Tag Archives: Kingfish

Ambition report 23rd. July’18

Sydney has been the place for Tuna Fishing with Bluefin the  occasional Yellowfin and even  Albacore taken last week but it is a day to day proposition.

On Thursday we headed out to where the fish had been caught the previous Wednesday.  After my fruitless day on Tuesday I and the crew were keen to play.

Luke's Bluefin Tuna...
Luke’s Bluefin…

We set the lures out North-East of Browns and proceeded to listen in on the radio for clues to where the bite was happening. As is usual when nothing is happening the idiots came on air providing what their small minds consider entertainment. Thankfully word of the fish started filtering through.

I noticed a stationary boat about a mile from us and headed over for a look when a couple of hundred metres from him we had a crashing strike and landed a Bluefin of around 45kilo’s. We no sooner had the lures in the water when the second fish struck. This one was much bigger and gave the ‘newby’ angler a hard time. He eventually brought the fish, which back at the club weighed just on 70 kilo’s, to boat.

Bagged out...
Bagged out…

Meantime the radio had come alive with reports of Bluefin, Yellowfin as well as a few Albacore coming in. We continued working the same area marking fish down at 40 fathoms but couldn’t get them to come up. I decided to move away and come back a little later. I spent another half hour searching for more fish out wider but nothing. On returning to the previous spot I had no sooner marked the school than we hooked up, a double, missing another when it hit a lure as it was being taken out of the water.

These when weighed went just over seventy kilo’s and gave the guys a hard time too. We kept one fish out wide while fighting the other at ‘sunset’ so as to get it in fast.

Tuna time off Sydney...
Tuna time off Sydney…

It took a little time but we landed both the Bluefin. Since now we had bagged out we turned around and headed for home. I must say the only downside to the day was that I lost my favourite Brad ‘J’. Otherwise it had been a long but very satisfying day.

We went out again on the Monday after a week-end of bad weather with Luke who was dead keen to catch a Bluefin. I went back to the area South East of Browns. Reports were coming in of fish being caught down below the Southern Canyons but I noticed a boat that looked like they were fighting. Shortly after they gave their position and that they had the fish under their boat. I and another boat whose name I have forgotten was behind me and heading towards them too.

As we approached the boat behind me hooked up on a triple and Bruce who was on board called me back. I had obviously missed the school and it could have only been by metres. Anyway as we approached we were rewarded with a triple hook up which was a problem since we only had one angler, my deckie, ‘Howie’ and me. Howie went straight to sunset it nearly killed him but he got the fish in in time to gaff Luke’s Bluefin. Then Luke went straight into battle with his second fish. After what seemed an eternity to him a very tired, relieved and happy Luke finally brought the fish to the gaff.

It was time to go home.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 13th. July’18

It is Tuna time off Sydney and the bite is in full swing.

Tuna time off Sydney...
Tuna time off Sydney…

We headed out at 5:30 yesterday morning heading for where the bite had been on Wednesday. After my fruitless day on Tuesday I and the crew were keen to play.

We set the lures out North-East of Browns and proceeded to listen in on the radio for clues to where the bite was happening. As is usual when nothing is happening the idiots came on air providing what their small minds consider entertainment. Thankfully word of the fish started filtering through.

Tuna time off Sydney...
Tuna time off Sydney…

I noticed a stationary boat about a mile from us and headed over for a squizzy when a couple of hundred metres from him we had a crashing strike and landed a Bluefin of around 45kilo’s. We no sooner had the lures in the water when the second fish struck. This one was much bigger and gave the ‘newby’ angler a hard time. He eventually brought the fish, which back at the club weighted just on 70 kilo’s, to boat.

Tuna time off Sydney...
Tuna time off Sydney…

Meantime  the radio had come alive with reports of Bluefin, Yellowfin as well as a few Albacore coming in. The fish were spread out over quite a large area and being taken on lures, divers and skirts as well as cubes. You just had to find them.

We continued working the same area marking fish down at 40 fathoms but couldn’t get the to come up. I decided to move away and come back a little later. I spent another half hour searching for more fish out wider but nothing. On returning to the previous spot I had no sooner marked the school than we had a double, missing another when it hit a lure as it was being taken out of the water.

These when weighed went just over seventy kilo’s and gave the guys a hard time too. We kept one fish wide while fighting the other at ‘sunset’ so as to get it in fast.

It took a little time but we landed both the Bluefin. Since now we had bagged out we turned for home. It had been a long but very satisfying day.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 11th. July’18

I went out yesterday looking for the Tuna. I’d heard the long liners were working wide and South of Heatons so headed off in that direction. It was a bit lumpy going through the heads but eased up a few miles out away from the backwash. There were just a few mountains with which to contend. Happily it calmed right down during the day.

Yellowfin Tuna...
Yellowfin Tuna…

Out over the thousand fathom line I picked up a long liner on my radar. He was another ten miles further out. About a mile short of the him we passed through a current line where there was a marked temperature change and lots of bird activity.

I managed to contact the skipper of the fishing boat who told me he’d caught a few fish on their first string and that there were a couple more long liners working 15 to 20 miles South of him.
To cut a long story short I didn’t find any Tuna but I must say it looked really good out there with lots of birds and bait showing.

Ronny struggling

On returning to Port I was told a boat caught a couple of Bluefin a few miles North-West of me and another wide of Norah Head.
There are quite a few boats going out today so will be interesting to see how they go.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 4th’ July’18

After over three weeks of nothing to say about the Game Fishing  off Sydney I needed to say something so…..

A very good Yellowfin
A very good Yellowfin

Game fishing off Sydney has certainly taken a turn for the worse. Actually it has been pretty hopeless for the last month.  The weather hasn’t helped either. After what was amongst the best Smmer and Autumn seasons I can remember it has crashed. All those Marlin and Tuna as well as all the other pelagic species have gone.

A good day's fishing...
A good day’s fishing…

Since mid-May the ocean currents and altimetry have conspired to keep the usual run of Tuna down South. There have been a few good sized Yellowfin taken around Wollongong and Kiama but off Sydney nothing.

The Bluefin we are all awaiting showed up on time on the South coast and have been caught as far up as Ulladulla and Batemans Bay. There are rumours of them being as close as the Shoalhaven but only rumours.

The Groups Yellowfin
The Groups Yellowfin

Up until last year when the Bluefin showed up off Sydney in early September they had turned up in early July. So far no sign of them up here but the altimetry this year compares with that of September last year. If the offshore ‘High’ moves a little to the South and inshore the water the Bluefin are in could come within range.

Well you have to be optimistic to be a fisherman…

At Browns the Gemfish are starting to run and the Blue Eye are on the bite. Unfortunately the current is pretty fast so though the fish are biting you lose a lot of gear. Also, Mako’s and Blue Sharks are making an appearance.

Winter GemFish and Blue Eye
GemFish and Blue Eye

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kings and Snapper are there for those in the know. The offshore reefs are a day to day proposition and inshore lots of small Kings with the occasional good one thrown in.

So that’s it – hopefully the currents will ease and the Tuna will make an appearance soon.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 11th.June’17

Yellowfin and Albacore are the prime target at this time of year with Kingies and dropping on Browns thrown in for good measure. The warm currents are slowing and cubing is also on the agenda.

I took Brad, his groomsmen and future father-in-law out on Saturday. The aim was to catch live bait, which we did. Have a jig and drop baits on 12 Mile then a deep drop on Browns followed by a late cubing session out wide.

Brad's Albacore
Brad’s Albacore

We arrived at 12 Mile and after several passes sounding it out I couldn’t find anything. There didn’t even appear to be any ‘Jackets, normally a good thing. Irrespective we dropped a couple of live baits down and one of the guys feeling energetic started jigging. Sadly the sounder was telling the truth, not even a nibble.

Consequently we left 12 Mile to troll out to Browns. On the way the radio was telling a sad story of a 3 to 3.5 knot Southerly current making it impossible to hold bottom at Browns; so much for that idea. The only option left was to head out wide and see if we could find some good water to start cubing.

After a couple of hours trolling and reaching the thousand fathom line the only real change was the speed off the current. There was neither bait nor any bird activity so I headed back to an area where the current was slower and we started a cube trail.

To cut a long story short after a couple of hours cubing Brad took a strike and landed a good Albacore of about 7 kilo’s. Unfortunately the guys had to be back early for a dinner pre-wedding so we had to leave early.

I feel sure that if we could had have stayed until dark we would have had more action.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 28th. May’18

Striped Marlin and Mako Sharks as well as Tigers were all the news off Sydney last week-end. Two Tiger Sharks over 450 kgs. were taken as well as another of unknown size lost after several hours of fighting. With the thought of XOS Tiger sharks in mind I went out with Glen and Karen on their boat ‘Tantrum’ to see if we could find one for their daughter Makira.

We headed out on Sunday to the eighty fathom line off Long Reef where we planned to start our trail. On nearing the area we found large numbers of Gannets diving on schools of bait fish. It was more than one group too. We could see several gatherings all in roughly the eighty fathom area. With so much bait around this had to be a good place to start.

With baits set at varying depths on a couple of 15’s and 24’s  and the kids punching the burly, it was that time of waiting. I must say there is something really pleasant about shark fishing, other than the smell and mess. It is quiet and peaceful with a tangible sense of expectation as all on board watch the floats for any sign of movement.

After about an hour one of the reels starting slowly ticking off drawing everyone’s attention. The speed increased then the fish took a run. Makira took the rod and wound in the belly of line and struck when Glen told her. She had weight and was hooked up.

Unusually the fish stayed near the surface then we saw a splash as a bill and head broke the surface. We had a Marlin and after a reasonable fight Makira brought a good sized Striped Marlin to the boat where it was tagged and released – not the 400 kg Tiger we were hoping for but a nice surprise.

All the gear was re-set and again we settled in, watching and waiting. The currents were doing strange thing though. We had drifted through two strong current lines. Now our deep baits were on one side of the boat while our burly was going in the opposite direction. This was obviously due to the very light breeze but still indicated a deeper current going opposite to the surface current. Hopefully our burly was heavy enough to reach the deeper water.

It took a while then at the witching hour a small Mako turned up taking scraps off the surface. We drifted a bait out but no takers and after about ten minutes he/she disappeared. Shortly after our deep bait on 15 kg. started to run and again Makira took the rod and under Dad’s instruction struck the fish. This one took a couple of runs and went deep, this had to be the Tiger. The fish continued to take line with the occasional head shakes causing concern. Eventually Makira started to gain line, slowly at first then steadily. After nearly an hour of give and take she had the double up and we got our first view of the fish. Howy took the leader and much to everyone’s  dismay brought up a 30 to 40 kilo Mako hooked in the tail. I don’t think anyone could believe a Mako that size could fight as hard as this one had.

So that was the day, we’d tagged a Striped Marlin and a Mako shark. I heard of another boat losing a Striped Marlin and that Browns was fishing well. Generally it seem it was a very quiet day off Sydney.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 24th. December’17

The Marlin and Mahi Mahi are coming…

It finally looks as though the currents out wide are stabilising and bringing the Marlin to us. The hope is that the fish will move in closer now, certainly more are being encountered.

I went out with Tom and his workmates on a two boat Charter with Wahoo last Wednesday chasing Marlin.

The first stop though was to have a shot at the Kings. This turned out to be a bad move. We first tried off North Head where in spite of the calm wind conditions the swell bouncing off the cliffs was making it very uncomfortable. Consequently several of the guys were feeling a bit seedy but after giving the 12 Mile a shot most had had enough.

Kingfish fishing
A 12 Mile King…

Anyway, Wahoo ended up going back with the sick ones and I continued out after catching a couple of good Kings. Conditions were perfect away from the bounce back and the sea was dead flat. This was the calm before the storm.

Out over the shelf the current was still Southerly. However, the temperature was varying up and down by as much as half a degree over a hundred metres. We persisted and went out over Browns to the thousand fathom line not seeing anything, no bait, not even a bird. At about 1:00pm. the first breaths of the Southerly started to puff so I started trolling home.

By the time we got back to Browns it was still doing only fifteen to eighteen knots. The boys were unconcerned, enjoying the occasional brew. These conditions didn’t last long however and it was soon gusting to twenty five knots. I heard over the radio that it was doing thirty knots off Cronulla so the gear was pulled in and we ran for home.

On Saturday after hearing that the boat ‘Cintra’ from Tasmania had raised six Marlin the day before I went out with renewed confidence. I was doing something I haven’t done for a long, long time. I was working the deck for Mike Clarkson on his boat ‘Reef Magic’.

We put the gear in at the ’12 Mile’ and headed out towards ‘Browns’. Conditions had certainly changed since Wednesday. The temperature was up and not wavering and there was heaps of bait. There were even birds moving around, it was very fishy to say the least. Later, over the radio we heard Bob Curry had raised a Striped Marlin in 250 fathoms and another boat had tagged one inside ‘Browns’.

Fishing Trips
Marlin…

After working the bait for several hours with no result we left and headed North. We had just crossed the shelf when we had a triple strike and mayhem prevailed but luckily not for long. In short time two of the Marlin jumped off and we ended up catching Striped Marlin of around 70 kgs.

The client, Iano from Italy, was happy with a great Christmas present having succeeded in his first attempt at striped Marlin fishing. We were happy and it was time to go home.

Tight lines and a merry Christmas to all – may the fish be with you,
Ivan

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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 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