Tag Archives: fishing charters

Ambition Report 24th.October’21

To get back out to sea was indeed good for the soul. Though the relief was great the results left a lot to be desired at least as far as the Game Fishing went.

We left the harbour on Saturday in beautiful weather it being a surprise that the BOM were quite accurate.

Reports from out wide indicated that there were Yellowfin and Marlin off Port Stephens and that the Yellowfin run to the South had eased but there had been Marlin encountered down there. So again Sydney was missing out. Consequently Kingfish became the best option. Reports through the week indicated good catches of sizeable fish on the offshore reefs. However when we got to there there were a million and one boats already hard at it. We dropped a couple of baits to no avail and didn’t see anyone else catching so I moved off to try the other reefs sadly all with the same result. Whether we’d missed the bite or the full moon or the number of boats had anything to do with the shut down we’ll never know but at least we had excuses.

We ended up going wide on the off chance that something would give.

I did end up finding birds working over some bait and Striped tuna just over the shelf. I worked the area for some time but there were no takers so headed off to home.

On the way in we had another shot at the Kings  but there was even less showing on the sounder that earlier. Again we had no takers  so we were throttles down and homeward bound.

Though it was frustrating as far as the fishing went it was still great to be at sea again and in good weather to boot.

Tight lines
Ivan

USEFUL 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 22nd.September’21

Mid-October opening, start fishing, start fishing, start fishing…

Well thankfully it seems as though we are  on track to open up  Mid-October. I am pretty sure there are lots of anglers out there just waiting to reconstitute the salt concentration in their blood.

Sydney October Yellowfin
Sydney October Yellowfin

 

Sydney October Yellowfin
Sydney October Yellowfin

 

 

 

 

 

 

It appears from those who have been able to get out to sea that we have missed a really good Tuna bite. Though it is too late to expect the Bluefin the Yellowfin are still to be found off Sydney. From what I have seen on the charts there should also be a Marlin or two to be found.

Just to remind those who might have forgotten I have uploaded a couple of video’s from October’s past to show that the Tuna season is not over done.

So yes, we are ready to go fishing just as soon as the lockdown is lifted. And yes I am taking bookings from the 20th. October’21 out of Sydney and I’ll be chartering off Port Stephens during February next year. The only proviso is that you must be Double vaxxed.

So come on mid-October…

Tight lines,
Ivan

USEFUL 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 29th.March’21

Sydney’s Game Fishing is at its best from the middle of March through April and sometimes into the middle of May  Sydney’s Game Fishing is the best . It is also why the Sydney Game Fishing Club holds its annual Peter Goadby Memorial Tournament at this time of year, actually on the 17th. and 18th. April this year.
 Yellowfin off Sydney
Yellowfin off Sydney

Over the years Blue Marlin over 250 kilo’s have usually taken out the heaviest trophy and a couple of years Blues over 300 kilo’s have done the job with bigger ones lost. There have been Yellowfin over 70 kilo’s, Striped and Black Marlin in their larger sizes as well as Mahi Mahi and the occasional Wahoo that make their presence felt and the tournament a success.

 Yellowfin off Sydney
Yellowfin off Sydney

So back to my report…finally this year the weather has stabalised to a degree giving us the opportunity to go out and see what’s there. After all the flooding up and down the coast we had no idea of what to expect. Checking out the ‘True Colour’ charts showed muddy water out to near the shelf. However with fine weather predicted we just had to go out and have a look.

To say the water was like chocolate out to 60 fathoms would be an understatement however it was still surprisingly warm. At 80 fathoms it turned to what I call a clean green and just over the shelf it started to Blue up, near the 140 fathom it was the colour we want and 25.5 C and there were Striped tuna everywhere so many so the I pulled in the smaller lures to stop from hooking them.
 Yellowfin off Sydney
Yellowfin off Sydney
Al McGlashin came over the radio saying he’d caught a Yellowfin and while pulling it in a couple of Blue Marlin followed it right up to the boat. Jeff Manson of ‘Spindrift’ tagged a 2.4 metre Blue Marlin as a first for a lady angler and Bob Curry of ‘Marquis’ had a stellar day tagging two Striped Marlin and catching a 50 kilo Yellowfin.
All around us reports were coming in of schools of Yellowfin tuna from 200 fathoms out past the 1,000 fathom line.
As we continued out we found groups of Mutton birds working in small areas over baitfish and Striped tuna. Other groups showed what I considered to be Yellowfin marking deeper down. I made the decision to pull in my shotgun lure and put out a Squidgy I don’t like to do this when there are Marlin around, I should know better. I would like to say at this point that Murphy and his law are a bitch.   The Squidgy hadn’t been out for five minutes when a Blue Marlin came in and destroyed it, a lesson learned again.
We continued on working the bait schools without anything happening when again in another bait school I marked fish deeper down.  With a fair degree of apprehension we changed over to the Squidgy again. After quite a while working around this school we got the hit which thankfully was a Yellowfin.
So it appears that it is all coming together out there. We have hot water, Blue Marlin and Yellowfin who could ask for more.
April and our tournament should live up to their reputations.
Tight lines,
Ivan

Ambition report 15th.March’21

It constantly surprises me how the sea conditions can change from one day to the next.

I went out last Friday in less than ideal sea conditions which were supposed to ease through the day. Anyway at the Heads the water temperature was nearly 24 degrees and blue. On Saturday in much calmer conditions the temperature had dropped by about one and a half degrees and was dirty green.

Steve tracing a Black...
Steve tracing a Black…
Conditions on Friday were such that because I couldn’t travel comfortably I started trolling just off the Heads. Even though it has happened often in the past I was still taken by surprise when the small lure on the rigger was hit and a baby Black started bouncing in towards us. Sadly as often happens when the fish comes straight at you the hooks were thrown. We continued on out towards the wave rider where the sea was really standing up, in fact I dipped one of the riggers. There were birds working around the wave rider but we never raised anything and only saw some very very small Mahi Mahi. Conditions weren’t getting any better so I decided to do a downhill troll to the Peak to give the guys a rest. On the way we raised a Striped Marlin which proceeded to attack all our lures without even breaking a band.
Damien's Marlin
Damien’s Marlin

So because of the sea conditions I stayed inshore and in the course of the day we tagged two Black Marlin, raised another two which came unstuck as well as a Striped Marlin. Even though it was quite rough it was pleasant being out there alone with a quiet radio.

Saturday was another story but at least the sea was quite calm (relatively anyway). As I said the water was much cooler and a dirty green out for quite a distance. Again I started trolling in close but it soon became apparent that everything had changed. There were still a few Blacks taken in close on live baits but it hardly seemed worthwhile. So out we went. The water did warm up and turned the blue colour we like. There was a bit of deep bait and plenty of both small and large flying fish which the Mutton birds were trying to catch. There were also lots of Striped Tuna which were a nuisance on my smaller lures. To top things off the current was raging, doing three to four knots to the South. Definitely not conducive to allowing the bait to hold station.
Sadly the day was a dud.
Being ever hopeful the current will ease soon and allow the bait to hold on the shelf and the inshore reefs and attract the pelagics. This is usually the time of year for the big fish. They might not be around in numbers but they usually make up for it in size.
Tight lines,
Ivan

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 6th.March’21

Marlin Port Stephens…this year was a far cry from previous years. Maybe it was the effect of La Nina maybe the moon but whatever it was it was tough going while I was there.

The Marlin Port Stephens  fishery was seriously affected by the weather this year. Other than having to cancel and postpone several charters I only made it out to the shelf a couple of times. There were great expectations after last year’s season when there was bait and Marlin aplenty on the edge. This year there was hardly any bait out there and with the current raging at near 4 knots and the temperature up to 27 degrees, conditions were not conducive to holding bait, consequently no Striped Marlin. However there were Blue Marlin out there in the current but hard work and perseverance was needed to find them. Most were not big fish by Blue Marlin standards but still exciting to catch and bigger than the average Stripey and monstrous compared to the Blacks in shore.

Port Stephens 2021
Port Stephens 2021

Because of the weather and conditions off shore most anglers have been concentrating on the Black Marlin on the inshore reefs. These Marlin are ranged from 15 to 60 kilo’s and more in size making for some interesting fights on 10 kilo line.

Port Stephens 2021
Port Stephens 2021

The small Blacks are, to me at least, the most frustrating fish to catch. Up here at Port there are several well-known reefs and areas which hold bait and consequently the Blacks. The situation occurs when you might have twenty or thirty boats all milling around a relatively small area trolling baits for a limited resource. Watching others catch fish and waiting your turn is to say the least very frustrating. This season, to get away from the crowds, several boats travelled past Seal Rocks almost to Foster looking for the Blacks and I might add they did find them. These Blacks however are fickle, or maybe the boats were putting them down, but you were never sure which reef was going to produce the goods.

Port Stephens 2021
Port Stephens 2021

Towards the end of my stay the weather eased so after having had enough of the inshore fishery it was out to the shelf to hunt. As I mentioned earlier there was very little bait on the shelf. There had been a few Blue Marlin taken further South, around the Norah Canyons, so it was out with the lures to head out wider. Anyway to cut a long story short we did find Blues but had to cover a lot of miles.

I think that when the current eases the outside scene will take off, both up North and down here off Sydney. Records show that March and sometimes into the middle of May is the best time to go game fishing off Sydney. The fish may not be in huge numbers but they more than make up for it in size. This time of year also often heralds the arrival of big Yellowfin tuna, generally well wide of the shelf.

So here’s hoping…

Tight lines,
Ivan

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. February’21

At Port Stephens  Black Marlin are the name of the game at present.
The Port Stephens Black Marlin of varying  sizes are chasing bait on the inner reefs. A lot of anglers expecting to find the usual inshore run of 20 to 30 kilo’s fish are being beaten on light tackle by Blacks  getting up to 80kgs. with reports of even larger fish too.
 Mel first Port Stephens Black......
Mel first Black……
Sadly, I think mostly because of the weather, the offshore scene is bit of an unknown. A few boats have ventured out wide but not with any great success. Further South, around the Norah Canyons, the results are a little better though still not what we would expect at this time of year.
Troy's first Port Stephens Black......
Troy’s first Black……

It will be interesting to see what happens over the next two weeks with many boats fishing the local tournaments here at Port Stephens.

If the weather doesn’t stabalise there will be an awful lot of boats on those inshore reefs.
I for one can’t wait to go out wide…
Tight lines,
Ivan

Ambition report 20th.December’20

December Reports :-

Reports were coming in of Striped Marlin and some good sized Mahi Mahi around the shelf and the odd Yellowfin further out. So after  I cancelled  a couple of charters because of the Virus I decided I was going out no matter what. I received quick responses from members wanting to join me after a post to the club’s facebook page so all was set.

Unfortunately due to cloud cover the only SST’s available were from several days beforehand but I’d been told the temps were around the 22 to 23 C so it was all systems go.

The forecast was for light winds and calm seas. However  15 to 18 knots is not exactly light winds and the sea was a mess with a residual swell coming from the yesterday’s Southerly. So, that together with the bounce back from the cliffs made for an uncomfortable ride from which one of the crew succumbed.

We put the lures in just short of the shelf and headed out marking bait as we went but it was all deep. One of the boats out there, ‘Grey Goose’ , had already raised a Marlin but no hook-up. Later on a Mako hit one of their lures; it is not uncommon for Mako’s to hit lures and just to prove it wasn’t a fluke they raised another later in the day.

We continued marking bait and found some birds working on what looked like to be Striped tuna but we raised nothing after chasing them for a while. What we did find sadly was that the warmer water had moved out. The best I found was 21.6 C and that after a temperature break of 0.3 C .

It was while working the break that we had a double hook-up. Marlin was the call, but the sight of green and gold told a different story. We landed two good sized Dollies, supper was provided.

December Mahi Mahi
December Mahi Mahi

Several other boats reported hits from Striped Marlin, I think one tagged fish was estimated to weigh only 50 kilo’s. And then it was our turn, the shot gun went off, the Marlin took a bit of line then just dropped off. Damned Stripies, however he was still there following the lure. He/she had at least four other shots and missed each time and eventually lost interest.

We pulled the lure in to check it out and I found the leader chafed for nearly a metre above the lure. I know it happens all the time but it is so frustrating, they obviously know they want the lure but just keep missing it. Maybe they should get some lessons from their Black and Blue cousins.

So, that was the day, a good feed to take home and calm seas for the run.

I have booked in at Port Stephens from the 24th.January until the end of February. Not as long as previous years due to the virus but I hope next year’s season will be as good if not better than this year’s. So, if you do want to catch a Marlin, Port Stephens is the place to do it…

Tight lines,
Ivan

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 14th. December’20

PORT STEPHENS:

With the warm ocean currents moving in closer and the water temperature out wide approaching 24 degrees it was time to give it a go. Added to that there have been reports of Black Marlin in close further North and even sightings off Sydney.

Back here because of the warm ocean currents moving in reports of Striped Marlin both tagged and lost are becoming more frequent. I heard one report of what sounds like a Blue Marlin from Mark Gunning who fought a big Marlin for 2 hours before losing it. Surprisingly those Yellowfin are still around however they do take a bit of finding.

Therefore it was with great expectation that I went out with David Lo  and Jamie McKay on his boat ‘Groundswell’. As an added bonus even the weather came good for us.

Sadly the weather was the best part of the day. We put the gear in just before the shelf hoping for a Striped Marlin and headed for Browns and then towards New Zealand.

Nothing eventuated until we were somewhere near Heatons where we spotted lots of Mutton birds working. Even from a distance we could see the water shimmering with what we thought were baitfish. As we got closer we could make out huge numbers of what looked like Striped or maybe Mackerel tuna scooting around in the waves chasing small bait.

We worked the area for quite a while with great anticipation but all to no avail.  Consequently we finally gave up and headed for home and on the way have a shot at one of the FADs. One of the guys on board, Grayson, is a keen spear fisherman and wanted to go for a dive there. As an aside, after hearing the stories and seeing the photo’s of the Kingfish he has speared off Sydney and I mean 20 to 30 kilo fish, I could only wonder why more aren’t caught by anglers. Maybe they should try New Zealand methods, live salmon.

Grayson jumped in at the FAD and came back telling of lots of undersize Kingfish with a few Mahi Mahi amongst them.  So out came the light gear and soft plastics. We had a bit of fun catching the Kings but sadly couldn’t raise a Mahi Mahi.

Next we went and had a look at the 12 Mile but that also was a waste of time. The sounder didn’t show anything and the guys jigging only got sore backs.

All in all it was a good day, great boat, good company and good weather.

It does look promising out there. December is always a tough month both weather and fish wise but it will get better. Jack Farrell, one of the great SGFC game fishermen always said that the wet years were the good ones. So with the forecast of a ‘La Nina’ weather cycle we could be lucky.

I have booked in at Port Stephens from the 24th.January until the end of February. Not as long as previous years due to the virus but I hope next year’s season will be as good if not better than this year’s. So, if you do want to catch a Marlin, Port Stephens is the place to do it…

Tight lines,
Ivan

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 29th. November’20

Sydney Fishing
Off Sydney fishing –  as I sit here listening to 30 knots of North Westerly howl against the windows, I am glad I’m not at sea. Especially so because the fishing off Sydney has been less than mediocre.
Off Sydney the Kingfish bite has been the only positive scene outside. The Kingies have been biting well with lots of fish over the magic metre.
A metre Kingy...
A metre Kingy…
The only problem, well one of the only problems is in locating the fish. The Kings are ranging between the inshore, offshore, harbour and coastal reefs, only by checking out the various spots or good intel will allow you to locate them.
Consequently the other problem is that as soon as word gets out every man and his dog jumps in. Therefore those who find the Kings are being very secretive, some to the point of distraction but who can blame them. On a couple of occasions I have seen up to forty boats on one spot. I’m sure they must spook the schools with all their sounders pinging the depths.
Kingfish....
Kingfish….
On the couple of occasions I have had a shot at the Kingfish bait was a problem for me, probably because I start out too late. However perseverance pays off and by avoiding all the boats on the regular spots I found enough. Ironically when I did get onto the fish the biggest a 105 cm. fish was taken on a jig.
Game fishing
Offshore Game fishing has been for the most part hopeless. There are increasing sightings of Marlin and a couple caught. Yellowfin are also still showing up but generally to the South, from the Southern canyons down past Woollongong. To give an idea how poor the Game fishing is off Sydney at present all I heard about from last week-end was Sydney boat ‘Gale Force’ managing an Albacore near Browns and the Botany Bay boat ‘Marquis’ a decent Yellowfin and someone on a a trailer boat catching a Striped Marlin.
At this time of year most club anglers are out there vying for their prestigious ‘First Marlin’ trophy. Looking at the latest currents and Altimetry it all seems to be coming together. The Zero line is within reach and there is some current from the North wider offshore pushing in. All we need now is for the weather to be kind.
Tight lines,
Ivan
LINKS…

P.S.  I will be available at Port Stephens from 1st.February for the month a must especially for those who want to have the best chance at catching a Marlin. If this year’s results are any indication of what to expect next yearit should be a great season – Call me…

Ambition report 26th.October’20

Fishing for Game Fish during November   can run hot or cold. It is a time when the cooler offshore water starts to warm up under the influence of  the East Australia Current.   As summer progresses the EAC moves closer inshore  and within our reach .

During November  along with the EAC come the bait fish namely Slimy Mackerel, Sauries, Garfish, Cowanyoung and Striped Tuna . Naturally the predators  follow. Striped, Black and Blue Marlin as well as Mahi Mahi, Spearfish and  all the other great Gamefish not to mention the appearance of big Tiger sharks move closer inshore with the current.

Ethans Mahi Mahi
Ethans Mahi Mahi

November is the month that heralds the changeover from  the Winter to Summer species it is also the start of the storm season.

I have noticed over  many years that the leading edge of the EAC often bring with it an early unseasonal run of big Mahi Mahi and Striped Marlin with more than one  early season Spearfish having been encountered. So far this  year as well as a good run of big Mahi Mahi, Yellowfin tuna and Albacore are adding to the mix and continue to tease us offshore.

October Spearfish
October Spearfish

So as we enter a ‘La Nina’ weather pattern, meaning we’ll have warmer water offshore  and more rain to flush out the rivers and estuaries  we could and I emphasise could have a bumper season ahead.

On another note I’ll  be available at Port Stephens from the end of January until early March. If the Marlin season next year is anywhere near as good as this year’s it won’t be one to miss. Sadly this year’s season was shortened by COVID,  let’s hope not again.

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