Red Alert. I just walked over to the beach and gannets are diving mile off the beach, porpoises working.....The Bluefin are coming!!!....The Bluefin are coming!!!
- Rube McMullan
Address: 65 Causeway Drive, Ocean Isle Beach, NC
Page 302 of 427
When I think of Thanksgiving, two things automatically pop into my mind. Turkey, and Trout fishing. The best trout fishing of the year is upon us, and as most of yu know our annual Thanksgiving trout tournament is scheduled for this Saturday, the 28th. Registration with be Friday, the 27th from 4 to 7 p.m. More info on the tourney can be found on the tournaments page of this website. The only rule change I am going to make known is that the eastern boundary will be extended to the ADM Dock in the Cape Fear river, meaning all the water south (downriver) is in bounds, including eastward to Bald Head Island. This is being done to hopefully draw some participation from those of you in the eastern part of the county. Other than that, I hope to see everyone on friday evening, and if you have any questions give me a call.
Kingzilla will be lying in state in the OIFC Rotunda until the Thanksgiving weekend. All are invited to stop by and pay their respects to this monster of a king fish. Captains Brant and Barrett also have the SKA National's Trophy on display inside the store. Making your trip worthwhile is the 10% off all fishing tackle sale. This really adds up. Buy yourself a bluefin set up and REALLY save!
If Captain Brant is happy enough over Kingzilla to take 10% off, let's hope he catches Kingzilla's big brother! On your way out check out the 32' Yellowfin in the parking lot. This boat really knows how to fish. She has won several tournaments for Captain Brant this year. Brant is showing his gratitude to her by putting her up for sale!!! That's no way to treat a lady.
It is hard to put in perspective the events and good fortune that we had this past weekend while fishing the SKA National Championship tournament in Biloxi, MS. The only way I can think to try to explain it is that we (the Ocean Isle Fishing Center tournament team of Brant, Barrett and Rube McMullan) weighed the largest King Mackerel EVER weighed in the 19 year history of the SKA and quite possibly the largest King EVER weighed in any competition. And we did it on the grandest stage of all, the Southern Kingfish Association's National Championship tournament. The tournament format awards winners based on a 2 fish aggregate, and the record breaking 74.10 that we weighed coupled with a very respectable 44.03, made for an aggregate of 118.13 pounds, the highest aggregate total EVER in any SKA National Championship; and thus the Ocean Isle Fishing Center team is now the 2009 National Champion. To take it one step further, the 74.1 shattered the Mississippi state record of 64 pounds, caught by Dan Abshire back in the early 2000's. Our sentiments and that of most of the tournament participants was that the event was no longer about winning the Nationals, it became about the fish. We are truly humbled by the honor of catching such an incredible fish.
And now, the rest of the story...
Like most other tournament competitors, we checked out at 6:40am on Friday and made tracks as fast as we could some 80 miles south of Biloxi to an area known as the Horseshoe. This spots had produced winning Kings for the past three National tournaments and reports were the bite was red hot again. We had a livewell full of Bluefish and Blue Runners, and we were set for hot action. We arrived at the fishing grounds at 8:40am and the dozen or so boats that were all ready there were all hooked up; it was going to be on. My father, brother and I each grabbed a bait, tossed it over and began free lining it back. Seconds later we were all hooked up. It was as hot a bite as you could be in, with most Kings averaging 25-30 pounds. There were certainly much larger Kings there, but the numbers of "smaller" Kings made it very hard to keep a bait in the water for a larger fish to bite. Our technique became to toss three baits out, hook up, fight and either release or upgrade what we had in the box and then move. We would run a 1/4 mile or so and then do it again. The expanse of the size of the Kingfish school was amazing, a solid square mile. Throughout the morning we upgraded our catch, landing several fish in the low to mid 40 pound range. We had a rough aggregate of 85 pounds, but we knew it would take more. Barrett commented, "OK, we have our kicker fish, now we need a monster." Like many tournament fishing days, we dreamed of catching THE BIG ONE. The fabled 60 pounder was what we needed. At 1:30pm we had gone through all of our bait. I decided to run inshore some 7 miles to a rig in 120 feet of water where I thought we could jig fresh bait; the plan being to get bait and then try to find somewhere to fish that might give us that one big fish we needed. We jigged up a couple dozen baits and at 2pm we started heading back toward the area in which we left. I really did not want to go back to the same spot as I felt we needed to fish something different, something out of the ordinary where we might find one loner big fish. I changed our course a bit further south and toward some offshore rigs, looking for a sign. Barrett commented, "There's the birds." A light kicked on. I had heard rumor of schools of Mullet that often get pushed offshore by predators and that they can often be the key to finding huge Kings. We approached the birds and soon discovered the activity was a huge school of Menhaden that were balled up so tight and swimming in a circle so fast, the water was creating a whirlpool in the center of the school. I wanted to fish, but Barrett wanted to cast net the bait and fish with it; I yielded. He threw the cast net in 250 feet of water and it hardly sunk 5 feet before it ws so full of bait, Barrett had to cleat it off to keep the fish from pulling the net from his hands. He emptied much of net in the water and was finally able to pull the net aboard with more than enough live Menhaden to fish with. As we tossed extra baits overboard, a massive feeding frenzy began as Kings began sky rocketing the injured Menhaden. All of the Kings we saw were small, but I had a feeling that if you were ever going to find a monster King, a true giant that was just as much out of place as the baitfish we had just cast netted, this was the chance. We deployed a spread of fresh baits and within minutes were hooked up to a good fish. I angled but just as the King showed itself under the boat, a Hammerhead Shark grabbed the back half and headed on its way. Fortunately the King wasn't so big as to make us sick for the loss, but large enough for us to have confidence that there were some nice Kings around. We continued fishing and caught several other small Kings in the 15-25 pound range. We then hooked up to a smoker and landed a 41-42 pounder, possibly a slight upgrade to what we had in the bag. My confidence was sky high. I commented to my father that if you were every going to catch a 60 pounder, this is where it should happen. I watched the baits and a fish of 45-50 pounds skied on our mid range bait, but missed. I was disappointed, but she did not get any hooks and had to still be hungry. I remember looking at the GPS clock, it was 3:11pm. We had to be back in Biloxi some 80 miles away in unfavorable sea conditions by 5:30pm. I figured we had at max until 3:30pm to fish. Barrett deployed a Pogy on the downrigger rigged with a Yee Haw Fish Call and set it to 40 feet. At this point, we were trying anything and everything we had that might elicit a strike. He turned away and seconds later the line popped free from the clip. Barrett grabbed the rod and wound tight to check if the fish had the bait or had simply knocked it from the clip. He felt weight and lightly set the hook. The fish felt the pressure and went absolutely supersonic as it ran fast, long and deep. Still, we had caught so many Kings throughout the day and so many had run hard only to show they had more spunk than size, we were not excited. As the fish just kept going and the spool kept getting smaller, Barrett turned to me, "what should I do?" My reply was a casual, "it will stop." Thank goodness I did not know what was on the end of the line. The fish finally stopped with about 100 yards left on the spool and Barrett began regaining. Meanwhile, Rube and I kept lines out and trolled out the back, casual as ever. Just another fish, no big deal. Barrett wound and wound, and I paid him little attention. I looked over the side one time and saw a glimmer of white, but it looked no different from the 50+ other Kings we'd been catching. Barrett's voice had sense of urgency as he said get the gaff. I knew that something was up and as I ran forward toward the gaff, I stuck my head over the side for a split second and was staring face to face with a giant head. I did not see the fish, just his mouth looking straight up at me. I grabbed the gaff, reached over where the fish was floating motionless next to the boat and sunk it near the dorsal fin. I remember gripping down on the and seeing the girth of the fish near its tail. It struck me as something extraordinary, but we still had no idea. I pulled the gaff while Barrett and Rube grabbed the tail and began hoisting. The point of the gaff momentarily stuck in the rub rail and made for an interesting moment, but one last pull and the fish's head came to the rub rail and slid sideways across the gunnel and the fish landed on the deck. This was the point when the size of the fish struck me. It was absolutely surreal. I had certainly never seen a King anywhere close to this big, not in realy life nor in the 15+ years of reading the SKA's Angler Magazine. We hooted, hollered and danced all at once, when it dawned us that we had to go. Barrett went to cleaning up tackle while Rube and I manuevered the fish to get it into the fish bag on ice. I remember the two of us trying to carry the fish and just how massive it was. We couldn't turn corners on the boat because it was too long, and we had to turn it around in the fish bag so we could at least zip up most of the fish.
We ran 40 miles in the open ocean in 3-4 foot seas at 45mph then ducked behind the protection of the Chandeluer Islands and cranked it up to 60mph for the final 45 miles. We made it to the check-in at 5:10pm. During the run, a combination of nerves and excitement were building. Barrett and Rube both admitted they hoped the fish was 60 pounds, the mythical mark that this fish might possibly make a reality. The concept of 70 pounds was not even considered because it had never been done before. Myself, the fish hit the deck and I made the comment, "that fish is 70 pounds." Honestly, having caught some large Wahoo, I thought the King might go 80 pounds, but just to think about that wasn't real. Upon arrival to weigh-in some word had spread that we had a big fish, but our description we gave was "big, stupid big, crazy, wild.." We certainly could not put a number on it, we had no idea. We only knew we'd never seen anything like it before. We patiently waited in line before approaching the dock for pictures. Barrett grabbed the 44 pounder and Rube and I grabbed the monster. It began to turn some heads. We put the fish back in the bag and zipped it up, and Barrett and I toted them to the scales. The real moment when the size sunk in was as we stood at the base of the stairs to the weigh-in stage. A competitor pulled out a King and the crowd "oohed" and "ahhed" and Jack with the SKA commented on how nice this fish was; the scale pulled down to 51 pounds. Barrett looked at me and said," Did you just see that fish?" I replied, "Yeah, it looks very small." We both shook our heads. What did we have? We put the bag on the stage. The crowd had built as rumors and anticipation built. I unzipped the back of the bag and carefully slid out the smaller of our fish. The scales dipped to 44.03 pounds. For me, that was the time when I thought we might have the tournament won. I knew if that fish was over 40, then we had a chance to beat the current leading 100 pound aggregate. I then unzipped the bag and Jack looked in, "Oh my gosh." I grabbed the fish by the tail and stood it up and it just kept going. "Oh my gosh." The crowd gasped and the mass of whispers could be heard. The weigh master adjusted the scale to accomodate the fish and hung it. I was focused on the numbers a I first saw 53 and then the next number it went to was in the 70's. The crowd went absolutely nuts as the scales settled in at 74.1 pounds. Screams, hollers, high-fives; it was unbelievable as fishermen and spectators rushed the stage. We were living the moment that every tournament fisherman dreams of. The fish was announced as the new SKA record, the 118 pound aggregate weight was the new SKA Nationals aggregate record and the King had shattered the Mississippi state record by 10 pounds. After what seemed like an eternity of high-fives and hollers, the fish was taken of the scales and put in the display case. A 59 pound King and 65 pound Wahoo were in the case and to see this 74 next to those fish, was amazing. It was so much larger, it looked like a 100 pounds. Anyway, suffice to say, Barrett, Rube and myself of the Ocean Isle Fishing Center fishing team won the 2009 SKA National Championship. We are honored by the title of being National Champions and we are further honored with the greatest catch ever made in the history of King Mackerel tournament fishing. I can't believe it. We can't believe it. And now, where do we go from here?
Thanks to all who have called and emailed with support. And congratulations to the Pro Marine Fishing Team with Capt. Jim Nasat who weighed a very respectable any typically winning 100 pound aggregate to finish second. They are great guys and hopefully they agree that if you are going to finish second, best it be to such an incredible catch.
We have named our giant King "Kingzilla" and we brought her back to NC. We will certainly have a replica made, but for the next week, through Thanksgiving weekend, we will have "Kingzilla" on display in the flesh at the Ocean Isle Fishing Center. You are invited to come see this incredible fish .
Captains Brant, Barrett and Rube are not even back at Ocean Isle and the congratulations are still pouring in, but there is little time to sit back and savor the victory. Bluefin Tuna season is knocking on the door! Mike Marsh has an excellent article in the November/December issue of Sport Fishing Magazine on the five top spots for Mid-Atlantic Winter Bluefin.
In the article he points out the Cape Fear Region, in particular the OIFC as the place to go. He also speaks of Captain Brant as the go to person for Bluefin fishing. I'll not disclose the exact contents of the story as I don't want to ruin Mike's excellent article.
Suffice it to say, the OIFC IS the place to come for Bluefin Charters, equipment and information. Ocean Isle Beach also is a beautiful place stay with excellent accommodations. It is close enough to Myrtle Beach and Wilmington for you and your family to enjoy all they have to offer.
We are on the road back home. What a weekend. What a fish- 74.1 pounds???? A couple of spectators said it best as they looked down on the giant fish in the display case--- " I've never seen one that big" --- "Heck, I've never heard of one that big!" Putting that fish on the deck will be a moment I never forget.
For all you King fishermen out there, we have a special treat. "Kingzilla" will be on display at the OIFC through Thanksgiving weekend. You owe it to yourself to see this fish- incredible!
Plus- from now through Thanksgiving, visit the OIFC to see Kingzilla and give congrats to Team OIFC and get 10% OFF any fishing tackle purchase.
Also- part of our winnings is a 2010- 21' Contender with 200hp Mercury Optimax and Loadmaster trailer- She is for sale. I don't have a price, but if you'll email me at email@example.com I can reply with pics and info and will soon have a better idea of value.
Thanks to all for the calls and emails of support and congrats- what a great feeling! The question is, where do you go from here?
Details and pictures to follow- hope to see you stop by the OIFC this week.
Straight from Miss Stephanie Beach..."Congrats to Barrett, Brant and Rube for winning the SKA Nationals !!!"...'nuff said!!!!!!!!
Check out this link to the SKA Nationals site.
Team OIFC, Capt. Brant, Capt. Barrett, and Rube just weighed in the biggest King ever weighed in an SKA Tournament...74.10 lbs!!!!!!!!!!!!! They lead the Nationals with a 118 lb aggregate!!!!!!!!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!
A NATIONAL RECORD!!!!!!!!!!!
The winds and rain have not been cooperative and actually slowed everything down in our area including fishing. That said, it makes it tough to write fishing reports. We need for ya'll to get out, catch some fish and give us something to report.
Your failure to fish will result in us turning the fishing report into an advertisement for the Captains Club Sale, bluefin gear, fishing tackle, marine supplies, sweatshirts........see it's already happening! Let's watch the weather together and see if we can get out this weekend. Jeff and I may try Friday afternoon..hope we catch something!
Robbie Dial is in Biloxi prefishing and reports boat owner David Braswell (The Getting Jiggy) caught a very large blue marlin, which was David's first blue marlin, as well as several kings. He's attempted to email pictures, with only these two making it through. Compare them to the pictures from Hatteras after Ida.
Boats on the trailer and bags are packed. 5:00am departure for Biloxi tomorrow. Team OIFC is making a return trip to where the infamous "pickle incident" occured last year. If you haven't seen go to www.youtube.com and search OIFC pickle. Hopefully the bite will be at least a fraction of what we saw last year. We'll keep the OIFC report updated from the road with information from this year's SKA National Championship.
While we're gone the weather is supposed to be great so I expect the fishing to turn on by the late part of the week. King Mackerel will be in 80-100ft, grouper should be in 85 to 110 ft and the wahoo are likely chewing on the break. November is one of the best months to fish our area so don't miss out on this weather window.
Lastly, don't forget about the Traveling Fisherman trip we're planning to Panama. We need to have our list of fishermen together by December 1st. If you're interested be sure to call or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Call 910-575-3474.
**Team OIFC consisting of Barrett, Rube and myself have defended our title as champions of the annual OIFC.com KMT, hosted out of Morehead City and Hatteras. Our first day of fishing we weighed a 46.95 and our second day we weighed a 50.05 for a 97 pound aggregate, followed very closely by Release who weighed a 43.05 and 53.9 for a 96.95 pound total- now that's close! The Release team did get the satisfaction of big fish as they weighed a 53.9. We look forward to hosting this event next year and hope that this year's catches of monster Kings will spur more fishermen to participate in this awesome fishery.
** Capt. Kyle's Inshore Classic is coming up Thanksgiving weekend. If you are in town and need something to do on Saturday and you like to Trout fish, you really should enter. The fishing will be VERY good and the entry is only $100. Why not enter, if you're fishing anyway, might as well add a little excitement- CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.
**Team OIFC and many other local teams are heading to Biloxi, MS to fish in the SKA's National Championship tournament, which takes place next weekend. The format is the same as our OIFC.com tournament we just hosted which has each team weigh their largest King over 2 days of fishing and the highest combined weight wins. Every year Carolina fishermen do very well in this event and many local fishermen have either won or placed very well. I'll post happenings or shoot some pictures while we're fishing, so stay tuned for live updates.
**The Capt. Club Sale is now on. Visit the OIFC and redeem your points you've earned through 2009 to buy product at 50% off. This is a GREAT way to buy your Christmas gifts for family and friends; and they won't even know what an awesome deal you got on the gift. Besides, who doesn't want an OIFC or GMAC sweatshirt, hat, visor, T...... ???
**Bluefin fever is all ready starting to kick in. We've had several guys all ready drop their reels off for us to spool and put top shots on to get them ready. It is still a bit early, but when the first report comes in, you want to be ready. We have it all from A to Z including the experience and knowledge to help you. Come see us for your Bluefin gear. CLICK HERE to shop on-line for Bluefin gear.
**Thanksgiving is just around the corner and many of you spend the holiday at the coast. The inshore fishing for Speckled Trout is incredibly good during this time, which is why its a great idea to fish in Capt. Kyles Inshore Classic, hosted Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving from the OIFC. If the weather permits and you want to get offshore, look for good King Mackerel fishing near the Frying Pan Tower or straight off in 80-90 feet of water.
Captain Jeff Beck (DO Work/OIFC) and 1st Mate Jay Utley just returned to port from a day long bottom fishing trip. They fished squid and frozen cigar minnows in 90-95 ft of water. The crew landed "an assortment of bottom fish", but only a few were of legal size so were put back. Jeff said he had to go to 90 feet to find temperatures in the 66-67 degree range. He stated the water was still murky from the winds and rain. Several boats were out with him king fishing and none were reported caught. Jeff and some other boats will go out again Monday..Hopefully we'll have some good news.
Remember the Captains Club...we've got some good stuff!
Well as it turns out our 9 day tournament probably could have been held over one weekend. The weather this week has not been favorable and from Morehead to Hatteras this weekend it could remain a little sloppy. It is supposed to be improving but further north will take longer to settle. If anyone decides to brave the conditions this weekend and fish the OIFC.com KMT, registration will remain open until 11:59pm tonight. I'm sure the fish are right where we left them and I bet they're hungry! The last official fish day for the tournament is Sunday. We'll post results when the event is concluded.