I went out again Sunday week ago hoping to succeed where we had missed out on that good ‘fin the previous time with the same crew who were ready and raring to go.
Started out with a jig at 12 Mile with limited success but managing one nice King of a metre before the jackets moved in. The sea was up a bit despite weather reports to the contrary. However we ventured out to the spot and started cubing. All was quiet except for the occasional upchuck but then as the sun was setting one of the rods went off, it wasn’t a ‘fin but it had us guessing – a Stripy, a shark or maybe even an Albacore – well after a short but solid fight Marty landed a Striped tuna of 8kgs. , thank God they don’t grow to the size of their bigger cousins.
The boys were getting tired and not feeling any better so were considering returning but I said give it another ten minutes. I hadn’t even finished speaking when first one rod then the other took off and the organised panic set in. Both fish were obviously Yellowfin and giving the anglers hell.
Well I hate reporting failure but we lost the first one when the line broke after the fish crossed lines. The other continued for another half hour when we had it circling just under the boat. I managed to take the leader – a good fish at least 45kgs. but it was still too strong and I didn’t want to take any risks. Ten minutes later the line broke and on inspection the leader had worn through just above the knot – so close, so bloody close.
I took the same group out again on Friday but to cut a long story short we didn’t even see a fish. The sea was perfect, dead calm all day some would say too calm and over 23 degrees, maybe too perfect. I heard of two Marlin taken around the shelf with one of the boats, ‘Tintola’ owned by Rick Camilleri , also taking a Wahoo – Wahoo in June who would believe it. The only good thing about the day was that we made it in before the weather went sour but even then we came back through a very intense but short lived thunder storm.
Hopefully this week’s intense weather will make a change, you’ve got to be optimistic.
Until next time…
Not really much to be said about the offshore fishing over the last week or so, the water within easy reach of most of us has cooled considerably and the current is moving offshore in close and to the North wider out.
There were a few Marlin, both Blue and Striped and Mahi Mahi encountered from Norah canyons North to Port Stephens but with the Marlin you still had to be on the spot to encounter them and even luckier to keep one on the hook.
Inshore the Snapper are showing up and Kings continue both in the harbour and on the inshore reefs as long as you have the right bait namely fresh squid.
There is the hope that the Yellowfin will turn up soon and I think that is what is keeping us motivated to get out there especially while the weather is so good.
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.
Went out yesterday in glorious conditions, at last, with the guys from Global Tackle to test some new gear the plan was to chase a few Kings then go out wide to see what was out there.
At the Peak there were plenty of fish showing on the sounder but we couldn’t entice them onto the deck either with live bait, squid or jigs.
We then went for a troll out to the FAD but nothing showed there, then out over the shelf where the current picked up and pushing into a Southerly breeze really lifted the sea. I didn’t even go to Browns as the couple of boats out there and wider indicated colder green water, possibly a result of the fresh pushing out after the stormy weather from the Northern and far North coast rivers. The radio especially during the week can be a great source of information unlike during the week-ends but we won’t go there.
At the 12 Mile a similar story to the Peak but after a lot of effort hooked a large fish, between losing rigs to Jackets, that beat the poor angler to the bottom on a jig then after what seemed like ages hooked another that went 94cm. but put up a fight like a much larger fish, guess that’s why we love our Kings.
There are good sized Kings being caught inshore on live squid and down-rigging and trolling along the cliffs is producing Salmon, Bonito and in places heaps of undersized Kings.