Fishing off Sydney was as tough this week-end as it can be at this time of year. Most Game boats headed North to the Norah canyons area where the Blue Marlin bite had been during the previous week but as luck and Murphy would have it the water had cooled and the currents changed and though a few fish were encountered the expected bonanza did not occur. There weren’t too many fish taken but those caught were very good as portrayed by the results of the SGFC ‘Peter Goadby tournament’. The fishing was very typical of this time of year with quality fish rather than quantity.
Two Blue Marlin were taken one 171.5 kg the other 168 kg. as well as a monster Tiger shark weighing 479 kilo’s and a good Yellowfin just shy of 60 kilo’s. hopefully the start of their run also and surprisingly a Wahoo was taken a little further North. There were also several Striped Marlin tagged.
Browns was slow this week compared with last week-end with the Gemmies yet to start their annual migration.
The Kings are still there with quality of bait being the major factor in their capture as well as a bit of luck.
Attached are a couple of shots of a Striped Marlin we caught late on Saturday…
Well after almost 3 months of very mixed fishing especially after the frustration of losing three weeks of prime time due to a blown engine my stay at Port Stephens has come to an end, as much as I love it up there it is good to be back on home territory.
It was a very mixed season starting with a brief run of Striped Marlin which was put to an early end by the strong and very hot Southerly current that has persisted right up until the last couple of weeks. However nothing is entirely without benefit and the current brought with it a huge run of small Black Marlin which stretched all along the East coast and I believe there is still the occasional one being caught. There were numbers of Wahoo, Spearfish and even the occasional Sail that I haven’t seen for ages – but the most amazing capture to me was of a tropical Barracuda caught by Gale Force on their way up to Port. I would love to hear about any other rare northern visitors to out waters.
The numbers of Blue Marlin this year is just phenomenal I have never seen a run like it. There was the occasional big Blue, I mean over 200 kg., amongst them but the smaller fish probably averaging 130 to 150 kg. were just as explosive initially but a lot easier to handle with the benefit of being able to tag and release them.
Back here the Blues are still around though a little harder to find, I tagged one at Port before heading South and ‘Gale Force’ tagging two off Sydney on Saturday both around 150 kg. mark. The good news is the appearance of Striped Marlin with several being tagged and lost in the 80 fathom zone where there is a warmer current running – Micky Doyle from ‘Luna C’ having tagged two.
Sydney at this time of year is at its best, not necessarily with numbers of fish but their quality. In most seasons the biggest of species are caught at this time of year when the water is at its warmest. However with what has happened this whole summer who can say what will be. I personally would like to see the return of Yellowfin, there have been some schools sighted and a couple of good fish caught South of us so there is hope…
The run of Blue Marlin continued up at Port this week and from what I hear further South too those boats lucky enough to get out during the week getting multiple strikes and hook ups. They were a little harder to locate during the week-end as they moved further South.
I found some off the Newcastle canyons on Saturday managing two out of three. They weren’t big fish as Blues go being around 100 and 130 kgs. but they still performed the way only Blues will, that strike and first run electrifying. One good thing about the smaller ones is you generally get them to the boat alive to release for another day.
I can’t remember a season like this with so many Blue Marlin or such a hot current extending down the coast for so long and holding so many good sized Dollies, Wahoo in numbers not seen for years down here as well as the more than occasional Spearfish and even the odd Sailfish.
Up here the current has now eased. The temperature is still 25 to 27 degrees but has slowed to a point where the bait is starting to gather on the shelf. I had a look at Almark and marked what I thought were Kings down there but they didn’t take a jig but on dropping baits we managed a couple of Bar Cod as well as the ubiquitous ‘Jacket.
Whether it is too late or too warm for a late run of Striped Marlin is a matter for speculation but it would be good.
I hope to bring Ambition back to Sydney this week-end depending on the weather. Anyone wanting to come for a last day’s fishing up here on Saturday and/or the trip back on Sunday should give me a call or contact me through my web site.
March, April and even into mid-May is when the fishing off Sydney comes into its own. It is a period when in the past not necessarily the most of species but the largest were caught but the way it has been this year anything could happen.
It looked like the warm water had moved back in close last Saturday but it is very fickle with temperatures around 24 degrees at Seal Rocks last Thursday and back to 21 on Saturday.
While fishing the Gibber I did mark what appeared to be a couple of Marlin but with no takers it remains a matter of speculation, we did manage a couple of Snapper and a Trag as by catch though.
First off we went out wide stopping off at the FAD and managing one good Mahi Mahi before they went off the bite. It was a good to see that the current had eased and the temperature was up around 24 C, there. However, as we went wider the current increased dramatically and with it running South into the building Southerly wind and swell it was becoming quite nasty, at around 80 fathoms the decision was made to fish inshore where we ended up at the Gibber and the ‘V’ catching some nice bottom fish as mentioned but no Marlin.
Looking forward the weather is looking good over Easter, unusual as that may be and with the warm water still moving in we could expect another run in shore and if we keep our fingers crossed and the current eases along the shelf maybe even a late run of Stripies with the Blue Marlin always a possibility. I know it is a lot of ‘ifs’ but if you’re not optimistic you’d never go fishing.
Because of the weather and the potential for a late run I’ll be available up here at Port until after Easter so if anyone wants to give it a go give me a call or email me via my website…
I went out on Sunday with a plan which is unusual for me since I generally let the conditions on the day govern my approach. But after looking at Saturday’s chart with a ‘Zero’ line close inshore and hearing from the local ‘bottom bouncers’ that the water was hot in close, almost lapping up to the cliffs I planned to look for Marlin in close.
However, on Sunday there was no hot water in close and the current was raging so it was off to look for the good stuff. The temperature and colour didn’t get appreciably better until into the 80 fathom area but we kept going. After the 300 fathoms the water cooled to less than 20 degrees with no appreciable life but I was going out.
In the 700 fathom area it started to warm again I and there were birds both searching and working but on something small which I couldn’t make out.
Anyway to cut a long story short I found a Long liner and he was setting so I spent some time in the area where there were groups of birds heavily working on baitfish being pushed up but because of the current they were moving by quickly. As I worked one of the groups we had a triple strike and I saw the ‘Shotgun’ explode and really scream off, unfortunately whatever it was straightened one of the hooks. One of the others fish just threw the hooks so we ended up with one out of three, a nice 38 kilo Yellowfin.
Through the day there were some nice Mahi Mahi taken one of which is a potential Junior record going 22 kilo’s on 15 kilo line. – a good effort.
PORT STEPHENS 2016
From mid-January I will taking Ambition and chartering out of the beautiful Port Stephens, an easy 2.5 hrs. drive North of Sydney.
Port Stephens is arguably the best game fishing port in N.S.W. attracting large numbers of the three species of Marlin available in the Pacific as well as Spearfish, Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo and Kingfish – all attracted by the large schools of baitfish in the area.
I am discounting charter fees for those confirmed by 1st. January 2016. To take advantage of this offer call me…
Phone : 0427 887707
Email : email@example.com