Tag Archives: Game Fishing Sydney

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
Weather cams
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 25th.February’20

This year’s Port Stephens Interclub could be seen as a make up for last year’s dilemma. The Marlin really turned it on. The Shootout the previous week-end  was a preview of what was to come.

Unbelievably the weather held off for the full three days of the Port Stephens Interclub tournament. Resulting in around 430 Marlin tagged by just over 110 boats over three days at the Port Stephens  Interclub .  Averaging over one Marlin a boat per day, not  a bad result.  The full results for the tournament may be seen a the NSWGFA  Facebook or web site.

Day 1
Interclub action
Interclub action

We on Ambition didn’t do too badly. We opted to skip baits to cover some ground and locate the bait.  I went well North of the crowd at the ‘Car Park’ and managed three tagged Marlin over the day, catching the first within minutes of putting out our first bait.  Below us at the ‘Car Park’  there was a bite happening but because of the numbers there  the individual results weren’t  so great. None the less some of the local boats stood out from the crowd.

Day two
Interclub action
Interclub action

I went back to where I’d been the day before but all had changed, the bait had gone. It was much the same all along the shelf. What bait there was, was holding deep .  After finally jigging up enough to use I again opted to skip baits and cover ground. I worked my way further North, around November 9, where a few boats were catching fish bombing the deep bait. However after a frustrating time watching several boats catch fish   I changed over to dropping baits on the bait schools , not a style of fishing I enjoy, and ended up hooking and tagging a Whaler Shark after a lengthy fight. So, that was enough for me.

It was back to skipping baits. We were a short distance from the crowd dunking their baits when a nice Striped Marlin hammered one of our skippies and we were on. After a short fight the Stripy was tagged and the baits  put back out . Unexpectedly just after we had set the baits a Black took a skippy and was off more in the air than the water. It was quickly tagged  and we were off again.  It took a while but again on the outside of the crowd dunking slimies we hooked and tagged another Striped Marlin, our third for the day.

Day 3

We headed out with great expectations, back to the same area as the first day. The bait was there again  and in fairly quick time we tagged two Striped Marlin, but then the wheels fell off. The bait disappeared  so it was off searching again. There was a bite happening further South . When we arrived several boats were fighting fish and all looked good.

Interclub action
Interclub action

I searched and searched but couldn’t find any bait. There were obviously plenty of Marlin and lots of boats hooking up  but where was the bait. We unfortunately didn’t end up catching any more fish . Later on talking to other skippers the story was much the same. Whereas some did find bait most didn’t but the marlin were definitely on the bite.

I theorised that the bait was quite sparse, the schools dispersed and broken up by the Marlin to a degree where most sounders couldn’t pick them up. Whereas those boats with  more powerful sounders could however mark the bait.

There were a few boats that went out wide and did find Blue Marlin. Two that I know of lost what they called very big fish. The Blues are usually at their best in Autumn as can be see from previous year’s results especially further South around Sydney.

Hopefully the bait will remain in the area and the bite will continue but if it doesn’t it will certainly be worth having a look out wide.

Tight lines,
Ivan

LINKS
Weather and  Sea State  

Buoyweather
Bureau of Meteorology
Radar
Seabreeze
Weatherzone
Weather cams
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 17th. February’20

Port Stephens Shootout…

The  Port Stephens Shootout  went ahead quite successfully on the week-end in spite of  weather predictions of disastrous conditions.

Black Marlin at the boat
Black Marlin at the boat

Sadly it wasn’t  plain sailing for at least a couple of boats crossing the bar. The conditions on the bar at the entrance to the Port were not exactly favourable and a great degree of caution was required with the four to five meter swells rolling over the bar on the run-out tide.

However once past the bar, even with the swell it wasn’t too bad . The only problem was the very brown water which virtually made the inshore fishing a waste of time. Consequently most headed offshore.

Black Marlin at the boat
Triple header

The fleet was basically divided into those chasing Striped and Black Marlin on the shelf tagging and releasing  and those venturing further looking for the $200,000.00 money fish, a 258 kilo Blue Marlin.

Sadly the big one wasn’t found but several boats said they had lost a possible winner. The boat ‘The Cuban’ did find a Blue of 157 kilo’s  and took out the heaviest Marlin category.

The Shelf…

The water on the shelf  wasn’t fabulous. But  at the known spots bait was holding up  and lots of Marlin were caught by those dropping live baits into the schools and  trolling lures or live baits around the schools. Places like the ‘Car Park’ have came alive again after a couple of lean years.

Black Marlin at the boat
Black Marlin at the boat

Out wider there were quite a few Mahi Mahi and Yellowfin taken. Although they weren’t large fish ranging from 10 to 25 kilo’s they were potentially good food for big Blues.

On Saturday I opted to chase the big one  which we didn’t find  but Travelled a long way looking for the good water which we also didn’t find. What I did  find was a very, very brown current  but on the edge the water looked quite good. Consequently I trolled along the edge. There were a few birds  in the area  and the occasional patch of bait.  Then out of no where we had a strike , then another and another, a triple.  As it turned out we tagged a  Black Marlin and kept two 10 kilo Yellowfin  and that was it for the day.

Sunday was the perfect day, it was hard to believe that such a large ground swell could disappear so quickly. The guys bait fishing on the shelf, bombing the bait schools continued to have success and those chasing the big one tried in vain.  We ended up with a nice Mahi Mahi.

So while we didn’t end up in the money we had plenty to take home for the table.

Tight lines,
Ivan

LINKS
Weather and  Sea State  

Buoyweather
Bureau of Meteorology
Radar
Seabreeze
Weatherzone
Weather cams
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 20th.January’20

Saturday…

I along with Ron Kovacs and Lee Cheeseman took Ambition up to  Nelson Bay at Port Stephens last Saturday. And what a trip it was. It poured the whole way up.  The sea wasn’t too bad to start with,  being about 15 knots of South-Easter with a Northerly current.  However as we moved wider the current turned to the South and increased markedly and so did the wind. The 1.5 to 2 metre Southerly swell jumped up to 3 to 4 metres and shortened making for a very uncomfortable ride.

Beautifully lit up Striped Marlin...
Beautifully lit up Striped Marlin…

We didn’t see anything on the way up and it wouldn’t have been much fun if we had hooked up anyway. When we reached Port Stephens the water temperature had dropped down to 22.5 C and off the lighthouse we marked lots of bait and since the current was coming from the South in close it was a lot more comfortable, but still raining. It was a pleasure to reach our berth at Nelson Bay and relax with a beer or two.

Sunday…

Sunday dawned a perfect day. It was hard to believe it could have calmed so quickly overnight.

Ron holding on tight
Ron holding on tight

We headed out to the lighthouse where there had been lots of bait and bird activity  the previous day. Surprise , surprise, there was no bait, no bird life and the water had jumped up to 25 C.

We’d caught bait at Cabbage Tree and I wasn’t going out to the shelf so we skipped a couple of  slimies close in shore.

Up near the V Reef I started  to mark bait and after working the area for an hour or so, we were rewarded with a strike. It turned out to be a Striped marlin of about 70kg. which sadly didn’t put up much of a fight however it was a first for  Grant . So, one more off his bucket list.

I worked the area for a little longer but with the tide starting to run out I worked my way back to the entrance intending to get back  to the lighthouse.

However, we never made it back, this time it was a Black, a very stubborn Black which gave Grant’s son a  very hard time. Then an even harder time to Ron when he traced it as you’ll see in the video.

So one quite  successful day after one very miserable day. Two firsts to two very excited and satisfied fishermen.

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

Ambition report 13th.January’20

Experience Sydney’ hot Marlin bite , at present possibly one of the best bites for this time of years in years. It is ironic that I am taking Ambition up to Port Stephens in a couple of days  while Sydney’s hot Marlin bite continues.

Lee in action...
Lee in action…

Over the last couple of weeks Striped Marlin of varying sizes have been on the bite around the shelf. Just where they have been is the question. Generally you find them near the temperature breaks  where the bait is stacking up. So, find the bait and you find the fish.  Having  said that finding the fish can be the start of the problem. Striped Marlin being what they are can be the most frustrating of fish to hook up and keep hooked up. Small lures or bait are the go but even then nothing is sure.

Nice Stripy
Nice Stripy

In closer to shore where the bait has stacked up on the inshore reefs and off the headlands the Black Marlin have appeared. There was the occasional Black seen last week but since the water has warmed up inshore their numbers have increases significantly.  Reports of numbers of Blacks from further up the coast, around Coffs indicate  there could be more on their way down.

As I mentioned earlier in the report  I’m taking ‘Ambition’ to Port Stephens missing Sydney’s hot Marlin bite and will be there for the next couple of months fishing the tournaments and chartering . I still have a few days free and will keep you informed.

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

 

Ambition report 17th.December’19

One of the biggest frustrations of running a charter boat is not being able to go out whenever you want. Especially frustrating is when you know the fish are there or when the bite is on. My situation last week-end.

Port Stephens Blue...
Blue Marlin…

And just to add to the  frustrations just hearing about the Striped Marlin bite off Port Stephens and Norah Canyons the previous week and the many encounters off Sydney last week. It finally happened, the greater body of Marlin moved into Sydney waters.

From what I have heard there were lots of boats out there with most if not all at least seeing a fish. As is usual with Striped Marlin for every fish hooked many were lost.

The Stripies seemed to come in a range of sizes with a few boats and experienced fishermen from SGFC tagging fish of around 100 kg. as well as fish in the 60 kg. range. It would appear there are a couple of year classes involved.

Port Stephens Blue...
Another Mighty Blue…

Will it continue ? Yes, it is the beginning. But at this early stage of the season the currents haven’t yet settled in so you still have to find the water and the bait.

I don’t know if anyone has heard about the Blacks moving down the coast in their annual run. I have heard there is plenty of bait waiting for them up the North but have heard nothing.

http://www.ambitioncharters.com.au

Tight lines,
Ivan

Don’t forget Port Stephens, the best Game fishing spot in NSW, I’ll be there and available from 20th.January’20 until 16th.March’20…

Blue Msrlin tagged
Tagged

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 2nd. December’19

That elusive Marlin.

At this time of year the  keen Game Fisher people are out looking for the first Marlin of the season. In most clubs this is a much contested trophy with a great degree of kudos and boasting rights  to the winner.

robs-yellowfin
robs-yellowfin

With that in mind and seeing that the water was warming up I and a four  other members of SGFC  went out hunting. On the way we had a look at the 12 Mile but it was loaded with Jackets and after losing two rigs we were off. Out went the lures and the hunting began. It was pretty lumpy going for a while  and I lost sight of a couple of crew members for a while, sleeping they said.

robs-yellowfin
robs-yellowfin

There was no apparent bait or birds working around the shelf so we moved on, working our way out. It wasn’t until near the thousand fathom line that we saw any  life.

A couple of Sunfish showed up near a temperature break in a thousand fathoms and I saw a school of what I thought were Striped Tuna. There was life here so I worked the break and was eventually rewarded with a crashing strike on the short corner. The fish took such a long first run I thought at first we might have found our Marlin. However the fish never jumped but it did stay near the surface . It must have taken two hundred meters on that first run and poor Rob had to work really hard to get it back. When we did eventually see  it was a Yellowfin we were a little surpised. It never went deep and never did that gut wrenching  circling.

robs-yellowfin
robs-yellowfin

So even though that elusive Marlin eluded us we did have a good 40 kilo’s of Yellowfin to satisfy our needs. At least until we get out again to chase that elusive first Marlin.

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.

Ambition report 25th.November’19

 

Yellowfin Tuna
Yellowfin Tuna

November is proving to be a good month for Yellowfin Tuna. Though not the big ones of a few months ago fish ranging from 8 to 30 kilo’s  may be found.

I went out on Saturday  after many cancellations due to bad weather, I was going out come hell or high water. As it turned out the marginal  forecast for Saturday was wrong  and it turned out great, no wind all day, overcast with an oily sea,  just perfect.

I targeted an area  in 1000 fathoms were it looked like a cooler water eddy was forming . We put the gear out  inside the shelf  just in case that Striped Marlin just happened to be lurking around.  We put out a Stripy lure  also.

Yellowfin Tuna
Yellowfin Tuna

It was all pretty quiet, with very little bird action though we did manage a couple of Striped Tuna so at least something was moving around. As we moved into the cooler water  I started marking small schools of bait ( I assume ) down thirty to forty fathoms. We worked the area for a while and saw  a couple of Sun fish and the occasional surface flurry from something unknown.

As I reached the other side of the eddy  we had a screamer of a strike on the Shot Gun  quickly followed by another on  the Stripy lure and as Ron was clearing the lines yet another fish, we were on a triple.

As can only happen when Game Fishing a little madness followed. Ron went to sunset to get one of the fish in quickly which worked well until he got it close to the boat where it unfortunately cut off one of the other fish. That wouldn’t have been so bad but it was my favourite Brad ‘J’ that we lost.

We brought the other two to gaff, both fish in the 20 nto 25 kilo range, took some happy snaps and since it was now late we headed for home.

All in all a good day…

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.

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

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