Not much to report on today. Due to my involvement with the ‘Go Fishing’ day via the Sydney Game Fishing Club, I didn’t manage to get out or even listen to the radio though I did hear about a few Kingfish.
It is very gratifying to take the kids and their parents out for a day of fun fishing. When the kids catch a fish the excitement expressed on their faces and the pride their parents exhibit is hard to beat. It must surely add to their self esteem – the day was a great success.
As far as the fishing scene goes I don’t know that many went out. I have heard the Kingfish are a daily proposition both on the inshore reefs and offshore. The Kings are there one day and the next all you can catch are either Barracouta or the dreaded Jackets. The fact that there are ‘Couta around would imply there is cold water down deep.
This is the time of year when the currents are changing over to the warmer water of Summer. The charts are showing the current strengthening from the North and hopefully with it the pelagic speedsters. As I mentioned last week their are enough sightings and hooking of Marlin and Mahi Mahi not to mention a Spearfish to make the offshore trek worthwhile. You never know you might get lucky and find the elusive Yellowfin.
I fished on Friday and Sunday and both days had nothing in common at all.
On Friday I had the gun jigging crew on board. Thien ( Timpon ) and his friends who can jig like machines all day long. It’s tiring just watching them. However this day we were chasing those Yellowfin. After hearing the report from Bushy about the ‘fin just South of Sydney and some wide off Broken Bay we had to give it a shot.
Unfortunately the weather wasn’t very kind with a South-Wester doing its best to blow us off the water and make us as miserable as possible.
The first stop was to warm up with a jigging session chasing Kingfish. However the gusting wind was making it difficult to control the drift. After a frustrating half hour the attraction of Yellowfin out wide won out so off we went. We trolled for a few hours making it to the thousand fathom line with no sign of activity. No birds, no temp breaks and no info from other boats. We were on our own.
Then in the distance I spotted something red floating. So I we went to investigate. As we got closer I could see it was a couple of very large red buoys apparently holding up something very heavy. My first thought was that it was a long line float but there was neither a radio beacon nor any identifying markings. Also there were no other floats in the surrounding area – a mystery.
We passed by the floats and I presented the lures as close as I dared. A double strike took us all by surprise. The water was green and only 18.5 degrees and we were hooked up to two Mahi Mahi. We managed to land one of around 6 kilo’s which was a good effort in those seas.
After a few more fruitless hours trolling with only one Mahi Mahi to show we decided to give the Kings another shot. By now the wind had eased to only 15 to 20 knots.
At the reef the sounder revealed a lot more activity than it had in the morning. The drift was a lot more manageable and the Kings started to come aboard. At the same time a school of Bonito showed up consequently if the jig missed out on a King a tasty Bonito was to be had. However there was still the ever present danger of Leatherjackets to steal the jigs.
I didn’t go out on Saturday. The weather was supposed to ease through the day but with Sunday looking so much better I postponed the outing.
Sunday dawned a perfect day. Simon Fisher had fished on Saturday and talked of Yellowfin out wide and of losing a Blue Marlin. We went out with great expectations on a magic day.
I started trolling near the shelf. Gannets were diving on schools of Slimy Mackerel and Dolphins were harassing them from below. The whole area was alive. We worked the area for a while only catching Striped Tuna, but big Striped tuna. From what I gathered over the radio nearly every boat out there saw a Marlin. Unfortunately no one actually caught one in our area but Ed Ingram on his boat ‘Hold Up’ managed a very out of season Spearfish (pictured). It was also one of the biggest I’ve seen. Peter Pakula caught one on my boat a few years ago weighing 32.5 kilo’s .
It was only on our way home in about 300 fathoms we encountered our Marlin. As is usual for the species it ripped off some line without hooking up then a few minutes later had another go. This time we thought t was hooked but after a reasonable run it just simply dropped off.
So, though no one found any Yellowfin so many Marlin appearing and so much bait building on the shelf is gratifying. The water is warming and the EAC getting stronger. You just have to be optimistic about this upcoming season. Especially with so many juvenile Blacks up North.
Saturday’s BOM weather report was nothing to get excited about especially for going game fishing out wide. On checking the SST’s before the week-end it looked as though there were two likely areas where the Yellowfin might turn up. One was an area wide and South of Browns and the other North-East of the bait station. Via the grapevine I’d heard that a few ‘fin were wide of Broken Bay and off the Southern canyons. So it was with great expectations that we went out game fishing on the hunt for the elusive Yellowfin.
On the way out I decided to check for Kings which were on the bite on the inshore reefs. I didn’t bother taking live bait relying on the jigs to do the job. We did manage a couple of Kings as well as lots of Jackets. However it quickly became apparent that live bait was the go. The two other boats out there were doing a lot better than us.
I trolled out to the thousand fathom line but the water stayed green. Continuing South down the line there was no change in the water colour. So, after several hours trolling I discussed the situation with Chen and her friends and we decided to go back to the reef . It is ironic that though the radio is a frustration with its idiots on demand it is also a great source of information. Unfortunately, since I was the only boat out wide, due to the weather report, I could only judge the conditions from what I was seeing.
By the time we’d reached the reef the other boats had gone. We had the place to ourselves and the Kings were biting. I don’t know what changed but the jigs worked and saved the day.
Sunday was a perfect game fishing day. This time I went looking for bait but Murphy had stepped in and they just weren’t biting. I didn’t want to spend too much time chasing the bait as I was sure the ‘fin were out there somewhere. So again we hit the reefs with only jigs and again bait was the way to go. Remi and his mates however were keen to catch tuna.
Trolling out near and just over the shelf the bait was really building up. At times it was almost up to the
surface where the gannets were dive bombing the schools – it was looking really fishy.
There were a lot of boats out on Sunday and the chatter wasn’t too bad, with only a couple of nuisances voicing there opinions. For the most part the chatter was informative. Interestingly Marlin were being reported regularly around the bait and at least one at Browns. With that in mind we spent a good deal of time working around the bait schools before heading wider. Again after spending several hour trolling for nothing and not hearing about any Yellowfin we decided to go back to the reef. This time though we spent some time jigging up mackerel out of the schools on the shelf. After we’d caught about twenty very large slimies we headed back to the reef.
Murphy stepped in again though. We had just dropped our first live bait down when reports of Yellowfin started to come in. Worse, they were only a few miles from where I was heading. Whoever said fishing wasn’t frustrating has never been fishing.
Summing it up there were several Yellowfin taken. ‘Murryifin’ and ‘Phat Cat’ amongst those who found them and Ed from his boat ‘Hold Up’ tagged a Striped Marlin.
So with the hope of a good run of Yellowfin and an early start to the Marlin season.
Well, all I, on Ambition Fishing Charters, can say is bring on another Bluefin ! this run just keeps on giving. The eddy South of Browns is pretty well stagnant so who knows how long it may last. One thing is for sure I’m not making another prediction about their movements, not after my last one anyway.
On Friday I spent the day fishing in close with Jamion and his friends looking for Kings. We did get a couple of undersize fish and a few Bonito but that was all we caught between Googee and Long Reef. All the while I was hearing about the Bluefin bite going on out wide, a very frustrating experience.
On Saturday there was only one place to be and that was just South of Browns. We ran out hearing on the way that a couple of boats had already located the school. By the time we arrived there were about twenty boats in a small area cubing with several guys fighting fish.
I trolled around the group and managed to pick up a fish on one of my skirted lures, I don’t need to tell which one. We immediately started cubing and in short time two of the guys hooked up, one on ten kilo line the other on fifteen. After a really good fight while winning on the ten, we lost the fish when the lines crossed. Unfortunately we lost a couple of fish that way but still ended up bagging out. The ‘fin weren’t the biggest being 35 to 45 kilo’s but still great fun on light line and very good to eat too.
At present off Sydney the only game in town is Bluefin. This is the best run we’ve had, at least in the last forty or fifty years. Since their numbers are on the increase it is feasible that their range will continue to expand and we’ll see more of them but that may be more dependant on the prevailing currents and with global warming who knows…
The good news, well not news anymore, is that we have just experienced the best and longest lasting run of Bluefin Tuna in a very, very long time. The bad news, it is most probably over unless you have access to the South Coast to where the currents holding the tuna are retreating.
Last Friday and Saturday there was still a good bite around Sydney though the fish were still hard to find a few boats found the Bluefin and Albacore wide of Browns out around Heatons and down to the Southern canyons strangely there were even some Mahi Mahi caught with more than one boat encountering Marlin.
The water then was clear blue and around 18.5C but by Sunday the only clean water around Sydney was inside the 600 fathom line and South. A cold green water current had moved in and was only 17 to 17.5C, by Monday it was inside the 200 fathom line and the fish had moved on. The Bluefin had moved South and were found between the Southern canyons and Stanwell Park. As the system moves on so will the fish – Bermi might even get another shot at them. This is one of those times when a trailer boat would come in handy.
The hope is that as the cooler water is pushed South and the current changes to the North bringing some warmer water in we might get a run of Yellowfin, there have been a couple caught out wide – one lives in hope.
I might mention that all the temperatures I have quoted are from my temperature gauge. Not knowing how or if other gauges have been calibrated temperatures from other boats will vary.
Well I guess those with their ears to the ground will know the answer to the question – is there still Bluefin Tuna Fishing in Sydney?… to those who may not have heard the answer is a resounding YES ! how long they stay is anyone’s guess but you only have to look at the charts to see why they’re here.
My plan was to head out wide of Browns to where the current changed directions then troll North and find a likely area to cube into the evening. We were only a few miles East of Browns when we had a double hook-up one of which dropped off after a short time but still long enough to gave Rob a fight he will remember. By the way, we were running a Pakula skirt off each rigger, two minnows flat and a large bibless on the shot gun and both fish took the riggers, a ‘lumo’ and an ‘Illusion’.
Old Ronny still had his fish on and after a very long hour during which time I thought he might expire, got it boat side where it was finally gaffed. We didn’t hear much from Ronny for the rest of the day.
We stayed out until dark cubing and managed to do some Albacore fishing but by this time the guys were stuffed, most holding back seasickness from the joggling in the large sea all day as well as the fact that 8 kilo’s of Albacore didn’t seem worthwhile after 70 kilo’s of Bluefin Tuna Fishing – it actually went 71.5 kilo’s.
The run home was fabulous, a big long swell pushing us along nicely but I must admit it became a little disconcerting when every now and then all went dark and all the lights in the city disappeared.
Unfortunately on the run in one of my exhaust hoses burst and though it didn’t hamper our run back it meant I couldn’t fish today and my friends woke me up to the fact by ringing this morning to tell me how good it was out there…good friends!
The bite continues…
for Port Stephens Fishing Charters experience of a lifetime, book today!
Well I think the only thing on most offshore anglers’ minds this week is whether or not the Bluefin are still out there. It was totally unexpected that of all the tuna Bluefin tuna would turn up on the week-end.
On checking the SST’s and seeing that the current had dropped off and that there was a fairly strong Southerly current 35 to 40 miles out I thought Yellowfin might make a showing. It was a real surprise when ‘Phat Cat’ ( I think that was the boat ) called in with a six way hookup on Southern Blues and to his credit transmitting his position on the radio. I would be most surprised if most thought it was a hoax call as the usual radio idiots were out in force. However it didn’t take long to realise it wasn’t a hoax call and several boats headed out to the area where a couple of them got onto the fish. I unfortunately couldn’t get out there due to my group having to be back early.
Deep sea fishing Sydney can be a frustrating journey at times, but it’s all about the thrill of the chase!
The way the weather is shaping up this week it won’t be until Sunday when we might be able to get out wide and see if they’re still around. Whether they are or not there have been Albacore caught and rumours of Yellowfin showing up too, so here’s hoping.
Contact me for fishing trips Sydney. I’ll be out there…
This strange mixed season fishing continues with Marlin, Spearfish and Mahi Mahi being caught in the same water as Albacore, Yellowfin and Bluefin for the lucky few. Kingfish are on the reefs as well as some good Snapper and Teraglin for those that know.
My week-end started on Friday which I thought would be a great day, the weather rough enough to keep the multitude off the water and the expectation of Bluefin and the Yellowfin we’d caught the previous week. And what happened – everyone had the same idea, every man and his dog was out there, c’est la vie. We ended up not catching anything but there were some good fish taken. Bob Curry on ‘Marquis’ had a double hook up on 70 + kilo Yellowfin, landing one. I saw a small boat hook a Striped Marlin which they later landed and I think a couple more were encountered as well as some Mahi Mahi of really good size, small Yellowfin turned up at the temp break South-East of Browns and some Bluefin turned up around the Southern Canyons and further South.
Saturday was much the same but with more boats out and again captures of Marlin, Mahi Mahi, small Yellowfin and some larger ones. I think some Bluefin were taken but they were further South. I decided to go out wide and wide of Heatons I found a nice break which I followed for a while and ultimately was rewarded with a triple strike. One was definitely a tuna which we lost, another was a Spearfish which we caught and the other an unknown which dropped the hook on its first run which was a screamer.
Sunday was a repeat of Saturday except the main bite had moved even further South, down around 34’55, and some good fish, both Bluefin and Yellowfin were taken. I didn’t raise anything on the troll but started a cube trail in about 600 fathoms and at times was moving at 3.5 knots to the South. I was marking fish down deep but because of the speed of the drift the baits couldn’t get down to them, however we did manage a couple of Albacore on jigs. What I thought was strange was the number of Mutton birds flying around us and they wouldn’t settle on the water or try to eat our baits, usually they are a painful pest.
So that was the week-end. A strange one indeed I think there were more Marlin taken than any of the more expected fish for this time of year. I am sure there was more that happened and would be happy to hear of any other reports.
In early August the Sydney Game Fishing Club is hosting the annual ‘Geoff Woolley Monster Mako Tournament’ any anglers in an affiliated club are more than welcome to enter. With increasing Gemfish and Blue Eye numbers at Browns it won’t be long before the Mako’s and other sharks move in, probably when the current abates, so not long now…
After all rotten weather we’ve been having lately it was a pleasure to get offshore on Sunday even though it was cold it was calm.
We ended up having a great day starting on the inshore reefs jigging there were some nice Kings and even better no Jackets. The girls on board had a great time using electric jigging reels all they had to do was hang on, it was quite hysterical at times.
We then trolled out to the ‘Mountain’ , catching nothing on the way, were conditions were really good with very little current and we managed several Gemmies and three good sized Blue Eye then off to the deep blue looking for tuna.
I was looking for an area with a small temp break which I did find but it wasn’t anywhere near where the charts indicated. Anyway we started our trail and the first dropped jig brought up a 10kg. Albacore with the rest of the school closely following. In the meantime one of the girls was drifting a pilchard when it got hit and it became quickly apparent that it wasn’t an Albacore. Unfortunately after about half an hour and a trip around the boat the line crossed with one of the jig rod’s braid, the nylon being the loser. However we still had the Albies around providing the afternoon’s entertainment.
I went out again on Monday but the water had changed out wide with the break having been pushed in by the colder water – we caught nothing and to add to the frustration we had a school of Yellowfin come down our trail, leaping out of the water like torpedoes, and virtually under the boat without touching anything – you have to wonder how two days can be so different. Even the inshore reef fishing was quieter but that was mostly because a couple of pro’s were drop lining.
On the bright side there have been a few caught on our Bluefin charters, still a bit far away for most of us but one weighed at the SGFC on Monday morning went 125 kg., hopefully, they will get here soon.