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Fishraiders Hit The Jackpot On Broadbill


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Howdeeee All,

Wow !!!! what a trip we have just had up at Port Stephens.

I had been watching the weather for days on Seabreeze.

The forecast was saying that there would be kind weather until Saturday night then a huge southerly would hit us and wipe out the last day of our Marlin Trip on Broadbill Charters with Ross Hunter.

I gave Ross a ring and asked if we could make the trip come forward one day as we didnt want to miss out on a days fishing this great mid north coast fishery.He said no worries,if you can arrange it with the other five anglers you are welcome to come up a day earlier.

The trip consisted of 6 Fishraiders.

Rian ,Brandon,Mrsswordfisherman,Swordfisherman,Outdoordan and Jewhunter.


I rang everyone and it was done we would head up early to get the best possible time on the water to get 4 Marlin virgins a Billfish.

Grant and myself had caught Marlin previously,so the intention was to get the other 4 Raiders a fish.

Grant would be coming down from Murwillumbah and would take him 8 to 10 hrs to get to Port Stephens.

Rian and Brendon would be travelling together and Myself,Donna and Dan would share the same car.

We left with such high expectations and the car was a buzz on the way up on Wednesday arvo.

We arrived at our destination at Salamander Bay Marina to be greeted by Ross and his fabulous deckie Johnny Giles (the human bollard).


We needed to get some supplies for the early morning start and Johnny graciously helped us find a servo to get us a bit of grub for the first day until we went to the shopping centre the next day.

Grant was nearly there from his long haul and Rian and Brendon called to say that they were at Hexham Bridge and wouldnt be long.

Grant arrived weary but in fine spirits and we all had some maccas together and then went back to our great unit right on the water.

This unit had a fantastic view of the whole bay and was huge inside and very very clean.

3 Bedrooms ,a huge kitchen,2 toilets an ensuite in the main bedroom ,2 more bedrooms and a laundry.





The four of us settled in waiting for the arrival of Ryan and Brendan who should have been arriving soon.

The time was getting late so I called them again to see if there was a problem?

They said "we think we have gone too far we are at NABIAC "

The boys had missed the turn off and had travelled well over and hour past our destination.

A quick U turn and they would arrive nearly 6 hours after leaving Sydney.

They would now be called Mike and Mal.

We all introduced ourselves and it was great to have a chat and plan our first day out on the water with good friends and mates.

Day One,

Ross Hunter and Johhny would have the boat ready by 6.30 am and we needed to make all our lunches and have breakfast before we set off.

With military precison we would have the sandwich making operation in full swing by 6 am,coffee made ,toast on,orange juice and sea sick tablets downed just as a precaution.

The day looked great with light winds and a calm sea.wow were we excited and Ross had the Broadbill already warming up as we arrived .



Glen Hunter's Boat Billfisher was right beside Broadbill and it was great to see him again as well as I had been out with Glen on TUNA TRIP previously.


Our gear was quickly stowed and and handshakes all round and we were offf to the wild blue yonder.

Ross had his good mate from school Wes on board and it was nice to meet you too mate.


The site of the two headlands Tomaree and Yacaba that marked our exit to the clear blue water of Port Stephens was fantastic with the sun just peeking over the horizon.



Our first task would be to secure a supply of live slimie mackeral to temp our quarry with.


We headed out the front of little island and the slimies were thick.We had a full tank in a matter of minutes with all hands on deck poling the little suckers into the live well.


I asked Ross if we had done well and his comment was you are all MASTER BAITERS and that set the tone for the whole trip as the laughter and sledging had started,wohoooooo it was gunna be a great trip.


The water had been good in close and our target species would be small black marlin and striped marlin.

With in an hour we had live slimies out on the riggers with 24 kg stand up tackle.

Johnnys expert rigging up of the livies with the bait needle and circle hooks was done in the blink of an eye.



Now the waiting game was on with two great baits out the back a calm sea and a huge teaser down the middle.

The bites came and we had our chances but for some strange reason every time one of the marlin would take the bait it would charge towards the boat making hooking up really difficult.

We had six takes and two hook ups ,one jumped off straight away right beside us .dammmmm.

We kept at it and in the afternoon Donna was on strike and a good bite was taken.

Johhny struck hard and this was Donnas first ever attempt at Big Game Fishing.




The fish screamed off under heavy drag and Johhny placed the rod into Donnas gimbal belt,this was a big fish and was going hard.I stood beside my lovely lady and put a harness on her to take a bit of the strain off her arms which were getting a great stretching .

Donna was in the zone and listenening intently to my whispering in her ears about how to handle such a big fish.She was doing everything just right and keeping a good working curve in the 24 kg standup gear which is no mean feat I might add for a novice.

The fight was going well and after 15 minutes she was gaining line and the double was getting close,then the most unbelievable thing happened,the fish must have got a look at the boat and panicked and did the most unreal power dive ripping the 24 kg rod tip right into the water,Donna held on for almost 20 seconds on the blistering run when the line went limp.

Omg we had popped it off and the expletives from all over the boat and the flybridge could be heard all over the world ,Donna was delflated and didnt say much ,on closer inspection the 200 jinkai had parted at the hook which is quite rare.

Donna had now felt the power of one of the greatest gamefish in the world and she would remember this moment for the rest of her life.

No fish landed today ,but they were here and we were ready.

I would like to personally thank Rian ,Brandon,Dan and Grant for allowing Donna to have the first hit of the day as this will keep women coming back time after time to do battle on the high seas.

We had a great day out and the laughs were coming thick and fast with everyone having a go.

We decided to go to the pub to have our meals on and Ross assured us that we would enjoy every bite.


We werent dissapointed either with first class meals at a very cheap price,beers and bourbons were downed and then back to our unit for a well earned sleep.

Day Two,

The Nor easter had been blowing pretty well all night and the conditions would be a bit lumpy out wide.

We all arrived on time and had a game plan to rotate the stikes of the 4 anglers who had not scored a marlin before,Grant and I didnt fish this day either.

Once again out to the live bait grounds and this time Donna would have her first taste of gathering slimies which she did with obvious delight and I can tell you all I was a very proud man watching her pole the slimies over the side.We had our bait quickly again and the decision was made by Ross to head north up towards Broughton Island to see if the bite would be better.We skipped slimies all the way and had one hit which didnt hook up.

When we arrived another boat was already doing battle with a nice black and we were pumped up.Ross had made the right call and the marlin were on the bite.

The first hit was a good one but once again the Black went straight back at us and jumped right next to the flybridge and threw the hook.

We had a few bites but no hookups and we were in need of a taker.

OutdoorDan (Dan Cooper) was on strike and we had a good hit but the beakie dropped the bait.

Johnny quickly free spooled the bait back and the Black smashed it right in front of our eyes and Ross yelled our STRIKEEEEEEEEE ZZZZZZZZZZZZ Dans on as as before I was guiding Dan in the fight which he handled fantasically the harness was put on and now Dan was hooked up to his very first Billfish.




The fight was going well and the hook up solid and pictures and the video was rolling.Ross was keeping the boat in perfect postion for Dan to keep on top of the fight and then just what we needed to see happened,the Black Marlin took to the air with a series of fantsic jumps and greyhounded across the surface and we were swearing our heads off in excitement as the whole crew gotinto the action with Dan.Johnny readied the tracing gloves and grabbed it on the first go and expertly guided a nice 70kg Black to the boat and removed the hook and released no worse for wear.






Dan was over the moon and yelling out like a mad man as we all were and the monkey had been removed from our back.


A big group photo and and a heap of hugging and Dan had realised his dream.


We had a few other lookers but no takers ,back to the Marina with a great T&R Flag flying from the riggers.


Back to the pub again after showers and boy we were on a high,the drinks went well this nite and Ross joined us once again with Johhny for the celebration.We did meet Ross's lovely wife Judy and his very nice family who stay with Glen and himself while away.

We slept well again and couldnt wait to get out there again and get stuck into em.

Day 3,

The Noreaster was still howling at around 20 knots all night and the seas were getting a bit bumpy as we headed out to the bait grounds,for some reason today the bait was harder to get, but we eventually secured our tank full of slimies amd head out again.

Today Ross would take us up to the GIBBER reefs to see if the bite would be on there.

We arrived after an hour to find out we had just missed a great bite and it had now shut down,bugger.

This day would be one of the most frustrating and exhilerating of them all.

We trolled our livies everywhere and the water temp and colour was great but could not raise

even one looker.

We zig zagged all the way down the coast back towards the Port with nothing even looking like taking our baits which was very srange indeed but our spirits remained high as Johnny entertained us down stairs while Ross on the Flybridge did his Marlin Dance for us which had us in histerics.

The day was getting on now and it was nearing 5 pm and still nothing ,Ross had made the decision to stay out there for us and keep trying for one good bite.

Then it happened a small Black smashed the bait and didnt hook up and then came back again and had a another go at the other one ,Brendan was on strike and I though for sure he we get this one but the little fella lost interest as a lot of the bites seem to do.Strange as this was was we kept going and around 5 .30 we got another bite and this time Johnny slammed the hooks in on a good strike and Donna was doing battle again,This fish was a lot smaller than the one she played on the first day and she handled it a lot better with little or no help from me at all and she comfortably got the marlin under control and didnt she get off on this fish as it hit the surface and looked right into her eyes ,double on and Donnas first Striped Marlin of 70 kgs was realeased much to the joy of everyone on board.




The look on Donnas face as she pointed to the T&R FLAGS was priceless and I for one will never ever forget the day she got her first beakie and commented on this was a highlight of her life ,NOW THATS WHAT I'M TALKIN ABOUT.



This was fantastic trip even thougn there was a lack of really good bite.



The friendliness of the crew and Skipper was awesome .

To Ross Hunter and Johnny Giles of Broadbill Charters thankyou very much for the chance to fish with one of the best and most professional outfits I have ever been on.

To our Crew of Donna ,Dan,Brendan.Rian and Grant thanks for making this a memory I will cherish for the rest of my life and although I didnt fish on the trip I enjoyed every single second of everyones company.

We will be going back again next year with Broadbill and Ross and hope Johnny will be our deckie again as this guy who is only 18 yrs of age is a true master at his craft.

If you have ever thought about a trip like this and have been hesitant? go do it and your will never regret it.

I would just like to add that Ross Hunters vessel BROADBILL would have to be one of the greatest sea boats I have ever been on,super stable in all conditons and a supberb craft to fish and relax on and you dont get knocked about in heavy seas.





Cheers Stewy and Donna

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A huge congratulations :yahoo: I could only imagine the heartbreak felt when Donna's first fish wore through......which only helps to make her first tagged fish all the more special. Stewy, you must be over the moon :thumbup:



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Thought I was reading a romantic fishing epic. You truly love your wife and I can see this by the comments in your report when refering to Donna - good on you for expressing it so well. My hubby suggested giving me a deep sea charter birthday gift and after reading about all the excitement and fun, I might actually take it up on the condition he comes with me. Love Port Stephens - thanks for the inspirational report - great pics.

Cheers Marg

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Fantastic report Stewie!

What a great thing to do. I have always wante to do that, now I'm even more eager. (Searching calender to see when I can hehehe)

Thanks for that guys & congratulations Donna & Dan. :yahoo:

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Great report...very detailed...felt like i was there......

Donna and Dan look absolutely wrapped and so they should be, I remember Stewy discusing this trip with me back at the social and its good to see Mr Hunter got the results and broke the virginity of 2 anglers..

Sounds like a perfect fishing trip.....Congrats to all

STewy....when we gonna see the Vids????

Edited by netic
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:1yikes: Longest... report... ever! :thumbup::yahoo::074:

That was awesome to read, Stewy - ever considered becoming an author? :biggrin2: Those were some top shots of Donna fighting the marlin with you beside her all the way - very romantic indeed. I can't imagine the frustration of seeing marlin that refuse lures and losing marlin that actually take the bait! Not much like the estuary fishing that I'm accustomed to. Only makes a marlin trip more foreign and appealing to me... Thanks for the depth of detail in the report - really gave me a good idea of the workings of such a charter (I'm definitely a marlin virgin - barely even gotten a sniff of the blue water on charter boats). Sounds like an awesome time was had by all. That's the main thing in my view - having a boat of great people really makes the trip - no use catching fish and having a lousy time doing it! Congratulations to Donna on landing that lovely stripey and to Dan on his great black. Even though it wasn't a mind-blowing bite, it's that glow that you possess in those photos that makes fishermen like me intrigued in this marlin caper...


Edited by Flattieman
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Great read Stewy! Felt like I was back there. :thumbup:

What a great trip. To see Donna & Dan get there first beaky was better than if I caught it myself. The look on their faces was priceless. It was a long drive from up here but well worth every one of that 1400 kms round trip. :1yikes:

What can I say that Stewy hasn't already said? Not alot really. I have to thank Ross for going the extra yards trying to find us fish. With a bit of luck we could have easily had 6 or 7 fish. That's fishing. Ross stayed out longer than any charter I've been on & tried it all. He is a top bloke & I can't recommend him highly enough. I thought it was a top deal. 4 nights in a huge waterfront unit with 3 FULL days gamefishing for $850.00 each. What a deal he did for Fishraiders. Jump in early for next season all. You won't regret it.

The downer was poppinng the trace in the loop below the crimp on Donnas' first fish. That Black was around 100kgs & full of beans. Donna was polling it before it won the fight. I would have loved for her to have got that one.

To Donna & Dan a big congrats & :thumbup: from me on your first Marlin. You both did a great job & I'm thrilled for you.

The video is being copied onto DVD as we speak. There is some top footage. Ross doing his Marlin dance is gold! :074:

Thanks to the whole gang. A trip like this is all about who you fish with & you made it sooo much fun. Stewy, your endless enthusiasm & love of life kept everyone laughing for hours on end. Now get back in your corner!! :tease::074::074:

Finally a big thanks to Johnny ( human bollard ) the deckie. He's a top young bloke & made the trip what it was.



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What a great read that was and fantastic pics too. :thumbup:

Well done Donna on your first beakie...I knew you had it in you :yahoo::yahoo:

Just makes you want to jump in the car and head for Port Stephens and get amongst 'em doesn't it.

To get a marlin on your first outing must be an awesome experience.

Well done to the Raiders on a most sucessful outing and thanks to Ross for looking after you guys.



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Top report Stewie, and what a great fishing trip.

How do we get a copy of the DVD?

Maybe you will have to do a screening at the next workshops and have it playing at the next socials.

Ross should use them as promo's to drum up some business. What better advertising.



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The DVD is not for the faint hearted :1prop: unedited .

We will have to do a lot of heavy editing :074: XXXX Visually good but a lot of heavy swearing as we were all pretty pumped up with our achievements.

I would just like to add that Marlin Fishing is not a one person event by any means and everyone on board makes this happen and thats why everyone on the boat enjoys the thrill even if you are not on the fish yourself.

Cant wait to do it again and we are already looking to book now !!! :yahoo:

Cheers Stewy


Real Fishermen are salts of the sea and a bit of swearing just adds to the flavour. :1fishing1:

If you have to edit it, the viewers should be chasing the mighty Garfish, not Marlin.

Both Beakies, but their is a difference! :074:

Just write/print MA or R on the DVD



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The swearing probably adds to the thrill of the catch and adds to the colour of the story being told.

You are in the middle of the ocean with a bunch of "Salts of the Sea" - who cares!!!

I just wouldn't show it to my 8 year old.

It's amazing the bad habits they pick up!!!

I don't know where they get it from!!!



PS I just noticed I have cracked over 100 posts !!!

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Real women fishos can handle anything :biggrin2:

Try being on a boat with 7 men for 12 hours a day for 3 days :074:

Swearing, cursing, passing wind and trying to all outdo each other in all departments makes for a fine initiation to big game fishing for any woman :074:

I enjoyed every second of it all to tell you the truth. Here is my version.

The days were spent at the back of that boat watching the baits, scanning the ocean and listening for that zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I learned much about how a charter works, the signposts that show where fish are such as mutton birds and flying fish, the colour changes of the ocean and temperature breaks.

I watched the deckie in preparation bridling up a slimie, preparing burley to catch the slimies, sewing up the skipbaits and positioning the teaser. I finally saw how a downrigger works and what a baitball looks like on the sounder. I looked on in awe as the fish was traced and released and I felt first hand the power of the mighty billfish.

We saw many pods of dolphins diving through the waves and riding our wake. We saw a pod of brutus whales. Watching the devastating display of billfish in flight and seeing the diesel motors explode into life as they backed down on their quarry only a few hundred meters away was mindblowing.

The experience of fighting the marlin is all consuming. From the sound of the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz I went into a trance, completed focussed on the task. I heard nothing of what was going on around me except Stewy's calm voice guiding me with precise instruction. I felt every movement of the fish through the rod and my arms and body and wow what a rush when it stopped, hesitated for a second and then power dived to the depths. Watching it catapult up out of the water in front of my eyes was purely inspirational.

The striped marlin after being released did a swim past me across the back of the boat and raised its head and body out of the water, paused and looked at me with its very large eye and disappeared. Images are imprinted on my brain forever of that fish all lit up with its magnificent blue bars.

I sit here now with the piece of 150 lb jinkai that I was given as a memento of my first marlin. It has scuff and bill marks all over it. It will take pride of place hanging out of the mouth of Stewy's first marlin that is mounted on the wall.

Thank you to the rest of the crew on Broadbill. Ross extended every courtesy to us and busted his arse to get us a bite. Johnny did everything in his power to make our days fulfilling. Thank you to Stewy who is always supportive and is my mentor, without his guidance and encouragement I would never have attempted this trip. To Grant and Stewy, thank you for giving me all your strikes.

Finally, the inside of the cabin made for very interesting reading. There were plaques all over the walls. Each plaque held stories of conquests and records and names of famous people.

Ahhhh yes they can repossess your material goods but they can never repossess your memories :thumbup:

Cheers mrsswordfisherman


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Great to see women taking an avid interest in fishing and other things "Blokey", and standing side by side with their husbands, enjoying the weekend.

I'm glad to see you got your first Beakie.

I am having troubles just trying to get my wife on the boat, let alone getting the interest back in fishing.

When she was a newer model we used to go fishing, camping, etc.

Now her idea of camping is a 4 star motel.

My youngest son (7) loves fishing so I am trying to get her interested via my son.

Her idea of fun is scrap booking, so I told her to come out in the harbour and she will get some great photos to scrap book, and maybe some fish as well.



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