Flounder Killa!!! Put 2 of our fat freshly delivered mud minnows or a Gulp Pearl White/Chartreuse on Spro Bucktail and will be the envy of the other flounder/ anglers
- Capt. Rickey Beck
Address: 65 Causeway Drive, Ocean Isle Beach, NC
Page 87 of 416
It's taken me a couple days to decompress get myself out of depression and actually sit down and talk about my last HT Elite Redfish tournament in Biloxi. In my last report I left off from the Golden Nugget casino in Biloxi where Rube and I were taking off from Monday morning in search of tournament quality redfish. First let me reiterate what an incredible renovation job has taken place at the Golden Nugget. This is a first class destination suitable for the whole family.
So Monday morning Rube and I take off out of Biloxi in perfect weather conditions and head for the Biloxi marsh which is the area between Biloxi and New Orleans. We search pond after pond and shoreline after shoreline. We caught a decent number of redfish but nothing that I thought would do me much good in the tournament. Towards the end of the day we make our way west towards Venice, LA and find an area that seemed to be loaded with fish. It was late, the water was low and we really couldn't get to the fish we were seeing. We stayed the night in Venice, LA.
The next day we had planned to fish the Venice area and stay there again that night, but the weather forecast was getting bad and I made the call to fish back across to Biloxi just to be sure I didn't get trapped in Venice and miss the tournament. We fished our way back across and again really didn't find much that got me excited. I was beginning to get worried but all the other tournament competitors were coming back with similar stories. I just figured everyone was sand bagging as it normally takes a limit of 7 to 8lb redfish for three days to win these tournaments. I hadn't seen anything like that yet.
By Wednesday, the last day of prefishing, the weather had gone to pure heck. 20-30 knot winds and thunderstorms kept us on the dock to start the morning. By 10:00 we were bored so we decided to put on our foul weather gear and tow the boat west to an area south of New Orleans called Reggio just to check a few spots before practice time was over. With 30 knot winds on the water, it made it difficult to find anything. We caught a couple but again, not much to go on.
Thursday morning, day one of the tournament comes and the storms and wind continue. There was a big "discussion" amongst the tour operators and some of the competitors as to whether we should be fishing in those conditions or not. Eventually the call is made to fish and we leave the dock at 8am. I had decided to go back to the Biloxi marsh and all the other boats that were big enough made the same call. We trudged through the 20 miles of open gulf in 3-4 footers in bay boats to get to the marsh. That was fun! The wind blow all day and to add to the enjoyment the thunder storms were one after another. It was very tough fishing. I caught one oversized 35lber, one undersized, one nice 6.5lber and lost a perfect 8lber at the boat. The ride back to Biloxi was even more fun than the ride over. At the scales it became apparent this tournament was going to be about survival as the weights were nothing like the other tournaments I had fished. I only weighed 6.5lbs but the goal was to get in the top 7 and that was still reachable on day two if I brought in a big bag. The leader after day one was Charleston, SC native and Captain Brant's college roomate, Jamie Hough. Jamie was fishing the Biloxi marsh in the same place Rube and I prefished. He brought in 25lbs on day one.
Day two was more of the same sea conditions but not as many storms. I knew I needed to do something miraculous so I made the decision to make a big run back to Venice. I was going in blind to an area I hadn't fished before but I knew the only way to make a come back was to go somewhere different than the rest of the fleet plus Venice has the potential to hold some awesome fish. After a 100 mile run through bayous, lakes, canals, and the Gulf of Mexico I made it and began my search. The first location yielded one 6lber but that was it. I moved and this time a big zero. I was headed back to the area Rube and I had found some fish earlier in the week but decided to make one last stop before I went there. After 4 and a half days of searching I had finally found what I was looking for. It was the redfish holy grail. I was pounding the bank of a small bay with a spinner bait when I looked over my shoulder and saw 3 redfish. I then refocused and could see 20 no 50 no 100+ redfish stretched up and down and across this small bay. This was it, I was going to win. The fish were all upper slots with some overs mixed in. Ok, here we go. I power pole down in perfect position and make a cast right on the nose of the first fish. No reaction. What? I follow it up with cast after cast and nothing. It was the wierdest thing all these redfish were just sitting there floating and would not respond to a bait. Talk about frustrating. You work so hard to find the fish, and you find them only to find they won't eat. I was going crazy. I tried every bait combination I could come up with but no takers. I had an hour and a half to fish and I kept at them the whole time. During that whole time I only had 3 fish give me an opportunity. One fish was over, one was a 5lber and the other was a 10lber that was right on the size limit. Regrettably, time was up and I had to leave them. Back at the weigh in my 10lber measured 27" 1/64th and was kicked out. I weighed 10lbs and change with my two fish. Coulda, shoulda, woulda. So close, yet so far. At that spot there was an opportunity to put 40lbs on the board.
Jamie Hough ended up winning the tournament with roughly 25lbs each of the 3 days of competition. I was left to make the drive home agonizing over what happened and what I should have done. This is a tough sport. There are so many different "gotchas". Everything has to come together just perfectly.
Once again though, I think back to early days of king mackerel tournament fishing and the feeling is similar. Now is the time for me to gain experience and learn. The good news is I'm putting myself in the right locations. Now, I need to improve execution. The next and final tournament for this series is toward the end of June in Lake Charles, LA. I'll lick my wounds and be ready to tee it up again!
Great week in the back waters around OIB. The redfish bite has been consistant. Falling tide on the banks of the creeks and oyster bars. The small pogies are here in good numbers in the ICW. Small flounder fill Tubbs Inlet, if you fish long enough you will find a hole that has a keeper or two in it. We have had a surprise or two along the way when a nice speckled trout grabs your drum bait. Only a couple more weeks and the trout will be on the hit list. Season opens back up June 15.
Mark, sons Luke & Stone Tippett made a strong shoring with the 1st to the dock 7.96lb & 6.27 red drum the tournament is hosted by the OIFC Sent from my iPhone
A big thanks to my editor Shane Britt
Captain Jeff Beck and I knew nothing about flounder fishing when we bought the Talechaser in @2000. So, we chartered Captain Stan Gurganus of the OIFC. We knew no one there. Our request of Stan was to show us how to flounder fish and maybe a few good holes. We also met Clay Morphes that day. Clay owned the fastest inshore boat we'd ever seen. I think it was a Majac (?). Long story short, Stan got us hooked on flounder fishing. We went on to win a couple of tournaments. Stan is now a fulltime police Sgt. with Sunset Beach and a great off shore Captain with the OIFC.
Chartering or attending a school at the OIFC is an excellent way to get your start or improve your skills.
SKA has put out this informaiton on Nationals and future plans for the organization. It looks as if they are considering participant's suggestions and working to build a well rounded organization. I am optomistic they will do good things for the sport
A reminder that the Fisherman's Post Inshore Challenge Flounder tourney is being hosted from the OIFC this weekend. Registration is tomorrow with fishing on Saturday. Check out their website info http://www.fishermanspost.com/tournaments/ocean-isle-inshore-challenge
I may even have to break out some old school gear and get back into it -- I've got a 10lb 12oz on the wall I caught when I was 12 -- maybe I can resserect that fish!
See you at the OIFC
We are looking for experienced retail store clerks and management that are available for year-round employment at the Ocean Isle Fishing Center. Part-time and full time positions are available. Retail and inventory management experience is needed as well as knowledge and background in fishing and boating. This is a career opportunity to work in a retail environment, at the beach. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with interest.
Below are pictures posted by expert bucktail fisherman Shane Britt. Shane makes his own buck tais and tips them with artificals and sometimes live bait. Stand by folks..pix to follow. Appears to be an uploading problem
Well I got the opportunity to take my wife Shaun , daughter Ella , and friends Ryan Stevens , Elizabeth and, their son mason out . It was Ella's first time offshore and what better way than to take her 65 miles straight offshore . Well fishing was decent with a good catch of Mahi and a blue marlin sighting close to the 100fathom line . We worked hard for the mahi we got finding most on a rip in 350ft .When the bite slowed we were 8 miles west of the 100-400 and dropped down to catch a grouper . Ella and Mason reeled in every single fish and the moms gaffed every fish we caught . I as a dad and I'm sure Shaun as a mother have never been so proud to see my 7 year old daughter Ella have fun the entire trip and not complain one time . It's time to start looking for the macs now and prepare for the Jolly Mon . Sent from my iPhone
Weston Sharpe of OIB caught his 1st Wahoo while fishing with his Dad off Ocean Isle.