Capt. Brant's Fishing Report


 

 

 

 

 
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"Kings are back" | Capt. Hook | 12/31/04
 

Capt Hook fished today and happy to report we got em good at Frying Pan Tower and wrecks in general area. Kings bit like bulldogs on dead cigars. Also caught Amberjack and Grouper. water temperature 70degrees.

Also had report from Jimmy Powell that he caught Yellowfin and Albacore around Tower.

Forecast tomorrow SLIGHT AND LIGHT! 


- Capt. David Hooks
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"Report update" | Carolina Contender | 12/30/04
 

Just as the Bluefin mysteriously appear off Morehead each winter, for the last several days they have likewise mysteriously disappeared. Brant reports the entire Morehead charter fleet has drawn a blank last several days. Today a group of the fleet went down to Wrightsville thinking the fish may have moved south. No fish were reported. Best news came from Ocean Isle boats that reported excellent looking conditions at the Horeshoe/Raritan/Sharkhole area where bait and ganents were seen. One potential hookup was reported but the fish was lost on the strike. The weather looks perfect throughout the weekend so hopefully somebody will solve the mystery.


- Capt. Rube McMullan
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"The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful" | Carolina Contender | 12/30/04
 

Amazing run of perfect weather for this time of year. Forecast throughout the weekend is SLIGHT AND LIGHT; the favorite words of all fishermen.All options are open. Capt Rhett reports 12-15 boats out today covering everthing from sea bass to Bluefin. Will update report of whats where this evening.


- Capt. Rube McMullan
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"Start New Year off right" | Carolina Contender | 12/27/04
 

Allright all you fishermen sitting around the fireplace. Get up! Go fishing! The weather looks great for the weekend[starting Thursday] and I can't think of a better way to kick off the new year than by yanking on a fish of your choice. Here's what's on the menu board.

-The biggest sea bass of the year bite during the winter and can be found at any of the King Mackerel rocks/ledges from within 5 miles to on out.This is without doubt our best eating fish in the sea.
-The Kings are thick on the ledges sw and ne of the Tower. Look at temperature maps[we'll post info later this week] and if the water temp is 65 or up[which it normally is this time of the year], they will be there.Dead cigars is all you need.
-Gulf Stream normally has a few wahoo hanging around plus fairly dependable Blackfin tuna with possible Yellowfin as well.
-And then of course, there is the Bluefin Tuna quest. We're waiting for someone to come in to the OIFC with one caught in our waters. Look for the Ganents diving and if you see them, good chance the Bluefins are balling the bait the Ganents are diving on. All's needed is blue/pink islander or seawitch and you're in the game.Catch one and we're [along with the Chamber of Commerce] ready to make you a hero.

So no excuses, get on down here and enjoy this short term winter weather break.
 


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Merry Chrismas from Caroline Grace and family" | Carolina Contender | 12/25/04
 

Merry Christmas and happy holidays.  Its a cold, rainy and dreery day at the beach- perefect for sleeping by the fire with dad while he watches football.  Mom and dad have been dressing me up like a Barbie doll in all my different Christmas outfits, but I guess I don't mind letting them have their fun.  I could hardly sleep last night waiting for Santa, then when it was finally time to open presents, I couldn't help myself and I fell sound asleep.  But then, I woke up and my mommy had opened all my presents.  She's kind of bad with presents.  She can't stand not to know what's in them.  Anyway, I got clothes, a CD boom box with some cool nursery songs (I'm hoping for Britney Spears CD's next year), a puppet duck that quacks, some books for my mom and dad to read me and all sorts of other neat things.  We're going over to visit my Grandma and Granddad Gales in a little while to continue our Christmas party. 
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night--  Thanks Santa
signed- Caroline Grace McMullan --
Here are some pictures of my first Christmas-- I'm a big girl you know-- 5 whole weeks!


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Yesterday's Report" | Show Time | 12/23/04
 

Guided a party aboard the "ShowTime" for Bluefin. The seas were 2-4 feet with a north to east wind.  We set out southeast of the Knuckle buoy and before I could get the second bait out we had him on.  The fish was brought alongside the boat and released-- estimated 72 inches and 200 pounds.  I proceeded to again get the baits out and before I could get the 2nd line set we again had him on-- this fish was a bit bigger at some 85-90 inches and 300-350 pounds.  We began fishing again and this time got all the baits out.  The action slowed as the half dozen or so boats around us hooked up at random.  Finally at 12:30pm we got our last bite which proved to be a mean monster.  The Giant Bluefin took off some 400 yards and was fought for nearly 45 minutes before the hooks finally pulled as it was brought along boatside.  This Bluefin was large, at some 90-95 inches and 400+ pounds.  It was a good day of charter fishing and nice to be out there without 500 boats buzzing around chasing the same fish. 


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Giant Bluefin Adventues" | Carolina Contender | 12/21/04
 

Bluefin fishing out of Morehead City remained consistent over the weekend.  There are plenty of fish out there, but it becomes a challenge when there are between 200 and 400 boats chasing the same fish.  Nevertheless most boats found action at some point from Thursday thru Sunday.  The Ocean Isle Fishing Center fleet faired very well in our so-called outmatched center consoles as labeled by the northern big boat fleet.  Captains Hook, Grady, Stacy, Roger, Brant, Squid, Henry and Barrett all had catches of giant bluefins over the weekend.  Each of these captains and their crew have some pretty amazing fish stories to tell from Grady's 3 and 1/2 hour bout to Roger and Henry's 600 + lber that got away after a 2 and 1/2 hour battle to Brant and Barrett's defying Mother Ocean's wrath at the Cape Lookout Slough in a 30 knot SW wind.  These fish stories require more than a keyboard as I'm sure they will be told once or twice around the Fishing Center.  As for now the commercial season has ended until the beginning of January and the Fishing Center fleet will be running charters between now and New Year's and then again after the first part of January.  This past week the fish showed up on the east side of the shoals around the 1700 rocks and the D-wreck.  As the weekend progressed the fish moved closer to the shoals and eventually re-concentrated offshore of the knuckle buoy on schools of shad.  Here are a few pictures of the fish caught this week ranging from 200 to 500 lbs. 


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Bluefin update" | Carolina Contender | 12/19/04
 

Just got back from Bluefinning. Ocean Isle fleet doing well. Capt's Brant/Roger/Barrett/Hooks/Grady/Stacy all had luck last couple days with fish over 500lbs. Capt Roger and first mate Henry fought one for 3 hours only to loose him at the gaft but drank some gator aid and couple hours later caught another monster 500lber. Today last day of fishing for commercial season so they're back at it today.

At Ocean Isle yesterday JR Davis on the Huckleberry went looking for the Bluefin in our waters. Reported seeing mass of Ganents diving 5 miles inside of Shark Hole on balled bait. Didn't get a hit but if the Ganents are there diving on balled bait.....well, what's out there that swims in mid 50 degree waters and is big enough to ball bait for the Ganents to be able to dive on? The Bluefin mystery is still waiting for a local hero to unlock it. Also reported good sea bass and grouper action.

Kings are thick at ledges sw and ne of Frying Pan. Pick your day and come on down and go fishing as amazingly some of our best fishing of the year is right now in the dead of winter.


- Capt. Rube McMullan
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"It's a Bluefin weekend" | Carolina Contender | 12/16/04
 

Weather for Friday/Saturday/Sunday looks perfect. Light northwest winds. The perfect condition for all you fishermen to get away from the fireplace and get down here and try to find the Bluefin off our waters.

If you want to try here's the basic down and dirty.

Your heavy gulfstream gear will work. Penn 50's or Tiagra 50's. A blue/white or blue/pink Islander or large Seawitch with a horse ballyhoo is what it takes. Run 2 lines up top and one down on a large planner with rubber band connection. Look for Ganents diving. This is a large bird that dives very deep[10-15 feet deep]. He dives on balled bait. Bluefin ball the bait hence find the Ganents and you've found the Bluefin. They have been reported to have been seen in the SharkHole area. 65 feet of water seems to be magic depth but they will be whereever the bait is.

The specific gear set up we use are Tiagra 30 with a custom made rod we had made for us by Versetec[we like lighter equipment as we fight fish standup] spooked with approx 500 yards of 130lb dacron with a 100 foot top shot of 130lb mono.Our lures are rigged with 15 feet 200lb flourcarbon. Since we fight standup you will need a harness and belt. We put approx 30-40lbs of drag[all that you, not the fish, can stand]. When you get the fish on fight him King Mackerel style i.e. angler to front of boat and chase the fish down. He will run several hundred yards on strike.

That will get you into the game. Refinements can come with experience. Be careful as these are VERY large fish. Don't get wrapped in leader or line when bringing fish to boat. If you need any help come by OIFC. Give us a report.


- Capt. Rube McMullan
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"Back at the Bluefin" | Carolina Contender | 12/15/04
 

Winds laying out starting tomorrow and Capt's Brant/Barrett/Roger will be back at it working on the Giant Bluefin.Got word today of 3 Giants caught 20 miles off Murrells Inlet.Last week we had word of fish caught off Hilton Head. I'm telling you fishermen they are here off our waters! I'll offer $100 gift card to first boat to come to OIFC with a Bluefin caught in our waters. What we need is for bunch of boats to get out there and find the fish. The Murrells Inlet fish were caught in 65 feet of water. That's same depth we normally fish for them in Morehead. Most likely spots should be Shark Hole/ Dale Grissett/York Hole or wrecks that are close to Frying Pan Shoals. At Morehead they tend to hang close to Cape Lookout Shoals.

Weather looks good for next several days so come on guys; get down here and let's go to work.If you need help on getting set up come see us at OIFC.  


- Capt. Rube McMullan
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"Bluefin Report" | Show Time | 12/14/04
 

We've been grounded for the past couple of days waiting for the wind to settle down so we can get back after the Giant Bluefin.  To this point the commercial fishing season has been in full affect and the catches have been good.  However, the pressure on the fish is incredible and thus it makes it difficult to catch one, much less more than one fish in a day.  The commercial season will be ending on Dec 20 and that's when we'll really tear them up.  The recreational fishing season has been OK'd by the Marine Fisheries and you will be able to keep 1 fish per day less than 73 inches in length. 
If you're considering going, a great time to go would be between Dec 21 and Dec 31 as there will only be recreational fishing. 
Nonetheless, the bite is on and we'll be back after them on Thursday.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Bluefin regulation update" | Carolina Contender | 12/10/04
 

For all you prospective charter clients and recreational fishermen-- just to clue you in on this season's regulations. 
You may keep 1 Bluefin per day that is less than 73 inches long.  Albeit a large percentage of Bluefin are larger, if you catch a smaller Bluefin it is legal to take to eat.  Keep in mind the Bluefin must be tagged at a tagging station before it can be removed from the boat.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Giant Bluefin are Biting" | Show Time | 12/10/04
 

The season is here and the bite is on.  We took the ShowTime and Carolina Contender to Morehead City on Thursday and have caught Bluefin ranging from 250-350 pounds on every day.  The fish have been holding near the Knuckle Buoy at the end of the Cape Lookout Shoals- approx 15 miles from inlet.  The weather has been unseasonably warm and thus the Bluefin have still not fully migrated into the area so the fishing will certainly only get better.  We'll be running charters for Dec and Jan so if you're looking for a thrill and the opportunity to catch a very big fish- call me at (910) 575-3474 xt 3 -- stay tuned for more.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Bluefin report" | Carolina Contender | 12/09/04
 

Report from the Giant Bluefin Team is they're chewing. Capt's Brant/Barrett/Roger/Hook all reporting success. Yesterday Capt Hook caught one over 500lbs!

At Ocean Isle, Capt Rhett reports incredible hot Trout bite. Says fishermen from Sneads Ferry are coming in and fishing our area because bite so good. Capt Roger caught 35 at OIB bridge, largest 61/2lbs.

Capt Rhett says just got load of fresh live shrimp in. Come join in the great fishing.


- Capt. Rube McMullan
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"Bluefin Time!" | Carolina Contender | 12/08/04
 

A quick bluefin update.  Capt. Brant and I began the bluefin tuna season today with a bang.  Plenty of fish were to be had less than 10 miles out of Morehead City.  The bite started before day break and was steady until about 10:30am.  We'll be back at it tomorrow but Brant will be returning to Ocean Isle tomorrow evening and will provide a more detailed report.  Sorry no pics, forgot the camera.  These fish are true giants.  My arms and back are sore. 


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Ocean Isle Swordfishing!" | Carolina Contender | 12/06/04
 

Throughout our fishing careers we have prided ourselves on inovating new fishing techniques, tactics and even concepts.  Fishing trips have been re-labled as fishing adventures and our last trip was just that- a fishing adventure.  For years many of us have plowed the Gulf Stream waters trolling for tuna, dolphin, wahoo and the occasional billfish.  However before the Gulf Stream fishing really began in the mid 1990's off Ocean Isle the common consensus was you would fall off the edge of the earth if the 30 mile mark was passed.  Eventually we all got over that fear and began fishing the virgin Gulf Stream waters off of Ocean Isle.  The untapped Gulf Stream fishery opened up an entire new genre of fishing for Ocean Isle fishermen and the results were and continue to be impressive catches of glamour species.  Running 60 miles offshore to go fishing once seemed an impossibility, but now it is commonplace.  Just as the bar was raised in the mid 1990's, several years ago we began to question what was the next step?  What is out there past the typical Gulf Stream run?  I suppose it is the mysteriousness that drives the ambition or maybe it is just a case of the grass always being greener on the other side.  Whatever the explanation we started the research process of what might be found out in the deep deep water.  After the Florida swordfishing fired off dramatically in the past 5 years and knowing of the fishery for the swordfish off the New England coast we came to the belief that those fish have to be off of our coast.  This assumption and off-season boredom as a result of the delayed bluefiin tuna season led us to a fishing adventure/research mission to find out if in fact the legendary swordfish does in fact swim off our coast.  Armed with but a few tips from friends in Florida who have captured swordfish off their coast, we developed a game plan to head for at least 1,000 feet of water and begin looking for a temperature break to fish.  The catch was this fishing takes place at night adding an extreme element of difficulty to the whole situation.  With a mission of this magnitude Brant and I called in the number one A team and also the SKA's angler of the year Dean Spatholt and son Russel to join us.  A bit skeptical at first about the idea, Dean and Russel finally succombed to possibility of being the first ever to bring back a swordfish to Ocean Isle.  After analyzing the weather and sea surface temperature charts we decided to pack up the boat and head out Saturday evening in the direction of the 100/400 area and just keep going until we found the temperature break and deep water.  Being on the ocean at night is totally different animal than during the day light.  It was extremely easy to get turned around and the ocean conditions were difficult to determine because we couldn't really see the water with no light source, not even a moon.  We cleared the Shallotte inlet at 5:30 pm and after taking it easy and making a few stops we finally arrived to a 73 to 78 degree temperature change about 85-90 miles offshore in around 1200-1400 feet of water.  Unfortunately we found the weather man had missed the light and variable forecast as we encountered 15-20kt winds and 3ft seas all night, but we were not about to turn around.  At 10:30pm we deployed three squids at different depths complete with the whole light stick deal and hydro glow lighting system.  We began a drift, which was at a speed of about 3 kts, and sat back and waited.  Less than an hour into the drift a squid set at 100 feet was hit.  The fish made a couple swipes at the bait,b but did not hook up.  There is no telling what it might have been, but after what we caught later we believe it was a swordfish billing the bait.  No more action was encountered for the next couple hours and we began looking at each other like what the heck are we doing out here.  This feeling was soothed by Russel and his magic hibachi grill as he cooked up marinated steaks for each of us around 1am.  There was something weird about eating a steak on the open ocean underneath a star lit sky.  We continued drifting hoping for a bite as most of us had passed out now due to a full belly and it being the middle of the night.  Around 1:45am we opted to make a move inshore to a more concentrated area of the temperature break where it went from 74-76 degrees and try a drift.  We set back up and everyone went back to sleep as I stood watch with one eye open.  I remember leaning back on the cooler with a sleeping bag covering me half asleep when I had to re-focus my eyes as the rod closest to me with a squid at 100 feet bounced a couple times just as the first time we got a bite, but this time it was followed by the rod doubling and line peeling off the reel.  We all jumped up and I quickly got into position behind the rod.  There wasn't too much fight to the fish as I angled it closer on the heavy tackle.  After about 5-7 minutes the fish surfaced on the outside of the light surrounding the boat and we all looked at it puzzled to what it could be.  It looked as if it was hooked right in the side and was long like an eel or shark.  I brought it closer and to our amazement we had just caught the first swordfish that we know of out of Ocean Isle Beach.  The fish was prehistoric looking with its enormous bill.  It looked as if the fish was hooked in the side because the bill was just about as long as the fish's body which put the mouth halfway down on the whole fish.  Granted this was not Zane Grey's grander swordfish, but it was proof that these animals do swim off our coast.  The fish measured 42 inches from lower jaw to the fork in the tail.  We took several pictures for proof and sent her back on her way as we still were all in shock that the plan had actually worked.  We fished for the remainder of the night without another bite, but the trip was still a success as perhaps the ground work for a new genre of fishing off the Ocean Isle coast had been established.  Certainly there is limitless knowledge that can be attained in this type of fishing but we had to start somewhere.  Right now we don't know where, what time of year, what kind of presentation or even what type of bait works best but I'm sure the learning curve will be sharp.  At one time we were all a bit clueless on how to fish the Gulf Stream but we've come a long way.  The same may hold true for sword fishing, only time will tell.  If anyone wants to talk sword fishing or can share some experiences we'd love to hear them. 

Until the next great adventure keep winding.
 


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"trout time" | Stori Teller | 12/05/04
 

Went on a half day on friday with fairly good results.We did'nt get away from the dock until around 8:30.WE had intended to head offshore a couple of miles to try for some of the gray trout that have been around.Upon getting to the jetties at Little River a 20 knot north wind persuaded  us to float some live shrimp along the rocks.We did this for about a half hour with only getting one bite.Next we headed into a nearby creek where the specks had been biting pretty well for the lasst couple of weeks.They must have different plans because they sure wouldn't bite for us.Our next stop proved to be a little more lively when the first cork in the water disappeared under the water.Even these fish weren't too agressive.They would pull the cork down fairly slow and just kind of swim off with it and not really commit to eating the bait.We went through about 75 baits and boated 8 or 10 trout.


- Capt. Stan Gurganus
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"recap" | Stori Teller | 11/30/04
 

Sorry for the delayed report on the tournament but here it goes.Friday night the participants enjoyed a great barbeque dinner,with all of the trimmings, prior to the captains meeting.Saturday morning the fisherman were greeted by Jack Frost as he made his presence known with temperatures in the 30's.As the morning went on, the temps heated up as did the fishing.By 10 o'clock I had received reports of a good trout bite happening around some of the bridges and by 2 o'clock the first boat was in to weigh in.Captain Mark Stacy drew first blood with a 3.25 pound trout and a 1.45 pound flounder.As the day went on I continued to receive reports of the fish biting very well.This was made obvious at 3:30 when the weigh in line began to form. Well over half the field weighed fish.When it was all said and done Captain Ricky Kellum walked  away as the overall champion with an impressive 6.45 pound trout and a 2.05 flounder.Captain Grady Gordon of the Ocean Isle Fishing Center claimed the number two spot with a 4.25 trout and a 1.45 flounder and Mark Stacy's 3.25 trout and 1.45 flounder held up for third.The divisional winners were,in the flounder division first place went to Will King with a 2.40 pounder,second went to Jim Heine with a 2.00 and third went to Wyatt Pegram with a 1.90.On the trout side first went to Ricky Kellum 6.45,second Grady Gordon 4.25,and third Mark Stacy 3.25.The Bradley Graham award was won by Clay Morphis for the redfish with the most spots.I personally would like to thank the Ocean Isle Fishing Center ,Ranger Boats,Shallow Water boat Sales,and Sea Tow for helping put this event together and the fisherman for making it happen.I look forward to a bigger and better tournament next year 


- Capt. Stan Gurganus
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"Thanksgiving Flounder and Trout Classic" | Stori Teller | 11/30/04
 

31 boat entries-- click for here for results
http://www.oifishingcenter.com/tournament_results.cfm?tourneyid=4


- Capt. Stan Gurganus
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"Giant Bluefin Season is Here" | Show Time | 11/29/04
 

We're headed on our way to Morehead City, NC to once again tangle with the Giant Bluefin Tuna.  We'll be running charters for the months of Dec-Jan and invite you to join us for an incredible fishing adventure.  The Bluefin average 250-300 pounds and we catch all of our fish on stand-up gear.  If you are a fisherman and want to go for the glory, you've got to try it.  A day of fishing for Giant Bluefin makes a great Christmas gift-- $1050 for up to 4 people-- Call Capt. Brant at (910) 575-3474 xt 3 to book.  Visit http://www.oifishingcenter.com/seasonal_specials.cfm for more details.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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