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"NEW TRIP: Traveling Fisherman" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 04/10/11
 

2011 PEI Extreme Giant Tuna Expedition
As promised, the next phase of the OIFC’s Traveling Fisherman program is taking shape. For the last several years, with the Ocean Isle Fishing Center serving as the common thread, groups of fishermen and fisherwomen have traveled to remote and exotic fishing destinations to find incredible fisheries and share unforgettable experiences with fellow anglers.   Up until now each of our Traveling Fisherman adventures has been scheduled during our winter months with the goal to find warm weather and hot fishing in the southern latitudes. Our next adventure will shake things up a bit as the plan is to head the opposite direction, north. Beyond cooling off, the fishing goal of this adventure is to go toe to toe with the accurately named Giant Bluefin Tuna. 
The next Traveling Fisherman destination is Prince Edward Island located in the Canadian Maritimes. On September 9th, 2011 a group of hardcore fishermen with OIFC ties will head north in search of the elusive “Grander” giant Bluefin tuna. This is a relatively easy trip to make as September 9th is the travel day; fish days are September 10th and 11th; return home on September 12th.   
FISHING:
The fishing grounds are close to shore (less than 3 miles) and typically include a run of up to an hour up or down the coast. We will be fishing aboard Capt. Greg Norton’s Downeastern style boat that was featured on the television show “Quest for the One” with Dennis Braid. Normally the day starts by collecting bait, live and dead mackerel out of a gill net. The giant tunas are located by birds, jumping fish, or marking bait balls and fish. They are then chunked up and into plain sight of the boat. Bait is either a chunk or a whole dead or live mackerel. After that…..HANG ON! The enormous tunas average 700+lbs and many are over 1000lbs- catch and release only. Angling is either done out of a rod holder with an 80 to 130lb class tackle or standup with 80 wides, and harnesses (got to give that a try!)
TRAVEL:
To get to PEI you fly direct to Charlottetown, PEI and then rent a car. The harbor is an hour car ride from the airport.
ACOMMODATIONS:
We will stay at local bed and breakfast which is located about 20 minutes from the harbor. Single or double rooms are available.  
WEATHER:
Typically during September the temperatures are chilly but can be variable much like late fall in NC. Sea conditions also vary and are similar to our late fall conditions. Fortunately the fish are typically close to shore (less than 3 miles) and the boat we’ll be fishing is very capable of fishing in any reasonable conditions.
 
COST:
Two days fishing, tips for the crew, shared rental car, 3 nights stay in bed and breakfast,- $1000 per person- holding on for dear life as a 1000lb tuna buckles your knees- PRICELESS!
(Not Included)- Dinners, boat food, plane ticket to PEI,…..visits to ER, CPR or any other medical service required after doing battle with a Volkswagen sized tuna
Personal notes: with our other Traveling Fisherman adventures I have encouraged family participation, and painted pictures of 80+ degrees, sunny skies, and umbrella drinks. This is NOT that kind of adventure. This is a hardcore fishing excursion for hardcore fishermen. Typically the action is incredible as giant Bluefin surround the boat eating up the chunked mackerel. Whoever is brave enough to put a hook in a chunk and step behind the rod is taking their well-being into their own hands. These fish will punish you especially if you dare to tangle with them stand up. It is a true test of physical, mental and equipment capabilities. With that said, I can’t think of a more attractive angling challenge for any serious sportfisherman. 
As noted this trip is limited to 5, make that 4 fishermen (I’m In!). If you have interest, contact me via email at captbarrett@oifc.com
- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"SKA Small Boat Class" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 04/09/11
 

The SKA has change the 23' and Under Class to the Small Boat Class.  This was done because many people  had bought 24' or 25' boats only to find they could not fish the 23'and under class.

Now boats which measure no more than 23'11" at the water line qualify for the Small Boat Class.  To get the measurement, put your boat in the water.  Mark the bow (pencil is ok).  Take your boat out of the water.  Run a straight line beginning at the transom.  Run a line from the mark on the bow.  Where the lines intersect is the water line measurement.  It cannot exceed 23' 11" at that point.

Refer to the  April SKA publication of Angler for more info.  Also the SKA says they will have a tape measure and they can measure the boat on your trailer for you.  Please don't come during peak hours.


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Who Let The Dogs Out" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 04/09/11
 

Capt. William  Parker left the OIFC on his 21 ft f.Carolina Skiff, the Hound Dog with the his system blaring "Who Let The Dogs Out".  William, like everyone else was suffering cabin fever and need his salt water fix.  Later in the day he posted that he had caught and released multiple sea bass.  June 1st hurry and get here so we can start keeping this tastey fish.

A group went to the Steeples Thursday and mostly jigged.  Daniel said the sharks ate almost everything he hooked up before he got the fish up.  Word is the Steeples is shark infested so be prepared. The "Hot Rod" Contender finished the day throwing poppers on the surface with pretty good results.

The wind blew until about 2 am this morning.  When I arrived at the OIFC at 6 am the conditions were calm and only blowing 3 to 5 at the Tower.  I could hear the surf, indicating there may be some residual waves near shore  Problem is, good water is WAY off shore..

The OIFC Rodeo is underway, so sign up.  The Far Out Shoot Out is quickly approaching (May 13-21), and Brant has his Crew Matching Program in full swing.  We're ready for the season!


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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""Live Bait?" | Tiberias - 22' | 04/08/11
 

I have fished hard the last two days. We caught 5 bluefish and 4 trout yesterday, no drum. The blue fish are starting to show up and are scattered all over the place. Trout are here as well, but seem to be scattered as well. I caught a trout in just about every place I went today. The redfish are still hanging around. You have just got to find them. If you do, you will usually catch several pretty quick. I was able to find one group pushing water early today, but only picked off one. As the tide turned I started hitting the creek mouths and landed two more reds. I pulled the hooks on the best bite of the day and the bite shut down for the redfish. I worked that area over hard trying to get another chance at a drag screamer, but only managed to complete my inshore slam with a flounder. Every bite other than one blue fish was caught on artificials despite having live peanut pogies. I was able to locate a nice school of pogies up the Shallotte river today and fished most areas with them, with little success. You would think the trout, flounder, and red drum would light a pogy up right now. Oh well? I have also worked extremely hard in finding some live mullet minnows for my upcoming fishing days. As well as baby spot and pinfish. I'll keep you posted. See ya on the water!
- Capt. Jacob Frick
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"Gulf Stream Trip" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 04/08/11
 

Capt. Brant is planning a trip to the Stream Saturday.  This is a Crew Matching Trip with 3 spots still open.  Call the OIFC today..910-575-3474.
- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Sometimes you are the windshield" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 04/07/11
 

Sometimes you are the bug.... Yesterday, myself and Boo Hodges were the bug.... Boo and I headed offshore aboard his 26 Cobia cuddy cabin boat in search of Wahoo and Tuna.  When I took a look at the forecast, it looked like the wind and rough seas were going to push offshore ahead of us and it was going to be a great day on the water in the offshore fishing grounds.  Well, best plans with mother nature always go wrong.  We were greeted about 20 miles offshore with stout 4-6 foot seas stacked on top of each other.  When I say 4-6, that is the average,  you have to remember that there are always bigger ones in the mix.  After taking a couple of those 8+ waves to the side,  we decided that it was simply not going to happen and we turned around to head to the hill.  As we got close to the hill, it got incredibly flat and absolutely beautiful so we stopped and did some Catch and Release Sea Bass fishing.... We actually joked that we were most likely the only folks to ever sea bass fish with high dollar jigging equipment and cut ballyhoo for bait.... I have a couple reasons for writing this email.  The first is, to admit that even a seasoned captain can try to "force" the weather to look better than it is when you are anxious to go fishing, the second is to remind you that Capt. Brant has a great weather tool on this website in the form of various links to weather sites on the "visit OIFC" tab, as well as a great training tool on how to read weather located on the "how To's" page. Be safe out there and give us a call if you need help understanding what the seas will look like based on a weather forecast.   
- Capt. Steele Park
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""If you missed it"" | Tiberias - 22' | 04/06/11
 

Just in case you missed my seminar recently here at the OIFC during our Spring Kickoff. I have had a few questions from a few that did miss it. Here is one of my responses.

Targeting speckled trout? You said you have had lots of success using the gulp shrimp on a jighead, but catching other species as well. That is why I enjoy using artificials. It is not uncommon to pick up flounder and red drum trying to target trout. Trout, from my experience seem to be the most tempermental of all the inshore species. One day they are there, next gone. One day extremely aggressive, next barely pick up the bait. Couple of things that may help. Remember, red drum and flounder are primarily bottom feeders. Red drum are use to grubbing or rooting up the bottom looking for crabs, shrimp, or scaring minnows out of the oyster shells. Flounder usually lay completely still and ambush minnows that get too close. If you drag the bait or short hop it is when red drum and flounder will get the bait. Getting a bait to fall slowly and suspend just a few feet off the bottom will usually pick up mostly trout as they tend to feed upwards. Look closely at your fish when you catch them next time. Red drum have eyes in the middle of the head and mouths are pointed downward. Flounder of course are flat and lay on the bottom. Trout have eyes positioned close to the top of the head pointed upwards and their mouths look like a largemouth bass or tarpon's. When trout get aggressive they will often fall for a topwater bait. They are designed for it.  

My technique to keep it in the trout's strike zone. Trolling motor is my ticket to success on trout. I guess you could call it a reverse trolling technique. I point my boat into the current and adjust my speed so the boat is drifting back slowly. I toss my lure roughly 45 degrees down current and let the current suspend the bait while working the bait in a one two jig and pause motion. Letting the bait drift back to the fish then jerking it up quickly and then falling back to the fish. Trout will hit it on the fall 9 out of 10 times. I use 1/8th ounce jighead for this technique with my choice of soft plastic. Some of my favorite soft plastics are Bass Assassins Sea Shads in 4" paddletail. This soft plastic has great action and comes in several different colors. Deep Creek Lures has developed a 4 inch mullet shaped more like a pogy with great action and smell. I have had great success with this bait on several outings this year.  My favorite colors....because I think the trout like them too...chartreuse diamond, rainbow trout, space guppy, and shrimp. Colors vary depending on water clarity and conditions. Rootbeer and new penny get the nod after a little rainstorm usually. Chartreuse has been hard to beat so far this year. I look for the natural colored baits to start producing as more bait shows up. Looking back at last years reports...the last part of April into May is the best time to catch a nice trout and lots of them. They have already started to show up in numbers, but are small. I expect to see some two and three pound fish show up consistently around the third week in April. Water temperature will have a lot to say about that. It is looking good and right on track for now. I hope this didn't blow your mind and helps you out on your next trip. Stop by and see me in the shop sometime. See ya on the water!


- Capt. Jacob Frick
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"" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 04/05/11
 

Well, Capt. Jacob and I have been theorizing recently that the BIG BULL Redfish might be hanging out in the surfline and inlets.  Sunday morning, our theory was confirmed when local legend and longtime friend of the OIFC Tony Honeycutt (a.k.a Floundertony) showed up at the fishing center with his future son in law Sean Miller  carrying camera's and great big grins on their faces. They were taking advantage of the Blue Bird weather Sunday morning to run their Carolina Skiff outside the inlet for some Whiting.  Shortly after arriving in the area of the Shallotte inlet sea bouy, they hooked a monster redfish using cut shrimp on light tackle.  I have included some pics that they sent me.  Thanks for giving us a heads-up and great job on a super fish. 
- Capt. Steele Park
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"Updates and such...." | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 04/05/11
 

This Saturday, April 9th -- the weather looks good and the fish should be biting.  I am looking to mount a trip to the Stream and need volunteers.  Cost is $375 per person and there are 4 spaces open at this minute.  Call me direct at 910 367 2945 to reserve your spot- LET'S GO FISHING

New Vertical Jigging school date- Capt. Steele has filled his first class to be held April 16th pm with fishing the 17th.  As such, we have added another class date for April 30th pm with fishing the 1st (yes, the 1st is the opening day of Grouper season).  Call 910 575 3474 to reserve a spot.

Man is it blowing!  30kts + from the southwest.  That's the bad news.  The good news is it might just blow itself out.  I hate to even say, but "possibly" the weather looks really good from Thursday through the weekend.  There have been a couple days over the past week and a half that boats have made trips offshore to the Stream and every trip seems to be reporting better catches.  Wahoo, Blackfin and yes, Yellowfin Tuna as well.  I have it from a good source there were Yellowfin caught at the Steeples recently.  The water temperatures looked good last week, and as soon as the clouds get out of here, we should be able to take another look.  Maybe we'll have something good to fish to.  However, even if not, there's always the vertical jigging.  That will produce Blackfin and the occasional Wahoo along with all the bottom monsters you want.  I'm looking forward to getting on the water later this week.  Come on down and join us. 


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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""Diving for Fishing Poles"" | Tiberias - 22' | 04/04/11
 

Took a couple of buddies fishing today. As always any day on the water is an adventure. That is why we call it Capt. Brant's Fishing Adventures. Today was nothing short of an adventure. We headed for the cement canals looking for a little action. First stop was a bust. We headed to another and found the bluefish. Landed a few and had several cut offs. Just as we were about to move away because of the blues, the first keeper flounder of the season came to the boat. Things were just getting heated up. Then one of my buddies decided to toss my fishing pole overboard. We won't mention any names for that purpose. Both of us were in shock for a few seconds as we watched it slowly sink to the bottom. I made a quick decision, not always the best decision. I dove in after it! Again, not the smartest thing I have ever done. I was unsuccessful in retrieving my fishing pole, but very successful in blowing up my cell phone. Hilarious! I managed to regain my composer and we landed several more trout before heading for dry clothes. After the break in action, the tide was getting ripe. We headed for the redfish grounds. We hit the first creek and landed some 15" to 17" reds, along with a few trout. The wind started to howl and was making things difficult. I was losing my confidence as we continued looking for bigger fish. Finally, it happened. A nice redfish slammed the bait, but shortly released itself. It was not long before another one slammed the bait. This time we landed a nice 25" red. Then another quick hook up and yet another quick release. Finally, I got a bite. I set the hook! I put  it through the steel plate in his head. He wasn't going anywhere unless he broke the line. I win! Another 25" redfish was landed and we headed for the house. See ya on the water!
- Capt. Jacob Frick
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"House Bill 421" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 04/04/11
 

Thank you to all the folks that have made contact with the Reps we listed on the March 31 report in support of HB 421 which will allow marinas to pass on to you at point of sale the gas tax refund, thus saving you 15-30cents/gallon at the pump. We need more contacts to be made with the committee members shown on the March 31 report as well as your own local Reps. Everyone remembers how this works with the passing of the menhaden net ban. The elected officials want to be responsive to their constituents, they just need to hear from you so they will know an issue is of importance. With the ever increasing cost of gas for boats, this is a good bill and will pass a savings on to you when you buy your fuel at a marina. Please make contact with the Reps. Thanks. Rube McMullan
- Rube McMullan
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""Its a Beautiful Thing!"" | Tiberias - 22' | 04/03/11
 

My wife and son joined me on a short trip today. As we entered the creek one boat was already there. I asked the gentleman if he had any bites. He shook his head no. I eased on around him to the back of the creek and proceeded to hit the little cuts feeding into the main creek. On about our fifth cast Mandy was hooked up on a nice red. A few more cast and another, then another, another....Jake was netting them as fast as we could get them to the boat. Finally, another slot red and we decided to give them a rest. We brought them home in the livewell for a few pictures and then released them here at the dock. It doesn't get any better than this. Sharing something you love with you family! I love it! See ya on the water!


- Capt. Jacob Frick
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"Gettin Jiggy With It" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 04/03/11
 

We have filled 3 out of 4 slots for the upcoming Vertical Jigging School.  If this is something you have considered doing, its time to jump on the bandwagon before the class fills up.  In case you missed the previous info reports, this is a 2 day school, the first day is a couple hour seminar in the evening on Saturday the 16th of April to learn all of the basics followed by a Gulf Stream trip on Sunday the 17th to put the info you gather to the test on a variety of species.  Cost is $450 per person and as I mentioned, there is one spot left.  Give us a call at 910.575.3474 to schedule for this school.  Turns out, Brant didn't kill me for offering a discount on Jigging Tackle to those who sign up.  We will provide all the tackle for the trip but if its something you want to do moving forward, anything you buy that is jigging related will be 15% off here in the shop.  Look forward to turning you guys on to this VERY exciting fishery.
- Capt. Steele Park
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"1st Mates" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 04/03/11
 

Our charter season is upon us.  We have some top quality 1st mates serving on our boats.  It's sometimes a thankless job and we forget how important they are to a successful charter.  This link reminded me of them.  Good luck and tight lines!  <*(((><

Below is a picture of our youngest 1st mate Aaron Dew.  Aaron is the son of Captain Chris Dew and this will be his 3rd year (at least) as a first mate.


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"" | Get Busy | 04/02/11
 


- Capt. Amy McMullan
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"Hard Fishing" | Get Busy | 04/02/11
 

When I arrived at the OIFC early this morning the ocean looked flat and there was no wind.  By 7:30 am the temperature had dropped and the wind was ripping out of the west.  Captain Chris Dew had driven to the Shallotte Inlet to take a look.  He then studied several web sites and decided to cancel his off shore charter.

Captain J. Dogg Williamson had come to the dock on the "Get Busy".  Jeff was bundled up and still cold.  He and his charter Scott Winslow , his son Collin and friend Trent Griffin, decided they wanted to catch some red drum.

They fished a lot in the canals behind OIB which offered some refuge from the wind.  The guys were using D.O.A. root beer and chartrous artificals.  It was a tuff day fishing, but they managed to land this nice red in the canals. 

When the sun was setting it was 68 degrees and no wind.  We've got to have a talk with Mother Nature.


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"New Blue Fin Regs." | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 04/01/11
 

Authority of the N.C.M.F. the following is in effect immediately:

Private Vessels:  May keep 1 per day per boat 27"59".  No trophy fish..(73"+)

Charter Vessels:  May keep 1 per day 27" to 47" and 47" to 59".  No trophy fish (73 +) 


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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""Say CHEEZ!"" | Tiberias - 22' | 03/31/11
 

I picked up Capt. Steele just after lunch time and headed for the fishing grounds. We hit a few docks and the cement canals with no luck. Not much happening here close to home for some reason, so we headed for the border. We found some strong fighting reds and some head shaking trout. The water was rising fast and once the water hit the grass, the bite shut down on us. I had my fun and judging by the pictures so did Capt. Steele. He was all smiles while posing with two slot reds we released at the dock here at the OIFC. I got to pose with my 28" red and a nice trout before quickly releasing them on the spot. I love it! See ya on the water!


- Capt. Jacob Frick
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"We need your help on House Bill 421" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 03/31/11
 

Fishing friends/boaters. We need your help.
 We have been working with Representative Frank Iler from Brunswick County regarding a bill that would allow marinas to pass on to customers, at the point of sale, the gas tax refund due boaters for off road usage[which is not taxable]. The effect of this would be that marinas could reduce your gas cost by approximately 15-30cents/gallon[based upon recreation use or commercial use]. True, at the end of the year you can apply to the State of NC for the refund, but if you could receive the refund when you purchase the fuel by virtue of the marina discounting the price to you and the marina then receives the refund, the impact to you would be to immediately save you some money. Obviously with the increasing cost of fuel, this bill is intended to help lower your cost of fuel, and maybe encourage you to get on the water.
 
House Bill 421[HB421] has been introduced by Representative Iler and he needs your support. The bill has been assigned to the Consumer and Job Development Committee, and if the committee members don't hear from us fishermen/boaters as to the benefit of this bill, then it will likely die in committee. SO.....we need everyone who thinks this is a good bill to contact the Reps who are on this committee, as well as you own local Rep.
The Reps on the Consumer and Job Development Committee are:
Danny.McComas@ncleg.net
Bill.Brawley@ncleg.net
Craig.Horn@ncleg.net
Carolyn.Justice@ncleg.net
Tim.Moffitt@ncleg.net
Phil.Shepard@ncleg.net
Fred.Steen@ncleg.net
Michael.Stone@ncleg.net
Also let Rep Iler[Frank.Iler@ncleg.net] know his willingness to introduce this bill is appreciated by fishermen/boaters.
Thanks for your help.
Rube McMullan Ocean Isle Fishing Center[www.OIFC.com]
 

- Rube McMullan
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"Sunset Bridge Boat Ramp" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 03/30/11
 

I spoke with the Sunset Beach Town Administrator today.  I asked him the status of the boat ramp at the new Sunset Beach Bridge.  He told me all permits had been approved.  The state construction crews responsible for building the boat ramp are book and on schedule until December this year.  Construction on the new boat ramp is scheduled to begin right after the 1st of 2012.  The facility will be a single ramp with parking for around 41 boats.  I did not asked him whether the lot will be paved or not.
- Capt. Rickey Beck
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