Tag Archives: Tuna Fishing

Ambition report 22nd. October’18

I am afraid I have to say it but the Pakula ‘Brad ‘J” bullet has done it again with the capture of a very early season Spearfish.

October Spearfish
October Spearfish

I went out on ‘Shukudu’ owned by Gerard Searle on Monday to see if we could find those elusive Yellowfin. The damned things are out there but not in great numbers.  Over the last few weeks the ‘fin have been evident with  just enough caught to tease us into chasing them, such is their allure.

The plan was to troll from the shelf, in the hope of a Marlin, then out wide to the thousand fathom line and depending on what we found to turn either North or South. As so happened out wide the current was going hard to the South. We decided to travel down as far as the Southern canyons then turn for home as the radio reports were not very conducive to optimism. And that’s when we got the strike, as we made the turn to head inshore the shot gun with ‘Brad’J” screamed off. The initial run was impressive but after that the fish came in easily. We expected to see a middle sized Yellowfin the last thing we expected was a spearfish. I must say though that later, on the bar BQ at the club it tasted great.

Adam's Spearfish
Adam’s Spearfish

Later I heard there were a few ‘fin taken between Wollongong and wide of Port Hacking as well as a couple of 30 kg.  fish somewhere East of Sydney.

The Kingfish are as elusive as the damned Yellowfin. On the offshore reefs they are on one day and who knows where the next.  The one constant is that the Jackets are always there. The best you can do is keep going, eventually the timing will be right

Now for a bit of advertising:

My charter for the ‘Shootout’ at Port Stephens in mid February has just cancelled. Consequently I am available for one of the best tournaments on the East Coast at one of the best fishing locations in NSW.

Winning Shootout
Winning Team Tag & Release Shootout

 

 

 

 

 

Call or Email if you are interested.

ph   : 0427 887 707
em  : sales@ambitioncharters.com.au

LINKS to
Ripcharts
CSIRO
Bureau of Meteorology
N.S.W. Bluelink

Other links:
Archived Fishing Reports
Article
Home

Ambition report 24th. September’18

Reports of Yellowfin tuna have been coming in over the last couple of weeks. Those ‘fin encountered have been in two basic classes, biggish ones over forty kilo’s and others going fifteen to twenty five kilo’s. However as we all know any Yellowfin is a good one. The main problem other than locating the fish is the weather. It seems to go bad on the weekends and whenever I have a charter. It seems mother nature is enforcing its own lock out.

School Yellowfin...
School Yellowfin…

 

 

 

 

 

On my way back from Botany where I was having some repairs and my annual survey done, I was told of good sized Yellowfin wide of the Southern canyons. I hadn’t planned to go out on the Saturday but there was a break in the weather and the lure of Yellowfin too great.

We went out heading directly to the Southern canyons, put the lures in South of Browns and started hunting. There were whales everywhere and strangely there were an inordinate number of them  breaching. Also millions of Mutton birds on their migration back from Siberia making difficult to find birds that were working. As we approached the area where Bob Curry had seen the ‘fin in clean bluish water I noted that the water was now a dirty green and running hard to the South. I had been told the current was Northerly but today it was running South with no sign of life in it – what a difference a day can make.

12 Mile Kingfish...
12 Mile Kingfish…

I headed out wider and slowly the temperature rose until about the thousand fathom area there was a distinct colour change and the temperature rose to just over 19 C.

We followed this break North and other than a big Sun fish and a couple of small groups of birds circling an area didn’t find any tuna. I did work the area for a while but didn’t mark anything so moved on towards the Bait Station.

In about seven hundred fathoms just South of the Bait Station I marked a Long Liner some four miles East. At the same time I heard that Mike Clarkson had found a school of Yellowfin and caught five. They were another eight miles North East of me but  since it was getting late now and there was two knots of current against us  I decided to just troll towards home. After all we were in the same patch of water and there are no fences out here.

Interestingly there were also reports of the fin being found wide and South of the Southern canyons.

As for the other goings on. There are Kings on the offshore reefs but they are here today and gone tomorrow. There are lots of undersize Kings inshore too. It seems the bottom fishing at Browns is also a day to day proposition and even the shark fishing is slow. Though it was definitely slow fishing last week-end you could always blame  the moon or the increased currents. So if you believe the moon has anything to do with it next week should be better.

Tight lines,
Ivan

LINKS to
Ripcharts
CSIRO
Bureau of Meteorology
N.S.W. Bluelink

Other links:
Archived Fishing Reports
Article
Home

Ambition report 10th.September’18

Spring is usually a great time for fishing off Sydney. Out wide Tuna usually show up with Albacore and Yellowfin in the mix. Also on the offshore reefs the Kingies should be in residence. Around Browns Gemmies are still around with the occasional Blue Eye as well as Mako and Blue sharks ready to steal your hard won catch.

High Flying Mako Shark...
High Flying Mako…

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately so far this Spring the weather has been abysmal. Over the last few weeks while waiting for a break in the weather I noticed Long Liners working fifty to sixty miles out. I know that just because there are Long Liners in the area it doesn’t mean we as line fishermen can catch them but it does indicate there are fish in the area.

Yellowfin Tuna...
Yellowfin Tuna…

So Sunday was the first time in weeks I have been able to get out and anticipation was high. It was pretty lively going for the first few hours but as the day warmed the sea calmed right down. We had a jigging session on the 12 Mile but when the guys brought up a couple of Barracouta it was obviously time to move on.

Gemfish a Browns
Gemfish a Browns

Heading East we put the lines in on the shelf where there was some bird life, hoping for an early season Marlin.  The only marine life we did see were whales, lots of whales. In fact on our way home in the evening I had the closest encounter with whales I have ever had. If I had have been going any faster there would have been a collision.

I didn’t end up finding the tuna but the water looked good. There were areas where birds were obviously searching. We saw a couple of schools of Striped Tuna and bait fish. We found bait down deep as well as on the surface out around the thousand fathom line. It looked alive but alas not while we were there.

So here’s hoping…

Again as a reminder, I’ll am taking bookings for Port Stephens where I’ll be available from mid-January until mid-March.

Tight lines,
Ivan

LINKS to

Ripcharts
CSIRO
Bureau of Meteorology
N.S.W. Bluelink

Other links:

Archived Fishing Reports

Article

Home

Ambition report 6th. August’18

It is Shark time off Sydney at present with Mako’s,  Blues and Whalers on the bite. On the  week-end  a  rare Thresher Shark was also caught and a couple of Whites were encountered.

A Beautiful Mako Shark...
A Beautiful Mako Shark…

 

 

 

Now that the Bluefin have moved on and the Yellowfin haven’t turned up Sharks have become the mainstay of game fishermen. These sharks are widespread, other than Blue sharks which are  rarely found inside the shelf all the others can be caught from close inshore out to as far as you want to go.

High Flying Mako Shark...
High Flying Mako…

Of all the available sharks Mako’s are the most spectacular. When hooked they make long, fast runs and they can jump. I have seen them reach up to at least four metres into the air; they are truly spectacular. Seeing a big Mako come out of the water rollover and come down head first is something not to be forgotten . Sadly as a result of these huge leaps more than a few unlucky anglers have ended up with a Mako in their boat.

A Mako Shark being tagged...
A Mako Shark being tagged…

One of the hot spots for Mako’s is Browns mountain where they congregate to feed on the Gemfish. Consequently because of the number of boats in close proximity also trying for the Gemmies and Blue Eye there is a real danger of having an uninvited guest drop in , literally.

As for the Yellowfin I’m still hearing of the occasional fish being caught but I guess it is just a waiting game.

In the meantime Kings are showing up on the inshore and offshore reefs but are being hit very hard by both professional and amateur fishermen. One has to wonder at how sustainable this resource is.

Tight lines,
Ivan

LINKS ...

Ripcharts
CSIRO
Bureau of Meteorology
N.S.W.
Bluelink

Article

Home

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

LINKS ...

Ripcharts
CSIRO
Bureau of Meteorology
N.S.W.
Bluelink

Article

Home

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

LINKS to..

Ripcharts
CSIRO
Bureau of Meteorology
N.S.W.
Bluelink

Article

Home

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

LINKS to

Ripcharts
CSIRO
Bureau of Meteorology
N.S.W.
Bluelink

Article

Home

Ambition report 5th.April’18

Autumn is the time for big Blue Marlin and Yellowfin tuna off Sydney.

Game Fishing at its best...
The ultimate Game Fish

Though it has been a little quiet offshore the last few days it is not the end of one of the best Game Fishing seasons I have experienced. This year we saw great numbers of Blue Marlin though not the real big ones yet. Over the last two or three years the Blues have been increasing in numbers, if not size, and now is the time when in the past they have been most prevalent and the biggest in size too. Black Marlin were there in reasonable numbers. However unlike previous years there were more taken on the shelf at the ‘Car Park’ than their usual inshore grounds. The ‘Car Park’ fired with all three species of Marlin there in numbers and an unusual number of Whaler sharks.

Yellowfin on deck...
What we wanted

Good sized Mahi Mahi were prevalent offshore. But there weren’t the usual numbers of smaller fish around the FADs and fish traps. Ironically the smaller ones are there now. You have to be early though as they spook when under pressure.

A beautiful Mahi Mahi...
A beautiful Mahi Mahi…

I regard now, Autumn, as the best time to fish off Sydney. In the past  we caught the biggest Marlin, the big Yellowfin tuna turn up in numbers, as we have already seen. We could see more Spearfish and even Wahoo if the currents are kind.

On checking the results of tournaments held at this time of the year you’ll see it is a great time to fish.  Also why the ‘Peter Goadby Memorial Tournament’ held by SGFC has always been such a success…

Tight lines,
Ivan