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"PEI Wrap Up" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/18/11
 

After a much needed night of some of the best sleep I've had in a while at the Points East Beach Motel at North Lake, we were poised for another day of giant tuna action.  The motel is very nice considering the rural location.  It's located right on the beach and the wind and ocean sounds drown at the snooring of certain roommates!  j/k :). 

On this our second and final morning of fishing, we were greeted by much different conditions than the day before.  We had a steady 25knot southwest wind blowing.  Fortunately we were fishing in the lee of the island so the wave conditions were still 1 to 2 feet.  The fish were a little more difficult to locate today as apparently the wind had scattered the fish out.  After moving around a couple times over 30 minutes, we finally got a good mark on the bottom machine.  Sure enough, there he is!  It's a simple fishing strategy.  A giant tuna mark is unmistakeable and once he is under you, he's going to eat.  This time Chris Blackwell was up and he had vowed vengence today as he was committed to beating a giant into submission on stand up.  He did exactly what he set out to do.  He stayed patient and after 2 hours and 30 minutes the 750+lb giant tuna was beaten and up next to the boat.  My hat's off to Chris.  It took patience, persistence and most surely pain to achieve that goal. 

We went back in for lunch at the Sandstone restaurant after Chris's battle where from our oceanfront table we could watch the other fishing boats jockey around looking for a bite.  That afternoon we returned to the fishing grounds and the bite was dead.  Nobody was hooked up and we couldn't find a mark.  This was the only time during the trip we actually had to fish for a bite.  We drifted live baits for 4 hours with nothing.  Then just before quitting time we get a call from another boat about 3/4 of a mile offshore letting us know he found them.  Apparently the fish were still around but had moved just a little offshore.  Now instead of catching giant bluefins 1 mile from port, we had to make the long run to 2 miles from port.  When we got out there it was like clockwork.  The tunas were thick again.  We played with several fish, hooking and breaking them off until just before dark.  What a great way to end things. 

In closing, Prince Edward Island giant bluefin tuna fishing did not disappoint.  The fish are huge and plentiful.  It's one of the more unique destinations I've visited and somewhere I hope to see again.  As I said in the beginning, witnessing first hand tuna over 1000lbs eat virtually out of your hand is something every fisherman needs to experience.  The travel, food, accommodations, crews, weather and fishing were all top notch.  It was a great trip.

I feel fairly confident we'll try to do a return trip to PEI next year.  So when the word goes out announcing our trip next year, act quick to make sure you get a spot.  


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"PEI Report Continued" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/17/11
 

Back to the story...
Chris Blackwell from Ft Pierce, FL is now hooked up to a freight train after soaking a bait for approximately 10 seconds.  We all decided we'd give the stand up angling a shot but are prepared to have our feelings hurt.  Chris is on a 50 Wide Tiagra on a 130lb class Crowder rod with 130lb Diamond line and 130lb Spectra line.  The fish did exactly what bluefin do.  It ran off about 400+ yards at 40lbs of drag like it didn't even know it was hooked.  Then it was a series of darting moves, followed by a big circle around the boat on the surface and lastly the up and down death spiral tactic.  After more than an hour we got a glimpse of the giant tuna estimated at 700+lbs.  By this time Chris has about 60lbs of drag applied.  For those who haven't felt 60lbs of drag, it takes two hands to pull it off a reel.  It's enough to send a 200+lb man over the side if he is off balance in the least.  Having caught a glimpse of the fish we make the call to hammer down on the drag and the fish eventually breaks off.  It was  a heck of a battle, the fish lives to fight another day and the angler has had enough. 

Next up on board with Capt Darren, Spencer and Greg was Chris's brother, Mark Blackwell.  Mark had fished with Chris in Morehead City for Bluefin for several years and a total of 14 days without ever seeing a fish or even having a bite.  Today was to be the day the jinx was broken.  After gathering our senses from the last battle we see a couple boats just a few fee apart about a quarter mile from us.  Capt. Greg informs us it's up to us when we want to hook up again because the fish are ready to go.  We go over to the two boats backed up to eachother and what I see next I'll never forget.  These boats were just sight seeing and had chummed the giant tunas up between the two boats so they were right on the surface feeding.  We pulled in and just watched.  I've seen our pictures, and videos and I already know they don't do justice to what I witnessed.  To say these fish are big or giants or any other adjective to describe their size just doesn't seem like it's telling the story of the size of these fish.  I stood there in amazement as tuna the size of elephants swam just feet away from our boat feeding on the chunked chum.  I don't know exactly how big they were but I know these fish were well over 1000lbs.  They were so big, it made you realize there was simply no way the tackle we had would have any affect on these animals.  This was probably the most memorable and exhillarating moment of the trip for me. 

I was satisfied just watching them feed but we were there to do to do battle so after we had gotten plenty of pictures and videos Mark stepped behind a rod equipped with his stand up harness.  A hook was put in one of the dead herring we were chumming with and no sooner did it hit the water than a giant tuna immediately engulfed it.  Fortunately it wasn't one of the granders we were seeing but merely an 800lber.  It was the same story with this fish.  An epic battle ensued with an unbelievable amount of drag pressure being applied.  This one however broke off before we got a good view of it.  By this time two of the four us were exhausted and I frankly wasn't too excited about the prospect of getting my butt whooped.  It was about mid day so we made the short steam back into port and grabbed lunch.  I'm not used to such civilized fishing.  Leave the dock whenever, barely make it out of port, catch the biggest baddest fish in the ocean within minutes, come back in for lunch and if you feel like it, go do it again! 

The afternoon shift was up so we headed back out and it was much the same as the morning.  It did take a few more minutes to locate the fish but when we found them it was on.  This time John Langel of Ft Pierce, FL and Chris's and Mark's father  in law was up.  We fed this fish a live bait and it acted a little different.  He fought hard, don't get me wrong, but John had him beat in less than hour or so we thought.  The fish came up and gave us a good view of his 700lb frame and we thought he was done but then he figured out what was going on an proceeded to empty the spool again.  This fish also eventually broke off.

It was getting late in the day and I was semi hopeful maybe we'd run out of time for me to sacrifice myself and hook up to one of the beasts.  This was not the case.  This time another boat had chummed up the fish again to the surface so we pulled in beside them to see another massive feeding.  These were the big ones again.  I reluctantly strapped on the stand up harness and adjusted the drag on the 50 Wide.  We tossed a bait in the water and just a couple feet away an animal that I swear was 20 ft long and 6 ft across the back rolled and ate my live mackerel.  Oh boy, here we go!  An hour and a half later, I had all but given out as I'd been fighting this fish with 60+lbs of drag the entire time.  Capts Darren and Spencer began helping me shovel the line on the reel at this point since we were straight up and down and the fish was less than 60 ft away.  I was so exhausted I had no pride left and didn't really care about the result.  It was time to stop him or pop him  We never got a look at this critter as he finally parted the line but I guarantee I've never pulled on a fish like that before. 

Day one in the books: expectations exceeded, exhausted anglers, stories nobody will believe.

We met up with our other 4 guys that evening and they shared stories almost identical to ours.  Capt Kyle was the only smart one out of our group who opted to fight his fish out of the rod holder on a 130 Tiagra. He was able to beat his 600lb fish in less than 30 minutes.  Capt Chris Eckert fought his fish stand up and had his 700+ lber alongside in just over an hour before the fish realized what was going on and left town again.  Capt Zach and Big Chief both did battle as well but mostly enjoyed watching the tunas feed as they had them chummed up next to the boat for a good part of the day.  Their day was highlighted by their Capt, Capt. Bucko, cooking up local cuisine out on the water consisting of local mussels, lobster sandwiches and all kinds of other local seafood.  In fact, I tried to change boats on day two so I could meet the crews of both boats but Kyle, Chris, Zach and Chief weren't having it.  Apparently the food was too good to pass up! 

We had dinner that night at the Sandstone restaurant, the only real sign of life in the area, and enjoyed another great local seafood meal.  We all attempted to tell each other what we had seen that day just but knowing well words, pictures and even videos wouldn't do it justice.  This is just something you need to see for yourself. 

Day two and trip wrap up coming tomorrow. My pictures didn't turn out very good, so I'm hoping Capt Zach, Kyle and Chris will share some of theirs on the Fishing Report.  Stand by.


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"This Week In Fishing " | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/16/11
 

Captain Chris "O.C." Dew of the Carolina Cat took the OIFC's Gaff Cam with him on his charters and brought back all the following pictures.  Chris reported on the trip where his crew caught the wahoo, they were headed to the McMarlin Ledge when he spotted birds working and the water alive with action about 3 miles out from the Ledge.  He and the crew put out lines baited with ballyhoo.  Then all the lines went off!  The sad thing was false albacore is what was making them sing.

The Carolina Cat's Captain decided to work around the birds and bait.  Their lines screamed again.  Again..hard heads.  Figuring all they were doing was wasting ballyhoo, Chris decided to work along the ledge on the way to another spot.  It was along here that a weed line was located.  Out went the lines and they once again fired off....Peanut dolphin this time.

To make a long story short, they continued to troll, boated 2 nice mahi, a black fin tuna and a real nice wahoo.

So much for keeping a report pithy!

 


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"This Week In Fishing " | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/16/11
 


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"This Week In Fishing " | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/16/11
 


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"S. Brunswich High Sch. Students Raise and Release Flounder" | Get Busy | 09/16/11
 

I found a story in today's Star News about an aquaculture program at S. Brunswick High School.  If you're interested click on this link.
- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"weird things are starting to happen with northeasterner" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/16/11
 

As a follow up to my opinion this cool windy weather change is going to ignite the fish...... this morning, I witnissed an unexplainable site. At the entrance to the concrete canals, I saw a large school of 8-12 inch mullets, balled up tight like pogies. Something was blasting thru the school with mullets basically jumping out of the water. These were 8-12inch mullets; what feeds on that size mullets that would be inside the intercoastal? They wern't porpoises as they would have surfaced. Sharks? Tarpon? Giant Redfish? I don't know, but just goes to show the magical fishing conditions that are due to come as we change seasons from summer to fishing season. Come on down!
- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Prince Edward Island Recap" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/16/11
 

Finally catching my breath after several weeks of travel which concluded with an unforgettable trip to Prince Edward Island, Canada as part of the OIFC's Traveling Fisherman program.  What an adventure it was!

On board for this expedition were:
Barrett McMullan
Chris Eckert (OIFC Mate/Capt)
Zach Faulkner (OIFC Mate/Capt)
Kyle Hughes (OIFC Capt)
James "Big Chief" Hammonds (Holden Beach Charter Capt/Tournament Fisher)
Chris Blackwell (Ft Pierce, FL Capt/Tournament, Commercial Fisher)
Mark Blackwell (Ft Pierce, FL Capt/Tournament, Commercial Fisher)
John Langel (Ft Pierce, FL Commercial Fisher)

I've been fortunate and had the opportunity to travel to many remote and exotic fishing locations around the world.  I've pretty much determined that Venice, Louisiana is located on the very edge of Earth.  After arriving to our most recent destination in North Lake, Prince Edward Island, I believe I've found the other edge of the Earth!  We flew into Charlottetown, PEI, rented a couple of vans and headed east Saturday evening.  We figured we would get to our motel, pick up supplies for the next day of fishing and then go have dinner at a local restaurant.  Upon arrival in North Lake we quickly figured out this was no metropolis as the only sign of life we could find was the motel attendant.  Fortunately we were directed to the one restaurant within 20 miles which happened to be in walking distance from the motel where we would have every one of our meals over the next 3 days.  The weather in Charlottetown was a pleasant and refreshing 60 degrees.  When we got to North Lake that evening and stepped out of the van the 45 degree cool air combined with the 25 knot north wind took our breath away. North Lake fits the exact description of the small quaint fishing village.  There is a small harbor with about 50 commercial lobster boats, a seafood processor, lobster traps scattered everywhere, a motel, and one eatery.  It is perfect.

The next morning we woke up to perfect conditions.  The air temps were in the high 40's and the wind was near calm.  We all had high hopes of the fishing as we've heard stories of the monster tuna that live nearby, but nobody really knew exactly what to expect.  It wouldn't take long to figure it out.

We split up into teams of 4 and met with the crews of the two boats we had chartered around 7:30am at the wharf.  The wharf was really unique.  It's basically a man-made canal about 60 feet wide and the 40 to 50 ft lobster boats line up two deep along the sides from one end of the wharf all the way to the inlet.  It was a little strange really.  There was a good number of boats there but only a very few were fishing.  I think most of them focus on the lobster fishery in the early summer.  The boats that were fishing that day all departed about the same time in a single file line out the inlet which is a man made bulk head about 30 feet wide.  I was fishing with Chris and Mark Blackwell and John Langel with Capt.'s Darren, Greg and Spencer.  I was all set in for a long ride on the slow lobster boat that seemed to have a top end of 7knots.  About the time I got comfortable, Capt Darren says "ok boys I think we're close".  We had traveled maybe 1 mile from port and I'm thinking, ok I've seen this before, it's going to be one of those kind of charter where you shoulda been here yesterday.  We stopped the boat and began jigging sabikis and immediately were bringing 1lb Tinker Mackerels over the side 3 at a time.  We had expressed interest in trying live bait so the crew was willing to give it a shot.  It's easy to see why the tunas are so big and plentiful up there, the bait is THICK.  About the time we put a dozen baits in the well, Capt Greg says, "hey boys, look over there I believe those guys are hooked up".  About a 100 yards away I see a boat making way with a rod doubled over.  Halfway stunned, and in true tourist fashion I say, "hooked to what"?  I'm quickly reminded by the crew with mild grins, "you'll see".  So, with a livewell full of beautiful tinker mackerels Capt Darren steers us offshore and he studies the depth machine.  About that time, I see explosions going off about a half mile from us like somebody was dropping school busses into the ocean from an airplane.  "Oh, there they are" said Capt. Greg, "who is up first".  I can't believe their confidence.  Surely it's not that easy.  I've been tuna fishing for 15 years and can think back to all the pain, misery, suffering and endless hours of monotanous trolling, freezing with no bites.  Chris Blackwell was up first and got suited into his harness.  We got about half way to the busting tunas and Capt Darren began getting a strong mark on his bottom machine.  "Ok fellas, ready when you are.  There are several under us right now".  Capt Spencer chunked up a bunch of herring he already had on the boat and started a chum line.  Chris was now geared up and Capt Greg hooked up a live bait.  He warned Chris to hold on and that it shouldn't take long.  We all stood bye with cameras and video cameras not believing it could really be this easy.  The bait hit the water, Spencer gave it 5 pulls of free-line, held onto the line and it came tight. "There he is"!  We were hooked up less than 1 minute into fishing. 

Stand by for the rest of the story.


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Northeasterner opens door for fall King season to begin" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/16/11
 

Everyone who fishes knows what a bad King Mackerel bite we have had this season. However, my experience is the harder mother nature is on us, the easier she will be in the future. What we need is a jump start to get her waken up so the fish will start doing what they are supposed to do. I had hoped Irene was the answer, but all we got our of her was a mullet blow. Maybe the solution is the northeastern we got blowing this weekend. There is a small low off the coast this morning, and combined with the cold front that came thru last night, maybe the forces will join, and we'll get a weather event that will finally wake up the fish. It is definitley been weird thus far this fall. I have never seen more bait along our beaches than this year....pogies/mulletsgreenies/glass minnows, and now here come the spots. Surely the Kings will see whats going on and maybe a good northeastern will blow them in. My forecast is it's going to happen, probably mid week when the high pressure lets up a little and things calm down. It looks like late in the week a weak front will pass and give us perfect conditions for the weekend.

For all the tourney fishermen, next weekend starts a string of King tourneys for every weekend thru October, leading up to the SKA National Championship in Biloxi, Mississippi. This is the first year the championship returns to Biloxi since the oil spill[and the first year back since Team OIFC won the national championship with our 74.1lb monster]. For all the teams thinking of going, I can assure you Biloxi offers the most amazing King fishing in the world. Basically you have to cull thru the 30's and 40's to get to the 50's which is what you need to win. Anybody needing any info on fishing the championship give us a call.

Locally, standby, the bite is about to be on! Let er blow!


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Secret Hole" | Get Busy | 09/15/11
 

Tim Gallimore, inventor of Captain Tim's Channelside Rig, fished a secret hole, he and Daniel Simmons discovered.  Tim and Daniel were using Tim's now famous Channelside rig on a full moon and falling tide when they caught their fish, some of which are pictured below.
- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Sea Conditions/Bait Report" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/15/11
 

The Carolina Cat with Captains Steele and O.C. are on an 8 hr charter.  They reported at 8:40 am that the bait was just off the Shallotte Inlet in @20ft. of water.  The sea is slick.

A customer had reported the markers in the Shallotte Inlet were gone.  The Carolina Cat advised they are all there, just "hug the Green".


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"On the Edge" | Tiberias - 22' | 09/14/11
 

The inshore bite was on fire just before the full moon and has slowed just a bit with its passing. The redfish are still biting really well. Live shrimp and mullet on a carolina rig is getting the job done around hard structure. Rod and Bill joined me yesterday afternoon, we found several short flounder with only one keeper in the bunch. We switched gears and started to target the redfish. We had lots of opportunities, but pulled hooks, bent hooks, and broke a few lines. We finally landed a couple of nice reds for dinner. Andy and Alan join me this afternoon and the action was pretty much the same. We landed several flounder, baby gag grouper, and some nice reds. Thank you guys for fishing we me! See ya on the water!

The water still needs to cool down a bit for an all out Fall bite! A cold front is supposed to pass this weekend and should help us out a bit. I expect the bite will be great around the new moon phase late next week. Stay tuned....


- Capt. Jacob Frick
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"Fall Brawl Classifieds section" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/14/11
 

DEADLINE IS FRIDAY !

I am working on putting together my Fall Brawl program.  Last year I started a Classified section that resulted in 100% sales success.  No telling if the Fall Brawl section was the reason, but it cetainly did not hurt. 

I currently have 6 spots open to advertise your "marine" related goods- boats, trailers, engines, equipment........

Cost is $200 - EMAIL captbrant@oifc.com a picture and short description and contact information- if you would like to advertise your goods in the Fall Brawl tournament program -- deadline is 9/15



- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Tubbs Inlet Drum" | Get Busy | 09/14/11
 

Reggie Gaddy Jr. stopped by the OIFC shopping for hooks.  He told me about some red drum he's been catching.  Reggie was fishing from the beach on the west end of OIB and was catching drum with @4" mullet he been catching in his cast net.  He said he was fishing on a rising tide just inside the mouth of the inlet and there was a 30 minute window when he was tearing the red drum up.  He said he comes down here from Weddington, N.C. about this time of year, every year, with the same results.  As is my general practice, I asked Reggie to get me a picture.  Here it is:
- Capt. Kyle Hughes
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"Drum At The Jetties" | Get Busy | 09/14/11
 

Todd Helf and Robert Hughes fished the Jetties Saturday using pogies.  Todd Caught and released this 46" red drum.
- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Fresh Fish" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/13/11
 

If you decide to dine at The Mid Town Bistro in N. Myrtle Beach you'll be treated to fresh wahoo, tuna and possibly mackerel.  Jeff Martini headed to the blue water..the scarp, with friends and family.  The crew landed 4 wahoo, 6 mahi and a king.

Also Captain Brant, Captain Steele and Captain O.C. fished with Captain Wall Trayah aboard his boat out of Southport today.  They went to 150 ft deep water and caught wahoo and king.

The wahoo bite is most definitely on!


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Near Shore Flounder" | Get Busy | 09/13/11
 

Woody Wooten and Tommy Helms fished together at some near shore reef numbers Tommy has plugged in his head.  The guys stopped by the OIFC late this afternoon to show us some of their fish.  The last picture is of the fish he didn't show us!
- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Full moon blues" | Get Busy | 09/13/11
 

Not sure what happened but we are going to blame it on the full moon and east winds Sunday into Monday morning. Monday afternoon the fish licked thier lips and started to bite again. Red Fish ,Black Drum and even a few Flounder. Had a great time with Josh and Byron English fishing the ICW.
- Capt. Jeff Williamson
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"I've Seen The Future" | Get Busy | 09/12/11
 

Not only was Camdyn catching fish Sunday, so were the Sauls twins, Sloan and Sydney, Caroline McMulllan and Sydney Jones....all about the same age.  These young ladies also do Crossfit together.  The boys better up their game!
- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Tuna Report" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/12/11
 

Just figured out Internet access up here in the booming metropolis of Prince Edward Island, Canada.  I'll keep it short until I get back home and am able to upload pictures.  The story is, this is an adventure that every serious big game fisherman needs to experience.  PEI truly is the "land of the giants".  We have literally hand fed 1000+lb giant bluefin tuna and did our best to stand behind rods as these Buick sized fish toyed with us.  Several giants were subdued up to 850lbs. I firmly believe, however there are many tunas up here that simply can't be caught on standard rod and reel gear.  The size of these critters is unimaginable.  I know the picutres won't do it justice but seeing it firsthand is something I doubt any of us will forget.  We've had a great time up here in the small quaint fishing village and everyone has pulled on giant tunas until their hearts were content.  We head home tomorrow with great stories, great memories and sore muscles.  Stand by for the full report coming soon.
- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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