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"Todays Report" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 12/17/09
 

Capt. Steele and I took the World Cat out to try to find a Bluefin today.  I felt like the cold might trigger them to turn on.  I counted 6 boats on the water braving the 3-6' foot seas and COLD- at about 9am 2 boats hooked up- one fish was pulled off fairly quickly, the other fought to boatside before it broke off at the gaff.  The same boat that hooked up and pulled their fish off, hooked up again 30 minutes later and fought a fish for an hour or so before having it pull the hook next to the boat.  Good news is there were a few bite, bad news is Brunswick County is batting a .000 -- There was not much bait at all, which is not good.  The bites were about 2 miles southeast of the Knuckle in 59 degree water -- Looks like we'll be on the hill to first of next week.  Maybe some of the bait will move into the area and help to congregate the fish.  It is still early yet- get ready.
- Capt. Brant McMullan
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e 12/30/2013





"Early Morning Hunt" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 12/17/09
 

I arrived at the OIFC at 6:45 am only to find Capt. Brant's and Captain Steele's trucks in the parking lot and a Cat Boat missing.  I assume they have gone bluefin hunting.  More later in the day!!  Hope it will be positive!!!

 


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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e 12/30/2013





"Bluefin" | OIFC 1- 36' | 12/16/09
 

Everyone has been jacked up ever since Joe Segeers hooked up!  Several anglers were planning to go Friday, the weather looked good.  The key being looked.  All that went down the tubes with today's forecast.

We know the bluefin are here, we pretty much know where here is and it isn't a secret.  We need to know when...when is the wind going to cooperate? When are we going to be able to put stock in the weather forecast?  Who knows....as some would say, "whatever".

What we can do is keep checking out our gear, practice putting on our harnesses, working the drag  and testing it for proper strike drag, making game plans with your partners, and so on.  Bluefin are nothing to play with.  Plus, this keeps the juices flowing and keeps us from going crazy until we can get on the water.  Whatever...


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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e 12/30/2013





"First Bluefin of the Season a Heartbreaker" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 12/15/09
 

The anticipation has been building over the past weeks as fishermen await the arrival of the Giant Bluefin Tuna to our waters. Since 2005, these powerful and highly valuable fish have provided sport and much needed supplemental income to local fishermen. As this is still a very new fishery to our area, every year the big question is, “I wonder if they’ll show.” Up until Monday, that question was still up in the air. However, Mother Nature finally provided favorable fishing conditions and a fleet of a dozen or so boats from Little River to Southport set out to find the Bluefin. Most boats, including myself, fished the area near the Knuckle buoy and Raritan wreck off the end of the Frying Pan Shoals. The water temperature was still a bit warm in the mid 60’s, but there was plenty of bird and bait activity in the area. At about 9am the call finally came, “Hooked up!” Joe Seegers aboard his boat “Hooked Up”, moored out of Southport, had tied into something big and in his words, “… with a lot of horsepower.” I was less than a mile from Joe and began trolling his way to investigate. He had hooked up near a school of Porpoise, which is common as the Tuna will often shadow and feed alongside the Porpoise. I could see the bent rod off the back of the boat, but it is always important to steer well clear of a boat that is hooked up as a hooked fish can surge and take several hundred yards of line at any time. The fleet continued to fish the general area, and I was hoping to hear word of another hookup, but that did not come. We worked the area hard and at 11am, my crew and I decided to head offshore and do a little scuba diving. I had lost track of Joe Seegers and crew as they were likely still doing battle and too busy to communicate via radio. My hopes were that I’d hear about their catch when we returned in the evening. My crew consisting of wife Amy, co-captain Chris Dew and friends Cameron Sebastion and Jeff Martini headed 15 miles further out in search of warmer water and good bottom structure. We set up anchor in 95 feet of water and headed overboard to check out what was going on below. The visibility was decent at 20 feet or so and the bottom was very lively; Grouper, Snapper, Lobster, SHARKS…. Yes, sharks: they are common to see during the Winter months. They are typically Sand Tigers which are the ones you see in all the aquariums; big with gnarly teeth hanging out of their mouth, but fortunately very slow and docile. As you dive, they typically ease around you, seemingly more curious than anything. That is until you shoot a fish with your spear gun; that’s when you begin to ask for a close encounter. The injured and bleeding fish will get the Tigers going and “peak” their interest. They aren’t like Jaws coming in to eat you, but they will come right up to you and if they get fired up enough, they’ll go for your speared fish. That is quite interesting, trust me. Anyway, we all lived to tell about it and after a quick change into some warm clothes, we headed home; all the time I’m hoping to get the good news on Joe’s fish. Well, I finally caught his story via VHF radio and it’s a heart breaker. Joe Seegers fished for years as a mate out of Hatteras, much of that during the big Winter Bluefin Tuna runs in the late 80s and early 90’s when catches of 10+ Bluefin a day were common, so he has plenty of experience. He and crewmate fought the Giant Bluefin for 2 ½ hours before bringing it to the surface. The fish was planed out nicely beside the boat and just feet away from the gaff and its final resting place when the hook simply pulled from the fish’s mouth, allowing it to swim freely to safety. Joe said he estimated the fish between 600 and 700 pounds, a true monster and even worse, a true heartbreaker. I hate to hear stories like that. I’ve been there myself and there is no sicker feeling, it’s the equivalent to losing a tournament winning King Mackerel; just sickening. However, thanks to Joe and crew for hooking up and providing evidence that yes, the Giant Bluefin Tuna will be coming back to Brunswick County this year. And although it was only a single hookup, it is very early in the season for this area. Last year it was December 29th before the first Bluefin were caught. Reports from Morehead City show the fish are steadily moving into the area and the 30 or so Bluefin that have been brought to port this year have been averaging much larger than typical, mostly in the 85-95 inch range with some over 100 inches and 600 pounds. This week the weather is forecast to turn cold and the winds and seas look like they may settle toward the end of the week. The cold weather is exactly what will drive more fish to our area. So on you marks, get set, GO! Visit the Ocean Isle Fishing Center website at www.OIFC.com for daily reports on what the Bluefin are doing. Hopefully next week I’ll have a picture of someone posing with one at the dock. See you on the water.
- Capt. Brant McMullan
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e 12/30/2013





"Hook Up?" | OIFC 1- 36' | 12/14/09
 

Captain Jeff B. and I have just returned to the OIFC docks from bluefin tuna fishing.   Regarding out trip,we cleared the foggy Shallotte Inlet just prior to sun rise.  There were about 5 ft., but very far apart.  We were able to average 28-30 knots.  That should give an idea of the sea conditions.  The water temperature near shore was 56 degrees while in the Knuckle, Raritan and Horseshoe it was the mid 60's.

The signs were very promising...plenty of gannetts,and porpoise.  There were 11 boats fishing the area when a boat radioed the he had a fish on.  Everyone gave him plenty of room.  The fishermen fought the fish for about an hour while we were there and was still in battle when we had to return to the dock.

These are great signs that the bluefin are here.  The OIFC will keep you updated on the fish.

Note: the combos in the picture are OIFC Customs and the lures areBlue Water Candy.


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Bluefin alert!!!" | OIFC 1- 36' | 12/13/09
 

What we beleive to be true out of Morehead yesterday is that there were 15-20 fish caught, similar number hooked and lost, out of fleet of approx 80-100 boats. Not bad. Plan is for the fish to show up tomorrow along Frying Pan shoals as bunch of boats planning on getting after them down here. Good luck to everyone and let us hear from you. Brant and his winder[Amy] will be on the water.
- Rube McMullan
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"Final Bluefin Seminar for '09" | OIFC 1- 36' | 12/13/09
 

The 7-10 day forecast says Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are going to be very fishable. Then, of course, the weekend is predicted to go straight ....well downhill.  Captain Zach and some others are planning to go to Morehead today and we'll get reports from them.

The last of four OIFC Bluefin Seminars was held today by Captain Brant.  These seminars have been chock full of information which should make everyone a better bluefin angler.  Today's Seminar was attended by around twenty people  Thanks to everyone who attended the Seminars. 

 For those who missed the USCG Vessel Safety Inspection, you may contact Larry Coble at 910-619-1274 and arrange an inspection.  Larry is authorized to inspect recreational, charter and commercial vessels.  I cannot stress the importance and benefits of this program.  Also a big OIFC thanks to Larry and his assistants for their inspections and the program they presented.

As an aside, we've had several people ask for horse ballyhoo. Our large ballyhoo is the same as horse.  We sell the two pack of large which is less expensive than the single pack of horse.  This is the same ballyhoo Capt. Brant used last year and will use this year.

The reports have been covering bluefin exclusively lately.  However this time of year is a great time to king mackerel fish around the Tower, and  inshore, the trout bite is on.  You don't have to be a bluefin fisherman to enjoy the fishery in our area.  However, if you want to try your hand at bluefin and don't have the equipment, or just aren't comfortable with your skill level, you make want to try one of Captain Brant's bluefin fishing charter specials.  Take a little time during the holidays to come and join us.


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Just Married" | OIFC 1- 36' | 12/13/09
 

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Barrett McMullan.  The couple said their vows at the Frank H. Kenan Chapel in Landfall Saturday evening!!  The wedding ceremony was beautiful.  All in the OIFC family wish them well and send our love.
- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"6.90 Trout" | OIFC 1- 36' | 12/12/09
 

Brandon Sauls braved the low 40 degree temperature in order to trout fish aboard the "Bone Crusher" today.  His reward was a 6.90 lb. citation trout and a 4.5 lb trout.  The 6.9 lb'r bested his 6.0 lb'r he caught in April, on the OIFC Rodeo Leader Board.  Brandon was fishing with live shrimp behind Ocean Isle Beach.
- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"More Bluefin" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 12/12/09
 

As Steele reported, Captain Brant has been pleasantly surprised at the turnout for the OIFC Bluefin Seminars.  There were around 30 people at the Seminar today and the Coast Guard inspected 4 or 5 boats.  The inspection is a great thing to have in the event you're stopped.  It's our understanding that if you have the sticker the Coast Guard will not re-inspect the boat.  You may call the USCG and arrange for an appointment to have your boat checked if you didn't bring it today. 

Below are a couple of pictures I took today.  The 1st is of an inspection.


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 12/12/09
 

We enjoyed having everyone out this morning for the Bluefin Seminar and Coast Guard inspection/safety course this morning. Hope everyone was able to learn everything they needed to have a successful season. For those of you who were unable to attend, we will be holding another seminar tomorrow morning December 13th at 9:00 until… Hope to see you there. Monday looks like the day to go try based on the weather so come on out and get the latest info. 

- Capt. Steele
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"Bluefin/Vessel Compliance Seminar" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 12/11/09
 

Just a quick reminder to let all you Bluefin Crazy fishermen know that there will be a Bluefin/Vessel Compliance Seminar here at the Fishing Center from 9am till whenever tomorrow, December 12th.  The USCG will be on hand to inspect your vessel either on the trailer or in the water.  Time will be a bit limited in the afternoon as Capt. Barrett is taking the "vows" tomorrow afternoon... He will be on hand in the morning to offer Bluefin tips/advice and to throw the garter at a time to be determined.  The OIFC staff will be on hand to assist with you tackle needs to include reel spooling and combo building.  Take advantage of the excellent Bluefin Blitz Sale and grab some combos.  Look forward to seeing everyone here tomorrow.
- Capt. Steele
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"Enough!!!" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 12/11/09
 

Enough with the wind!!  Someone with connections has got to put in a humble request to put an end to this!  Right now it's blowing 21-23 at the tower and 14-17 three miles out and Saturday isn't looking too good either.  The good thing is that it's cooling down and the bluefin fishing is drawing even closer!

Captain Brant also has reminded the Staff that a lot of people who blue fin tuna fish have their commercial license.  If you do, tell the clerk, who can do a little paperwork and get you savings by keying in your tax exempt status.  Be sure to bring your commercial license, as we'll have to make a copy.

A couple of reminders...the bluefin seminar continues Saturday with the Coast Guard boat inspection included,  the Captain's Club program is still ongoing, as is the Rodeo.

 


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Congratulations!!" | OIFC 1- 36' | 12/09/09
 

Congratulations to Mr. Benjy Faulkner, and his son Captain Zach, a charter captain for Captain Brant's Fishing Adventures, on their purchase of a twin 350 hp Yamaha  powered 36 ft Contender.  The boat is named "Get Floor'd".  It was a proud member of the OIFC charter fleet.  The "Get Floor'd" was one of the best buys of any boat in the region.  She's been worked over and is like new.

  Most important, this boat knows how to catch fish.  So does Captain Zach. They will certainly be a force in our area.  The entire OIFC family is extremely happy for The Faulkners and happy to keep the "Get in the family".

 


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Six and Counting" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 12/08/09
 

That's right..Captain Brant has confirmed 6 bluefin have been brought to the Morehead City docks today!  Some  fishermen will get anxious and head that way.....But wait!  Hold your horses!!  They'll be here soon!!

It was about this time last year when the monster fish started invading the Brunswick County shores.  Knowing this, several captains have been upgrading their gear to meet legal requirements.  They've been checking their harnesses, rods, reels and line as well as tying rigs.  I know because that's exactly what we've been doing.     

I've attended 2 of Captain Bant's seminars and learned something new at each one.  The most important thing I have realized, is that this old reporter had better be ready.  This fishing is exciting and involves a certain amount of risk, which adds to the excitement. 

I strongly encourage all to attend the Bluefin Seminar and Coast Guard Safety Check at the OIFC Saturday.  We not only have the risk of fighting a 500 lb missile in 60 degree water, but we have three layers of law enforcement to get through...NOAA, USCG, and Marine Fisheries...  this seminar is a chance to make sure your equipment is right and  to ask the Coast Guard any questions you may have.  The rules are endless, complicated and expensive if violated, especially if you intend to sell your fish.

Hope to see you Saturday if not on the water!


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Fish Fry!" | OIFC 1- 36' | 12/08/09
 

Brandon Sauls (Bone Crusher) fried up some of the many trout he caught this weekend and didn't invite any of us..bummer!  Brandon was fishing the Lockwoods Folly/Oak Island vacinity and was using live shrimp.

Captain Steele Park (OIFC) was fished the same area while waiting for Zoe's arrival.  He landed some nice trout.  Is that a flounder hiding in his cooler?  He failed to mention that.  That shows they are still around.

Captain Kyle (Speckulator/OIFC) had a charter Sunday and he  brought some trout to the OIFC dock.

If you are waiting for the winds to settle down, the bluefin to get here and have an inshore boat, now is the time to trout fish.  You don't have to have live shrimp to be successful, but it would help.  The next best thing would DOA Shrimp or Berkley Gulp under a cork.  We have both at the OIFC.  While there check out some clothes and decor (I hated to use that sissy word), that Mrs.  Anita has out and use your Captains Club points.  If you're not in the club, sign up and receive some bonus points.

Don't forget the Year Around Rodeo.  It's not over. I'll be tallying up the weights and announce the winners shortly.


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Welcome" | OIFC 1- 36' | 12/07/09
 

The OIFC happily welecomes our newest family member.  Miss Zoe Jane Park  was born to Mr. and Mrs. Steele Park on December 4th at 9:26 am.  Miss Zoe weighed in at 8 lbs.  5 oz..  She was  20 3/4 inches,   Which makes her a citation baby and thusly "a keeper".

Zoe has said she can't wait to catch her first Bluefin and is waiting for her pink Grundens to come.

Welcome to the world Zoe!!


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Todays Report" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 12/07/09
 

Got reliable word that 2 BFT's were brought to dock today in MHC.   One was a whopping 104 inches and dressed at 500 pounds!  Reports were of a few others hooked and lost.  This should be just the beginning as typically the bite starts slow and builds.  The cool weather this week will help!

FOR LEASE- NC Standard Commercial Fishing Vessel license (the license you have to have to sell BFT's in NC) -- I have an extra one and if someone wants to use it for the BFT season, I'll lease it for $750.  Email me at captbrant@oifc.com if you are interested.

Below are some items you may need to be legal for USCG safety requirements- OIFC can get those for you at a VERY good price- see below.

COMMERCIAL FISHING VESSEL
USCG REQUIREMENT ITEMS

AVAILABLE BY SPECIAL ORDER- ALLOW 1-3 DAY DELIVERY TIME


-Flare Kits- USCG commercial vessel approved to 50 miles- $265

-Stearns Survival Suits- USCG approved- $425

-Type I life vest- USCG approved- $50

-ACR life vest lights- USCG approved- $10

** Any other specialty items available upon request
Call (910) 575-3474 or stop by

 


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Bluefin News Flash" | OIFC 1- 36' | 12/07/09
 

The OIFC just received a very reliable report that 3 bluefins are on the way to the Morehead City docks.......It can't be long for us!!!!


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Bluefin News Flash" | OIFC 1- 36' | 12/07/09
 


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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