Capt. Brant's Fishing Report
Watch the OIFC Crew in action.
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"Day two HT Gulfport Open" | OIFC | 04/10/15
Wow what a difference a day makes. Despite a doom and gloom forecast, the weather broke right at daybreak and we had the most perfect conditions possible for redfishing in Louisiana. Calms winds and no clouds.
After yesterday's debacle/adventure I put the pieces back together and struck out again this morning across Lake Borgne. This time I wised up and left my GPS in my bag until I crossed the big water. It wasn't flat but manageable. Once across the lake I opted to try a secluded marsh area known as Reggio. This place is know to be either "on" or "off". Today it was on. From the time I sat down until the time I picked up to come home it was non stop. I sight fished hundreds of redfish today. It was exhausting but fun. Thank goodness for a day like this. I needed it. I had two perfect 27" slot fish but couldn't get that one 30" kicker I needed. I ended up with two 27 inchers and a 28" fish for 23.95 which put me into 10th place. It was an awesome day of fishing that was long overdue. It wasn't completely without a few twists and turns though.
First, I got to experience that feeling some of us have experienced when you have 40lb king mackerel at the boat and you reach out to gaff him just as he shakes his head and spits the hook. I had a perfect fish I had been watching and trying to get to eat for about 3 minutes. Finally I hooked him, stumbled down off my tower, tripped over my tackle bag, landed on my head, kept the fish on and reached over to net him just as he took a dive under the boat and spit the hook. I was by myself and nobody was there to experience my pain so I went ahead and let out a few involuntary "hollars" followed by some descriptive adjectives directed at the fish and the situation. That one would've helped my cause. The next issue came in the form of fish care. I had just a few minutes left to fish and I caught a decent fish that allowed me to cull the smallest one in my livewell. I put the new fish directly in the well just like the others but this one had a buoyancy problem. He would not swim, but instead would roll over and go belly up. I stayed an extra 20 minutes trying to revive him. He seemed alive but being belly up, it wouldn't be long until he croaked. A dead fish carries a .75lb penalty. I had an hour and half ride back to the check in and I was determined to keep this fish alive. So, every 3 miles I would stop the boat, climb down from the tower and turn the redfish back over and get him reoriented. I did this what felt like a hundred times. The fish made it to the check in alive and we were both greatful for eachother after having spent some serious quality time together.
It wasn't a victorious day but it was respectable. I still haven't cracked the code on how to get over the hump. I recall the same issue in the early days of king mackerel tournament fishing. The secret is in the details and I'm just not sure what those details are right now.
The first official Elite Series event is in a couple weeks in Bayou Segnette. I'll be back at again working hard and no doubt having an adventure!
Capt. Barrett McMullan
"Day one in the books" | OIFC | 04/09/15
Man, it's too bad there isn't a hidden camera on my boat during these one man redfish tournaments. I swear I can't get a day where it's not a drama fest, action packed, calamity of errors.
I start off this morning in my tower boat headed across Lake Borne towards Delacroix, LA. The tower boat is a flat bottom so it's not made for big water. Lake Borgne is big water. I was beaten to a pulp. Halfway thru the run, my gps bracket gave up so I had to zip tie my gps to dash for the rest of the run. Next my seat dismantled itself which made for an interesting run the rest of the way trying to hold it in place.
Somehow I miscalculated the distance but it ended up being about a 65 mile run. The first 35 was rough as hell and the next 30 was fine except for the eye piercing rain at 45mph. I finally arrived to the A spot and immediatley saw a few fish. Unfortunately they didn't want to eat and then it got tough. The wind picked up to 20 knots and combined with the clouds and rain, it made seeing the fish next to impossible. I spent a lot of my fishing time trying to make my A spot work. I finally caught a 6 1/2 lber but time was getting low and I needed two more fish. I made the move to my B spot and was disappointed with very few fish. I saw a couple nice ones but they snubbed me and I was still stuck on one fish. So, time was getting low and I had to put some fish in the boat. I made the call to buck up and run another 10 miles to C spot. I didn't feel like these fish would do me much good in the tournament but desperate times call for desperate measures. I had an hour left to fish when I got there and immediately put a 4 1/2lber in the boat. A few minutes later I caught a 29" 10lber which was good because we were allowed to keep one up to 30". At least I now had my 3 fish limit in the boat. I fished a little while longer and saw a decent number of fish but no takers.
It was time to make the 2 hr run back to the check in. This was not without drama. The first mistake was a wrong turn which was no big deal. I made it a big deal though when I tried to whip the boat back around at wide open throttle. The boat pretty much lost controll and skidded sideways until it stopped on top of an island in the marsh. Oh crap. I jumped out onto the island which happened to look like a great spot for an alligator to live. I tried to push the boat back in the water but it wouldn't budge. I was however able to swing it side to side so I simply rotated the direction of the stern so the motor would be in the water and the rest of the boat was on land. I jumped back in the boat and laid on the reverse throttle until it caught and pulled me off. Close one. I then made the run back on the inside rather than going thru Lake Borgne as the wind had now picked up significantly. This was a mistake because the waterway I had to ride in was straight with the wind so I had 2+ ft following sea which beat me to death. Finally, I got to the spot where I could cut through the marsh and hook up to the more protected intercoastal waterway. As I approached the cut I noticed the water moving in a weird way so I stopped just in time to float right on top of a concrete wall that was 6" below the water. No reason to stop now. Give it more gas. I pushed myself across the concrete wall and I'm off again. Having traveled 70+ miles now and getting close to the check in my heart sank when I saw the last obstacle. I had never traveled this way and I came to an old abandoned swing bridge. I'm in a tower boat and the bridge was low clearance. You can imagine what I was thinking when I came around the corner and saw that. I eased up to it and saw it would be close. I had to stand on the tower and push the boat down as I floated underneath. After all that, I made it to the check in!
The weigh in was an hour away from check in. We trailered the boats with our fish to the Gulfcoast Boat Show and weighed in by truck/trailer/boat. My weight was just over 21lbs. I'm in 12th place and about 4lbs out of the lead. It's a fairly large gap to close but I'm going to give it hell again tomorrow. I can pretty much guarantee it will be another epic adventure.
Tune into www.theredfishseries.com tomorrow around 5pm to see the weigh in.
Capt. Barrett McMullan
"Gulf Stream Yesterday" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 04/09/15
Gulf Stream action was steady yesterday. Great fishing with a great crew - will report in full tomorrow.
The weather is looking good for saturday April 11th. We are doing a make up charter deal for $425 per person -- need 4 people to go. Please call 910-575-3474 to reserve a spot today!
Capt. Derek Treffinger
"HT Elite Gulfport Open " | OIFC | 04/08/15
It's late and just getting things wrapped up and ready to go for tomorrow, the first day of the tournament. There will be 22 anglers competing this week. All 22 have chosed to fish LA waters so we will be looking for 3 fish with 2 under 27" and one up to 30".
I scouted day in pretty good conditions. I did not find any great answers but maybe found a "C" spot. I have about a 50 mile run tomorrow over to the Delacroix area of LA. It's not a simple path but hopefully the weather will be decent enough to make the run doable.
I'm not on great fish but you never know for sure until they hit the scales. It is supposed to be cloudy tomorrow so that is not ideal. I am sight fishing almost 100% of the time so clouds are a real problem.
Time to get a couple hours sleep then up at 430am to get this show on the road. Not totally sure but possibly the weigh in will be broadcast live on www.theredfishseries.com tomorrow around 5pm Eastern time.
Capt. Barrett McMullan
"2015 Redfish Season Begins" | OIFC | 04/07/15
My 2015 HT Elite Redfish Series is kicking off this week in Gulfport, MS. Before I go into detail on this event I should give a recap of the last several months.
A lot has changed since I left off in October after the IFA Championship tournament in Houma, LA. First and foremost, I spent the winter months designing and building a brand new ride for this tournament season. Having observed the competition last season and understanding the challenges I faced during each tournament I realized I would be best served for these tournaments in a Majek tower boat. The Majek is a very shallow draft, tunnel hull/flat bottom boat that has a tower built in the middle where I drive from. It is unlike anything most around our area have ever seen. In the short time I've had the boat I can honestly say my expectations have been exceeded. It is a game changer.
Two weeks ago I fished the HT Elite 2014 Championship tournament in Chalmette, LA in this boat. I rolled into town having hardly splashed the boat but I was able to scout a few days with it and then fish the tournament. I didn't provide a report for that event because I was just too busy fishing all day and then working out all the new boat kinks all night. As is the case with most new boats, I had a lot of adjustments to make. In fact some of those adjustments actually cost me the tournament. It's a long, eventful and dramatic story that I will share at some point but for now the focus is on the new season.
This series, titled HT Elite, puts 40 anglers against each other for a season long tour in a battle to see who can catch the best tournament redfish. There are 3 main events with one in Mississippi, one in Louisiana and one in Texas. There are also 3 open events that are open to the Elite 40 and other HT members. These events are used to help anglers qualify for the championship tournament and it's also a decent pay day. This is not team tournament fishing. There is one angler per boat and we fish for the state creel limit in each event.
This first event of the season is an Open and it's in Gulfport, MS. The MS creel limit is 3 redfish up to 30". This presents an interesting dilemma. The Louisiana limit is 5 fish with 4 up to 27" and one over 27". Gulfport is about 10 miles on the MS side of the LA/MS state line. Anglers are forced to choose whether they are fishing LA or MS waters. The disadvantage of fishing LA waters is that you can only keep one fish over 27". So you would be aiming for two 26 7/8" redfish and one 29 7/8" redfish. If you fish MS waters you can have 3 29 7/8" redfish and likely a heavier bag of fish. The issue though is LA redfishing in general is MUCH better than MS. I believe most anglers will choose to fish LA waters. I will be one of them.
I arrived to Chalmette, LA yesterday where I'm basing my practice days from. I was here just 2 weeks ago so I opted not to spend too much time scouting. I was able to scout all day today and I will have a half day tomorrow. Tomorrow evening is the Capt's meeting in Gulfport at the Island View Casino which is also hosting the Gulf Coast boat show during our event. It will be a lot of activity and a big show. Tournament days are Thursday, Friday with the top five qualifying for Saturday. Having spent today on the water, I was able to see the conditions have changed dramatcially from a couple weeks back. The water is much higher which makes seeing the fish difficult as they will get into the grass. Not the grass like we are used to at home but grass actually under water. They burrow in the grass becoming invisible and then ambush prey. I did find a bunch of fish which was once a big challenge last year but now is the norm in this new boat. Getting them to bite will be a different story I'm sure. I have another area I will be chekcing tomorrow and will then make a decision on my tournament game plan.
The HT Elite Series has taken off this year. It has gotten very strong support from sponsors and this year each event will be filmed by an outside production company and broadcast Saturday mornings on Destination America TV. Check out www.theredfishseries.com to see what this deal is all about.
Capt. Barrett McMullan
"Good Friday! " | OIFC | 04/07/15
Jerry Potter was able to catch a few on Good Friday even though conditions were not ideal- thanks for the report!
Be sure to send us your fish photos and reports to firstname.lastname@example.org
"Gulf Stream Fishing School" | OIFC | 04/06/15
I have 2 spots open in my Gulf Stream fishing school next week- April 17 & 18. CLICK HERE to view details on class and call 910-575-3474 to book- Let's Do This!
Capt. Brant McMullan
"Jolly Mon VIP" | OIFC | 04/06/15
REMINDER that entries have gone out to the 50 teams who have qualified for the NEW 2015 Jolly Mon VIP event. (CLICK HERE TO VIEW INVITEES) The top 25 from the 2014 Jolly Mon and top 25 from the 2014 Fall Brawl make up the initial invitees to compete in the $10,000 winner-take-all event.
Invites to these 50 captains went out on April 1st. These teams have until May 1 to pay their entry. We have made contact with all qualifying captains and will send multiple reminders that the deadline is May 1.
Once the deadline passes, we will move to the waiting list which has been open to sign up for over a month (CLICK HERE TO JOIN WAIT LIST- ENTER NAME AND BOAT NAME AND SEND) -- (CLICK HERE TO VIEW WAIT LIST)
This is a new and unique event that features a limited field and some special rules designed to take the thinking and secrecy out of the event and just make it good old fashioned head-to-head fishing. CLICK HERE TO VIEW FORMAT AND RULES
Capt. Brant McMullan
"Toughed It Out" | Do Work / OIFC | 04/05/15
It was a little cool and breezey but "Taterbug" Staley from Burlington, N.C. got her a nice one.
Capt. Rickey Beck
"Save The Date - Waterway Trash Sweep Planned for May 2nd" | OIFC | 04/05/15
In conjunction with the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce and other local area businesses, we will be putting on an InterCoastal Waterway Trash Sweep on Saturday May 2nd from 9am until 11am.
We are going to be focusing on the area from the Holden Beach Bridge - Up the Shallotte River - To the Ocean Isle Beach Bridge.
Join in and bring your trash to the Ocean Isle Fishing Center to be weighed and dumped into the trash container. Yes, I mentioned "weighed" because we will be giving away cash prizes for the most amount of trash weighed on the scales. Total payout to be determined, but at this moment we are up to $300 in donations from local area businesses.
We will keep event information posted on this Facebook Page >> https://www.facebook.com/WaterwaySweep
Please "Join" the event from the Facebook Event Page >> https://www.facebook.com/events/1569169570028497/
Looking forward to seeing you there.
Contact email@example.com if you have any questions.
Capt. Brant McMullan
"Easter Saturday" | Do Work / OIFC | 04/04/15
It's fun just hanging out at the Ocean Isle Fishing Center on a beautiful day. We were honored by a visit by N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory today. And, of course I could pass up a photo op with the Shallotte River Swamp Park's gator.
Capt. Rickey Beck
"New electric kite combo" | Choice of Two / OIFC | 04/04/15
Daiwa Tancum 1000 electric kite combo. If you are serious about kite fishing this is what you need. $669.90 in stock at Oifc
"OIFC Webcam!" | OIFC | 04/03/15
The OIFC Dock Webcam is FINALLY working again!
Check it out here ----> WEBCAM
"A Quick Look..." | Tiberias - 22' | 04/02/15
Another Vudu Mullet photo opportunity. A friend helped me splash my boat this afternoon, so we went to take a quick look around. We found a few scattered fish and then found a good school bunched up in a little pocket. We spooked them as we drifted through them, but the Vudu Sexy Mullet snagged one anyway. We chased them down a few times, but they knew we were there and would not bite. It was still cool just to see some fish! We found another good school later, but also bumped them before getting a good opportunity. The backwater is coming alive with the water temperatures on the rise and a full moon upon us. See ya on the water!
Capt. Jacob Frick
"Jolly Mon VIP" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 04/02/15
The 2015 Jolly Mon invitations were sent out to qualifying captains yesterday April 1st. If you have qualified for the tournament and have not received an email containing the two entry links and the password, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Capt. Derek Treffinger
"Spring Kickoff Winners!" | OIFC | 04/02/15
Congrats to the lucky winners from the Spring Kickoff Raffles!!
Brody Heath won the YETI Tundra 35
Cody Tucker won the Ocean Isle Fish Company Gift Certificate
and Dave won the Wing & Fish Company Gift Certificate
Thanks for a great turn out! We look forward to seeing lots of familiar faces this weekend!