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"Scenery Pics" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/07/11
 


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"First Pics" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/07/11
 

We have the fishing pictures coming soon but first here are a few general scenery and sea lion pics. Also you'll see Kicker rock where we snorkeled the first day we got to the Galapagos.
- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/07/11
 

Back in the US and finally in front of the computer.  I will pick up with the Galapagos report on Tuesday of last week our first fishing day.  Enjoy.
Tuesday, Fish Day 1: Last night we all had dinner together at our hotel, the Miconia. The food is great and the atmosphere is better. The hotel restaurant overlooks the harbor and the only outside noise comes from the sea lions arguing over who gets dibs on the park bench. At dinner we were met by our host Captain Braden Escobar and he filled us in on the game plan for the following day. The plan was to meet our boats at 7am and make the 35 mile run to the Rosa Banca in hopes of finding stripe marlin.  Anticipation was high and we all hung out after dinner talking about the next day and sharing fishing stories from other adventures. The group was separated into 4 different 4 fishermen/women teams for the 4 boats we were to be on. They were:
Big Fish: Captain Fernando 
Bryan Freeman
Brian Robbins
Rick Blasé
Steve Austin
 
Patricia: Captain Braden
Brant McMullan
Amy McMullan
Brian Allen
Stacy Allen
 
Blue: Captain Julio
Tom Bordeaux
Blair Bordeaux
Ken Hill
Kennan Hill
 
Jonamar II: Captain Edwin
Benji Faulkner
Andy Erbacher
Rube McMullan
Barrett McMullan
 
With the teams and boats picked for day one the annual Traveling Fisherman tournament took shape. Through much debate we settled on a point system that would determine each day’s winning team. The point values were approved by Captain Braden and decided upon due to difficulty or likelihood of catching that particular species. The point values were:
Blue Marlin- 500 points
Black Marlin- 500 points
Sailfish- 500 points
Stripe Marlin- 200 points
Yellowfin Tuna > 100lbs- 200 points
Yellowfin Tuna < 100lbs- 75 points
Wahoo- 50 points
Snapper (20lb min)- 50 points
Grouper (20lb min)- 50 points
 
Today we woke up to sunny skies, warm temperatures and light winds.   We all had breakfast at the hotel around 6:30am which consisted of fresh local fruit, French toast, ham and eggs. At 7:00am we walked from the hotel about 50 yards down to the main dock for the harbor where all the local workers were meeting up with water taxis to take them to work on the surrounding islands. We boarded our water taxis with gear in hand, smelling of sunscreen, and totally looking the stereotypical part of the “gringo” tourists. The boats were surprisingly nice and well equipped. They were a local make and were sort of a hybrid sport fishermen about 32’ to 36’ long with outboard 4 stroke power. We cruised out to the fishing grounds at about 25 to 28 knots and got to see the coastline of San Cristobal island where huge rock formations come straight out of the sea with large swells making spectacular crashes against them.  
 
After about an hour and a half of running the sea lit up with current breaks, dolphins, sea lions and birds as we arrived on the bank. The purist way of marlin fishing in the Galapagos is to troll a spread of 4 teasers pretty close to the boat and wait for a marlin to come into the spread. Once the marlin is raised the teaser the fish is attracted to is removed from the water and simultaneously the angler drops back a ballyhoo rigged with a circle hook in its place. Ideally the fish switches from the teaser onto your bait and thus the bait and switch technique. Fishing circle hooks for billfish is a learned skill. The technique involved in hooking up takes practice and patience. The proper course of action is as follows: the marlin is raised behind a teaser; the teaser is retrieved; at the same time the angler drops back a naked circle hook rig ballyhoo with the clicker off to a position where the bait skips right in front of the marlin; the marlin bats the bait with its bill then grabs the bait; the angler, holding the rod tip high immediately drops the tip towards the water and removes his thumb from the spool letting line off the reel with no tension; the marlin swims away with the ballyhoo for a legitimate 10 second count; the angler keeps the tip low, engages the reel and reels the handle until the line comes tight or he throws the rod on the deck in disgust because he just missed another fish! They are tough fish to hook up especially on circle hooks. However there is no greater thrill than hand feeding a stripe marlin, waiting an eternity to engage the reel and then come tight on him and send him on a spastic jumping spree as he tries to shake the hook. 
 
All 4 boats arrive about the same time and the teasers are deployed with really little explanation of what we should expect. In less than 10 minutes on board the Jonamar II we had fish crashing our teasers. Needless to say we were caught with our pants down and made a mess of it. The action was similar for the rest of the boats in the fleet. It wasn’t red hot but the action was steady. The crew of the Blue was first to break the ice as Blair Bordeaux landed his first ever marlin a stripe about 150lbs about an hour after baits were in the water. On board the The Big Fish, Bryan Freeman, Brian Robbins, Rick Blasé and Steve Austin had a very slow morning but ran into a hornets nest of stripe marlin late in the day and raised 13 fish in 1 hour! As you’ll notice by the number of raises to number of bites and then catches, just because the fish comes into your spread certainly does not mean they are caught fish. The fishing day ended around 3pm and we made the trip back to the island where we told stories of the day’s feats and follies. Dinner was great again as another group of travelers from Australia had lucked into a yellowfin tuna and were so kind to share some fresh sashimi. The day’s totals were tallied by Captain Braden and the day one tournament had a winner. The stats for all four teams:
The Big Fish: 600 points (All Stripe Marlin)
15 raises
11 bites
3 catch
 
Patricia: 200 points (All Stripe Marlin)
7 raises
4 bites
1 catch
 
Blue: 800 points (All Stripe Marlin)
13 raises
6 bites
4 catch
 
Jonamar II: 200 points (All Stripe Marlin)
13 raises
3 bites
1 catch
 
The winner is Blue, Captain Fernando and crew of Tom and Blair Bordeaux and Ken and Kennan Hill. Each angler on board was able to catch a marlin and Ken Hill caught a monster 240lb Stripe Marlin. 

- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Striped Bass" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/07/11
 

Several people have talked about going striped bass fishing at Oregon Inlet.  Ya'll might be interested in this article in the Charlotte Examiner.
- Capt. Rickey Beck
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""Sight Fishing for Reds"" | Tiberias - 22' | 02/06/11
 

Jake and I headed out this morning to carry my boat to Ocean Isle Marina for some bottom painting. I decided to check out a few areas where some redfish might be hanging out first. We eased around for about 30 minutes in some really shallow water before spotting our first school. A massive group of 30 or more reds bundled up in the very back of a creek. I made a cast ahead of them, as they closed the gap, I twitched the bait, the school paused and I saw a set of gills flare out. HOOKED UP! The fish was in about a foot of water and the school went crazy! Mud went flying, fish racing all over, and all out chaos. I fought what looked like a 25" bruiser for about 30 seconds before an oyster shell cut my line. I backed off the school, retied, and headed back in real slow. I could see them on the edge of the grass, made a cast, here they come, bump and here comes an 18 inch fish to the boat. I worked the school for about an hour and landed 5 fish. Jake was losing patience and I needed to get the boat to the marina. I hate that the boat is out of the water, but that will probably make me get the kayak out. I may even try to fly fish a bit this coming week . See ya on the water!
- Capt. Jacob Frick
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"All good things must come to end" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/06/11
 

We have all survived our Galapagos adventure. I'm currently in the Guayaquil airport with 9 other traveling fishermen waiting for our plane depart in about an hour. The other 6 in the group will be leaving a little later today. I'm not exactly sure what I can say to convey our experience in Ecuador. This was a most memorable experience. Everything we encountered was first class both in Galapagos and Guayaquil. We were pleasantly surprised by the service, the people and the general condition of this country. Many times we have preconceived perceptions of Central or South American countries and their cultures. Having been provided the opportunity to explore Guayaquil and Galapagos I can attest this is a very affluent and impressive country. Once we return home I will be gathering pictures and videos of our trip be posting for the next several days. I hope these pictures do this beautiful place justice. It truly is a must see destination. Now it's back to the real world. I think everyone is happy to be heading home but not real excited about leaving 80 degrees, sunshine, and big fish. It's going to be difficult to top this trip but soon we'll start the planning for Traveling Fisherman 2012. No destination has been decided on yet but I promise the Galapagos are at the top of a very short list. A full detailed report of the fishing is coming soon.
- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Galapagos Check In" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/04/11
 

Sorry for the lack of reports.  Internet access has been a little tough.  Buffett said it best, [the weather is here, wish you were beautiful].  Very very neat place here in San Cristobal, Galapagos.  Sea lions walk the streets with the people, rather they sleep on the streets amongst the people.  The water is clear and full of life.  The daily temps are in the 80{s and the seas are calm.  To give an abreviated report at this time I will say all 16 fishermen and fisherwomen have successfully caught and released stripe marlin.  The fish have been from about 150lbs to about 240lbs.  Tons of fun.  Almost all the boats are seeing double digit fish each day and catching between 1 and 5 fish.  These fish put on a great show from the moment the enter the spread, to the bite, to the acrobatics when they are hooked up.  We have some incredible photos and videos that we will definitely be sharing on the site when we get back.  Fishing is done for us now and we start making our way back home tomorrow.  For anyone that ever had catching a marlin on their bucket list, this is a great place to make it happen.  Stay tuned for more detailed reports.
- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Galapagos Update" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/04/11
 

Finally a couple of pictures!  Donnie Clark posted these pictures of his daughter Stacy and her husband, Brian Allen with with a striped marlin a  wahoo.  They were caught on a spinning reel.....Thanks Donnie!
- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Fighting The Ban" | Get Busy | 02/04/11
 

Area fishermen in S.C. are meeting with their representatives about the fishing bans.  Click here to read the article in the Myrtle Beach Sun.
- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Ditch Bag" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/03/11
 

The SKA is requiring all participating boats in their tournaments have a ditch bag this year.  I just took delivery on one for the "Do Work".  We have some in stock at the OIFC and can order any style made.  I shopped around and Brant has the best prices of anyplace I compared.   Even if you're not fishing an SKA Tournament, having an EPIRB and a ditch bag on board is a good idea. Check with us when you are ready to buy one.
- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Galapagos Update" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/03/11
 

I just received an update on the trip from Stephanie McMullan.  It seems that for the moment Captain Barrett is unable to email a report.  However she said the crew is having a great time.(I guess so, when compared to our weather).  On average the boats are catching between 1 and 4 marlin per day.  Everyone has either caught or witnessed the catch of a marlin.  The fishermen are seeing 10 or more marlin per day, so the excitement is in the effort to hook them!  Barrett reported the marlin weigh between 180-200 lbs.!  It's nice to see a trip be so successful

As soon as Captain Barrett can get good Internet service he'll post a more detailed report.

I've taken the liberty to attach a couple of maps and images of local scenery I found that I thought ya'll might find interesting.


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Dixie Chicken Cancelled" | Get Busy | 02/02/11
 

Sad sign of the times.  Click on this link for the story in the Sun News.


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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""Catching a hog in the fog"" | Tiberias - 22' | 02/02/11
 

After seeing 100+ redfish in the shallows yesterday I couldn't stand not to go again today. The weather was a little less favorable for spotting the fish today, but I had a new idea! Reading an article last night about fishing in gin clear water and using a gold spoon was the ticket for success in such conditions. It worked! I landed 2 fish in my first 3 casts. Maybe a little luck involved, but the fish inhaled it! I fished hard for another hour or so before my next bite. But again it was a hard bite! They seemed to love a gold spoon. The 6 to 8 inch mullet were also swimming with the spoon at times. You can bet I will be hitting the flats hard with this technique many times this coming year. See ya on the water!
- Capt. Jacob Frick
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""Paradise?" " | Tiberias - 22' | 02/01/11
 

For those of us stuck here in Ocean Isle Beach the weather has been nice the last few days. Those brave enough to get out on the water have been greeted by a few redfish willing to bite. Myself and Capt. Jeff Williamson went looking for these redfish today. We fished a few places before seeing our first school of upper slot fish. They were balled up like menhaden, going around in a big circle. We spooked them the first time with out a bite. We eased down the bank making long cast, then there it was, the tell tell thump! REDFISH! I landed a nice 26&3/4 inch beauty! We continued to ease down the bank making long cast and looking hard. Again we ran up on the same school of 20 to 30 fish balled up. No doubt there were some over 30 inches in this school. We pitched our baits to the edge of the school, had one fish follow my bait to the boat. Once he saw the boat he spooked and so did the rest of them. We worked the area pretty hard and picked up two more smaller fish. We were about to call it a day when I spotted another large school, probably 40 or more fish in it. Sizes ranging from18inches to over 30inches easy. Again the water is so clear they spooked! We eased down the bank spotting several more little schools of rat reds and large schools of mullet. We pitched to several fish, but no bites. Again we were getting ready to head for the house when we spotted several more fish coming around a bar. Just absolutely an awesome sight to see! We will be after those fish again once this nasty weather passes. See ya on the water!
- Capt. Jacob Frick
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"Paradise Found" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 01/31/11
 

Wow....words can't do it justice. We got up around 8am this morning in Guayaquil at our very nice hotel, ate breakfast and headed to the airport. Our guide, Julio Rosas helped to get us to and thru the airport using his skills proving once again it's not what you know but who you know. The flight left at 11am on a jet and 90 minutes later we touched down at San Cristobal in the Galapagos. Stepping off the plane we were greeted with 80+ degree temps and a nice sea breeze. The mission is a success at this point as far as I'm concerned. Warm weather was the goal the rest is gravy. We were met at the airport by Capt. Braden and his crew where we loaded up in several pick up trucks and headed down the road to our hotel. Hotel Miconia is located right on the waterfront and is absolutely perfect. The only thing you to have to be careful of is not tripping over the lounging sea lions that hang out in front of the hotel on the edge of the harbor. After getting settled in the hotel, all 16 in our group loaded up into 2 boats for our afternoon snorkel adventure. We ran about 20 minutes to "kicker rock" which is basically a gigantic rock that sticks up about 400ft above the surface in the middle of the ocean. Brant and Amy chose to scuba dive and the rest of us snorkeled. If you ever wanted the thrill to swim with sharks this place will accomodate. We snorkeled around the massive rock and saw 100's of sharks that were thankfully very docile, a bunch of turtles, fish and even blue footed boobies! After that experience we headed back towards to the harbor but made a stop off in a lagoon where we all jumped out and snorkeled again. This time we were greeted by curious sea lions. These guys are awesome. They are very playful and have the sweetest faces you've ever seen. We are literally swimming with them inches from each other's face. I know we got a bunch of good pics and videos. Everybody is back at the hotel now and having evening cocktails before dinner in about an hour. Fishing begins tomorrow and the word is there is a lot of stripe marlin around so we're all pretty anxious. It's truly amazing you can get on an airplane from NC and in less than 24 hours be in a place like this. The island is a national park and kept extremely clean and regulated. The wildlife we've seen so far is amazing. So far I'm very impressed with everything we've encountered on this trip. Now if the fishing is good too I may just put in my resignation papers at OIFC- NC and set up shop down here! ps. Stephanie, can't get my email to work. I will call.
- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Phase 2 and 3 good" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 01/31/11
 

Atlanta to Miami- no problem. Miami to Guayaquil Ecuador- slight delay. After an hour wait on the runway we finally took off this evening around 8pm from Miami. Barrett, Rube, Brian and Stacy Allen, Benji Faulkner, Brant and Amy and Andy Erbacher all were on board for the flight. It is 2:24am and we are all set in our hotel. It took a while to get thru customs but everything went pretty smooth. The hotel we are at is super nice. First impressions of Guayaquil Ecuador are good. The people seem very nice (of course those out and about this time of night might be leaving the party), the city is clean and it appears to be a wealthy city. We'll get a better picture of what we're dealing with tomorrow but so far so good. We have a short night of sleep and then tomorrow at 11am we take off for the Galapagos. It's about an hour flight. Hopefully internet access is still good over there so we can give regular updates.
- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Gorgeous Day" | Get Busy | 01/30/11
 

Henry Beckham took advantage of today's gorgeous weather to do some back water fishing.  He landed and released this small red using cut mullet.

I expect the pelicans wanted some of the cut mullet as well.


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Congratulations" | Get Busy | 01/30/11
 

Jim Bowen of the "Stick Slinger" passed his captain's course this weekend.  Congratulations Captain Bowen!
- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"More Sea Bass Info." | Get Busy | 01/30/11
 

I've received a few more questions on the sea bass restrictions.  Click here if you'd like to read some more about it.
- Capt. Rickey Beck
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""Park on a Redfish"" | Tiberias - 22' | 01/30/11
 

Mr. Park, Adam, and his friend Chad joined me on a redfish hunt today. We found a couple early right in front of the OIFC. They wised up pretty quick putting us back on the hunt. We moved around until we caught a few more just around the corner. They also wised up so we again moved on. We headed for a place that has been producing several bites, but we made several casts without a bite. I was getting disappointed with the area until Chad screamed out "I got one"! Indeed he did...As we danced around the boat making lots of noise our goal was to land this fish.  Chad had his hands full with a 24" redfish on 6lb. test line. The fish came to the boat pretty easy until he saw the net. Game on! Stripping line! Second pass by the boat and strip, strip, strip...Third pass was a charm! Blacken redfish for supper! With all the commotion I decided to move to a new area. Chad on his first cast nailed another redfish and Mr. Park hooked up at the same time. Double!! I netted Mr. Park's and it was hooked well. I handed the net to Adam to land Chad's fish. We all vowed that it was Adam's turned to land a fish. We gave Adam five minutes to catch a fish, then we all pitched in to help. Chad of all people hooked up and passed the rod. Adam landed the fish and we called it a day. Lots of excitment on the water for January! I love it!! See ya on the water!


- Capt. Jacob Frick
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