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- Barrett McMullan
Address: 65 Causeway Drive, Ocean Isle Beach, NC
Page 102 of 420
Just in case you forgot, our Spring Kick off was yesterday. There was a steady flow of people enjoying the bargins and seminars. It proved to be a good time, taking advantage of great fishing line & spoolling sales, seeing all our old friends, catching up on winter adventures, learning about new boats being bought & sharing fishing stories. Below ar a couple of pictures I took.
The adventure/saga continues.... Today I woke up in Venice early and hit the road again with the 24' Yellowfin in tow. I headed north up to the West Point La Hatche ferry and squeezed the boat and truck on just barely. A short jump across the Mississippi River and I was off again riding up the levy to Delacroix, LA. I met up with a buddy who has a camp in Delacroix and knows the waters very well. It's hard to explain Delacroix. I sort of think this is probably what coastal Mexico looked like 30 years ago. I thought Venice was the end of the world. Delacroix is in another solar system. Wow.
The tournament I'm fishing is out of Chalmette which is just north of Delacroix so the idea was to work this area in hopes of finding some fish a littler closer to the actual tournament site. According to the legend and lore of redfish, Delacroix is the holy grail of redfish. Unfortunately today the redfish didn't read the manual. We literally fished 100+ spots today and it just wasn't happening. The water was pretty silted up but still I expected a lot more. It was proof these fish just aren't everywhere. I'm learning this is actually a really tough time of year to fish redfish down here. Apparently the muddy river water has a major impact on the inshore waters. As I learned yesterday, finding the warmer, cleaner water is key. We did manage to catch one nice red today and a few rats but nothing that is going to help the tournament mission.
Tomorrow we're going to see how the weather is and either will fish around here in Delacroix again but in a different area than today or if it's bad I'll pack up and head back to Venice. I still have a lot of water to cover and a few days to get it done. The goal is to find good numbers of heavy slot redfish in multiple areas so I can have plan a, b, c. This game is much like king mackerel tournament fishing it seems to me. Whenver we prefish we go everywhere we want the fish to be but don't really focus on where we know they are. After prefishing it seems like there aren't any fish in the ocean and then on tournament day there are giant kingfish all over the dock. I have a feeling redfish tournaments may be the same. As bad as things seem right now, I know the leaderboard will be filled with stud redfish when game time comes around.
For now, it's back to the drawing board.
Today was my first day on the water. I can't begin to explain how much inshore fishable water there is down here. At home we have the ICW, Tubbs, Shallotte River and a few creeks here and there. Down here there are literally thousands of bayous, passes, flats, oyster flats, rivers, and everything in between. You could spend your entire life down here and I don't think you could cover all the water. I have one week to figure it out before tournament time. Yehaww!
I struck out this morning with the mission of looking at the water west of Venice. I had an area in mind called the Wagon Wheel so that's where I headed. The biggest obstacle I face down here has little to do with actual fishing. It's getting around and knowing which creeks, rivers, and ditches have enough water to run in. I started off running down a pass with plenty of water, no problem. I made the turn off the channel to the wagon wheel and things began to narrow. In a matter of 100 yards I found myself running 40mph down a ditch I'm pretty sure I could've jumped across. Finally it opened up and I got the nerve to come off plane. Once I did, I settle directly into a pluff mud hole. I tried using the trolling motor to get around and I did for about an hour. I literally stopped in the middle of nowhere and began searching for fish. Talk about feeling like you're out to lunch. What was amazing though was within 5 minutes I was seeing redfish. I didn't catch any but at least I was seeing them. By the way, the water looked like chocolate milk. I didn't feel very confident. After beating my way through the mud and oysters for a while I was ready to move on as I had to find some deeper water so I could maneuver better. I found a 10 yd hole that gave me an opportunity to get back on plane and run out of that area.
Next I decided to think outside the box and run out into the Gulf and check some inshore oil rigs. I came across a guy fishing one of the rigs and turns out he was a local fishing by himself and he offered to ride with me to show me around. This was my biggest catch of the day for sure.
Louis, who is one of the ring leaders for the Hell Diver's (Google it, Insane!) club down here, got on board with me proceeded to take me through some of the most secluded areas you could imagine. It's possible those waters had never been traveled upon as far as I'm concerned. We ran at least 80 miles today and I was able to learn a lot of water. We did stop several times to fish and we did fairly well on reds from 5 to 30lbs. We didn't catch any tournament quality fish but at least we were catching. For the tournament I'm looking for the heaviest redfish under 27". A good weight is 8+ lbs for a fish this size.
Apparently this time of year the snow and ice begins to melt way up north and makes it way down the Mississippi River which muddies the River and surrounding waters. The key is finding the pockets of clearer water. When we found clear water today we caught fish.
Tomorrow I head back north up to Delacroix, LA and meet another buddy of mine who is going to show me around that area for a couple days. We'll basically be doing a lot of riding and some fishing trying to locate good water, learn where I can and can't run due to depth of water and hopefully find the right size tournament redfish. This is one heck of a learning misssion for me. My brain is tired from trying to remember all the paths we traveled today. The fishing is the easy part. These fish down here aren't very shy. So far from what I've seen is if you get around them they're going to eat. Sure wish the fish at home were like these in that regard. Back at it again tomorrow. Not sure if I'll have service tomorrow night but I will post a report as soon as possible.
David Rouzer, candidate for the Congressional seat that has been held by Mike McIntyre will join us at the OIFC Spring Kickoff this Saturday at 10:00. With our involvement in various political issues over the years, our success has been limited to state fishery matters. On a Federal level, we have had little or no help from the previous Congressman. David lost in the last election to McIntyre by approx 100 votes. He is in good shape to get elected. As such we have reached out to him, in hopes of developing a "fishing friend" on a Federal level. David may be that guy. He has already passed the first test when I asked him to tell me the difference between a pogy and a menhaden. Truthfully, I don't think our previous Congressman knew the answer to that question. So, please make an effort to come to the OIFC this Saturday, meet candidate David Rouzer, and lets hear from him if he is the guy we have been looking for. In order to have success on fishery matters, we need "friends in high places". Thanks. Rube McMullan
After taking care of a few business errands this morning in Atlanta, I headed west with boat in tow. Surprisingly it was a very easy trip and I was making great time that is until I hit New Orleans. Boy if you thought Atlanta roads were confusing, give New Orleans at rush hour a try. A few wrong turns and a couple hours of turning circles in tight traffic I finally asked a nice looking group of young men for directions. Unfortunately I had to interupt their game of dice and chicken fighting but we got it sorted out! Back on the road and finally thru New Orleans I made to the final destination of Venice, LA just after sundown.
Venice has to be the most unique and identifable fishing location I've ever visited. This place eats, sleeps, and breathes fishing. It's intoxicating. Tonight I'm organizing tackle and cleaning up the boat in preparation for my first day of prefishing the HT E40 redfish tournament series which begins next week. To say I'm flying blind doesn't quite do justice to the way I'm currently feeling about redfishing down here in Venice. It's intimidating fishing a new area for a species I haven't totally figured out. Combine that with I'll be matching up against the most experienced redfish tournament anglers in the country and the result you ask....got them right where I want them! "Far greater is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure...than to rank with the poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."
I've spoken with a few locals and tried to get some tips or at least starting points for tomorrow. The truth of the matter is this is going to be one of those deals you just have to figure out on your own. It's the school of hard knocks and I'm looking forward to it. I plan on being on the water first thing in the morning and will fish until I can't take it anymore. Stand by for day 3 of the redfish adventure/quagmire tomorrow.
The redfish are locked down in their favorite hiding spots this time of year. If you can find exactly where a school is hiding you have a good chance at getting the bite. The last couple of warm days provided a pretty good bite for those that have located schools of reds and found which tide they choose to feed. I fished the falling tide Tuesday morning which is usually a good time to catch the reds. We hit three really good areas without getting a bite. We did see another boat catch 2 reds in the second area. Capt. Jeff Williamson snagged a couple of reds dock hopping along the waterway. I couldn't stand getting my tailed whipped so I headed back out on the rising tide. The speckled trout bite was fair as I picked off 7 in my first hour back on the water. I still could not get a redfish to bite a soft plastic. I heading back out on the rising tide Wednesday afternoon and again found the speckled trout biting soft plastics. Please keep in mind that speckled trout are closed for harvest until June 15th. I resorted back to live mud minnows under docks and landed a few redfish before heading home. It seems like the tail end of the falling tide and well into the rising tide is best right now for catching. See ya on the water!
Today I began an adventure that has been several years in the making. A few years ago there used to be a redfish tournament series that was filmed for ESPN called the Redfish Cup. I was totally intrigued with the show and the idea of hardcore tournament fishing bass style but for a saltwater species. Thus I began doing my research and over the next couple years competed in a few redfish tournaments. During this time I remained dead ahead committed to the kingfish tournament world, but was learning everything I could about the redfish game in the meantime. It didn't take long until I was hooked. Just like the sound of a smoking reel with a big kingfish on the other end gets your heart beating, the sight of a school of redfish milling just feet away from the boat as you stalk them has the same effect. I particularly became even more interested when I saw the level of competition in the redfish tournaments and the dedication the pros were putting forth. Mixing it up with the best in any type of competition is exhillarating and redfish tournament fishing is no different. My intent moving forward is to stay dedicated to the kingfish tournament world but to also work on redfish tournament game.
The result of this new found challenge has me as a contestant in a couple different redfish trails. First up is the HT Elite 40 One Man series which is the reason for "day 1" of this adventure diary. After weeks of getting my equipment prepped, I left the Fishing Center today and trailered the boat to Atlanta where I'm camped out tonight at Rube's house. Tomorrow I pick back up on the trip and will make my way to Venice, LA. I will spend the next week pre fishing from basically New Orleans to Venice trying to learn the area and locate tournament quality redfish. I've fished the Gulf numerous times but never inshore for redfish. So to say I'm jumping in at the deep end would be an under statement. The E40 series is comprised of the top tournament redfishers in the country. I'm well aware I'm likely on my way to getting my nose bloodied but hey what better way to learn. Normally redfish tournaments are team events with 2 anglers per boat. This series however is mono y mono, one angler per boat. Might get lonely out there and there won't be anyone to blame or congratulate for failure or success. I relish this challenge. Stand by for tomorrows report.
The following is Team Beeracuda's report from their Gulf Stream trip Monday. They show a good example why it's called fishing and not catching. Thanks for the report Tim:
Wendell Barnett posted this picture of Vincent with his 1st wahoo. The hoo tipped the scales at 45 lbs.
The 2nd picture is Parker Hayes' 1st fish. Next thing you know his mom and dad will be buying a Yellowfin or Contender!
The following couple of posts are pictures of the Shallotte dredging operation. Benny Hipp took several pictures, I took several and a movie you can watch by clicking on this link. Courtney Gray of Team Beeracuda took the coolest picture. It is the one of the dredge in the dark It was taken as they were heaading out to the Stream at 5:30 am in their new Cape Hor
Now you can watch past and present episodes of the OIFC No Limits Fishing TV Show at www.NoLimitsFishing.com
We are beginning filming now for the 2014 season which begins airing new episodes in mid May. The TV show airs on local cable provider ATMC TV within Brunswick and Colombus counties-- THUS, it is quite possible that many of you have not seen the show. Keep in mind this is our first attempt at doing a fishing show, so season one was certainly a learning process. I will tell you that making a TV show out of fishing is kind of like fly fishing -- taking something that is all ready hard and making it harder!
Check out the site - www.NoLimitsFishing.com
Yesterday afternoon was so pretty that Capt. Papa D, aka Capt. Rickey and I decided to check Tubbs Inlet out on our 17 ft skiff 'Tale Chaser", Folks believe me when I say it has changed. We went on a mid tide and there were still sand bar growth that hindered navigation. It was OK going in until we got to he 1st set of docks. The bar has extended and narrrowed that channel. It has also filled in along the beach and it appeared there was a bar at the ocean entrance that could be walked on from Sunset to Ocean Isle. My advice to to explore it using caution. We hope to get some low tide pictures soon. Click on this link for a video posted on our FB page of our trip in. Below are just random shots for people who haven't been able to get out. But one shows a sand bar at mid tide and the other is of dredging in a Sunset Beach canal.
Jeremy Phillips a charter member of Team OIFC/Do Work is escaping the bad weather by fishing in St. Kitt. In Jeremy's words :
Awesome time fishing in St. Kitts!!! Some of the biggest Spanish Mackerel I have ever seen!!!