Congratulations Barrett and Stephanie........Don't be mad at me, Stephanie said I could post it.....besides she's the best catch you'll ever have!!
- First Mate- Rickey Beck
Address: 65 Causeway Drive, Ocean Isle Beach, NC
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At closing time the 2008 OIFC Rodeo ends. Thanks to everyone who participated. Give me a couple of days to make sure my records are straight and we'll announce the winners and the payout.. Hopefully we'll be able to to it in 2009. Happy New Year and be safe.
I had planned to go bluefin fishing with Capt. Brant this morning, but the news we got from the buoy at 4 this morning was less than enticing. So I went back to sleep for a few hours and now am on my sixth cup of coffee, organizing tackle and dreaming of calm seas/hungry fish. Won't be long...
Jim Bowen from the "Stick Slinger" sent me these pictures the other day from his trip with his son to Rudee Inlet, VA. What a great winter fishery they have going up there. I know of several other OIFC regulars, including Derek McKee, Benny Hipp, and Woody Wooten that are big time striper anglers. What's more, Jodie at Blue Water Candy makes some of the best striper gear around, it's huge up there at the NOBX and Virginia Beach. There is a point to this--quite a few people have pointed out that there could be a viable striped bass fishery in the lower Cape Fear River if there was a fish ladder or weir at the dams. Capt. Jeff Williamson and I talked the other day about how they catch fish now with the dam in place, and how that is is a fishery that could easily skyrocket with a little work. Maybe we could push for that in the future. I'm sure it wouldn't hurt the feelings of our inshore guys, Capt. Jeff and Capt. Kyle Hughes. Food for thought for '09.
Also, Tim Garrett sent me this picture of the flounder he caught at the Caudle reef. He kept it in a pen and fed it steroids and large bluefish for a year and it turned into this.... No, actually that was a halibut his father-in-law caught in Alaska, where he is a commercial fisherman. Which brings me to the concept of the Traveling Fisherman trips. Due to economic issues, there won't be one this winter, but that doesn't mean there won't be one in the future. We can go abroad or go domestic. We just want to know where you want to go--send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. We can live bait sails in Palm Beach, fish for 300# yellowfins on a long range trip out of San Diego, or mooch for salmon in Ketcikan. North Drop in the Virgin Islands? Wahoos in Bermuda? Let the public speak...
2008 had its ups and downs, and not just in the economy. We miss you Scott and Don. Keep fighting Doug, you'll make it just fine. Here's wishing a Happy New Years to fishermen, fish, friends, and everyone else out there.
While the rest of the fleet was on a hot giant bluefin bite I opted for an offshore diving mission aboard the Dirty Martini with Jeff Martini, and crew Ace Parker and Eric. Before the diving, first on our agenda was wahoo. We left Little River just before daybreak and slugged it out to the 100/400. The weather man slightly miss timed his forecast. We fished in 4 to 5's most of the day before it finally laid out to nothing in the afternoon. It made for a tough ride out and difficult fishing conditions, but by the late afternoon we were running wide open on the way in. The fishing started off dismal with cool water, no bait and no surface activity. Around noon we found a temperature change and the birds started showing up. By 1:00 we had a 35lb wahoo, 15lb dolphin, and missed another wahoo. Once we found the break the bait showed up and so did the birds. For that hour we were busy but we all had diving on the mind so we left in the middle of the hot bite for our next mission. Eric, Jeff and I deployed once securely anchored and Ace was our on-board man. Clarity was great and we were greeted by a curious school of dolphins and amberjacks on our way down to the bottom. No matter how many times you make a dive it's always overwhelming once you get to the bottom and see first hand what you've been looking at on your depth finder your entire life. This time we saw a huge school of black bass traveling together like a school of tuna. I had no idea they moved around that much. Next we saw scattered grouper of vairous sizes, a few hog snapper and great big sea turtle cruising the ledge. The tom tates, grunts and ringtails were also prevalent but we had dinner on our mind instead of sight seeing so we started our hunt. The grouper and snapper weren't as thick as I've seen on other dives which made targeting them difficult but Eric did manage to shoot a couple. It may have been a blessing we didn't get distracted by the fish because it gave us an opportunity to look into the ledges where all we could see was tentacles sticking out. Jackpot! We worked quickly to coerse the lobsters out of their dens and into our bag. By the time we got the third lobster I looked over my shoulder and saw our signal it was time to go so politely provided by the two 8 ft sand tiger sharks that were investigating our catch. The fish hunting was not so good but the lobstering more than made the dive. It was starting to get late in the afternoon so we moved a short distance to drop down again but just before we reached bottom several more sand tigers were standing duty so decided not to tempt fate and returned to the boat and made our way home. The sharks look menacing under water but they seem to be more curious than anything and anytime you make an aggressive move towards them they are quick to leave you alone. The problem comes when more than one shark shows up and you have a stringer full of bloody fish. The dinner bell has been rung at that point and you're just "in the way" for the feast.
Under water, above water, it's all good right now. Grouper, Sea Bass, Snapper, Kings, Wahoo, Trout, and Bluefin Tuna; they're biting and we need some help down here. Not many folks are taking advantage of the great fishing and low gas prices we have right now. That means a few fishermen are having all the fun. Pick a good weather day, stop by the OIFC to gear up, and we'll give you our best opinion on what's going on where. All you'll have to do is reel!
Fished today with Brant. Bite came down southeast of knuckle as good as I think I have ever seen it here in our waters. 20 boats fishing, 10 fish caught, others lost. Thats an amazing statistic. All the fish were big, no shorts that I am aware of. One fish was over 100 inches. Congrats to all the fishermen who caught fish today. Lets go get em tomorrow.
For anyone who has ever dreamed of fighting one of these monsters, now is the time to get here. Come by the OIFC and we can fix you up with everthing you need, plus tell you exactly where the bite is at. Come on down!
.....as Randy Lingerfelt upgrades his lead by weighing in a 3.2 pound knot head this afternoon. With only a day to go and sea conditions worsening, Capt. Rickey will need a miracle to have any chance of taking back the crown. After losing employee of the month honors to Mack the golden retriever and getting stomped in his own rodeo, I'd hate to have to look Rickey in the eye lately.
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Robert Hughes and Brian Richard stopped by just before closing to weigh their black sea bass, which tipped the scales at 3.2 pounds and 3.0 pounds respectively. Not sure how the tiebreaker scenario works, we'll have to defer to Capt. Rickey on that one. Hope he's able to answer the question through what is certain to be a fog of despair after getting dropped to approximately 42nd place in the rodeo. I can't sugar coat this Rickey. You just need to catch bigger fish.
Ok, one fish is maybe luck (or not so much when you get three bites like Keith Logan did yesterday, but whatever...). My point is that there definitely are some fish here, as there have been multiple fish caught in the vicinity of the Knuckle Buoy today and some have already been put on the docks in Southport. Bryan Aycock just called me to report that two had already been sold up there and there are reported to be several more on the way in. At least two boats are said to have multiple fish on board. Bad day to be a giant tuna, I suppose. With cooling weather to come, this may be the time when it all comes together for an all-out bluefin blitz on our beaches. If you're not fishing right now, you need to tighten up and get down here!!!
I just got word from a reliable source that yesterday's hero, Keith Logan, again had multiple strikes/hookups and has an 86" fish in the boat. Congrats again to him--that's quite a run he's got going on.
After conferring with rodeo director, Capt. Rickey Beck, Randy Lingerfelt on the "Stitchwizard" is now in first place in the OIFC Rodeo's sea bass division. Randy weighed in a 2.2 pound blackfish yesterday to take over the lead. Two days to go, time to tighten up! I've heard rumors of a Dan Ratley/Jeff Beck trip tomorrow to set the record straight.
Okay, now we have the scoop on the first giant bluefin tuna of the season to be caught and killed on this side of the shoals. Keith Logan, on the "Stand N Down II" nailed this 84 inch fish earlier today. This giant was one of three that he hooked, so evidently a body of fish has shown up to some degree. As I am writing this, Donald Diehl of True World Foods is filling out the paperwork on this tuna. He is our buyer for all the fish brought to the dock here and we have been really pleased to have him on hand in the past to help our commercial fishermen who wish to sell their fish. My understanding is that the OIFC dock is the only place now to sell a bluefin in Brunswick County--Keith earlier took the fish to another fish house but was turned away. Whatever the case may be, we are here at the OIFC with all the tackle, bait, ice, and fuel you need to go after your own bluefin tuna, and we will gladly help you through the sale procedure as long as you have your permits in order. My hope is that this is just the tip of the iceberg for our bluefin fishery this winter. Congrats to Keith for getting it started!!!
Before I get started, everyone check out this video that Capt. Chris just posted:
Ahhhh, feels like summer again...
Winter is upon us whether the temperatures reflect it or not. This is a time when trout fishing really heats up in our neck of the woods. Most every inshore species has boogied off shore looking for warmer water. But as long as the water is 50 degrees or better the trout action is on.
One of the great things about trout fishing around the Fishing Center is you don't have to go far to do it. You can get action along the structures in the ICW from the Sunset Bridge to Sasspan creek, so long as you fish a moving tide. This means you won't freeze cutting thru the winter wind in search of a fishing hole. But you still need to bundle up. For hunters, since deer season ends, use your tried and proven cold weather hunting clothes....it's the same principle.
Trout love shrimp. It's their candy. Live shrimp is hard to come by, and will get only harder to find, and if you find someone selling it, you will pay a premo price. As they say, "shrimpn' ain't easy". and the price will reflect it The best alternative is artificial shrimp like the DOA and the Halo, which we stock. We also have OIFC Custom shrimp rigs for those who aren't sure how to rig for trout fishing. To make the action more fun, use light tackle.
If you've put your boat up, or for some other reason can't get on the water, the OIFC has two of the best in shore charter captains in our area, captain Kyle Hughes and captain Jeff Williamson. They've fished here for years and know the locations and techniques as well as anyone I know.
Don't think in shore fishing is the only action in town. Off shore, the bottom fishing, king fishing and Gulf Stream action is on. The signs indicating blue fin are in our area are strong also. There have been several sightings and some cactches reported off Brunswick County.
If fishing during the winter isn't your cup of tea, check out the Expo in Raleigh the latter part of January. Captain Roger, Captain Chris and Mrs. Juanita will be representing the OIFC. If you want to visit our area there is a show in Myrtle Beach. This time of year you are less than 30 minutes away
The beach is almost deserted and beautiful during the winter. We are open, as well as most of the local speciality shops and eating places. This time of year you can actually get in without waiting. Or if you like, venture to N. Myrtle. At any rate there is plenty of action at a slower pace. Don't sit home and wait for beach weather. Come visit. Stop by and see us, we can hook you up with the proper gear and information for fishing our area, as well as info on local shops and restaurants. This is one of the locals' favorite times of year.
Congratulations to Tim Garrett!!!! I've talked enough smack that I knew someone would step up and give me my come upp'ns! But, giving up first place to a 1.6 lb sea bass. Neither one of us have anything to brag about, no offense meant Tim, but we've all seen a sea bass that weighs more than Tim and mine added together. So now the challenge is to knock me off the board. You've still got a couple of days to try.
On another note captain Brant didn't score a blue fin on his trip yesterday. Blue fin fishing is either feast or famine. The crew reported that the area looked positive with birds and bottle nose dolphin however. It'ill happen sooner rather later. I didn't get any reports of any other action today.
Check out these pictures. I took them this morning as I was crossing the OIB bridge. One is of the OIFC. Talk about foggy. But it burned off quickly as the temperature rose to a balmy 74 degrees and the sun came out. Captain Chris is right about the global warming. I'll take it any day over global cooling!
Tim and Tracy Garrett stopped by this morning with their three kids, ready to head out on their Grady White, the "Bloodline." Tim entered the sea bass division of the OIFC rodeo, and bought one jig, a Shimano Lucanus. I couldn't help but think that it was kind of arrogant (only one species and only one jig, you know...) but kept my mouth shut. Well, Tim just showed back up with a 1.6 pound sea bass, knocking Capt. Rickey Beck squarely into second place. That should set up a last minute scramble, with only three days left to fish for one of the best eating species to be caught in local waters. The Garretts also caught two keeper grouper in about 70 feet of water, quite the feat for late December. Of course, it is in the mid 70s outside and everyone is wearing shorts.... Capt. Rickey can scoff all he wants, global warming is real (and I love it!) and he's no longer the leader in the sea bass division!
It's foggy here in Paradise. But the temperature is warm enough to wear a light jacket and there is just a slight breeze out of the north. The official OIFC wind guage says 6 mph. Not bad for December 27th. Maybe there's something to this global warming thing. Perhaps I should quit mocking it. Just a thought for the day. The global warming crowd blames the rise of the sea level on the melting ice caps. If that's true, doesn't water expand when it's frozen? So if melting polar ice has any effect, shouldn't the sea level be dropping? Too much time on my hands.
On to important things, Brant is out blue fin hunting. He took the OIFC lucky charm little leprechaun so maybe he'll have good luck. The boat ramp parking lot is filling up so maybe we'll have some inshore reports. Reminder...the Captain Club's sale lasts until the 31st., and you have until the 31st. to knock the 1.5 lb. OIFC Rodeo 1st place in the sea bass class off the board. I'm throwing down the challenge!
Just sitting alone enjoying the peace and quiet after a busy and fun Christmas day with family and friends. So I thought I'd review the Fishing Reports from earlier this year in order to be able to answer charter booking questions. During the winter months the South Brunswick area was afire with fishing action. In shore we were heavy into the trout and red drums using Gulp and DOA's. The shrimp were still around as they are now. The inshore bite was hot from St. James to the Little River Swing Bridge.
Off shore, the King bite was strong around the Tower. the grouper and snapper were happening in 80 to 100 ft. and the gulf was hot with wahoo, the tuna bite was on also. So far this winter seems to he exhibiting the same patterns.
The OIFC has been exposed to a whole new world with spearfishing taking hold of Amy and Barrett with the help of the people of Coastal Scuba in North Myrtle Beach. Jeff Martini, proprietor of Martini's Restaurant in N. Myrtle, who happens to be one of our good friends and loyal customers also is an avid spear fisherman and joins in on the excitement. Even my Camdyn is getting into the action! What they see and report in the habitat and actions of our favorite table fish is incredible and enlightening when it comes to sport fishing.
We are all aware of the tightening economy around the country, but with fuel prices dropping we should now be able to afford to go fishing. Review the past fishing reports and lets go fishin'!
I just want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that fished with me on the It Works this year. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of every trip and look forward to next season. As we all prepare for Christmas, let us remember the true meaning it represents and take this time to be with our families and friends. I wish everyone a safe and memorable holiday season. Merry Christmas. Capt. Chris Dew
Wow, it's hard to believe Christmas is Thursday. The weather here is in the 60"s and 70's (I thought I'd rub it in to those living where the winter storms are, that pesky global warming). The weather reports and live report from the Tower tells us that we'll have to stand by awhile before we try our hand at those monster wahoos, grouper. snapper. and kings that are being caught in our area. But it allows us to spend time at those family functions without feeling we should be on the water.
Congratulations to those who've landed some big blue fins, Brian Aycock, who must have a horseshoe in his pocket, and Captains David Hook and Ryan Strickland for landing a blue fin this week that cored out at about 500 lbs.
Booking a charter for blue fin fishing, or any other fishing is a great last minute Christmas shopping idea. Fuel prices are low, the OIFC has some great deals so now is the time to book. Remember that our Captains' Club points sale goes on 'til December 31st. You don't have to come here to buy, though we'd love to see you. You can make your purchases by phone (this way you can hear Mrs. Juanita's sweet voice) or online.
The Rodeo goes on until December 31st. It's going to be a sad day if I win with a 1.5 ib. sea bass! Though I haven't talked with Brant, it's my hope we can have it again next year. We may make some changes to make it better and hopefully make it grow. If you have any suggestions please send them to me at the OIFC or call me there. After all it's your tournament. Sorry Chris, (emails go through him).
The Raleigh Boat show is going to be the latter part of January. It will help folks who don't get to enjoy fishing year round get their juices flowing. The OIFC will be there with info and products. You'll also get to meet our staff of celebrities such as Captain Roger, Captain Chris and Mrs. Juanita. (hope that embarrasses them). Which reminds me, check out You Tube for some video of Brant and other OIFC celebs. fishing. Chris should win an Oscar as best producer. Please don't send nominations to the OIFC. I got in trouble when I was running for admiral. I'll be holding down the fort here at the OIFC during the Raleigh Show, and I think Captain Brant will be suffering while fishing a tournament in the Keys. It's tough being him.
In case we don't get to see you before Christmas, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and be safe.
I first heard about this monster this morning when David McKethen out of Holden Beach stopped by the OIFC to tell me about the nice wahoo he lost at boatside yesterday. He said his fish weighed about 80-85 pounds but that Patrick Bryant, on the "Twister" had killed one that went over 100 pounds. Drew Shytle called me a litte bit later to let me know that the fish was 102 pounds. Several others have said that the fish came on a king mackerel rod while Patrick was grouper fishing and light-lining at the same time. All I can say is "wow!" Now that's a fish! With very inconsistent yellowfin tuna in our area over the past few years, wahoo (and BIG wahoo) have certainly filled the void and then some. Plus they're here about year round as well. They just might be the perfect gamefish. Congrats to Patrick on an awesome catch.