Ambition report 28th. February'17
February 28, 2017 Port Stephens 2 photos
Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)
Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)
Marlin (Black)
Marlin (Black)
Marlin (Blue)
Marlin (Blue)
Marlin (Striped)
Marlin (Striped)

Trip Summary

It was three days of remarkable fishing this year at the Interclub. Remarkable in that prior to the competition the inshore waters were cold and green and the small Blacks had virtually disappeared. On top of that the usual bait grounds on the shelf on which the Striped Marlin and so many fishermen had become dependant were being scoured by a 3 knot current of up to 27 degrees, however, there were Blue Marlin, a good run of them, the competition would be wide open. A few boats hoping upon hope tried the inshore grounds but soon found it futile and moved offshore where by Saturday nearly all the fleet was fishing and in ideal weather too. We opened our account fairly early on Friday hooking a nice Blue Marlin on my favourite 'Lumo' then to add to the excitement Greg hooked onto a Spearfish which took an 'Fallen Angel' whilst clearing the lines; we had a double hook-up. However our euphoria didn't last long because the Speary jumped over the line with the Blue and cut it off, I'd lost one of my favourite lures, but at least we ended up with a tagged Spearfish. A little later in the day we had a double hook-up on Blacks, surprisingly in 300 fathoms, we managed to tag one after the other managed to jump to freedom. Saturday dawned another beautiful day but the fish proved scarcer than the previous day. We did manage to find and tag a nice Blue wide offshore after a typical Blue Marlin fight. We were now, with twenty five thousand points under our belt in the running for a placing in the tournament and the excitement on board was palpable. Sunday was another sort of day, the weather report was benign enough but the ocean had other ideas and was big, short, steep and angry. If we hadn't been in the running for a trophy I don't think I would have gone out, many had the same idea returning to Port early. We continued on and by the time we reached 75 fathoms were down to trolling speed which turned out to be a good move since it wasn't long before we had a crashing strike on the 'Fallen Angel' and a good Blue was doing its thing grey hounding to the shelf and we were struggling to keep up. Eventually and with a very wet crew we tagged the fish and after 'high fives' all around we were on our way again. We had just crossed the shelf and again the 'Fallen Angel', now on the shot-gun screamed off and when this one jumped we could see it was a good one. It took a while and we finally caught up to it and it went deep. It was then that I noticed on my AIS a tanker was bearing down on us and would pass by at a hundred metres or so in fifteen minutes. The fish was staying deep, the angler, Monte, was getting soaked and tiring with the reel at 'sun set' and the tanker was coming - panic mode was fast approaching. I had decided to wait as long as I could then lower the drag, speed off and hope the tanker didn't cut us off. I was watching the AIS for any sign of deviation when to my surprise and relief at about a mile off it did indeed start to veer off, we were now in the clear. As the tanker passed it sounded its horn, two very long blasts the meaning of which I have no idea. I like to think he saw us fighting a fish and moved aside though more likely he saw my AIS signal and thought I was in trouble. It took about two hours but we did eventually tag that fish, a Blue of around 180 kgs. A very tired Monte had had the experience of a life time in tagging his first Marlin. Later in the day we tagged a Striped Marlin and a good sized Dolly both of which tried to eat the 'Lumo'. We were now definitely in a winning position but my worst nightmare was coming to fruition. Because of the rough seas some of the boats had stayed inshore and the waters there had warmed up, the small Blacks were on the bite and being tagged. It wouldn't take many caught on 10 Kg line to beat us. We were now on tenterhooks. As it happened and to cut a long story short we did hold on and beat our closest rival 'Freedom' skippered by Scott Torrington by only a few points. Tight Lines, Ivan
Ivan Bennett
Port-stephens, New South Wales, Australia
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Other reports from this captain

Ambition report 19th. August'19
Ambition report 19th. August'19
August 18, 2019
Ambition report 19th. August'19 ------------------------------------------ Albacore and Kingfish were the name of the game off Sydney last week. However there were enough encounters with Yellowfin to keep the hope alive. Unfortunately since then the weather has intervened and looks like doing so for another few days. So we must wait. Sadly it looks as though the 'Low' system that held the Yellowfin up North moved through very quickly. Fortunately last Wednesday we were still able to reach the Northern edge. I went out primarily to chase Kingfish but then to go wide and if conditions permitted to have a late afternoon cubing session. With Wahyu from 'Global Tackle' and Lloyd we headed out. We didn't take any live bait just jigs. A moderate Westerly was blowing but not enough to stop us. When we reached the reef there were a few boats as well as a 'Pro' drop lining . A quick pass over the area to locate the fish and down went the jigs. It was quite interesting to watch. Wahyu was using an electric reel and a 'knife' jig and LLoyd jigging the hard way with a 'flutter' jig. Surprisingly, to me at least, the slow worked 'flutter' jig consistently caught the larger fish. After an hour or so we had caught enough Kings and the wind had dropped so we headed out to do some trolling. We hoped to find those elusive Yellowfin. The plan was to go out to the thousand fathom line then go South and hopefully reach the 'Low' system. I was just passing Browns when I got a call from the boat 'El Patrone' advising me that he'd caught Yellowfin and Albacore at a position roughly14 miles South East of me. Then another call came in about Yellowfin in the same sort of area. I made the decision to pull in the gear and run out . Even knowing how quickly the 'fin move around and the chances they would still be there in the 45 minutes it would take to get to the area, it was worth the risk. On the run out I noticed a half degree temperature break with a few birds in the area, just not enough to stop us from our goal, a mistake. We finally reached the spot and the only action was another boat working the area. After setting the gear again we continued on our quest. It became apparent that the fish had moved on and since we were in a radio dead area I couldn't get any further information. We ended up trolling back to the temp. break and to set up a cube trail. It was a beautiful afternoon and just as the sun was setting Lloyd took a hit and after a good fight landed a 7 kilo Albacore. We took another two strikes after sunset and after very lively fights landed 7 and 8 kilo Striped Tuna. If Stripies grew to the size of Yellowfin we would be in trouble. So that was the day. After getting back in radio land I heard of a few more Yellowfin and Albacore being taken. So now we have to again wait until the weather clears before we can find out if the fish are still here. Tight lines, Ivan
Ambition report 5th. February'18
Ambition report 5th. February'18
February 3, 2018
Port Stephens firing is every Game Fishers dream and it fired last week-end. The weather however didn't play ball. On the shelf where a lot of the action was taking place it was far less than comfortable. On Saturday I took Daniel and a couple of his friends from Wollongong out. We didn't bother taking Live bait with us choosing to catch it out on the shelf. It was a long and bouncy trip out because of the short steep Easterly swell. There was no real problem catching the Slimy Mackerel needed. Once the schools were located it was more of a balancing act between standing up and holding the boat in position against the wind the current and the swell. It didn't take long for the action to begin and in short time we had an active Striped Marlin tearing up the ocean. The guys loved it especially when I was backing up into those swells and surfing down waves backwards, adrenalin inducing stuff. We eventually brought the Marlin to the boat and tagged it. Then I screwed up and ran over the dredge. It was too rough to go in and clear the prop so it was a long slow trip back home. On Sunday Lindon and three of his mates joined us. The weather was a little kinder but only marginally. This day we had the advantage of knowing where the bait was. We soon caught the bait we needed. Soon we were skipping baits around the bait schools and dropping livies onto Marlin we had marked. This is an exciting way to fish, watching a Marlin come up and take a skipping bait is very visual, the best kind of fishing. All the boats out there caught a mixture of Striped and Black Marlin. Unfortunately there were a lot of sharks out there too, mostly Whalers but also Hammerheads. We ended up the day with four Marlin tagged plus a Whaler which was hooked in the dorsal fin. A couple of the local boats did better than us but I think everyone caught something. My only comment after the last few days up here is that Port Stephens is firing... Tight lines, Ivan