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About mrsswordfisherman

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  1. mrsswordfisherman

    Cod fishing with Big neil

    Fantastic Frank and Neil. Thanks for wearing the fishraider t shirt.
  2. mrsswordfisherman

    Dangerous casting practice

    It is not ever a good idea to use “pack mentality” Derek you have done the best you can. Leave this to the authorities. Police and fisheries are our friends in many cases. There are so many instances out there that fire me up too, don’t start me on the Jetski people!!
  3. mrsswordfisherman

    Paternoster Peg Board

    Very inventive Zoran.
  4. mrsswordfisherman

    GLENBAWN 2018 still holding a few fish........

    Ahhhhhh really. Did you do a post on the trip Andrew? How many were caught by you? I would love some more posts on Glenbawn to watch what is happening there. The people in the office and everyone we spoke to at ramp and nearby cabins were getting zero fish. We always go in Nov maybe October is best time? It has really been hard fishing in the last few years compared with years gone by when we used to be overwhelmed with the amount of fish we caught. We had 3 of us in the boat and we had triple hookups on lots of casts. Spinnerbaits and jackalls we used and the old tackleback came in handy for retrieving any lures in snags. Guess it was quality vs quantity this time although my pb is 52 cms. Would love to see that again! Cmon guys post up about Glenbawn
  5. mrsswordfisherman

    Sydney heads

    Enjoy your cruise
  6. mrsswordfisherman

    GLENBAWN 2018 still holding a few fish........

    Yes @Hill373737 football jigs, we thought it was odd but they work! we have done a few raiders trips up there in the past
  7. THE PT.STEPHENS '06 SEASON on BILLFISHER and BROADBILL by Ross Hunter Pt Stephens is our second home…having fished these amazing waters since 1974 I can now walk into the local pub The Salamander Shores and be treated as a local…….mind you it took a long time to shake off that "smart arse from the city image that some country folk feel ……..even if it is not true" Yes! To me the Port is my favourite home, a magnificent picturesque place…….the place we live for three months every year……………………….. then for the next 9 months look forward to returning At the end of January each year my Son Glenn and my self migrate to the Port with our charter boats Broadbill and Billfisher … The passage by sea from Botany Bay (our home port) is 110 nautical mile from pen to pen. It is a trip which is reserved for Captain and crew ….a trip where the deckies can fish have a beer enjoy some sea food along the way, A trip to relax before the day after day of charter work starts. We work 110 days between the boats these days are, made up of early starts and late finishes…testing days for Captain and crew…Imagine arising at 5pm most mornings …walking to the boat, carry out the engine checks, ice down the drinks and food for the day, prepare the berley and bait for the bait grounds…. all this is 30 to 40 mins then pull out of the pen a t 6.30am fish all day knot always in flat calm conditions. Then when the action is on you are hanging on to a rampaging marlin getting your arms stretched so that you resemble an orang tan, then rig more baits, change baits ………head back to land 25 nautical mile, clean the dolphin fish and ice them down, wash gear on the way, scrub deck and hose with deck wash clean up customers scraps, ice left over bait having rigged 6 to 8 "skippers" for the next day, these are buried in ice and brine. The boat is backed into the pen at 5pm to 6pm and the wash up and clean takes around 30 to 40 mins…day over………Hit the hay and get ready for the same to morrow. At the Port we can work up to 14 days without a break and whilst we are professionals and have been doing this for 25 years… can get a little weary, especially if the weather is not kind and we are working in 20 knot winds every day. One would have to think that we are mad to take on such a busy life but when you are born to the breed of marlin fishing To experience the chase and the hunt, the sight of a big blue flying ever skyward or angler's first marlin experience……that smile on their face knowing they have just caught their first marlin…………..these are only some of the joys which bring you back each season keener than ever. THE TRIP TO AND FROM The trip to and from Port Stephens is always enjoyed as a time for the team to do what we cannot do when we are working, a little bonding between captain and crew without customers present, perhaps a beer or two and a few laughs , a bit of music on the stereo, always a fun day, a day we always look forward to. We generally stay close to the shoreline to enjoy the scenery and personalities of the different sea side towns.. Oceanic communities, surrounded by high cliffs and white sand beaches, they look so much nicer when looking at them from Mother Ocean………..Broken Bay, Terrigal, Norah Head, Lake Macquarie Stockton Bight and then the first glimpse of Tommaree headland, the highest mountain at the heads at Pt Stephens………. A sight that is always great to see The trip normally takes about 12.5 hours at a troll speed of anywhere from 7.5 to 9 knots.I choose always to cruise, not just as a fuel saving exercise but for the peace and quite of lazy swells that gently pass by without the scream of turbos and high revving twin Cummins diesels ……Yes! all day to get there so where's the hurry.This year on the way up we were down to 7 knots heading into a 2.5 knot south set most of the way Whereas on the trip back, three months later we cruised at 9.3 knots with current assist. Some people ask, especially our clients "What do you reckon Ross, will it be a good season.?" My reply is generally "Just hang on mate, I will warm up the crystal ball for you and have a look." Whilst I have fished these waters for many years and whilst over the past 40 years my search for the ultimate marlin season has never ended there is no one who can predict the success of the next season. The modern marlin fisherman is pretty skilled these days …what with 2 kilowatt colour sounders,GPS systems, tackle that is fool proof and in some cases side scan sonar, we have become a high tech breed…..not like the heady seventies when the fish were every where but all the fisherman had as a guide was a 3 inch compass on the dash of the 4.5 metre tinnie….. No sounder (only the rich had a sounder and most times it was an old FG 200 Furuno paper model with accompanying flashing light. I could never figure out what the flashing light was for) and in many cases no radio…….. It makes me cringe to think about it now ..Going to sea in those tiny boats, mind you not far to sea …but then again you did not have to venture to far anyway as there where good populations of marlin at all the popular grounds…The Sir John Young Banks, Montague Island, Bateman's Bay, Jervis Bay and to the North Pt Stephens then further north Hathead. These were the popular Ports for the sport fisherman in the '70's……... we caught marlin back then but more from luck than good management PICTURESQUE PT STEPHENS I swung Broadbill's bows into Port Stephens at 5 pm Both John Giles my crewman and myself breath in the beauty and of the surrounding coastline. Pt Stephens has to be the most superb Port to enter on the coast. The bastion of islands that shroud and protect the entrance, are the remnants of a prehistoric volcanic age. Named by the aboriginals the south, Yaccabah, Cabbage Tree to the north and little Island the most easterly outcrop…….all surround the Tommaree Head land and as we steamed through the heads they seemed just that more picturesque, maybe it was the afternoon sun or maybe the apprehension that we were here and now ready to go and do what we do best…catch marlin. We always plan a couple of days free to do any boat maintenance, tackle preparation, and bait prep and so on. Having done this the customers arrive .we meet them at the Sally Shores have a beer and then take them to the unit ……and tell them "See you at sparrow fart boys" The whole of February, Glenn and myself caught great catches of predominantly stripes and blacks as well as the odd blue. Most of the blues were around the 100kg but we also caught a couple of line burners around the 200 kg size.We held our tournament "The Northern Waters Invitational". This was restricted to 15 boats and was most successful with 12 boats tagging and releasing 59 marlin for the 3 day comp.We were lucky enough to win Champion Boat on Broadbill with Billfisher getting Runner up . That was OK! …..keeping it in the family. Glenn tagged 11 we tagged 14 with Phil Bolton's team It was all good All boats fared well "Inya Dreams" tagged 10 fish Triton 9 any many others on 5's and 6's. THE CRICKETERS We then had Mark Taylor and Merv. Hughes fish two days with us as they have done for the past few years The lads are great fun to fish with…….. It is hard to realise sometimes that these fellows are indeed legends in the world of cricket but when they fish with you it is like fishing with your mates.They are great fun and the most unpretentious blokes you could meet and they love to fish and they're good at it .One of the highlights was when big Merv suggested he would tag the next marlin .It was Phil Emery on the rod and as we backed over to the marlin a most respectable striped of 120kg..Merv lets fly with the tag pole.As he lunges at the fish the whole pole flies through the air at great speed heading for the marlin Having seen this I give the boat a few extra revs to pick up the pole which has diss appeared 3 metres underwater only to pop back up after a short time. " Big Merv says, "I'm pretty sure I got him"We are in tears with laughter when Johnny traces the fish and low and behold there is the tag buried perfectly in the big stripes shoulder.I asked Merv."What tribe he was from?" It was a superb bit of marlin spearing" The boys tagged 10 fish in their two days and had a ball. We tagged a swag of blacks,stripes and blues….. Most of the marlin was 70 to 80 kg average and no matter where you come from they are healthy fish…We also caught dolphin fish to 20.5 kg and yellowfin tuna to 25 kg I recall one day in mid February…….It was a classic calm sea ,there were three boats fishing the Mosh Pit, Billfisher, Tim Dean's Calypso and myself. For the entire day one of us was hooked up and reversing up on wild marlin ….We all tagged in excess of 7 marlin each for the day and then to add a bit of icing to the cake knocked over a dozen or so dollies on the way home. WAS IT A GOOD SEASON? February was brilliant The two boats caught 130 fish …the water then went hot in the first week in March reaching 27 degrees and all the striped marlin being a temperate water fish headed south in the 24 degree stuff Straight into the arms of the long liners who killed 700 fish only to glut the market and to be told not to catch any more. When will our Federal Government get this "buy out" sorted out and buy these blokes out before we have no more oceanic stocks left………….700 marlin for Christ Sake you idiots! We worked hard all season often fishing some windy weather and sloppy seas we tagged 155 marlin between us………a good season Yeh! However seasons are generally compared to previous seasons, for instance in '97 we tagged 248 on Broadbill alone …In '2005 we tagged 300 fish between the two boats… a season where the fish bit well for the whole stay.We get blasé sometimes,. maybe expecting too much from every season but it is probably the fact that this amazing marlin fishery never lets you down.If you went to any other port in the world and said you tagged 248 for the season they would not believe you. At Pt Stephens we expect it…..bring on 2007
  8. A Lifetime of Fishing by ROSS HUNTER THE 2005 MARLIN SEASON ON BROADBILL AND BILLFISHER As I now look back over a lifetime of fishing spanning 55 years it dawns on me that there has been so much joy , so many great memories, so many wonderful fishing acquaintances. Even at the tender age of 60 I still love what I do. I guess I am lucky that I am still fit and dont suffer too many aches and pains so I can still mix it with the young guys and generally hold my own, but then if I havent picked up a few pointers by now I should give it up. There are times in winter when it is rough and cold where by I may think that sitting in front of a warm fire watching the football with a cool beer may be better than being creamed in a 30 knot westerly as I head back after a days tuna fishing . These times however it is the marlin fishing I love and live for . The summer days with their light nor easters attract me more than tuna fishing in winter . Tuna are great ball busting fun and over the years we have caught our share but they are brute power and hard work ...marlin are visual and are more of a challenge they are the fishermans fish....and I love the whole gambit of it all. So here we are 40 odd years of marlin fishing on and Im keener now than when I caught my first fish The hours of trolling when the fish are scarce. the rush of blood when the cry goes out "fish on the teaser" the scream of the reel and then the superb jumps as a wild marlin flies high.......Yeh! thats what I love. The season of 2005 was shaping up to be a beauty whilst we were still fishing the waters of Sydney. This is quite normal that Billfisher and Broadbill fish the early part of the season from late November to end January from Sydney . We had a little success with half a dozen fish tagged, but it was steady going, so we really looked forward to the 05 Pt Stephens season, hoping that it would be a good one We set a course for Pt Stephens January 28 with our first charter around the second of February. We like a couple of days in Port to rig gear, do a little boat maintenance for the 110 days of marlin fishing ahead of us. I spoke to my friend Tim Dean a week prior to departing Sydney Tim said "We are catching a heap Roscoe its looking real good "he adds Having spent 3 days on tackle and general tidying we headed out on our first days charter from the Port. As always we moored the boats at Soldiers Point marina approx 5 nautical mile from the Tomaree headland and the sea The cruise to the heads is most enjoyable experience.. Often we are visited by the resident dolphins of the bay as we enjoy a morning coffee and a general conversation which can be anything A small black flies high on BILLFISHER from what happened at the club or pub last night too thoughts on weather and anticipation of how good the fishing will be to day , always an unknown factor. The waterways of the port are pretty special and all were enjoying the scenery on the steam out seaward The twin Cummins burbled lazily as we cruised down the bay past Corlette it was a near perfect summers day. The smell of sunscreen wafted to me on the bridge from the cockpit below every one was in fine spirit all looking forward to a day on Mother Ocean. My anglers were a really nice family from Victoria They had never seen a marlin before let alone catch one so it was with great anticipation that we wanted to beak their duck. The mother Jenny Hill booked the charter from Melbourne we had not met before. She was a lovely lady who had not fished before and wanted her husband Rob to experience the raw boned excitement of game-fishing as a special treat for his 60th birthday. Their son was famous footballer Essendon ruck man AFL footballer David Hill Along with daughters and boyfriends we all were looking forward to getting hubby a fish to fulfil his lifes ambition and they had travelled 1300km to do it, but fish do not care about anglers feelings ...they are quite callous at times.. Upon reaching the shelf it was obvious that things looked great ,bait redded out the sounder ,feeding shearwaters hovered over the feeding fish . We dunked a bait and within half an hour had tagged a big striped of 140kg The action continued and we returned to port with four tag flags all big stripes. ......job done and done well our clients had a marlin experience that they would remember forever..........We were very happy that these nice people had realised their dream.................... a good start We new that if it remained like this 05 was going to be a screamer but we also knew that it doesnt take much for it to turn the other way. I recall the previous year when the water got hot and ran hard and every striped marlin within "coo ee" ended up 200 mile down the coast in the cooler water. They came back but it was a lean couple of weeks while they were gone. The water remained the fishing just got better and better. We had 22.5 degrees Celsius a light tide run into the north west Hooked up 'n fighting on BILLFISHER the weather generally remained superb and every day that Billfisher and Broadbill returned to Port we were flying multiple figure tag flags Glenn on Billfisher tagged 17 one day whilst our best was 16 ... Bearing in mind that these were not small fish the average weight was around 85 kg whilst we had a personal best of 18 marlin tags in a day in 97 they were small blacks that could be tamed pretty these were very busy days with generally one or two double hook ups involved, bites were generally 10 minutes apart so we were pretty much playing fish all day. No rest for the wicked but we did not come here to rest .we were loving it. Glenn excelled for the season winning champion boat day four in the Interclub also winning champion lady angler in the same tournament . This may not sound much but take into account that there are 280 boats fish this tournament so it really is quite an achievement He also won champion boat in the Northern Waters tournament and ended up champion boat for the season in the port by tagging 148 marlin for the two and half month stay............a feat I was very proud of even if he did beat his old man by a few fish as long as its in the family I am happy Having worked ten days each boat our tally was around 80 marlin tagged and released ....................a good season ...............shit yes! However on the Eleventh of February we had the day of days a day that I may never see again in my career a day that left me with a memory that I will cherish for the rest of my days. We had a rest break in between charters ,we purposely do this to recuperate after the long 14 hour days ,but the word had got around how good the fishing was and we picked up a job with a bunch of guys who had fished with us on occasions before in Sydney. A whale shark visited us on the marlin grounds a thrill for the anglers on BROADBILL They had caught tuna and dolphin fish but the three were all marlin virgins so it was with great hopes that they turned up at 6 am at Soldiers point that to day would see them all going home with hopefully a marlin each. Nick Vitalle, Carlo Panello and Mick Ross...were really keen anglers certainly a lot keener when they had heard the buzz about the red hot fishing at Pt Stephens . I fired both donks up ,backed out of the pen as Soxie started on his duties, one being to take down the 11 tag flags off the rigger from the day before. It was a light west wind that greeted us as I turned Broady past the break-wall, the sky was cloudless and as we headed to sea a flat calm ocean welcomed us. I eased the throttles on pushing us to a nice cruise speed of 20 knots it would be an hour and 20 mins to the grounds on a course of 100 degrees. I can recall my early days when I would gaze in absolute envy at my peers back then as they steamed home with two or three marlin flags on their riggers......those early days when boats barely had sounder let alone GPS, that invention was still twenty five years away.To catch three marlin in a day was a pretty special event but here we were taking it for granted that a dozen or so was almost the norm. Certainly in 25 years technology has come a long way as well as the quality and sea keeping and speed of the modern marlin boat. There would have been a much greater population of fish back then but we were not as skilled and did not have the big sounders and GPS systems that we rely on in the year 2005 I guess in a way it was all a bit relative. One thing for sure there was no long lining so our stocks of marlin were not plagued like they are to day so obviously they had little pressure and would have been more plentiful As I mentioned before we drove out of Pt Stephens in 97 having tagged 248 for the season including 18 in a day that season left me believing that we had fished maybe the best marlin season that I would fish...but records and milestones are made to be broken I guess and on the eleventh of February with three anglers we blew that one out of the water with a day and a record I may never experience again Ross's longest serving Deckie The bat releasing a nice Striped One of the 248 marlin tagged in ' 97 on BROADBILL. TWENTY ONE IN A DAY It was one of those days where you cannot feel anything but confident after all we had already caught a lot of marlin for the season and to day was perfect for it wind ...flat calm ocean and very little company. . I glanced southward and spotted a boat on the horizon apart from that it seemed like we had the ocean to our selves. Sometimes that can be an advantage ,sometimes it is better when a few of the mates are around as we swap info via the radio such conversations as "Weve got a truck load of bait in "03 and just let one go" and so on can help guide as a guide as to the most productive spot . The good thing about fishing at the Port is that the skippers are all good friends and help each other all the time, after all the better the reports and results the busier we all are. Upon reaching the bait grounds in 75 fathoms I eased the throttles back to trolling speed as Soxie made ready bait jigs, rods ,bridle needles and tag poles . We trolled the grounds in looking for the bait schools, the sounder redded out with vast schools of blue mackerel under us "Give it a jig here Soxie?" I suggested from the bridge.....Rob dropped the bait jig in and pulled a full string of beaut big mackerel baits the boys helped Rob take them off the jigs and dispatch them into the live bait tank......three more drops and we had a tank full of giant mackerel baits on the fourth drop three striped marlin followed the bait jig up and swam around the transom of the boat we quickly bridled two baits and hook up two fish they were both over 100 kg ... the day had started with a vengeance. The big fish danced every which way as I tried to figure which one to target first the fish on the left side stuck his head up I backed over and we released that one. Captain Glenn Hunter and his 40 foot Cairns Custom Craft BILLFISHER One down, one too go The next one took twenty minutes and he too swam away with a tag for the trouble only one marlin virgin to go . As I glanced seaward I could see a bunch of shearwaters working a bait patch We steamed the 500 meters to inspect when we arrived there was a massive bait ball ....thousands of yellowtail balled up on the surface by a school of striped marlin like I had never seen before. There were perhaps 40 to 50 marlin tearing around the panicking bait balling it tighter and tighter until at a given moment they would attack the frenzied bait We backed over to the ball, threw in two baits and hooked simultaneously two stripes up straight away . We would then chase them down release and then back the bait for two more. We could have thrown five baits in and hooked up five but that would have been too messy and busy ...two was still a challenge these were all big fish and did not always head in the same direction. Many times we slewed Broadbill on its keel to change direction in order to chase the fish one around the bow then one to the stern it was a captains dream to back up on this sort of action. We fished like we were in a frenzy and with in four hours had tagged 16 marlin, it still only 3 ÔO Clock One of the boys said "Hey Ross isnt your previous best eighteen?" This is how it's done Ross pushes BROADBILL hard chasing another marlin was how it was all day. "Yeh! Lets see if we can beat it" I agreed, knowing where they were coming from. We had the ocean to ourselves so there was virtually no one else competing for the bait ball so it made it that much easier. If there was other boats, the fish may have spooked but this day we just kept going back to the baitfish and just kept hooking them up ... The lads certainly were not virgins anymore and by 6.30 pm we released our 21 st marlin for the day...we were all exhausted but the adrenalin rush and the wild fishing was keeping us fired up When we caught the last fish they were still snapping we could have caught We backed the boat into the pen that night at 8.30 pm. It was a tired team that night as we struggled down the ladder from the bridge , it was now 15 hours since we first set foot aboard this morning and that is an honest days work, but no pain no gain some fool once said. Soxie and myself had to wake the anglers who had slept all the way home and quite understandably Milestones were only made to be beaten, wether or not we will ever achieve such a feat again is debateable. we had fished the best marlin day of our career , a day when every thing was right ..the calm seas .the lack of opposition boats and a schooled marlin population like we had never seen before. I refer back to my days as a wet behind the ears, lure trolling marlin fisho in the seventies,. those days when I longed for the day that we may be lucky enough to catch a multiple of marlin in a day. I had seen a boat that caught three in a day and just gazed in awe at the flags.....and dreamed that one day it may be my boat with that many flags on the rigger. Soxie traces a wild one A good deckie was needed to catch 21 in a day" In the cockpit below 35 years later Soxie is putting 21 flags up the rigger. Putting it in perspective I must admit that I was personally very proud I consider that I have served my apprenticeship well over the years I also needed the best crewman to help me achieve the result and in Soxie I had that. Its sort of funny now however after all the years you tend to take things in your stride a bit more ..we dont have to prove ourselves anymore generally people know that Broadbill will never be too far from the action, we have achieved much along the way but we still go out and have runs of catching bugger all and that keeps your feet on the ground...........................................thats what fishing is all about check out the MARLIN tag and release flags on BROADBILL
  9. Sydney Offshore Scene with Captain Ross and Glenn Hunter SUMMER BRINGS YELLOWFIN AND MARLIN Summer is here and with it has come some very good fishing We have had some amazing off shore trips with our customers on Broadbill and Billfisher lately Catches of yellowfin tuna nearly every trip as well as encounters with our favourites, the marlin. A Black Marlin on the trace Local Bangor angler Peter Beaumanis's crew managed 10 yellowfin last week and Steve Naza's group fared well with 8 fish .Local Sutherland dentist Mandy Kwok's Father Peter also had a great day with 9 yellowfin .Most fish were trolled on Bloodshot "Tuna Hunter lures" and bib less minnows The reason for the good fishing is a big eddy of 22 to 23 degree water is sitting off Botany Bay and has brought our piscatorial friends with it. There have been many other groups who have experienced the thrill of tuna fishing …even although the fish have been on the small side they are still great to eat and the customers love the double and triple hook ups. On our boats we generally allow up to 10 per day then we tag and release the rest ensuring that we set an example of conservation of stock. For our customers. This way our crews have ample fish for a few meals and we leave plenty for the future generations. A small Yellowfin Peter Kwoks crew The good news is that the Federal Government has announced a 170 million dollar buy out of commonwealth long line licences. This will be accepted by many of the long line operators of which there are over 120 registered boats working our east coast. Their catches are falling and they are suffering financially from having to travel long distances to sea to catch the tuna. Fuel burn and lack of catch is seeing the industry in dire straights. Most commercial boat owners, I feel will negotiate this buy out or go broke. A massive reduction in long lining will see the replenishing of our yellowfin tuna stocks back to how they were prior to the wholesale slaughter by overfishing by long lining Yellowfin tuna are one of our fastest growing tuna with a life span of about 7 years They do not breed until they are around 3 years old or 30 kilos Therefore if they are left alone with only a few caught by recreational anglers, the stocks will return within a few years. It has been a long haul to get the Federal government to listen to us and I so pleased the Senator Mc Donald has realized that we must protect our fish stocks before they disappear forever. Congratulations and well done Federal Government On the inshore reefs, we too have had some great days. The boys from CRC Civil caught a great catch of snapper, morwong, pigfish and kingfish last week. Glenn Hunter has been fishing south of Port Hacking for great catches of Blue spot flathead and jackets The lads from Civil had a great day Hot Press Billfisher caught 7 yellowfin tuna and 12 kilo dolphin fish to day. That is the first dolly for the season so the water is lookin' good………………………..Summer's here and we aren't complaining' We are also raising and catching striped marlin along the shelf line…….This will only get better thru January We have been fishing the wide oceanic grounds for yellowfin and marlin and I need not to tell you that there have been some really unpredictable changing weather . Hot summer afternoons can bring violent storms Westerly winds too …the worst of all winds when fishing the wide grounds, especially for small boats GET THE WEATHER RIGHT FOR TRAILER BOATS OUT WIDE During one day last week we observed a 17-foot trailer boat trolling the same area, we were working. On that day there was a strong wind warning for westerly winds, the worst wind when returning from an offshore trip. My boat Broadbill is a 40 foot cat and a superb sea boat, she weighs around 12 tonne and on that day we encountered 25 knots when returning to port, this does not worry us too much, just a lot of spray and the occasional thump from the short sharp wind induced sea. However it is another story in a tiny 17 footer that weighs 600 kg. It is 25 nautical mile of slamming a terrible head sea with every second wave 2 metres high and 2 metres apart. Such a sea can only be negotiated at 6 to 8 knots meaning that it could be a four hour, wet, lonely and frightening trip home, a motor failure during this epic could be fatal… I really do urge small boat owners to be careful. A storm front SAFETY CHECK LIST Do a checklist before you leave port then whilst at sea; Check weather report to ensure there are no warnings and the weather is going to be safe Always log on with Coast Guard or Coastal Patrol then log off upon return. Ensure that you have 27 MHz radio and VHF and ensure that both work Make sure that the vessel has double the fuel capacity to take on these wide trips. Having two litres in the tank when you return is stupidity Fit at least two large electrical bilge pumps Carry spare fuel and a spare battery Learn to navigate by landmarks, never assume that your GPS will always work or that you can see land. In a southerly gale land will not be visible, waves will be breaking viciously over the boat, the water from which can drown electronics. Always make a mental note of your reciprocal compass bearing to your home port Keep all safety gear in tip top condition and stow where it is accessible and dry I started my career some 45 years ago in small boats I also founded the Marlin Broadbill Boat Company and fished from our 17 foot Billfisher and Broadbill boats for many years, so I do know the dangers associated in fishing wide from small craft . We have endured 30 knot gales which frightened the tripe out of us leaving us with the thought that we should be more careful next time, we got away with it, but the experience taught us a most valuable lesson…… be more careful next time. Since those early days I have seen storm fronts and winds to 100 knots, such winds would blow a small boat off the water out wide……..So please be careful It is the festive holiday season, the fishing is great, so let's keep safety foremost in our boating A Merry and Safe Christmas to all fishos and our customers from the Hunter family. PT STEPHENS '06 Whilst we have full books for our three-month migration to Pt Stephens, we still have a few share days available but will be closing the books soon. You can join us for three exciting days fishing. This is a fishing holiday, which you will remember for along time fishing with BROADBILL or BILLFISHER. Last year we tagged 300 billfish caught swags of Mahi mahi and yellowfin. Do not delay if you would like to join Glenn or Ross Hunter Ring 9534 2378 for bookings or email for a fact sheet.
  10. THE THRILL OF A JUMBO IN FULL FLIGHT by ROSS HUNTER AUTHOR'S NOTE... As a professional charter boat Captain and a fisherman spanning 55 years, it has been most sad to see the demise of the blue-fin tuna, Orange Roughy , Gemfish and now Yellowfin Tuna stocks. All these species have been reduced to danger levels by badly managed commercial fishing The FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS have much to answer for in neglect of our fisheries by extremely bad management. In my relatively short lifetime of fishing I have seen stocks depleted. This article may serve to draw every one's attention to the seriousness of over fishing Mother Ocean. The tuna must have been something else when back when you were young, someone asked? I have thought about this often and whilst I am not quite prehistoric yet, I have fished for the tuna as a professional for a little longer than I prefer to remember... My answer to that question is... "Yes! the fishing was fabulous in the 70s, but we were not very talented fishermen then, the tackle wasn't like it is today, boats had a compass and very little else, no temp gauges, no sounders and no one to ask advice from because they knew about as much as you did, so we were really mugs when compared to the modern day fisho..." Despite all this.............................. we caught some remarkable tuna. THE 70'S AND BEYOND My fondest memories of my introduction to Yellowfin tuna were the Narooma trips in the 70s. This area turned on some pretty amazing tuna fishing back then. Commercial pressure on our yellowfin tuna stocks was nil. So much so, that I recall taking an 87 kg tuna to a fisherman's co-op at Nowra with a mate, we had caught the fish at the Sir John Young Banks and decided to send it to the Sydney markets only to be told by the buyer quote... "If you blokes want a bill for the transport of that yellowfin you'll leave it here, cause that's all you'll get from us!" No one wanted yellowfin tuna other than the family cat ....Enter the Japanese who all of a sudden realized that if they didn't eat half a kilo of raw tuna a day washed down with a cup of snake bile lashed with ground rhino horn they may possibly shrivel up and die. That was the start of a commercial tuna industry, the Bluefin had all but disappeared, the local commercial fishos knew that by sending the tuna to Japan by jumbo jet we could ensure our Pacific neighbors were able to maintain their much needed diet of sashimi. We are such a kind and caring race at times.... Of course there would be a small cost involved......the demise of our pacific ocean stocks of tuna but what the heck we'll all get rich in the meantime! This story I would like to relay, as it one of many great days we had on the yellowfin in that early era,...The sad part of it all is that many of the younger readers of this yarn may never experience the thrill of a big yellowfin tuna "A JUMBO IN FULL FLIGHT......ARE THE GLORY DAYS GONE?" It was one of those superb June days off Sydney in the eighties, the sort of day that will stick in your memory forever........... We awoke to a light west wind, it was chilly, but not worth complaining about, the air had a dryness to it that stung your nostrils when you breathed. Each exhale, left a mist of vapour floating in the still morning air... a light fog hung over the river.At the wharf we loaded Broadbill with boxes of pilchards....The yellowfin had been excellent through the week, the big boys were in close and it was champagne fishing, so our hopes were high that the fish would still be there.. It's always inspirational when you've have had a good week, sort of takes the effort away from the loading chores....we were keen to get that first bait in. With everything stowed I hit the start buttons and the two turbo Cummins broke the serenity of the morning as they throbbed into life..... Easing the throttles down the tachos read 2200 rpm as I eased the back at 21 knots Broadbills 38 foot catamaran hull reveled in the superb conditions making the run across Botany Bay most pleasurable. The time was spent rigging gear, leaders tied and the pillys cut into quarters, ready for cubing. A hot coffee served to charge the human battery for the day ahead The "Peak" is a seamount 5 nautical mile nor'. east of the heads, having arrived we ran the sounder over the area, it showed some good bait schools on the north, so the reef pick was dropped. We anchored next to The "Mary Anne' a commercial tuna boat. Craig Tooker was the skipper and a friend, he was one of a couple of professional tuna fishermen out of Sydney They fished the yellowfin on rod and reel making a reasonable living from them at the "Peak" Broadbill lurched a little as the reef pick grabbed, that was a good sign, it meant the current was still trickling to the south at around 1.5 knots, this was perfect for good tuna fishing, glancing at the temp gauge, it confirmed 19 degrees C, the scene was set every thing was looking good, but would the Tuna agree! By 5 pm that afternoon that mystery would be solved.. It was the early heady eighties and yellowfin tuna were the flavor, every Sport fisherman who could pull on a rod was wanting to catch them and there was plenty to go around... A juvenile black browed albatross flew by looking very elegant in his grey neck plumage, he spotted a pilly cube and instinctively dropped one wing to bank around for another look. How can these wonderful birds glide so close to the surface of the sea, yet never touch it I thought to myself as I cut up a swag of pilchards? Then the big fella arrives, the giant of them all the Wanderer. This is real good I thought to myself, albatross only 5 mile out from shore, means bait a plenty, not too far away.. The albys feed on squid, sauries, bellows fish and cuttle fish, and coincidentally............... so do yellowfin tuna. The wanderer checked out the cube trail and in a picture of grace and beauty bid us farewell as he continued on his endless journey I watched him soar until he disappeared .... I love to watch these masters of flight all day they are the signatures of Mother Ocean.... I had heard stories about the albys getting caught on longlines, this was a new form of fishing that was starting to become popular with some of the east coast commercial fishermen and whilst they were in the infancy of development, there were a lot of deep water trawlers undergoing refits, converting to the long line yellowfin tuna industry These early longliners were setting 4 miles of mono line and running a thousand hooks, because they were mostly new chums into the tuna industry, a lot of them ex trawler men, there were some pretty wet behind the ears tuna fishermen amongst them. They would steam around the ocean looking at their temp gauges, the bird life around them and make a decision to shoot away and give it a go, sort of suck it and see method For the half dozen longliners that worked the tuna regularly I couldn't see the yellowfin being knocked around too much............ ...................well so I thought then As I looked into the blue current at the transom of Broadbill I noticed the sparklers in the water that was exciting. I've never had a bad day when the ocean is full of this microscopic plankton that sparkles iridescently in the sunlight... We worked two rods and constantly cubed feeding the baits down the slick for a hundred metres then retrieve and repeat with a fresh pilly. We didn't have to wait long before the proverbial hit the fan. The power of an 80 kg yellowfin tuna on his first burst of panic, having realized that the pilchard that he just eat which tasted so good had a hook in, it is always a great experience for any angler. I am privileged because I have experienced this sound many times in those early days when tuna roamed the Tasman Sea with little commercial pressure. We knew from the first run that this was a big tuna which had taken a pilchard 20 metres from the transom.. leaving a boil in the ocean's surface like a depth charge We quickly dropped the anchor buoy and reversed after the fish who by this stage had started to run deep and had a considerable amount of 24kg line off the big Shimano. There was always an air of excitement surrounding these first 20minutes on a "Jumbo" after that it really became a gut busting see sawing game of win and loose... After an hour or so we won as a fish of 78kg was boated. We steamed back to the anchor buoy and continued to cube within 20 minutes we were chasing another tuna which when boated weighed 84 kg. Back to the dan buoy again to repeat the process The old Furuno FE 500 sounder ticked away showing a good school of kings under us, I grabbed the old faithful Polikanski out of the rack, I had bought this in the 70s and used it as a kingfish jigging reel, it was OK for that. Dropping the jig almost to the bottom I cranked it back up 10 metres or so when it was smacked by a kingfish with truck loads of aggression. Kingys at the Peak were almost taken for granted and as I wrestled with this big bull headed bugger he reminded me of who was boss, never the less after 15minutes he joined the two tuna in the fish box The boys had a jig and they caught one each and they tagged and released them... I quite enjoy the power of these big kings they were all around the 18 kg to 20 kg mark on the "old mate Poly" loaded with 15 kg line they were great sport. Things had gone a little quite on the tuna front, not that there were any complaints, so I popped a jig down for one more kingy... Yellowfin will eat a jig, as I had just found out as my jig was devoured by one of 70 kg, this would test the tackle in every way, not too mention the boofhead on the end of it... I struggled with that old butterworth jig rod as it constantly rolled of its backbone with the big tunas power, however my old grandfather told me when I was a little fellow and got impatient if the fish weren't biting to well " Good things will come to those with patience" After 2 hours of waiting, grunting, cursing and swearing the tuna was boated....... We steamed back to port that night enjoying a scarlet winter sunset, we caught have caught more ......then add "but the fatigue factor had us thinking of home and a beer" we all agreed as we sipped a coldy that it doesn't get too much better than that. Three big yellowfin, a stack of kings, and a glorious days winter fishing off Sydney. The point that I endeavour to make in this story is the fact that I can look back to those glory days from the mid 70s to today Surely gives me a little credibility and whist I am no "Rhodes Scholar" I do spend over 200 days per year chasing the old piscatorial mates around the ocean.I have fished every popular port from Bermagui in the south to Pt Stephens to Cairns in in the north for tuna.. My job is that of a professional charter boat owner /skipper who has made a living from catching and releasing marlin in the summer and tuna in the winter... There's a lot to understand about the ocean and its inhabitants and whilst I have been around a while I've served about half my apprenticeship, there's still so much more to learn.... The one thing that I do have over the so-called decision makers is hands on experience and that's where my observations come from.. These are some of the brutal facts why I feel If we don't do something about the current situation our up and coming enthusiasts will not ever have the pleasure of experiencing a......"A Jumbo in full flight" LOOKING AT THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE OF THE YELLOWFIN SCENARIO {A} On broadbill we have a rather tattered photo album It is noticeable that the anglers of the early days are posing with their tuna looking over the tail of the fish which is as big as them as they stand on tip toes their heads barely visible... In the year 2005 the tails are around the angler's navel height.............Is this coincidence or are the big breeding fish being caught and are disappearing before our very eyes. Or are the anglers getting taller? {B} Before longlining........ most seasons we would catch several big tuna 70 kg and upward, the biggest being 97 kg ...Since the commencement and the escalation of the pressure of longlining on the tuna, we are lucky to get one big fish per season....................... Why? {C} This is the one I just can't get my head around and can only assume the worst... The story I have reminisced about of the " Peak' is just one of a hundred great days we have had there from the 70s to the late 80s ...Answer me this, why hasn't anyone caught a big yellowfin tuna at this spot since 1990 Yet prior to that the area for years was always so productive ................................ No tuna in almost some fifteen years ........yet so productive the previous 20. "ALARM BELLS ARE RINGING................... AND RINGING LOUDLY" Here are some fine fish taken back then Ross Hunter with a 97 kg Yellowfin Tuna Tony Barber with a fine tuna A monster Bluefin taken off Maroubra A 75 kg Yellowfin taken in 79 Young Ross Hunter with a couple very nice Kings (a common capture back then)
  11. THE FIRST MARLIN OF THE SEASON Imagine a fish as big as your average front row forward……a fish, maybe 3.5 metres long. . A superbly streamlined fish from a prehistoric era . ……..A fish, designed by nature as An efficient killing machine ….A fish that has amazing hunting senses, being able to pick up its prey's every movement through its bodies lateral nerves…… A fish feared by all kinds of tunas and baitfish. A fish with blistering acceleration that will catch its prey unawares. ………..A fish that can illuminate the bands and stripes on its body in vivid purples , brighter than any tropical fish you have ever seen. The pinnacle of all gamefish…………………………………the mighty marlin. It has always been a most prestigious event amongst the different competing boats in each Port to win the "First Marlin of the Season trophy". Naturally on Broadbill we were no different, many times over a lot of seasons we have won this coveted trophy, however I can remember other seasons when we have fished so hard, constantly raising fish but not hooking them or worse still having them fall off half way through the battle. To add insult to injury on a point score for the Game-club on a weekend, a relatively inexperienced boat will charge through the heads, throw out a fizz of lures and jag the first one in ten minutes of trolling. So I reckon everyone has an equal chance. Although it was a professional career I had chosen to pursue so many moons ago, perhaps we had an advantage over enthusiast's boats. As you can imagine a charter boat spending more hours fishing. I did not care "First marlin is first marlin" and that's that. Thirty years later nothings changed, my son Glenn on his boat Billfisher and myself have always had that competitiveness between us to catch the first marlin…mind you I have seen winters when we have caught marlin every month. In this case we did not know when the season started or finished, but given the normal run we generally reckon the seasons start from October on and the marlin thin out in June, so it could be 4 or 5 months that we fish without a strike from our favourite specie….By this time we are now suffering marlin withdrawal symptoms. days where we stand on the bridge with coat, beanie and gloves to keep at bay the biting westerly winds with one thought in mind to keep up moral……..t-shirts, summer and marlin…… kinda gives you a warming ….nice feeling. takes your mind off the cold for a few minutes……..ah! dreams. I am a Pisces after all Most times early in the season, a marlin strike will come unexpected, it has been months since we have seen a fish so when it comes there is always a certain amount of excitement . The spotter will scream "Fish up on the left rigger" as the huge dorsal tracks its prey in the wash., from this point the fingers are crossed as the big fish swipes at the lure time and time again next strike may be a solid hook up and everything stays connected. In my early days I would watch with a racing heartbeat as time and time gain the marlin would slash at the fizzing lure only to hook up and fall off or not hook up at all. This would bring a stream of hostilities and a lot of ranting and swearing. These days I have mellowed, having tagged more marlin than I can remember over those thirty years, experience says don't worry well get the next one. These days we very rarely troll lures for marlin unless the hooks are removed then we fish the 'switch and pitch" techniques IE tease them up on hook less lures then throw them a pre rigged bait. ….a great fun, visual way of catching a marlin . This method, however can leave you with egg on your face if the fish doesn't eat the pitch bait, especially when they have been hard to find . Sometimes a well rigged garfish or a head rigged whiting may have got him first go. One of the more memorable "First marlin" was a giant striped that angler Gavin "Aqua Monster" Sharp caught. It was a glassy calm ocean in October, we trolled a brace of lures behind Broadbill. We were catching some great yellowfin tuna ……No one had thought of long lining back then and we had several big fish up to 85 kg recorded, so far. As the strike was encountered and the big Shimano reel screamed in pain. My thoughts at first that it was another big tuna . There was something different the angle on the line was wrong for a tuna as the fish swam at breakneck speed close to the surface, only to explode clear of the water. The mystery was solved as screams of 'it's a marlin' reverberated from the cockpit below. My pulse quickened in anticipation as the giant of a fish cleared the water by metres, its giant tail propelling air as if to climb even higher ……Engaging reverse gear I prepared for a mile or two of chasing the huge fish blunt end first. The afternoon sun reflected off droplets as they flew, the fishes body lit up in purples . The cockpit a sea of excitement as time and time again the giant fish leaps skyward. Once tagged and released it was a handshake all around… a cold beer for all to celebrate the first marlin of the season. The fish was one of the biggest stripes we have caught we estimated it at 150 kg but I really think that it was 160, certainly the best striped the boat has caught to this day. It is always a great stir to get on the radio having not relayed the strike to the fleet of the day and say " I wonder who will catch the second marlin for the season?" "Did you just tag one?" is the reply "Yes mate " "Oh congratulations" is always forthcoming but you just know that everyone on board is thinking "lucky bastard" under their breath. Such is the kudos and importance of the first marlin Some years Glenn beats me others I win but when it happens there is no jealousy between Father and Son as long as it's in the family I am happy. Last trip my crew made up of all first timer game-fisherman we hoping in anticipation that some luck would be encountered It was a bit of a sloppy day and a couple of the crew had a green tinge about them, this was quickly lost when the first yellowfin strike was encountered. We had just crossed the 300 hundred fathom line when a melee of sheer-waters were spotted the tuna were feeding under them . The cockpit was busy for the next hour as Little Johnny my deckhand in training ran from rod to rod, gaffing fish and getting covered in blood .The whole show looked like a re run of The Texas chain saw murder . I called Glenn over on Billfisher and he too worked the tuna patch ………We then got a strike on the green Tuna Hunter lure on the right rigger, it was different it was also noticeable that the fish was bigger, much bigger . Calling Billfisher on the radio I suggested to Glenn that I may have a better fish and to keep his eyes peeled in order that he doesn't run over the line which by now was disappearing at an alarming rate. Paul Hobbs is an Ex-Pommie, a nice one however,he never mentioned Ashes cricket all day. It was his strike and I think he was quite amazed as he watched the 50 wide Tiagra lose 50% of its line in seconds Little Johnny ran around clearing gear and generally worked in a stage of controlled panic Glenn called me back having seen the "First marlin of The Season" jumping 50 metres from his boat and 250 metres from my boat "Good Luck Dad" he said, knowing well that keeping them on is the next problem. We backed, filled and chased the big striped all round the ocean, eventually tagging it after 40 minutes ………. "Job done" I thought to myself as I sprung down the ladder to congratulate the angler and Johnny on tagging and releasing his first marlin on the deck of Broadbill After we shook hands Glenn congratulated the boat over the airwaves He caught the "first marlin" last year and suggested that it was my turn this year I wonder who will catch the second? Striped Marlin 5th November 2005 Ross & John shaking hands Broadbill crew with 7 Tuna
  12. mrsswordfisherman


    Deployment of FADs 27 (Ulladulla), 28 (Batemans Bay) and 29 (Narooma) have now been done. (courtesy of EFA Euro Fishing Association)
  13. mrsswordfisherman


    Unbelievable! They should throw a report in here for us all
  14. mrsswordfisherman

    GLENBAWN 2018

    Here is the report - closing this thread
  15. Our yearly trip to Glenbawn has come and gone again with another poor showing of bass. Nothing on spinnerbaits yet again which was highly disappointing and cannot fathom why this has happened for the last few years. In years gone by the fish were smashing the spinnerbaits after one or two cranks with cricket score captures. @Dalucius and I used to sit after the sessions and make new skirts for the destroyed spinnerbaits and now that isn't necessary. Last year we were told about the Pro's Factory football jigs. What a difference they made! Fished deep into the snags and they proved the difference in getting a decent bag of fish or nothing at all. Big Glenbawn bass and yellowbelly love them. Our best 2 fish were a 45 cm bass for me and a 48 cm bass for swordie. Although it was hard fishing the bites were consistent. Over the 4 days we probably landed and released around 40 fish. In years gone by it would have been 300 - 400 on average. The fishing is now poor and we may not return. During the spawning season when the comps are on they use needles to pierce their swim bladders to stop bara trauma. We suspect this could lead to many deaths (personal opinion only). The stocking seems to be down with no small fish encountered and this is a shame as it used to be a great place to fish. We did have an enjoyable stay though as we had longtime friends that we have recently reconnected with to join us for a few days. I relinquished my seat on the boat for Phillip who is a keen fisherman. He had his first go at Australian bass fishing and scored 3 beauties a 35cm, 41cm and an upgrade to 44cm. He was absolutely stoked with his performance. I spent time catching up with my old nursing pal and friend. We had a few games of cards with the boys at night and watched the sunsets and the kangaroos from our balcony. Here are a lot of pics ..............