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Capt. Brant's Fishing Report

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"Major Results" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 10/04/09
 

I talked with Todd Helf  and Brian Richard on Wednesday of last week, and they informed me that they were headed offshore to do battle with some big bottomfish.  After looking at these pictures, it is evident that they did that and more.  Evidently the NC lionfish problem is a real threat, but there are plenty of other critters out there that won't sting you.  Actually I hear that the lionfish is excellent tablefare if you can clean it very carefully.  In the meantime, I'm sure Todd, Brian, and the rest of the crew are enjoying fresh grouper as we speak.
- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"Saturday's Fishing" | OIFC 1- 36' | 10/04/09
 

Congratulations to Larry Deal and the Mako Warrior winners of the U. S. Open King Mackerel Tournament with a 40.30 lb king.  There were a LOT of kings  caught this weekend.

Not only were kings landed but Byran and Janet Hagler of Laurinburg, NC weighed a citation 51 lb. cobia in at the OIFC.  They also had two 20+lb'rs on board.  Bryan fought the cobia for two hours just off the Shark Hole.  At one point he had a double hook up!  The first cobia struck a regular store bought (OIFC, I do believe) king rig.  The citation fish was caught on a pink C & H Lures Stubby.  They said there were plenty more to be caught but the 2 hr. fight wore him out.

He fished using pogies he caught with a heavy net he's had for years just off Holden Beach.  They were so thick they floated his net, yet he only had to use two of them for his bounty.

I promised not to tell that Janet should get an award for hanging in during the fight while she was a little green around the gills.  See Janet, I didn't tell anyone.  Thank ya'll for stopping by the Fishing Center and letting us weigh your catch and do the report. 

The pictures are of the Tournament and Bryan and Janet's cobia aboard their Sea Fox.


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"U.S. Open" | OIFC 1- 36' | 10/02/09
 

The weather today for the U. S. Open King Mackerel Tournament was beautiful.  Totally opposite what was predicted, though participants said the ocean turned fairly rough after the passing of a front.

The Open was well represented by S. Brunswick County by "The Fishin Physician", the "Carolina Saltwater, the "Miss Janelle, as well as the OIFC Yellowfin.  There were approximately 450+ entries and a lot of kings were weighed in.  The 1st place fish was  40.? lbs, 2nd was 38 lbs caught by John Brown of Bolivia, N.C., and the 3rd was 35 lbs. caught by Thomas Hayes of Thomasville, N. C. The average weight was in the mid 20 lb range with a few in the 30's. Tomorrow is yet another day of fishing and we'll see what it brings.

The important message the Tournament has sent is that the kings are along our coast.  Also in talking with some fishermen it seems that the best places to get bait is from the Lockwood Folly Inlet to just off OIB.  Perhaps once the Tournament is over we can learn where are the best places to find the kings.

****Just in at 11:00 pm..received unconfirmed report of a 43 lb king being weighed at the end of the day

The pictures are of The OIFC Yellowfin, Captain Amy, and 1st Mate Carolyn, as well as random shots of the weigh in.


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Fall Fishing" | OIFC 2- 27' | 10/02/09
 

Yesterday I took the Dixon party on a 3/4 day trip. Their goal was to fish for grouper and if they did not cooperate, look for kings. We left the dock and as reported, we found all the pogies you could ever want just outside of Shallotte Inlet. With the north wind still blowing we decided to fish the beach for a while and wait for the seas to lay down a bit offshore. We worked our way east and put lines out in about 35-40 feet of water near Lockwood Folly inlet. It wasn't long before a king boiled our propwash bait. Unfortunately, he missed the hook. In 30 mins of fishing this area we had another king sky and miss a bait and one good run on another bait before the hooks pulled. With the seas laying down we ran offshore to 65 feet of water and began looking for grouper. Several grouper were caught and others were determined not to come up. All in all, a very good day. While fishing near the Shark Hole, I saw several boats battling kings.
- Capt. Chris Dew
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"Hot King Bite" | OIFC 1- 36' | 10/01/09
 

The weatherman missed it this morning.  A lot of boats fished today, and from our 1st hand experience and the radio traffic it was obvious that we  were all taken by surprise.  We had to return to port early for work reasons, but it seemed that there was improvement in conditions as the day went on.

The bait was unreal!!!  We ran up on a pod of pogies in 23 ft of water just off of Shalotte Inlet that were at least 2 acres across.  Pogies were being caught all along Holden Beach.One throw did it for most everybody.  But we did see one poor sole trying to get bait was a standard 8 ft. cast net.  I'm not making from of him, but it is obvious that one of Captain Brant's Custom Nets is a must have.

Several kings were caught, but because of the tournament no one is talking.  Below is a picture of Amber Simmons, taken by her husband Daniel (OIB Concrete) of some kings they caught at the "Cup Cake" today.  See what I mean by fishermen keeping secretes.  You can't blame them.  Amber and Daniel are gracious enough to share pictures and reports with the OIFC on a regular basis, for which we are very grateful.

Also,Mr. William Whicker reported to the OIFC that yesterday he was fishing within sight of land and landed some blues and kings.

The OIFC has bait, rigs, sweat shirts,  foul weather gear, 100% pure gasoline and will be opening early.  The Store will be open and ready for business at 6 am.  Good luck to everyone fishing the U.S. Open and everyone be safe.


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Red Hot Thursday" | OIFC 1- 36' | 09/30/09
 

The bait is in place, the wind is laying down, the fish haven't eaten in the past few days, all these forces are pulling together to make Thursday a red hot fishing day.  If it isn't this reporter is really going to look bad.  I'm going out with my two favorite Captain Jeffs...Beck ans Williamson for a morning of near shore king fishing so I have no excuses.

Several accomplished fishermen called the OIFC today and said they were also going to give it a try.  There should be something to report tomorrow unless the fish "pull a David Copperfield" and disappear. I must admit I heard that at the Fishing Center today and wanted to use it.

I'll have all my OIFC gear on, so as Captain Brant told me, "if I can't  be good, I can look good".  Wish us all luck so maybe I'll have something to report.


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"What A Difference" | OIFC 1- 36' | 09/29/09
 

What a difference a day can make.  Yesterday the ocean was all but "nasty".  This morning it was beautiful near shore, with "camel backs" on the horizon.  Later in the afternoon we got our usual Brunswick County chop.  The Tower right now indicates fishable conditions but we'll have to keep an eye out on the conditions for the weekend as the wind is predicted to blow again.

However, the big picture looks positive as at night our temperatures are dropping with the days being in the mid 70's.  This is KINGFISH weather.  We've got the bait, the rigs,king combos,  cool weather and foul weather gear which will have you set up to fish.  We'll also be here  monitoring the bait, fishing hot spots and whether..  Keep an eye on the Reports, call or better yet drop by for the latest info.

I've just finished getting my personal boat set up for the cold weather...looking forward to blue fin fishing.  I've also got my eye on an OIFC Custom Blue Fin Combo


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Shark Hole" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/28/09
 

Check out Garrett Williams king mackerel that came from the Shark Hole last week.  He was fishing with his father Keith Williams on their 31' Cape Horn.  I saw Keith there that same day, and he was kind enough to spot me a bucket of pogies before they went home.  He said he and his son had been releasing fish all day--and they finally had to quit for sore arms.  Not a bad way to spend a Thursday!
- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"Charlotte Fire Dept." | OIFC 1- 36' | 09/27/09
 

Three Charlotte firefighters who work at of the same station, Brad Thompson, Scott Dellinger and Scott Swett, stopped by and were kind enough to have their picture taken with a couple of the kings they had caught.  The crew had fished the Shark Hole using mullet when they landed the fish
- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Tiny Tuna's Report" | OIFC 1- 36' | 09/27/09
 

Yesterday's rain kept a lot of people inside watching fishing on TV, or hanging out at the OIFC swapping lies...correction..stories.  But Captain Tommy Helms, and Trent  Little from the Cornelius N.C. area went fishing.  Tommy said they got soaked but it was worth it.

They fished with Mullet, and intended to target  flounder, but the seas were rough, so they went to the Little River Jetties, where they got into the red drum.  Trent is pictured below with one drum he caught.


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Rainy Day Story" | OIFC 1- 36' | 09/26/09
 

This morning we had a fairly stiff north wind, but the ocean was flat as a lake as far as the eye could see from the vantage point of the OIB Bridge.  Several anglers were going to try their hand at some spanish or some of the kings that have been hanging close to shore and some were going to fish a benefit flounder tournament out of Southport..

About 1 pm it started raining buckets and ruined their day.  The radar and 1st hand reports said it was raining from Southport to Sunset Beach.  Another report was that it was sunny in Myrtle Beach.  But their tourism reports always say it's sunny in Myrtle Beach.  So,with the weather not being conducive for fishing, which has an adverse effect on the report,  I'm forced to go to some reports I've been saving for a rainy day.

Captain Chris Dawson (Miss Jannille/OIFC) sent in this report.  He said he and Danny Cokely, Jessie and Steve Henry  fished about 3 miles out and got into the kings on the 23rd.  I don't have any further info because Chris is kinda tight lipped.  He did say that it was one of the most fun days he has on a charter.

In the pictures below  Danny is in the orange holding a king. Steve is the older guy,  Capt. Chris' words not mine, and Jessie is the younger of the group.  Thanks Captain Dawson for your report.


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Guide Service" | OIFC 1- 36' | 09/25/09
 

The OIFC offers a Guide Service for those who want help in learning to operate their boat or fishing using their own boat and equipment.  Simply put, for $30 an hour one of the OIFC's licensed Captains will go with you on your boat and show you the ins and outs of boat operation, fishing and fishing equipment.  In return you will get a gift card for $15 per hour to the OIFC.  A pretty good deal.

Kris Thompson, Billy Thompson, Kris' son in law Scotty Benton and his wife Sarah, all of Rockingham and Holden Beach, NC, took advantage of the OIFC Guide Program today, with Captain Jeff (Get Busy) Williamson working with them on their sweet new 21' Carolina Skiff.

Jeff showed them how to catch pogies with his Captain Brant's Custom Pogy Net in 20 ft of water just east of the "High Hill".   They then fished the Youpon Reef and just off the Ocean Crest Fishing Pier. Captain Brant reported several kings being caught at the pier lately  The group caught kings and spanish.  Afterwards they came back to the OIFC where Jeff instructed them on how to clean the fish.   A friendlier group of folks would be hard to find.  They enjoyed fishing with Capt. Jeff Williamson (who wouldn't?) and the OIFC appreciates them choosing us to help them out.

You'll notice Captain Jeff just had to be in the picture.  And yes, he is holding his stomach in!


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Bottom Fish Buffett" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/25/09
 

Captain Chris Burrows and 1st Mate Steele Park took Jeff Clark, Steve Clark, Jody Clark and Barry Ward of Monroe, N.C. to the Shark Hole on a bottom fishing trip yesterday.  For the first time in quite sometime they were unable to find any pogies on the beach so they jigged up some cigar minnows for bait.  Another fisherman reported to the OIFC that he couldn't find pogies so he used mullet to king fish.

They first got into the amber jacks which decided to hit Steve's bait until he'd had enough.  Jeff is pictured below with his grouper.  Several grouper were cut off on rocks or eaten by barracuda as they were being brought in.  Jody is pictured with a cobia he landed and Barry is with another Jack.  

All in all they said they had a great time on beautiful seas with a knowledgeable crew on a picture perfect Brunswick Islands fall day. 


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Helms Takes 3rd-Rocks Morphis" | OIFC 1- 36' | 09/24/09
 

Sounds like a big city newspaper headline, but it's true.  Tommy Helms took 3rd place away from Clay Morphis with a 6.4 lb Flounder in the OIFC Year 'round Rodeo..  Clay's weighed 6.3 lbs.  The fish was weighed in on 9-21-09 by Captain Chris Burrows.  This should and will inspire Clay to regain his position.  Watch out Tommy!!

It's not too late to get in on the action.  In fact as the temps cool the fishing heats up!


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Fall fishing is here!" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/23/09
 

Check out these pics from late last week and this weekend, sent in by Jim Bowen, Randy Lingerfelt, and Bennett James.  The usual suspects are all here, grouper, spanish, kings, wahoo, sailfish, a few dolphin, cobia....  You name it, it's biting right now. 
- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"Panama Trip Sign Up" | OIFC 1- 36' | 09/22/09
 

Anyone interested in the Panama trip we are planning for 3/14/10- 3/19/10 email me, Capt. Barrett McMullan.  We are aiming to get a group of OIFC friends together and head to the lower latitudes to one of the most pristine and productive pieces of water on Earth.  The adventure will focus on catching blue marlin, black marlin, sailfish, yellowfin tuna, cubera snapper, dog snapper, and roosterfish based from a first rate fishing lodge, Paradise Fishing Lodge in Panama.  Check out pictures and fishing reports from the lodge at www.paradise-fishing-lodge.com.  The owner has been kind enough to offer our group a great rate for the trip that will hopefully make this once in a lifetime trip more affordable for most.  Anyone that has interest in the trip and would like additional details now is the time to contact me.  We are currently putting together a list of those interested in the trip.  We have 15 spaces to fill so pass the word to fellow fishermen and fisherwomen. 
- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Inshore Report" | Speckulator - 22' | 09/22/09
 

Well foks, it is officially fall, which means the best fishing is upon us.  Things are really starting to come alive on the inshore grounds, and all the inshore species are getting in the feeding mood.  The flounder fishing remains consistent, as it has been for several weeks.  The redfishing continues to be good as well, both in the backwaters and around the inlets.  Our annual run of giant or "old" drum should be getting underway any day now as well.  Finally, last but certainly not least, the trout bite has been very good, especially for September, which is hopefully a sign of even better things to come! 
- Capt. Kyle Hughes
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"Julie's Sailfish" | OIFC 1- 36' | 09/22/09
 

The OIFC received this email from Sylvia White.  She did such a great job describing their fishing adventure I thought I'd pass it on in total.  Thank you guys for sharing the story.

On Sept 12th four couples from N.C. (Charlotte, Mooresville and Jackson) and the owner of a 31 ft. Cape Horn, Julie Washam, and her son joined at Ocean Isle Beach for a week of fishing, eating and playing poker.  The very first day the fishing wasn't too productive except for catching a large king and large spanish.  Butch Hough tried his best to put us on some fish, but they were just nowhere to be found until we went to the Shark Hole where a sailfish was hooked!  What an exciting time it was for all in the effort to get the fish in the boat.  He gave us a thrill when he tailwalked across the water numerous times.  It was a rare and beautiful sight.

Julie Washam, after fighting the fish for 45 minutes somehow managed to tire him out and reel him on in.  The fish was almost lost 3 different times in his valiant fight to free himself.  He tangled up fishing lines and swam dangerously close to the motor, but Julie was persistent in her quest and finally overpowered him.

It was a great moment as everyone scrambled to get the fish back in the water after quick pictures and unhooking him.  He swam off as if he'd never been hooked.  What a powerful and beautiful fish!

The fishing the rest of the days was sporadically productive.  53 spanish were caught close to shore midweek. Another the day the group went to the Raritan, the Horsehoe and the Tower which collectively yielded 6 large kings, 2 dolphin and several amber jack. On Friday 6 big kings and 4 spanish were caught at the 90's.  By the end of the week, everyone had coolers full of fish.  The weather all week long couldn't have been better except for the wind out of the northeast.  The bait was plentiful and easy to find.  It was an awesome fishing trip!


- Capt. Rickey Beck
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"Fishing is Cruel" | OIFC 1- 36' | 09/21/09
 

Before all you PETA fans get too excited about the title of this report, you may want to read further. After over 15 years of fishing for a living, this past Sunday it finally hit me; fishing is just plain cruel. Let me give you an example. I was guiding a nice group of guys from the Charlotte area for a day of fishing. The weather was such that it limited us to staying within a mile or so of the beach, but no matter because the Spanish Mackerel and Kings had been biting good along the beach front. The guys were good with catching the Spanish Mackerel because they made for good eating, but their real interest, and what would make the trip a success to them, was the opportunity to catch a nice King Mackerel. There’s no replacement for a screaming reel when it comes to sport fishing and Spanish just don’t offer that level of excitement. We loaded up with plenty of Spanish in short order and now it was off to catch a King. I fished hard in two different locations, but nothing was happening. The Kings had bit the day before in both places, but they were not cooperating today. My crew was very patient, but it was evident their early morning enthusiasm had been replaced with disappointment. I continued to work very hard to make something happen and my brain was beginning to hurt from the strain to figure the magic formula. No matter how long you’ve been charter fishing, if you don’t feel pressure to produce for your clients, you’re not doing your job. Finally time was up. I had to pull out the dreaded “I’m sorry, it just didn’t happen, you should have been here yesterday…….” and instructed the guys to wind in the lines, less one which we would leave out until everything was cleaned up and we were all ready to leave. I got everything squared away and told the guy to go ahead and bring in the last line. He put his hand on the rod and no sooner did a nice King smash the bait and take off. The reel screamed under the pressure of the run and just like that, everything was great again. We boated the 18 pound King and high-fives went all around. And thus, fishing hast to be the most cruel form of entertainment. Why continually subject yourself to such pressure and suspense? It is just plain cruel. And thus I remember an old adage a good fishing friend gave me many years ago, “In fishing, the highest high is just a little higher than the lowest low, and that’s why we keep doing it”
Needless to say, you can likely gather from my above story that the King Mackerel bite has not been quite what I thought it would be. They bit strong early last week for a couple of days, but ever since Wednesday, the bite slowed daily until the weekend had become pretty tough. That is not to say there were not fish to be caught, you just have to work for them. Yaupon reef and River Channel are producing Kings close to shore and further offshore, the Shark Hole, Christina’s ledge and other such live bottoms in 55-65 feet of water are holding Kings. The main thing holding the beach bite back is that the water temperatures still remain at 78 degrees, which is a bit on the warm side. They will need to get to 75 or so before the beach bite will really turn on. Historically that happens the first weekend in October, so get ready. The Grouper fishing has been very good in 70-90 feet of water. Gag Grouper have been the main species and although the limit on them is only 1 per person, its nice to throw in a few nice Grouper fillets with Kings and other fish in the box. Offshore, the Wahoo fishing is really starting to heat up along the break. That’s pretty much the deal. I hate if I disappointed some of you PETA members, but next time you worry about how a fish feels with a hook in his mouth, think about how the captain feels when his crew is forcing him to walk the plank for not producing fish.

- Capt. Amy McMullan
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"East wind action" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 09/21/09
 

Looks like Matt Comer got the memo on where the fish were yesterday as well.  He scored on these spanish for a few tasty meals.  Congrats to everyone who braved tough conditions yesterday to get some fish in the boat.


- Capt. Chris Burrows
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