Tag Archives: Bluefin

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  

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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
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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

Ambition report 27th.January’20

After reports of the Black Marlin at Coffs Harbour and South West Rocks  coming down the coast they have arrived. Port Stephens Blacks are here. Over the last week or so the currents have pushed further inshore . With the currents have come the Black Marlin and the occasional Striped too.

Those who got wind of the bite have had great results tagging multiple fish a day. But fishing being as fickle as it is who knows what tomorrow will bring. Reports are still coming in of Blacks at Coffs and South West Rocks so with luck we’ll have a bumper season ahead.

Stripy at the boat
Stripy at the boat

These Port Stephens Blacks are just in time for the tournament sesason.

Saturday…

Because of the conditions I went out wide on Saturday. There was  bait  early on just inside the shelf but only in patches. However, after working it for a while the bait disappeared. It became apparent that nothing was going to happen so I went out wide. I heard on the radio of Blue Marlin, Yellowfin and Mahi Mahi down off Lake Macquarie  so I thought it was a chance.

All was quiet but the water was getting bluer  and  bird activity was increasing.   At around 500 fathoms there were patches of birds working on something that was fast moving, I assumed they were Yellowfin. It took a bit of doing but we eventually got a hit. Sadly after a short fight it escaped. On checking the lure I am pretty sure it was a Yellowfin.

Sunday…

Sunday morning was not what the BOM forecast so we filled up with bait and headed  North. I put the lures in off Broughton Island and in minutes we had a Small Black having a go. Problem was it kept hitting the swivel so no luck.

We arrived at the Gibber only to find all my bait was  dead; pump failure. I persevered using skip baits  while looking for some more bait to jig up, and was eventually rewarded  with of all things a Striped Marlin.

So, a frustrating week-end all round but at least with promise of what is to come. Meanwhile it is Port Stephens Blacks.

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

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 18th.August’19

Albacore and Kingfish were the name of the game  off Sydney last week. However  there  were enough encounters with Yellowfin  to keep the hope alive. Unfortunately  since then the weather has intervened  and looks like  doing so for another few days.  So we must wait. Sadly it looks as though the ‘Low’ system that held the Yellowfin up North moved through very quickly but last Wednesday we were still able to reach the Northern edge.

I went out primarily to chase Kingfish but then to go wide and if conditions permitted to have a late afternoon cubing session.

With Wahyu from ‘Global Tackle’ and Lloyd we headed out. We didn’t take any live bait just jigs. A moderate Westerly was blowing but not enough to stop us. When we reached the reef there were a  few boats as well as a ‘Pro’ drop lining .  A quick pass over the area to locate the fish and down went the jigs.

A beautiful Winter Kingfish....
Another nice King…

It was quite interesting to watch. Wahyu was using an electric reel and a ‘knife’ jig and LLoyd  jigging the hard way with a ‘flutte’r jig. Surprisingly, to me at least, the slow worked flutter jig consistently caught the larger fish.

After an hour or so we had caught enough Kings and the wind had dropped so we headed out to do some trolling. We hoped to find those elusive Yellowfin.  The plan was to go out to the thousand fathom line then go South and hopefully reach the ‘Low’ system.

I was just passing Browns when I got a call from the boat ‘El Patrone’ advising me that he’d caught  Yellowfin and Albacore at a position roughly14 miles South East of me. Then another call came in about Yellowfin in the same sort  of area.

I made the decision to pull in the gear and run out . Even knowing how quickly the ‘fin move around and the chances they would still be there in the 45 minutes it would take to get to the area, it was worth the risk.

On the run out I noticed a half degree temperature break with a few birds in area, just not enough to stop us from our goal – a mistake.

We finally reached the spot and the only action was another boat working the area. After setting the gear again we continued on our quest. It became apparent that the fish had moved on and since we were in a radio dead area could not get any further information. We ended up trolling back to the temp. break and to set up a cube trail.

It was a beautiful afternoon and just as the sun was setting Lloyd took a hit and after a good fight landed a 7 kilo Albacore. We took another two strikes after sunset and after very lively fights landed 7 and 8 kilo Striped Tuna. If Stripies grew to the size of Yellowfin we would be in trouble.

So that was the day.

After getting back in radio land I heard of a few more Yellowfin and Albacore being taken.  So now we have to again wait until the weather clears  before we can find out if the fish are still here.

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Ambition report 30th.June’19

Yellowfin
Yellowfin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With  Yellowfin and Bluefin tuna on the menu  it couldn’t be better for the SGFC Tuna Slam which starts tomorrow. There are Yellowfin out wide and Bluefin on their way.

For an entry fee of $250.00 per boat for the months of July and August you could win thousands by catching Yellowfin and Bluefin tuna as other winners have in the past. Go to the SGFC site for more info or follow the link below.

http://sgfc.com.au/…/uploa…/2019/06/SGFC-2019-Tuna-Slam.pdf…

As you can see from the photo  we found the Yellowfin tuna. It was with the help of good information from Alex Quasabian from ‘The Fishing Station’ and by tracking the Long liners.

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 now we wait for the weather which this week looks perfect and the much anticipated arrival of the Bluefin within our range.

Tight lines,
Ivan

LINKS to

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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…
 
 
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.
 
 
Tight lines
Ivan

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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