Captain
Ivan Bennett

Member since November 2016 Sydney, Australia
Background
I have been a fisherman since I was a kid, when I developed a love for the seas and everything that lives in and on the oceans. It's my passion! I have been a member of the Sydney Game Fishing Club for over 30 years, and have fished competitively along the East Coast of NSW from Bermagui to Ballina for the various game fish species found along our coast. I started my chartering business in the year 2000.
Techniques
I love all types of fishing and over the years have had experience in all forms of fishing form Fly fishing to Heavy Tackle Game fishing on the Barrier reef. My two loves are Game Fishing for Marlin and Tuna as well as all the other great ocean wanderers and Fly fishing in both salt and fresh water...

Hey, I'm Captain Ivan Bennett

Sydney, Australia
Background
I have been a fisherman since I was a kid, when I developed a love for the seas and everything that lives in and on the oceans. It's my passion! I have been a member of the Sydney Game Fishing Club for over 30 years, and have fished competitively along the East Coast of NSW from Bermagui to Ballina for the various game fish species found along our coast. I started my chartering business in the year 2000.
Techniques
I love all types of fishing and over the years have had experience in all forms of fishing form Fly fishing to Heavy Tackle Game fishing on the Barrier reef. My two loves are Game Fishing for Marlin and Tuna as well as all the other great ocean wanderers and Fly fishing in both salt and fresh water...

My Charter Listings

Ambition Charters

Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 9 reviews
Sydney
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $1,413

Ambition Charters – Port Stephens

Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 3 reviews
Port Stephens
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $1,413

Fishing Reports

Ambition report 29th.March’21
Ambition report 29th.March’21
Mar 27, 2021 Sydney
From the middle of March through April and sometimes into the middle of May the Game Fishing is at its best off Sydney. 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. 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. Well 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. 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 Chelsea 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 and 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, 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
Ambition report 15th.March'21
Mar 13, 2021 Sydney
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. 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. 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
Ambition Report 6th.March'21
Ambition Report 6th.March'21
Mar 6, 2021 Sydney
Port Stephens Marlin…this year was a far cry from previous years. Maybe it was the effect of La Nina maybe the moon but whatever it was it was tough going while I was there. The Port Stephens Marlin fishery was seriously affected by the weather this year. Other than having to cancel and postpone several charters I only made it out to the shelf a couple of times. There were great expectations after last year’s season when there was bait and Marlin aplenty on the edge. This year there was hardly any bait out there and with the current raging at near 4 knots and the temperature up to 27 degrees, conditions were not conducive to holding bait, consequently no Striped Marlin. However there were Blue Marlin out there in the current but hard work and perseverance was needed to find them. Most were not big fish by Blue Marlin standards but still exciting to catch and bigger than the average Stripey and monstrous compared to the Blacks in shore. Because of the weather and conditions off shore most anglers have been concentrating on the Black Marlin on the inshore reefs. These Marlin are ranged from 15 to 60 kilo’s and more in size making for some interesting fights on 10 kilo line. The small Blacks are, to me at least, the most frustrating fish to catch. Up here at Port there are several well-known reefs and areas which hold bait and consequently the Blacks. The situation occurs when you might have twenty or thirty boats all milling around a relatively small area trolling baits for a limited resource. Watching others catch fish and waiting your turn is to say the least very frustrating. This season, to get away from the crowds, several boats travelled past Seal Rocks almost to Foster looking for the Blacks and I might add they did find them. These Blacks however are fickle, or maybe the boats were putting them down, but you were never sure which reef was going to produce the goods. Towards the end of my stay the weather eased so after having had enough of the inshore fishery it was out to the shelf to hunt. As I mentioned earlier there was very little bait on the shelf. There had been a few Blue Marlin taken further South, around the Norah Canyons, so it was out with the lures to head out wider. Anyway to cut a long story short we did find Blues but had to cover a lot of miles. I think that when the current eases the outside scene will take off, both up North and down here off Sydney. Records show that March and sometimes into the middle of May is the best time to go game fishing off Sydney. The fish may not be in huge numbers but they more than make up for it in size. This time of year also often heralds the arrival of big Yellowfin tuna, generally well wide of the shelf. So here’s hoping… Tight lines, Ivan
Ambition report 20th.December'20
Ambition report 20th.December'20
Dec 20, 2020 Sydney
Reports were coming in of Striped Marlin and some good sized Mahi Mahi around the shelf and the odd Yellowfin further out. So after  I cancelled  a couple of charters because of the Virus I decided I was going out no matter what. I received quick responses from members wanting to join me after a post to the club’s facebook page so all was set. Unfortunately due to cloud cover the only SST’s available were from several days beforehand but I’d been told the temps were around the 22 to 23 C so it was all systems go. The forecast was for light winds and calm seas. However  15 to 18 knots is not exactly light winds and the sea was a mess with a residual swell coming from the yesterday's Southerly. So, that together with the bounce back from the cliffs made for an uncomfortable ride from which one of the crew succumbed. We put the lures in just short of the shelf and headed out marking bait as we went but it was all deep. One of the boats out there, ‘Grey Goose’ , had already raised a Marlin but no hook-up. Later on a Mako hit one of their lures; it is not uncommon for Mako’s to hit lures and just to prove it wasn’t a fluke they raised another later in the day. We continued marking bait and found some birds working on what looked like to be Striped tuna but we raised nothing after chasing them for a while. What we did find sadly was that the warmer water had moved out. The best I found was 21.6 C and that after a temperature break of 0.3 C . It was while working the break that we had a double hook-up. Marlin was the call, but the sight of green and gold told a different story. We landed two good sized Dollies, supper was provided. December Mahi Mahi Several other boats reported hits from Striped Marlin, I think one tagged fish was estimated to weigh only 50 kilo’s. And then it was our turn, the shot gun went off, the Marlin took a bit of line then just dropped off. Damned Stripies, however he was still there following the lure. He/she had at least four other shots and missed each time and eventually lost interest. We pulled the lure in to check it out and I found the leader chafed for nearly a metre above the lure. I know it happens all the time but it is so frustrating, they obviously know they want the lure but just keep missing it. Maybe they should get some lessons from their Black and Blue cousins. So, that was the day, a good feed to take home and calm seas for the run. I have booked in at Port Stephens from the 24th.January until the end of February. Not as long as previous years due to the virus but I hope next year’s season will be as good if not better than this year’s. So, if you do want to catch a Marlin, Port Stephens is the place to do it… Tight lines, Ivan
Ambition report 27th.October'20
Ambition report 27th.October'20
Oct 24, 2020 Sydney
Fishing for Game Fish during November   can run hot or cold. It is a time when the cooler offshore water starts to warm up under the influence of  the East Australia Current.   As summer progresses the EAC moves closer inshore  and within our reach . During November  along with the EAC come the bait fish namely Slimy Mackerel, Sauries, Garfish, Cowanyoung and Striped Tuna . Naturally the predators  follow. Striped, Black and Blue Marlin as well as Mahi Mahi, Spearfish and  all the other great Gamefish not to mention the appearance of big Tiger sharks move closer inshore with the current. November is the month that heralds the changeover from  the Winter to Summer species it is also the start of the storm season. I have noticed over  many years that the leading edge of the EAC often bring with it an early unseasonal run of big Mahi Mahi and Striped Marlin with more than one  early season Spearfish having been encountered. So far this  year as well as a good run of big Mahi Mahi, Yellowfin tuna and Albacore are adding to the mix and continue to tease us offshore. So as we enter a 'La Nina' weather pattern, meaning we'll have warmer water offshore  and more rain to flush out the rivers and estuaries  we could and I emphasise could have a bumper season ahead. On another note I'll  be available at Port Stephens from the end of January until early March. If the Marlin season next year is anywhere near as good as this year's it won't be one to miss. Sadly this year's season was shortened by COVID,  let's hope not again. Tight lines, Ivan

Customer Reviews

Rating Summary
Photos & videos by reviewers (16)
4.92
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
out of 5 stars from 12 reviews
Boat
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Crew
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Experience
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Marlin fishing for brother\u2019s 40th
Marlin fishing for brother\u2019s 40th
Marlin fishing for brother\u2019s 40th
+13
Angler Rating
11
1
0
0
0
Anglers Claimed
Good experience
92%
Friendly captain
100%
Recommend this charter
100%
Appropriate for children
60%
Satisfied with the boat
100%
Catch intended fish
67%
Sort By:
Featured  
Showing:
5 of 12 reviews
Tamsin B.
Surfers Paradise, QLD
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent  4.33
Experience:
Very Good Very Good Very Good Very Good Very Good Boat
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Crew
Very Good Very Good Very Good Very Good Very Good Overall

10 hour trip

VERIFIED   10 Hour Game Fishing on January 9, 2020
Although we did not catch a marlin, the very competent crew ensured we had a good day and caught some smaller fish which was...
Tamsin B. recommends Ambition Charters
Mark as helpful
You found this helpful
  Ivan Bennett Captain replied

Peter E.
Forestville, New South Wales
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent  5.00
Experience:
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Boat
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Crew
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Overall

Day Charter 6/1/2017

10 Hours Port Stephens Gamefishing on January 5, 2017
What an experience! Ivan, the captain is a master at locating fish. His experience and knowledge is the best in NSW. Not only...
Peter E. recommends Ambition Charters
Mark as helpful
1 person finds this review helpful
You and 1 other person found this helpful
  Ivan Bennett Captain replied

Robert K.
Australia
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent  5.00
Experience:
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Boat
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Crew
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Overall

Full day trip with Captain Ivan

VERIFIED   10 Hour Game Fishing on April 4, 2019
One day trip trolling for marlin & tuna. Only one bite but made it count with a 133 lb. yellowfin tuna. The seas were nice....
Robert K. recommends Ambition Charters
Mark as helpful
You found this helpful
  Ivan Bennett Captain replied

Stephen M.
Moorebank, New South Wales
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent  5.00
Experience:
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Boat
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Crew
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Overall

WOW

VERIFIED   10 Hour Trip – Game Fishing on March 3, 2018
Unbelievable trip . Perfect day . 2 blues 150 kg and 200kg Ivan is a true master and expert as was Rob...
Stephen M. recommends Ambition Charters – Port Stephens
Mark as helpful
You found this helpful
  Ivan Bennett Captain replied

Bobby K.
Dee Why, New South Wales
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent  5.00
Experience:
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Boat
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Crew
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Overall

Ambition Charters Delivers Again

Half Day Sports Fishing - PM on December 7, 2016
My experience with Ambition charters could not have been better. We were provided a very professional service that put two...
Bobby K. recommends Ambition Charters
Mark as helpful
You found this helpful
  Ivan Bennett Captain replied