Tag Archives: Striped Marlin

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 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 27th.May’19

We went out last Wednesday to try and find those mysterious Yellowfin. Reports had been coming in of the Yellowfin ranging along the temperature break South-East of Browns. Along with the‘fin were occasional encounters with Blue and Striped Marlin. One of which we caught last week.

Striped Marlin playing up...
Striped Marlin playing up…
 
We took Joseph Liu out, he primarily wanted to deep drop on Browns and have a go at Kingfish on the way. Unfortunately the current was not favourable at all.
 
The Peak were there had been some action over previous days was completely shut down. To top it off there was no way to fish Browns, in my opinion, with 3.5 knots of current. So, the last option was to go wide, find the temperature break and maybe those mysterious  Yellowfin and Marlin. Well we did just that and we were working the break when Ben who was just ahead of us in his boat ‘Markoo’ called up to say the were hooked up to a Yellowfin which they ultimately landed, it weighed 62.5 kilo’s. So we were in the right area but unfortunately to no avail. Of interest it was apparent the current was easing.

Striped Marlin playing up…
 
I got another chance to chase those elusive Yellowfin on Friday. I took out Tim and Scott who had just arrived from Minnesota after an unexpected delay, so were a little fatigued. The aim again was to go to the temperature break, work it and hopefully find them a fish.
 

We got to the break were it was immediately apparent the current had eased and moved further out. I know a lot of anglers believe in the change of tide but I am a sceptic having caught heaps of Marlin well away from the changes. In this case the change was at 12:38pm. We had a crashing strike at 12:20pm., I’m still a sceptic.

Striped Marlin playing up...
Striped Marlin playing up…
 
When the fish struck I thought I’d seen a bill but the fish never showed itself, maybe it was a ‘fin. Then after nearly half an hour it started to move up to the surface where I got a glimpse, it was a Marlin and when it jumped a big Stripy revealed itself.
 
Either because this fish had conserved its energy by staying deep or because Tim and Scott were jetlagged and had had a VB or two it put up a tough fight and both of them fought it a couple of times. As you will see in the video it didn’t want to give in and was incredibly aggressive even at the end .
 
The current out there has eased further and the fact that there are Long liners working near that break is indicative of Yellowfin in the area. Hopefully when the weather stabilises again we’ll find them, we’ll certainly be looking.
 
www.ambitioncharters.com.au
 
Tight lines
Ivan

Ambition Report 18th.May’19

After hearing reports of Yelllowfin and  Marlin during the week. We went out with great expectations. I’d also been out on Wednesday with a group of jigging specialist. So a stopover on a couple of the reefs was on the cards too.

Striped Marlin - Sydney...
Striped Marlin – Sydney…

Wednesday produced a wide assortment of fish due to the slow jigging technique these guys used. They caught Kings, Bonito,the ubiquitous Leather Jackets and Flutemouths which I have since found are quite a delicacy. The main ambition, no pun intended, however was to jig at Browns where they d told me they had been quite successful. The trouble was the current running South at 2.5 knots made the jigging all but impossible. I did learn a lot though.
Saturday saw us going over the reefs again but all had changed. There was nowhere near the life that had been there on Wednesday, you could blame the moon if you wanted, so it was off to find the Yellowfin and Marlin

Striped Marlin on the leader...
Striped Marlin on the leader…

.

Needless to say we covered a lot of ground seeing only Dolphins and the occasional Gannet. The radio wasn’t much help either. I heard of a couple of Marlin tagged, the shark fishermen weren’t doing too well either unlike last week.

However we persisted in the unseasonal warm water moving in to the shelf were there were patches of bait. Still nothing and the boys were getting restless. I moved in even closer hoping for some cooler water and that’s when we got the strike. In only 70 fathoms the water was still 23.5 C and this fish took off at speed but not showing itself. It took a long run and I started to think we had a big ‘fin but then it jumped much to the excitement of Blake and his mates and my relief.

After a reasonable fight we had the fish along side where Ron Kovacs released it. To tell the truth I’m not sure if it was a Stripy or a Blue.

www.ambitioncharters.com.au

Tight lines,
Ivan

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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 15th. April’19

Striped Marlin
Striped Marlin

 

 

 

 

 

April and it promise of big fish is living up to its reputation. The ‘Peter Goadby Memorial Tournament’ held off Sydney last week-end produced some great fish and as many frustrating moments. The boat ‘Rabbit’ took out the money with a  288 kilo Blue Marlin.   Also, Zorro won the tag and release tagging five Striped Marlin. There were lots of Striped Marlin up North, Yellowfin out wide and Sharks in shore.  As well there were Tigers , a couple of Mako’s one over 200 kilo’s,  Whalers and Blue sharks.

Striped Marlin
Striped Marlin

Saturday  dawned with perfect weather, was almost too good to be true, dead calm seas with virtually no swell and it didn’t change all day.  Reports from Friday told of an  aggregation of bait North of the ‘Bait Station’  with Striped Marlin in attendance. So at start of fishing those into Tag & Release headed North, those after the big Blue headed wide, both North and South and the shark fishermen set up around the shelf.

Striped Marlin
Striped Marlin

The results after the first day were of a couple of Blue Marlin weighed  the bigger going 176 Kg. , somewhere around 15 Striped Marlin tagged with quite a few lost and most interestingly quite a few Yellowfin tuna out wide. However, no Yellowfin were weighed since they were caught by those chasing the big Blue on heavy gear. Meantime the boat ‘Casey’ had hooked up onto  what they called a giant Yellowfin tuna which they unfortunately lost after five hours when the hook pulled. Those guys have caught a lot of fish so when they say giant it must have been giant. As a consolation they backed up on Sunday with a 189 kilo Blue Marlin.

Water Spout
Water Spout
Storm
Storm

Sunday wasn’t quite as friendly as Saturday  had been with a lumpy sea and the threat of Storms moving in from the South-East. As a result some of the boats out wide experienced some very nasty weather but fortunately it didn’t last too long.  Early in the day ‘Rabbit’ called in that they had taken a 3.3 metre  Blue Marlin, the money fish.

 

Sadly, the Striped Marlin had moved away from the ‘Bait Station’ but most boats that persisted out there and had a very tough day.

The official results from the tournament are available on the SGFC web site.  However the results do show that  Autumn is still the big fish time of year off Sydney so get out there while the weather holds.

Winter is coming.

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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Ambition report 11th. February’19

The juvenile Blacks should be at Port Stephens now so should the Stripes and even the Blues, but where are they ? Fisher people are finding the occasional fish, mostly small Blacks, but up until now there is no consistency.

I went out on Saturday with great expectations. Last week out wide there were big Mahi Mahi and we found a few Marlin. The currents have since moved closer inshore and even slowed a little.  All seemed well and on the improve.

We went wide, out into the hot current which had gotten even hotter. Whereas last week my guage ( I stress my guage ) was showing 25.8 to 26 degrees this day it went over 27 degrees.  Also, compared to last week there was no live other than the occasional Flying fish.

In my travels and after hours of fruitless trolling I passed over ‘Almark’. To my surprise I marked fish mid-water. I was surprised because with the current racing I didn’t expect to see anything. Consequently to save the day I suggested a jigging session to at least curb my clients frustration.

 

Almark King...
Almark King…

It took a drift or two to locate the fish, the wind and current making it quite a chore. However once I got it right the Kings started coming in. We ended up with twelve fish between 75 and 90 cm. with one over a metre. It was especially interesting when we had triple hook-ups as the boys had had more than a couple of drinks, but we won’t go there.

Almark King...
Some more Almark King…

 

 

 

 

 

As for the Marlin…there is plenty of bait inshore so hopefully if the current finally moves in close it will trigger the action. In the meantime all we can do is give it a go. Interestingly there have been a few Longliners in Port so we might get a run of Yellowfin like last year. If the Yellowfin turn up the Blue Marlin won’t be far behind – how’s that for optimism.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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