Tag Archives: Sport fishing

Ambition report 8th.August’19

Sydney doldrums is certainly  the best way to describe the Game Fishing off Sydney over the last couple of weeks. That is certainly not to say there haven’t been occasional catches  of Yellowfin, just enough to tempt you out .  However here it has been a hard slog. Especially when you keep hearing about what is going on both North and South of us .

Big Yellowfin  and numbers of them seem to have taken up residence off Jervis Bay. The same can be said of Port Stephens and Norah Heads to the North.

Unfortunately, we poor soles without the mobility of trailer boats have had to cover an awful lot of water just to have a chance at finding the occasional school  of Yellowfin as they pass through.  Furthermore over the last week or so  there has been an increase in these numbers  but it is still hard going. Hopefully after this next bout of weather moves through it will all change…can’t help the optimism.

Bob Curry from his boat  ‘Marquis’ was one of the lucky ones to find some action . They picked up a fortyish kilo Yellowfin on a blind strike.   Apparently after an incident filled fight, which I won’t go into,  somewhere on the Southern canyons they boated the fish. There have been other captures, enough to  tease,   as a result and as I have said you have to cover a lot of water.

Marquis' Yellowfin
Marquis’ Yellowfin

 

 

 

 

 

There have been a few Marlin encountered as often happens at this time of year.  But, most noteworthy and even stranger  are the numbers of Mahi Mahi  showing up. Several of the boats out Shark fishing have seen them schooled under their boats. Sadly  they have proved to be difficult to tempt onto a hook.

Consequently, I for one am waiting for this next bout of weather to pass on to find out what has changed.

The big question is , where are the Bluefin ?

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Ambition report 10th.July’19

Yellowfin Tuna
Yellowfin Tuna

As we anxiously await the arrival of the Bluefin tuna we are experiencing, or were experiencing a good run of Yellowfin.
Over the last few weeks Yellowfin tuna running between 25 and 70 kilo’s have been caught off Sydney. These fish are ranging over a wide area having been caught from wide and North of the ‘Bait Station’ all the way down the coast. Consequently they take a lot of finding and the changing conditions at sea every day don’t make it any easier. However once located the fun begins… if you’re lucky.

Yellowfin Tuna
Yellowfin Tuna

I was out on Sunday in ideal conditions. As it happened the bite had been early. However as we arrived there was a boat fighting so we set the gear and started searching. Over the next hour or so we saw several bust-ups but they were over so quickly we couldn’t get to them in time. Eventually a school made a mistake and busted only 50 metres ahead of us. With all eyes watching and wishing the fish to bite expectations were high.

First the rigger went off then the flat line and while the guys were

Yellowfin Tuna
Yellowfin Tuna

clearing the other lines the Shot gun took off. A triple with very inexperienced anglers. After the initial confusion the anglers and the tuna settled in with all three circling under the boat – a recipe for disaster. Fortunately Rob and Frank managed to keep the lines from crossing. Sadly we lost one of the fish as it was about to be gaffed when it made a run under the boat and caught the rudder. In retrospect it probably helped making the other two fish easier to land. The guys were ecstatic with two 35 kilo fish to take home. Since there was no further action in the area I started trolling for home which was several hours away.

A short way from Browns I saw a huge school of Sauries take off and much to my surprise as I turned to chase them a school of Mahi Mahi took to the air close behind them. Quite a spectacular sight but not one that I have ever seen in mid-winter.

Yellowfin Tuna
Yellowfin Tuna

 

 

 

 

 

I went out again on Monday but this time left earlier hoping to catch that early bite of the day before. Other boats were already working the area and the news wasn’t good. The water had cooled and I don’t think anyone out there had seen anything.

When we arrived where we did indeed find cooler water and more current. Shortly after we arrived a trailer boat hooked up on a triple not far from us. We and several other boats started working the area but all to no avail. Surprisingly George from Wahoo Charters called up saying he’d just caught a 6 kilo Mahi Mahi. I then moved a bit wider and had a strike on the Shotgun. All I saw was a flash of blue and assumed we had also hooked a Mahi Mahi. Then a bill appeared followed by the rest of a Striped Marlin, unbelievable. Sadly we only had it for a few minutes before we parted ways. The only saving grace for the day was when we landed a good sized Albacore.

I did hear later in the day of a boat out a fair bit wider finding schools of Yellowfin but it was much too far for us to go.

So we still await the arrival of the Bluefin Tuna which seem to be holding up to the South though there are occasional reports of closer fish.

Until then…

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 3rd.July’19

.July Tuna  :

After the less than comfortable conditions last Saturday yesterday was a dream. We’d heard that the ‘fin were still around so off we went. On Saturday  the bite occurred fairly early so I didn’t make my regular stop over at 12 mile or Browns.

Well after an hour and a half running we put the gear in at the 500 fathom line. I  noticed  a temp break and followed it further offshore.

July tune - Yellowfin
July tune – Yellowfin

After another hour of trolling July Tuna were looking like  a no go, and then  with the clients showing signs of boredom we had a massive strike on a rigger and shortly after one of the flat lines took off at a rate of knots. Well boredom quickly turned into mayhem as the crew raced to the rods.

Finally under a semblance of control we settled in to fight what were obviously two big fish. The guys neither of whom had had much experience on this type of gear settled in and with Ron’s guidance and their mates support started to make headway. Unfortunately twenty minutes into the fight we had a tackle failure and lost one of the fish. It then took almost another half hour to bring the second fish to the boat where we gaffed and brought aboard a beautiful Yellowfin of 65 to 70 kilo’s.

July tune - Yellowfin
July tune – Yellowfin

After photo’s and congratulations we put the lures out again. The radio was telling of ‘fin out a little wider so off we went. We hadn’t travelled far and finally had the other boats in sight when again two rods went off. This time they were obviously smaller fish and the guys had them under control when inextricably one of them just dropped off. However the other fish a Yellowfin of around 35 kilo’s was landed.

A little later I saw a school of Sauries take off obviously some unknown predator  wanting to eat. I got close a couple of times but nothing eventuated. As I moved away we had another strike on one of the minnows. At first I thought it was a small fin because I could see a yellow tail. But as it happened and much to my surprise it turned out to be a Mahi Mahi. Not what you expect in the middle of winter.

July Mahi Mahi
July Mahi Mahi

Of interest to me was that there was no sign that there were any fish in the area when we had the strikes. There were no birds no bait and no whales unlike last Saturday when the area was so obviously alive.

Well I guess that’s fishing…

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 30th.June’19

Yellowfin
Yellowfin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With  Yellowfin and Bluefin tuna on the menu  it couldn’t be better for the SGFC Tuna Slam which starts tomorrow. There are Yellowfin out wide and Bluefin on their way.

For an entry fee of $250.00 per boat for the months of July and August you could win thousands by catching Yellowfin and Bluefin tuna as other winners have in the past. Go to the SGFC site for more info or follow the link below.

http://sgfc.com.au/…/uploa…/2019/06/SGFC-2019-Tuna-Slam.pdf…

As you can see from the photo  we found the Yellowfin tuna. It was with the help of good information from Alex Quasabian from ‘The Fishing Station’ and by tracking the Long liners.

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

Even though we arrived at the area late we managed this one fish and had another two strikes that sadly didn’t connect. I would have liked to stay until dark but the wind was picking up, probably doing 25 knots when we eventually left.

The bite was an early one and while we saw the end of it Markoo skippered by Benn Dullard had left port very early and managed four fish around the 35 kilo mark before we got there.

The area was alive.  There were more than a few Sperm Whales obviously feeding.  Also , Gannets all waiting for the tuna to push the bait to the surface.

So now we wait for the weather which this week looks perfect and the much anticipated arrival of the Bluefin within our range.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 16th.June’19

We went out yesterday,  winter  fishing,  in ideal conditions. I was aiming to have a shot at Kings then go to the Mountain do a drop or two and go wide to have a late cubing session on the thousand fathom line where there were supposed to be long liners.

 
Winter Striped Marlin
Winter Striped Marlin

As it happened live bait was hard to find but we did manage a few. Arriving at 12 mile the soundings looked good but after several lost rigs and a couple of jackets landed it was time to get out of there.

 
 We put the lures out and we headed off to Browns.   As we neared the

Striped Marlin

shelf I sounded schools of bait and they were fairly high in the water column. Even though it was June and the temperature and water colour weren’t great it was looking increasingly fishy.

 
Just on the edge we had a hit on the shotgun where Brad ‘J’ lives. It took off a bit of line but no hook-up so Howie tried teasing with the lure to no effect then as I made a turn to circle the area the fish hit again we had our hook-up. We’d hooked  a good Striped Marlin of around eighty kilo’s which put up a great show for the novice angler.

Winter Striped Marlin
Winter Striped Marlin
 
We ended up coming back inside Browns and starting a cube trail. Rhys put a jig down and to my surprise hooked up on his first drop. We were all speculating as to what it was. The fish was going pretty well so  I thought it  was an Albacore. Unfortunately  it broke the line  however later on the guys using cubes caught a couple of big Striped tuna so I guess that was what we lost, I think…
 
www.ambitioncharters.com.au
 
Tight lines,
Ivan
 
 
 

Ambition report 5th. May’19

Yellowfin  Marlin and Wahoo were caught yesterday even though it wasn’t the very best of days to go fishing. However we were committed. As so often happens when the ocean is less friendly the bite, especially for Yellowfin can be good.

Yellowfin
Yellowfin

Ours was a story of good and bad luck.

Because of the conditions and with a group of newbies on board it wasn’t long before half of them were sea sick but to their credit they persevered. Their cure came when the first Marlin, a good sized Stripy pounced on the short corner then the rigger and finally the shotgun managing to miss all the hooks. The Marlin  was obviously a myopic because  it scuffed all the leaders a long way up from the lures,

Listening to the radio scheds from the ‘Port Hacking 100’ tournament it was evident there were quite a few Yellowfin around, varying from so called ‘Jelly beans’ up to 40 kilo’s jobs.
We ended up catching a couple of Yellowfin and losing another when the tag line tangled up with the main line. Later on another Marlin hit the shotgun but again missed the hooks.

Yellowfin
Yellowfin

 

 

 

 

 

The results from the week-end tournament indicated the number and range of fish still out there. ‘Carnage’ weighed a Tiger Shark of 470.5 kilos. There were also Mako’s and at least one Whaler and a Hammerhead weighed. ‘Game Changer’ caught a Blue Marlin of 138 kilo’s for junior Makaira Wright. There were several Yellowfin and Striped Marlin tagged.   However, the biggest surprise to me was of a 42kg. Wahoo.

It is turning into a very late season with the warm currents still within range and with the range of warm water species still out there long may it continue.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 26th. April’19

While there are Blue and Striped Marlin as well as Yellowfin around it is hard fishing.

The weather has been perfect over the last few days consequently a lot of people are getting out wide, very wide. Out there the warmer water is running and fortunately coming in closer.

The Striped Marlin are hanging around the shelf where there is a lot of bait while the Blues are out wider however there is a lot of water separating them. The Yellowfin on the other hand tend to be in closer in the cooler water and if you can find it the break with the greenish water.

Where the Yellowfin are there are also heaps of Dolphins (the mammalian kind) they are pushing the bait up bringing them within range. Mind you, you have to be fast to get to the action before they sound again. Some are being taken on blind strikes but it pays to look for the surface action. The ‘fin are coming in all sizes from Jellybean size up to seventy kilo jobs, well worth the effort.

I went out yesterday with Glen, Karen, Howie and their daughter Makaira, the Tantrum crew. After a lot of looking we eventually found where the Yellowfin were feeding and where there were several boat that had taken fish.

We got one shot after I saw a few fish jumping amongst some Sauries. The hookup was on a 15kg. outfit which Makaira took up. Unfortunately after a screaming run the fish dropped off. A lot later while trolling home crossing the shelf we picked up a Striped Marlin, Makaira took the rod again and made short work of the fish.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 9th.April’19

Fishing  is a  fickle game at the best of times. But at present the fishing and the currents seem more fickle than normal. I went out on several days last week and conditions changed each day.  The end result was a couple of good days and a couple of bad ones.

After the  first day, last Tuesday,  when the water was relatively cool

Yellowfin
Yellowfin

the current from the South not to mention quite rough, everything changed. To my great surprise when we went out on Wednesday the temperature was up and the colour what we like to see unfortunately the fish hadn’t arrived yet.

On Thursday I had Robert and  his friend  from  California. There were reports of some Yellowfin out wide and the occasional Blue Marlin.

Storm
Storm

We were on the thousand fathom line East of Browns heading into what looked like a storm front with a couple of water spouts spooking about when we took the strike. I was sure it was a Blue , a huge hole inn the water and a screaming run. But after a short time it became apparent we were into a good sized Yellowfin which later weighed in at 65kg.  During the fight the weather front hit us and the rain was so heavy I could only just see the front of the boat. Robert was stoked, very wet and basically stuffed.

Striped Marlin
Striped Marlin

Saturday was the  day, perfect conditions weatherwise but the water temperature had dropped a half a degree from Thursday.  I put the lures in just short of the shelf and started heading out. I wasn’t long before I marked a couple of fish on a bait school . As I looked back to check the lures the rigger went off and a good sized Striped Marlin took to the air. After a short but  spectacular fight we had the fish along side and Howie, my deckie, released the fish after it gave him a good workout on the leader.

So the lures went back out and within minutes we had another

Stripy on the line...
Stripy on the line…

Stripy hooked up and jumping  in our wake. While the guys were clearing the other lines another Stripy came in and had a shot  but it was only a half hearted effort.  That was it for the day. There was quite a bit of action further South with Blue Marlin and Yellowfin but we  had no other takers.

In general it is looking good off Sydney this week-end both weatherwise and for the Sydney Game Fishing Club’s  ‘Peter Goadby Memorial Tournament   with $50,000.00 up for grabs.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition Report 25th. March’19

I brought  Ambition back from Port Stephens on Saturday fishing the whole way down.

The weather  was  spectacular  by any standard . We ran out  to  the ‘Car  Park’  where  we  put the  lures  in.  Unbelievably  we hadn’t had the lures in for ten minutes when we had a strike from a good sized Mahi Mahi which was quickly dispatched and put on ice.

Mahi Mahi on board
Mahi Mahi on board

We worked our way down the coast going out past the thousand fathom line looking for Yellowfin.  As we moved  out  wider  the  water   just got  hotter  and hotter.  Out wide of the Norah Head canyons we ran into masses of dead plankton so I decided to go in back to the shelf.

Gaffed...
Gaffed…

The temperature decreased  after  we cleared the plankton lines  and bird life started to appear along with masses of Dolphins. It was starting to look good.  Anticipation was running high. Then it happened, a swirl behind the Lumo on the rigger. In typical Stripy fashion  he or she followed the lure hitting and missing a couple of times before Ron teased it into striking. Unfortunately it started to do its imitation of a window wiper and threw the lure, must have been Bill wrapped. I did a lap around the area not really expecting the Marlin to have another go.

A  Striped Marlin close...
A Striped Marlin close…

Well, whether  it was the same fish or not we’ll never know but we had a no holds barred hit on the Shotgun  and we were in. This fish only jumped once or twice  so Ron had his work cut out for him. To cut a long story short Ron survived, and we tagged the Marlin which swam away  appearing to look back with disdain.

Tagged...
Tagged…

The only other bit of excitement we had was when a Marlin free jumped in front  of us.  Then instead of continuing on its way it turned and  charged straight at us. It would have gone under the boat and seen our lures but there was no interest  at all.

Over the last few days there have been an increasing number of Blue and Striped Marlin off Sydney. There is still a lot of water between them but it is looking good for Sydney Game Fishing Club’s Peter Goadby Memorial Tournament in a couple of  weeks.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 21st. March’19

Game fishing at the very least is a very fickle game. So dependant on the weather, currents and lots of other things we can blame for not catching a fish. However if there is a shortage of fish there isn’t much we can do except persevere.

Blue Marlin…
Striped Marlin...
Striped Marlin…

 

This season at Port Stephens has been exceptional, exceptional in the lack of fish. What is strange though is that the conditions at sea were similar to last year yet last year the fishing was fabulous.

Mahi Mahi for dinner...
Mahi Mahi for dinner…

 

 

However it was not all in vain there were some reasonable days. My last couple of weeks up there were undoubtedly the best, the best of a bad lot.

Triple on Yellowfin...
Triple on Yellowfin…

I am back in Sydney now and usually April and May produce some of the best fishing for Marlin, of the three species and the other summer pelagics as well. We don’t usually get big numbers in autumn  but we do get big fish. Blue Marlin over 200 kgs. and occasional ones over 300 kgs. have won the Sydney Game Fishing club’s Peter Goadby Tournament nearly every year. Not to mention the yellowfin tuna around 70 kgs. encountered.

Fighting Blue...
Fighting Blue…
Blue on a string...
Blue on a string…

 

 

 

 

What this autumn will produce is anyone’s guess but we’ll be out there hunting…

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