Poor Benjy Faulkner, stuck in Winston Salem in @ 8" of snow with the only thing to remind him of the sea is a snow man with an OIFC shirt. 32 degrees and snow flurries at the beach is better than snow men inshore!
- Capt. Amy McMullan
Address: 65 Causeway Drive, Ocean Isle Beach, NC
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Local inshore angler extraordinaire Brandon Sauls took a break from the Christmas gala to slip out for a little inshore fishing in the Ocean Isle backwaters. If you study the flounder closely you can get a rare glimpse at the bait he was using. Along with the winter flounder, Brandon brought in some drum and more than 2 dozen trout.
What better family tradition than to celebrate a birthday sea bass fishing. Today is Capt Brant's birthday so me, Brant, and Caroline loaded up the Carolina Cat[with it's brand new 300HP Yamaha's] and headed out to 90-100 feet in search of the absolute best eating fish in the sea; which just happens to make it's home right here in North Carolina. We loaded up with 1-3 pounders, while dodging lots of sharks. Seemed like the best strategy was to drop on any rock, catch a couple before the sharks found us, and then move to another rock. Hopping around like this in a small area allowed us to catch the sea bass and miss most of the sharks which are thick out there right now. The weather today was perfect, but appears to be taking another downturn for the rest of the week and into next week. Didn't see any encouraging Bluefin signs, a few gannets and porpoises, nothing exciting. Hope everyone has a great Christmas; I will with a refrigerator full of fresh Sea Bass!
I was finishing up some shopping at the Walmart in greater Shallotte today when I ran into one of our local fishing "aces". He told me that "the water had moved in" around the Tower and the kings were almost eating the bottom out of his boat. He said most of the guys were pulling spoons and were killing the fish. That if someone pulled "minnows" they could absolutely slay the kings. All the emphasis has been on blue fins and most of us haven't really thought about kings. Maybe we need to. I also had my bags checked by the Walmart Greeter. I guess it was the "gangsta" look I had going in my hooded OIFC sweat shirt.
Messed up! That's what the weather man did. The wind was supposed to blow Monday and Tuesday. It blew hard out of the north Sunday, and then about 5 pm someone threw a switch and it stopped! Tuna birds were thick right off the beach at Ocean Isle all day Sunday. The ocean was flat and beautiful Monday and there is not even a slight breeze now (Monday night).
I've talked with some guys who are going out blue fin huntn' Tuesday. With the cold weather, the report of the tuna washed ashore at Ft. Fisher and the Gannets flying in our area the odds are in the favor of someone hooking up. I wish all the anglers good luck and hope we'll have some pictures to post Tuesday evening. Stay tuned!!!!
The OIFC received the following bluefin tuna regulations update from the Marine Fisheries:
Recreation/private boat: 1 fish per day per boat-27" to 59"-no fish over 59"
Charter boats: 2 fish per day/per boat- 1 can be 27" to 47", 2nd fish 47" to 59"-No fish over 59"
Commercial boats: 3 fish per day/per boat over 73"
Well, no sooner did I send out a mass email pronouncing this weekend as a great weekend to get offshore than the weather forecast totally changed and went to poo. Its still cold as heck and the wind has layed a bit, maybe 15kts or so, but 15kts at 25 degrees on the open water .... you do the math. But, those are ideal Bluefin conditions. I think there may be a few guys trying for them today locally, I'll keep you posted. In Morehead, there's been one or two Bluefin brought in every day. Nothing has broken open yet, but there are fish there.
We finally got the web cam fixed. Not that there's a lot to watch, but at least now you can see the sunrise over Ocean Isle in the AM. And occasionally maybe you can watch us pace up and down the docks messing with stuff or simply trying to burn off energy. It is quiet here!
Hope everyone is planning a nice holiday. Merry Christmas. Stay tuned for updates as we get them.
A good friend of the OIFC, Bryan Freeman sent the attached pictures. Bryan heard my plea for help because the weather was keeping most people on shore. Not so for Bryan, Daniel Simmons and Victor Jones. These brave souls battled their way to the Steeples on a cool Friday. They marked several tuna, though Bryan said they were all little. Not the kind size the blue fin hunters are after. He said all they could score were false albacore, but they did manage to land one wahoo after several break off's. The wahoo are still here, at least they were Friday.
The pictures do not do the sea conditions justice. Check out the stance in the pictures and the spray in the 2nd picture.
The last picture is of their wahoo dinner. Thanks for helping a brother out Bryan!!
Jamie Blue posted thisYou Tube link on Facebook today. It's of the largest Yellow Fin Tuna caught on a rod and reel. It was caught aboard the Vagabond sport fishing boat out of San Diego on 12-6th and weighed 405.2 lbs. on a modified Penn 30W, 100lb Spectra and 100 lb mono leader.
Captain Zach fished Morehead Friday and Saturday. There was a 90 and a 74" bluefin brought to the docks Friday. He said there were hook ups Saturday, but did not hear of any brought to the docks. The good thing is they should be headed here soon. Last year it was around Dec 20th when we started getting the bite.
Captain Brant fished Friday. He said the water was a little murky for the bluefins, although some signs were there. He caught some kings off the Raritan and around the B.P using bluefin gear. He said there were some kings just off the beach and the bait was just off the beach.
Looks like it going to blow for awhile so I'm going to have trouble keeping our report interesting. But if it blows out of the north like it is now the water ought to be calm enough to fish, and maybe hook up with a king.
The trout bite continues to be strong! Dr. Wallen and I headed for the jetties yesterday with live shrimp. It took us longer to anchor, than to catch our first trout. We landed 8 nice trout, 3 redfish, and 2 great eating black drum. I couldn't help but try a few artificials since that is what I like to do. Artificials will work at the jetties, but it is a challenge to keep them in the strike zone. Dr. Wallen and I both landed trout on artificials. I caught a nice one on an Old Bayside shadlyn and another on a 4" Sea Assassin. Dr. Wallen caught his on a DOA Cal electric chicken. The fact is trout will readily take artificials, but the jetties are difficult to fish that way. Floating shrimp is the best way to go out there. Water temp is in the low 50's and will be dropping with this weeks forecast. As long as you can find water temp in the 50's the fish will bite. This is the time of year going shallow, very shallow is where you will find warmer temperatures. The redfish bite stays great all year long here. You just gotta know where to look and have a boat that will get you there. QUIETLY!!! Fish gulp and jigs very slow! Hang on! See ya on the water!