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"More Costa Pictures" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/18/09
 

Bob sent me these pictures of Edwin's Costa Rica trip.  Looks like the action continues...  Nice blue one, by the way...
- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"The pacific report" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/17/09
 

Well, I just got back from the west coast with my best friend Doug Vaughn.  While we had an absolute blast in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, the climate left a lot to be desired.  The weather in Santa Monica was dark, cloudy, cold, and a little wet.     Guess we didn't get far enough south into the Pacific.  I got this note from Edwin Newell today:

"Fishing out of Los Seunos on the Sails Call this week. Doing ok with the billfish. I got Keith Harrison and Travis Sharpe down here in the heat. We are fishing lots of teasers with a spread of naked ballyhoo chasing circle hooks. Here are a couple of nice sails that we have released."

And WOW, what a picture!  That's all I've got to say about that...


- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"Gulf Stream strategy for 2009" | OIFC 1- 36' | 02/16/09
 

The Bluefin season is behind us and now we need to take a couple weeks to get our mind right for the upcoming Gulf Stream season. Since we're "convinced" the Yellowfin Tuna will return to our waters this year, it's time to reverse the video and remember how we used to do the gulf stream deal.

Our standard attack mode would be to have a trolling plug ready to deploy as soon as we slowed the engines down as we approached our spot. My theory was the fish would hear the steady hum of engines, but when they slowed down, and the sound changed, it would peek their interest and they would come investigate. Thus, dropping a swimming plug overboard at the instant of slowing down put a bait in the right place at the right time. I can't tell you how many times we would get bit doing this, usually a yellowfin, and a great way to start your day off.

Once we recovered from that first bite and got our spread deployed which included small ballyhoo for tuna, a couple plugs on short lines, and a big ballyhoo on a islander way way back. This would lead to a multiple tuna hookup, and if everything went as good as it could, we'd get maybe 50% in the box. Back at it again, and before long, we'd have a box of tuna, mixed dolphin, and maybe a wahoo.

Now, it was time to be a hero. We'd break out the trolling plastics and head out to deep water in search of Mr. Blue Marlin. I think probably 50% of the time it would happen, as well as often finding more tuna and big dolphin. Fast forward to 2009, and hopefully we fill our box with the yellowfin, so it's off to the deep water. Capt Chris is bringing in the famous Blue Marlin lures, Black Bart. Additionally we just got in our BaitMaster supply. So the strategy is put out a spread of Black Barts, and with the super durable Baitmaster baits, mix in a couple large ballyhoo on blue or red islanders. Put a green machine long down the middle. Then standback, pop a cold one, and let the fish come to you. Come join us for a great 2009 GS season.


- Rube McMullan
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"Speargun Hunter" | OIFC 1- 36' | 02/15/09
 

There hasn't been much fishing action to report on, but behind the scenes things have been busy.  Mrs. Juanita is getting the new merchandise out,  Captain Chris (aka Captain Caveman) is ordering a lot of new tackle,  and Captains Brant and Roger are getting stuff checked out for the upcoming season.  Me,...well Jeff and I caught the offshore fever and bought a new boat.  We're getting it rigged and are very excitedly waiting to make a shakedown run.

In the meantime, Barrett and Amy got me interested in scuba diving, so I've been working on my certification,  which has led me to watch a TV show named      Speargun Hunter on the Outdoors Channel.  In this week's episode they were free diving the Frying Pan Tower.  It was cool to see the bottom and all the fish around the Tower.  I recommend  everyone who fishes the Tower watch this show.   The show last night was part 1 of 3 about the Tower.  I've done a link to their website so you can find when it is on.  Check it out and check us out.


- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"Corrections" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/08/09
 

Rumours of poor fishing on Saturday may have been overstated.  Here are some wahoos caught by the "Covered Up" fishing team.  They caught their fish in 72 degree water east of the 100/400.  I also talked with Gary Sheaff today.  He ended up with a 35 pound 'hoo and lost a few more.  I can't wait to see what happens when that warm water pushes back on the break.  Wahoo-zilla is out there somewhere...
- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"Story of My Life!" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/08/09
 

It was nice to see so many folks out fishing yesterday.  The action was not what I had hoped as the Gulf Stream pushed offshore the day prior to our trip and gave us water temperatures of less than 70 degrees.  I have found that fishing 68-70 degrees is acceptable for catching Wahoo, but I personally have never been in a good bite in these conditions- always just average, with a few fish here and there.  Such seemed to be the case yesterday as there were a few Wahoo landed at the Black Jack hole in 69 degree water, but it was certainly not red hot.  HOWEVER, take a look at the Gulf Stream water temperature shot today.  A warm water eddy has kicked in over the Steeples and Black Jack and they both look to be in the 72-74 degree range.  Now that's what I'm talking about!  My suspiscion is that they are biting there today, but as is the story of my life, a day late and a dollar short!  Weather looks fair early week then looks pretty good on Friday, so maybe another shot then.  Stay tuned.
- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Another take on Saturday's action" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/08/09
 

It looks like the offshore report from Saturday was less than epic around the 100/400 and the Black Jack hole.  Don't tell Jim Bowen on the "Stick Slinger."  He fished to the east (offshore of the Steeples) and look what he found out there.  As is usually the case, his marlin jumped on a Blue Water Candy  "Mr. Sparkle" with a ballyhoo behind it.  Jim said he found some water and a big grass mat out there just inshore of 100 fathoms, and quickly caught a couple of gaffers and lost a nice wahoo, just before he got his big bite.  So let's look at the big picture here.  It's the first week in February, and our fleet is in the Gulf Stream, getting bites and catching a billfish.  Sounds to me like it's shaping up to be an okay year, to say the least.  Don't want to jinx myself so I'll leave it at that.  Congrats to Jim and the crew of the "Stick Slinger."  That's how you get it done in the dead of winter.
- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"Gulf Stream report" | OIFC 1- 36' | 02/08/09
 

Rickeys dockside report was pretty much on the money for yesterdays gulf stream adventure but I'll expound a little from being on board. Capt Roger and our team started at 100/400. Water temp was 65.7. Amazingly, first bait out we caught a 20+ dolphin. Why he was there I have no idea, but we fished a bait pod he came off of with no other success. No other action at 100/400 so moved toward Blackjack and found a good rip with 69 degree water. Confidence level much higher for us and the 20+ other boats fishing this area. No runs/no hits/no errors; nothing but amberjacks who were so aggressive they were hiting trolling baits. To add insult to our injuries, our team, with Capt Roger leading us, accomplished a new low in the world of angling, by catching a triple header of a hound fish, a bonito, and a amberjack. We topped the box off with a few sea bass and a bunch of dog sharks. I think there was one boat that caught a couple wahoo, but for the rest of the fleet, to my knowledge it was a blank.

Where did we go wrong? Probably with our enthusiam to go after the 100lb wahoos, maybe we misread the water temps. No doubt the very cool water effected the fishing. So... the good news. The 100lb monster is still out there. We'll watch the water temps closely and when the warm water  returns and we'll tee em up again.  


- Rube McMullan
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"Wahoo Trip" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/06/09
 

Saturday is D-Day for the OIFC Fleet as far as Wahoo is concerned.  Ever since the report of the 92 pounder hit, our Captains have been going nuts waiting for the weather to break.  Hopefully Saturday they will get a piece of the action as the Wahoo Season kicks off for us big time.  They were also loading up on  lures in case they get a break in the Wahoo action  and can try their hands at Grouper or Sea Bass.

Captain Brant and Captain Roger were stocking up on lures today while Captain Chris was helping several fishermen get ready for tomorrows action.  The prized lures for them seemed to be Bomber PlugsBlue Water Candy Jags and Mini Jags in varied colors such as red/black, blue/purple and blue/black.  They'll pull medium or select ballyhoo behind them.  On the Sea Bass front, the lure of choice was the Shimano Lacanus 100 gram Jig and the 150 gram for Grouper.  We have six colors in them and it seemed to be Captains' choice as to which to try.

The boats will be pulling out around 6 a.m. and I hope to have some action to report Saturday night


- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"Gulf Stream calling" | OIFC 1- 36' | 02/05/09
 

Come join the OIFC fleet heading to the gulf stream Saturday, Capt Brant on OIFC Worldcat 1 and Capt Roger on OIFC Worldcat 2. The weather looks perfect and hopefully the incredible wahoo bite of last weekend will occur again this weekend. Worst case, super size seabass for dinner. We'll be leaving the OIFC dock by 7:00am. Time to shift gears and get over the Bluefin Tuna fever so we can develop the yellowfin/wahoo fever. Maybe this is the year the yellowfin will return to our waters like it used to be with multiple hookups. Maybe we'll catch that 100lb wahoo that is in our waters late winter/early spring.

Fuel is cheap, weather is perfect, fish are biting. Come on down!


- Rube McMullan
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"Snow Pictures" | OIFC 1- 36' | 02/04/09
 

Just to add a couple of pictures to Brant's report........  Two are the bridge we love to hate (Sunset) at low tide. One is the OIFC and the other is a tug boat "grounding" itself to wait out the Sunset Bridge at an extreme low tide.  We've all had to wait on that!

Capt Dan Ratley and Jeff are making plans for a Wahoo trip Saturday.  They may also stop off and jig for Bass and Grouper.  Come join them.


- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"SUMMER EMPLOYMENT" | OIFC 1- 36' | 02/04/09
 

Time flies when you're having fun!  It is time for the OIFC and its various water sports venues to begin to look ahead to the Summer season.  I will begin making plans for the Summer by the end of this month and thus, if you have interest in joining our team for the season, please EMAIL me your interest.  From there, I will get some information and we can begin communicating to get you on board with the OIFC team.

Thanks, Capt. Brant

Oh yeah, it snowed at OIB today.  We awoke this AM to snowfall and a heavy dusting.  Caroline determined it was time she be taken to go sledding.  We mustered up the best sled we could find - FYI, a fish bag actually works pretty good- The snow didn't last long and you might call our entertainment a cross between sledding and mud bogging, but we got it done!  The weather looks AWESOME this weekend.  The wahoo bite was RED HOT last weekend and I guarantee the Bluefin are biting.  I think we might go and fish Bluefin for a couple of hours and then head out to do some Wahoo fishing.  I'm also excited about doing some deep jigging with all the new Lucanus jig system stuff we have here at the OIFC.  Let's go fishing!

 


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Blackened redfish, anyone?" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/03/09
 

Looks like that's what's on the menu for John and Johnny Schuchman, who did a number on these redfish yesterday at the Little River jetties.  They said that fresh shrimp under a popping cork was the magic bait.  Don't worry--it's legal to keep three red drum, per person/per day in SC!
- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"End of bluefin season sale!!!" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 01/31/09
 

Ok--let me add a caveat to that.  With the bluefin bite cooking off again yesterday at the Horseshoe (6 or 7 boats, 5 bites, one fish killed and sold) this is not actually the end of productive bluefin season.  The end of today, however, does mark the end of the commercial season on these fish.  It has been fairly productive for these fish this year, much much better than last season.  I think it has been established that Brunswick County is a good place to target these fish and have success catching them.

We would like to take this opportunity to pass on substantial discounts to the recreational fisherman who is still chasing these fish and to the commercial fisherman, who is looking to restock some gear these giants wore out this season.  Just about everything bluefin related that we can discount, we will.  Shimano sets the prices on many of their reels and we can't change that, but we can drop the prices on just about anything else in the store.  For example:

Braid Harnesses, Braid Belts, Blue Water Candy JAG3, and all Ilander Heads are all 10% off

PowerPro bluefin reel spooling, and the OIFC Custom Economy Bluefin Combo are 15% off

Salty planers, Seaguar Fluorocarbon (200# - 400#), Wiremans Gaff, Bluefin Gaffs, OIFC Custom Bluefin Rigs, and Tournament Cable Topshots are all 20% off

Finally, we have a set of OIFC Custom Bluefin Tuna rods that have different accents, colors, and endchecks than our typical rod.  The components of the rod are exactly the same as the one we usually sell, but it just has a different look.  We can offer a discount of 15% on a single one of these rods, 20% if you purchase two, or 25% with a purchase of 3 or more.  Check out the pictures below, these are rods that will last you a lifetime if cared for properly, and are very functional in the Gulf Stream as well as for giant tunas.

Give us a call at 910 575 FISH if you have any questions about these items.  We are more than happy to ship them your way if you can't make it down here.  Good luck out there if you are chasing recreational fish as well.


- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"On the offshore front..." | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 01/31/09
 

Brian Rowley proved yesterday that bluefin tunas are just part of what NC offers in winter.  He pushed offshore from the Horseshoe and put out his gear just short of the 100/400 and caught big wahoos almost at will.  The largest of his fish was 92 pounds, and he said he didn't have a fish smaller than 45.  Let's hope that warm water hangs around in that area inshore of the break for a little while so we can get back after them.  Congrats, Brian on showing us how it's done.
- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"You Can't Win Em' All...." | OIFC 1- 36' | 01/31/09
 

If you did they wouldn't let you play anymore!  I've been quiet for the past week since returning from Key West for good reason.  After a lackluster performance in the first leg of the Yamaha pro kingfish tour, Team OIFC tucked tail and made the 20 hour journey home.  We prefished for two days before the tournament collecting bait and trying to locate the kingfish.  In the late afternoon the day before the tournament we thought we were onto something as we released the monster kingfish pictured below in a place where no other boats would be fishing.  However, come tournament morning that fish proved to be our undoing as we returned to the location and were blanked while a decent bite went off 30 miles away.  That's tournament fishing.  It was a fairly uneventful tournament aboard Team OIFC.  We caught just a handful of fish each day and never really had an opportunity at big fish.  On day one we ended up with a 27 and day two a 30.  That's not real great for that fishery as I believe tenth place big fish was around 45lbs.  It's been a while since we've fished down there and fished the pro tour.  It's only fitting we take our lumps again and re-learn the fishery.  The next stop is Jensen Beach, FL on Florida's east coast in May.  We'll have to make up some ground with two large fish in this event.  While fishing was tough, and we didn't acomplish our tournament objective, it was still nice to wake up to 70 degree temps and sunshine.  It was a much needed winter reprieve. 

Back at home, I understand the bluefin bite was great off Morehead and this week a pretty good bite went off close to home around the Horseshoe.  Reading back thru the reports, it looks like Chris and Rickey are on top of it.  It appears the bluefin bite will still be a fishing option for the coming weeks as fish are being caught daily to our north.  For many picking a fight with a 300+lb ball of muscle isn't the game of choice.  Fortunately, while all seems doom and gloom with the winter month February, this is the time of year when the jumbo black bass school up nearshore presenting a primary target for fishermen more concerned with the status of the frying pan.  Over the next two months the jumbo bass will migrate from the 80ft depths approx 25-30miles in close to just a few miles off the beach.  They'll school up over artificial reefs and natural rocky bottom.  Be sure to come by the store before heading out and check out the new Lucanus jigs we're carrying.  They are deadly on the jumbo bass.  We'll try to get them up on the online store soon in case you can't make it by.  Lastly, don't hesitate to make a run at the deep water on a decent weather day.  From the sound of the reports coming in, the wahoo are stacked up with knife and fork in fin ready to be caught.  From a fishing perspective the only difference between winter and summer is the temperature.  The fishing opportunities are abundant.


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Blue Fin Wind Up" | OIFC 1- 36' | 01/30/09
 

This is the last weekend of what has been a most productive Blue Fin season from Morehead to Ocean Isle.  I checked our Landing Reports and IF, a BIG IF, I understood them correctly, since January 2nd we had a dozen (or so) brought to our docks to be picked up by the dealer.  The largest one brought in to our docks was  by  Captain Brant and it was 88 inches.  Again, I'm no expert at this reporting stuff, so please keep the calls and emails to a minimum if I was wrong.   It could adversely effect my employee of the month status, and we all know how I feel about that.

Now is a good time to check for great deals on bluefin gear for next season.  Capt. Caveman just informed me that we have a few extra custom rods than we would like to carry for the year, so contact him or Capt. Brant if you want an outstanding deal on a rod that has a great deal of use in the Gulf Stream as well.  I've also seen some good buys on Commercial Fishing license in some of the various  want adds and on Craigslist.  The average asking price has been $2,500.  But remember that is only the tip of the iceberg as far as what is needed to be able to sell a Blue Fin, or any other fish for that matter.  You can contact the Coast Guard and get them to send you some information.  It would also pay to ask some charter captains.

Just because the Blue Fin season is ending doesn't mean winter fishing is over.  It simply changes gear.  Bottom fishing for Sea Bass as well as heading for the Stream for Wahoo are productive.  Also don't overlook Red Drum and Trout fishing in shore.  As far as today goes, the ocean is calm as far as the eye can see and there is no wind.  NOAA predicts a little different for tomorrow, so it would pay the keep a check on our weather forecast page.   Captain Caveman, aka Chris and Juanita are working on restocking the store with the latest and greatest inventory.  Also our Spring Kick off and the OIFC Rodeo are on the horizon, We've got some exciting plans for '09 so don't be a stranger.


- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"What's for supper?" | OIFC 1- 36' | 01/27/09
 

What's for supper is an easy question to answer when you check out the picture of the sea bass Captain Roger caught aboard a friends 26 ft. Sea Hunt.  I just happened to be at the OIFC taking Captain Caveman Burrows lunch when all of a sudden we had a traffic jam at the dock with Captain Roger, Woody Wooten (Bird Man), who had also landed a "mess" of sea bass, and Jeff Martini (Dirty Martini) and Martini's Restaurant in NMB, who had been blue fin fishing all showed. up.  It looks like Wednesday may be a little out of the question for fishing, but Thursday ought to be the day for getting out searching for blue fin, or even a tasty meal of sea bass.
- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"Blue Fin Tuna Regulations" | OIFC 1- 36' | 01/24/09
 

The OIFC has received some calls regarding some Blue Fin Tuna Regulations.  So that I don't give misinformation click here for the NOAA link.


- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"Happenings" | OIFC 1- 36' | 01/24/09
 

We've got a rainy day here in paradise.  It's probably sunny and warm down the road in Myrtle Beach.   Any how, today is a great day to visit a boat show.  Our crew is in downtown Raleigh at the boat show at the Raleigh Convention Center.  For those located a little too far south ya'll got a show in Charleston.  Or even better, stop by the OIFC and check us out.

On the fishing scene, it was good to read Captain "Caveman" Burrows report of a Blue Fin strike  in our area.  I had been told of a couple  being weighed in at Morehead this week.  Inshore, I received a report of some Reds tailing in the shallows. A couple of locals were going to give them a shot yesterday but I haven't heard back from him.  He's an offshore angler, what's he thinking?  Good luck to Team OIFC fishing an SKA Tournament in Florida. That wraps it up here unless I hear from some folks.


- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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