Tag Archives: Sydney Fishing

Peter Goadby Rundown

Peter Goadby Rundown
After much toing and froing about whether to hold the Peter Goadby Tournament over one or two days; the number of entries and the weather being the matters of contention, the decision to go ahead was bravely made by President Karen at the last minute; it would be a two day tournament.
As predicted Saturday’s weather was pretty horrid. The ocean was all over the place, very short and nasty. I know everyone my boat was feeling the ‘mal de mer’, however not enough to stop neither us nor any of the others out there either.
Sadly, the fishing was not up to standard for this time of year. The water colour varied from chocolate crap to what I call clean green. In places it almost made it to blue but always with that tinge of green, however it did get up to 24.4 degrees in places. And to make matters worse there was lots of debris of all sizes drifting in the current.
Day 1
Saturday saw ‘Smartbill’ tag two Marlin and both ‘Kill Tank’ and ‘Tantrum’ a Yellowfin each. On the capture side ‘Reaper’ killed two Mako sharks, one, a magnificent fish of 330.50 kilo’s by Jayden Hudson and Mia Wright a junior on dad’s boat Tantrum weighed a Striped Marlin of 101.20 kilo’s.
Day 2
Sunday was a much kinder day, weatherwise any way, the fishing didn’t get much better. Jack Jones on ‘Rampage’ after a very long fight weighed a Striped Marlin of 68.50 kilo’s on 10 kilo line and both ‘Smartbill’ and ‘Sniper’ each tagged Marlin.
Overall seventeen boats fished for a total of five Marlin, six Yellowfin, two sharks and eighteen Mahi Mahi. Incidentally the Yellowfin weighed went 27.20 and 27.50 kilo’s respectively.
It was good to see the appearance of Yellowfin even though we generally expect much bigger ones at this time of year.
So let’s hope that the crappy water clears up and we get the Autumn we’re used to.
Tight Lines,
Ivan

Ambition report 30th.March’22

La Nina
Big Blue
Big Blue
To say that this year’s ‘La Nina’ event has caused unmitigated disruption would be a monstrous understatement. Other than the floods and onshore destruction it has affected the fishery all the way down the coast. The flooding pushing water like mud out to the shelf and down the coast bringing down huge amounts of debris. Consequently, making the need for great caution while travelling offshore. I know I am not the only one but I have never seen anything like this summer that was. By far the worst fishing I have experienced. Even when the weather did clear, you had to be either very good or very lucky to find anything.
Stripy
Stripy
As with all things time fixes all and though the water has cleared a fair bit there is still a lot of debris being carried in the currents. One boat travelling down from Port Stephens reported a huge tree which they saw only because as it rolled in the sea a branch rose above the surface. They said the tree was huge.
Over the last couple of weeks the Marlin fishing has been improving up around Port Stephens. And it appears the fish are moving South.
‘Reef Magic’ travelling down from Port Stephens raised several fish and tagged three Striped Marlin and a Black, another boat ‘Riverview’ was pack attacked, haveing four or five Marlin hitting their lures. All this action happened at the Norah Canyons.
So, it would appear the bite is moving South and with a bit of luck arrive on our doorstep to coincide with the ‘Peter Goadby Memorial Tournament’ run by the Sydney Game Fishing Club. Entry forms available from the club’s web site www.sgfc.com.au
Peter Goadby Memorial
Peter Goadby Memorial
Autumn
Additionally, and historically, Autumn has been the best time to fish for big fish off Sydney. Especially for big Blue Marlin but there are also the bigger Striped Marlin, Mahi Mahi and even Wahoo and Spearfish.
Nearly every year the ‘PG Tournament’ capture section is won by Blues over two hundred kilo’s with fish over three hundred kilo’s regularly encountered.
With bad weather predicted until early next week chances are that the Tournament weekend will be good and the fish up North will be here, I hope !
Tight lines,
Ivan

Ambition Report 3rd.March’22

Fishing Port Stephens…

Fishing Port Stephens was really tough this season. The main problem being the lack of bait, the big schools of Slimey Mackerel were not on their usual grounds, either inshore or offshore. Also, along with the lack of bait the juvenile Black Marlin had not shown up in their normal numbers. Offshore the Southerly current racing along at 3.5 to 4 knots and water temperatures up to 29 degrees Centigrade in early February was unheard of. However, it did come down to a more reasonable 26-27 degrees later in the month.

Port Stephens 2022
Striped Marlin…
Rough Seas…

There were those who persisted with the inshore fishery chasing the Blacks going far and wide in search of their quarry. Some of the more experienced fishermen did manage a few fish but they were far from consistent.

Fishing Port Stephens
Ron doing his thing…

To top off the lack of inshore Blacks, the weather didn’t help for those going wider chasing Stripes and Blues. The first day of the Garmin Shootout was very rough. So, once you reached the 3.5 to 4 knot Southerly current pushing into a 20 to 25 knot South-Easter the sea, with a 3 to 4 metre swell on it just stood up. Consequently lots of boats returned to Port and but some persisting inshore.

Ron doing his thing...
Ron doing his thing…

Fortunately, the sea eased off after that first day, but the fishing didn’t get much better. Those that put in the hard yards got results and there were some really good catches made. However, it was only on the last day of the Interclub Tournament that fishing got significantly better. And the last few hours saw a marked increase in the fishing results both inshore and offshore.

Incidentally, the winning T&R boat for the Interclub was ‘Doghouse’ with a number of Blues amongst which were two taken on 15kg. line, I still don’t know how you catch Blue Marlin, especially big ones, on such light line.

Sadly, though the fishing picked up on the Sunday of the Interclub and was looking like returning to the fishing we normally expect at Port the weather has done it again and who knows what we can expect now.

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 17th.February’22

Port Stephens February’22

I have just spent 3 days, 3 very different days due to the varying weather conditions fishing out of Port Stephens. On the first day, last Thursday, because the usual bait gathering areas were virtually devoid of bait I decided to go wide. Levi and Matty were keen to get out there too. To say the weather Gods where kind would have been a gross understatement. But it was the only very calm day I encountered.

On leaving the entrance the water temperature was well over 23 degrees. Incredibly the radio had reported 25 degrees on the One Mile Beach. As it happens in 500 fathoms my sounder registered 28.7 degrees, a photo of which is below.

High Temperature
High Temperature

The water even in close looked fabulous, that deep indigo blue and it was the same all the way out, only the temperature changing.

I put the lures in at 80 fathoms in ideal great conditions. Even though I hadn’t seen any sign of life all the way out expectation was high. We trolled East to the second drop off then North towards Almark. A couple of times I noticed Mutton birds working around  what appeared to be Frigate Mackerel feeding  near plankton lines. I worked them for a while all to no avail then continued on. Then the shotgun let go in a screaming run. Bloody ‘Brad’ had done it again. After a good fight which taught Matty how tough being on the rod can be we got the fish, a nice Blue, to the boat were we swam it and let it go.

Blue Marlin
Blue Marlin

Friday and Saturday we didn’t fish due to the weather. On Sunday it was still pretty lively but predicted to ease. As a result I decided to give the inshore fishery a go. As expected live bait was hard to find but we did manage some. We put out some small lures and trolled up to the lighthouse then out to the FAD where we used some of the live bait to catch some Dollies, then back into Broughton. We did get more Dollies, some so small I don’t know how they ate the lures. Surprisingly we also caught a small Yellowfin.

So, after experiencing the inshore and seeing the results of those much more skilled on the inshore reefs than I it was back to the wide grounds.

It was Tony’s turn to catch a fish. I trolled out from the FAD and again not seeing much sign of life. We were in about 350 fathoms when again ‘Brad’ took off. All was looking good until the Marlin charged the boat and the hook just fell out. I could go into a long story about having banana’s on board and Tony saying that that was why we lost the fish. I don’t really think he believed me that banana phobia is bunkum until we hooked another Blue. This one came in and hit ‘Evil’ on the short corner first, missed, and went out taking ‘Brad’ on the way. This one put up a great fight and really made poor Tony work. He did a great job getting it to the boat where we took photo’s and let the Blue go.

In summary, though the fishing was tough they are there to be found. It appears that there are Small Black just North of Port and a few more being taken around Seal Rocks.
To me it looks as though the stage is set, we just need the proverbial actors. If and when the current eases as predicted the bait will build up and it will take off, I hope.

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Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition Report 1st.January’22

First of a Happy New Year to everyone and hopefully a Healthy one too.
I went out finally after what seemed an eternity of bad weather. Reports came in of Striped Marlin around the shelf and good-sized Dollies appearing too.

Mahi Mahi
I decided to stay in close for the first couple of hours for a couple of reasons. Firstly the water is exceptionally warm for this time of year and secondly, generally around Christmas, New Year the Black Marlin show up on the inshore reefs.
I ran some small Pakulas in my favourite colours and headed North. Conditions were fabulous to say the least. We passed over huge bait schools, didn’t mark anything but it certainly looked the goods.

Inshore…
After going around the Whale a couple of times we had a hit on the Lumo and a small, very small Black came to the surface but sadly missed the hooks. Further on another strike but this one stayed attached and we landed a Mahi Mahi, on one of Peter’s Fish Prints, which went 110 cm. A surprising fish to catch so close to shore.
In our travels we found several private FAD’s and caught another couple of Mahi Mahi’s.

Baby Wahoo
Baby Wahoo
Offshore…

A couple of boats on the shelf reported catching Striped Marlin however they were really spread out. One tagged by John Sartori from his boat Shoki was out in 400 fathoms were he also saw some Yellowfin jumping. Another a Black was taken around the 12 Mile.

A surprising catch, also inshore was a very small Wahoo (see the photo attached) subsequently released from David Moses’ boat My Molly. Wahoo are a rare catch off Sydney these days.
Well, we continued in our hunt going wide to the Bait Station and beyond. There was heaps of bait pretty well everywhere, there was bird activity, the stage was set but sadly for us the show didn’t get under way.
The fact is, it is still fairly early in the season but with the amount of bait both inshore, out around the shelf and wider it is surely only a matter of time
Tight lines,
PS : I will be travelling up to Port Stephens on the January 22nd. And if anyone wants to come for the trip up, fishing all the way, give me a call.
Also I still have a few days available up there in February.

Ambition Report 24th.October’21

To get back out to sea was indeed good for the soul. Though the relief was great the results left a lot to be desired at least as far as the Game Fishing went.

We left the harbour on Saturday in beautiful weather it being a surprise that the BOM were quite accurate.

Reports from out wide indicated that there were Yellowfin and Marlin off Port Stephens and that the Yellowfin run to the South had eased but there had been Marlin encountered down there. So again Sydney was missing out. Consequently Kingfish became the best option. Reports through the week indicated good catches of sizeable fish on the offshore reefs. However when we got to there there were a million and one boats already hard at it. We dropped a couple of baits to no avail and didn’t see anyone else catching so I moved off to try the other reefs sadly all with the same result. Whether we’d missed the bite or the full moon or the number of boats had anything to do with the shut down we’ll never know but at least we had excuses.

We ended up going wide on the off chance that something would give.

I did end up finding birds working over some bait and Striped tuna just over the shelf. I worked the area for some time but there were no takers so headed off to home.

On the way in we had another shot at the Kings  but there was even less showing on the sounder that earlier. Again we had no takers  so we were throttles down and homeward bound.

Though it was frustrating as far as the fishing went it was still great to be at sea again and in good weather to boot.

Tight lines
Ivan

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Ambition report 22nd.September’21

Mid-October opening, start fishing, start fishing, start fishing…

Well thankfully it seems as though we are  on track to open up  Mid-October. I am pretty sure there are lots of anglers out there just waiting to reconstitute the salt concentration in their blood.

Sydney October Yellowfin
Sydney October Yellowfin

 

Sydney October Yellowfin
Sydney October Yellowfin

 

 

 

 

 

 

It appears from those who have been able to get out to sea that we have missed a really good Tuna bite. Though it is too late to expect the Bluefin the Yellowfin are still to be found off Sydney. From what I have seen on the charts there should also be a Marlin or two to be found.

Just to remind those who might have forgotten I have uploaded a couple of video’s from October’s past to show that the Tuna season is not over done.

So yes, we are ready to go fishing just as soon as the lockdown is lifted. And yes I am taking bookings from the 20th. October’21 out of Sydney and I’ll be chartering off Port Stephens during February next year. The only proviso is that you must be Double vaxxed.

So come on mid-October…

Tight lines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 7th.April’21

EASTER

The most amazing thing about Easter this year was the weather. It could not have been more conducive to good fishing. It was just a shame that the Easter fishing wasn’t as good as the weather.

Yellowfin
Yellowfin

Not to say there were no fish around, it was just difficult to keep up to the Yellowfin once found and the Marlin either weren’t sticking or they just hit and the wrong lures, by that I mean they would hit the Profrigies or Squidgies (or whatever they are called) which are not really designed for Marlin and they do like them. The problem being that their weight, even though they are meant to slide up the leader, makes them easy for the Marlin to throw.

Yellowfin
Yellowfin

As it happened there were good days when the fish bit more readily and those not so good days when try as you might the fish just stayed out of reach.

I went out on Saturday after hearing of a good bite on Friday when quite a few Yellowfin and Marlin were caught. Saturday was one of those not so good days. We put the lures in at the shelf and proceeded to troll out to the wide grounds. There was bait in the form of Striped tuna and flying fish aplenty around the shelf but no hits.

OUT WIDE

We reached an area in 700 fathoms where the water was ideal and a few birds were scouting around. There was another boat in the area also. So the hunt began. Eventually I spotted some fish busting up a few hundred metres ahead. I put the throttles down to try and get to them whilst they were feeding and as I did you wouldn’t believe it the other boat hooked up. I think he caught his fish and we followed the school until they vanished.

Yellowfin
Yellowfin

We continued on our search hearing about the occasional encounters with Tuna and Marlin.
Then just ahead some bait started jumping and was quickly followed up by a school of Yellowfin busting up right in front of us. They were so close I couldn’t avoid running through them.

As I turned to make another pass the shotgun took a hit but sadly no hook-up. I think another case of a Marlin hitting the wrong lure. As evidenced by the scuffing in the leader.

On our way home there was bait everywhere, Striped tuna on the shelf in closer frigate mackerel and off the heads slimy mackerel everywhere.

All the ingredients are there for a great late season bite. As I have mentioned before the Sydney Game Fishing Club’s Peter Goadby Memorial Tournament has in the past been when it all comes together. So with the tournament on in a couple of weeks ( 17th. and 18th. April ) all fingers crossed and sacrifices made to the weather Gods we can look forward to some good if not great fishing.

TightLines,
Ivan

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Ambition report 29th.March’21

Sydney’s Game Fishing is at its best from the middle of March through April and sometimes into the middle of May  Sydney’s Game Fishing is the best . It is also why the Sydney Game Fishing Club holds its annual Peter Goadby Memorial Tournament at this time of year, actually on the 17th. and 18th. April this year.
 Yellowfin off Sydney
Yellowfin off Sydney

Over the years Blue Marlin over 250 kilo’s have usually taken out the heaviest trophy and a couple of years Blues over 300 kilo’s have done the job with bigger ones lost. There have been Yellowfin over 70 kilo’s, Striped and Black Marlin in their larger sizes as well as Mahi Mahi and the occasional Wahoo that make their presence felt and the tournament a success.

 Yellowfin off Sydney
Yellowfin off Sydney

So back to my report…finally this year the weather has stabalised to a degree giving us the opportunity to go out and see what’s there. After all the flooding up and down the coast we had no idea of what to expect. Checking out the ‘True Colour’ charts showed muddy water out to near the shelf. However with fine weather predicted we just had to go out and have a look.

To say the water was like chocolate out to 60 fathoms would be an understatement however it was still surprisingly warm. At 80 fathoms it turned to what I call a clean green and just over the shelf it started to Blue up, near the 140 fathom it was the colour we want and 25.5 C and there were Striped tuna everywhere so many so the I pulled in the smaller lures to stop from hooking them.
 Yellowfin off Sydney
Yellowfin off Sydney
Al McGlashin came over the radio saying he’d caught a Yellowfin and while pulling it in a couple of Blue Marlin followed it right up to the boat. Jeff Manson of ‘Spindrift’ tagged a 2.4 metre Blue Marlin as a first for a lady angler and Bob Curry of ‘Marquis’ had a stellar day tagging two Striped Marlin and catching a 50 kilo Yellowfin.
All around us reports were coming in of schools of Yellowfin tuna from 200 fathoms out past the 1,000 fathom line.
As we continued out we found groups of Mutton birds working in small areas over baitfish and Striped tuna. Other groups showed what I considered to be Yellowfin marking deeper down. I made the decision to pull in my shotgun lure and put out a Squidgy I don’t like to do this when there are Marlin around, I should know better. I would like to say at this point that Murphy and his law are a bitch.   The Squidgy hadn’t been out for five minutes when a Blue Marlin came in and destroyed it, a lesson learned again.
We continued on working the bait schools without anything happening when again in another bait school I marked fish deeper down.  With a fair degree of apprehension we changed over to the Squidgy again. After quite a while working around this school we got the hit which thankfully was a Yellowfin.
So it appears that it is all coming together out there. We have hot water, Blue Marlin and Yellowfin who could ask for more.
April and our tournament should live up to their reputations.
Tight lines,
Ivan

Ambition report 15th.March’21

It constantly surprises me how the sea conditions can change from one day to the next.

I went out last Friday in less than ideal sea conditions which were supposed to ease through the day. Anyway at the Heads the water temperature was nearly 24 degrees and blue. On Saturday in much calmer conditions the temperature had dropped by about one and a half degrees and was dirty green.

Steve tracing a Black...
Steve tracing a Black…
Conditions on Friday were such that because I couldn’t travel comfortably I started trolling just off the Heads. Even though it has happened often in the past I was still taken by surprise when the small lure on the rigger was hit and a baby Black started bouncing in towards us. Sadly as often happens when the fish comes straight at you the hooks were thrown. We continued on out towards the wave rider where the sea was really standing up, in fact I dipped one of the riggers. There were birds working around the wave rider but we never raised anything and only saw some very very small Mahi Mahi. Conditions weren’t getting any better so I decided to do a downhill troll to the Peak to give the guys a rest. On the way we raised a Striped Marlin which proceeded to attack all our lures without even breaking a band.
Damien's Marlin
Damien’s Marlin

So because of the sea conditions I stayed inshore and in the course of the day we tagged two Black Marlin, raised another two which came unstuck as well as a Striped Marlin. Even though it was quite rough it was pleasant being out there alone with a quiet radio.

Saturday was another story but at least the sea was quite calm (relatively anyway). As I said the water was much cooler and a dirty green out for quite a distance. Again I started trolling in close but it soon became apparent that everything had changed. There were still a few Blacks taken in close on live baits but it hardly seemed worthwhile. So out we went. The water did warm up and turned the blue colour we like. There was a bit of deep bait and plenty of both small and large flying fish which the Mutton birds were trying to catch. There were also lots of Striped Tuna which were a nuisance on my smaller lures. To top things off the current was raging, doing three to four knots to the South. Definitely not conducive to allowing the bait to hold station.
Sadly the day was a dud.
Being ever hopeful the current will ease soon and allow the bait to hold on the shelf and the inshore reefs and attract the pelagics. This is usually the time of year for the big fish. They might not be around in numbers but they usually make up for it in size.
Tight lines,
Ivan

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