Tag Archives: Blue Marlin

Ambition report 11th.November’19

Due to the weather the Game Fishing November  has been pretty dismal. It seemed that the weather is programmed to go bad on week-ends. However even those who managed to get out found the going tough. There had been a few Yellowfin and more that a couple of Marlin seen previously so it would be great to get out there again.

On another note the charts are showing  the warm water moving closer inshore. All we need now is a weather window to find out what is going on.

Kingies anyone ?
Kingies anyone ?

Inshore  the Kings  are providing sport  with some very large fish being caught. However  the offshore reefs are a day to day proposition. A word of warning though –  I remember November as being a stormy month and especially for very strong North-Westerly winds  preceding Southerly changes so be careful.

As summer approaches my thoughts turn to Port Stephens and Marlin.

I will be available up there from 18th.January ’20 until mid-March. I anticipate travelling up on the 18th. so if anyone wants to join me for the trip  give me a call. At this point in time I am still available for the ‘SHOOTOUT’  in mid-February.

Also, my regular crew for the INTERCLUB are all away at that time so if there are any SGFC Club member who would like to fish the tournament in late February, call me.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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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

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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

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Ambition report 5th.September’19

Sydney tuna fishing is fickle at present but not to the North and South. Yellowfin and Albacore are still to the South with some still to the North. However, it was looking promising off Sydney last week before the weather set in.  So I was really keen to get out there  once it settled down.

Last  Sunday was the  day, so off we went. Latest reports indicated

Robs Yellowfin

the Southern Canyons and further South was the place to be and that’s where the ‘zero’ line was within range. On the way we saw lots of Whales out wide travelling South, a reminder to be careful on our return. We  had just crossed into five hundred fathoms when I saw birds working and showers of what we thought were Sauries showering. Over the next couple of hours we saw several bust ups but they were difficult to approach. However I did get close enough to one school to elicit a strike and  hook up. Rob did a good job on the fish and landed a 30 kilo Yellowfin. By the time we put the gear back in the water the area had gone dead, no birds, no baitfish and no tuna, I still don’t know how they can just disappear like that.

Robs Yellowfin

We kept on hunting and covered quite a lot of ocean seeing nothing until about 3:30pm. It started with a few birds appearing then the Sauries  followed by the ‘fin. Unfortunately I couldn’t get near them and it was time to head for home. Incidentally one of my friends who stayed out  had two hookups later in the day .

Out of season Mahi Mahi
Out of season Mahi Mahi

And then the weather did its thing  so I had to wait another few days to get out again to what I thought was   the start of the run.  Unfortunately when we did get out  everything had changed. The water was green and lifeless. Again I headed down to the Southern canyons but radio talk indicated it wasn’t worth it. So I turned East heading for Heatons, had to try something. At around eight hundred fathoms we had a blind strike which most surprisingly turned out to be a Mahi Mahi of about 6kilo’s, strange times. To finish the day we did some cubing until dark and again saw nothing.

Out of season Mahi Mahi
Out of season Mahi Mahi

I learned after returning that a couple of Yellowfin were taken off Broken Bay and  a couple further South of the Southern Canyons.

What the future holds is anyone’s guess but I’ll still be out there looking.

Tight lines,
Ivan

LINKS…

Weather and Sea State :

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Fishing Tackle :

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Campbell’s Pro Tackle

Electronics :

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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 18th.May’19

After hearing reports of Yelllowfin and  Marlin during the week. We went out with great expectations. I’d also been out on Wednesday with a group of jigging specialist. So a stopover on a couple of the reefs was on the cards too.

Striped Marlin - Sydney...
Striped Marlin – Sydney…

Wednesday produced a wide assortment of fish due to the slow jigging technique these guys used. They caught Kings, Bonito,the ubiquitous Leather Jackets and Flutemouths which I have since found are quite a delicacy. The main ambition, no pun intended, however was to jig at Browns where they d told me they had been quite successful. The trouble was the current running South at 2.5 knots made the jigging all but impossible. I did learn a lot though.
Saturday saw us going over the reefs again but all had changed. There was nowhere near the life that had been there on Wednesday, you could blame the moon if you wanted, so it was off to find the Yellowfin and Marlin

Striped Marlin on the leader...
Striped Marlin on the leader…

.

Needless to say we covered a lot of ground seeing only Dolphins and the occasional Gannet. The radio wasn’t much help either. I heard of a couple of Marlin tagged, the shark fishermen weren’t doing too well either unlike last week.

However we persisted in the unseasonal warm water moving in to the shelf were there were patches of bait. Still nothing and the boys were getting restless. I moved in even closer hoping for some cooler water and that’s when we got the strike. In only 70 fathoms the water was still 23.5 C and this fish took off at speed but not showing itself. It took a long run and I started to think we had a big ‘fin but then it jumped much to the excitement of Blake and his mates and my relief.

After a reasonable fight we had the fish along side where Ron Kovacs released it. To tell the truth I’m not sure if it was a Stripy or a Blue.

www.ambitioncharters.com.au

Tight lines,
Ivan

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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 15th. April’19

Striped Marlin
Striped Marlin

 

 

 

 

 

April and it promise of big fish is living up to its reputation. The ‘Peter Goadby Memorial Tournament’ held off Sydney last week-end produced some great fish and as many frustrating moments. The boat ‘Rabbit’ took out the money with a  288 kilo Blue Marlin.   Also, Zorro won the tag and release tagging five Striped Marlin. There were lots of Striped Marlin up North, Yellowfin out wide and Sharks in shore.  As well there were Tigers , a couple of Mako’s one over 200 kilo’s,  Whalers and Blue sharks.

Striped Marlin
Striped Marlin

Saturday  dawned with perfect weather, was almost too good to be true, dead calm seas with virtually no swell and it didn’t change all day.  Reports from Friday told of an  aggregation of bait North of the ‘Bait Station’  with Striped Marlin in attendance. So at start of fishing those into Tag & Release headed North, those after the big Blue headed wide, both North and South and the shark fishermen set up around the shelf.

Striped Marlin
Striped Marlin

The results after the first day were of a couple of Blue Marlin weighed  the bigger going 176 Kg. , somewhere around 15 Striped Marlin tagged with quite a few lost and most interestingly quite a few Yellowfin tuna out wide. However, no Yellowfin were weighed since they were caught by those chasing the big Blue on heavy gear. Meantime the boat ‘Casey’ had hooked up onto  what they called a giant Yellowfin tuna which they unfortunately lost after five hours when the hook pulled. Those guys have caught a lot of fish so when they say giant it must have been giant. As a consolation they backed up on Sunday with a 189 kilo Blue Marlin.

Water Spout
Water Spout
Storm
Storm

Sunday wasn’t quite as friendly as Saturday  had been with a lumpy sea and the threat of Storms moving in from the South-East. As a result some of the boats out wide experienced some very nasty weather but fortunately it didn’t last too long.  Early in the day ‘Rabbit’ called in that they had taken a 3.3 metre  Blue Marlin, the money fish.

 

Sadly, the Striped Marlin had moved away from the ‘Bait Station’ but most boats that persisted out there and had a very tough day.

The official results from the tournament are available on the SGFC web site.  However the results do show that  Autumn is still the big fish time of year off Sydney so get out there while the weather holds.

Winter is coming.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition Report 25th. March’19

I brought  Ambition back from Port Stephens on Saturday fishing the whole way down.

The weather  was  spectacular  by any standard . We ran out  to  the ‘Car  Park’  where  we  put the  lures  in.  Unbelievably  we hadn’t had the lures in for ten minutes when we had a strike from a good sized Mahi Mahi which was quickly dispatched and put on ice.

Mahi Mahi on board
Mahi Mahi on board

We worked our way down the coast going out past the thousand fathom line looking for Yellowfin.  As we moved  out  wider  the  water   just got  hotter  and hotter.  Out wide of the Norah Head canyons we ran into masses of dead plankton so I decided to go in back to the shelf.

Gaffed...
Gaffed…

The temperature decreased  after  we cleared the plankton lines  and bird life started to appear along with masses of Dolphins. It was starting to look good.  Anticipation was running high. Then it happened, a swirl behind the Lumo on the rigger. In typical Stripy fashion  he or she followed the lure hitting and missing a couple of times before Ron teased it into striking. Unfortunately it started to do its imitation of a window wiper and threw the lure, must have been Bill wrapped. I did a lap around the area not really expecting the Marlin to have another go.

A  Striped Marlin close...
A Striped Marlin close…

Well, whether  it was the same fish or not we’ll never know but we had a no holds barred hit on the Shotgun  and we were in. This fish only jumped once or twice  so Ron had his work cut out for him. To cut a long story short Ron survived, and we tagged the Marlin which swam away  appearing to look back with disdain.

Tagged...
Tagged…

The only other bit of excitement we had was when a Marlin free jumped in front  of us.  Then instead of continuing on its way it turned and  charged straight at us. It would have gone under the boat and seen our lures but there was no interest  at all.

Over the last few days there have been an increasing number of Blue and Striped Marlin off Sydney. There is still a lot of water between them but it is looking good for Sydney Game Fishing Club’s Peter Goadby Memorial Tournament in a couple of  weeks.

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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