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Capt. Brant's Fishing Report

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"no skunk!!" | Stori Teller-24' | 12/31/07
 

After my last glowing report, Jeff and I decided to take the "Tale Chaser" out for a piece of the action. We knew we were in trouble when every fisherman at the boat ramp said they hoped we had better luck than they did. Jeff and Brian haven't pulled for any live shrimp lately, and it appeared that someone or something had raided Jeff's bait pen, so we used mullett minows, mud minnows and Gulp. We hit every productive place we could think of and came up with only one Red. He was undersized, but he did save us from being skunked!! Hopefully our luck will turn around in early '08. Happy new year!!
- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"Good News" | Stori Teller-24' | 12/30/07
 

Good news for the inshore anglers. Today started of with a phone call asking the legal size of red fish. Turns out that a Mr. Beckham, (sorry, I forgot your first name..age does that) landed at least one red in the Intracoastal Waterway. He said he was using Berkley Gulp. Later another customer reported slaying the Trout at Tar landing in the Shallotte River. He said he had some weighing 4 pounds and limited out, again using Gulp. Finally, Captain Roger reported Trout being limited out around the Tar Landing area by an angler using mud minnows. Good news for after Christmas. Reports from offshore anglers are that Wahoo, sailfish, grouper and even flounder are being landed. I had one unconfirmed report of a bluefin hookup. Stay tuned to see if we hear any further. On a year end note, I'm nearing completion of my first year with the OIFC family. Thanks to all the customers who put up with me during my learning curve. Thanks also goes out to those who have provided information for the fishing report. Folks from all over the U.S. tell me that they check the report daily and really enjoy reading it. Our Captains Club sale seems to have been a great success. Be sure to shop with us during '08 so you can take advantage of this great sale. The OIFC sends out a form to all those who are in the Captains Club and purchase fuel from us, that allows you to take the road tax off your income tax....yet another benifit. If you aren't a member, let us know, it doesn't cost you a thing. The OIFC has some exciting things planned for '08, including our online store, schools and tournaments. Come join us in '08. Happy New Year!!!!!!!
- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"Back in business" | World Cat- 33' | 12/27/07
 

You gotta love it when a plan comes together.  Last night, the crew of the Fish-A-Holic spent several hours rigging up, trailering their 27 Contender up from Murrell's Inlet, and generally getting psyched up to do battle with a big bluefin.  They said they were going to get one this morning, so it was no suprise to me when Larry Eisenberger, Matt Eisenberger, and Matt Venuto showed up around 12:30 today asking me to come down and tag their fish.  The tuna went 69 inches, and as I'm writing this they're down there getting it ready to go on the grill for a New Years Party. A Blue Water Candy JAG 3 Head (Pink Tips) and ballyhoo was the undoing of this fish.  Congratulations to them on their hard work--it certainly paid off in the form of some sore muscles, smiles, and a fridge full of tuna.  I spoke with Capt. Kyle Hughes earlier, and he confirmed that there were other tunas biting as well.  He and his father were fishing Robbie Robert's Contender "King Hunter" and were hooked up when someone got a little too close and cut them off.  Worst possible scenario there, but I'm confident they'll get another bite.  Capt. Roger is on the It Works, and Capt. Brant is on the World Cat, so chances are good we'll see some more blood on the docks by the end of the day.  In other news, Dr. Kendall Suh went offshore to the Blackjack Hole and ended up with a 68.3 pound wahoo and a double-header of sails.  Did I mention he was solo!!!  And that it's December!!!  Not too shabby for Christmas vacation.


- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"Merry Christmas!" | World Cat- 33' | 12/25/07
 

Hope everyone has a merry and relaxing Christmas. We'll be closed today but will be there at 9:00 tomorrow. The bluefins will probably take today off as well but should get back to snapping within the next 48 hours or so. We'll see everyone soon.
- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"Today's Report" | World Cat- 33' | 12/21/07
 

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all you fishermen and women out there. And since this is the season of giving, I?d thought I?d offer up a great fishing report. Inshore the Speckled Trout fishing is picking back up again as the water and weather have gotten back together and began to cool back down. All the hot weather we had last week threw the Trout for a loop, but the cold weather has got them snappin?. Of course, my area of expertise is the deep-sea and for me, that?s where the reel appeal is. The Giant Bluefin Tuna have made several showings to our area, however, as is their nature, they are unpredictable. You just never know when the best day and best bite will be. The only thing you can do is give it a try. Here at the Ocean Isle Fishing Center we?ve weighed in five Bluefin up to 300 pounds so far this year. We haven?t seen any real monsters yet, but they have started catching some upwards of 600 pounds out of Morehead City this week, and this year is similar to last, that means those fish will be in our waters very soon. The hottest area has been in the vicinity of the Frying Pan shoals, particularly between the Knuckle buoy and the Horseshoe bottom. One thing that is consistent with Bluefin Tuna is that the colder the weather, the better the fishing. So bundle up and get out there. One tip I can suggest to help you endure Bluefin Tuna fishing is to have an alternative plan. The facts are that fishing for Giant Bluefin is much like sitting in a deer stand and committing to only shooting a buck of at least 8 points. If you?re a hunter, think how much time it takes to see that one right deer and how much time is spent in total boredom. Unfortunately when you fish for Bluefin, there just aren?t any other species to ?coincidentally? bite and keep you occupied while you wait for the big one. It is boring fishing and that is just the cold hard fact. However, when you get the bite, it will turn into the most exciting fishing adventure of a lifetime and that is what keeps me and all those who have caught Giant Bluefin Tuna before coming back for more. Typically the Bluefin bite in the morning between 7 and 11am. You can get a good idea as to how the day will go by 9am. If there have been bites and you are seeing bait, chances are it is worth sticking out and waiting for your turn. If no one has had a bite and particularly if you are not seeing signs of bait, then chances are you may be barking up an empty tree. As such, this past Thursday I decided to change my approach at Bluefin fishing. I had been 100% hero or zero fishing Bluefin all week, and unfortunately despite others hooking up, I had not gotten the big bite. I loaded up my Bluefin gear but also loaded on my Gulf Stream trolling rods and some extra bait. The plan was to fish until 10 or 11am and then decide whether to stick it out for Bluefin or retreat another 25 miles offshore the Gulf Stream to troll for Wahoo. It happened on Thursday that the Bluefin decided they?d take the day off and by 10am no one had any bites and there was no indication it was going to change. I had my fishing friend Ricky Danford on board and we reeled?em in and headed only another hour offshore before we were trolling the 100/400 area. It is a fact that the Winter is the best time catch big Wahoo off our coast, and if you can hit it right, you can see lots of action from them as well. We put in and trolled about 30 minutes before our first bite. A couple of Blackfin tuna pulled on our two short baits and missed the hooks. We trolled another hundred hards and the long rigger went down and reel smoked off several hundred yards of line. Ricky began doing battle and about 10 minutes into the fight the other long rigger that I left out went down and screamed. This second fish was no doubt huge as it just wouldn?t stop. Meanwhile, Ricky?s fish was closer and we worked to keep the second fish hooked and boat Ricky?s as well. The second fish made another huge surge and in the midst of its third big run the hook simply pulled- darnit. We refocused on Rickys fished and boated his Wahoo which went 56 pounds, not too shabby, but of course, the big one got away. We reset and hadn?t gone another ¼ mile when the short line was hit and missed and then the short rigger behind it was nailed and the reel screamed again. This time the line again went limp, but all we got back was a frayed up, broken line. This happens occasionally when you are fishing around a lot of Wahoo as undoubtedly another Wahoo struck the lure as the hooked Wahoo swam away with it trailing behind him. We reset again and it was all over. We trolled another two hours and never had another bite. The Wahoo bite right at the turn of the tide and it was as hot as it gets from fish that were definitely oversized. However, as is often the case in fishing, it was feast and then famine. None the less, we boated one good Wahoo and hot shots at others, which made for a nice afternoon. And so the moral of the story is that it is well worth while to give Bluefin Tuna fishing a shot, but in doing so, you are putting yourself close to other action. Whether it is Wahoo on the break, jumbo Sea Bass holding in 80-90 feet of water, Grouper and Snapper in 100-150 feet of water or Kings around the Frying Pan Tower, there is lots of fishing action available offshore. I hope you all have a happy holiday and great New Year. Stay tuned for more. I fully expect the Bluefin fishing to improve over the next couple of weeks.
- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Wahoos, too..." | World Cat- 33' | 12/20/07
 

Brant and Ricky Danford gave the tunas another shot this morning, but for whatever reason, they didn't cooperate at the Horseshoe. Soooo, they headed off to the 100/400 to make a reel scream. And they certainly did that, getting six wahoo bites on the changing tide. Only one of those fish made it into the box, but the fish weighed almost 56 pounds! Brant said they had one on that would have eaten it as well. Would have been nice to grab that one as well, but that's how it goes. If you're coming down for Christmas, it looks like the weather will be decent the day after to head out to the break.
- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"Why re-tell a good story...here's the original" | World Cat- 33' | 12/19/07
 

Capt Ed is a graduate of Capt. Brant's fishing school and sent this to me today. It's tough to edit perfection... Citation Cobia aboard the LieAbility December 18, 2007 started out cold and windy with most boats staying on the hill. Captain Ed Shaw was thinking I'm 63 years old and may not have many fishing opportunities left; maybe I better give it a try today. After waiting on the sun to come up and warm the air a little; I took the 24 McKee "LieAbility" out for some bottom fishing about 0900. Around 1200 the wind had stopped and it was like a beautiful spring day. Fishing about 30 miles out in 106 feet of water, the Grouper were cooperating and with four in the ice box, I was thinking about calling it a day around 1400. Then the rod bent double, the drag started slipping and I thought the mother of all groupers was on the other end. All I could think about was, just how good did I retie (used Ng knot) that hook after the shark bit it off? After about 30 minutes of backbreaking cranking the big head of a Cobia came into view, and then disappeared just as quick. By now I was thinking that I really wished I had someone on the boat with me to lend a hand. The fish would get close enough to almost gaff and then he was gone again. Everyone who has ever tried to gaff a fish while holding a rod in the other hand knows it is easier said than done. We almost wore out the deck plate with me walking from one side of the boat to the other trying to keep up with his antics. Finally I sank the gaff into the Cobia and managed to pull him aboard after about 45 minutes. I am not sure who was the tiredest, but neither one of us was in any shape to brag about. We both just lay there for a few minutes looking at each other; two old timers thinking neither one of us won or lost the battle this day; it was just his time. The Island Tackle store weighted him at 54 pounds with a length of 52" and a girth of 24"; a citation Cobia! The Cobia was caught while drifting a whole frozen Boston Mackerel on a Mustad 13/0 Circle hook and tied on with a 130# leader. Equipment was a Daiwa Sealine HSD reel spooled with 80# mono on a Star Aerial 6', 20-50# rod, a Capt Brant grouper setup. A good day Best Wishes, Capt. Ed.
- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"Bluefin Update" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 12/19/07
 

Lots of bluefin fishing going on yesterday and today and not a lot of time for reporting.  Yesterday was the first fishable day due to weather and the fish were ready for us.  I was aboard the OIFC World Cat and headed out Shallotte inlet around daybreak.  A spread of pristine Baitmasters Jumbo ballyhoo were deployed about 6:30am near the slu at Frying Pan shoals.  Man it was cold.  The water was dirty and the seas were 3 to 4 feet.  About 30 minutes after getting lines in, Wally on the Fishwhistle from Southport hooks up around the horseshoe about 10 miles from where we are.  We scurry around the back deck clearing lines and head for the bite.  We are the second boat to the area where Wally is still doing battle when we arrive 20 minutes later.  First bait out is the long line on top.  Second bait out is the deep planer bait.  Next bait....ooops there he is- GOT HIM ON!!!  The planer bait with a crystal and pink head Jag lure from bluewater candy (http://www.oifishingcenter.com/fishingstore/product-details.cfm?ItemID=108&id=21) is destroyed and it's time to go to work.  We work efficiently clearing lines and angling the fish.  Within 10 minutes the estimated 75" 250lb fish is boatside.  I grab the leader and uh oh "I think he just figured out what is going on".  The relatively calm fish to this point goes insane.  He dives hard, then surfaces, then zig zags.  The handled the situation with expertise and proceeded to spit the hook-"DANG!" That's ok we're near the fish and only 2 other boats arrive.  Lines back in the water.  This time I get all three out and just take over the helm when WHAM!  There goes the top line, an all crystal Jag head from Bluewater Candy, screaming in high gear at 30lbs of drag.  We run circles first, then gain composure and begin clearing lines.  Too late, the fish pulls off-"not again!"  Down but not out we continue on our mission.  By this time Patrick Bryant on the Twister is right next to us and has missed two fish and is hooked up to number 3.  We fish the rest of the morning and believe it or not we get 2 more chances.  This time we succeed but of course wouldn't you know it both fish were small.  Too small to keep.  So we intentionally released 2 undersized bluefins and unintentionally released 2 giants.  My best guess is 10-12 boats fishing and around 15 bites.  There were more undersized fish than normal but at least there was action.  Wally and Patrick both got their fish and were in the mid 70 inch range.  We fished in 59 to 62 degree water with moderate bait marks.  We had two bites on the crystal with pink head Jag and two bites on the all crystal Jag both from Bluewater Candy.  Also I believe having the absolute largest and highest quality bait possible is a huge key to getting bites.  We are carrying the best bait I've seen in years right now in Baitmaster's here at the OIFC and we can ship to you an order 910-575-FISH. Conditions are improving but I wouldn't call it stellar yet.  Definitely though there are fish to be caught.

Today I didn't make it out but I believe the bite was similar but more boats had to share them.  I know of at least 3 fish taken and I've heard of many more shorts released.  I also understand the bite in Morehead was very good today, which means we should continue to see more tuna in our waters every day.  The weather is perfect so come on down and get in on this unique fishery.  If you need supplies or direction we have both here at the OIFC.


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Bluefin bite continues" | World Cat- 33' | 12/19/07
 

The bluefin bite continued today.  Wade Long out of Little River got this 77 incher on the Longshot, with a crew of Billy Long and Scott McClary.  They also released a short fish.  It looks as if last weekend's cold front pushed these fish right into out backyard.  With the weather having stabilized, it looks as if they'll hang around for some time.  Come on down, now is the time!!! 


- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"Bluefin biteis on!" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 12/18/07
 

Just as I forecasted the Bluefin bite turned on today in our waters. Don't have the details yet but there were several fish caught. Standby.
- OIFC Staff- Don Coley
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"Bluefin Tuna bite scheduled this week" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 12/16/07
 

We're all getting impatient in our southern NC waters, waiting for the Bluefin bite to kick into high gear. A study of the dynamics reveals interesting facts and points to a big change. Here's what [I think] is happening:

The fish have stayed up in the Morehead waters due to the abundance of menhaden up there. The menhaden are staying there because the water is so warm. I have heard the pogies are thick in the rivers up north. The tuna caught up there are fat with pogies. Down here, the few fish that have been caught are eating needle fish and crabs, definitely not their favorite menu item. So....with the cold air blast we're getting today, the water will cool, thus pushing the pogies out the rivers and then south toward us. The weather will be a factor in causing this along with the normal southwest migration of the pogies this time of year.

The front is blasting through, and will lay out late Monday with perfect conditions beginning Tuesday. Thus, all the science and clouded crystal balling points to the fish showing up along Frying Pan Shoals and other area hotspots later this week. Once the bite starts, it should continue later this year due to everything running a couple weeks late  thus giving us good action on into February. Come on down and help us catchem! Our boats will be on the water starting Tuesday, so stand by for reports.


- Rube McMullan
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"They're Baaack!" | Stori Teller-24' | 12/14/07
 

The inshore fish are back! Jeff and Capt. Chris took Jeff's Scout 240 Bayboat out this morning and caught/released 11 red drum, several large black drum, one trout, and an assortment of other inshore fish. They reported that at times they had double hook ups. Some of their good fortune was around the docks near the Sunset Bridge. Brian Aycock ventured out on his own and landed several trout. Brian said the water temprature in most areas was in the mid to low 60's. He located a spot where the water was @59 and started getting one bite after another. All the guys were using live shrimp, which are as hard to come by as....well, live shrimp. Thanks to all who have told me they appreciate the inshore reports. I'll keep the comming.
- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"Trout Vacation" | Stori Teller-24' | 12/12/07
 

The weather turned beautiful so the trout decided to take a couple of days off. Things slowed down here, probably due to the warmer than usual weather. Bryan and Jeff went out yesterday and for the first time in a while got skunked. I knew it was slow when Austin Aycock and Tripp Hooks reported a slow day. Jeff, a good friend and offshore angler, Dan Ratley and I went out today and managed to land a few sheephead using live shrimp. We encountered a few folks with nice sized red drum however. One of them was a young lady, Nicky Kelly, who was fishing with her uncle and dad. They were successful using live mullet. The weather is supposed to cool down, so maybe the trout will get back to work and give us more action to report. Finally, Captain Chris was stocking the OIFC with a lot of trout tackle today and at the time of this report the Fishing Center had live shrimp in stock.
- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"And in the meantime..." | World Cat- 33' | 12/12/07
 

It's hard not to enjoy 80 degree weather in December in North Carolina. Unless, of course, you are the 52 pound wahoo that Jeff Martini and Ace Parker nailed this Sunday on the "Dirty Martini." Toss in some gargantuan trout, tons of king macs at the Frying Pan Tower and a bluefin tuna or two... What month is it again? I'm confused...
- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"The weather is here; wish you were beautiful" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 12/09/07
 

For all you folks back inland; you need to reconsider your geographic location. It is absolutely magnificant here at the beach. Flat calm, temp in low 70's. The weather's perfect, the oysters are salty, the fish are biting from inshore to the gulf stream; pal, it don't get no better than this.

The truth is the weather may be a little too nice as the hot trout bite seemed to cool off a little last couple of days, but good action still available on live shrimp or gulps. Gulf stream saw a few wahoo, but action was scatterred and not as good as recent[Black Dog had one close to 50 today, and another boat had one in mid 60's]. The sea bass bite is hot with the large winter bass we look forward to now showing up. The big news is the beginning of the giant bluefin tuna season which got kicked off yesterday with a good 80 incher caught by John Dosher. He caught his fish at the Fairway buoy along Frying Pan Shoals[right beside me and Brant]. Also congrats to Capt Hook who caught a 86 incher at Morehead yesterday. Today a short was caught also at the Fairway.

With stable weather all week, should be a great week of beach and fishing. Come on down!


- Rube McMullan
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"Trout Action Continues" | Stori Teller-24' | 12/08/07
 

I received an email from Brian Aycock saying the Trout action was still hot today. He sent along these pictures. Brian reported he caught a 5.8#, 4.8# and a 3.9#'er. Also as of today, the OIFC has live shrimp. Congratulations to Bryan. Also, no need to try to figure out where he landed these monsters by looking at the pictures. He's been known to change locations before taking them. I'm hep to his tricks!!
- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"First bluefin killed today" | World Cat- 33' | 12/08/07
 

Ok folks.  It's officially happening.  After a week of bad weather and some close calls, the first local bluefin of 2007-2008 was brought to the dock at the Ocean Isle Fishing Center late this morning.  The crew of the Little John drew first blood of the year with their 80 inch fish.  Capt. John Dosher would like to thank his crew of Mike Linkous and Brian Rowley (the angler who caught his first ever bluefin, standing up with a 50W reel) for an excellent job on a tough fish, that first tried to run under Capt. Brant and Rube on the It Works and then tried to run into the props.  They all had their game faces on and managed to get a gaff in the fish.  They are also the proud recipients of a $500 gift certificate to the Ocean Isle Fishing Center for being the first of the year.  Congratulations to them--surely there will be more to follow.  Come on down and get after 'em folks!!!  Sure enough, they're here!!!


- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"NOW OPEN!!" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 12/07/07
 

The official OIFC Webstore is NOW OPEN click the following link http://www.oifishingcenter.com/fishingstore/.  We invite everyone to take a tour around the newly built site and ask you to bare with us as we are continually tweaking and adding products. Thank you.


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Opening On Panama Trip" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 12/06/07
 

The Traveling Fisherman trip to Panama is fastly approaching.  We have 2 slots remaining for this adventure so act quick if you'd like to join us for a fishing excursion of a lifetime.  Could be a great Christmas present for a lucky fisherman!  Email captbarrett@oifishingcenter.com for more information. 


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Bluefin Update!" | World Cat- 33' | 12/05/07
 

OK- final word for today- confirmed 16 on the dock with possibily of a few more. At least 30 fish hooked up this AM, but some were short and some broke off. The scene was described as chaotic as bite went off and boats all hooked up at same time. Not sure of exact location. Sounds like fun. I'm going to wait for them down here-- this weekend looks great.
- Capt. Brant McMullan
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