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- Mcmullan RS
Address: 65 Causeway Drive, Ocean Isle Beach, NC
Page 80 of 429
Michael Steigerwald is one of my original clients from 5 years ago. Michael and Felix joined me on a half day trip looking for redfish action. We hit the beach looking for the big boys, but got eaten up by the sharks. I recieved a few reports around Yaupon that the action was slow there as well. I made another call to check on the jetties and the report was 3 fish were caught all morning. We stuck it out in the skinny water finding lots of stingrays, a few flounder, a couple of black drum, and of course Michael pulled out a nice redfish. If it is flat, Felix can catch it! Felix wore out the stingrays and caught several flounder. Thanks for fishing with me again Michael. The first picture is of Michael nearly 5 years ago with our first fish together on 6lb. test line. The second picture is from this trip. See ya on the water!
I wrapped up my last day of scouting today. The IFA championship tournament begins tomorrow. The winner will be determined by the heaviest combined weight of 2 slot redfish on Friday and Saturday. My teammate (wife, Stephanie) arrived this evening and we are all systems go. Boat is fueled and iced. All the rods are rigged and we are locked and loaded. We are prepped for success, now if the fish will just surprise me and give up a good weight.
I fished a half day today in a completely new area from where I've ever been down here. That's the cool thing about the Louisiana marsh. There is always a new area to check out. What's also cool is that more than likely there will be fish there. Today was one of the best days of redfishing I've ever had. The sight fishing was amazing. I was sitting there watching dozens of fish looking for someone to tell about it. Fishing alone does have its drawbacks. I caught and saw a ton of fish today. Unfortunately they still weren't the right fish. They were all 5.5 to 6.5lbs. Skinny fish just won't cut it in this tournament. These fish aren't the ones I need for the tournament but man, it sure was a fun day.
So, without knowing anything better, we will strike out tomorrow to the west where I fished yesterday. It's roughly 90 miles away. I don't have great fish there but it's the best I've seen. I caught a 25 1/4 inch fish that weighed 7.5lbs. That means there is potential for there to be an 8+lber there that will measure. We'll give it a shot. I'm just excited to put Stephanie on this incredible fishery down here. If the right fish show, we'll catch em. If not, we'll catch whatever gets in our way.
Kyle and Lakelyn from near Statesville, NC joined me on a half day celebrating their honey moon. In my opinion, there is no better place to spend good quality time together than out in the great outdoors. We hit the beach again looking for a hero drum, but no action. We headed back to a few red drum holes in the backwater with no action. I hit a flounder hole and Lakelyn drilled a nice 19 inch fish. We quickly caught one more and the bluefish started chomping. We started boucning around finding lots of little fish and a couple of short reds. Stopped at the Ocean Isle Beach bridge for a last ditch effort. Lakelyn drilled a beautiful speckled trout. Kyle battled with the bridge monster for several minutes until the line finally broke. There are still some big stingrays hanging around. Enjoyed having these honey mooners onboard! Congratulations! See ya on the water!
The water is still warm, but starting to cool down. The backwater action has seen some good moments this past week. The winds have been switching around often lately stirring the water up a bit. Bait fish and shrimp are still hanging around and easily collected with a few good cast with your cast net. Most of my groups last week wanted to catch something to eat rather than target the bull reds. We have enjoyed action from all species this past week catching black drum, red drum, speckled trout, sheepshead and flounder on most of our trips. All very good table fare. I hope to be back out there targeting bull reds before the week is up. See ya on the water!
~~So after my day yesterday and theorizing the fish here locally are "beat up" I decided I needed to expand my search area. From Houma, I am roughly 100 miles west of Venice, LA, which is the area where traditionally the heaviest slot reds live. Most of the redfish highliner anglers will likely be heading that way. I haven't fished too much around Venice so I was a bit reluctant to make that run today. Additionally with all the northeast wind the already shallow waters around Venice will be even skinnier as the wind blows the water out of the inshore ponds. But still, I studied Google Earth last night and made a plan. I dropped the boat in early this morning and proceeded about 1/4 mile to the first swing bridge I had to pass on the way to Venice. As is typical with trying to plan too much, my plan was over before it began as I found out the bridge would not be opening until 8am so the school buses could get through. Go figure. So what does Team OIFC do in a spot like this? True to reputation, I reversed course and ran 100 miles in the opposite direction of the rest of the fleet and my original plan!
As I've said before, it's an adventure and this one was just getting started. Taking a 100 mile run through the Louisiana marsh is not a simple deal where you plug in a waypoint and sit back as the miles click down. It's hair pin turns, gate jumping, broke down oil rig dodging, weeving around gators, and running wide open in 8" of water. About half way to my destination this morning my mind started drifting and the next thing I knew I was high and dry in the middle of the Atchafalaya Bay. I was running 50mph and started bumping so I hammered down thinking I could swerve out of it. Negative. I piled it up....bad. So what do you do in a situation like this? First move, check cell phone for service. Nope. Any boats in sights? Nope. This was one of those bad groundings. I wasn't in a tight ditch with land nearby. I was in the middle of huge wide open bay and never considered there'd be a mud flat in this big body of water. You'd never know either as the water looked like chocolate milk. Ok, next step is to see how stuck I am. Can I power out? Nope, 4" of water. At this point I stopped, took a deep breath and tried to think my way through the situation. I could see a crab trap about a 1/4 mile perpendicular to the boat. I noticed the trap wasn't sticking out above the water so I knew the depth had to be at least 2' (the height of a crab trap). That's a good piece of info. I knew if I might be able get out and push the boat in that direction. Did I mention it was blowing 20 knots from the north east? That complicated the matter a bit. Anyways, I got to thinking about a time when Brant, Rube and I piled up the 32' Yellowfin in Drum Inlet and the technique we used to get out of that jam. Here's another good piece of info if you ever get stuck. When you try to power out and you put it in forward, it drives the stern down which is already the lowest point of the boat. However, if you put the engine in reverse it actually drives the bow down and lifts the stern. So putting the main engine in reverse and then turning the trolling motor backward on the front and turning it on wide open, I was able to drag the hull across the mud until I reached the crab pot I had seen and the deeper water. Wow. That was close!
Onward and upward. I kept on and made it to my fishing area another 50 miles away. The good news is I found fish and my theory of less pressure would equal more aggressive fish. The bad news is the fish are wanting to hang in very shallow water and just can't get the boat as close as I need to. It's a matter of a couple inches of draft.
Tomorrow is my last day of prefishing. I've got one more area to look at it in the morning. If that doesn't pan out, I'm likely to make that same run again that I made today. I feel better about taking my chances with the shallow water and no boat pressure than banging it out with the rest of tournament here. I hate I didn't make it to Venice. The winners will likely come from there. I'll have to put that on the list for my next exploration mission.
Now that's a smooth skeg!
Cary Campbell invited his good friend Bill Dudley down for some bull redfish action. This time last year the bull reds were eating the prop off the boat. The action has been a bit more spread out this year. The beach bite was red hot late September this year, but has really tapered off now. The Little River jetties is seeing the most consistent action as of late. The bull redfish can be caught on both falling and rising tides. However, the rising tide in the late afternoon has seen the best action lately. Large king size pogies, live or cut on a Carolina rig is the ticket to having some success. Bill Dudley finally found his first couple 40 inchers fishing with us Saturday morning. The sharks also ate us alive along with a few stingrays. The line stretching action was none stop. Some big critters out there right now. See ya on the water!
I have been a bit absent from reporting here lately. I have been trying to make it a point to slow it down a bit and spend some quality time with my boys. My youngest son Jasper stayed home with me Monday as no trips were scheduled. We spent the day doing all sorts of things, but getting on the water was the best. We caught plenty of live shrimp for my next trip and caught several fish on Jasper's ultra light outfit. Jasper's best catch was a solid 17 inch speckled trout. Jasper says, its not a speckled trout, its a MONSTER FISH! Priceless memories...Come on down and lets go fishing. See ya on the water!
I got started early today and made it back to the ramp just before dark. I put in a full day of scouting and had mixed results. My previous experience in Houma led me to believe the fishing is always on fire here. By normal standards I had a banner day. But, for Houma, it was just so so. What I believe is going on is that this the third tournament in 3 weeks in this area and the fish have been beat on pretty hard. That combined with dirtier than normal water has the fishing not at its peak. With all that said, I still had a fun day. I sight fished most of the day and saw around 50 fish or so. The bad news is I haven't found the right fish yet. Most everything was between 5 and 6 pounds. It's going to have to get better than that. I'm going on the hunt tomorrow. Not sure yet, but either going very far east or very far west. It's an adventure.
Keith Whitman from Charlotte with his FIRST flounder EVER.
7.35 lb Citation Flounder
Caught this one on a live finger mullet in the ICW
What'd you today? I stared at a windshield from before the sun came up until long after it went down. 917 miles and 6 states later I arrived in my favorite redfish location, Houma, LA. Stephanie and I are fishing a tournament down here on Friday and Saturday. Somehow I got suckered into doing a solo mission getting down here and prefishing and then she'll come in on Thursday. For the next three days I'll be on the water scouting for the perfect tournament fish. The slot is 18-27" so the target is a 8lbers. This tournament is the end of the year Championship with the IFA (www.ifatours.com). The big trail I fished this year was the HT Elite Series, but I couldn't pass up an opportunity to come back to Houma after having been here earlier this year. No rest for the weary. The wake up call is coming early and it's off to the bayou!