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"SUMMER EMPLOYMENT" | OIFC 1- 36' | 02/04/09
 

Time flies when you're having fun!  It is time for the OIFC and its various water sports venues to begin to look ahead to the Summer season.  I will begin making plans for the Summer by the end of this month and thus, if you have interest in joining our team for the season, please EMAIL me your interest.  From there, I will get some information and we can begin communicating to get you on board with the OIFC team.

Thanks, Capt. Brant

Oh yeah, it snowed at OIB today.  We awoke this AM to snowfall and a heavy dusting.  Caroline determined it was time she be taken to go sledding.  We mustered up the best sled we could find - FYI, a fish bag actually works pretty good- The snow didn't last long and you might call our entertainment a cross between sledding and mud bogging, but we got it done!  The weather looks AWESOME this weekend.  The wahoo bite was RED HOT last weekend and I guarantee the Bluefin are biting.  I think we might go and fish Bluefin for a couple of hours and then head out to do some Wahoo fishing.  I'm also excited about doing some deep jigging with all the new Lucanus jig system stuff we have here at the OIFC.  Let's go fishing!

 


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Blackened redfish, anyone?" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/03/09
 

Looks like that's what's on the menu for John and Johnny Schuchman, who did a number on these redfish yesterday at the Little River jetties.  They said that fresh shrimp under a popping cork was the magic bait.  Don't worry--it's legal to keep three red drum, per person/per day in SC!
- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"End of bluefin season sale!!!" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 01/31/09
 

Ok--let me add a caveat to that.  With the bluefin bite cooking off again yesterday at the Horseshoe (6 or 7 boats, 5 bites, one fish killed and sold) this is not actually the end of productive bluefin season.  The end of today, however, does mark the end of the commercial season on these fish.  It has been fairly productive for these fish this year, much much better than last season.  I think it has been established that Brunswick County is a good place to target these fish and have success catching them.

We would like to take this opportunity to pass on substantial discounts to the recreational fisherman who is still chasing these fish and to the commercial fisherman, who is looking to restock some gear these giants wore out this season.  Just about everything bluefin related that we can discount, we will.  Shimano sets the prices on many of their reels and we can't change that, but we can drop the prices on just about anything else in the store.  For example:

Braid Harnesses, Braid Belts, Blue Water Candy JAG3, and all Ilander Heads are all 10% off

PowerPro bluefin reel spooling, and the OIFC Custom Economy Bluefin Combo are 15% off

Salty planers, Seaguar Fluorocarbon (200# - 400#), Wiremans Gaff, Bluefin Gaffs, OIFC Custom Bluefin Rigs, and Tournament Cable Topshots are all 20% off

Finally, we have a set of OIFC Custom Bluefin Tuna rods that have different accents, colors, and endchecks than our typical rod.  The components of the rod are exactly the same as the one we usually sell, but it just has a different look.  We can offer a discount of 15% on a single one of these rods, 20% if you purchase two, or 25% with a purchase of 3 or more.  Check out the pictures below, these are rods that will last you a lifetime if cared for properly, and are very functional in the Gulf Stream as well as for giant tunas.

Give us a call at 910 575 FISH if you have any questions about these items.  We are more than happy to ship them your way if you can't make it down here.  Good luck out there if you are chasing recreational fish as well.


- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"On the offshore front..." | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 01/31/09
 

Brian Rowley proved yesterday that bluefin tunas are just part of what NC offers in winter.  He pushed offshore from the Horseshoe and put out his gear just short of the 100/400 and caught big wahoos almost at will.  The largest of his fish was 92 pounds, and he said he didn't have a fish smaller than 45.  Let's hope that warm water hangs around in that area inshore of the break for a little while so we can get back after them.  Congrats, Brian on showing us how it's done.
- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"You Can't Win Em' All...." | OIFC 1- 36' | 01/31/09
 

If you did they wouldn't let you play anymore!  I've been quiet for the past week since returning from Key West for good reason.  After a lackluster performance in the first leg of the Yamaha pro kingfish tour, Team OIFC tucked tail and made the 20 hour journey home.  We prefished for two days before the tournament collecting bait and trying to locate the kingfish.  In the late afternoon the day before the tournament we thought we were onto something as we released the monster kingfish pictured below in a place where no other boats would be fishing.  However, come tournament morning that fish proved to be our undoing as we returned to the location and were blanked while a decent bite went off 30 miles away.  That's tournament fishing.  It was a fairly uneventful tournament aboard Team OIFC.  We caught just a handful of fish each day and never really had an opportunity at big fish.  On day one we ended up with a 27 and day two a 30.  That's not real great for that fishery as I believe tenth place big fish was around 45lbs.  It's been a while since we've fished down there and fished the pro tour.  It's only fitting we take our lumps again and re-learn the fishery.  The next stop is Jensen Beach, FL on Florida's east coast in May.  We'll have to make up some ground with two large fish in this event.  While fishing was tough, and we didn't acomplish our tournament objective, it was still nice to wake up to 70 degree temps and sunshine.  It was a much needed winter reprieve. 

Back at home, I understand the bluefin bite was great off Morehead and this week a pretty good bite went off close to home around the Horseshoe.  Reading back thru the reports, it looks like Chris and Rickey are on top of it.  It appears the bluefin bite will still be a fishing option for the coming weeks as fish are being caught daily to our north.  For many picking a fight with a 300+lb ball of muscle isn't the game of choice.  Fortunately, while all seems doom and gloom with the winter month February, this is the time of year when the jumbo black bass school up nearshore presenting a primary target for fishermen more concerned with the status of the frying pan.  Over the next two months the jumbo bass will migrate from the 80ft depths approx 25-30miles in close to just a few miles off the beach.  They'll school up over artificial reefs and natural rocky bottom.  Be sure to come by the store before heading out and check out the new Lucanus jigs we're carrying.  They are deadly on the jumbo bass.  We'll try to get them up on the online store soon in case you can't make it by.  Lastly, don't hesitate to make a run at the deep water on a decent weather day.  From the sound of the reports coming in, the wahoo are stacked up with knife and fork in fin ready to be caught.  From a fishing perspective the only difference between winter and summer is the temperature.  The fishing opportunities are abundant.


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Blue Fin Wind Up" | OIFC 1- 36' | 01/30/09
 

This is the last weekend of what has been a most productive Blue Fin season from Morehead to Ocean Isle.  I checked our Landing Reports and IF, a BIG IF, I understood them correctly, since January 2nd we had a dozen (or so) brought to our docks to be picked up by the dealer.  The largest one brought in to our docks was  by  Captain Brant and it was 88 inches.  Again, I'm no expert at this reporting stuff, so please keep the calls and emails to a minimum if I was wrong.   It could adversely effect my employee of the month status, and we all know how I feel about that.

Now is a good time to check for great deals on bluefin gear for next season.  Capt. Caveman just informed me that we have a few extra custom rods than we would like to carry for the year, so contact him or Capt. Brant if you want an outstanding deal on a rod that has a great deal of use in the Gulf Stream as well.  I've also seen some good buys on Commercial Fishing license in some of the various  want adds and on Craigslist.  The average asking price has been $2,500.  But remember that is only the tip of the iceberg as far as what is needed to be able to sell a Blue Fin, or any other fish for that matter.  You can contact the Coast Guard and get them to send you some information.  It would also pay to ask some charter captains.

Just because the Blue Fin season is ending doesn't mean winter fishing is over.  It simply changes gear.  Bottom fishing for Sea Bass as well as heading for the Stream for Wahoo are productive.  Also don't overlook Red Drum and Trout fishing in shore.  As far as today goes, the ocean is calm as far as the eye can see and there is no wind.  NOAA predicts a little different for tomorrow, so it would pay the keep a check on our weather forecast page.   Captain Caveman, aka Chris and Juanita are working on restocking the store with the latest and greatest inventory.  Also our Spring Kick off and the OIFC Rodeo are on the horizon, We've got some exciting plans for '09 so don't be a stranger.


- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"What's for supper?" | OIFC 1- 36' | 01/27/09
 

What's for supper is an easy question to answer when you check out the picture of the sea bass Captain Roger caught aboard a friends 26 ft. Sea Hunt.  I just happened to be at the OIFC taking Captain Caveman Burrows lunch when all of a sudden we had a traffic jam at the dock with Captain Roger, Woody Wooten (Bird Man), who had also landed a "mess" of sea bass, and Jeff Martini (Dirty Martini) and Martini's Restaurant in NMB, who had been blue fin fishing all showed. up.  It looks like Wednesday may be a little out of the question for fishing, but Thursday ought to be the day for getting out searching for blue fin, or even a tasty meal of sea bass.
- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"Blue Fin Tuna Regulations" | OIFC 1- 36' | 01/24/09
 

The OIFC has received some calls regarding some Blue Fin Tuna Regulations.  So that I don't give misinformation click here for the NOAA link.


- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"Happenings" | OIFC 1- 36' | 01/24/09
 

We've got a rainy day here in paradise.  It's probably sunny and warm down the road in Myrtle Beach.   Any how, today is a great day to visit a boat show.  Our crew is in downtown Raleigh at the boat show at the Raleigh Convention Center.  For those located a little too far south ya'll got a show in Charleston.  Or even better, stop by the OIFC and check us out.

On the fishing scene, it was good to read Captain "Caveman" Burrows report of a Blue Fin strike  in our area.  I had been told of a couple  being weighed in at Morehead this week.  Inshore, I received a report of some Reds tailing in the shallows. A couple of locals were going to give them a shot yesterday but I haven't heard back from him.  He's an offshore angler, what's he thinking?  Good luck to Team OIFC fishing an SKA Tournament in Florida. That wraps it up here unless I hear from some folks.


- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"They're still heeee-rrrrre..." | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 01/23/09
 

I just talked to Curt O'Donnell of Charlotte who returned an hour or so ago from bluefin fishing.  Curt pushed a little further offshore than the fleet has been fishing and found a nice color and temp break about five miles inshore of the Frying Pan Tower.  He and his sons managed to hook a tuna and fought it for 20 minutes before it came unbuttoned.  Good to know that there still is a fish around.  I fished with Capt. Joe Seegers, Capt. Jeremy Hicks, Barry Gardner, and Stephen Hunter yesterday and did not get a strike, but hearing about Curt's near miss, my spirits are lifted.  Can't wait for good weather so I can try it again. 

P.S.  Curt got his strike on a black/purple JAG 3 head down deep.  Maybe I need to add something darker to the spread...

Speaking of giants, I just got these pictures from Jamie Blue's mother, who put together a collection of shots we got on our last trip--many thanks to her for doing that.  Jamie's now at his new job in upstate SC, but he confided in me just a few days ago that he wants one more shot at a tuna this year.  Let's hope he racked up some vacation time really quick!  I think the middle of this week is going to be prime tuna time.


- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"Bluefin State of the Union" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 01/21/09
 

OK- I know we've been pretty quiet over the past week, but I think that is going to change.  We had a booming first push of Bluefin that lasted the entire first week of Jan.  Then the fishing did slow down the second week, but every day there was effort at least one Bluefin would be caught or hooked up- keeping the dream of catching a Bluefin alive.  Now we've entered into the third week, and I think the action is about to be renewed.  Last Thurs, Fri and Sat there was a strong bite of Bluefin off of the Morehead City area.  The fish showed up on the East side of the Cape Lookout shoals the first day and by the second day had moved off the end of the Knuckle.  I believe this is the next group of Bluefin that we will see to our area.  I think this group should make it here before the end of the month, my guess would be mid next week, but strictly a guess.  The weather looks good tomorrow, and I know there will be effort, so maybe the fish will show early?  Regardless of whether its tomorrow or next week, the key to getting in on the action is to either be a pioneer or be ready to go at a moments notice.  Usually, by the time you hear about a bite, it's too late.  Luckily, you can stay tuned to www.OIFC.com and the moment the fish show, we'll let you know.  You then need to drop everything and get here quick.  The bite may only last a day or two- so be ready!

As for myself and team, we are heading to the Raleigh boat show this weekend, so we'll be off the water.  We will keep in the loop and keep you updated.  Amy, Caroline and I are heading to Key West on Friday to fish the SKA tournament on Sat and Sun and we'll be back the following week.  Hopefully I'll get in on the last week of action with the Bluefin.  I'm sure if the fish show, Capt. Roger and Capt. Chris will carry the flag for the OIFC. 

Anyway, good luck and be ready.  I believe we will get one more good shot of Bluefin, so don't be late!


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Meanwhile......" | OIFC 1- 36' | 01/20/09
 

I got cold just watching the weather channel this morning with reports of snow and sleet covering the Carolinas including the coast.  Fortunately I quickly warmed up when I opened the door to 70 degree temps and sunshine outside our motel in Key West.  The road team consisting of Rube, Stephanie and I made it down to Key West a couple days ago and have set up tournament headquarters in preparation of the upcoming pro tour event this weekend.  I hate to say it, but there's something satisfying about leaving frigid temps and heading south to shorts and flip flops weather.  Although, we are supposed to have a cold front come through today and temperatures are expected to plummet to the mid 60's.  Other tournament teams are beginning to arrive, but rough sea conditions looks to keep everybody on the hill until Thursday.  This is good and bad news really.  Good because it gives everyone a chance to settle in after a long trip, but bad because Duval street will likely never be the same after this crowd spends two days landlocked.  There's only so many rigs and fluorocarbon leaders you can tie before it's time to "explore" Key West.  The forecast looks pretty good for tournament weekend and we hope to hit the water for bait catching a pre fishing beginning Thursday.  Down here we like to use big blue runners for bait, which can be a challenge to locate.  This is the time of year when Gulf king mackerel and Atlantic king mackerel stocks presumably converge off Key West making for some of the most impressive kingfish action anywhere.  We'll be out searching towards the end of the week and hopefully will have them cornered for the weekend.  Stand by for updates. 


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Road Trip!!!" | OIFC 1- 36' | 01/19/09
 

The staff of the OIFC is taking a road trip to the 2009 Raleigh Convention Center Boat Show this Friday thru Sunday.  You can meet Captains Roger and Chris who are experts in off shore fishing from Morehead to Myrtle Beach.  They can  "hook you up" (sorry, couldn't help myself) with knowledge from tying line to trolling for our Blue Fin Tuna.

Also on hand will be our own Mrs. Juanita.  Juanita is a veteran of the U. S. Coast Guard and among many other duties serves as our graphic artist and Web Store Manager.  Some guys sell her short on her boating and fishing knowledge because "ooooo, she's a girl", but she can talk fishn' and tie line with the best of us.

Not only will we have expert information on fishing south eastern North Carolina but we'll have products to sell and charter's to book.  What will be missing is me.  Captain Brant doesn't let me out very often.  So if you'd rather come to the coast and get your salt water fix we'll be open our regular hours and takin' care of business.


- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"2008 Rodeo Results" | OIFC 1- 36' | 01/18/09
 

The independent accounting firm of Wii, Ketchem and Howe has issued the final results of the 2008 OIFC Rodeo which are posted on our Tournament page.  The prize money totaled $1,840.  There were many excellent fish weighed in and congratulations to all who participated.  There were also a LOT of big fish which would have changed the results of the Rodeo brought to our docks by anglers who had not yet entered the Rodeo.  The 2009 edition of the OIFC Rodeo will begin March 1st.,  entry tickets are available  I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate me for the excellent work I did as assistant director of the Rodeo.
- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"More tuna news" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 01/15/09
 

Despite rough seas, at least one angler hit paydirt today, again in the same old place near the Knuckle Buoy.  "Tricky" Rickey out of Southport reports a high 80s inch fish.  It's shaping up for a good weekend.

*********************************************************************************************

Also, for the hard-core jiggers out there--the OIFC has listened to your requests.  We now feature the larger Shimano Lucanus Jig, which has proved to be the ultimate weapon on larger sea bass and snapper.  I am willing to bet that the heavy sizes we now stock will be a grouper killer as well. We also got in a shipment of the larger Butterfly jigs--proven on grouper as well as pelagic species.  Ms. Juanita will have them on the webstore shortly, but in the meantime, we have them in the store at OIFC.  Owner assist hooks/split rings/solid rings will be here shortly.  If you have questions about any of the jigs or other products we carry, don't hesitate to give us a call at 910 575 FISH.

*********************************************************************************************


- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"Still tuna time" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 01/14/09
 

It seems as if there are still some fish around and they're biting a little.  There were no tunas brought to our docks today, but there were several hook-ups from around the Knuckle and Raritan.  Wade Long just gave me his side of the story, where he got most of his spread destroyed when another hooked fish ran through his planer.  Hope the angler who hooked him got the fish--sounds like a nice one!  Anyways, looks like it will be on this weekend with cold weather to get the fish really chewing.  Catch 'em up!
- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"Kendal" | OIFC 1- 36' | 01/14/09
 

Talked to Kendal today. He and his wife and eight year old daughter survived a horrible automobile accident. On the way back to OIB from Cincinatti[on the way to go Bluefin fishing] a 18 wheeler pulled in front of them and they hit at 65 mph. With no time to break, Kendal said he jerked the wheel to the right, impacted the fuel tank which miracouslously served as a cushion as it depressed and ruptured, rather than going under the truck with an outcome you can figure. The tank was diesel so it didn't explode. They survived with bruises/cuts/ and a few broken bones. Kendal said he is trying to count the number of angels that were looking after him and his family. If you know that Kendal has devoved his life to missonary medical work throughout 3rd world countries, you can see he has paid his dues for the angels effort. Hurry up and heal and lets go get the Tuna.
- Rube McMullan
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"Local Characters" | OIFC 1- 36' | 01/14/09
 

Captain Tommy Helms sent some pictures of a trip he, Tommy Littton and the rest of their "cast of characters" took recently for a time of fishing, friends and fun.  Isn't that what it's all about anyway?  Check out some of the flounder and stripers they caught.  There were several more pictures, but I can't download but so many.  Also I'm told we should ask Mr. Tommy Litton what the new definition of "Golf Ball" is.  I'm afraid to ask.  
- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"The best may be to come..." | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 01/12/09
 

High winds this morning kept most of our fleet at the docks.  Only two boats made it out.  One of those that did struck gold with an 87 incher, again caught between the Knuckle and the Raritan.  The Tag-A-Giant team reports from their archival tags that the main body of fish is headed this way, and each day we get further and further away from the full moon.  We may be in for an all out bluefin bite next week, as cold temperatures will only serve to get these fish feeding more and more aggressively.  Time to get ready.  Fishing has been good, it may just become great shortly.
- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"Blue Fin Seminar" | OIFC 1- 36' | 01/11/09
 

With all the Blue Fin action I've laid back on some reporting.  But it seems I've got a break in action today so I can do one.  Friday night after a long cold day Tuna fishing Captain Brant presented his Tuna Seminar.  There were a lot of people in attendance as Brant covered every aspect of this intense fishing.  I for one learned a lot.  There have been a lot of Tuna caught in our area this year  which has generated a great deal of interest and the Staff at the OIFC appreciates having so many brought to our dock.   We're also happy to see so many friends back on the water. There were several boats out fishing around the Knuckle yesterday and from what I've been told there were some Tuna landed.

All the fishing action is not off shore though.  As I reported in an earlier post (which I deleted so we could get some Blue Fin action up front), some flounder giggers have reported flounder stacked up in the creeks.  They said they are not doormats, but they are there non the less.  A friend also told me he got a Carolina Slam the other day while kayak fishing.  Our inshore assassin, Brandon Sauls has returned to OIB and from what I've heard he smacked the trout.  There's plenty of action for everyone to enjoy.  Hope to see you down here soon.


- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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