marlin…there is plenty of bait inshore so hopefully if the current finally moves in close it will trigger the action. In the meantime all we can do is give it a go. Interestingly there have been a few Longliners in Port so we might get a run of Yellowfin like last year. If the Yellowfin turn up the Blue Marlin won’t be far behind – how’s that for optimism.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 21st.December’18

Marlin madness is a strange condition. For those smitten it is usually after an encounter with one of these remarkable predators. I could go on about Marlin for hours but those smitten know without me saying anything further. All I will say is, it is Marlin madness season.

Whether you are a died in wool Game fisher or a novice, catching or tagging  your first Marlin or the first of the season has special meaning.

AMBITION'S first of the Season
AMBITION’S first of the Season

Mike Schlezinger in his boat ‘Restless’  raised eight Marlin and tagged two on his way up to Port Stephens a couple of days ago. Also I heard of several boats from Lake Macquarie to Port Stephens encountering numbers of Striped and Blue Marlin. So obviously the time was drawing near. I had a charter booked and they were keen to catch Marlin, perfect.

The plan was to work from the ‘Bait Station’ up to the ‘Norah Canyons’, a long way but that’s where the fish were. I hoped that now the current was running South it would bring the fish closer.

December Stripe Marlin
December Stripe Marlin

Finally wide of Broken Bay in about 200 fathoms the water warmed to just over 23 degrees and went blue; time to put the lures in. About an hour into the troll we raised a Striped Marlin which hit the ‘Lumo’ on the rigger but didn’t come back. A little further on Lindon spotted a Marlin tailing. I ran the lures right in front of it but it just dived and we didn’t see it again. From there the troll to the canyon was uneventful. We did see a couple of Manta Rays lots of Dolphins and mutton birds searching. Further South another boat, I think it was called Sea Strike, had dropped a Marlin wide of the Bait Station and had caught a nice Mahi Mahi  and several 15 to 20 kilo Yellowfin Tuna indicating there could be some Blue Marlin about.

We reached the Southern canyon, did a lap with no result and started the long downhill run home. Just when we were losing hope the ‘Lumo’ on the rigger took off, then the other rigger with ‘Blue Illusion’ screamed.  On deck they were calling double strike but I was fighting one on the teaser and Lindon while pulling in the shot gun had  another hitting it and I could see yet another one about to inhale the Blue Angel.

We had been pack attacked…

In the end we tagged one of them but lost one of the others after a short fight. Pure pandemonium reigned for a short time and that’s what Game Fishing is all about. Those moment of utter mayhem.

I would like to clarify the fact that this fish does not qualify for the First Marlin Trophy at Sydney Game Fishing Club. Firstly it was not caught by a member and secondly was caught on a charter.

So boys and girls go for it…

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 3rd.December’18

 

Summertime Marlin...
Marlin !!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is summertime and the first Marlin of the season still hasn’t been caught or tagged by a SGFC member in Sydney waters. It was with this in mind that we went out last Saturday. The charts were showing good water wide and North of Browns so that was to be our destination.

I went out with Gerard Searle on his boat ‘Tshukudu’. It was a perfect morning. An unusually calm sea and no wind or rain in sight, a rare thing indeed in Sydney of late.

The water around 12 Mile looked good as we passed and several boats were there chasing Kingfish. I don’t know if they were doing any good but we were after Marlin so in went the lures  and we headed off to Browns.

Just inside the shelf we marked some bait but it was deep so we continued on our way. The water was getting warmer and bluer as we approached Browns. Groups of Mutton birds and Albatrosses became more evident the wider we went. The birds were definitely searching as opposed to travelling.

We continued on out searching with the birds but saw no action other than a couple of big Sunfish. I saw the occasional large splash in the distance which I thought were probably Sunfish too. We continued out to the 500 fathom line and saw a Long liner in the distance . Well obviously we had to have a look. We didn’t find his line but we did find a 0.3 degree temperature break.

In the distance Skip saw a school of Sauries take to the air. There were big splashes behind them as some type of reasonable sized fish, probably tuna, chased them. We spent some time in the area but found no other activity.

So that was the day. Other than the school of Sauries and the Sunfish we saw no other action. But it did look good and we felt something might happen at any second. The water looked good, the colour was good the temperature got to 22 degrees . The birds were definitely acting like something was in the area. The only thing I could fault was that the current was running North. I guess you have to blame something.

Tight lines,
Ivan

Next stop… Port Stephens
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Ambition report 5th. November’18

It’s that time of year again –  Billfish time.

Port Stephens Blue
Lumo and Blue Marlin

 

 

 

 

November is when the warm water currents from the North start to move inshore and push further South. Consequently with this warm water come the great pelagics, MarlinSpearfish, Wahoo and Mahi Mahi. It is also when club fisher people get excited about their first Marlin trophies and the competition can be fierce.

Mahi Mahi
A beautiful Mahi Mahi

So with the ‘First Marlin’ trophy ( tagged ) for the Sydney Game Fishing Club in mind we went out hunting. The plan was to do a drop on Browns and then head out wider to where there was an eddy developing.

On the way we went over a couple of offshore reefs and on the 9 mile the sounder showed a heap of fish in min-water. It was too good an opportunity to miss. So out came the jigs and it wasn’t long before we had a few nice Kings on board.

Kingies anyone ?
Kingies anyone ?

We were after Marlin so with a feed on  board and  temperature over 23 C out went the lures.

To say conditions looked good would be an understatement. Temperature over 23 degrees, a clear deep blue colour, patches of bait in mid-water and enough chop to make it interesting. The stage was set all we needed were the actors.

Unfortunately we reached Browns without interruption. We did a couple of laps without result and decided to do a drop. To cut a long story short we managed a Deep Sea Perch and the smallest Gemfish I have ever seen. Consequently it was back to trolling. In the meantime I heard one of the boats capturing a Spearfish being and another losing  two Marlin around the ‘Bait Station’. Also another boat was fighting a good sized Tiger shark.

We trolled North and out. Unfortunately the water went dirty and cooled so I moved inshore until I found the Southerly current then headed North. Sadly we didn’t find any action and the radio had gone quiet. On a positive note the water warmed as we went North and inshore from the shelf  to around 70 fathoms there was heaps of bait.

November is a very frustrating month…

Tight lines,
Ivan

 

 

Ambition report 29th. October’18

November often sees an early run of the pelagics i.e.  Mahi Mahi and Marlin.  As the warmer water up North really starts pushing down the shelf it bring with it the first of these oceanic wanderers.

Mahi Mahi
A good eating Mahi Mahi…

However this October, after what has seemed the longest run of bad weather and bad timing as far as Charters goes, has come alive.  For those who could take advantage of a break in the weather last week the rewards were there. Don’t get me wrong you’ll still have to work for the results but at least we know it isn’t futile.

The last time I was out conditions looked good. I found blue water nearly 22 degrees with birds searching and small schools of bait down fifteen fathoms. It felt like it was going to happen. I noticed small tuna hitting the swivels on the bigger rigs so put out a feather jig and started catching Striped Tuna. So the bait is there.

Marlin doing it thing...
Marlin doing it thing…

For those who haven’t heard ; at Port Stephens Paul Leaming’s boat ‘Hoodlum’ tagged a good sized Blue Marlin and raised another. Off Broken Bay the Findlay’s boat ‘Murrifin’ also tagged a good sized Blue Marlin. It doesn’t end there. I have also heard of at least one big Mahi Mahi and another Spearfish.

I think the big question is will this season’s run of Marlin, especially the Blues, be as good as the last one ?

Though the current is pushing hard some of the boats bottom dropping are getting results, Blue Eye and Deep Sea Perch being the main catch.

I don’t know how the wider reefs are going for Kings. The last time I was out there was nothing but that changes daily. Closer in shore and in the harbour is where most of the Kingfish action is to be found.

In short, if Game Fishing is your thing the action is definitely on the up. But as is usual the weather is the enemy.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 22nd. October’18

I am afraid I have to say it but the Pakula ‘Brad ‘J” bullet has done it again with the capture of a very early season Spearfish.

October Spearfish
October Spearfish

I went out on ‘Shukudu’ owned by Gerard Searle on Monday to see if we could find those elusive Yellowfin. The damned things are out there but not in great numbers.  Over the last few weeks the ‘fin have been evident with  just enough caught to tease us into chasing them, such is their allure.

The plan was to troll from the shelf, in the hope of a Marlin, then out wide to the thousand fathom line and depending on what we found to turn either North or South. As so happened out wide the current was going hard to the South. We decided to travel down as far as the Southern canyons then turn for home as the radio reports were not very conducive to optimism. And that’s when we got the strike, as we made the turn to head inshore the shot gun with ‘Brad’J” screamed off. The initial run was impressive but after that the fish came in easily. We expected to see a middle sized Yellowfin the last thing we expected was a spearfish. I must say though that later, on the bar BQ at the club it tasted great.

Adam's Spearfish
Adam’s Spearfish

Later I heard there were a few ‘fin taken between Wollongong and wide of Port Hacking as well as a couple of 30 kg.  fish somewhere East of Sydney.

The Kingfish are as elusive as the damned Yellowfin. On the offshore reefs they are on one day and who knows where the next.  The one constant is that the Jackets are always there. The best you can do is keep going, eventually the timing will be right

Now for a bit of advertising:

My charter for the ‘Shootout’ at Port Stephens in mid February has just cancelled. Consequently I am available for one of the best tournaments on the East Coast at one of the best fishing locations in NSW.

Winning Shootout
Winning Team Tag & Release Shootout

 

 

 

 

 

Call or Email if you are interested.

ph   : 0427 887 707
em  : sales@ambitioncharters.com.au

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Ambition report 24th. September’18

Reports of Yellowfin tuna have been coming in over the last couple of weeks. Those ‘fin encountered have been in two basic classes, biggish ones over forty kilo’s and others going fifteen to twenty five kilo’s. However as we all know any Yellowfin is a good one. The main problem other than locating the fish is the weather. It seems to go bad on the weekends and whenever I have a charter. It seems mother nature is enforcing its own lock out.

School Yellowfin...
School Yellowfin…

 

 

 

 

 

On my way back from Botany where I was having some repairs and my annual survey done, I was told of good sized Yellowfin wide of the Southern canyons. I hadn’t planned to go out on the Saturday but there was a break in the weather and the lure of Yellowfin too great.

We went out heading directly to the Southern canyons, put the lures in South of Browns and started hunting. There were whales everywhere and strangely there were an inordinate number of them  breaching. Also millions of Mutton birds on their migration back from Siberia making difficult to find birds that were working. As we approached the area where Bob Curry had seen the ‘fin in clean bluish water I noted that the water was now a dirty green and running hard to the South. I had been told the current was Northerly but today it was running South with no sign of life in it – what a difference a day can make.

12 Mile Kingfish...
12 Mile Kingfish…

I headed out wider and slowly the temperature rose until about the thousand fathom area there was a distinct colour change and the temperature rose to just over 19 C.

We followed this break North and other than a big Sun fish and a couple of small groups of birds circling an area didn’t find any tuna. I did work the area for a while but didn’t mark anything so moved on towards the Bait Station.

In about seven hundred fathoms just South of the Bait Station I marked a Long Liner some four miles East. At the same time I heard that Mike Clarkson had found a school of Yellowfin and caught five. They were another eight miles North East of me but  since it was getting late now and there was two knots of current against us  I decided to just troll towards home. After all we were in the same patch of water and there are no fences out here.

Interestingly there were also reports of the fin being found wide and South of the Southern canyons.

As for the other goings on. There are Kings on the offshore reefs but they are here today and gone tomorrow. There are lots of undersize Kings inshore too. It seems the bottom fishing at Browns is also a day to day proposition and even the shark fishing is slow. Though it was definitely slow fishing last week-end you could always blame  the moon or the increased currents. So if you believe the moon has anything to do with it next week should be better.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 10th.September’18

Spring is usually a great time for fishing off Sydney. Out wide Tuna usually show up with Albacore and Yellowfin in the mix. Also on the offshore reefs the Kingies should be in residence. Around Browns Gemmies are still around with the occasional Blue Eye as well as Mako and Blue sharks ready to steal your hard won catch.

High Flying Mako Shark...
High Flying Mako…

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately so far this Spring the weather has been abysmal. Over the last few weeks while waiting for a break in the weather I noticed Long Liners working fifty to sixty miles out. I know that just because there are Long Liners in the area it doesn’t mean we as line fishermen can catch them but it does indicate there are fish in the area.

Yellowfin Tuna...
Yellowfin Tuna…

So Sunday was the first time in weeks I have been able to get out and anticipation was high. It was pretty lively going for the first few hours but as the day warmed the sea calmed right down. We had a jigging session on the 12 Mile but when the guys brought up a couple of Barracouta it was obviously time to move on.

Gemfish a Browns
Gemfish a Browns

Heading East we put the lines in on the shelf where there was some bird life, hoping for an early season Marlin.  The only marine life we did see were whales, lots of whales. In fact on our way home in the evening I had the closest encounter with whales I have ever had. If I had have been going any faster there would have been a collision.

I didn’t end up finding the tuna but the water looked good. There were areas where birds were obviously searching. We saw a couple of schools of Striped Tuna and bait fish. We found bait down deep as well as on the surface out around the thousand fathom line. It looked alive but alas not while we were there.

So here’s hoping…

Again as a reminder, I’ll am taking bookings for Port Stephens where I’ll be available from mid-January until mid-March.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 16th. August’18

I want to take this opportunity to say that I am taking bookings for the upcoming Port Stephens 2019 season. I will be available from mid-January until mid-March’19.

As most would know this year’s Marlin season at Port Stephens was the best in many years. Best of all was the fabulous run of Blue Marlin. In fact out on the Car Park all three species of Marlin were biting their heads off, a rarity in itself. Unfortunately there were lots of Whaler sharks amongst them.

Sadly I haven’t had much to write about these last few days. The weather has been disastrous for anyone who has wanted to go to sea.

Never the less  there are Long Liners working wide off Sydney. This would indicate there are Yellowfin or maybe even some late season Bluefin out there. There are reports of Bluefin off the South coast but then again the weather is keeping all but the professionals in the harbour.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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