Tag Archives: 12 Mile

Ambition report 10th.July’19

Yellowfin Tuna
Yellowfin Tuna

As we anxiously await the arrival of the Bluefin tuna we are experiencing, or were experiencing a good run of Yellowfin.
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.

Yellowfin Tuna
Yellowfin Tuna

I was out on Sunday in ideal conditions. As it happened the bite had been early. However as we arrived there was a boat fighting so we set the gear and started searching. Over the next hour or so we saw several bust-ups but they were over so quickly we couldn’t get to them in time. Eventually a school made a mistake and busted only 50 metres ahead of us. With all eyes watching and wishing the fish to bite expectations were high.

First the rigger went off then the flat line and while the guys were

Yellowfin Tuna
Yellowfin Tuna

clearing the other lines the Shot gun took off. A triple with very inexperienced anglers. After the initial confusion the anglers and the tuna settled in with all three circling under the boat – a recipe for disaster. Fortunately Rob and Frank managed to keep the lines from crossing. Sadly we lost one of the fish as it was about to be gaffed when it made a run under the boat and caught the rudder. In retrospect it probably helped making the other two fish easier to land. The guys were ecstatic with two 35 kilo fish to take home. Since there was no further action in the area I started trolling for home which was several hours away.

A short way from Browns I saw a huge school of Sauries take off and much to my surprise as I turned to chase them a school of Mahi Mahi took to the air close behind them. Quite a spectacular sight but not one that I have ever seen in mid-winter.

Yellowfin Tuna
Yellowfin Tuna

 

 

 

 

 

I went out again on Monday but this time left earlier hoping to catch that early bite of the day before. Other boats were already working the area and the news wasn’t good. The water had cooled and I don’t think anyone out there had seen anything.

When we arrived where we did indeed find cooler water and more current. Shortly after we arrived a trailer boat hooked up on a triple not far from us. We and several other boats started working the area but all to no avail. Surprisingly George from Wahoo Charters called up saying he’d just caught a 6 kilo Mahi Mahi. I then moved a bit wider and had a strike on the Shotgun. All I saw was a flash of blue and assumed we had also hooked a Mahi Mahi. Then a bill appeared followed by the rest of a Striped Marlin, unbelievable. Sadly we only had it for a few minutes before we parted ways. The only saving grace for the day was when we landed a good sized Albacore.

I did hear later in the day of a boat out a fair bit wider finding schools of Yellowfin but it was much too far for us to go.

So we still await the arrival of the Bluefin Tuna which seem to be holding up to the South though there are occasional reports of closer fish.

Until then…

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 3rd.July’19

.July Tuna  :

After the less than comfortable conditions last Saturday yesterday was a dream. We’d heard that the ‘fin were still around so off we went. On Saturday  the bite occurred fairly early so I didn’t make my regular stop over at 12 mile or Browns.

Well after an hour and a half running we put the gear in at the 500 fathom line. I  noticed  a temp break and followed it further offshore.

July tune - Yellowfin
July tune – Yellowfin

After another hour of trolling July Tuna were looking like  a no go, and then  with the clients showing signs of boredom we had a massive strike on a rigger and shortly after one of the flat lines took off at a rate of knots. Well boredom quickly turned into mayhem as the crew raced to the rods.

Finally under a semblance of control we settled in to fight what were obviously two big fish. The guys neither of whom had had much experience on this type of gear settled in and with Ron’s guidance and their mates support started to make headway. Unfortunately twenty minutes into the fight we had a tackle failure and lost one of the fish. It then took almost another half hour to bring the second fish to the boat where we gaffed and brought aboard a beautiful Yellowfin of 65 to 70 kilo’s.

July tune - Yellowfin
July tune – Yellowfin

After photo’s and congratulations we put the lures out again. The radio was telling of ‘fin out a little wider so off we went. We hadn’t travelled far and finally had the other boats in sight when again two rods went off. This time they were obviously smaller fish and the guys had them under control when inextricably one of them just dropped off. However the other fish a Yellowfin of around 35 kilo’s was landed.

A little later I saw a school of Sauries take off obviously some unknown predator  wanting to eat. I got close a couple of times but nothing eventuated. As I moved away we had another strike on one of the minnows. At first I thought it was a small fin because I could see a yellow tail. But as it happened and much to my surprise it turned out to be a Mahi Mahi. Not what you expect in the middle of winter.

July Mahi Mahi
July Mahi Mahi

Of interest to me was that there was no sign that there were any fish in the area when we had the strikes. There were no birds no bait and no whales unlike last Saturday when the area was so obviously alive.

Well I guess that’s fishing…

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 16th.June’19

We went out yesterday,  winter  fishing,  in ideal conditions. I was aiming to have a shot at Kings then go to the Mountain do a drop or two and go wide to have a late cubing session on the thousand fathom line where there were supposed to be long liners.

 
Winter Striped Marlin
Winter Striped Marlin

As it happened live bait was hard to find but we did manage a few. Arriving at 12 mile the soundings looked good but after several lost rigs and a couple of jackets landed it was time to get out of there.

 
 We put the lures out and we headed off to Browns.   As we neared the

Striped Marlin

shelf I sounded schools of bait and they were fairly high in the water column. Even though it was June and the temperature and water colour weren’t great it was looking increasingly fishy.

 
Just on the edge we had a hit on the shotgun where Brad ‘J’ lives. It took off a bit of line but no hook-up so Howie tried teasing with the lure to no effect then as I made a turn to circle the area the fish hit again we had our hook-up. We’d hooked  a good Striped Marlin of around eighty kilo’s which put up a great show for the novice angler.

Winter Striped Marlin
Winter Striped Marlin
 
We ended up coming back inside Browns and starting a cube trail. Rhys put a jig down and to my surprise hooked up on his first drop. We were all speculating as to what it was. The fish was going pretty well so  I thought it  was an Albacore. Unfortunately  it broke the line  however later on the guys using cubes caught a couple of big Striped tuna so I guess that was what we lost, I think…
 
www.ambitioncharters.com.au
 
Tight lines,
Ivan
 
 
 

Ambition report 27th.May’19

We went out last Wednesday to try and find those mysterious Yellowfin. Reports had been coming in of the Yellowfin ranging along the temperature break South-East of Browns. Along with the‘fin were occasional encounters with Blue and Striped Marlin. One of which we caught last week.

Striped Marlin playing up...
Striped Marlin playing up…
 
We took Joseph Liu out, he primarily wanted to deep drop on Browns and have a go at Kingfish on the way. Unfortunately the current was not favourable at all.
 
The Peak were there had been some action over previous days was completely shut down. To top it off there was no way to fish Browns, in my opinion, with 3.5 knots of current. So, the last option was to go wide, find the temperature break and maybe those mysterious  Yellowfin and Marlin. Well we did just that and we were working the break when Ben who was just ahead of us in his boat ‘Markoo’ called up to say the were hooked up to a Yellowfin which they ultimately landed, it weighed 62.5 kilo’s. So we were in the right area but unfortunately to no avail. Of interest it was apparent the current was easing.

Striped Marlin playing up…
 
I got another chance to chase those elusive Yellowfin on Friday. I took out Tim and Scott who had just arrived from Minnesota after an unexpected delay, so were a little fatigued. The aim again was to go to the temperature break, work it and hopefully find them a fish.
 

We got to the break were it was immediately apparent the current had eased and moved further out. I know a lot of anglers believe in the change of tide but I am a sceptic having caught heaps of Marlin well away from the changes. In this case the change was at 12:38pm. We had a crashing strike at 12:20pm., I’m still a sceptic.

Striped Marlin playing up...
Striped Marlin playing up…
 
When the fish struck I thought I’d seen a bill but the fish never showed itself, maybe it was a ‘fin. Then after nearly half an hour it started to move up to the surface where I got a glimpse, it was a Marlin and when it jumped a big Stripy revealed itself.
 
Either because this fish had conserved its energy by staying deep or because Tim and Scott were jetlagged and had had a VB or two it put up a tough fight and both of them fought it a couple of times. As you will see in the video it didn’t want to give in and was incredibly aggressive even at the end .
 
The current out there has eased further and the fact that there are Long liners working near that break is indicative of Yellowfin in the area. Hopefully when the weather stabilises again we’ll find them, we’ll certainly be looking.
 
www.ambitioncharters.com.au
 
Tight lines
Ivan

Ambition report 5th. May’19

Yellowfin  Marlin and Wahoo were caught yesterday even though it wasn’t the very best of days to go fishing. However we were committed. As so often happens when the ocean is less friendly the bite, especially for Yellowfin can be good.

Yellowfin
Yellowfin

Ours was a story of good and bad luck.

Because of the conditions and with a group of newbies on board it wasn’t long before half of them were sea sick but to their credit they persevered. Their cure came when the first Marlin, a good sized Stripy pounced on the short corner then the rigger and finally the shotgun managing to miss all the hooks. The Marlin  was obviously a myopic because  it scuffed all the leaders a long way up from the lures,

Listening to the radio scheds from the ‘Port Hacking 100’ tournament it was evident there were quite a few Yellowfin around, varying from so called ‘Jelly beans’ up to 40 kilo’s jobs.
We ended up catching a couple of Yellowfin and losing another when the tag line tangled up with the main line. Later on another Marlin hit the shotgun but again missed the hooks.

Yellowfin
Yellowfin

 

 

 

 

 

The results from the week-end tournament indicated the number and range of fish still out there. ‘Carnage’ weighed a Tiger Shark of 470.5 kilos. There were also Mako’s and at least one Whaler and a Hammerhead weighed. ‘Game Changer’ caught a Blue Marlin of 138 kilo’s for junior Makaira Wright. There were several Yellowfin and Striped Marlin tagged.   However, the biggest surprise to me was of a 42kg. Wahoo.

It is turning into a very late season with the warm currents still within range and with the range of warm water species still out there long may it continue.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 26th. April’19

While there are Blue and Striped Marlin as well as Yellowfin around it is hard fishing.

The weather has been perfect over the last few days consequently a lot of people are getting out wide, very wide. Out there the warmer water is running and fortunately coming in closer.

The Striped Marlin are hanging around the shelf where there is a lot of bait while the Blues are out wider however there is a lot of water separating them. The Yellowfin on the other hand tend to be in closer in the cooler water and if you can find it the break with the greenish water.

Where the Yellowfin are there are also heaps of Dolphins (the mammalian kind) they are pushing the bait up bringing them within range. Mind you, you have to be fast to get to the action before they sound again. Some are being taken on blind strikes but it pays to look for the surface action. The ‘fin are coming in all sizes from Jellybean size up to seventy kilo jobs, well worth the effort.

I went out yesterday with Glen, Karen, Howie and their daughter Makaira, the Tantrum crew. After a lot of looking we eventually found where the Yellowfin were feeding and where there were several boat that had taken fish.

We got one shot after I saw a few fish jumping amongst some Sauries. The hookup was on a 15kg. outfit which Makaira took up. Unfortunately after a screaming run the fish dropped off. A lot later while trolling home crossing the shelf we picked up a Striped Marlin, Makaira took the rod again and made short work of the fish.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 21st. March’19

Game fishing at the very least is a very fickle game. So dependant on the weather, currents and lots of other things we can blame for not catching a fish. However if there is a shortage of fish there isn’t much we can do except persevere.

Blue Marlin…
Striped Marlin...
Striped Marlin…

 

This season at Port Stephens has been exceptional, exceptional in the lack of fish. What is strange though is that the conditions at sea were similar to last year yet last year the fishing was fabulous.

Mahi Mahi for dinner...
Mahi Mahi for dinner…

 

 

However it was not all in vain there were some reasonable days. My last couple of weeks up there were undoubtedly the best, the best of a bad lot.

Triple on Yellowfin...
Triple on Yellowfin…

I am back in Sydney now and usually April and May produce some of the best fishing for Marlin, of the three species and the other summer pelagics as well. We don’t usually get big numbers in autumn  but we do get big fish. Blue Marlin over 200 kgs. and occasional ones over 300 kgs. have won the Sydney Game Fishing club’s Peter Goadby Tournament nearly every year. Not to mention the yellowfin tuna around 70 kgs. encountered.

Fighting Blue...
Fighting Blue…
Blue on a string...
Blue on a string…

 

 

 

 

What this autumn will produce is anyone’s guess but we’ll be out there hunting…

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Ambition 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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