Capt. Brant's Fishing Report
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""Storm'n Redfish"" | Tiberias - 22' | 02/25/11
Wind blowing and rain approaching fast from the west! No worries, I am all for a challenge. I figure if you can catch them on a day like today, you can catch them anytime. I managed to squeeze out a few nice fish, with some little ones in the mix before the rain ran me off. I headed to the house for a snack and dry clothes. Turns out the rain passed quickly and the sun came out. The wind was the only challenge now and the fact a front just passed. Couldn't stand it...headed back and actually found a few more fish willing to bite. So get out this weekend and give it a try. Doesn't seem like the fish were brothered by the front moving through. See ya on the water!
Capt. Jacob Frick
""Article on Trout Closure"" | Tiberias - 22' | 02/24/11
Here is a link
to an article the Sun News posted last week about the trout closure. I am looking forward to seeing smiling faces like the picture below. Protect our resource so in the future our children have the same opportunity to smile like this young lady! Contagious! I love it! See ya on the water!
Capt. Jacob Frick
"Sailfish Article" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/23/11
With little going on offshore wise, I figured I share articles I find interesting such as this one from Earth Sports
. I hope you too find them helpful.
Capt. Rickey Beck
"Jetties" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/23/11
Are you interested in keeping the Shallotte Inlet open? How about beach erosion? A bill
has been introduces allowing hardened barriers to protect inlets and beaches.
Capt. Rickey Beck
"I'm Not Skeered!!!" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/22/11
I'm not too proud to admit that there's a whole heck of a lot I don't know about fishing. Kite fishing is one of those things! But I'm studying. For like me, YouTube is a good source. Here's a link you might find helpful. The kite fishing portion starts about 2 minutes in the video.
While I've got your attention...the OIFC sells all you need to get going on kite fishing! Also the countdown is on for the Rodeo!
Capt. Rickey Beck
"Gettn' Ready" | Get Busy | 02/19/11
The weather is here, wish you were beautiful! Somehow that didn't come out right. Anyway, you get the drift. Mother Nature is teasing us with with this spring like weather. But it is a good time to get out, check your boat and gear and be ready.
If you don't feel like that, drop by the OIFC and let Steele and Jacob make you jealous as they tell you about their trip to Hatteras with Brant and Barrett. I've been off (from work) most of the winter, so I helped hold down the fort while they took a much deserved break, and I helped cover while Anita and Amy put out new stock.
The store is a wreck, please overlook that and come see us. We can talk about what we intend to do this spring or complain about fish closures and negative effect of gill nets. Maybe even formulate a plan of action. Perhaps one of ya'll would like to take the lead?
Don't forget the spring kick off and the Year Around Fishing Rodeo. I think the trophies turned out great this year and the money wasn't bad either. Finally, a get well soon to Clay Morphis. Hurry up start fishing your new bay boat and take some more Rodeo Money!
Capt. Rickey Beck
""Friday Highlights"" | Tiberias - 22' | 02/19/11
My neighbor Tim Garret has been after me for a while to show him the ropes on the inshore grounds. It seems like I have always been too busy when he has been around. However, this time worked out, still lots to do...but sometimes things just have to wait when it comes to fishing. Fresh bottom paint and a boat full of gulp we headed for the fishing grounds. I was a bit reluctant with Tim sporting the hi-vis line on his outfits. No worries...as on the first few cast Tim was hooked up! The slight rise in water temperature has put a little step back in their fight. After a minute or two Tim landed his first redfish. A nice 25" redfish. A few cast later and he had another one. We managed to get one more small fish to the boat and had one other bite. We started fast and ended slowly, but enough to keep us coming back. See ya on the water!
Capt. Jacob Frick
"Bluefin Trip pics" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/19/11
Here are a few pics from our Bluefin adventure the other day.
Capt. Brant McMullan
"Bluefin Tuna???" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/18/11
Yes its true. Yesterday, Team OIFC headed out on the road on a recon mission to check on rumors of a hot Bluefin bite taking place offshore of Cape Hatteras. Capt. Brant, Capt. Barrett, Capt. Jacob and myself loaded up the Yellowfin at 3am and hit the road in search of what we have coined "The Unicorn". We arrived in Morehead City around 6am and were off on a quick 80 mile trip north to the waters off of Diamond Shoals. Along the way, we stopped at a wreck to pick up a little ammo which Brant said was going to be our "secret weapon". At that point, I should have realized that Brant and Barrett, being the infamous masters of live bait fishing were up to something. We made short work of filling the livewell with huge bluefish, and then we were off to find the fish. When we got close to our destination, the VHF was alive with the Hatteras fleet hooked up and following a huge mass of Tuna's. It took us a little while to get set up so we put a traditional spread of ballyhoo out while we got our bearings. The bite seemed to slow down as we really got going and we all had the "day late, dollar short" feeling. That was not to be the case, as it turned out, they were just having a morning siesta... Around noon, we started marking huge pods of fish and started seeing Tuna's busting on the surface, at times by the dozens. We quickly learned that all you had to do was ride till you saw them on top or marked them on the bottom sounder and pitch out live bait. While the Tuna's made quick work of the live bait, we were on the bow casting Poppers for some topwater action. Capt. Jacob was the first to draw blood with a very respectable 100+ lb fish, caught on live bait. The action continued at a fevered pitch with several fish swirling and biting at the poppers while Brant and Barrett continued hooking fish after fish on live Bluefish. Finally late in the day, we managed to hook up on topwater with an explosive strike and two other fish on live bait for a triple header to cap off what ended up being one of the most explosive, consistant Bluefin Tuna bites we have experienced in a very long time. We headed back to Morehead with "mission accomplished" stirring in all of our minds. We ended the day with 4 fish boated and another 10-12 hookups. After having a good night of rest to decompress, I have to say, the most exciting part of the day was watching two brothers, who have mastered the skill of live bait fishing for King Mackerel, adapt that same technique and apply it to tuna to turn what could have been an average day into one of the coolest fishing trips I have been on.
Capt. Steele Parks
""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
""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
""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 email@example.com,, Senate Bill.Rabon@ncleg.net, and the Governor's Office firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for your effort and support.
Capt. Jacob Frick
"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
""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
"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 email@example.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
"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
Patricia: Captain Braden
Blue: Captain Julio
Jonamar II: Captain Edwin
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 +?
5 hook ups
1 stripe marlin catch
1 sea lion release!
Patricia: 1075 points
10 hook ups
5 stripe marlin catches
1 yellowfin tuna
Blue: 200 points
2 hook ups
1 stripe marlin catch
Jonamar II: 100 points
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