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Capt. Brant's Fishing Report

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""Statistics Show"" | Tiberias - 22' | 02/16/11
 

There has been much debate on gill netting here in North Carolina over the years. I think I speak for most when I say this is not a war on commercial fishing. We need a commercial fishery, but the method in which we choose to harvest must change. I have linked an article to this report that will explain how the State of Texas has benefited greatly, both on the commercial side and recreational side by removing gill nets. I truly feel that the future will be much brighter for both commercial and recreational anglers if we were to remove gill netting from our backwaters. Change is not easy and just plan hard to live with at times, but change in this case is best! Please click on links above to see a youtube video on refish gill netted (method) and the article is linked to (State of Texas). Enjoy...See ya on the water!
- Capt. Jacob Frick
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""Update on Fishery"" | Tiberias - 22' | 02/16/11
 

In response to a letter I sent the commission...I recieved a phone call from the head of law enforcement...Jim Kelly...he was responding to my comment about the usual answer we get when calling the hot line to report possible violations. "We don't have a boat in the water today". I have talked to several folks that have reported this and have given up on making that phone call. Well, Jim Kelly has given us new information to follow to get a better response. He asked me to share it with you. First, call the hot line at 1-800-682-2632, regardless the answer they give you, ask for an incident number, write this number down. If you feel that no response was made to your incident, call Jim Kelly directly at (910) 796-7220. You must have an incident number in order for Mr. Kelly to follow up. Good luck and keep your eye out for bad apples. Violations are what ruins it for both commercial and recreational guys.


- Capt. Jacob Frick
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""Gill nets set during Speckled Trout Closure!"" | Tiberias - 22' | 02/15/11
 

The recreational speckled trout fishery has been closed until June 1st. I support the closure in hopes that this will insure a stronger fishery in the near future. I fear that all of our efforts are in vain. Commercial gill netters are still allowed to set nets and keep 10% of so called bycatch of speckled trout. I do not agree with this at all. Speckled trout are not to be targeted, but if for some reason a few get caught they can keep them anyway. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, just like the Striper fishing in Oregon Inlet. Now what are they targeting? Mullet or Redfish? Mullet are suppose to be the main target, but coming from someone on the water nearly everyday. The mullet in our water right now are small, 6 to 8 inches. Those can't be of much value even if you had a gill net that would catch them. So the best target are the redfish, but again these fish are supposely not to be targeted. However, just in case a few do find the net, commercial guys are allowed 10 fish per day. Really that is not to bad, right? However, the method in which these fish are caught often result in a high mortality rate. Gill nets catch fish by trapping them behind the gill plates, often tearing and ripping the gills. With that said I am going to share a sad story with you that happens many more times than we hear about.

Many of you have followed my fishing reports and know that a good redfish bite has been happening here in front of the OIFC. I have talked to several of you that have attempted fishing the canal and had limited success lately. I myself have had the same result. I just figured that maybe the redfish had just moved. Not the case. I was told by a good source that a gill net was set in the canal a few days ago and 200 redfish were netted. Now by law all but 10 fish must be released. However, most of these fish will probably die by the method in which they were caught. If this disgust you, then now is the time to voice your opinion. It is time to remove the gill nets from our backwaters. I have talked to many of you that express hatred toward gill nets, simply because of there destructive nature. I do sympathize with the commercial fisherman, but at what cost to our natural resources. Please express your views to the Executive Director of Marine Fisheries louis.daniel@ncdenr.gov,, Senate Bill.Rabon@ncleg.net, and the Governor's Office governor.offce@nc.gov. Thanks for your effort and support.


- Capt. Jacob Frick
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"OIFC Mass Email report" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/14/11
 

I sent out a mass email to all on our email list Monday morning.  The update covered the Galapagos trip, job opportunities, upcoming events......   If you DID NOT get this email and you want to recieve future OIFC updates etc. via email, SUBSCRIBE TO THE OIFC EMAIL LIST BY CLICKING HERE.

Looking at upcoming fishing, may head up to Hatteras to get in on the Bluefin Tuna bite.  This late Winter bite has been developing over the past few years and has become very popular with jiggers and poppers --  of course trolling yields bites as well.  I'm going to assemble some OIFC staffers and maybe head that way soon.    Stay tuned. 


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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""The gloves are off!"" | Tiberias - 22' | 02/13/11
 

Looks like the fish spanked us all yesterday. I talked to several folks who reported no action yesterday. I can't stand it! I took off after them again today in my kayak. This time I was prepared to do some paddling. I paddled into shallow creeks, pushing my way slowly through the flooded grass. The redfish will sometimes push way back into the grass and find open pockets of water. I had found some several days ago and was excited to see a couple of them bite. That did not happen today. I never bumped a fish, saw any running, or waking from my kayak. I was a bit disappointed that I never located a school in shallow water. I headed for the edges of oyster bars near deep water. I found my first fish there, then another, and finally a good one. I ended up catching five redfish today and the bite ended as quickly as it started. Every bite came on a rootbeer colored shrimp. I would imagine if you get a rootbeer or new penny  gulp shrimp in front of one they will eat. I am just not sure where the big schools have gone that we were seeing last week? It was still fun to have a 25" redfish tow me around for a while. See ya on the water!


- Capt. Jacob Frick
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"Boat Ramp Parking" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/13/11
 

There is absolutely zero to report on the fishing front.  But I do have my Sunday pictures of the progress (?) of the Ocean Isle Boat Ramp.

Also attached is a picture of the new kite fishing rod holder we now stock.  Jeff and I ordered one and have stocked up on kite fishing tackle.  When we were in Florida fishing the SKA Nationals we saw everyone was kite fishing, sometimes with multiple kites.  I'm not proficient at it yet, but will be by fishing time.  Capt. Brant and Capt. Steele are up to par on kite fishing, so you might want to check with them on tackle and tips.


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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""Where did they go?"" | Tiberias - 22' | 02/12/11
 

Not the kind of report I like to write...but gotta keep it real. I have been confined to my kayak the last couple times out and this has severely crippled the distance I can travel in search of redfish schools. I had good success the first time out earlier this week, but the wind even then was making things difficult. Today was much of the same without the fish. The wind was making things very difficult with boat handling, spotting fish, and feeling the bite. I kept a pretty tight line anyway despite conditions and could feel fish swimming into my line. I could only guess they were mullet, since I finally snagged one and never got a redfish bite today. I talked to a few other anglers on the water today that reported the same. No sightings and no bites. So the question is why did the bite shut done? Rain? Dirty water? Who really knows for sure, but here are my thoughts. If the mullet are still here, then the redfish are close by somewhere. I don't think the redfish have left, but bluebird skys and no cold front approaching has them relaxing for a bit. I know they are here and hope to be in full pursuit as this weeks temperatures look great. The water is going to be stained from the rain, so I would mix the colors up a bit. Chartreuse is a hard color to beat on bight days and dirty water. However, our water is simply stained and is actually still pretty clear. Go with a dark color...I recommend gulps 3" pogy in rootbeer. I threw both chartreuse shrimp and rootbeer shrimp today. I wish I would have had the rootbeer pogy. I will be stopping by the OIFC to get some tomorrow. See ya on the water!  
- Capt. Jacob Frick
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"Galapagos Wrap Up" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/11/11
 

Though we didn't get any fishing in on our last day of the adventure to the Galapagos we still got a pretty awesome experience.  On the final morning before we had to get on a plane for Guayaquil we all loaded up in taxis at the hotel and drove 30 minutes through the island to the highlands.  It was cool seeing the countryside of San Cristobal and then ultimately getting to the giant tortoise sanctuary.  We toured around the farm and saw many giant turtles and were able to get close to these enormous reptiles that were nearly 100 years old.  Fun fact:  Steven Spielburg was inspired by the appearance of the giant tortoise when visiting the Galapagos and the result was the creation of his biggest film to date E.T.

We made it back to the airport in time for our flight to Guayaquil where we said our good byes to Captain Braden and his crew.  In Guayaquil our guide Julio Rosas was there to meet us once again.  Julio is the man.  He was truly a unique character that none of us will soon forget.  He took several of us on a tour of the city and it seemed like he knew everyone and everyone knew him.  If you ever needed to get something done and get it done quickly in the city of Guayaquil, Ecuador, Julio, the future mayor, is the guy.  We all had dinner together at a local restuarant that last night with Julio as our guest.  The next morning we were off to the airport and back to the good ol USA. 

Man, what a trip.  I'm still knocking on wood at this point but it's hard to believe you can travel half way around the world with all kinds of unknowns and at the end everything exceeds expectations and generally runs smooth. 

The fishing was phenomenal by most standards.  However from those who have experience fishing the Galapagos, I understand the action we found was relatively slow.  If that's as slow as it gets, I can't imagine what hot fishing would be like.  For the 4 days of fishing our crew managed to raise approximately 148 striped marlin, catch and release 31 and all 16 anglers in our group caught at lease one stripe marlin.  6 of our anglers caught their first marlin in the Galapagos. 

Guayaquil, Ecuador was a pleasant surprise.  The city was big, very clean, and the people were extremely courteous and prideful of their country.  Our guide in the city, Julio Rosas, was superb.  We had no problems at the airport or getting around town thanks to him.  The hotel Oro Verde was extremely nice resembling a 5 star US hotel. Everything and everyone was on time.  No unmet expectations.

The Galapagos was incredible.  The wildlife, climate, and people were all first class.  The hotel Miconia couldn't have been positioned better overlooking the harbour and fishing fleet that were being guarded by dedicated sea lions.  The hotel had everything we needed including a great restaurant and quality rooms.  Captain Braden runs one heck of a fishing operation.  Even in such a remote location with supplies at a premium he managed to put together top knotch equipment and crews.  The boats are perfect for the style of fishing that is most common there.  This is a unique piece of dirt in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that remains undisturbed by human habitation.  I feel like we just scratched the surface of what the Galapagos has to offer as there are several other islands in the chain that I understand are equally impressive. 

There is little I would change about our trip to the Galapagos.  I would be interested in seeing more of the islands and maybe I'd add a day to explore in between the fishing.  On the fishing side, I would once again bring a few tricks from home as sometimes when you go to a place where the fishing is so good on average that the locals don't have to try too hard with their techniques to produce.  However, if the fish aren't cooperating it may take a little convincing to get them going.  We've always said some of the best fishermen in the world come from Ocean Isle Beach, NC for the simple reason that we have to try a lot harder to catch fish here than most anywhere else. 

The Galapagos is a MUST SEE destination in my book.  If you enjoy adventure, billfishing, and amazing wildlife you owe it to yourself to visit this place.  I am currently working on plans for next year's Traveling Fisherman.  The plan is to have several different trips planned to various locations in order to give potential travelers a choice.  While I'm excited to find new exotic fishing destinations I am confident it will be difficult to top the Galapagos.  I would like to hear from anyone out there who has an input or an idea on a good location for us to consider for next year.  With the success of the last couple Traveling Fisherman trips abroad I hope we have built a reputation for organizing quality fishing adventures to unique locations.  Next year will be a banner year for the Traveling Fisherman so if you have interest in joining our groups please stay tuned for destination announcements and then contact me with interest.  Email captbarrett@oifc.com for trip information or ideas for future destinations. 

Lastly I want to acknowledge and once again thank the group of Traveling Fisherman we had this year.  All but two anglers from last year's Panama trip made the Galapagos trip this year.  This has become a tight knit group and your company has been joy to be around.  We've seen some pretty incredible sights together, told a lot of stories, and even managed to catch a few fish in between.  This year we added a few new faces to the gang and you guys certainly provided an energetic spark and entertainment for everyone.  I hope everyone enjoyed this adventure as much I and I can't wait to experience the next adventure with you. 

That's it folks, the story of the Traveling Fisherman Galapagos 2011.  I hope you enjoyed the step by step recap of our adventure.  Next time instead of reading about it, hopefully you can join us and be part of it.  Signing off.  Pics and vids to come next week.


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Galapagos Final Fish Day" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/10/11
 

Friday, Fish Day 4:  Yesterday was a long one for the crews of the Patricia and Big Fish who made the long to the Black Sheep bank and got back to port just before dark.  Today we got going on a more typical schedule departing the dock about 7am.  All 4 boats headed east and spread out between the Rosa Banca and the Honey Hole.  So far the Blue has been the most consistent boat, with The Big Fish a close second and the Jonamar and Patricia in a dead heat for last place.  Captain Braden captains the Patricia and was well aware of this fact and declared early on that today would have a different result.  The weather, of course, was once again perfect.  With the last day of fishing ahead of us, we were all excited to make the most of it.  Today's crews were:
The Big Fish:  Captain Fernando
Brian Allen
Stacy Allen
Ken Hill
Kennan Hill

Patricia:  Captain Braden
Rube McMullan
Barrett McMullan
Brant McMullan
Amy McMullan

Blue:  Captain Julio
Brian Robbins
Steve Austin
Rick Blase
Bryan Freeman

Jonamar II:  Captain Edwin
Tom Bordeaux
Blair Bordeaux
Benji Faulkner
Andy Erbacher

On board the Patricia we arrived to the Honey Hole first.  Brant and I pulled out our bag of tricks as the pressure was on to help get Captain Braden out of the dog house.  The morning started slow for all the boats.  We had one Stripe Marlin come in the spread after about an hour that tormented us by following every teaser we had but he wouldn't take a bait.  Today we varied the approach by running two hooked lures on the riggers, two teasers close, one lure near the teaser and one pitch bait ready to go.  Also, we dropped back a small feather on the long line in case a tuna was nearby.  The first strike of the day was on the feather which yielded a 30lb yellowfin tuna handled by Amy.  The pressure was off, dinner was served!  Just like clock work at 11:00am the action began on board the Patricia.  For the rest of the day we had stripe marlin in the spread.  Most fish that were raised were aggressive and and struck either or lures or pitch baits.  We had a great day with the stripe marlin eventhough we should have caught several more than we did.  For whatever reason we were definitely the hot boat today.  Braden was on the fish and loving it.  We got some great video and pics today as Brant was our underwater photographer.  The Big Fish and Blue stuck with the marlin fishing all day but the Jonamar team opted to call it quits early and try out the jigging action.  The final tally for today:
The Big Fish:  200 points +?
8 raises
5 hook ups
1 stripe marlin catch
1 sea lion release!

Patricia:  1075 points
20 raises
10 hook ups
5 stripe marlin catches
1 yellowfin tuna

Blue:  200 points
9 raises
4 bites
2 hook ups
1 stripe marlin catch

Jonamar II:  100 points
1 raise
2 wahoo to the boat
Multiple wahoo and tuna lost to sea lions

Patricia takes the title today.  What an awesome place this is.  I hate to think tomorrow we're out of here.  The plan is to have our host Ronnie pick up our bags and passports tomorrow morning and get us checked in for our flight at noon.  While that's going on we're going to head to the highlands of San Cristobal and go check out the famed giant tortoises of the Galapagos. I think we're ready for a break from fishing but to leave this place tomorrow afternoon is going to be tough. 

I'll be posting a trip wrap up tomorrow complete with fishing stats, general thoughts on the experience as a whole and plans for the future.  I should have all the pics early next week and will post as many as I can. 


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Black Dog's Sails" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/10/11
 

Bob Newell and the crew of Bob's "Black dog" went sailfishing in Isla for a little "spring training".  They  fished very close to shore using the drop back technique.  The sails were lured to the surface using dredges.  They also used circle hooks....they fished using the same methods they use in our area.This trip ought to have them tuned up for the Cape Fear Sailfish Classic August 11-14.
- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Galapagos Continued" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/09/11
 

It poured rain last night which sounded pretty neat coming through the tropical trees surrounding our hotel.  The plan again for today was for 2 boats to make an extra long run about 68 miles to another bank called the Black Sheep.  The name comes from the fact it's so far away from anything else, it's all on it's own.  8 of us woke up an hour early for a 6am departure.  The rain brought a stiff easterly breeze this morning which made us think maybe making the long run wouldn't be in the cards today.  Captain Braden met us outside the hotel and re-assured everyone it was just a land breeze and we were on as planned.  The two boats making the long run were The Big Fish and Patricia.  Blue and Jonamar II would be heading back to Rosa Banca at the normal time.  Today's crews and boat assignments:

The Big Fish:  Captain Fernando
Blair Bordeaux
Bryan Freeman
Rick Blase
Barrett McMullan

Patricia:  Captain Braden
Rube McMullan
Andy Erbacher
Brian Allen
Stacy Allen

Blue:  Captain Julio
Brant McMullan
Amy McMullan
Tom Bordeaux
Benji Faulkner

Jonamar II:  Captain Edwin a.k.a. Richard Petty
Ken Hill
Kennan Hill
Brian Robbins
Steve Austin

I was on the Big Fish that headed to the Black Sheep bank.  Talk about traveling where no man has traveled before, wow.  Not only did we start on an island that is in the middle of nowhere, we left nowhere and went another 70 miles to the middle of the ocean.  We left out of the harbor and headed around the opposite end of the island than we had been traveling the previous two days.  The first 30 miles were flat riding behind the island and passing by Kicker Rock.  The next 35 miles were a little bumpy but not too bad.  The boats did well.  We arrived to the bank and the feast or famine forecast looked to be leaning more towards famine as there were no signs of life on the bank.  No birds, dolphin, or bait could be seen immediately.  We were a little worried we may have made a mistake but despite the lack of signs of fish, they were there.  In less than 10 minutes we had the first fish in the spread and it proceeded to make fools out of us.  Just a few minutes later the Captain Braden on Patricia comes on the radio and reports raising a triple but three whiffs by the crew.  Between the two boats it was a tale of different days.  I don't know what to attribute it to, but on board The Big Fish we had a very busy day with stripe marlin being raised all day long.  It seemed like we had a bunch of multiples which created a chaotic cockpit.  The Patricia couldn't seem to get it going after the first flurry and raised just a few fish all day.  Despite all these guys working in the same operation, make no mistake there is significant competition among the Captains.  These guys are motivated to catch more fish than their colleagues which works out good for the anglers.  Back on board The Big Fish our biggest problem was a group of about 8 frigate birds that wouldn't leave us alone.  They were aggressive, trying to eat baits first out of our spread and then actually out of the boat!  The problem was every time we'd raise a marlin and drop a bally hoo back the frigates would swoop in and take the bait.  After several encounters with birds, the good ol boy NC came out in Freeman and the birds were no longer a problem.  In addition we decided to pull lures so the birds wouldn't bother our presentation.  It worked as our hook up ratio improved in the afternoon.  We fished late as the Patricia was trying to regain some honor but it wasn't to be on this day.  The Big Fish was the hot boat today with numerous raises, fish hooked fought and lost and a few boated.  Back on the Rosa Banca the action was similar to the first two days.  Both boats released stripe marlin with the action occurring between 11:00 and 2:00 but overall it wasn't real hot.  The results from today:

The Big Fish:  600 points (Stripe Marlin)
16+ raises
6 bites
3 catch

Patricia:  0 points (Stripe Marlin)
5 raises
2 bites
0 catch

Blue:  400 points (Stripe Marlin)
6 raises
4 bites
2 catches

Jonamar II:  200 points (Stripe Marlin)
8 raises
3 bites
1 catch

Amy caught her first stripe marlin of the trip today.  Now, Brant and Rube are the only two in the group not to catch a marlin.  Tomorrow is our last day of fishing here at the Galapagos.  While we are a little sad to see the end, we are also pretty worn out from going at it hard these last few days.  The plan tomorrow is for all the boats to head back to the Rosa Banca for a grand finale.  Captain Braden on the Patricia has sworn revenge.  The McMullan's are on board the Patrica tomorrow so we're going to help Braden get back on top, or at least that's the plan.  One more day to go.

Here are some pictures from Bryan Freeman on board The Big Fish.


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Day Two fishing Galapagos" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/08/11
 

Wednesday, Fish Day 2: We woke up early again today to perfect weather and a fresh local breakfast. We ate at the hotel again and watched the fishing boats and crews organize for the day ahead from the restaurant balcony. Big things were on tap today as we all had gained experience at this new type of fishing yesterday and were ready to catch some fish. The teams and boat assignments had been decided upon last night:
The Big Fish: Captain Fernando
Brant McMullan
Amy McMullan
Rube McMullan
Andy Erbacher
 
Patricia: Captain Braden
Ken Hill
Kennan Hill
Barrett McMullan
Benji Faulkner
 
Blue: Captain Julio
Tom Bordeaux
Blair Bordeaux
Brian Allen
Stacy Allen
 
Jonamar II: Captain Edwin a.k.a. Sammy Davis Jr
Bryan Freeman
Brian Robbins
Rick Blasé
Steve Austin
 
We returned back to the same area today to start but the action was slow to start the day. A couple boats ventured off a few more miles from the first bank and went to another bank called the Honey Hole. Around 11:00 things picked up a little but it seemed like the action would come in bunches. There’d be multiple stripes in the spread for a few minutes then nothing for an hour or more. Also today the fish seemed not to be feeding aggressively. They’d come onto a teaser but when the ballyhoo was free-lined the stripe marlin would often fade out of the spread without ever taking a bait. Nevertheless even with the marlin fishing a little tough today it still is probably equal or better than anywhere in the world. A couple boats decided to pack in the marlin fishing early and give the inshore fishing a shot. The inshore fishing consists of getting close to the rock formations near the island and either throwing poppers, trolling swimming plugs or deep jigging vertical jigs. The only problem with this style of fishing is the sea lions believe it or not. Nearly every fish that is hooked is an easy target for a hungry sea lion. These guys may look cute when they are floating around or laying on the park benches but make no mistake when they decide to eat they are ferocious. The crew on board the Blue hooked numerous wahoo but were able to get only 2 to the boat around 25lbs a piece. The guys on the Jonamar worked on the bottom fish catching a pile of grouper, a cubera snapper, several unidentified fish and lost a number of other fish to sea lions. When the marlin fishing isn’t producing fast enough for anglers there are plenty of other options available as proven by these two boats today. Once again the day ended with cocktails and a sunset on the harbor edge where fish stories were abound. Dinner tonight was unreal. The chef here at the Miconia is talented. I believe we got pictures of the presentation but to give you a basic idea, the chef took the head of the cubera snapper and put it on a platter. For the body of the snapper the chef replaced the cubera body and arranged wahoo sashimi on the platter which was delicious. 
 
Because of the slow fishing by Galapagos standards, Captain Braden made an appearance at dinner and let us know of the plan for the following day. Two of the boats, the Patricia and The Big Fish, would be making a long run about 65 miles in the opposite direction as the previous days to a little known bank called the Black Sheep. Supposedly this bank is usually either on fire or very slow. We’re pretty excited to check out a new piece of turf. The other boats will return to Rosa Banks in case the marlin turn on there tomorrow. Today’s tournament results are:
The Big Fish: 200 points
5 raises
1 bite
1 stripe marlin
2 amberjack (Rube, go figure!)
 
Patricia: 400 points (All Stripe Marlin)
13 raises
4 bites
2 fish
 
Blue: 700 points
5 raises
5 bites
3 stripe marlin
2 wahoo
 
Jonamar II: 200 points
9 raises
2 bites
1 stripe marlin
1 cubera snapper under 20lbs
8 grouper under 20lbs
 
The winner once again today was the crew of the Blue. The opinion from those who have fished on the Blue to this point is these guys are fishing very effectively. We’ll see if they can go for 3 in a row tomorrow. Tomorrow the boats making the big run will be leaving an hour earlier at 6:00am in order to have sufficient fishing time. Feels like rain is coming in tonight, hopefully we have good weather for the run. There are high hopes for the new fishing grounds. After paying the winning team from today, the crew dispersed and hit the sack ready to tee em’ up again tomorrow.

The pictures below are of the jigging done by the crew of the Jonamar today.  The marlin pictures are coming soon.


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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""Kayak Fishing"" | Tiberias - 22' | 02/08/11
 

I have taken my boat out of the water for bottom painting. This has forced me to go back to how I first started exploring and fishing our backwaters here at Ocean Isle Beach, NC. I brought out my Perception 9.0 Swifty kayak and started paddling down the waterway. Wow! The wind was making travel a bit difficult. I had my heart set on fishing despite the conditions, so I grinded it out. It took me much longer to get to the fishing grounds than it did to catch one. I had a nice 19" fish to the boat in just a few cast. A few more cast with out a bite...I decided to make a change in my lure selection. First cast with a new lure and thump! A nice redfish was headed for the kayak...or should I say my kayak was headed for a nice  redfish. After a few minutes I had a 26&3/4 inch brute in the back of my kayak. I gave it a few more minutes, but the conditions were brutal. Besides dinner was in the box and I had a long paddle back to the house. It was still a blast and I needed the excercise! You can bet I will give this a try again once the conditions get more favorable. The fish are shallow and I aim to get in there with them. See ya on the water!


- Capt. Jacob Frick
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"You Get Sea Sick" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/08/11
 

No joke, I get sea sick in the bath tub!!!  But I've found a ritual to prevent sea sickness.  It works for me..I haven't got sick in a couple of years.....All thanks to Captain Chris Buroughs.  It's really spelled Burrows, but I like aggravating Chris!

Here's my ritual.  The night before I go out I'm very careful about what I eat.  Nothing rich or greasy.  I eat bland foods.  I don't drink, so alcohol isn't a problem.  If you do drink, don't the night before.  I also put "the patch" on and eat ginger root.  The ginger root tastes nasty.  You only need to use a piece about the size of your fingernail.  I slice mine as thin as a radish and slam it down with some soft drink.

The morning of the trip I eat a bowl of oat meat.  It doesn't slosh around in your stomach.  You need to eat, but not greasy foods.

For on the boat, I pack plenty of snacks, especially ginger snaps.  I also take some frosted Mini Wheats and munch on them.  I learned the Mini Wheat thing from Rube.  You want to keep something on your stomach.  I also take along plenty of water and some ginger ale.

That's my remedy in a nutshell and it has worked every time no matter the sea conditions.  Also click on this link to check an article from Earth Sports.  Good luck and don't let sea sickness keep you on shore.


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Scenery Pics" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/07/11
 


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"First Pics" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/07/11
 

We have the fishing pictures coming soon but first here are a few general scenery and sea lion pics. Also you'll see Kicker rock where we snorkeled the first day we got to the Galapagos.
- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/07/11
 

Back in the US and finally in front of the computer.  I will pick up with the Galapagos report on Tuesday of last week our first fishing day.  Enjoy.
Tuesday, Fish Day 1: Last night we all had dinner together at our hotel, the Miconia. The food is great and the atmosphere is better. The hotel restaurant overlooks the harbor and the only outside noise comes from the sea lions arguing over who gets dibs on the park bench. At dinner we were met by our host Captain Braden Escobar and he filled us in on the game plan for the following day. The plan was to meet our boats at 7am and make the 35 mile run to the Rosa Banca in hopes of finding stripe marlin.  Anticipation was high and we all hung out after dinner talking about the next day and sharing fishing stories from other adventures. The group was separated into 4 different 4 fishermen/women teams for the 4 boats we were to be on. They were:
Big Fish: Captain Fernando 
Bryan Freeman
Brian Robbins
Rick Blasé
Steve Austin
 
Patricia: Captain Braden
Brant McMullan
Amy McMullan
Brian Allen
Stacy Allen
 
Blue: Captain Julio
Tom Bordeaux
Blair Bordeaux
Ken Hill
Kennan Hill
 
Jonamar II: Captain Edwin
Benji Faulkner
Andy Erbacher
Rube McMullan
Barrett McMullan
 
With the teams and boats picked for day one the annual Traveling Fisherman tournament took shape. Through much debate we settled on a point system that would determine each day’s winning team. The point values were approved by Captain Braden and decided upon due to difficulty or likelihood of catching that particular species. The point values were:
Blue Marlin- 500 points
Black Marlin- 500 points
Sailfish- 500 points
Stripe Marlin- 200 points
Yellowfin Tuna > 100lbs- 200 points
Yellowfin Tuna < 100lbs- 75 points
Wahoo- 50 points
Snapper (20lb min)- 50 points
Grouper (20lb min)- 50 points
 
Today we woke up to sunny skies, warm temperatures and light winds.   We all had breakfast at the hotel around 6:30am which consisted of fresh local fruit, French toast, ham and eggs. At 7:00am we walked from the hotel about 50 yards down to the main dock for the harbor where all the local workers were meeting up with water taxis to take them to work on the surrounding islands. We boarded our water taxis with gear in hand, smelling of sunscreen, and totally looking the stereotypical part of the “gringo” tourists. The boats were surprisingly nice and well equipped. They were a local make and were sort of a hybrid sport fishermen about 32’ to 36’ long with outboard 4 stroke power. We cruised out to the fishing grounds at about 25 to 28 knots and got to see the coastline of San Cristobal island where huge rock formations come straight out of the sea with large swells making spectacular crashes against them.  
 
After about an hour and a half of running the sea lit up with current breaks, dolphins, sea lions and birds as we arrived on the bank. The purist way of marlin fishing in the Galapagos is to troll a spread of 4 teasers pretty close to the boat and wait for a marlin to come into the spread. Once the marlin is raised the teaser the fish is attracted to is removed from the water and simultaneously the angler drops back a ballyhoo rigged with a circle hook in its place. Ideally the fish switches from the teaser onto your bait and thus the bait and switch technique. Fishing circle hooks for billfish is a learned skill. The technique involved in hooking up takes practice and patience. The proper course of action is as follows: the marlin is raised behind a teaser; the teaser is retrieved; at the same time the angler drops back a naked circle hook rig ballyhoo with the clicker off to a position where the bait skips right in front of the marlin; the marlin bats the bait with its bill then grabs the bait; the angler, holding the rod tip high immediately drops the tip towards the water and removes his thumb from the spool letting line off the reel with no tension; the marlin swims away with the ballyhoo for a legitimate 10 second count; the angler keeps the tip low, engages the reel and reels the handle until the line comes tight or he throws the rod on the deck in disgust because he just missed another fish! They are tough fish to hook up especially on circle hooks. However there is no greater thrill than hand feeding a stripe marlin, waiting an eternity to engage the reel and then come tight on him and send him on a spastic jumping spree as he tries to shake the hook. 
 
All 4 boats arrive about the same time and the teasers are deployed with really little explanation of what we should expect. In less than 10 minutes on board the Jonamar II we had fish crashing our teasers. Needless to say we were caught with our pants down and made a mess of it. The action was similar for the rest of the boats in the fleet. It wasn’t red hot but the action was steady. The crew of the Blue was first to break the ice as Blair Bordeaux landed his first ever marlin a stripe about 150lbs about an hour after baits were in the water. On board the The Big Fish, Bryan Freeman, Brian Robbins, Rick Blasé and Steve Austin had a very slow morning but ran into a hornets nest of stripe marlin late in the day and raised 13 fish in 1 hour! As you’ll notice by the number of raises to number of bites and then catches, just because the fish comes into your spread certainly does not mean they are caught fish. The fishing day ended around 3pm and we made the trip back to the island where we told stories of the day’s feats and follies. Dinner was great again as another group of travelers from Australia had lucked into a yellowfin tuna and were so kind to share some fresh sashimi. The day’s totals were tallied by Captain Braden and the day one tournament had a winner. The stats for all four teams:
The Big Fish: 600 points (All Stripe Marlin)
15 raises
11 bites
3 catch
 
Patricia: 200 points (All Stripe Marlin)
7 raises
4 bites
1 catch
 
Blue: 800 points (All Stripe Marlin)
13 raises
6 bites
4 catch
 
Jonamar II: 200 points (All Stripe Marlin)
13 raises
3 bites
1 catch
 
The winner is Blue, Captain Fernando and crew of Tom and Blair Bordeaux and Ken and Kennan Hill. Each angler on board was able to catch a marlin and Ken Hill caught a monster 240lb Stripe Marlin. 

- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Striped Bass" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/07/11
 

Several people have talked about going striped bass fishing at Oregon Inlet.  Ya'll might be interested in this article in the Charlotte Examiner.
- Capt. Rickey Beck
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""Sight Fishing for Reds"" | Tiberias - 22' | 02/06/11
 

Jake and I headed out this morning to carry my boat to Ocean Isle Marina for some bottom painting. I decided to check out a few areas where some redfish might be hanging out first. We eased around for about 30 minutes in some really shallow water before spotting our first school. A massive group of 30 or more reds bundled up in the very back of a creek. I made a cast ahead of them, as they closed the gap, I twitched the bait, the school paused and I saw a set of gills flare out. HOOKED UP! The fish was in about a foot of water and the school went crazy! Mud went flying, fish racing all over, and all out chaos. I fought what looked like a 25" bruiser for about 30 seconds before an oyster shell cut my line. I backed off the school, retied, and headed back in real slow. I could see them on the edge of the grass, made a cast, here they come, bump and here comes an 18 inch fish to the boat. I worked the school for about an hour and landed 5 fish. Jake was losing patience and I needed to get the boat to the marina. I hate that the boat is out of the water, but that will probably make me get the kayak out. I may even try to fly fish a bit this coming week . See ya on the water!
- Capt. Jacob Frick
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"All good things must come to end" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/06/11
 

We have all survived our Galapagos adventure. I'm currently in the Guayaquil airport with 9 other traveling fishermen waiting for our plane depart in about an hour. The other 6 in the group will be leaving a little later today. I'm not exactly sure what I can say to convey our experience in Ecuador. This was a most memorable experience. Everything we encountered was first class both in Galapagos and Guayaquil. We were pleasantly surprised by the service, the people and the general condition of this country. Many times we have preconceived perceptions of Central or South American countries and their cultures. Having been provided the opportunity to explore Guayaquil and Galapagos I can attest this is a very affluent and impressive country. Once we return home I will be gathering pictures and videos of our trip be posting for the next several days. I hope these pictures do this beautiful place justice. It truly is a must see destination. Now it's back to the real world. I think everyone is happy to be heading home but not real excited about leaving 80 degrees, sunshine, and big fish. It's going to be difficult to top this trip but soon we'll start the planning for Traveling Fisherman 2012. No destination has been decided on yet but I promise the Galapagos are at the top of a very short list. A full detailed report of the fishing is coming soon.
- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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