Tag Archives: Game Fishing

Ambition report 27th. November’17

All gamefish are sensitive to water temperatures and their movements governed but the ocean currents.

Blue Marlin tagged
Tagged

On studying the SST’s you can see that the warm water North of us, on and wide of the shelf is flowing South then out to sea just South of Port Stephens. Conversely the water off Sydney over the shelf is flowing inshore from the South and East and then turning South. It is clear that the fish, probably the Blues, in the warmer water North of us aren’t going to be seen off Sydney until there is a change in the currents.

However, the Northern water inside and along the shelf is flowing South parallel to the coast. This is the water that brings the run of Blacks inshore and further out near the shelf the Striped Marlin.  Usually the Blacks show up off Sydney mid to late December but in the last week or so the inshore waters have warmed significantly. Yesterday I noticed a lot of bait just out of the Heads. Lots of Mutton birds were working the area as though waiting for something to push the bait up. This could be an indication that the Blacks are here there has been the occasional report of small Marlin inshore.

Those fishing wide off Sydney haven’t been having much luck but it seems the Kings are another story. The run of Kings outside last week was remarkable with more than a few going over the magic metre mark. Unfortunately that was last week since then the Southerly current has increased. I have been told it was running at 3 to 3.5 knots and when you add the effect of 15 to 20 knots of North Easterly you’d be close to flying.

Black Marlin fishing
A Black on the leader…

In the harbour the Kingsfish mixed with Tailor, Bonito and Salmon are still rampaging around chasing schools of baitfish. You can find the schools anywhere from the Heads down the harbour to the Lane Cove river. Find the birds and you’ll find the fish. Frustratingly you will often find the fish under the Harbour Bridge in the 15 knot zone where you are not allowed to stop and fish.

I am looking forward to my annual stay at Port Stephens. I’ll be there and available for Charter and the occasional social day for SGFC members from mid- January until mid-March. If you want to catch Marlin or any of the pelagic species which are so much more common up there give me a call.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 20th. November’ 17

I couldn’t make it out fishing on the week-end due to the weather on Saturday and ‘ brownie ‘ point gathering on Sunday.

From what I’ve heard there doesn’t appear to be much happening out there.  I did however get a phone call mid-morning telling me about a Marlin, possibly a Black, free jumping about 5 miles out… I can’t tell you how good that made me feel. Apparently there were some Dollies taken and a couple of really nice Yellowfin from somewhere South of Sydney. If anyone knows anymore or can clarify I’d be happy to hear about it.

The SST’s  don’t look very exciting either but I don’t know how much they can be relied upon at the best of times because of their lack of resolution. You really have to get out there and see for yourself. The way it appears the current is  pushing from the North around Sydney but the temperature within the current varies widely indicating there are breaks in the main current which are always worth a look.

Inshore there are Kings but it requires some hard work and lots of looking to find them. I heard of one that Mike Clarkson of ‘Reef Magic’ caught going 1.2 metres, so they are there.

The harbour is alive with schools of pelagics, Kings, Bonito, Tailor and Salmon. They are not big fish but are still a lot of fun on light gear. You will need very small lures to catch them because they are feeding on very small baitfish.

To me the wide grounds are where I want to be. None of the charts have the resolution to show the spin-off currents and minor eddies that often hold the fish we want. It changes from day to day out ther. By the time the average fisho hears about the bite it’s generally too late…

Tight lines,
Ivan

 

Ambition report 13th. November’17

The offshore fishing for Billfish was not really exciting last week with few fish being encountered.  However I did hear of a Lake Macquarie boat losing a good sized Blue Marlin  around the Norah Canyons.

Blue Marlin fishing sydney
A Blue at the boat…

Off Sydney the water looked good and there was plenty of bait, especially inside the shelf.  I did find however that beyond about 300 fathoms and moving South the water went green and cooled a little.  All this indicating how fickle the currents still are and also very typical of November. Usually by mid-December the currents have stabalised and that’s also when the Blacks should start to turn up. In the mean time it is a day to day proposition. You put in the time you’ll find the fish.

Billfish fishing sydney
Marlin…

Of great interest, to me at least, was when on Sunday Pat Shaw and his father Mark found a dead Whale floating South of Browns. Pat, my regular deck hand, constantly told me how much he’d like to find one. He also told me about  the number and size of sharks and oddly Kingfish hanging around the Whale.  Strangely he couldn’t get them to take his baits because of the amount of burley in the water.  I only hope he got photo’s of the action.

The harbour at present is alive with pelagics mostly Tailor but  Salmon  and Bonito also, and there are good Kingfish amongst them too. Kingfish are also active inshore around the Heads and you can  catch them trolling live baits on down riggers or lead lines.  I don’t know about the offshore reefs but they could be worth a look.

So that’s it for this week…

Tight lines,
Ivan

 

Ambition report 6th. November’17

After the weather we experienced last week-end it was surprising that anyone went out Marlin Fishing. Those who went saw a few Marlin. Captures and Tags were another matter entirely.

On Saturday a few boats went out and Ed Ingram from ‘ Hold Up’ told of finding an area off Broken Bay where he raised two Striped Marlin but missed both. In the same area there were numbers of Albatrosses. Every so often they would come together and when Ed moved into the area the sounder came alive with big fish down deep. Ed speculated they might be Yellowfin.

yellowfin tuna fishing sydney
Yellowfin on deck…

Sunday’s early morning bad weather kept most at home but at least a couple went out. Jeff Manson from ‘Spindrift’ managed a Spearfish and another Botany Bay boat caught a 50 kilo Yellowfin. The Yellowfin capture may have confirmed what Ed had seen the day before, time will tell. Off Wollongong a Striped Marlin of 159 kilo’s was weighed that is one hell of a Striped Marlin.

marlin fishing sydney
A nice Black doing it thing…

Kingies seem to be around on the inshore reefs with the occasional good one amongst the rats. Perseverance and good bait are essential. Hopefully the warming water has pushed the ‘Coutas and maybe even the ‘Jackets out too.

Kingfish fishing sydney harbour
A 12 Mile King…

In summary though it is still early days the water is warming. Marlin fishing as well as that for the other warm water gamefish is getting better and better each day as the currents, fickle though they are, move inshore.

On another matter,..I have just cleaned up a fuel tank that I had never previously used. I filled the tank and then checked the clarity of the fuel not surprisingly it was terrible. It took a while but I finally found a ‘Fuel Polisher’ in Australia who would come out and clean the tank, a relatively small tank. I was so impressed with the job they did I had to mention them. The company is called ‘FSA – Fuel Screening Australia’ and are based at Tuggerah.

On yet another matter…I have just finalised my annual Port Stephens stay. I’ll be available up there from  13th.January 2018 until 13th. March 2018 – see you there.

Tight lines,
Ivan

 

Ambition report 30th. October’ 17

Well the trophy for the first Marlin of  the season for the Sydney Game Fishing Club has been taken out. Coincidently the first Marlin for the Broken Bay Club was also taken out. Artie Saren caught Sydney’s first a  Striped Marlin from the boat Compton.  A bitter sweet day for many of us as it is a much vied for Trophy. On one hand it means the Marlin season has started on the other the pressure is off  and we can save a lot of fuel looking for that first fish.

Striped Marlin...
Striped Marlin…

I was out on Sunday looking for Marlin. The conditions were almost ideal with lots of bait around the shelf, good water colour and temperature but no birds. We did get a strike late in the afternoon which I’d like to think was a Marlin. A few boats encountered Marlin further North, around the Norah canyons,  but I didn’t hear of any other than Compton’s.

Inshore the Kingfish are around but you have to put in a lot of time  to catch the bait needed to attract them. Even when you do get the bait it is tough to find a keeper fish. I fished on Friday trolling live baits close to the rocks in quite rough conditions but only caught undersized Kings and a couple of Bonito.

Kingfish...
Kingfish…

Browns also seem to be running hot and cold with Gemmies and a few Blue Eye still on offer. From what I have gathered fresh bait is necessary.

Overall the fishing is on the quiet side. Whether you are fishing inshore or offshore perseverance is the key and of course good bait…

Tight lines,
Ivan

Ambition report 23rd.Oct.’17

I don’t know why but I still get surprised when the SST’s don’t reflect what I experience at sea. I shouldn’t I know because the charts don’t have the resolution to show the minor eddies that hold the fish we chase. This is especially important when chasing Marlin and other pelagics.

Striped Marlin
A Stripy at the boat…

When I went out on Sunday the SST’s showed a relatively warm current coming down the coast running quite quickly at the shelf and out from there. I headed out East from the heads planning to troll North at the shelf and go out wide. Without going into details, as I trolled North and out the temperature increased as expected. At around two hundred fathoms the temperature started to cool off which I did not expected. I turned around and started to work my way back to the warmer water. Here the bait was also building up. Most interestingly the current varied, as I moved in so as to make me think there was an eddy somewhere around the ‘Bait Station’. As the day progressed we raised two Marlin and one probable Marlin. Each of the fish hit the lures more than once but we just couldn’t sink the hooks.

A beautiful Mahi Mahi
Mahi Mahi on Ambition

Through the day several boats saw and hooked Striped Marlin. Jeff Manson from his boat ‘Spindrift’ hooked a Blue Marlin in four hundred and fifty fathoms when it took a 10kg. outfit. As you would expect the fight didn’t end well and that’s what I call sporting. I only heard of one boat catching a Marlin a small Stripy. If  you are into sharks the boat ‘Undertaker’ fishing just inside the shelf caught a couple of good sized Tiger Sharks and a small Blue Shark.

Mahi Mahi
A beautiful Mahi Mahi

Fishing for Kingfish is patchy at present because  most of the reefs are being adversely affected or is that infected by Barracouta and Leatherjackets. There are some good fish coming out of the harbour though and some from surprisingly far down past the Bridge.

The numbers of Marlin sighted is definitely increasing. This increase  should continue as the water warms and the currents push inshore. November usually sees an increase in the warm water pelagics with larger than usual Mahi Mahi often encountered.

So hurry up and bring on Summer…

Tight lines,
Ivan

 

Ambition report 16th. October’17

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.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 9th. October’17

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.

Ed's Spearfish...
Ed’s Spearfish…

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.

Tight lines,
Ivan

 

 

Ambition report 2nd. October’17

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.

deep sea Kingfish fishing sydney
King from the reef…

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.

sydney harbour fishing charter
Another nice King…

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

game fishing sydney
What we wanted

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.

marlin fishing sydney
Striped Marlin…

So with the hope of a good run of Yellowfin and an early start to the Marlin season.

Tight lines,
Ivan

Ambition report 24th. September’17

Game Fishing Charters
Lindon’s Bluefin on 15kg.

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.

Game Fishing Charters
Greg’s first Bluefin…

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.

Fishing Charters
The group, five Bluefin, one each and a few lost…

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…

Tight lines,
Ivan