I looked down at the trip meter as l stumbled out of the landcruiser last night, and it read 2765km.
My fishing buddy Graham and l did not plan to do such a big long run towing a 6 meter Edencraft, but some changes to our plans fishing Bateman?s Bay, then Jarvis Bay, saw us heading off to Port Stephens.
Edencraft ready to go
The bait was very scarce at Bateman?s Bay compared to JarvisBay which was our preferred fishing destination at the time. With only a 15km run to the shelf and ample bait, combined with good weather made it very easy fishing.
Murrays beach - Jarvis Bay
Our tactic was to pull rigged skip baits and teasers around, with a live bait ready to go when needed, and this was the case on one of the days when we saw a stripe tailing in front of the boat. The live bait was deployed and within seconds came tight on a feisty stripe marlin. I have never caught a tailing fish before, and l?m still not sure whether it was the same fish or possibly another one in the pack. Hours earlier we picked up another fish off another hooked up trailor boat.
Stripey at boat
Grahams marlin at boat
The long liners moved in at Bateman?s bay with one boat removing 45 marlin, and another 2 boats probably with similar results over night. When they decided to hit JarvisBay, another mate of mine decided to go have a look at Port Stephens. Graham and I have always wanted to fish out of there, so this was our opportunity to tag along with someone that new his way around.
One of the Marinas at Port Stephens
Dolphines aplenty at Port Stephens
We were very surprised to find water temperature up at 26.8 degrees and very little patches of bait holding down deep. We managed to mark a few marlin on our Furuno depth sounder, but struggled to secure any slimies having them ravaged by leather jackets, and on one occasion by a marlin just under the boat.
We decided to troll a pattern of lures around till we had some slimies on board, and managed one marlin of around 80kg before the end of the day.
Striped marlin before release
The fishing was definitely tougher for us out of Port Stephens with the 45km runs out to the shelf and some huge swells forcing us to travel at a slower pace. This meant that it would take around an hour and a half to get out and not to mention burning approx? 170 liters of fuel per day, compared to 70 liters at J.B.
We really enjoyed our time at Port Stephens and l had the opportunity to play with my egrell B6-6 in close on large schools of bonito which we would stitch up each night to take out on the shelf?.though they would not last long getting blown out with the hot water temp?
Bonito = Bait
Me and my Egrell B6-6
As per usual l like to put together a short video clip of my fishing trips.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1w6MmUkcTY&feature=channel_page