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Capt. Brant's Fishing Report

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"NC KFC Day Three" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 11/15/10
 

Day three of the NC Kingfish Championship is in the books and unfortunately it's a quick read. No fish were brought to the scales by the boats fishing today and again the report was cold cold water on the east side of Cape Lookout shoals all the way to Hatteras. Many locals I've spoken with agreed this is extremely unusual to have such cold water covering such a large area this time of year. Apparently the consistent north west wind that they've had for the past couple months has slowly but surely pushed the warmer water offshore. The warm water is out there somewhere and there's a bunch of fish wherever it is. The forecast is calling for some southerly wind this week as a couple fronts approach the area. It is my hope this change in wind direction will help steer the currents so we'll see more traditional conditions for this time of year on the east side. My suggestion to those fishing the tournament and those planning to get in later in the week is to declare your fishing days as late in the tournament as possible in hopes the water will shift and warm up. My tentative plan is to fish next Saturday and Sunday which are the last two fishing days of the tournament. Again, registration will remain open until this Friday the 19th so there's plenty of time to get in. It's definitely anyone's game. Open Wide is still leading with their 19.05lber.
- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"NC KFC Day Two" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 11/14/10
 

No boats fished on day one of the NC Kingfish Championship yesterday (Saturday the 13th). Today, Sunday the 14th, we had 5 boats fishing in absolutely perfect weather. That was the good news. The bad news is by some unlikely alignment of moon, stars and whatever other excuse I can come up with the water temperatures on the East Side of Cape Lookout are frigid. If a king mackerel is going to be around he better have on his winter jacket as boats fishing reported temperatures peaking out at 63 degrees. Teams scattered out at all the major fish holding spots on the East Side and even up towards Hatteras and offshore but still nothing but cold water temps. This is extremely unusual as I've never seen this condition on the East Side with virtually no variation in water temperatures out past 200' of water. Something has got to change. The positive as I mentioned is the weather is absolutely magnificent with sunny skies, light winds and flat seas. The fish are supposed to be the easy part this time of year. If there's one thing I do know about fishing up here it's that things rarely stay the same for long so I'm holding out hope we'll get some warm water in here very soon. With all that doom and gloom we still are in the midst of a kingfish tournament and like always "somebody is gonna catch one". That was true today as a congratulations goes out to the early leader in the clubhouse- Team Open Wide, Captain Benson Ybanez. Open Wide was the sole boat to weigh a fish today and they are in the lead with a 19.05lber. Not exactly the monsters we are hunting for up here but with the conditions the catch was a heck of an accomplishment. There's a few boats headed out tomorrow so I'll report back tomorrow with what they find. Team OIFC will be out to defend our title in this event towards next weekend hoping for a change in water conditions.
- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Rodeo Update" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 11/14/10
 

Clay Morphis Sr. has taken the lead in the trout division with a 7.2 lb'r and Brandon "Bone Crusher" Sauls has moved up to 2nd place with 4.4 lbs.  This puts Jeff Wallen in 3rd with a 4.35 lb trout.
- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"NC Kingfish Championship Fish Plan" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 11/13/10
 

Tomorrow (Sunday) Stephanie and I are heading up to Morehead City to do some scouting for the NC Kingfish Championship that is now underway. The first few boats will be competing in the tournament tomorrow out of Morehead City as the weather looks like it is going to break. I expect some tremendous fish brought to the scales. I will be fishing Monday and then coming back to Ocean Isle for a couple days during mid week as it looks like a small front will pass thru the area. This hopefully points to great conditions for the end of the week and weekend. So, any of you guys sitting on the fence about whether or not to get in this tournament come on and get some! The weather looks great for tomorrow, Monday and maybe even Tuesday and then the long range forecast looks good for end of the week and weekend. I will report back with my findings over the next couple days so hopefully I'll have a good story to tell. Stand by. DONT FORGET....Teams can enter this tournament all the way until next Friday night so it's not too late to get in. You can enter online at www.oifc.com.
- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Oyster Toads" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 11/13/10
 

Would you eat an Oyster Toad.? Check this link.  There is only one person who probably has....Rube.
- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Sunset Beach Bridge" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 11/12/10
 

I was just advised by Captain Josh Tew of Sea Tow OIB that the new Sunset Beach bridge is now open.  The old bridge is tied back and will only be used when the construction company needs it.
- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Pogy netting" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 11/12/10
 

The NC Marine Fisheries Commission has announced a meeting November 22 to discuss opening up waters south of Cape Lookout to commercail menhaden netting. We are trying to find out whether this was initiated by a Commissioner or Omega. We will let everyone know exactly what is going on as soon as we can get all the info.  As you know, irrespective of what the MFC might choose to do south of Cape Lookout, our Brunswick County waters are not subject to MFC directives, as we passed legislation that prevents netting in our waters, and to change that would require a new bill to be passed. The battle never ends, but with a Republican controlled legislature, seems like that would be quite a challenge. Standby. 
- Rube McMullan
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"Perfect Sized Kings" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 11/11/10
 

Bob Fischer an d Casey Nix of Casper, Wyoming joined Tom Fischer of Greenville, S.C. and Papy Fisher of New Hill, N.C. for a half day charter aboard the Carolina Cat with Captains Chris Dew and Steele Park.  The group battled sharks for a good part of the morning, but struck gold in 65 ft. of water.  Fishing with frozen cigar minnows, they loaded the dock cart with perfect sized kings.  If they were fishing commercially, these teenage kings would bring top dollar on the market.  It's good to see the wind laid out enough and the kings were in close enough to allow them to be caught on a half day charter.
- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Today's Report" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 11/11/10
 

Hard to tell what's going on with the weather.  Forecast is bad, but wind has been in and out, not really that bad.  Today the Carolina Cat ran a 3/4 charter and did great on Kings fishing the 65 foot hole.  Capt. Chris reported the area was loaded with schools of live Cigar Minnows- find the bait and the fish are there.  November is historically the best month to catch numbers of Kings.  They school up around the Cigar Minnows, typically in 65-80 feet of water.  Right now they are at the Shark Hole, 65 foot hole and Jungle-- there will be some stragglers in closer at Christinas and 90's as well.  The great thing about this fishery is it is easy.  Dead Cigar Minnows are a guarantee, but if you want to be creative, you can easily jig live Cigar Minnows while you are fishing.  They will speed the action up and get bites from larger fish.  We have charters through the weekend, so I'll keep you posted.

The weather looks really good this weekend.  You should come down and enjoy the weather and the fishing.  The King bite will be red hot.  Oh yeah, the Grouper too.  They get hot and heavy when the Cigar Minnows move in as well.  Fish same spots as Kingfishing over the structure.  Live Cigar Minnows are like candy.  See you on the water.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"NC Kingfish State Championship On Tap" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 11/11/10
 

The North Carolina Kingfish State Championship is set to begin this Saturday the 13th of November and run all the way through the following Sunday, November 21st. This king mackerel tournament is being held at a time and place when the king mackerel fishing off the Carolina coast should be at its peak. Extremely large and large numbers of fish congregate on the east side of Cape Lookout in November between Cape Lookout shoals and Cape Hatteras shoals. For this reason we have 2 weigh in locations: location number one is at Town Creek Marina in Beaufort with kingfish tournament legend Shae Lewis acting as weigh master and location number two is at Hatteras Landing Marina with local fishing expert Billy Webster as weigh master. You will notice this tournament stretches over a 9 day period which the purpose of this is to give all fishermen ample opportunity to fish in good conditions. Fishermen will choose their 2 out of 9 fishing days at their own convenience by calling the tournament declaration hotline at 910-253-3474. The weather this Saturday, the first of the 9 possible tournament fish days, looks a little iffy but greatly improves Sunday and through the first part of the week. I will be heading to Hatteras on Saturday and planning to fish Sunday and Monday and depending on the weather just might stay the week. This is the best time of year to fish king mackerel on the Carolina coast and the attraction to the area known as the "East Side" between Cape Lookout and Cape Hatteras is the size of the kingfish. Average size kingfish for this time of year in that area is 30-35lbs. Numerous fish over 40lbs will be caught with 50's very common and I'm not going to be surprised to see fish over 60lbs. It's an amazing fishery and sincerely hope as many of you tournament guys as possible will join us for this unique formatted tournament with the goal of becoming North Carolinas first kingfish state champion. Registration is open online at www.oifc.com. Be sure to read the rules and tournament details to fully be informed of all your options.
- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"SKA Nationals Pictures" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 11/10/10
 

Jeff Reid posted these pictures taken by David Wicker of the SKA Nationals.  In the pictures are Jeff, David and Stephanie Ferrell.

The first three are before the Tournament and are Jeff, David and Stephanie catching blue runners for bait.  Ain't the weather perfect? The last pictures are during the tournament.  Notice how they are bundled up and the 6 to 10's in the background.  The pictures do not do the seas justice.  You can also see how close to the shore the bite was.  Thanks for the use of the pictures Jeff.


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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""60 degrees"" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 11/10/10
 

The water temperature has dropped rapidly in the last couple of weeks. I expect that it should level out and stay consistent for the next few weeks. This is the best time of year to get out and get on a hot bite. The fish are in all out feeding mode. They know this may be their last chance to have a full course meal until spring next year. In past years I have located fish and they have stayed in one place for weeks feeding. Yesterday, I found a large school of redfish with a few trout mixed in with them. I ended up catching 30+ redfish and 6 trout. They were all in two areas about the size of a beach ball. If you missed the ball, no bite. If you hit the ball, game on! I headed back there today lining up conditions expecting similiar results. As Rube reported the wind kicked up quite a bit today. The wind changed conditions ever so slightly in the area I caught fish yesterday. I also had my 3 year-old on the boat today as well. We had 5 bites, landing one small trout and one decent redfish. Either the slightly different conditions made the fish move somewhere different or they all had sore mouths. This time of year can be challenging, but large schools of fish are out there waiting to be found. Conditions are key to success...yesterday light north winds, 60 degree water tempeture, and crystal clear water...today stronger north wind, 59 degree water temperature, and slightly off color water. I noticed the changing conditions and probably could have located the school again today with a little recon; however, a 3 year-old has very little patience. What changed the conditions? The stronger north wind was blowing hard enough to slow the current down. This causing the pretty green ocean water not to push into the creek we were fishing. Also I noticed the temperature was warmer at the mouth of the creek as we were leaving. These are only small pieces of the puzzle, but extremely important for success. My tip in this report is pay attention to the conditions, especially when you get on a hot bite. Write them down or remember them for your next trip out on the water. Some conditions to consider: tide, current, wind direction and speed, structure, moon phase, water temperature and clarity. Yeah, I hear you already complaining about making fishing so difficult. Well, if you are going to be successful that is what it takes. Still yet, the fish are going to win more days than not. See ya on the water!

  


- Capt. Jacob Frick
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"King report" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 11/10/10
 

Tried to get out this morning, but north wind kicker up harder than we wanted to kick so came home. Looked for pogies toward Holden and all the way to Little River and they had disappeared from yesterday. Kings have moved off to the Jungle/Shark Hole; biting on dead cigars.
- Rube McMullan
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"Conditions report" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 11/09/10
 

Rode down beach today to Southport. Water still full of pogies along beach, however they are doing their flip and run deal. Didn't try to catch any, but difficult this time of year. Water temp on beach is 62 degrees. Going out tomorrow to check out how close kings are still in; will report back.
- Rube McMullan
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"Galapagos Opening" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 11/09/10
 

We've had an opening come available for the Galapagos trip scheduled for January 30th - February 6th. This trip has been full for a couple months with 16 fishermen and fisherwomen but one spot has now opened up. If anyone out there is interested in joining our group for what is sure to be a trip one of the most incredible fishing destinations on earth contact me immediately. We'll need to get travel arrangements handled quickly. This is a great once in a lifetime fishing trip that you don't want to miss. Contact me at captbarrett@oifc.com. Thanks.
- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Thanksgiving Inshore Classic " | Speckulator - 22' | 11/09/10
 

Well folks, it is that time of year again and Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means our annual Thanksgivinig Inshore Classic is right around the corner as well.  The tournament will be held the Saturday after Thanksgiving as always, November 27th.  Registration will be on November 26th at the OIFC.  More info on the tournament can be found on the tournaments page, at http://www.oifc.com/tournaments.cfm

The trout fishing has been exceptional the last few days, and we are starting to see more and larger fish all the time.  The fishing should only improve over the next couple of weeks, and we should have hot fishing, as usual, for the tournament.


- Capt. Kyle Hughes
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"Plan B" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 11/09/10
 

The crew of "The Law" couldn't make the Nationals due to lower unit issues on their off shore boat.  Still needing a fishing fix they opted for Plan B.  They took Michelle Drake's 17 ft. skiff in shore fishing.

Michelle nailed some bait in Calabash, displaying her skills with a cast net and  they headed for the soon-to-be tourist attraction, the old Sunset Beach bridge.  The primarily off shore anglers anchored up and within a few minutes Stephen Welborne started moving around the boat, obviously with a strike.  He began calling for the net.  Being more used to gaffing fish with an 8 ft. gaff as opposed to netting them Michelle was struggling getting what they could see was a big flounder in the landing net.  Jeff took the net and brought a 5.8 lb. flounder aboard. Jeff also caught and carefully released an undersized red a little later.

Michelle claims to be a lousy in shore angler, but she did her part catching bait and posing with the flounder.  Thanks for sharing your trip with us.


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"SKA Nationals Cont. " | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 11/08/10
 

I know that it seems that is all you are reading about on the reports this week but the reality is, that's where we all were so we have to report on where we fished.  I also had the opportunity to fish down in Ft. Pierce last week aboard the Toes Up with Richard Boles and Doug Robson. I had not had the opportunity to fish with these two guys before the trip down but have gotten to know them very well over the past year as customer's here at the OIFC and as friends.  Anyway, we headed down bright and early Monday morning and arrived in Ft. Pierce just in time to get the boat in the water just prior to sunset Monday.  Tuesday was an exciting day and a truly great learning experience as Capt. Brant, Capt. Barrett and Capt. Rube allowed me to tag along with them for the first day of the Pro Tournament. It was truly incredible to have the opportunity to fish with these guys.  Their tactics and techniques are a bit humbling to say the least.  We managed to catch a few fish but the big one eluded us.  Wednesday, I had an opportunity to do a little pre-fishing for the tournament aboard the "Toes Up", a 23t Contender owned by Richard. While we called it pre fishing, the real agenda for the day was to venture 8-12 miles offshore to the gulf stream to do a little sportfishing.  Yes, I said 8-12 miles to the gulf stream.... It was incredible to catch 24+ lb dolphin's within sight of land.  Ended up with a handful of Dolphins and steady action all day.  Then the Wind really started blowing.... The story of the week was ROUGH conditions and it was.  Thursday was a no fish day as it galed all day and rained cats and dogs.  What is a fisherman to do when he cant fish?  Hit the local tackle shops for info. We developed a plan for Friday based on the info we had and what we were looking at with the weather forecast, and what a plan it was.  The tournament was in a Bimini Start format which means that all boats take off from the inlet at the same time when the tournament commitee says go.  They said go and the whole fleet took off as fast as they could go in 4-6 ft seas with occassional 8 footers mixed in.  Instead of taking off, we put lines out right at the inlet.  Within 30 minutes we had 3 fish in the boat, including what would have been a stud fish had it not had a rig from another fisherman in its throat and been on the verge of starving to death.  We ended up catching 6 or 7 fish and never left the area around Ft. Pierce inlet.  Alas, the big fish eluded us and we ended up with a combined total of 31lbs+ which was good enough for 19th place in the 23 and under class.  All in all, it was a great week but would have loved to have had better conditions.  Looking forward to this week, looks like the wind is going to force us to fish on the beach but I hear there are fish to be caught.  I am going to go out there tomorrow and see if I can find the fish to let you know where they are hiding.  See you out there.
- Capt. Steele
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"Catch and Release" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 11/08/10
 

Most of us practice catch and release.  I ran across this article  on Earth Sports and found it interesting.
- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Checkers or Wreckers" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 11/07/10
 

Well, it was wreckers for Team OIFC in this year's SKA National Championship held in Ft. Pierce, FL. It was a tough event for all teams competing for the National Title this year due to the perfectly timed arrival of the first big cold front of the year on the morning of tournament day one (Friday). While the forecast was for strong winds, it was expected the direction would have some west in it making the beach calm and very fishable. Unfortunately the part the weather man got right was the strong winds, he missed the direction as it was mostly from the north which meant a steep and tight 4 to 6 ft sea with nowhere to hide. We had planned to return to the same area to the south of Ft. Pierce in 25 feet of water just off the beach where we had fished a couple days prior during the pro tournament. There was a good bite of big fish there and we were hoping to find the same condition. It seemed most other boats in the tournament had the same plan as the 200+ boats fishing scattered out along the beach with more than 100 in the one small area. The beach water had changed color due to the heavy winds and seas but surprisingly some fish still hung around in the silty water. However, the main bite of fish was not to be in our chosen area and instead about 10 miles down the beach from us around schools of spanish mackerel. Note to self: find the bait, find the fish- kingfish 101. Oh well, we fished very hard all day but if you aren't around the fish you aren't going to catch them. It was a disappointing event for Team OIFC but truthfully we were accepting of the outcome as we simply weren't where the fish were. We learned a lot about south Florida style kite fishing from some local gurus and are excited to bring that technique back to Ocean Isle. In the past we have dabbled in the kite fishing for kingfish but we found there is a whole new level out there that can be a deadly technique when around the fish. This would be considered kingfish 202. Despite the horrific weather there is always going to be a winner and some really nice fish ended up being caught. It just goes to show that kingfish can be anywhere at anytime and just when you think you've got them figured out, they change. Ft. Pierce can be a tough place to figure out but I guess if you caught a good fish you might not think so. Next year the championship is headed back to Biloxi, MS and I know I can speak for Team OIFC when I say BRING IT ON! We will be extremely excited to travel back to the Gulf next year to experience a truly amazing king mackerel fishery and once again compete for the honor of being the kingfish National Champion. We're all back here at home now and patiently waiting for the weather to give us a break so we can take revenge on the kingfish after they embarrassed us so badly last weekend!
- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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