Capt. Brant's Fishing Report
Watch the OIFC Crew in action.
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"Confirmed...Kings are close!" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/24/11
Capt. Chris Dawson just docked the boat from his 4 hour trip this morning. You know he had to be close as a 4 hour trip doesn't allow for much travel time. If you know Capt. Chris Dawson very well you can just about guess where he found the action. The Sabo group enjoyed catching large spanish and a nice king mackerel. Fall is here! Capt. Chris also reported seeing a few more kings sky rocketing on near by bait pods, but ran out of time to stick around for another bite. Awesome job Capt. and crew! Thanks for fishing with us and hope to see ya next year! See ya on the water!
Capt. Jacob Frick
"Plan B" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/23/11
Capt. Barrett had planned to go grouper fishing Thursday. But as happens, something came up and he switched to Plan B...inshore fishing. Along came Capt. Bonecrusher Sauls to the rescue and off they went...to the Little River Jetties.
The crew, fishing with live bait got into some monster red drum. As you can see, they were't the only ones with that idea.
Capt. Brant and Capt. Steele were able to go with their Plan A and from what I hear it paid off. Pictures and report on their trip later today.
Capt. Rickey Beck
"Fall King bite "trying" to get started" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/23/11
Checked out Yaupon Wednesday; water perfect, water full of glass minnows and pogies. Fished couple hours at Yaupon and Ocean Crest, no bites. No way the fish aren't going to bite, which is what happened Thursday as there were Kings caught in the Yaupon/Ocean Crest area. Hopefully this opens the door for our famous fall NC beach bite. Also Brant/Steele fished offshore and reported water looked bad from 8 miles to 30 miles but looked good before and after. They caught Kings and Wahoo in 90 feet. Looking at long term forecast, high pressure moves back in mid/late next week which should bring back northerly winds and the Kings should go nuts in the river channel/Yaupon/Ocean Crest right on schedule for the US Open King tourney.
"Traveling Fisherman- NEXT UP!" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/23/11
Okay, this one's been in the works for a while.
The Traveling Fisherman program was originally initiated for the purpose of helping fisherman with a common tie (OIFC) come together and experience some of the world's most amazing sport fishing opportunities. Over the past few years we've had some incredible adventures abroad and made many new great friendships with fellow travelers and fishing crews from around the world. The past Traveling Fisherman destinations have included the Coral Star in Panama, Paradise Lodge in Panama, The Galapagos Islands, and most recently Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Next up on the Traveling Fisherman agenda is Guatemala!
I have connected with a US based Captain who owns and operates the very renowned Buena Vista Sportfishing Lodge in Guatemala. The fishing attraction for Guatemala is Sailfish and lots of them! Certainly daily catches vary, but double digit sailfish catches are more common than anywhere else in the world. Guatemala boasts the record for most Pacific sailfish caught in a day on both conventional and fly tackle. Each year Guatemala sees more sailfish action than Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico and any other tropical destination in the world. In addition, over the past couple years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of blue marlin encounters.
This trip is scheduled to take place February 17th - February 21st, 2012. This is peak sailfish season out of the Buena Vista Sportfishing Lodge year in and year out and not a bad time to be away from the cold weather here at home. We will arrive in Guatamala City on Friday, the 17th of February and be shuttled the lodge approximately an hour away. Fishing will commence the next day the 18th and continue on the 19th, and 20th. We will head home the morning of the 21st.
The Buena Vista Sportfishing Lodge is full service accommodations. The meals are 5 star fresh seafood daily, laundry is also done daily, and the rooms are very nice. The cost for this excursion is $2,385 and is all inclusive less liquor and tips. The only other cost will be your plane ticket. We'll be fishing 3 days on the fleet of 30+ ft center consoles and potentially a sportfish style boat. We'll be fishing 3 fisherman to a boat.
I'll continue to update the fishing report with more details and pictures of the destination. Very Important: if you are interested in joining this adventure I need to hear from you. I can be reached via email- firstname.lastname@example.org or call The Fishing Center at 910-575-3474.
If you ever wanted to travel to a unique fishing destination with incredible billfish action and with the comfort of a group of fishermen/fisherwomen with a common background, this is it. Come join us in February for the next Traveling Fisherman adventure to Guatemala!
Capt. Barrett McMullan
"Fishing Update" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/22/11
Good morning. The pogeys remain thick off the Shallotte Inlet in 24 ft of water, in front of Ocean Isle Beach. There is still no acton on the king front. I had a report of a king being caught off the Ocean Crest Pier, but there is no mention of it on their web site.
The good news is the grouper and other bottom dwelling fishing has been excellent. As soon as I get the "gaff cam" back I'll post picutres. We've got 2 charters out today.
Inshore, the red bite continues and there is plenty of bait in the ICW.
Capt. Rickey Beck
"Bait/King Report 9:00 am" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/20/11
Capt. Steele of the Carolina Cat reports pogeys are thick just west of the Shallotte Inlet in 24 ft. of water.
Also report of a king being caught off Ocean Crest Pier. Maybe with the cooler weather and the bait being so thick the kings will start moving in.
Capt. Rickey Beck
"New Tourney to the Area" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/20/11
There is a new King Mackerel tournament that is being hosted out of Murrells Inlet- Marshwalk Kingstalk -- It is hosted from 3 Sisters Marina and the tournament director is Jared Floyd. The tournamend is Division 3 SKA sanctioned.
Jared has been tournament fishing for a long time and been to enough events that he knows what it takes to host a good tournament that will be enjoyable to all.
The weather this weekend is looking pretty good, and I'm sure Team OIFC will be in the mix, so come join us for this first annual, up and coming tournament.
For information, email Jared Floyd at email@example.com or call 843-995-7446
Capt. Brant McMullan
"Fall in a Hurry?" | Tiberias - 22' | 09/20/11
Steven, Tom, and Jeff joined me for a half day fishing trip this morning. There has been a big change in conditions! Last week we were still fishing in 84 degree water and this morning it was 73 degrees. The mullet minnows are so thick you can just about throw a cast net blind folded and still catch a livewell full. Shrimp are still holding in the shallow creeks and they are eating size! We had plenty of bait, we just needed to find something to eat it. The tide was a little slow to get moving this morning, but once it did, the fish started biting. Our first fish of the day broke the line immediately. No worries! Tom followed it up with another bite, but I wrote it off as a stingray the way it was fighting. Jeff also hooked up while Tom was fighting his mystery fish. I could tell Jeff had what we were looking for, REDFISH! We landed Jeff's first redfish just in the slot, 26 inches and some change. Meanwhile, Tom is still working on his fish as I am trying to get Steven in better postion for a hook up. Tom hollers out, it is a REDFISH! Finally, Tom landed our second fish of the day, 28 inches and some change, over the slot. We moved around a bit and found several more fish in the middle of the slot, 22 inches to 25 inches. It was a great day on the water, we landed 20+ redfish on live mullet and shrimp. Fall is here and the fish are feeding hard! Give Capt. Jeff or myself a call and we will get you hooked up! See ya on the water!
Capt. Jacob Frick
"Bottom Fishing" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/20/11
Pictured below are Charles and Anita Stroudt of Harrisburg, Pa.,Pete, Dale and Carolyn Stroudt of Strausburg, Pa., and Peter Priest and Lynn Brown of Harrisburg, Pa. with the grouper, trigger fish and B-liners they caught today. The group was fishing aboard the Carolina Cat, captained by Steele and O.C. They fished in water 90' deep and with a temperature of 78 degrees.
Mack also wanted to get in on the act.
Capt. Rickey Beck
"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
"NOAA" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/18/11
Sometimes NOAA doesn't know a thing! Off shore may have been rough, however near shore was flat and beautiful the past couple of days. North winds at OIB almost always mean flat seas near shore.
Capt. Jeff Beck, Courtney and 1st Mate Camdyn anchored off at the last buoy just outside the Shallotte Inlet and let Camdyn tear in to the spot. Capt. Jeff said they had so many lines out they looked like a floating fishing pier.
Meanwhile, Tommy Helms worked a near shore reef and brought back some beautiful flounder. Brandon "Bonecrusher" Sauls had a ball with the red drum at the Little River Jetties. Very little gas and a whole lot of fun!
Capt. Rickey Beck
"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
"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
"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:
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
"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
"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
"This Week In Fishing " | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/16/11
Capt. Rickey Beck