Capt. Brant's Fishing Report
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"HT Redfish Houma Day One" | OIFC | 04/24/14
Yep, this one is going to sting for a while. Today was one of the more disappointing tournament fishing days I've had in quite some time. Going into day one of the competition I had high hopes. I had located several areas holding tournament winning fish and lots of them. So what happens next? A combination of a changing weather condition and just simply not being able to get out of my own way.
The change in the weather today was just slight but it was enough to change the water condition and that played a big role in what happened. The wind picked up and blew 15 knots out of the south today and when it did, it brough the ugly dirty bay water into the ponds I was fishing. The water was dirty and I wasn't able to effectively sight fish like I had been doing previously. The fish were still in the pond but they weren't showing themselves or I couldn't see them.
The not getting out of my own way problem came on several occurrences. I lost a couple very nice fish right at the boat. I broke a spinner blade arm off on a perfect fish and lost him. I had a fish die. I had to let one fish go because he was going to die. I fumbled all over myself on a couple occassion when I had perfect redfish just feet from the boat. You know...line wrapped around the tip before you cast; drop something loud on the deck; cast into the bushes...it was a calamity of errors! The fishing was way off from what it had been the last couple days for me but still I had my opportunities and I didn't execute.
I recall going through this same exact scenario years ago coming up in the king mackerel tournament world. We would work so hard to put ourselves in the right position but our execution was lacking and just couldn't breakthrough to victory lane. Today was the same sort of thing. I worked hard all week and found the fish. It was simply a matter of going to catch them. When it was all on the line, I couldn't deliver. Growing pains.
I did end up putting a 5 fish bag together but it wasn't pretty. I had just under 30lbs which for this tournament is pitiful. The leader after today is my roommate Gritter Griffien who absolutely put the smack down on the fish today. He is the first angler to weigh a 40+lb bag in tournament history. He weighed right under 43lbs! He has the lead by 5 or 6lbs. Very impressive.
Tomorrow is day two and while I'm effectively eliminated from the competition, I did enter the big bag side pot so I have something to fish for tomorrow. Plus, it's just too fun not to take advantage of being in this place! I need to get some redemption tomorrow so I'll go back out and see if I can't keep the backlashes ect to a minimum.
Capt. Barrett McMullan
"Team Members" | Do Work / OIFC | 04/24/14
Team OIFC/Do Work's member Dr. Jeremy Phillips trying his skills in Aruba. Meanwhile Team Member Amanda Bennett is fishing today out of Panama City. Team member Capt. Rickey will be changing lower unit fluids and Team Capt. Jeff Beck is working as is Courtney & Jon Hayes. Don't have a clue what Jr. Angler Camdyn is shopping at Books A Million and then going to a movie.. Something is wrong with this situation.
Capt. Rickey Beck
"Headed out" | Real-Time Update | 04/24/14
Heading out to the Gulf Stream. Stay tuned
"Treffinger, Derek James"
"HT Redfish Houma Practice Day 3" | OIFC | 04/23/14
The hay is in the barn as they say. Today was the last day of practice before competition starts tomorrow. Let me just tell you about today. Guys, seriously....I like to think I'm fairly effective with my ability to put on paper my experiences on the water but today I can honestly say words just won't do it justice. This is what Louisiana redfishing is all about. To say I found them would be an understatement. With the tip from afellow competitor, Gritter Griffin, I landed on the motherload of redfish today.
I sight fished from the time I came off plane until it was time to call it a day. Every 10 yards I'd see another pack of redfish. It was to the point I just put up my rods and eased along the bank and just watched the fish. It became clear if I had a rod in my hand I just couldn't help myself but to put my bait in the water. If bait hit the water, it wasn't long before redfish was on the other end. So instead, I just watched the fish and tried to pick out the right size fish. The key to this tournament is going to be identifying the right size redfish and not waste time on those that are too big. These fish down here are super fat and fight hard. I caught a 14lb 28" redfish today which is an enormous weight for that length of fish. It's tons of fun catching these overs but takes a lot of time, time you could be working on the right size fish for the tournament. Self restraint is key.
Hopes are high leading into the tournament tomorrow. The facts are though that probably just about every angler in this event is on good fish. I expect the leaderboard will be very tight. I'm still nailing down my final plan but in true Team OIFC style I just can't help myself but to swing for the fences at first and try something totally different than what the rest of the fleet will be doing. If that doesn't pan out I have one heck of a back up plan and more behind that. Having options in this game is critical and options is one thing I do have. Whatever the outcome of the tournament is for me I can honestly say today was without a doubt the most fun I've ever had on the inshore waters. I hate nobody else was there to share it with me but man I'll never forget it. Awesome.
Tomorrow, the weigh in begins at 2pm but probably won't get going until 3pm. You can tune in and watch the weigh in live.
Go to: http://theredfishseries.com/watch-the-redfish-series-live/
Capt. Barrett McMullan
"SKA Nationals" | OIFC | 04/23/14
Breaking news -- the "NEW" SKA has agreed to comp Nationals entry for the top 10 finishing teams in each SKA division. Further, it is my strong belief that if you were ever going to fish SKA Nationals, this will be the year not to miss. It is concensus that Nationals needs to move around every year, and I am confident that is going to happen. However, this year it was too late to make changes and thus NBOA, the new owner of the SKA, is pledging to make Nationals a better event than ever. I know they are working hard on lots of new programs that will affect competition in next year's season, but this year I think they will make their big splash with the show they put on at Nationals. I hope you tournament fishermen out there will make an effort to qualify and make it to the Nationals -- yes, qualify -- that is something that has been lost in the last few years, but I believe that we had all better fish hard as the true meaning of qualifying is going to come back as well.
Capt. Brant McMullan
"Bingo" | Real-Time Update | 04/23/14
Sent from my iPhone
"Good morning" | Real-Time Update | 04/23/14
From Houma, La
Sent from my iPhone
"Charters Available" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 04/23/14
Capt. Amy McMullan
Weather looks great this weekend for offshore fishing. Charter boats are currently available. Call 910 575 3474 to Book
- Amy McMullan
"HT Redfish Houma Practice Day 2" | OIFC | 04/22/14
Back at it today down here in Houma, LA. Today was the second full practice day leading up to the tournament this Thursday. Tomorrow is the final practice day and is actually just a half day. Today I honed in on what I learned day one and started working on a game plan for the tournament. The issue with that is "everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth". Weather changes, water changes, fish change, boat traffic, yada yada yada. It all can change in a hurry so having plans A, B , C and D are critical. I've got a couple options now where I think I can put a decent bag together but I still need another back up plan. Tomorrow I will check a totally new area and see what the day brings. One thing I have been missing thus far in my exploration is clear water. I've been fishing very muddy water which is making sight fishing tough. Tough but doable. I'm catching most of my fish with 10 ft of the boat to give you an idea of the condition.
Down here in the marsh the scenery is pretty magnificient. The wildlife is truly amazing. Within a few minutes this morning I spotted a 10ft alligator, an 8lb redfish, a 40lb redfish, a catfish, a swamp coon, a family of nutrea, and a pod of 100+lb gar fish. That was all in one small pond!
Tomorrow is my last opportunity to find good tournament fish and then it's off to the Capt's meeting tomorrow evening. I'm definitely still the rookie on tour and a novice at best but I'm beginning to understand the fishery a little better which is helping me to locate fish. Like always though, you can be the best fishermen that ever lived but if you aren't around the fish it doesn't matter.
Capt. Barrett McMullan
"Charters Available This Weekend" | Real-Time Update | 04/22/14
Weather looks great this weekend for offshore fishing. Charter boats are
currently available. Call 910 575 3474 to Book
"Buck Tails" | Do Work / OIFC | 04/22/14
This red trum hit on a top water plug for Shane Britt. That would have been a sight to see. We've got these at the OIFC. I am going to do some preventive maintainance on the "Tale Chaser" today and hit the back waters this week.
Shane most always fishes with buck tails. He makes his own which can be seen at Britts Bucktails on Facebook. But we have bucktails at the OIFC. I've been out fished many a day by someone using bucktails tiped with shrimp, mud minnows and Fish Bites. The weight of the buck tail is dependent on how hard the tide is pulling.
As Capt. Jacob says "see you on the water". Be sure to ask him why he needs to change it to "see you in the water". He tells it a whole lot better than I do. ;)
Capt. Rickey Beck
"Salt Water Gone Fresh Water" | Do Work / OIFC | 04/21/14
This by Larry Spainhour from his Facebook page:
Fished today with one Professional and one Semi-Pro. This is one of 159. Don't ask how many I caught. Great fun with two fine friends.
Capt. Rickey Beck
"HT Redfish #1 Houma" | OIFC | 04/21/14
~~I'm baaaa-aaack. Back in the bayou that is. Last month I fished in an HT Redfish pre season tournament out of Chalmette, LA which I provided a daily diary of my adventure. This time I'm in Houma, LA for the actual beginning of the HT Redfish tournament series. Houma is about an hour and a half west of New Orleans or in other words a long dang way from Ocean Isle Beach. I took the 14 hour drive yesterday and made it to the fish camp right at dark in Bayou Dularge. They call houses that are this far down in the marsh, fish camps down here for clarification. Fellow tournament competitor, Gritter Griffin, and I are staying in the same camp. He's been at this game a long time so I'm making like a sponge.
It was up and at em' early this morning for the first practice day of fishing. This tournament series has extremely strict rules. First, anglers can not be on the water for 14 days prior to the Monday before the tournament. So today was the first time anglers could get on the water and try to figure out where the fish are. Not a big deal for 95% of the competition because they all live down this way and know where they need to be. For me, it doesn't really matter. I feel like I could have 3 weeks down here and I'll still be in the weeds. There are 2.5 practice days before the event begins on Thursday. 38 anglers will compete Thursday and Friday with the top 8 fishing on Saturday. This is a one man per boat tournament
First mission for me today was finding the boat ramp. Next was making it out of the marina. Check. Check. No problem. I had been prefishing for this tournament for weeks on Google Earth. I try to study the area as much as possible and get ideas of where would be the best places to scout before the tournament. I went down the list today checking off spots I had identified and added a few more. I thought fishing was fairly good by my standards. I caught fish sight casting and I caught fish deep. The trick is finding the right size fish that will win the tournament. I'm looking for 8+ lbers just under 27" which is the upper end of the slot down here. The tournament is decided by the angler with the heaviest 5 fish bag combined over 3 days so 15 fish total.
I will echo what I say every time when I come down here. There's simply no place like it. The thrill I get from standing on a platform above the water and seeing a stud redfish laying out in front me makes the 14 hour drive well worth it. I got my fill of it today.
Tomorrow it's on to more scouting and hopefully putting a tournament plan together.
Check out this 40lb black drum I caught in 10 inches of water today.
Capt. Barrett McMullan
"Backwater Fishing News!!" | Tiberias - 22' | 04/21/14
There has been some speculation on the speckled trout fishery opening up for commercail harvest and the limit doubling from 75 to 150 per day. This is not true. It was mentioned in one of the meetings that if you have two licensed commercial guys on the same boat, then they should be able to keep their 75 fish limit each. This is not allowed as of right now and will have to go through several public meetings before even being considered. New stock assessments are currently underway and that will have more influence than anything else on future decisions on limits. I recieved this information from Dr. Daniel Louis himself this morning around 9:30am.
There has also been some confusion on the closure of redfish. The commercial harvest for redfish is closed, not the recreational harvest of 1 per person per day between 18 to 27 inches. Recreational redfish are still open, but again at a meeting some commercial guys complained about the closure and pushed to have recreational closed as well. It is a very complicated situation with our fishery. Redfish are not to be targeted by commercial fishermen period, but they are allowed 10 fish as bycatch when they have enough of another species. Complicated and grey area there. The commercial fishery quota allowed is like 250,000 pounds per year. Although they are not a target species the commercial fishery over shot their quota in 2013 by more than 10,000 pounds. It will remain closed until the Fall season 2014.
Redfish are still open for recreational harvest of 1 per person per day between the slot of 18 to 27inches. As always I encourage catch and release of these hard fighting beautiful fish. Please only keep what you are going to eat fresh. See ya on the water!
Capt. Jacob Frick
"Wahoo Lures" | Do Work / OIFC | 04/21/14
This and a red and black Fish Finder Tackle Hi Speed lure is what produced so well for us last weekend when we were wahoo fishing Sent from my iPhone
Capt. Jeff Beck