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02/05/2019 - Shrimp


Any shrimp being found in the canals this time of year?


needs to warm up a little bit but soon

02/05/2019 - June fishing


We will be in ocean isle the last week of June we want to do a charter trip what one would you suggest?


The longer trip you do the more options you have because you will be able to push further offshore with more time. On a 1/2 day late June you will be able to fish for Spanish/Kings. That time of year you might find a Cobia while King fishing. If you do a 3/4 or full day you can get to the grouper/snapper/amberjacks and maybe mahi.

01/17/2019 - Canal fishing

Q: Coming down today. Any fish in the cement canals this time of year? Trout? Reds? Where should I fish.

A: trout fishing is good. best seems to be at entry at end of Craven St. Get best rig at OIFC

01/15/2019 - beach fishin

Q: whats the best bait to use for fishing off the beach this weekend?

A: shrimp or squid might catch whiting. water pretty cold now so not a lot of fish on the beach right now

01/09/2019 - Winter time fishing

Q: What are some of the best offshore/near shore fish species to go after this time of year? Also what depths and temperature ranges should we be looking for? Thanks

A: sea bass best winter from couple miles to 12 miles off gulf stream wahoo/blackfin[60 miles]

12/24/2018 - Blackfin tuna

Q: What is the best 5 rod spread for blackfin tuna in your opinion? Thanks In advance for the help.

A: when we are fishing blackfin we are fishing the stream/break so you may encounter bigger fish than blackfin[wahoo/mahi/marlin]. We typicaly use 50lb class tackle. You need a sturdy rod[30-50lb class] so you can get a hook set at trolling speed[approx. 6-8kts.

12/19/2018 - Offshore reel spooling

Q: What type/LB test suggestions do you have for spooling up line on an offshore reel?

A: depends on reel size. you want 500 yds capacity so can use 50lb braid with 100 yds of 50lb mono top shot, or same with 80lb if you have the capacity.

12/12/2018 - Fishing

Q: What can I catch on reefs right now Within 15 miles?

A: Sea Bass best bet.

12/06/2018 - Grouper and King rigging

Q: I have 2 questions for you. 1. From the grouper class, I can't remember what circle you recommend. I know it was one made for billfish. 2. From the King class, what was the wire you recommended for making the bait rigs? Tough to get old!!! Thanks!

A: Grouper: Eagle Claw 2022 6/0-8/0 based on bait size. Owner hooks same size Kings: American Fishing Wire[AFW] surfstrand braided 40#

12/05/2018 - Bluefin Recreational Permit

Q: What are the Blue tuna requirements for a recreational fisherman. HMS permits? etc?

A: That is such a dynamic question better for you to go to the Marine Fisheries web site to make 100% you are getting correct info.

11/14/2018 - Grouper

Q: Is it too late for near shore grouper?

A: they will be in 110+ now[December]

11/11/2018 - King mackerel earlier months

Q: Normally, in June July and August, where are the bigger Kings usually found? Thanks.

A: summer pattern is for the fish to be in 65 feet of water where there are rocky areas/ledges/ect. Jungle/65 foot hole/Shark Hole/ect

10/08/2018 - Travel to inlets.

Q: How is the water looking around north Myrtle Beach to OIFC by waterway? A week ago water was still high with a lot of trash and wood/ pilings floating along. Thanks

A: There is "stuff" to watch out for, more in the ocean than waterway.

09/25/2018 - Canal Fishing

Q: Recently bought a house on Fairmont St about 1/2 way down the canal. What’s the likelihood of catching anything from the dock? What species, time of year, time of day, bait, and rigs? Thanks!

A: Flounder/Reds/Trout/Pinfish Carolina rig with mud minnow or mullet minnow for flounder/reds. Live shrimp for trout or jig. Chicken rig with squid for pinfish. We catch Flounder/Redfish all spring./summer/fall. Trout best late fall early winter. Right now is best for everything.

09/21/2018 - Shallotte Inlet

Q: Do you know of anyone going out the inlet? Is it passable? Marked? Changed? Any input on it?

A: Inlet if fine, markers have moved. Pick your path, just stay away from white water. Going out I went green 6 to sea bouy.

09/21/2018 - Shallotte Inlet

Q: Do you know of anyone going out the inlet? Is it passable? Marked? Changed? Any input on it?

A: green 6 to sea buoy is the route I use but stay away from white water is the key.

09/19/2018 - Fishing

Q: How long do you think it will take fishing to get back to normal after storm? Mainly offshore

A: Fall is coming and the fish know it, hurricane or not. In about a week kings should first show in the river channel due to tidal flow clearing the water there faster. Offshore will be milky for a while which is not good. I'd say in a week things should return to normal.

09/19/2018 - Surf fishing

Q: Is the surf fishing good on Ocean Isle Beach and are blood worms available

A: Ha, right now after the hurricane, best catch might be a bluegill or catfish. It will take a week or so for things to settle down and fishing to return to normal. Not sure who has bloodworms, maybe Shelfields.

09/17/2018 - Aftermath

Q: How do you think the bait situation and king fishing is after Florence? Do you think the kings will be farther offshore due to all the freshwater? Thanks.

A: the water will start off very dirty. it will first clear in the cape fear river due to flow. the water will be dark in the river channel but fresh water will be on top. kings will first appear there after things settle for a few days. everything will return to sorta normal in a week. the offshore waters will be milky for a while which is not productive.

08/30/2018 - Pogies

Q: Where have you guys been finding the larger sized pogies in and around the Ocean Isle area? We catch plenty of the peanut sized ones around the Marina that we use for flounder but I'm looking for good locations to find the larger ones for Kings and big Spanish. Thanks

A: most dependable location is east of OIB inlet toward Holden and Long Beach

08/29/2018 - Wahoo

Q: Have the wahoo shown up yet? Any suggestions where to look for them and suggestions on rigs?

A: Very scattered and not targetable. Wait till a few cold fronts come thru and it will light up mid/late October and all of November.They will be along the break[130-250 feet water depth] We have premade wahoo rigs at OIFC and good how to info on our web site.

08/26/2018 - Pogies

Q: Hi, coming down for the Labor Day weekend, wondering on my best bet for locating pogies.

A: usually best to east side of Shallotte inlet; Holden/Long Beach.

08/26/2018 - Surf fishing for sharks

Q: I will be down for the last week of sept. Staying right on the beach on the far east/north end. Been trying to catch sharks from the beach for a few years now but have only caught very small ones. What is the best bait/ area/ way to go about catching them off the beach at the end of sept.? Anything that points me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated! Thank you

A: catch a whiting or spot and put on bottom rig and that should work for sharks. A filet size of mullet or any fish should also work. Lots of sharks this year so you should have good luck.

08/18/2018 - 8/24 & 8/25

Q: Ill be heading down next weekend and hope to get out and do some fishing. I know that I should head to the stream but with the crew that Ill have I wont be able to do that. I was hoping to maybe get as far as the horseshoe. Ill be going out of holden beach. Has anyone found some kings or even some gags moved in yet? I havent been down for a few months. I caught some kings last year at the sharkhole but if I need to run further I will. Thanks guys!

A: Start at the Sharkhole. That should take care of it, but pushing on to Horseshoe is also a good bet

07/02/2018 - Mahi

Q: Where’s the best mahi fishing right now?

A: Our spring/early summer mahi run is over. This time of year thru the summer, we catch one+ on occasion King fishing as incidental catch. If you go to the stream and get lucky and find floating debris you may find a bunch at that one spot. Hard to target them now.

06/25/2018 - Bait

Q: Have the pogies showed back up anywhere lately? I know they were very scarce the days before the jollymon. I was hoping to go king fishing this coming weekend and not have problems finding bait.

A: they are around but scattered

06/25/2018 - Bait

Q: What is the current Pogy situation?

A: scattered but for whatever reason, Kings are liking dead cigars this year[including the 42.2 Jr. Jolly Mon winner]

06/24/2018 - fishing

Q: I am coming down to ocean isle for a week in September, I have a 20 foot Carolina skiff with t-top I was wondering if you guys could point me in the right direction on how to hook up on some fish when I get down. I would be willing to pay for a guided trip for a day so somebody can show me the ins and outs of the salt water fishing.

A: Our Capt's don't go on others boats but we have fish schools[check dates on web site]. Fishing your boat in September, you may find Kings right outside the inlet at Shallotte Ledges or Lockwood Ledges. Spanish will be on tide lines outside the inlets. If weather good you might venture to the 90/90's and catch Kings and maybe a mahi. Inshore, flounder will be in inlets and reds along intercostal docks. Best bet is to check in with us at OIFC and get updated info at that time.

06/22/2018 - King rig preference

Q: I have always wondered the best king rig to live bait fish with whether it have two treble hooks or a j hook for the nose and treble for the stinger. I feel like the two trebles would land more fish but the one treble and one j hook would get more bites. I have fished with both throughout the years but am wondering which one you think is more effective to use in order to catch the big ones, thanks.

A: we use 2 #4x trebles in most cases. If we have big baits like a blue fish we will sometimes use a j-hook nose hook so as to not bind the baits ability to swim. If small baits 2 #6 trebles. You will get more hookups with 2 trebles and we see no impact as to visibility issue

06/19/2018 - Bottom Fishing

Q: How far out do you have to go for bottom fishing in mid August?

A: best action will be 90-110'[approx. 30 miles]

06/11/2018 - fishing line

Q: Is it necessary to use a backing when spooling my king reels? Also if a backing is needed, what would you use?

A: No. You would only use a backing if you were using braid, and you don't want to use braid for king fishing as you want there to be stretch in your line. For live bait king fishing[or dead cigar slow troll] use 20lb mono.

05/28/2018 - Craven St Docks

Q: When the Craven St docks are mentioned, are they referring to the ICW side docks or the canal side? Thanks.

A: ICW side

05/27/2018 - Rust

Q: Any secrets on how to remove rust from hooks?

A: Yes, get new hooks. Hooks are cheap; loosing fish to rusted hooks is not. Key to catching more fish is super sharp hooks. However, you can take steel wool and lite sandpaper to remove rust; and then sharpen the point.

05/18/2018 - Braid line for spinning outfit

Q: With so many braid types out theses days what is a good choice for a 20# spinning outfit?

A: we like Power Pro

05/09/2018 - winds / weather

Q: What wind direction is best for flat seas in the OIB area. Do you find reef cast accurate?

A: depends how offshore you go. On a hard north wind it will be flat on the beach out to a couple miles as island faces south. Reef cast gives a good perspective

05/03/2018 - kings

Q: What water depth/temp can I catch kings in this weekend?

A: anything 72 or warmer

04/27/2018 - fishing

Q: Looking to get into deep dropping... Any hints as to how to find some snowy grouper and tilefish?

A: They are in 800-900'+. Snowy are over rocks/ledges, tile over mud bottom. Be sure to check current regs.

04/22/2018 - Another Shallotte inlet question!

Q: I saw they were dredging a few weeks ago but thought that was only for ICW improvement. Did they actually deepen the path to the sea buoy? Did wildlife re-position cans? Thank you.

A: The dredging was part of a beach re-nourishment project and no it did not go to sea buoy. The hope is by removing sand it will increase the outgoing current and improve the channel. It was re-marked by Wildlife; however always stay away from white water.

04/16/2018 - Shallotte Inlet

Q: What’s the current status? Can you just follow the cans out now? I had heard they were out of place.

A: cans are wrong following the recent dredging. our best route is go to red 6 and then straight to sea buoy. We have been in contact with NC Wildlife and they said they will relocate the cans asap.

04/12/2018 - TEST


A: received

03/29/2018 - sea bass

Q: Any paticular ledgges/reefs near shore thats holding sea bass?

A: any of the King MAck rocks/ledges

03/28/2018 - sea Bass

Q: any tips on sea bass bottom fishng locations ledges/reefs? and tpyes of rigs you sell for sea bass? thanks

A: a 2 droper is all you need. the bass will be at any of the King Mack rocks/ledges in 65 feet on out to 90 feet.

03/27/2018 - kings

Q: Went out a few weeks ago and tore the kings up at the tower, are they still around that area along with the cigar minnows? Was able to jig all the bait we wanted too and hope to go again this weekend with the same conditions. Thanks.

A: They should be but check your water temps out there as that will determine if they are there or have moved further out

03/27/2018 - live bait

Q: What size hook do you use for the nose when trolling live poggies for Kings?

A: #4 3x If using something bigger than a pogy[like bluefish/ect], use a single nose hook or #2 treble.

03/20/2018 - boat fishing

Q: I will be coming down in later june with my boat and was wondering where it would be best to fish around that time?

A: Depends on size of your boat, but if offshore, Spanish will be at inlets, kings should be 65-80 feet, cobia can be anywhere from sea buoy to wrecks/artificial reefs. fishing should be gearing up real good by then. If inshore, flounder/reds should be on around inlets, creeks, rivers. Tubbs is good early summer. Shallotte Inlet will be picking up.

03/16/2018 - Rip Charts VS. Hilton's

Q: Do you guys have a preference on Rip Charts VS. Hilton's for SST, etc. info? They seem to have very similar functionality. Thanks, John

A: Hilton's

03/12/2018 - black bass

Q: Looks like Thursday morning 3/15/17 may be ok for weather how far out do we have to go for keeper sea bass? Sharkhole? or depth and temp of water?

A: There should be keepers at the 65' King rocks. They get bigger further out[80'].

03/02/2018 - reefs

Q: Anything going on around nearshore reefs right now....out to about 20 miles?

A: Sea Bass is about it for now. Waiting for water to warm up.

01/25/2018 - Fishing Seasons

Q: What months are best for all day off shore tuna trip

A: depends on tuna flavor you asking about. during winter on to march we will give a shot at Giant Bluefin Tuna if conditions look right. During winter we have a decent blackfin tuna fishery in the gulf stream. other times of year we catch them but not as a specific targeted trip. We mix our gulf stream fishing to include tuna/dolphin/wahoo. We no longer find yellowfin tuna in our waters except for a rare one here and there, have been MIA for last 10 years. Nobody knows where they went.

01/19/2018 - Sunday SWORDS

Q: Asking for help or advice on Sword fishing Sunday? Trolling for Hoos first, then make the run out if possible.

A: sorry missed your question. Hope your trip went well and safe.Sounded like a good plan.Wahoo bite is good

01/09/2018 - Blue fin

Q: Anybody seeing bluefin tuna in our area? I remember last year I saw reports with them everywhere in our area.

A: Boats are finally able to get back on the water. Standby.

01/04/2018 - Blue Fin

Q: With the weather starting out in January like it has when do you think we will be able to target Blue Fins?

A: You're right. Everybody wants to get at them but weatherman won't let us. Problem is until boats can get out on the water, nobody knows where they are. Hard to see a weather window but maybe next week things will change. OIFC will have boats fishing everyday that they can get out.

12/19/2017 - Blackfin Tuna Setup

Q: What type set up do you guys use for blackfin tuna? What size leader and length? Lures or bait? And what kind of lures or bait? We've caught several yellowfin out of Oregon Inlet but have never caught a blackfin around Holden/Ocean Isle area. Thanks!

A: Pretty much have to be in the stream to catch them[Steeples good spot]. A red and black feather is good, cedar plugs, and smaller ballyhoo. Faster troll with lures, slower with bait. We mix feathers in spread when trolling for wahoo with bigger baits. Years ago we caught a lot of Yellowfin from OIB but something happened and they disappeared and never came back to our waters. A mystery.

12/14/2017 - Fishing

Q: Was going out saturday to try and catch a few kings, and was wandering have yaw had any luck latly and how far out?.Sunday i was thinking about going to stream what is biting out there?

A: The Kings were at the Horseshoe before the recent cold fronts. Wahoo doing good in the steam along with Blackfin. If water at HS has cooled push on off toward the Tower. At HS, be on lookout for Bluefin Tuna; they are in the neighborhood.

12/05/2017 - Rec. Angling Bluefin

Q: Does the season on BFT have to be open if you are fishing to catch and release? Is it required that you tag fish if you are fishing in this manner? Thanks Steve

A: Truthfully we have learned not to give our opinion on questions regarding Bluefin as the rules are so ambiguous and nebulous and subject to interpretation by the Marine Fisheries folks that I suggest you contact them direct. It's a simple question and a simple answer, but like I said, I have learned not to speak for them.

11/12/2017 - Trout

Q: Anything happening with the trout bite? Haven't seen any reports lately.

A: Sorry for the lack of reports. The inshore captains have been in and out of town chasing other critters. The trout are here in all the usual places. Live shrimp floated under a cork will find the bite and soft plastics in white or chartreuse color patterns will work trolled slowly or jigged near any structure like creek mouths, end of docks, and along scattered oyster bottoms. Hot spots of late have been of course little river jetties, calabash crossroad area, Shallotte river and Lockwood river have all produced trout. See ya on the water!

11/09/2017 - Thanksgiving weekend

Q: I will be down at Holden beach next Thursday until the whole following week which is Thanksgiving. I was wondering where you think the kings will be? I know that they have been close lately but with this cold front that just came in, do you think it will ouch them off to the shark hole or even the Horseshoe? IF it is really nice I would like to get the stream if the fish are biting out there! I have heard some good reports from the stream. Thank You!

A: You are correct on everything you said. If not still at Shark push off to Horeshoe, should be there. November is a great month for wahoo.

11/07/2017 - Rig

Q: Can you post a photo and description of how you do your grouper rigs?

A: 100lb mono 6-8 feet long; 3 way swivel with sinker drop 50lb 6 inch loop for sinker[8-16oz based on current and depth]; 5-9/0 circle hook based on bait size. We have them premade at OIFC.

10/23/2017 - Big Red Drum

Q: Are the big reds a no show? Or are they just behind schedule?

A: Been a few but not like last year. Hope is after cold fronts coming game will change.

10/21/2017 - Jogging cigar Minnows

Q: New to fishing in the winter months for kings when we can't find pogies easily. Most of the time I go to the tower in the winter. Where around the tower should I look for cigar minnows on the bottom to jig sabiki rigs for them? If I need to go somewhere else before I go to the tower to jig them I will too. Thanks.

A: Try the weather buoys or fairway buoys. But deads will work fine. Should be at FP also.

10/19/2017 - Kings

Q: Are the kings still on the beach or have they moved off deeper with the cold front from earlier in the week?

A: They were at Lockwood yesterday

10/18/2017 - King Fishing Friday

Q: Lighthouse Rocks or 390's. Where would you start inside 12 miles? Where is the greatest concentration of pogies? Thanks for being a resource...

A: Last weekend both spots were hot. They should continue this weekend as nothing dramatic with weather this week and it is settling from cold front on Monday Pogies are up and down the beach, usually better off Long Beach. They will get harder to catch now as they being to 'run' vs "ball". Need a fast sink net that you can laaunch out in front of your boat

10/18/2017 - Pogies and November king fishing

Q: Are there months when pogies cannot be found on the beach? Also is the tower and the offshore spots a good place to fish for kings in mid-late November? Thanks.

A: Pogies will get scarace in Novemeber but we will see increased schools of cigars and boston mackerel. November hot spots will start off 90's and as water cools will push to jungle/shark hole then to horseshoe and 32 mile rock and in December/jan will be on ledges around the tower.

10/09/2017 - Pogies

Q: Fishing the fall brawl this weekend. I don't normally fish Ocean Isle area. Where can we find good size king pogies?

A: so for late post. im sure you found them everywhere

10/07/2017 - Downriggers

Q: Is switching the cable on downriggers to braid a good thing to do to eliminate the hum in the water? Also what pound downrigger balls do you prefer when slow trolling and how far should I put the bait out from the Downrigger ball when slow trolling menhaden? Thanks.

A: yes braid is the answer but leave wire on spool as backing as the braid will cut the spool. we have downriggers packs of 250lb braid at OIFC. we use a 8 lb ball but if lot of current go to a 10. The clearer the water the further back from the ball, typically 25 yards.

10/04/2017 - Kings

Q: Where are the kings?

A: beach and nearshore reefs out of Shallotte and Lockwood inlets

09/25/2017 - Wind

Q: Do you think that the wind this week will affect the fishing for this Friday? I wanted to try to get out kingfishing on Friday but wasn't sure how the water clarity will be.

A: Fall King Mackerel love a north wind. Not sure how they feel about 30+, but if swell not too bad getting out the inlet, you could hug the beach off the big hill, Yaupon, or Oceancrest and maybe get bit.

09/13/2017 - Intracoastal fishing

Q: I plan on hitting the water tomorrow by the cherry grove boat ramp, any suggestions on spots, set up and best things to try. Fishing from shore, any info would be welcome, I can't get past the blue crabs. ??

A: mullet or pogie minnows is bait of choice now for flounder/reds.use Carolina rig. shrimp for trout

09/12/2017 - King skirts

Q: When slow trolling pogies I run 4 naked rigs and usually one with a skirt. If y'all were trolling the same set, how would you determine what color skirt to run?

A: dark water dark skirt clear[bright] water bright skirts

09/05/2017 - fishing knot

Q: What knot would you recommend to tie a 100 lb fluoro leader to 20 lb mono?

A: not sure why you would do that as breaking strength of 20lb won't hold up to pressure of 100lb. If you thinking grouper, your running line needs to be approx. 80. But most folks use a blood knot to make connection. I use a different knot[a Steve Shook knot] but would have to demonstrate.

09/02/2017 - Cast netting

Q: Catching shrimp? What part of tide is best to catch shrimp, or what time of day is better? Best places to target?

A: best will be back inside creeks off of the intercostal. Best time is when tide is leaving the grass and you can throw net along edge of grass/bank[without throwing into the grass]. You can also find them in deeper holes in the creeks or along intercostal as water leaves the grass.

08/28/2017 - Labor Day Weekend Kings

Q: Has anyone been catching any kings around the 25 mile range. Maybe the shark hole/15 mile rock or a little closer in at the 90s. Any spots out of the Holden beach area. Thanks!

A: Youve named them all. They should be there.

08/24/2017 - reef fishing

Q: Does Tommy Helms do charters? I have been watching his reef flounder posts for years now. Would love to get out there with him.

A: I don't think so....but he sure does a lot of fishing for fun[make that catching for fun]

08/08/2017 - Best time (tide wise) for inshore fishing

Q: A couple of years ago I went on a charter with Captin Jacob and caught plenty of black drum off of live shrimp under the Ocean Isle bridge. Since then, I've fished under the bridge with live shrimp, but I have not had any sucess. Tide wise, when would be the best time to go if i'm looking for black drim? I remember that Captin Jacob scheduled our charter for a specifc time because of the action of the tide. Thanks

A: Stephen, Last there hours of falling tide and first three hours of rising tide has always been the best tide to target most all species. Low tide concentrates the bait in the deeper water and the predators often follow. Once water gets higher into the grass, bait and fish start to spread out. As far as the OIB bridge goes, the black drum bite has been hit or miss there lately. It was off the chain in June, but has pretty much disappeared altogether since July. Not sure where the fish went too. Shallotte Inlet around the docks and sea wall at Inlet View bar and grill has been producing as of late. However, the weather is making each and every day a little different causing the fishing to be a bit tricky. I haven't been on the water in a few days as I took my boys on a vacation. I haven't heard good things though. We were catching nice flounder, reds and black drum before I left. Guess I will have to look hard to find a few more fish in the next few days. Good luck out there! See ya on the water! Capt. Jacob Frick

07/31/2017 - Wind

Q: I am planning to fish on Wednesday. I have a bay boat and was wondering if NE wind made favorable sea conditions? The forecast is calling for 5-10.

A: Mother Nature has given us a magnificent blessing with a cold front in the middle of the summer. We normally don't get a front like this until mid to late August. As long as the wind has north to it, it will be flat along the beach front, so I would net me some pogies and get out in front of Long Beach Pier or yaupon, and catch me a October kingfish in July/August. I bet they bite. Once the wind moves more east, it will be less favorable but still fishable right along the beach.

07/27/2017 - Fishing Line

Q: I have a Avet MXL reel I'm looking to use it for nearshore trolling. Just wondering what kind of line to use mono or braid and what pound test would you recommend?

A: near shore trolling I assume means kings so I would stick with mono, probably 20lb if live bait fishing, 30 if trolling lures instead of king rigs.

07/23/2017 - Spadefish

Q: Any luck on Spadefish using jelly balls? Which wreck supports more Spadefish?

A: Haven't heard much talk about Spadefish lately as the King bite has been so good , that is where the fishing focus is. Jelly balls are the answer, 8lb flor, small circle or small jhook. Put jelly ball in a bucket as it will stain your deck. Put a coat hanger thru it and drop down on your downrigger to the bottom. When you see it bouncing, slowly raise to surface and free line small pieces of the jelly ball. Lots of fun on lite tackle. Only keep enough for dinner and catch/release. They should be on the nearshore to midshore wrecks.

07/17/2017 - Upgrading Electronics

Q: Hi, I notice that your charter fleet always has good electronics. I am going to upgrade my boat and wanted to know who you recommend to do the work. Also I have seen several different brands that you have used, What do you recommend? My boat is on the water in Southport, NC. Thank you!

A: Simrad. Installer is Bobby Lovingood 9107130014

07/13/2017 - kayak fishing

Q: question, my son & I are visiting ocean isle this weekend from Sunday to Tuesday. We are bringing our kayaks.. I was wondering what you would charge for a 4 hour inshore fishing guided trip?.. preferably Monday morning (7/17/17)

A: Our charter trips are on our own boats but try Southern Tide Outdoors

07/12/2017 - Mahi

Q: Any reports on dolphin?

A: scattered on king spots 60-80 feet. not enough to target but will usually find a couple when king fishing

07/11/2017 - Inlet

Q: I ran out at low tide the other day and it was SKINNY! Really upsetting that north carolina doesn't do a better job with this. Are the groins a sure thing? In the fall?

A: the groin project is to start this winter. don't know impact to inlet but generally, our inlet is ok. Watch out for a full moon low tide with a strong southerly wind. Wildlife does a good job moving the cans around, but key is always...stay away from white water

07/10/2017 - black drum

Q: i always see your guys pic and always have black drum, what is the bait of choice and best place to find them?

A: Cut mullet on bottom or live mud minnow on Carolina rig. Best around bridges.

07/07/2017 - Fishing Week of July 15

Q: My 14 year old has just gotten into fishing and has never been fishing at the beach. Recommendations for where? When? With what?

A: If not fishing from a boat: -canals/intercoastal; Carolina Rig with mud minnows for flounder/redfish. -if fishing from beach front, blue rig with cut mullet for blues/sharks/reds or Carolina Rig with mud minnow or mullet minnows for same

06/27/2017 - Early/late September Gulfstream

Q: Planning a Gulfstream trip in September with ya'll. Just wondering which you may prefer late or early September.

A: For the gulf stream, later is better as the fall wahoo bite will kick in as the water cools. Truthfully, later in the fall is better than early for wahoo[November]. Bottom fishing in the deeper water is usually productive also for grouper, amberjack/ect.. The best time of year to fish the gulf stream is May as that is when the migration of mahi and blackfin tuna occurs. Late summer gulf stream trolling is a hit or miss.

06/27/2017 - Kings

Q: Where have the kings been caught recently?

A: Finally starting to show at Shark Hole and 65 foot depths. Schools of sardine minnows have arrived and with them the Kings

06/26/2017 - Kings

Q: Any kings at the 90's. Where can I big up some cigar minnows? Thanks

A: scattered, better at Shark Hole. jig up cigars at most of the king spots[no cigars, no kings]

06/26/2017 - 10 HR trip

Q: How far offshore are y'all fishing right now on a 10 HR trip. What and where are yall targeting

A: depends on sea conditions. can be up to 25+ miles. Kings/Cobia/AJ/Mahi/Grouper/Snapper/ect. That's a good length trip this time of year for a bunch of different options

06/19/2017 - kingfish

Q: where did the top 3 fish come from in jolly mon

A: Jungle/Tower/Tower

06/18/2017 - Inshore

Q: Where is the best place to get on some good inshore reds, flounder, and trout around the first couple of weeks of September? And what should we be using for bait?

A: mullet minnows/pogies/mud minnows The reds will start showing up at jetties when mullet and ribbonfish arrive which should be in September. Also the world famous fall pogy pod bite will begin for giant reds on the beach front. beyond that, Shallotte river/inlets/ect

06/16/2017 - fishing

Q: thinking about fishing around hatteras. what do you suggest is best way to do so? trailer all the way there or put in around morehead then run the boat there?

A: if weather is good, nice ride along the beach or if you know the route across sound can do that. definitely a long trailer around but quicker.

06/09/2017 - Inshore

Q: What are best times to target inshore species incoming or outgoing tide. Best areas to target ?

A: a moving tide is best. the local rivers close to inlets and inlets are best areas

06/05/2017 - Mahi

Q: What are the best spots to catch dolphin during the summer?

A: As water warms they become more scattered in the gulf stream waters. They may be on the break or you may find them further offshore around floating debris. They also move closer in as water warms and can be caught at all the normal King Mackerel spots, though it is a scattered bite.

06/05/2017 - bottom fishing

Q: Is there any good bottom fishing around the shark hole or in that range? If so, what can I expect to catch from now through the summer?

A: The ledges and rocks that attract bait which attract Kings/Cobia/Mahi to the Shark Hole also attract bottom fish. During summer/fall the gag and scamp grouper move into the 65-80 foot depths. Try a live pogy or pinfish on the bottom.

06/02/2017 - Fly fishing sunset beach

Q: Where can I wade fish to catch reds or speckled trout in August? I'll be visiting then.. I only caught a pinfish and a lizard fish last summer and want to do well this year.

A: inlet at Sunset is a good place. Anywhere along the marshes where there are deeper creeks you can cast into should work. a kayak will broaden your opportnities

05/31/2017 - stream

Q: are the mahi still biting in the stream? Looking to make a trip out there this weekend. Thanks

A: Yes but ill get more scattered as summer progresses. However they will begin moving into shallower water and can be caught at normal King spots

05/26/2017 - drum/trout

Q: What is the best method to fish the docks located on Craven Street. I have fished them once or twice but never done much there. Some people fish there all the time and do good. Just wondering if there was a better tide or way to fish them?

A: A moving tide. Most guys anchor and Carolina Rig with mud minnows, pogies or mullet minnows. Artificials will also work.

05/25/2017 - bait

Q: Have the pogeys showed up yet?? and has any one been seeing or catching any convicts??

A: Pogies are best from Long Beach down to Southport. Haven't heard of anyone messing with Spadefish yet, but it is that time of year so I'm sure they should be on near shore wrecks.

05/25/2017 - cobia

Q: Would you mention any reliable spots outside of Shallotte inlet or Tubbs inlet for catching cobia? Bottom rigs or Float rigs?

A: This time of the year they are really very active on any of the near shore to offshore wrecks. Weather buoys, channel markers, all will have fish on them this time of year. Best bait is pinfish or pogies or a Cobia jig works well.

05/24/2017 - Inshore bite

Q: Coming in for Memorial weekend, any good inshore bite locations, trout, drum or any. What is currently best bait being used that you heard. Thanks for any help.

A: Craven Street docks are ok for reds/trout. Flounder Tubbs Inlet and Shallotte river. Mullet minnows still too small so mud minnows or artificial. Peanut pogies around OIB Marina.Stop in at OIFC when you get there and grab Capt Jeff or Capt Jacob for most current intel.

05/22/2017 - Flounder

Q: Best inshore bait for flounder late June to early July?

A: live mullet minnows or small live pogies. mud minnows also work

05/16/2017 - inlets

Q: Will be fishing this coming week. Low tides in the a.m. and I have heard the Lockwood Folly inlet may be closed? How is Shallotte Inlet? Are the cans in place and in correct spots? We likely will not have a chance to check inlet prior to running offshore in the dark Thursday. Thanks in advance.

A: buoys have been removed. Shallotte Inlet is marked

05/15/2017 - Where are the Kings?

Q: I and many others haven't been able to find the kings since the water got real stired up last week. When or where do you guys think they will be showing up next. Id like to give the shark hole a shot sometime this week

A: shark hole or any of the 65-80 depth spots is where they should be.summer pattern should be kicking in

05/08/2017 - shark hole

Q: Goin out tommorrow and heading to the shark hole, do you think the water is warm enough for any mahi or is that not far enough. i only have a 23' bay.

A: The Mahi are just now arriving along the continental break[approx. 60 miles out]. As the water warms they will move into the shallower waters and the Shark Hole is definitely a spot they will come to. There could be a mahi there[I saw flying fish there last weekend], but more likely you will need to wait till mid June and on thru the summer. You could find a King or Cobia at the Shark Hole now.

05/05/2017 - nearshore this weekend

Q: Do you think the weather will be suitable for nearshore this Sunday.? Also do you think the fresh water and cooler temperatures will affect the king/cobia bite?

A: Right now the winds blowing 25+, water getting churned up. Will take a few days to clear up for beach bite to get back in gear. Inshore, be best to go up the river to try to find less turbulent conditions. This weekend will be a challenge. Rain/cooler temps not much a factor, actually north wind good for King beach bite. The stirred up water will be the issue.

05/01/2017 - Short Strikes

Q: I know that you did an article or video or how to change up your rigging when you are getting "short strikes on ballyhoo. Can you point me to that again?

A: I think you can check the archives but if you get short strike, immediately free spool your reel to bait will drop back and often it will get eaten. Also maybe use smaller ballyhoo or use a rig that places a hook further back[bait-o-matic/pirate plug]. All depends on what you are after but best is learn to drop back on a missed strike.

04/30/2017 - titanium

Q: is this the wire you prefer for tournaments? if so, what size do you use if you don't mind me asking ? also how do you connect it?? do you use the knot or crimps or what? Thanks

A: Yes we like it for tourney fishing. Typically around 40lbs. We tie a double granny knot.

04/30/2017 - King reels

Q: What size reel do you prefer for king fishing? Also what size line do you put on them, braid or mono?

A: We have always fished the Shimano Speedmaster but they quit making that reel so now we like the Shimano Torium; either #20 or #30. We King fish with 20 lb line. All mono for King fishing.

04/28/2017 - Bait

Q: How's the bait fishing? Where have yall been finding it the past week or so? Thanks

A: If you mean offshore the pogies are stsrting to show although scattered and small, best in Cape Fear channel. Mullet minnows not yet. Mud minnows available.

04/18/2017 - Covina season closed

Q: Have heard ad read the cobia season is closed for recreational fisherman. Is this true. Thx

A: It is in Federal waters but our NC Marine Fisheries have it open in NC waters[inside of 3 miles]

04/16/2017 - Winds

Q: Fishing out of Little river inlet and Ocean Isle Beach. I always seem to have weather issues even when I think the forecast is good. What's the best wind directions to enjoy a fishing trip. What wind directions should we avoid? Thanks

A: My favorite forecast words are slight and light or light and variable. If fishing within 3 miles, a north wind is friendly as it blows off the land and thus flat within couple of miles. Any wind over 15kts is not friendly[to me] and any wind under 15 is.

04/15/2017 - Nearshore action

Q: Down here all week and didn't know if you had suggestions for nearshore action?

A: First beach King caught off Ocean Crest Pier. Atlantic Bonita starting to show. Spanish should be right behind them. Big blues on nearshore reefs.

04/06/2017 - Wahoo

Q: when trolling for wahoo is a combination of sea witches and islanders a good spread to have? What else would you reccommend adding in to increase hookups? Thanks

A: that's fine. use a planner to get a bait deep or use a torpedo weight. Throw out a squid teaser also. Getting deep is the key.

04/05/2017 - Offshore water temp

Q: What do you use to determine where the target offshore water temperatures are. Are any of these offshore apps better than any other ? What temperature am I looking for to troll in vs bottom fish in. In 2 to 3 ft. seas my worldcat will cruise at about 25 mph comfortably. That said what should I target in a fifty mile range of Lockwood folly Inlet. The furthest we have been is the Navy wreck. We are planning a trip for the 21st or the 28th if we can get some good weather.

A: Push off another 10-15 miles and you are at the break[150' to 250']. There you will find mahi/whaoo/tuna. May is the best month of the year to fish the gulf stream. We like the Hilton's water temp report best. In fishing the stream, you are looking for 72 degree+.

04/04/2017 - Fish

Q: Coming down this week April 8 through the 15 and have a deep 18 foot boat what would be a good game fish bitting that's anywhere from inshore to about 15 miles out?

A: First Kings of season caught off Long Beach close to the pier. Atlantic Bonita starting to show. Spanish right behind them. Good seabass fishing 65-75 feet deep. Big bluefish on near shore reefs/wrecks

04/04/2017 - Fish

Q: Coming down this week April 8 through the 15 and have a deep 18 foot boat what would be a good game fish bitting that's anywhere from inshore to about 15 miles out?

A: First fish to show up outside the inlet will be Spanish a Atlantic Bonita. They should be here soon, maybe by next week. Inside the inlet, trout are biting good and redfish are also around. A few flounder are starting to show.

04/01/2017 - Captain for hire

Q: A few years ago Capt Brant had a service where you could rent a captain for the day to run owners boats. Is thhis service still available and if so what are the going rates?

A: not doing that anymore, but try one of the fishing schools we do

03/30/2017 - Target fish and strategy for a mid April trip

Q: Coming down April 15th or 22nd...we can range out 40 miles or so from Lockwood Folly Inlet...We know how to catch Kings pulling cigar minnows and sabiki live bait and chum and basically catch a variety of fish...We have been and stayed on the tower...We always seem to waste a lot of time figuring out where to go and what to fish for. What would be a good target fish and strategy for a mid April trip ?

A: this time of year 40 miles out I would target bottom fish although if you find 68+ degree water you may find the Kings there.

03/25/2017 - Monday - horseshoe

Q: Looks like Monday may be a nice day - could I expect to find anything other than BSB around the Horseshoe area? Any chance trolling some cigars or yo-zuris might produce anything?

A: its all about water temperature. look for 68+ water and you may find kings. gulf stream fish will be hanging along the break this time of the year and want move to spots like Horseshoe until the summer. You will probably catch bonita/hard heads ect this time of year at Horseshoe if water is low 60's.

03/20/2017 - Initial setup

Q: Been pier/surf fishing my entire life with live bait. Just getting into boat fishing in the area and was curious.... what would you recommend as tacklebox staples for a spinning rod setup with nearshore or inlet fishing? looking at possibly tolling some as well.... thanks!

A: I grew up live bait kingfishing off the Carolina Beach pier. Moving to a boat, step 1 is get a 8-10 foot cast net[Capt Brants custom nets the best]. Learn to catch pogies. From there, standard king rigs are all you need. Go on our how to do site on our web site and learn about slow trolling. Sign up for Capt Brants live bait seminars.

03/15/2017 - Jolly Mon Tournament

Q: Is there a waiting list for this tournament? I would like to fish it...just checking. Thanks.

A: Jolly Mon is open, no limit. The Kingfish Cup was limited to 100 boats and filled up in 5 minutes from release.

03/14/2017 - mud minnows

Q: can you let us flounder fishermen know when you get mudd minnows in and a little info on flounder fishing.Its been a long winter in the nc mtns. thanks

A: mud minnows are here. first flounder will show up soon in Cherry Grove inlet and then Tubbs Inlet[shallow water inlets].

02/27/2017 - Stream Trolling Class

Q: Will you be offering another gulf stream trolling class/trip this year?

A: yes, posted on OIFC web site

02/17/2017 - 2017 fish charter focused on Wahoo

Q: I've never been deep sea fishing, but want to and have several buddies that are game. I want to catch a wahoo. when are the best seasons/times and how do I get a trip set up?

A: April and November are the best wahoo months. You will need to do a gulf stream trip. Look on our web site under charter trips and you will see the info on the gulf stream trip and contact info.

02/15/2017 - Gulfstream

Q: We plan to go to blackjack on Sat.18th. What do you think about the weather offshore? Thanks, Jerry

A: I always look for "slight and lite or lite and variable". Weather is dynamic. Wahoo and blackfin should be there.

02/11/2017 - surf and pier

Q: Whats biting this time of year in the surf and on the piers? ty

A: not much. as soon as water starts to warm can catch whiting and puffer fish. they are the first fish to appear in early spring

02/02/2017 - Fishing/ocean conditions

Q: Planing on fishing tomorrow, and wanted to go off shore the reports are showing 4 To 6, but there is also a wind shift, what are your thoughts on how the conditions will be at say the steeples or the 100/400

A: weather is dynamic. look for slight and lite or lite and variable. 4 to 6 wouldn't work for me

02/01/2017 - March fishing

Q: I will be down at ocean isle in the middle of march fishing inshore. Was wondering what fish i should target the most. thanks

A: inshore trout and redfish. may find a flounder if water warms

01/31/2017 - Sibiki rigs

Q: What size hooks do you use on your sibiki rigs that you use for bait fish? DO you sel these in your store?

A: we use different sizes for what bait we are after. For cigars, use the lightest[#7lb]. For pinfish/blue runners 10-12lb. Yes we have all different sizes at OIFC.

01/31/2017 - Black Bass

Q: Wanting to put some black bass on the table and maybe a couple in the freezer if ya know what I mean. Maybe next weekend before I get to go can you give me any tips on where they are or what they biting on. Thanks in advance

A: biggest ones this time of year will be in 80 feet but you can catch legals at 3 mile reefs

01/25/2017 - fly fishing???

Q: Hi there, my sister in law and their kids go out with you guys quite a bit. I've been once or twice while visiting, think it was with Jacob? Anyway, since I was there last I started fly fishing here in Colorado and I'm totally addicted. I'm wondering if you all do any salt water fly fishing. Or if it's possible to rent salt water gear on IOB at all. I'd love to give it a shot next time I come to visit, hopefully the end of next summer. Thanks, eddie

A: Capt Jacob or Capt Jeff can accommodate fly fishermen. There isn't a lot of fly fishing done here. Need a innovator.

01/19/2017 - Bluefin tuna

Q: Do I have to have a permit to fish for the bluefin? I'm hoping to be able to fish for em next weekend. Also do I just go out and put out ballyhoo on sea witches and troll em around like in the Gulf Stream or do you have a preferred lure to rig the ballyhoo with or what's the best technique for fishing for em? Thanks

A: There are a lot of permits you need so be sure you have covered that as Bluefin is a federally managed species. Typically we look for whales/gannets working bait pods of pogies. Best is along the Frying Pan shoals. Gear is specialized for these huge fish. We have prerigged gear at OIFC.

01/17/2017 - Cobia fishing

Q: Do you run trips to target cobia during the high season? If so, when would you recommend booking a charter for the best chance at catching cobia?

A: June would be the best and yes, in recent years they are prevalent enough to target.

01/08/2017 - TROUT SPOTS

Q: ahoy capt!! I am going fishing this weekend jan 12-16 im putting in at holden beach. best time to catch trout? how deep a water? anywhere specific I need to go? also hows the action at lighthouse rock lately thanks brother!!

A: sorry missed your question. this time of year fish holes that get a lot of sun as fish will bite where water warmer

01/07/2017 - Bluefin update

Q: Wondering if any bluefin have been spotted lately. Planning on coming down next week. Thx for an update

A: sorry missed your question. the Blueifn have been here one day and gone the next. It's a crap shoot but don't know without giving it a shot. best to have backup plans, like catching a seabass dinner if BF don't show up. Or go out to stream for wahoo/blackfin

12/04/2016 - Fort Pierce, FL

Q: This may be a complicated and lengthy question but I am sure you guys can help. My father and I were wanting to try something new and with it getting a little colder in NC, we would like to go south. Somewhere along the lines of Fort Pierce, West Palm or even down to North Miami. We are looking for just about anything that will give us a fight. I seen your post of the monster kings you guys caught in Ft. Pierce. If you don't mind me asking, how far were you out and do think there will always be solid fish being right along the gulf stream drop off ledges. Weather its 65 mile out here in NC or 20 mile out in West Palm area. I would really appreciate the OFIO guys input especially on what they would believe to be the best area to go. I have seen tons of videos out of those areas of catching all kinds of fish with the ability to see land in the background. If you have any suggestions or other questions please let me know. Thanks Dalton

A: That's a good time of year to fish West Palm area. Kings/Sailfish action good on the break which is only a couple miles out. The gulf stream is closest there so you will be fishing very close to shore. The winter sailfish bite should also be on there, much better than Ft Pierce

12/02/2016 - March Fishing

Q: I fished at the Horseshoe over the past Thanksgiving weekend and really got into the kings. I will not be heading back down until the first week of March. I would really like to find some kings and also hook up on some AJs. Will the kings still be around the horseshoe area? I have also heard something about a wreck that is close to the Horseshoe. I was hoping to find out the name of that wreck and find some AJs. I guess I am asking if you guys think the fish will be around that area in March OR where I might find multiple species of fish to catch. Thanks!

A: its all about water temperature, If close to 70 at Horseshoe in March they will be there. If still cold water then move on off to SW ledges at Tower and they should be there. Most likely they will be at Horseshoe in March. Raritan is probably the wreck you mean. Lots of AJ's there, and Cobia too.

11/29/2016 - trout

Q: I see the trout bite is on. What areas are best for them right now and is live shrimp or plastics best now?

A: shrimp are getting hard to find so switch is on to plastics

11/24/2016 - Kings around Shallotte

Q: Are kings still Shallotte inlet area. Going out on Friday, heard some are at Shallotte ledge area.

A: You will need to push off deeper. Try Shark Hole, if not there move out to 80 feet[York Hole/Horeshoe/ect]. Dead cigars or jig up live ones on fishing grounds.

11/16/2016 - wire

Q: When you use Titanium wire during King tournaments ,do you use just titanium for the leader or the complete rig?

A: complete rig

11/16/2016 - Winter grouper fishing

Q: I fish out of Holden beach and was wondering if the winter grouper fishing was best toward the horseshoe area or toward shark hole area. I know the water is deeper toward the tower. Thx

A: They will move back out to 100-150 when water cools and spawn over. Either direction, doesn't matter

11/08/2016 - Best bait pens

Q: Wanting to buy a bait pen for tournament fishing around the area and I was just curious as to your opinion on which size I should get, and which shape I should get such as oval or round? I'm getting a robs bait pen like y'all sell and if you wouldn't mind telling me which size and which shape pen I should buy from him I would greatly appreciate it. I'm looking to hold menhaden/bluefish/blue runners overnight and keep them as healthy as possible for the next day. Thanks.

A: medium to large oval we still have a couple at OIFC

11/06/2016 - Thanksgiving Weekend

Q: Heading down to my place over thanksgiving weekend and was planning on getting out to do some fishing. Only question is where are the fish and what fish will be around. Assuming pogies will be moved out also. Kings were hot past few weeks but not sure where or how to catch them at at the end of the month or any other fish for that matter. If possible I would like to try to find some AJ's. Thanks Guys!

A: Hot King bite going on right now at Shallotte Ledges[2 miles outside the inlet!]. Pogies abundant. My guess is by Thanksgivng they should be moved off to Jungle/Shark Hole. Pogies should be moving on, but cigars should be at the king spots. AJ's typically on ledges/wrecks same depth or slightly deeper.

11/03/2016 - Blues

Q: When trolling blues for king mackerel I've heard to cut their tails you reccommend cutting the tails off too and if so how much of the tail do you cut off? Also what makes your bait pens so much better than the cabelas ones or other brands? Does the bait stay alive longer and more healthier in yours or what? Thanks

A: I don't cut tails off on blues. I want him to be happy and healthly and if he can outrun a big King, good for him. I'm not familiar with the cabellas bait pens, but most likely they are made in China. Ours are handmade by fishermen. Not saying that makes them better, but for whatever reason, they are perceived by fishermen from NC to Fla as the best pens.

11/02/2016 - Ska

Q: When hoping to fish in the ska nationals does just the captain of the boat fishing it need to be a member of ska or does every single crew member that will be attending the event with him need to be members of it too? Even if a teenager wants to come along does he need to sign up as a member on their website too? Thanks

A: best to check with SKA on their rules

10/29/2016 - Bait pens

Q: New to using bait pens. What kind of bait pen should I purchase and once I do purchase one how many baits is prefferred to put into a bait pen for overnight so they will stay strong? Do baits in bait pens always become weaker overnight and lose some of their color or is it just like fresh bait right out of the water? Hoping to hold as much bait as possible healthily overnight in a pen where I can grab them in the morning and don't have to waste tournament time

A: We have the best bait pens on the market at OIFC. Success at keeping bait over night has to do with where you dock the pen, water salinity, temperature, current, and type of bait. Pogies are harder to keep when water hot and should limit it to a couple dozen. Blues keep well and you can feed them pieces of shrimp to super charge them. Definitely a good tourney strategy to have bait penned and when lines in the water you are lines in the water rather than searching for bait.

10/26/2016 - speckled trout

Q: I want to learn more about fishing the Shallote River. Where can I go to catch fish in that area?

A: The quickest way to shorten the learning curve is charter capt Jeff or Capt Jacob and see first hand the game plan. Or come by OIFC and they are always happy to share with you best info they have. Or sign up for the inshore schools they run.

10/25/2016 - fish

Q: Are the drums red and black still biting in the surf? coming down this weekend for hopefully for some action. Would it be worth fishing some pilings for some sheepshead? ty

A: The beach bite is all about whether the pogy pods are around. It's a day to day thing. If not, then next bet is the Little river jetties on incoming tide.

10/24/2016 - Ska nationals

Q: I have never been in the ska nationals but hope to qualify next year. When going to Florida, Biloxi, etc. do y'all already have the bait stored in a pen the day before the tournament and just go straight out? Or do some people still go and find bait the morning of the tournament such as around here and then go to the fishing spot? Also is catching bait in these places the same way as catching them around here? Or do you have to jig them up or something instead? Thanks

A: In Florida and Biloxi we normally use blue runners or blue fish or mullets. We jig and hold the bait in bait pens so when it's go time, we are baited and ready. In Morehead, we use pogies and blues and also pen them.

10/23/2016 - Bull red bite

Q: How long do the bull reds typically stay off the nc coast during their fall migration?

A: Best action is on the pogy pods and as long as we have the pogys we should have the reds. Typically the pogies will be less present going into November. You can still sometimes find them then at Little River jetties but Trout become the new game as water cools.

10/22/2016 - Grouper

Q: How and where on the grouper bite right now looks like you guys are on them from your pictures. We are looking to fish 29th or 30th. Thanks I appreciate it.

A: Best action will be in 80 foot water. Fish the same rocks/ledges you fish for Kings in that depth. Live pogies or pinfish are best baits. 80-120lb floro leader. 6-9/0 circle hooks.

10/21/2016 - kings

Q: Are the kings starting to show up on the beach or nearshore again? Where are they being caught?

A: Yes, things are getting back to normal. The Kings are on the beach at the inlets.

10/18/2016 - Inlet

Q: After Matthew how is the inlet? Are the buoys in position or has the track changed?

A: Inlet if fine, buoys survived.

10/17/2016 - fall brawl

Q: i got 2 different dates for the end of registration from the email sent out to me so could you clarify the last day to register ? Also, since we had this storm, what is the fishing and water looking like in time for the brawl? If you don't mind me asking, what are your predictions? Thanks

A: you can register up to Friday night Oct 28. The water is still very coffee looking. The kings have not shown back up yet but water is full of bait, water temp is good, and just a matter of time for salinity to get straight. The fish want to be here, should be any day.

10/17/2016 - redfish

Q: How do you hook the bait when fishing a carolina rig in menhaden? Lip, back or? Also, do just through it out and let it sit awhile or do you move it around? Thanks

A: hook thru the hard part of the nose, find a pogy school and throw bait in middle of the school. Best success will be to pick up and move as school moves. Stay with the school of pogies for best success. The reds are feeding under the school on droppings of blues/Spanish.

10/05/2016 - fall brawl

Q: is the captains meeting required? If i can not attend, can i come saturday morning and get my bucket and number? Or how would that work?

A: attendance not required but you have to declare which day you will fish

09/29/2016 - Surf Fishing

Q: What's the best bait to fish with off the surf right now? What fish are biting, and what's the best area to hit?

A: cut mullet or live mullet will work well for redfish, flouner,blues anywhere along the beach

09/28/2016 - Bull reds

Q: What baits are being used to cast and fish for bull reds on the beach?

A: live pogy on Carolina rig throw in middle of pogy school. same gear as flounder/reds. sportsfishing at its finest.

09/28/2016 - catching redfish

Q: I have fished for years in the H B and Ocean Isle area and with Capt. Brant several times...but have never fished for Red drum ... I have a world cat and fish offshore...what technique do you use to catch red drum out of a boat...I realize they are near shore.

A: the bull reds are in the pogy pods along the beach. This fishery was discovered a few years ago I think by Capt Brandon Sauls. Blues/Spanish feed on pogies dropping pieces of fish to the bottom. The reds figured this out so they stay with the school to feed on the scraps. This new fishery may be a result of having more pogies since we were able to stop the commercial pogy netting in our waters. Take a live pogy and put on a Carolina rig and drop in the school. If no bite move on to the next school. a world class fishery right here in our back yard. Most effective on a north wind when it calm on the beach.

09/27/2016 - Shallotte Inlet

Q: I've heard the channel markers have been removed from Shallotte Inlet - is that true? If so, what is best route? OIB side, Holden side, or down the middle?

A: No not true

09/24/2016 - Dead cigar minnows on beach

Q: On rough days when I still want to fish and can't find any live bait, is it even worth my time to troll dead cigar minnows on the beach? Will kings bite dead cigar minnows less than a mile off the beach? I never thought they would but thought I would ask a pro. Thanks.

A: They will bite dead cigars anywhere. However, if you are on the beach and there are pogies, it is true the kings seem to zero in on the pogies rather than a dead cigar. If we are fishing the beach we do try to fish the bait that they are most likely feeding on which would be pogies/blues/ribbonfish or mullets; sometime spots in late fall.

09/24/2016 - kings

Q: report on kings?? any opinions or predictions on what should happen in the near future

A: Kings showed up at shark Hole this weekend and are probably at most places. The magic of the US Open seems to get them to biting. Cold front gets here this weekend. The beach bite should kick off. Bull reds are in the pogy pods along the beach. It's Carolina fall on.

09/20/2016 - pogies

Q: has there been any bait off Holden beach/southerport? last few times I haven't been able to find it and had to use dead bait and would love any information for the upcoming weeks. thanks

A: yes pogies are showing with north wind and cooling water

09/15/2016 - Bait pens/fishing report

Q: I was wondering if you still had bait pens for sale?? Also if you could give me a fishing report that would be much appreciated. Thanks

A: Brant will be posting on the OIFC web site about pens today. Fishing report: tough assignment. water guamed up from storm, but hopefully with a north and east wind it will clear up next few tides so maybe conditions better for sunday. pogies are there but very scattered. blues are around pods if you can find the pods

09/14/2016 - Bait

Q: Any pogies any where

A: very scattered but with north and east wind should be getting better every tide

09/14/2016 - King Mackerel

Q: When will the big kings show up at some of the close in artificial reefs or near shore. Have specs on all those reefs but, where is the Cristina and say the horseshoe? ty

A: you need a Profinder chart which will give you co-ordinates for those spots. Kings are still not doing what they are supposed to do. North wind should help the beach bite. They "should" be at jungle/Christina/ect.

09/12/2016 - Storing boat for winter

Q: After October king run I have trouble getting back to the coast for a few months. What do I do to stabilize my gas left in the tank. Otis ethanol free gas. Is stabil the best option. Thx a ton. Come on kings.

A: yes, make sure you don't have ethanol fuel in your tanks and use stabil

09/10/2016 - Bottom fishing

Q: Wanting to learn some good bottom fishing techniques. I want to catch some good big bottom fish and if I need to run to the Gulf Stream I will. To catch the good ones do I need to go to the Gulf Stream such as the blackjack or 100/400 to find them? Or could you point me in another direction where I can tear em up. Also what kind of bait should I use? Thanks

A: 100-110 deep is where you need to go. Use squid and if you catch trash fish, use that as cut bait. Best for grouper is live pinfish/pogies/cigars. Pick any number off chart in that depth, and look around that area and you can find your own spots. Sign up for Capt Brant's bottom fishing school on OIFC web site

09/08/2016 - Fall brawl

Q: How is the fishing setting up for the fall brawl. Bait, hotspots, water depth fish are being caught it. Thanks

A: Everything in confusion and chaois right now. Maybe after storm, things settle down. should get good guidance from Rumble this weekend.

09/05/2016 - 90's

Q: How has the king fishing been at the 90's. Thanks,

A: its been bad everywhere. but it has to get better. cooler air, cooler water, maybe that will crank them up.

08/21/2016 - kings

Q: do you think 65 ft is the ticket right now or do you think 80-85 ft would be better?? also, do you know where i can buy a profinder chart?

A: truthfully we have been clueless all summer. but 65 ft is where I would make a shot at

08/20/2016 - Bait

Q: It's cloudy,no birds diving or fish pushing the pogies how do you located them?

A: without a guide from the pelicans or being able to see surface action or a dark ball, it is difficult. If you see porpoises close in they will be working bait. if no guidance, go where they are supposed to be[long beach/yaupon/ect] turn off your motors and listen for a flip.

08/19/2016 - Spanish

Q: Is the bait still on the beach? How do you think this weekend (8/20) looks for Spanish fishing? Thanks!

A: pogies on the beach this morning.white birds diving outside inlet

08/17/2016 - Flounder Fishing

Q: I am trying to get back into fishing after about 20 years and obviously have lost alot of knowledge and not knowing this area very well. However, I just recently purchased a boat to take my boys fishing but not quite sure where to go and how to fish for them in this area. I have spent some time in oregon inlet fishing with my dad but being that I was younger I really didn't pay attention to all the details. I put in at the Brick Landing Ramp..Thanks!

A: Inshore spots vary by time of year. You need to learn Little river Jetties/Tubbs Inlet/Shallotte river. Best and quickest solution would be to sign up for one of Capt Jacobs inshore schools. Focused attention to our specific area and techniques that will produce. On our OIFC web site.

08/15/2016 - king mackerel

Q: I am heading down in 2 weeks and I'm wondering the best depth that you think me and some friends would have the best luck in finding the big kings. should i start in the 65 ft range and fish for a little and then move deeper and so on?? How long would you stay at a spot before going to the next? Thanks

A: Hopefully the kings will finally show up where they are supposed to be and haven't been all summer. That is 65 feet. Best bet is to jump around and try several of those spots; jungle/cristina/shark hole/ect. if you are marking cigar minnows the fish should be there. If not, you can push on out to 80 ft and see whats there around some of those rocks. will probably find AJ's and maybe mahi. Also worth checking Horeshoe. Seems like they will bite there when they won't bite elsewhere. It's been a weird summer. fishing has been BAD for kings for some unknown reason.

08/12/2016 - Fly rod

Q: Thought about getting into fly fishing. I fish mostly in our area and was wondering if fly fishing is effective in our area.

A: Not many folks try it for some reason in our area however, back in the marshes, should be effective. Offshore, should work on cobia and amberjack coming up to chum or dolphin on a week line.

08/09/2016 - Inlet/nearshore

Q: Hey what's the fishing looking like around shalotte inlet and nearshore right now? I have a 21 footer thinking about fishing the area the next few days and wanted to see what's good to go for now. Thanks!

A: This has and continues to be the most challenging summer of fishing I can remember. The fish are not acting right. You "should" be able to catch all the Spanish you want outside the inlets but it has been very spotty. The Kings have been nowhere where they are supposed to be. Very weird season. Best advise is give it a try as every day we say, the fish are going to figure out they are supposed to be biting. The conditions look good.

08/09/2016 - Surf fishing

Q: Will be down on vacation in a few weeks. What rod and reel combo would you suggest to do some surf/icw? Is it best to fish a rising or falling tide?

A: If you are surf fishing from the sandy beach, it makes no sense to buy a expensive outfit as the sand and salt water doesn't mix well with expensive outfits. We have $30 setups which all you need for beach fishing. Rod/reel/line. As to tides, fishing the surf you will do better at higher level of tides as you got deeper water close to beach to fish. If fishing intercoastal, either tide is good as long as it is moving[coming or going]

08/07/2016 - Canal Fishing

Q: We're renting a cottage at Ocean Isle on a canal. What's running there now? What do you think of those Berkley Gulp/DOA artificial baits for canal fishing? Many thanks!

A: Most effective this time of year will be to use live bait on a Carolina rig for flounder. Mud minnow, or mullet minnows is what you want to use. Capt Jacob is a artificial guru and he likes them. Much easier to catch fish with live bait.

08/02/2016 - surf and pier fishing

Q: Need recommendations

A: -cut mullet on sinker rig for blues/sharks -shrimp for spots/whiting -mud minnows/mullet minnows for flounder/redfish/blues on Carolina rig

07/28/2016 - Sailfish

Q: We saw a sailfish at ar455 today, Do they come that close towards shore or was that a rare occurrence?

A: This time of year it is not uncommon to see or catch sailfish close in, though definitely not a everyday event. In fact the state record[think it still is the record] was caught at a ledge 3 miles off OIB. we've caught them in the shipping channel, 90/90, and many of the near shore artificial reefs and ledges.

07/26/2016 - King Mackerel

Q: You said earlier that the schools of cigar minnows and kings following have moved into their normal 65 ft depth rang spots, But all i see on the reports is small kings and just a few keepers and the occasional giant. Have you had any luck in the 65 ft spots? or in any other spots? By next weekend do you think they will still be moving in to those spots or moving deeper.. trying to put a solid plan together for next weekend and your advice would be much appreciated. Thanks

A: So goes fishing. just when we thought we had them dialed in and the kings were where they are supposed to be....whoosh. they're gone. It has been the worst king summer I can ever remember. there is a large body of fish somewhere...somewhere. In the mean time, you can catch a scattered king at the 65-80 foot depths. there are scattered mahi mixed in, cobia and amberjacks. Best bet would be to push off a little further to the 80 foot water. or better yet move out to 90-100 and find great bottom fishing and free line on top for who knows what

07/20/2016 - State of fishing

Q: What can you tell me about the fishing right now? How is the king bite at the normal king spots?

A: It FINALLY kicked off last Saturday. All the normal spots where they are supposed to have been since mid June and they haven't been there, the cigars have finally showed and the kings are with them.

07/18/2016 - Pogies

Q: Are the pogies thick on the beach right now? Hoping to get out soon and wondering how the bait situation is. Thanks.

A: They have been MIA for the many weeks we have had of hard SW winds. But there are some around, just not thick. The good news is the cigar minnows are thick at the normal 65 foot spots and you can jig them with a sabiki[7lb lines]

07/17/2016 - iinlet

Q: Are Lockwood folly and shallots inlets marked now? Which NB is better? 21footer.

A: Yes, I prefer Shallotte although Lockwood is constantly dredged. The reason why is it is constantly building up bars. Shallotte moves also, but it seems more stable. Wildlife does a great job keeping buoys in generally right places, but they do on occasion get moved around. Always best guidance is to stay away from white water.

07/15/2016 - Sail fish

Q: This is my second post following up on post from last year stating that it is not legal to take a sail fish out of water. Pliease do not promote this it is bad for the fish. Thanks

A: This is not a post site, it is ask a captain site for how to info

07/12/2016 - Sherman Wreck

Q: Is the Sherman Wreck or the Sherman Hole in deep enough water to catch keeper sea bass? What else are standard catches there?

A: Probably not this time of year. During winter and early spring, yes. Now you may catch kings, Spanish, amberjacks, cobia, sharks at Sherman.

07/12/2016 - Flounder

Q: What size jig head is preferred for flounder when using Berkley grub. Quarter ounce half ounce 1 ounce thank you so much

A: depends on water depth you are fishing. if inshore, 1/4; if fishing near shore artificial reefs, then heavier. Its a trial and error deal. If not getting to bottom and holding for jigging on bottom then need more weight. More of a issue on near shore artificial reefs. Inside waters, 1/4 oz should work if little current.

07/09/2016 - Bowfishing

Q: Planning a trip to do some bowfishing for flounder and others. Where is a good spot to put the boat in and fish?

A: OIB/Bricklanding/Sunset. If water is clear, should be same as flounder gigging along waterway and creeks.

07/07/2016 - King fishing

Q: Was wanting to go king fishing on saturday the ocean looks like it may be a rough way out. Was wanting to how the fishing has been close to shore . Thanks

A: King fishing has stunk all summer. The body of fish that is supposed to be in the 65 foot deep water has not showed up. There have been a few fish caught at scattered spots, but definitely not something you can target. With strong SW wind, hard to find pogies. Charter captains are pulling their hair out. Not even finding Kings in offshore waters. That said, they are supposed to be here, and thus may show up in 65 foot spots at any minute.

07/05/2016 - Bowfishing

Q: Planning a trip to do some bowfishing for flounder and others. Where is a good spot to put the boat in and fish?

A: There are several Wildlife boat ramps and parking lots in area. OIB/Sunset/Bricklanding

06/30/2016 - Kings

Q: When, in your honest opinion, do you think the kings will start showing up in good numbers in Long Bay? Are there any now in Long Bay in the 85-100 ft range? & why do you think the fish are late showing up in this area?

A: My honest opinion is honest, but just my opinion. The Kings are very late to show up in 65 foot water which is where they are supposed to be right now. what we have noticed is not seeing the big schools of cigar minnows in normal spots where kings should be. So best answer is when bait shows up Kings show up. Exactly when I have no clue, but is bound to be any day now as they are several weeks late right now.

06/29/2016 - Bottom fishing

Q: We usually just troll but are Looking to go bottom fishing a few times around the tower. Hoping to go next week or so. What kind of bait should we use to bottom fish with to catch various types of bottom fish? Also where would some good places be to start out around the tower for a good amount of bottom fish and maybe even some grouper? Thanks

A: The ledges southwest of Tower approx. 5 miles are good spots. Squid or cut fish from a trash fish you catch works well. Best for bigger fish[grouper] will be live bait. Pogies/pinfish. Any of rocks/ledges in 100 ft will be productive. You may also find cobia and amberjack with live bait.

06/26/2016 - Offshore or gulf

Q: Do you keep a list of people interested in sharing the cost of a charter? My two kids and I really want to do the 3/4 or gulf stream trip but would love to share costs with 2-3 additional fishermen(or women) :)

A: Brant doesn't normally do split charters but forwarding this on to him to respond directly to you.

06/26/2016 - Stream for mahi next weekend

Q: I know it's late in year but would it still be worth it to venture out to the stream for some mahi next weekend? If so where would the best place be to go? Thanks.

A: This time of year it can be hero or zero. I would try along the break either south or north, and if no luck, then go offshore and look for something floating. If you can find a board/tree/ect, it will be mahi bonanaza as this time of year anything floating will collect a lot of interest. Also in the process of being in deeper water, you may encounter a blue marlin.

06/25/2016 - Fishing the canals

Q: I'll be vacationing next week with the family and staying at a house on the canal. We plan on fishing the surf some, but was curious aboit fishing the canals too?

A: good time of year for flounder in the canals. mud minnow/pogy/mullet minnow on a Carolina rig.

06/25/2016 - Fishing the canals

Q: I'll be vacationing next week with the family and staying at a house on the canal. We plan on fishing the surf some, but was curious aboit fishing the canals too?

A: Right now is a good time of year to catch flounder in the canals. Mud minnow, pogy, mullet minnows work on Carolina rig.

06/25/2016 - Mahi & Spanish Macks

Q: Will be coming up on July 1st be there thru July 9. if weather permits wandering if the Mahi may be around Shark Hole or even the 90's. Also, are the Spanish Macks around the inlets and beach? Thank you in advance

A: Spanish are on the beach as they should be. The rest of the game fish are MIA but should show up any day. Mahi "should" be mixed with Kings at Shark Hole/Jungle/ect. As of today even the kings aren't here, but should change any day. The fish are late per the calendar.

06/24/2016 - spanish

Q: What water depth and planer seem to be working right now for Spanish

A: Spanish are outside of inlets. Look for tide line or white diving birds. #1 planer

06/23/2016 - Kings

Q: How's the kingfish bite right now? What depth water any hot spots? I will be coming down next week to fish. Thank you

A: The king bite is non existent. Very weird, but surely they will be here any day. Best bet right now is 100' + but our charters are not seeing them anywhere other than small fish shark Hole. Should change any day and they will be in 65 feet of water.

06/23/2016 - bait

Q: any pogies on the beach?

A: they're everywhere

06/21/2016 - Planer bridle gear setup

Q: I took a offshore trolling school trip with OIFC and one of the setups was an inline planer and bridal setup which was very productive. Can you go over the rod, reel, planer to use for targeting kings? Thank you

A: This is not a application that would work for how we typically king fish. You are trolling to slow for the planer system to work for kings as we typically are slow trolling using live bait or dead cigars. The technique is to move the boat at a speed the live bait can swim with you. If dead bait, same speed. You can pull ballyhoo for kings at a faster speed and use a planer, but you would use a #1 planner and it would be inline with you lure[typically]. You can use a bigger planner and rubber band/paper clip it to your running line if pulling a big spoon or ballyhoo, but normal approach in our fishing world is slow trolling for kings. That said, there is no set rule on how you fish.

06/18/2016 - Backwater Tides

Q: What tides stage is preferable for fishing the backwaters and the river for drum and flounder? Thanks.

A: most important is moving water, so in or out, when tide is flowing, best fising

06/17/2016 - Shalotte Inlet vs. Little River Inlet

Q: Hey, I have a 21 ft Triumph cc and would like to know which inlet would be best to head out of offshore. I've normally headed out of the rodeo aka Shalotte, but noticed that Little River isn't too far away and just want your opinion of heading out of LR instead of Shalotte with the size boat I currently have. Any advice is greatly appreciated, thanks!

A: Wildlife does a good job keeping buoys in place at Shallotte Inlet. The inlet does move around a lot, but simple rule is stay out of white water. A South/sw wind and a stong outgoing tide makes for worst conditions, and in those times probably best for inexperienced boater to stay away. LR has deeper water, but it too, has shoals that need to be avoided, mostly on north/east side. Same rule, stay away from white water.

06/13/2016 - Jollymon weather

Q: Weather is looking sporty for the jollymon. Is there a chance it may be postponed?

A: Aug 26 weekend as dictated by the Town of OIB

06/10/2016 - cobia

Q: what is the best way to fish for Cobia? Where would you recommend going out of Little River?

A: You will find Cobia around buoys and artificial reefs/wrecks and ledges where we king fish. A Profinder chart will show the location of the wrecks/reefs. Drop a live bait around the buoy or wreck or use a cobia jig. Also, you can fish the pogy bait pods along the beach. Drop a pogy in the bait pod and if he is there he will eat.

06/08/2016 - Need Advice

Q: I'm just getting into salt water fishing. Have a vacation home near OIFC on the waterway. Recently purchased 21' Nautic Star with 150 Yamaha, center console, t-top. I have 2-Shimano TLD 25's on Aluminum seat Bill Fishers, and 2-Shimano TLD 20's on the same rods. 2 have 40 lb high vis and the other 2 have 30 lb high vis. I also have a couple medium action casting reels with 30 lb pink braided line. Never caught anything bigger than 6-8 lbs. Just started last year and did well with the Spanish. I want to move onto bigger and better fish and plan to spend all day Saturday the 11th of June on the water. I have a good offshore radio and a really nice nav/fish finder/gps combo. Not willing to go too far out until comfortable and would like to be able to keep my eyes on land if possible until more comfortable with the boat. Only have about 15 hours on it and still learning it. Any advice on what I could hook up on this weekend besides Spanish, a good location to try (coordinates), what other tackle I may need? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

A: If sea conditons allow, you can get to the near shore reefs and wrecks where you may find kings or cobia this time of year. Your next fishing step is dead bait king fishing. go to our how to section on oifc web site and read up. come to OIFC and one of our captains will get you dialed in on exactly what you need. You can fish the 90/90, Milliken ledge, or the artificial reefs[you need a profinder chart]. Also need a cobia jig. Once you perfect this stage, next stage is to catch live pogies, and from there go win the Jolly Mon King tourney.

06/08/2016 - King Setup

Q: What's your preferred King Mackerel set up? Reel? Rod? Line?

A: We have fishing Shimano Speedmasters for years but shimano has quit making them however they have told us they may bring them back to serve the NC market as there is so much demand from the NC king fisherman. In meantime Brant has replaced them with Shimano Torium HG. We use a Star 15lb lite action live bait rod. We use 20lb king green mono with 15 feet of 30lb floro lead.

05/31/2016 - Pogies/ Ship Channel

Q: Two questions, How far off shore is the cape fear ship channel you always talk about, and where is it shortest to access its fishing spots from? Second, is a 1" mesh too large to catch pogies on the beach?

A: shipping channel king fishing starts at Bald Head Island[Southport] and progresses offshore to sea buoy[approx. 5 miles]. Fish can be anywhere along channel but best spots seem to be around rocks at end. 1 inch mesh will work ok. Our nets are 1 1/4. Key is how fast they sink and size[need 8'+].

05/29/2016 - Mahi spread

Q: Would you mind giving a detailed description of the typical spread to use when trolling for mahi that includes the type of lure/teaser, if it has ballyhoo or plain, and where that particular lure needs to be located in the spread. It'd really help me a lot. Thanks.

A: When trolling for mahi we are also trolling for wahoo and tuna, so our spread is thusly directed. Typically: long outriggers skipping on top or swimming with rigged ballyhoo and any type of lite head you like. Bright colors seem best for mahi. Inside riggers the same, with a heavier head for swimmers. Flat lines can be a swimming plug for wahoo or a weighted line either with a detachable planner, a downrigger planner, or a torpedo lead. If you are interested in gulf stream fishing, shortest route of learning curve is to sign up for Capt Brants gulf stream fishing school. Or come to OIFC and talk with our charter captains. They will be happy to share with you.

05/25/2016 - Pogies

Q: I'm pretty new to catching bait with a cast net, where and what do I need to look for when trying to find Pogies for bait? Thanks.

A: Easiest is look for Peicans diving along beach front or dark bait pods. You will need at least a 8 foot net to catch them and highly recommend Capt Brants custom nets at OIFC although cheaper nets will work if a lot of bait around. Come by OIFC and we will show you how to throw a 8+ footer.

05/23/2016 - Fishing Wrecks/Trolling

Q: I just purchased my first cc boat. It is a 2016 Nautic Star 2102 with a 150 Yam. I would love to get on to some good fish of good size but not at a comfort level yet to go far off shore. I did have a vhf radio installed and a nice garmin system for nav/gps/fishing,etc. Where is a good place to break in the wife and kids catching fish and what tackle is needed. I already invested in a couple Bill Fisher rods, two light/med and two med/hvy with 30lb high vis on two and 40lb high vis on the other two. Not sure what is the best tackle to use for trolling or bottom fishing but would love any advice, locations or assistance offered. Thanks in advance...

A: Best entry point is trolling for Spanish macks. Go to our web site for "how to". There is a section for Spanish fishing. next up is bottom fishing for sea bass. Next step is dead bait King fishing. Next step is live bait fishing. All how to's are on our web site or come by OIFC and we will talk you thru it.

05/23/2016 - Good Place To Bottom Fish

Q: Where is a good place to bottom fish with a 21' cc to break in the wife and kids for offshore fishing that will land a good size catch?

A: get a Profinder chart and fish the King Mack rocks and ledges within 10 miles. 90/90/Christina ledge, artificial reefs

05/21/2016 - Brining ballyhoo

Q: New to brining ballyhoo. Could you please give me a rundown of what is needed to brine them...when to brine to brine them...and what to do with the ballyhoo after you brine them please? Also should I take out their eyes and break their backs and depoop them etc. before or after I brine them? Thanks

A: Brine for approx. 1 hour with brine and water. Take out and put in plastic bag with salt over night Depoop, mash backbone when go to rigging when ready to use.

05/20/2016 - King reels

Q: So we're thinking about getting new king reels and are looking at the shimano Toriums. Are they good reels? Would the 20's work or should we step up to the 30's

A: Torium HG is what brant has replaced the speedmasters with since shimano has quite making them, and yes it is a very good king reel with smooth drag system. however we are hearing shimano may bring them back based on demand coming from the Carolinas.

05/19/2016 - sst charts

Q: Where should I look to find updated sst shots for free? thanks.

A: Look on OIFC web

05/17/2016 - Headed Offshore - New to Southport

Q: Hi Guys, my dad just got a 26 foot center console, we have it down at Southport Marina. We used to fish out of Morehead or Emerald Isle. I want to go catch some Mahi over Memorial day holiday - where should we go? thank you, Jay McCarthy

A: The Mahi will be located along the break[approx. 60 miles]. Later in the summer they will move into the King spots, mostly in 65 feet of water. Our fishing range along the break is mostly from the Scarf to the south to Steeples to the north. Popular spots are Scarf, MacMarlen ledge, 100/400/Blackjack, Steeples. The Mahi are scattered up and down the break this time of year, but best bet is to look at water temps night before you go and if there are extreme temp breaks, that's where you want to go. Or check in with OIFC fleet and see where they caught day before.

05/14/2016 - Offshore with single OB

Q: I will be moving to your area in the next year and am an experienced boater and fisherman on mostly inland waters, bays with little ocean experience. I unfamiliar with your waters. Recently went back to single outboard from twins and wondering how far offshore folks feel comfortable good night generally in the Ocean Isle area. Is there a good buddy system? How far offshore does cell service work? I have an Epirb and thinking about satellite phone but cost is a consideration. Any advise is appreciated.

A: If you are 23' or more, you can go wherever you want, based on good sea conditions[slight and lite]. Kings/Cobia will soon be in 65' water, May is the month to fish the gulf stream break[60 miles]. Check in with OIFC and you should meet other boaters who also look for company when heading 60 miles off. Cell is good to approx. 20 miles.

05/14/2016 - Offshore with single OB

Q: I will be moving to your area in the next year and am an experienced boater and fisherman on mostly inland waters, bays with little ocean experience. I unfamiliar with your waters. Recently went back to single outboard from twins and wondering how far offshore folks feel comfortable good night generally in the Ocean Isle area. Is there a good buddy system? How far offshore does cell service work? I have an Epirb and thinking about satellite phone but cost is a consideration. Any advise is appreciated.

A: First is pick the right day[lite and variable] I see 23 foot boats going to the stream[60 miles] on right days. Size of your boat determines how far you can push out. Cell phone pretty much out to 20 miles max OIFC is a good source for networking with other fishermen. Good spots within 20 miles for Kings/Cobia/AJ's and Mahi in summer.

05/13/2016 - Stream

Q: So the stream will be good tomorrow?? It's supposed to pick up fast at lunchtime right?

A: sorry I missed you. Yes weather was good[so where the fish]

05/13/2016 - Kings

Q: What are you looking for when trying to find kings up the coast right now? And how far do you usually go out to catch them?

A: Kings appear along the beach in first week of May, usually around Ocean Crest Pier at Long Beach. We "theorize" the warm water outflow from power plant off Yaupon has something to do with why they show up there first. Next they will then show at normal summer spots, Horseshoe,Shark Hole, Atlantic Ledge, Jumgle. They are showing at those spots now and will improve as summer progresses.

05/12/2016 - Water Temp

Q: What is the water temperature in the main waterway right now? Planning on flounder fishing Saturday and trying to figure out if I should hit Tubbs or the river. Thanks

A: it varies a lot right now with cool nights but mostly is around 70+

05/10/2016 - Stream this weekend

Q: Think saturday would be a good day to hit the stream weatherwise? Wanting to make a trip asap for some mahi. Thanks.

A: Looks like front should be passed and wind forecast to go from NW to SW. That usually means it will die completely. I see offshore calling for variable, which supports that. The fish are there!

05/09/2016 - mahi hunting 5/14

Q: heading to the stream this coming weekend in search of hot mahi bite...Where would you reccomend going? BlackJack, steeples, 100/400? thanks

A: any of the above. don't think it should matter as mahi should be up and down the break. you may want to check water temps day before you go just to see if anything distinctive is showing in terms of temp breaks along the shelf. try pushing a little deeper[350-400ft] as there seems to have been good fish a little offshore of the break

05/09/2016 - inter coastal boating and fishing

Q: I plan to bring my boat to Sunset Beach in June. Its a 22ft Nautic Star deck boat. We plan to put in at the Sunset bridge boat ramp. Can you give me some suggests on where to go from there to fish. This will be my first time in the inter coastal so any tips on when to go out and any things to avoid would be greatly appreciated. Are there maps available of the waterways around that area. Thanks for your help. Ernie Monts

A: Best spots should be the end of Little River jetties for trout/redfish. Tubbs Inlet for flounder. Sunset bridge produces sometimes. You need to follow a boat thru creeks to get to Tubbs Inlet and mark your route. Best access point is close to Sunset bridge.

05/04/2016 - stream trip 5/7

Q: Hows weather looking for stream trip this saturday 5/7? thanks

A: weather is dynamic so hard to see that far in the future, but the way it looks will be fishable, but not perfect[i.e. slight and lite]. Looks like a day where you find the trough and run where it lets you go[probably to black jack]

05/04/2016 - Night fishing

Q: Hey guys got a question that my be from left field. Do you guy ever do any night fish. As in anchoring up on a reef or wreck and putting lights in the water to attack fish. This is done a lot for crappie where I live and didn't know if it was done in saltwater any? If so for what species of fish and how? Thanks in advance

A: rarely. but yes you can draw bait and then predator fish to your boat with a night lite. close in probably sharks, further off, probably kings/ect

05/03/2016 - Beach Bite Kings

Q: Can you give little more detail on how to predict when Kings will be inshore, as you did a few days ago? Water color/temp, bait, wind, sun, unicorns, etc...?

A: [] history[this happens every year] [2] water temp[68 degrees] [3] presence of bait[pogies up and down the beach] [4]water clarity[it's been dry for so long water very clear[King Green] [5] wind direction. North wind offers flat conditions on the beach which it seems the fish and fishermen both like Hope I didn't dispel my mystique; pretty basic stuff. Come on down and get in the action. Kings are now being caught off the local piers so it's game on. This only lasts a couple of weeks or less and then the big fish disappear, not really to be seen in congregation until late fall.

05/03/2016 - Spanish Fishing

Q: Has the spanish showed up yet, if so what color clarks are working best. Thanks

A: They have but our charter trips have been offshore so I don't know if a certain color is keying. Best bet is to pull couple colors and see if one is getting more action.

05/02/2016 - King Reel suggestion

Q: Looking to pickup some new king reels and want your advice. Budget is $200-$300 per reel. Would prefer a reel that serves multi purpose (bottom fishing)but I know that's tough in my price range. replacing TLD15 and 20's (or potentially rebuilding and "hotrod" them Thanks!

A: We have always fished Speedmasters but for some reason Shimano quit making them. We are replacing those with Shimano Torium HG. Also Brant is giving a $25 gift card on the purchase of each reel to offset them being a little more expensive than the Speedmaster.

05/01/2016 - red drum

Q: I fish mostly artificial bait. Gulps, topwater plugs, and other lures. I seem to catch mostly flounder and speckled trout. Can you give me some advice on catching more red drum on artificials? Methods, locations, ect....

A: Capt Jacob, this one is your world. Please answer.

05/01/2016 - Wind on planer rig

Q: I bought one of the wind one planer leader/bridle setups for wahoo, but the planer won't stay down for more than a minute or two. I've tried different speeds anddifferent directions into the sea. I can't figure it out. I've always used planers on my downrigger or directly to the main line. Help me out here. Thanks

A: Sounds like something is tripping it, most likely the lure you are running. Are you using a swimming plug that's not running straight? Or maybe a lure head that is too heavy. Unless the set up is not correct, that's all I can think of that would cause you that problem.

04/29/2016 - Boone bird

Q: Should there always be a boone bird with a green machine in the mahi spread? Also when it is in the spread where should it be located? In the middle of the spread and far back or what? Thanks.

A: That's a good one to add to your spread. Run it WAY back of your other lines. often it will get the bite you want.

04/28/2016 - dolphin

Q: Where would be the Hot bite for Dolphin this weekend, thank you

A: sorry late on your question. this time of year they are everywhere along the break. Its always a good idea to look at temp charts and see if there is a sharp temp break. Pretty much where we go this time of year is based on sea conditions and which direction will give us the best ride.

04/28/2016 - Blue water trolling rods

Q: When it comes to trolling for wahoo/tuna do you recommend roller rods or are ring eyes okay? Also do you guys run some wire leaders and some fluro leaders or all wire when trolling offshore? Thanks alot.

A: I don't see necessity for roller guides unless we are targeting super big fish like Marlin or Bluefin Tuna. In the winter, late fall, and early spring when we are targeting wahoo we use wire leaders. Rest of time mono and fluro if we think mahi are seeing a lot of baits and thus shy [and thus assume risk of cutoff].

04/25/2016 - Jinks Creek fishing?

Q: I and my family will be down May 5th - May 14th. We will be staying near Driftwood Dr. Other than crabbing what can we and the kids fish for from the bank or dock? What bait and what fish should we be looking to catch? When is the best time (high tide?) AM or PM? Looking forward to trying your restaurant. Thanks

A: Flounder are starting to show in the creeks and will get better everyday as water warms. Carolina rig with mud minnow best bet or artificials. Check in at OIFC to find out what is hot articifical when you get here. Mid incoming to high tide and falling from high will be best so there is water in the creek. Fresh tilefish on menu at OIFCO. Thanks.

04/24/2016 - Mahi-Mahi

Q: I have a 23 foot boat, how for off shore is my best chance to catch Mahi, I leave out of little river inlet.

A: Early season Mahi will be along continental break[approx. 60 miles]. As summer progresses they will move inshore and can be caught in places like Jungle, Shark Hole, Horseshoe.

04/22/2016 - Mahi mahi spread

Q: Could you please give me a mahi mahi setup with 5 rods in detail with the specific lures and speed please? Thanks really appreciate it.

A: Our charter boats use Shimano TLD 25's with 50lb braid and 100 yeards 50 lb mono as top shot, Star 15-30lb rods. A inexpensive lite outfit that will catch most anything that swims our guld stream waters. Bluewater candy bright colored lure heads over rigged ballyhoo. Trolling speed is based on sea conditions but if you are yanking your baits out of the water you are going too fast. Mahi will be showing up in large numbers any day now on continental break[150-250 ft deep].

03/28/2016 - What's biting

Q: Captain Jacob................. Joe Hoying here. I went out on a charter with you about a year ago. I coming down from Ohio Thursday March 31st to fish for week. I was wondering what is biting right now, on what and if the recent rain has been affecting the fishing (inshore and close to off shore? Also, will fiddler crabs and oysters work for sheephead? Will bluecrab quarters work for redfish? Thank you for your time and advise.

A: Joe, The bite has been decent with smaller trout just before the rain hit us. Fiddler craps and oysters should work great on sheepshead and black drum. Crab quarters should be good for the redfish as we did catch a few on Saturday with that technique. Live mud minnows also caught a few reds on Friday and Saturday. Lots of small bluefish are hanging around as well. Throwing bright colored soft plastics on light jig heads should get some action from the blues and trout. Thanks, Capt. Jacob

03/28/2016 - boat surface protection

Q: Hello, I was down for 2 weeks last May and kept my boat in the water during that time(Tubbs inlet. When I took it out I was amazed at the growth on the hull which has proven very difficult to remove. Is there any product I can apply to inhibit growth on my hull? Or to make it easier to clean afterward? (coming back this May)

A: you can put bottom paint. or every few days you can get in the water with a brush and brush off beginning buildup of barnacles

03/28/2016 - Gulf stream

Q: Planning a trip to Gulf Stream next weekend out of lockwood...any suggestions on a place to go? Looking to catch wahoo/dolphin. Thanks

A: its all about finding the temperature break and this time of year warm water. check out the water temp sites we have on our web site

03/20/2016 - Spring Break

Q: Coming down to OIB from March 26th-April 2nd. The weather right now doesn't look too good, so what's the best bet inshore if/when the conditions go bad this time of year?

A: a few flounder starting to show up in Tubbs inlet. A few trout at jetties. If you can get a few miles offshore, sea bass bite is good

03/18/2016 - Line color

Q: What color line do you use for King fishing?. Does it make a difference on a downrigger?

A: We have won 3 King Mack national championships and each one was with a different color. My favorite is probably smoke. Shouldn't make a diff on downriggers as typically you have 12 feet of floro in front of your bait.

03/16/2016 - reels

Q: I am wanting to get rid of bulky 50 wides and get smaller stronger reels that seem to be used more nowadays. i like the shimano talicas a lot. what would your suggestion be as far as rod reel and line combo. doesn't have to be a talica but something along those lines. im sure you get what i mean.

A: For gulf stream fishing[wahoo/dolphin/ect] on our charter boats we use Shimano TLD 25 with 50 or 80lb braid with 100 yards of same size mono. Reel is lite, cheap, and with the braid, you can hold enough line to catch anything that swims our waters.

03/15/2016 - Civil war wreck

Q: Wondering how far the wreck is off the beach and if they are GPS numbers for it....I've fished the area for 25 years and excited for the find..thx

A: I don't know but might be a good place to catch a big fall king.

03/14/2016 - gulf stream

Q: What is the ideal set up for gulf stream fishing? give me three options. something that will work then middle grounds then high end. Thanks!

A: On our charter boats we use Shimano TLD 25's with 50 or 80lb braid with 100 yards same size mono on top. It's a lite, inexpensive outfit, and has line capacity to catch anything that swims our waters[except Bluefin]. You can upgrade to higher end Shimano and spend as much money as you want, but that outfit is all you need.

03/13/2016 - Wahoo spread

Q: What's the best wahoo spread in your opinion with 5 rods? Thanks

A: 2 planner downriggers on corners, 2 torpedo weighted medium, and 1 long surface bait. Dark colors rigged with swimming ballyhoo's.

03/13/2016 - Wahoo spread cont.

Q: And what speed would you troll with that spread? Thanks

A: as fast as you can while keeping bait/lures in the water. depends on sea conditions but typically around 5 kts

03/09/2016 - New To Coastal Fishing

Q: I am coming to your area in the middle of May. I am used to fishing in lakes and ponds...what type of rod and tackle do I need? Can I fish from the shore?

A: You can fish from the beach front or in the intercoastal and catch flounder/redfish/blues/ect. Just a simple spinning outfit suited for 12lb test line is all you need. We have inexpensive outfits for that purpose at OIFC.

03/08/2016 - Inshore topwater

Q: With the weather warming up, do you think it is likely to get some topwater strikes inshore right now. Reds, trout,...ect.

A: Sure, topwater action should start to happen any day...smaller zara spooks, skitter walks, and small poppers should work...water temp is mid 50's right now, by early next week it should hit the 60's and that should get the fish fired up.

03/08/2016 - charter boat

Q: What is the best headboat or group boat for gulfstream fishing trips out of Myrtle Beach around March 11-13? The last two years I’ve taken my grandson out on the ½ day fishing boats and both times came home extremely disappointed. I really want to go out and actually catch some BIG fish for a change; and if at all possible stay under $400. Thanks in advance. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

A: Our boats are all private charter wherein you charter the boat and have your group on board[up to six]. A much different experience than head boats, but certainly more expensive. Cameron Sabastion's Little River Offshore fleet does a good job with his headboats.

03/06/2016 - Wahoo

Q: How's the wahoo fishing doing now? Planning a trip for late March. What spots would u suggest? Thanks

A: We've had the best late fall/winter wahoo fishing I can remember in my 40+ years fishing this area. Right now, it appears the body of fish are north of the steeples. They move around, probably following bait Best to check with us closer to your departure and you can get a current report from our charter boats who should be making trips offshore by then.

03/06/2016 - King spots

Q: I am hoping to explore out past my normal range of the " jungle and sharkhole" this year. I would like to find some more options in deeper water. Can you guys help me out with some names and coordinates?

A: see prior post

03/06/2016 - King spots

Q: I am hoping to explore out past my normal range of the " jungle and sharkhole" this year. I would like to find more options in deeper water. Can you guys help me out with some names and coordinates? " will be leaving out of little river. Thank you

A: If going to the break[approx. 60 miles]McMarlen Ledge, Scarf/100-400/BlackJack are the spots to go. If going 40-50 miles best to get a ProFinder chart. Any rocky area is what you are looking for and we helped put the ProFinder chart together with the local spots.

03/06/2016 - Shallotte inlet

Q: Is the shallotte inlet passable at low tide or high tide only. I'm in a 30 foot center console and plan to fish a complete of the tournaments this year.

A: We have no problem with Shallotte Inlet with outboard boats. The NC Wildlife folks work with us to keep buoys in good position.

03/04/2016 - Navagation

Q: I am interesting in fishing a couple of the upcoming events this year from OIFC but had a question regarding the inlets. I have a 30 foot cc and was wondering which inlet is the best to use in your area. I have heard bad thing about the Lockwwod folly and Shalotte inlets but I do not know if its just rumors or not. I have also heard it my be worth going out of Littleriver. Any information would be help as I willing be bringing boat by trailer from Charlotte and renting a house. Just want to make a good decision based off of you guys who do these inlets often. Thanks

A: If you are fishing a center console Shallotte Inlet is fine as our friends at NC Wildlife Resources do a excellent job keeping the buoys in proper order. However when you get here, check with us at OIFC, as storms come and buoys go, so best to get a updated report when you are here.

03/03/2016 - Hot inshore spots

Q: I'll be down in oib from March 5-12 and was wondering if there's any new spots heating up or places worth checking out. Thanks a lot for all your help! Really helpful!!

A: This time of year offshore water has cooled so would pretty much have to go 50+ miles to get to game fish. Best game right now is sea bass in 65'feet +- of water. This is time of year we catch the big ones, at any of the King Mack spots

02/29/2016 - lure

Q: for wahoo fishing. can you explain from Hook to reel line? connections in between. hook, wire etc. thanks

A: standard program is 108+- Malin straight wire, approx. 4-6 feet, haywired to your hook, spro 80lb swivel tied to your running line. For natural bait, we use the simple bait rings for rigging the ballyhoo.

02/23/2016 - wire

Q: When you tournament king fish, what lb. wire do you prefer and do you use single or 7 strand titanium wire.

A: typically 40lb titanium[single]

02/23/2016 - Deep Sea Fishing Prices

Q: Hello, I was curious to learn about your deep sea fishing rates, if any, and group rates as well for the end of May, if available? All the best, Brianna

A: All the rates are shown on the web site under charter fishing. If you need more info email Thanks.

02/14/2016 - Spanish mackerel

Q: i watched your show 'no limits fishing' and there were a couple episodes where you guys also put out a lure for kings.. What would work???? Would a cedar plug or a rapala x rap work? i saw that you used a drone spoon, do you just leave it on the surface with no planer or weight?? thanks

A: The favorite food of Kings is Spanish so it makes good sense to throw a bigger lure in the spread[way back] when pulling for Spanish. You want to use a swimming plug like a rapala or drone spoon. You have to match the lure to the trolling speed so if lure is jumping out of the water, will need to try something with more digging action. No weight on drone. Doesn't happen every time, but occasionally you will get the big surprise of a king bite while Spanish trolling.

02/09/2016 - Preferred late winter-early spring red-fish tatics

Q: What is your favorite bait and rig set up for this time of year red-fish? Very familiar with fall fishing just new to winter tactics.

A: My favorite? The one that makes them bite! There are quite a few ways to get redfish to bite this time of year if you can find the fish. The most consistent rig that most successful anglers use this time of year is simply tying on a light jig head...1/8th ounce to 1/4 ounce...maybe as heavy as 3/8 ounce in some areas with deeper water and stronger current...tip these light jig heads with soft plastics like Gulp, Sea Assassins,and live mud minnows pinned to a light jig head can be productive this time of year. The Vudu mullet and Vudu shrimp are productive lures this time of year made by Egret Baits. 1/8 ounce and 1/4 ounce gold spoons will also work this time of year. The biggest key to all of it this time of year is finding the fish. In most winters these fish will be packed up in large schools and won't move very much from day to day. That is the way it is suppose to be...I have noticed the last few winters that our redfish population in our immediate area has stayed on the move. I am not sure why...more fishing pressure, conditions, boat traffic? We did have some new young guns start gigging speckled trout hard in our area about two years ago and that will most certainly put pressure on the redfish as well as moving them from spot to spot making them very shy too. It is more of a hunting trip in the winter...once finding the fish you can usually get at least a few to bite with the lures I mentioned above. Where is good hunting? Shallow water 6 inches to 4 feet are the most productive places during the winter. Good Luck! See ya on the water!

02/07/2016 - Fishing line

Q: I was wondering what the best fishing line, or your favorite line for inshore fishing from reds to flounders is.

A: I personally like braided line for my main line...I use two types, Power Pro 20#(drum and flounder) test and Berkley Fire line Crystal 10# test(trout) leader material I use Seaguar Red Label in 10#(trout) test 12# test 15#(Flounder and drum) test and 20# test depending on target species and conditions...I use a double uni to connect my leader material to my braided line.

02/03/2016 - rodeo

Q: do you know when the trophy will be ready to pickup

A: Rickey, you want to answer that one?

01/29/2016 - June Fishing Trip

Q: I'll be vacationing with my family on Holden Beach the week of Jun 19th. I'd like to book a charter trip early in that week to be able to put a few fillets on the table. What kind of "eaters" are available this time of year? Also, any recommendations for fishing from land/piers for the remaining days I'm there? Thanks in Advance!

A: Mid June is a great time of the year to do 1/2 day trips where you may catch King Mackerel/Spanish Macks/Cobia/Sea Bass. You only have to fish 10 miles or so offshore. On the land/beach, you may catch flounder/redfish with live mud minnows or live mullet or blues/sharks on cut bait. If you want to book trip contact

01/23/2016 - tournament fishing

Q: The tournaments that OIFC hosts, are they relaxed family friendly type tournaments? My kids are finally big enough to participate!!!!

A: The entire focus of our tourneys are getting kids involved in the sport. Prizes are specifically structured to encourage fishermen to take the whole family. There are special pre-tourney events for the kids[rock the Dock and Jr. Jolly Mon]

01/07/2016 - horseshoe

Q: Approximately how far from shallotte inlet is the area know as the horseshoe. Thanks for all you do to help us stay on the fish

A: approx. 25 miles

01/05/2016 - Shalotte Inlet

Q: We charted with you guys back in the summer and ran out of Shalotte Inlet. I should have paid more attention to navigating that pass since I am new to the boating world. What is the best ways to go in and out of Shalotte Inlet? Any expert tips? Do the tides dictate when to and not to go through this inlet?

A: Wildlife folks keep buoys pretty accurate. Maybe hug the Holden side to stay away from the west bar. Only problem is on a strong southerly wind/swell and strong outgoing tide.

12/29/2015 - Wahoo

Q: How far out offshore do I need to go out for wahoo? Do I need a downrigger? Planning to troll with ballyhoo around 6 knots

A: You need to go to the break, approx. 60 miles. 100/400/ Blackjack/Scarf. It is good to use a planner to get bait down deeper.

12/23/2015 - Kings

Q: Planning on heading out after christmas, where is the closest place to Lockwood to catch a few king mackerel. Thanks for everything you guys do.matt

A: They should still be at Horseshoe area. Take your Bluefin gear; they could also be there.

12/22/2015 - Grouper Rigs

Q: I just finished watching the final No Limits show for this year. Can you describe the grouper rig that was used during the show? I plan to tie rigs over the winter and would like to know how to tie them. Also, if you dont mind can you share the line and hook size too. Thanks in advance.

A: We use a 3-way swivel, approx. 10 feet of 100lb mono and a lighter 1 foot mono[30lb] to tie on sinker on other drop of the 3-way. That way, if you get sinker hung up, it will break saving the rig. Hook size is based on size of bait you are using. We like pinfish or pogies and typically a 9/0 circle hook. Sometime if grouper finicky we use a smaller hook. Best bet is if you can get one of our rigs and use it as a guide.

12/19/2015 - Sea Bass

Q: I feel like I am asking a ton of questions but i am new and trying to learn. What are some good points for Sea Bass weather dependent this time of year? Is Box Cars good and what other points nearshore? Thanks and Merry Christmas!

A: We thank you for your questions; if we're not fishing nothing we like better than to talk fishing. Sea Bass in winter can be caught close in at the artificial reefs off our coast. If you can push out 12-15 miles you will find the 2-3 pounders. They will be on same rocks/ledges where we King fish. Shark Hole/Christina/Jungle/ect. Close in you should find smaller keepers at Jolly Mon Reef[AR460] or any of the artificial reefs. Get you a Profinder chart for exact locations.

12/17/2015 - Wahoo gulf stresm

Q: With the weather forecast to be mild through new years do you anticipate good gulf stream action over the Christmas break ? My self and one friend are interested in joinng a trip to the stream in the 26th or the 27th.

A: We are seeing the best wahoo fishing that I have seen or heard of in my 66 years. Amazing catches of huge wahoo. How long it will continue is of course a unknown however if weather continues to be stable fish may choose to stay where they are. Now add in the Goant Bluefin that have returned to our local waters and you can do a trip where you Bluefin fish early and then Wahoo fish later in the day. And if it doesn't work out, stop on way in and get you a seabass dinner of the biggest sea bass we see all year. Thanks Santa. Merry Christmas!

12/17/2015 - Bottom/Trolling Combo?

Q: Is it possible to have a rod and reel combo that would double for lighter gulf stream trolling as well as bottom fishing? I was thinking maybe the TLD25? If that would work, what spooling and rod option would you recommend?

A: Yes, we use that outfit on our gulf stream trips for wahoo/mahi/ect. In order to have line capacity and line strength for these larger fish[and the unexpected Blue Marlin that might show up], we spool with 80lb braid and top shot with 80/bl mono of approx. 100 yards. This give plenty of capacity to catch most anything that swims our waters in gulf stream, is a inexpensive and lighter weight outfit.It will also work fine for grouper/bottom fishing. A 30-50lb rod class will work fine. If you are close to OIFC we have those combos available.

12/16/2015 - Fishing Shallotte River

Q: How possible and safe would it be to launch a kayak at or near the bridge on hwy 130 in Shallotte and fish the high tide all the way back down to Ocean Isle? Not sure on what time of year? When would you recommend?

A: The Town of Shallotte has a dock to launch from at Town Park next door to Shallotte Plaza Shopping Center[Duffers]. Alligators should be in bed. You may catch anything from a large mouth bass to redfish and once you go under Main Street bridge will be in mostly salt water.Should find trout and red/black drum from there on to OIB.

12/08/2015 - 85ft water depth

Q: I am reading of kings biting at 85ft water depth. How far out off shore is it to get to that depth? What is minimum size boat you would take to get out that far?

A: 85 feet will be 25-30 miles off our coast. Weather is always the determining factor but don't suggest going that far in less than a 21 foot deep v center console type boat

12/01/2015 - spanish mackrel

Q: Can you still catch Spanish mackerel this time of year?

A: they are water temp sensitive and have migrated south to warmer water

12/01/2015 - Rodeo

Q: Can u give us an update on the standings in the rodeo thanks

A: Rickey??

11/12/2015 - shrimp

Q: do you still have live shrimp for sell.

A: yes

11/12/2015 - Sunday fishing

Q: Wanting to go offshore to fish for Wahoo at the scarp Sunday or Monday, what is your opinion of weather conditions, would you go?

A: Need for high pressure coming tomorrow to pass over us so wins will lay out. A NE 15 kts not real friendly in stream but maybe it will lay out. Monday probably a better bet and yes the fish are out there. wahoo bite is on

11/12/2015 - King Bait

Q: With the menhaden leaving.Can you explain how you go about getting other live bait such as greenies off the AR's.(what to look for to locate them,how to use the sabiki's, ect)

A: use 7lb sabiki around buoys at AR. Or around structure in deeper water. You will be catching cigar minnows, better than greenies.

11/07/2015 - King picture posted Saturday

Q: How many kings in the picture and where they caught out of OIFC ?

A: Those were caught ba a commercial fisherman, off Carolina Beach. I think Rickey posted the pic to show how well Kings are biting now.

11/07/2015 - Picture with tons of kings

Q: Where these the fish caught in Fall Brawl Tournament?

A: No, that was from a commercial fishermans trip

11/04/2015 - nearshore

Q: How far will I have to go to catch keeper sea bass this winter, also are grouper possible on nearshore structure.

A: you can catch keeper seabass on 3 mile reefs during winter. Grouper will move off to deep water in winter[100feet+].

11/03/2015 - winter fishing

Q: Just bought a 20ft sea hunt and wanted to know what are best bets for Nov thru Feb for fishing in our area?

A: You can catch Trout in winter months. On a flat calm day you can catch seabass on near shore artificial reefs.

10/30/2015 - pogies still around?

Q: Are the pogies still to be found off the beaches?

A: scattered and difficult to get. you will need a Capt Brant fast sinking net to catch them.

10/30/2015 - Surf Fishing

Q: Do you have any suggested locations for surf fishing between Sunset Beach and Southport? Thanks

A: best around the inlets and on east end of OIB where old roadbed is submerged

10/29/2015 - Multi-strand wire vs Single

Q: What is your take on Seven Strand or even 49 strand wire vs the old standard single wire for catching kings and other sharp-toothed fish?

A: we use both or either when fun fishing. when we tourney fish we use titanium[very expensive].what that means is when a fish really matters we don't use either

10/29/2015 - Big Red Drum

Q: Is the action with the big red drum about over? Haven't heard any reports lately.

A: pogies have been scattered lately so beach bite not so good but they are biting at Little river jetties

10/26/2015 - stream

Q: Thoughts on the stream this weekend?

A: wahoo bite should be kicking into gear. wait for back side of cold front when wind/seas lay down. fish should be on the break

10/22/2015 - Shrimp

Q: Is anyone in the area selling live shrimp?

A: not that I know of. too hard to keep alive and bait shops get killed when shrimp dies

10/22/2015 - King/Bait

Q: I am coming down this weekend (10/24 10/25)and was hoping for some help on locating bait. Also where are the kings being caught, and if there are any other hot bites going on right now. Thank you in advance this will really help my fishing trip.

A: bait is scattered along the beach. hard to catch as this time of the year the pogies are running vs schooling. You need a fast sink cast net. Blues can be caught around the pogies or inlets with clark spoon planner/Christmas tree rig. Kings are still on beach at inlets and Ocean Crest/Yaupon

10/21/2015 - trout

Q: Has the recent storm influenced any of the backwater fishing? Also will shrimp be hard to find this weekend?

A: you can find shrimp with cast net . things pretty much back to normal with water conditions

10/21/2015 - Spots

Q: The family and I will be down the week of 10/26. Are any spots being caught from OIB/SB piers.

A: haven't really showed yet, water needs to cool to mid 60's

10/19/2015 - Mono line size

Q: Looking at 20 or 30 lbs. mono line for King mackerel fishing, what do you recommend?

A: we use 20 with 25lb floro leader

10/18/2015 - kings

Q: The Kings are supposed to move back offshore soon right? About how long will it be before they do and when they do how far offshore will they be?

A: when water cools to mid 60's they will leave the beach[still there now].First stop 90's then Jungle then 32 mile rock and eventually Navy wreck area where they will stay most of winter

10/16/2015 - Inlet

Q: Is the west most track still the best after the storms? Marked still? thanks!

A: yes

10/13/2015 - wahoo

Q: When is the prime time to go off shore for wahoo, is it the far side of stream or where, thanks

A: early-mid November traditionally is best although we have had good wahoo fishing all fall. Fishing along the break is where you want to be.

10/13/2015 - Red Drum Rig

Q: What length leader & hook size do you recommend for the big reds?

A: 6 feet 20lb fluorocarbon; 3-5/o circle hook.

10/10/2015 - U.S. Open

Q: Has any one heard if it or when the U.S. Open will be rescheduled?

A: last weekend of October

10/10/2015 - U.S. Open

Q: Has any one heard if it or when the U.S. Open will be rescheduled?

A: last weekend of October

10/10/2015 - Inshore bite

Q: What and how long will the inshore bite be good. From southport to y'all or little river. Thanks.

A: when water cools down and pogies move on it will be over. my guess is next couple weeks at the most

10/09/2015 - King mackerel

Q: How far off shore would you suggest going to catch king mackerel after all of this rain?

A: they "should" be in the river channel this weekend. if not Shark Hole

10/07/2015 - Pogies after the storm

Q: Planning on fishing the Fall Brawl and curious as to the presence of pogies after all this rain.

A: there were east yesterday toward Holden and Long Beach

10/07/2015 - fishing license

Q: My family signed me up for your 4 hour fishing trip Friday. Because I currently live out of state, do I need to get a fishing license before Friday morning ????

A: not on a charter boat

10/06/2015 - Red Drum

Q: Will the recent heavy rains and coastal flooding affect the red drum bite at the Little River jetties for later this week?

A: I don't think the Red Drum worry too much about saliently so my guess they should be real hungry and with the weather stabilizing this week they should bite like bulldogs.

10/03/2015 - Fall Brawl & Weather

Q: Plan on fishing your tournament next weekend. Considering the absurd amount of rain/freshwater that will be draining into the Southport this coming week, how far offshore do you think it'll push the bait and kings? Think pogies will return to Ocean Crest area quickly? Think there will be any life at the Old Sea Buoy? Thanks for any insight. Looking forward to it!

A: Good questions. All I can suggest is remembering last time we had one of these huge rain events right before a tourney. I think it was Hurricane Floyd and we had approx. 20 inches of rain. The water in the river channel was dark brown on surface, but apparently under neath it was clear. The exteme tidal flow in the river channel will cause that water to clear up first. The result with Floyd's aftermath was that the fish bit in the river channel. It's a battle of where the fish want to be right now, impacted by the water conditions. I doubt it effects the pogies as mostly its a NE wind so surf hasn't been beat up that bad to run the bait to deeper water. If the water ends up milky either the river will clear up first, or it will be a offshore deal where fish will move to navy wreck/ect.

10/01/2015 - wahoos

Q: Do you think that this hurricane effect the wahoo bite any? Hoping to get out there and catch some once the storm passes.

A: Depends if offshore water is milky or not. If gulf stream is close to the break, the water will clear up quickly so impact minimal. If deep water is milkly then fish don't like it.

09/22/2015 - Drum at the jetties

Q: Will the best bite be on the rising or falling tice? North or South jetty? Drifting or anchored? Thanks!

A: My experience is incoming tide, south jetties. Do not anchor as you will make the other fishermen mad. Its a drift line that you take your position in and ride in with the tide and then run back out to mouth and start over.

09/20/2015 - Wahoo high speed

Q: Have you ever used ballyhoods cowbells or other high speed trolling lures? If so what has your experience been with them?

A: We use a variety of heavy head lures for high speed wahoo fishing. Bluewater Candy has some good ones. Best is dark colors[looks like little tunas]

09/12/2015 - Bottom fishing/ King mackerel

Q: I'm a 16 year old beginner fisherman I don't fell safe going out to far out by my self right now if you don't mind what are some good places to bottom fish and king mackerel fish that are not to far out

A: There are several artificial reefs from Southport to Little River within a couple miles of the beach. Jolly Mon/Yaupon/ect. Check out a Profinder chart. Kings/Barracuda/Cobia/Spanish sea bass/ect.

09/02/2015 - Gags/ Kingfish

Q: In the coming weeks/ month is it possible to get a mix bag of grouper and kingfish 20 to 30 miles out of little river inlet. Have been fishing for kingfish for the past couple of years so I kinda know what to look for but don't have a clue on the grouper. Water temps to look for etc. Thanks in advance

A: Yes, as the water cools and the Kings move back in to the 65 foot hole spots, you can catch grouper on the king rocks/ledges 65+ feet. I've caught a lot of grouper at the Shark Hole and Jungle in the fall. Atlantic ledge also a good spot.

08/28/2015 - King fishing

Q: I am very new to salt water fishing. Are cigar minnows just for trolling on the surface or can they be pulled underneath by downrigger or egg weight on line? I don't have downrigger but I have used an egg weight with a rubberband on line. Also when do the mahi bite good near the tower

A: Egg sinker is old school downrigger fishing; works just fine. You will catch many more fish in the water column than on surface with cigars. Mahi good all summer 65 feet to 100 feet around the king spots. Incidental catch, but can happen. Best run is May in the gulf stream when you can target them.

08/27/2015 - Kings/mahi

Q: Heading out of little river this weekend, looking for kings and maybe a mahi if we are lucky. Where would you head with the weather cooling down a little this week?

A: Fish are still in doldrums. I'd go to 100 feet. Best bet right now is to bottom fish. Good beeliner bite now with mixed grouper.100 feet +

08/20/2015 - the Jungle/ the 90's

Q: I was wandering how far offshore these areas were from Shallotte Inlet? Are these also great areas to find Mahi mixed in around late June/ Early July?

A: 90's approx. 7 miles offshore; jungle approx. 12 miles off. Both spots can have mahi and even sailfish in summner months

08/17/2015 - Wahoo bite

Q: Thinking about going to winyah scarp next weekend and try to catch some you think the wahoo are biting good enough to make the ride worth it?

A: there haave been some surprising good catches in last couple weeks in scarf area. Normally doesn't start clicking until water cools down. Its a hit or miss deal.

08/16/2015 - rods

Q: Hi, what is the difference in using the bent butt rods versus the standard straight rods for offshore? Thank you

A: bent butts work good on really big fish, either in a fighting chair or in the rod holder. Allows you to get better leverage on really big fish. Also work well high speed wahoo lures due to lower profile to water.

08/14/2015 - Wahoo

Q: Where are the wahoo biting so good at right now...100/400, winyah, blackjack?

A: south toward scarf/gtown hole has been best

08/12/2015 - King

Q: Are there any kings being caught at all anywhere??

A: hard to find. need to go to 100 feet +. Soon as water cools they will magically reappear in 65 feet and eventually on to the beach

08/09/2015 - oregon inlet

Q: whens the best time to head up there to catch yellowfin? White marlin?

A: We are ocean isle fishing center[Ocean Isle Beach; not Oregon Inlet].

08/07/2015 - Kings

Q: When hooking live pogies for slow trolling with a treble hook, where do you hook the pogy? I'm just starting out king fishjng and noticed that if you hook through bottom lip and come up through the top they die really fast. I heard hook them through the nostrils but that seems difficult with a treble hook. Thanks.

A: yes thru the nose is the way to hook them so they will live and swim well. If you want to shorten the learning curve on how to, sign up for Capt Brants live bait King school. Look on the OIFC web site.

08/06/2015 - OIFC

Q: Oregon Inlet Fishing Center.

A: sorry, wrong place

08/04/2015 - Wahoo

Q: When is the peak wahoo bite. For the ocean isle beach area.

A: Definitely November and March/April. They can be caught any time of the year but in those months

08/04/2015 - OIFC

Q: When is a good time to head up this way? Would like to catch some yellowfin and maybe a couple white ones?

A: OIFC[Ocean Isle Fishing Center] is located at Ocean Isle Beach, NC; the southern part of NC.

08/04/2015 - Wahoo technique

Q: When trolling specifically for wahoo would trolling ballyhoo be more effective or would trolling high speed lures be more effective? Thanks

A: I'm a bait guy but some folks do very well with the high speeds. Both work; a personal choice thing.

07/31/2015 - Flounder and Reds

Q: Gonna be staying in Ocean Isle the next week and looking to catch some flounder and redfish. What's the bite like right now? Where can i find them and what should i use?

A: Flounder bite has been pretty good. Mullet minnows or mud minnows best on Carolina rig or OIFC flounder rig. Deep holes in creeks or inlets but best to check with staff at OIFC when you get there for current info.

07/30/2015 - Spanish

Q: Where have the spanish been biting lately? And what size and color spoons have they liked lately?

A: Spanish have been very difficult this year. Hopefully when water starts to cool down they will reappear. Charter guys pretty much have given up on them for now.

07/29/2015 - ribbon fish

Q: what's the best way to use a ribbon fish? on the downrigger? are the fake ones good to use?

A: most effective on down rigger although sometimes we will run one in upper water column. Best to use a ribbon fish rig with a lead head as will make it swim better. Fake ones....negative[our fish are too smart].

07/27/2015 - Offshore

Q: Am retiring and moving to Ocean Isles relatively soon. An avid fisherman for the North East, interested in how far offshore(in nautical miles) can one catch Dolphin and Marlin? Maybe Marlin farther offshore than Dolphin which I understand have been within 20 miles last few years? Thanks guys. Steve B.

A: Marlin very rare to find inside of the break[approx. 60 miles] where water goes from 150 feet on down. We have a excellent spring run of dolphin in May/June along the break and offshore with scattered fish any month of the year. Best months for Marlin are May June also as they are feeding on Dolphin[best in 250feet-400feet] or wherever the actual gulf stream is running. During summer, dolphin will scatter into inshore waters 65 feet which we catch mixed with King Mackerel live bait slow trolling menhaden. Your best bet to learn our local area is to sign up for one of Capt Brants offshore fishing schools. Will shorten the learning curve. Look on OIFC web site for dates.

07/25/2015 - Hot spots off OIB

Q: Going to be fishing off OIB in the beginning of August with some guys that have never fished those waters. Where are the hot spots for sport fish (Dolphin, king, wahoo) and what rigs/bait should we be using. Thanks

A: Shark Hole/Jungle/York Hole/Horseshoe. Our basic fishing style is live bait lite tackle slow trolling with menhaden. If you don't have cast net to catch menhaden, use cigar minnows same slow troll technique as live bait. If fish are not at above spots, move on off to 90-100 feet at any of rock locations. Suggest you get a ProFinder Chart. We helped create the chart for PF and it will have all the local hot spots identified.

07/23/2015 - Inlet

Q: Special thanks to whoever helped get the inlet remarked. It was a mess even in a bay boat we had issues prior to relocating the buoys. I marked 10 feet at low tide last Saturday on the way to the Jungle

A: Captain Brant serves as the "unofficial" inlet master and provides info to the NC Wildlife Resources folks who for years have been very responsive to move the buoys as the inlet moves around. A tip of the hat to NCWildlife!

07/23/2015 - cayak flounder fishing

Q: im on vacation here at OIB and have a cayak that I like to take out in the canal and under the bridge, what fake bait can I use to catch flounder or bigger sized fish and where exactly to catch them?

A: come to OIFC for the current "hot" grub color. Seems to change regularly but our Captains usually on top of it.

07/22/2015 - dolphin

Q: we are planing on fishing this Friday, are the dolphin to be found at the horseshoe, are they still here? or do you suggest some where else?

A: dolphin are scattered at most of the King spots in 65'+ waters. Hard to target but may catch them while King fishing.

07/22/2015 - Blue moon

Q: How is the blue moon going to affect the fishing and tides over the next week. Thanks good fishing to all.

A: I don't know that I can say it has any impact of fish other than probably stronger tides. I can say that it definitely impacts cocktail hour. How you gonna pass up "once in a blue moon"?

07/18/2015 - Wahoo Hook Size

Q: What size hook do yall use on wire ballyhoo rigs for Wahoo? Also what size wire? Thanks

A: 90-125lb wire. 7-9/0 hooks, based on size of ballyhoo. Best to rig with inline egg under chin to make the bait "swim".

07/17/2015 - King fishing

Q: If I'm fishing with dead bait ( cigar minnows) I'm pulling them on the surface or just below the water surface?

A: you want your spread to cover as much of water column as possible. Your top lines will be just at or below the surface. Most productive will be to use downriggers. Place one a third of distance off the bottom, the other 2/3 distance off the bottom. If you don't have downriggers, use a 2oz egg sinker rubberbanded approx. 12 feet above your bait. You want to be barely moving. If your bait spins, you are going too fast or bait hooks are in a bind. Best bet is to use a lead head skirt which will make the bait swim straighter

07/16/2015 - fish

Q: whats your thoughts on fishing saturday offshore? Is is worth gulf stream run? live bait in 80 ft and bottom fish? whats best option

A: Gulf stream very much undependable this time of year. If you can't find something floating chances are not good to find fish. My choice would go to 110 feet, anchor, chum, live pogies, kite, bottom fish. Catch everything that swims.

07/09/2015 - Near shore

Q: I saw where some dolphin and kings caught at the 65 ft holes any chance those fish will move to 50 ft depths near the 90s ? My boat stretches it to make it to the 65 ft holes. I can fish the 90s on a good day !

A: Yes, we catch them at the 90's this time of year. Same technique/bait as King fishing.

07/08/2015 - Surf sharks

Q: What's the best bait and rig to fish for sharks on the surf? Any tips to help me catch a few? Also is there anywhere in particular to fish or should everywhere produce?

A: you need a shark rig with wire leader and strong hook. we have them at OIFC pre-made. Around inlets will be best place to fish

07/07/2015 - Sharks from the surf

Q: What's the best bait and rig for catching decent sized sharks from the surf? Anywhere in particular to fish at?

A: We have a basic shark rig at OIFC. According to the media...they're everywhere! Probably best around the inlets.

07/06/2015 - What channel does the oifc use

Q: Just seeing what channel y'all use on the radio mainly and what color skirts have you been using to catch mahi. What are the kings hitting also color

A: 19 mostly unless it is too crowded. Skit colors...use bright colors on bright days and darker colors on darker days. Purpose of skirt is to help the fish find and/or see the bait. Noise attractor skirts are good in less clear water[yeehaw fish call]

07/02/2015 - Inshore bite

Q: Where's the best place to catch flounder trout and redfish this weekend

A: with all the boat traffic you will need to go up the rivers and creeks to get off the interstate highway conditions

07/02/2015 - Moon phase

Q: I have read different things online dealing with the full moon phase. I was wondering what you guy's thought about it and how it affects our fishery. Mainly talking inshore species.

A: That's Jacobs world but when you have full moon tides are higher and lower than normal and current is stronger. Weighin Jacob??

07/01/2015 - Sharks

Q: Have some kids that just want to catch something big! Where is the best place along the beach to catch some decent sharks?

A: Listening to news stories, they are everywhere. Not sure what you might expect from beachgoers if you pull out the shark gear. Maybe better night time activity.

07/01/2015 - Kayak fishing

Q:  I'm bringing my kayak down this weekend and I was wondering what is biting and what is the hot Bait and wear some close by places I could catch them

A: Is you are fishing intercoastal, you can fish Carolina rig with live mullet or mud minnows or cast a grub. Best to check in at OIFC and ask what the hot color is. Seems to change regularly based on what fish are feeding on at different times of the year. If in ocean, gotchas or Clark spoons will produce spanish/blues.

06/30/2015 - Bouy and depths at inlet

Q: I am coming down July 17th for a week and am really looking forward to getting there. Two years ago when I was there the buoys had washed I had no idea but found out the hard way. Have they had time to dredge it or should I bring a disk harow with me. Do y'all have any custom chips avalible in store. And will you have live shrimp by then thanks I'll be there feeling up with gas and ice. Hard to beat the oifc team inside thank y'all.

A: We won't be able to get live shrimp until the fall, however you can catch them with a cast net along the bank in the creeks off intercoastal. The inlet buoys are in place, however there is a outer bar at the last seaward buoys. On a strong outgoing tide, and a strong incoming wind[south], it will show white water. We don't have any problem with our outboards. Also there is a secondary channel[not marked] that is occurring as a result of dregging project couple years ago. Best bet is to explore your chosen path on calm days so you can find exactly where you want to run. Basic rule of boating....stay away from white water.

06/30/2015 - Using balloons and live bait

Q: I watched your video on how to use balloons and live bait. Just wondering if now is a good time to try it and where is a good place to start with it. Trying to catch some kings for the first time this year.

A: Perfect time to try it. Pick a artificial reef in your range, or a hard bottom area. Anchor, chum, put kite out,live bait and hold on. You should find Kings/Cobia/AJ's/Sharks.

06/29/2015 - Shark fishing

Q: What variety of shark rigs do you have and how much do they cost?

A: we have the basic shark rig that is what you would use to target sharks

06/28/2015 - Shark fishing

Q: Hi, I will be in Ocean Isle from July 12 to the 19. I was anxious to try surf fishing for decent size sharks at night, what bait do you suggest? I am using 50 pound test and was wondering what rig I needed. Could I buy a rig that would work when I get down there or should I purchase one before I come? Thank you

A: We have shark rigs at OIFC. Cut bait works good.

06/25/2015 - cigar minnows

Q: When trolling with dead cigar minnows, what is the best way to keep them from spinning? I make my own king rigs, so could the rig be the problem?

A: the cigar will spin if the hooks are not in a straight line, with the bait in a straight line. If it is in a bind it will spin. Also if you troll too fast it will spin. Your speed is same as slow trolling live bait, one engine engaged as slow as you can go. It will help to use a lead head as your lead hook to keep the bait head down, and will make it run straighter.

06/24/2015 - Sharks

Q: Which sharks are best for eating?

A: I haven't gotten that hungry but I hear Mako is good. We try to catch/release sharks. I've also heard Blacktips are ok.

06/24/2015 - This weekends fishing

Q: How does the weather look for deep sea fishing look for this weekend

A: weather is dynamic. You need to make your plans as close to departure time as is possible.

06/23/2015 - drag question

Q: how many pounds do you set your reels for kingfish tournament? what the best way to do this? scale? I just tie set amount of weights to the line and lift up like I'm fighting a fish.

A: just a few pounds of drag[you can easily pull line out] we set by feel, plenty of latitude and partly based on size of bait you are using, current/ect.

06/23/2015 - downrigger question

Q: how much line do you pay out before clipping the line to the release clip? also what depths do you put each bait at? how many lbs is each downrigger ball that you use?

A: 25-30 feet break water columns down in 1/3's. Bottom third, middle third, top water third 8-10lbs

06/23/2015 - bait rigging

Q: when do you guys bridle your baits?

A: big tuna fishing or marlin fishing. kite fishing

06/23/2015 - cast net

Q: how do you throw your net? you put in your mouth or over you shoulder?

A: both. lead in your mouth, bulk of net over shoulder

06/23/2015 - line color

Q: I noticed you guys use pink line sometimes and other times different colors. is there a reason?

A: not really. depends on what feels lucky or availablity

06/23/2015 - hook size

Q: a lot if guys down here use small hooks like 1/0 or 2/0....what size do you guys in tournament? I know you use different sizes....what's the biggest you go up to and the smallest you go down to

A: you don't identify the species? If trolling for wahoo/mahi typically a 7-9/0. Live bait King fishing a #4 3 treble. Need more info??

06/21/2015 - fishing off the piers

Q: My family will be down for vacation the week of July 4. My kids have decided that they want to spend some time fishing off the piers. They are relatively new to fishing. Can you provide any quick basic advice on techniques/tackle/bait etc. I hope this quesdtion is not too broad, but any information to help get us started will be appreciated. We will stop by when we arrive for more detail.

A: 2 dropper chicken rig with cut shrimp for the kids to catch small pan fish or small sharks. A Carolina rig with live mud minnows for flounder. All available at OIFC.

06/21/2015 - Teasers

Q: where is a squid daisy chain most effective? Is it the best used on an outrigger?

A: it will run better with a little elevation but you want to be able to get to it to yank it out of the water when a fish comes on to it so you can switch the fish to your bait which you want to drop right behind the teaser where the fish is at

06/19/2015 - Is there bait on the beach?

Q: Are there plenty of menhaden on the beach front? Any particular place to start looking? And are there any cobia hanging out around the balls? They seem to be thin around Wrightsville and I heard there were more on your side of the river. Thanks

A: bait is thick. cobia are just starting to show well at normal king spots and in bait pods along the beach

06/17/2015 - rod blank

Q: What rod blanks do you guys like for kings? I'm looking for a soft tip and lots of back bone just don't know much about the type of blanks that are used. do you use composite or e glass or a combination of both

A: we use Star Aerial 15-30 light actin rods for our King fishing

06/17/2015 - Jollymon weather

Q: Are these thunderstorms for this weekend projected to come in late of an evening?

A: yes

06/17/2015 - New Fishing Reports

Q: I have had a vacation home at Sunset Beach for years and always read your reports and fishing tips. We have sold our SB place and recently purchased another vacation home at Topsail Island. Is there a website I can follow up there that has fishing reports like ya'll?

A: Try East Coast Sports

06/15/2015 - reels

Q: Curious why you guys use speedmasters in tournaments. I use them all the time when fun fishing, but we have nicer reels for tounaments. wouldn't Trinadads be a better choice? I know they are 4x the price, but you guys have the best of everything except the reels.

A: We have fished Speedmasters for many years, and I would respectfully say, the results speak for themselves. However, there are much nicer/better reels such as the Trinidad's, and we highly recommend them. We typically replace our Speedmasters every couple years, so although we may not be using top of the line equipment, we do make sure what we are using is in perfect condition. The reel you use is just a personal preference thing. Whats important is it have a fast retrieve ratio and a good smooth drag system.

06/15/2015 - titanium leader

Q: what do you guys think about titanium leader? what pound test? Would you crimp or tie?

A: like it. 40lb . we tie it

06/15/2015 - stinger rig question

Q: what do you think about a J hook for a stinger instead or a treble?

A: if using a real big bait like a bluefish, blue runner, mullet/ect, we will use a jhook for lead. Not reverse. However if you are fishing IGFA standards, the treble is not allowed.

06/15/2015 - flatline question

Q: adding a release clip to the down rod so when it pops the clip it drops back. We zip tie the release clip above the reel to the rod. Good idea or bad?

A: depends on species. if a striking fish like a king or wahoo, no. if a fish that eats a bait like a dolphin, cobia, sailfish, then yes

06/15/2015 - windon with rubber band

Q: what do you think about adding a rubber band below the weight on a down rod. so you can windon all the way to the wire?

A: yes, we do that with torpedo heavy weights when wahoo fishing in order to get a bait down deep and be able to keep the weight away from the bait[20+ feet].

06/15/2015 - practicing gaffing

Q: weird question. any tricks for someone who does get to fish a lot on how to practice gaffing. To get better at throwing a net you can throw in grass. Any practice gaffing techniques?

A: good question. practice is good to learn a smooth pattern of placing the gaff into the fish. any object will work that you can penetrate the gaff into. just a smooth motion is what you want, from top to down. not down to up and never gaff over your line[come in behind it]

06/14/2015 - Kings/Cobias/AJ's

Q: Me and my dad have had success in the Spanish Mackeral fishery off the Holden, OIB, and Sunset beachfronts. With this success obviously comes a desire to venture further out for bigger species. I wanted to see what you all think is the best spot and method to catch Kings, Cobia, or even an AJ. We’ve got plenty of live and dead bait king rigs. The only real set back we have is our 20 foot dual console boat. We’re looking at possibly going out this Wednesday morning with the seas looking pretty calm. What local spots are easiest to access in a smaller boat, if we wanted to look for a King or Cobia, and which bait is the best choice this time of year? Thanks for all your help.

A: live pogies or dead cigars. 90/90 5-6 miles off should be a good spot this time of year. any of the AR's can produce cobia this time of year

06/14/2015 - Questionable weather

Q: I know it's far off but on a day like thursday if it were to stay the same with 15 kt winds out of SW at 3-4ft nearshore, but 5-15 kt winds offshore at 2-3ft, would we be able to have an ok day going about 25 miles off and fishing in a 28ft boat? Or would it be a bad day for fishing? Thanks

A: I would think the day you describe would be fine in your size boat.

06/14/2015 - Near shore

Q: I have a 20 foot near shore boat/bay boat so I don't like to be to far of shore around ten miles or less. Is there any good fishing around that distance? I read about tom mcglammory reef and was wondering how far out it was and is was any good fishing? Thanks

A: The weather always is the answer to that question. If it flat you can venture out a ways. McGlamery is approx. 4 miles out. Yaupon is a couple. Jolly Mon is 3 miles. Lots of good reefs and good bottom within a few miles. Pushing out 10 miles with a bay boat requires a real good weather forecast and confidence in the forecast by you.

06/13/2015 - Cast Net

Q: What is a good cast net to catch bait. Any preference on material, mono or nylon? What size diameter and mesh size. I will be throwing this net from a boat. Thanks

A: depends on what bait you after. if you are fishing off shore and want big pogys you need a 10'fast sink net[our custom made nets are the best]. If you fishing inside and just want mullet minnows, a 4 or 6 foot inexpensive net is all you need.

06/13/2015 - rodeo

Q: could u update the rodeo and post standings on web site for the people who r not there to se e what they are thanks

A: will ask Rickey to do so

06/11/2015 - Shark Fishing

Q: Will be in Holden's Beach last of July and have a couple of young boys coming with me. I was wanting to find some sharks for them to pull on. What would be a good place to try and find one for them to fight. Thanks

A: around the inlets is good. cut bait on bottom or a filet of a Spanish or blue. also probably will catch them on beach front. lots of sharks this year

06/11/2015 - Stream

Q: Planning a stream trip next week and was wondering if the Dolphin still biting at the steam and if so where would the best bet be to get them. Thanks

A: best bet is to look at current temp chart and go to where you see best temp break. also dolphin moving closer in now to king mack spots and often can catch a few king fishing. if in deep water and not finding them on the break, look around for anything floating. they will key to floating objects this time of year especially

06/10/2015 - Bait

Q: hows the pogys looking off holden beach? Is there plenty of em this year?

A: yep thick

06/08/2015 - Inshore

Q: I will be visiting Ocean Isle for the first time near the end of the month. Where are some good spots to do some inshore/backwater fishing- I'll be on foot. Thanks!

A: either inlet will be best. there is a public pier on east end

06/07/2015 - redfish

Q: coming to Ocean Isle on the week of June 27 for a week. Would like to ask about Redfishing for 1/2 a day during the week. Is this a good time for reds? Do you have a guide for 1/2 day for 2 people?

A: yes, call[905753474] or email

06/07/2015 - Kings, mahi, cobia

Q: How's the Kings, mahi, and Cobia biting about 30 miles off in approx. 80 feet of water? Thanks.

A: kings are showing good at shark hole/jungle/ect. cobia are moving in, should be good in next week

06/05/2015 - Inshore/nearshore

Q: I was wondering where would be the best place to go to catch flounder, trout and redfish? Also was wondering if the Spanish/ kings are on the beach yet?

A: Spanish are here; kings are also showing around near shore reefs and at shark hole and jungle. flounder/trout/reds tubs inlets, Shallotte inlet, creeks

06/02/2015 - shrimp

Q: we will be in the area the week of the 13-20 is it possible to catch shrimp form shore with a cast net

A: Try the sandy banks of the creeks off of the intercoastal.

06/01/2015 - amount of people on a boat.

Q: A friend of min has a 23 foot mckee craft boat that we are getting ready to put in the water in the next few weeks. This summer we hope to get expirence catching kings and hopefully next year fish some tournaments. with the boat being small I was thinking of no more than 4 people on the boat. What would you reccomend?

A: A 3 man crew works well on a 23; 4 is ok. 5 getting too crowded. Come see us at OIFC. Love to get new folks turned on to King fishing. Good how to's on our web site.

05/25/2015 - Stream

Q: Any luck in the stream this past saturday on the 23rd?

A: our boats didn't fish the stream. dolphin should be good thru mid-late june

05/23/2015 - Shallotte Inlet

Q: Just checking on low tide water and buoy locations since the storm.

A: All is good

05/22/2015 - Kings

Q: Have the king mackerel showed up yet?

A: yep, been some caught on the beach around Yaupon, some at Shark Hole and some at Jungle.

05/21/2015 - Weather for stream

Q: Planning a trip to the stream. How's the weather looking for Saturday and Sunday. Do yall have any charters planning to go?

A: sorry I'm late; hope you caught them good

05/20/2015 - Shallotte Inlet

Q: Just checking on to see the water depth at low tide to get out to the ocean at Shallotte Inlet

A: should be 3 feet; not a problem for outboards.

05/20/2015 - tomorrow whether

Q: Whats your opinion of tomorrows whether, we are trying to schedule a 100/400 trip?

A: Looks ok to me but best plan is if you think its ok, stick your nose out and if actual conditions are ok then you go. should be a SW tail wind coming home. We get on the water, determine which way the swell is running, and either head toward southeast spots or southwest or south spots. Like for there to be a southerly wind coming home as that normaly is stable and gives a tail wind rather than a head sea.

05/20/2015 - topwater

Q: What is the best tide to get topwater strikes? Does it matter about the tide? Also what type of area is holding trout right now.

A: Early morning, late afternoon, or overcast days seem to be best for topwater action...however, with such dirty water conditions loud topwater plugs may be more productive than other lures right now. I have always done better with trout closer to high tide near the grass lines and around submerged oyster bars. We did actually catch a few trout yesterday to my surprise...of course it is time, maybe even past time for their first spawn. I am afraid the salinity levels are delaying the spawning action. Topwater action should be fair during high water conditions early in the morning or late in the afternoons...trout typically like to hang around sandy points during the pre spawning process...a few days before or after the new and full moon phases are the best time to drill a nice one! Capt. Jacob

05/20/2015 - Wahoo in later months

Q: Which later month does the wahoo bite the best? Also, would high speed trolling about 12 kts with wahoo lures be the best bet or would slower trolling with ballyhoo be better? Should we always have at least one down line when fishing for wahoo or could we run them all towards the top with only a little depth with the weight of the head?

A: November and March I would say are best months but you can catch them any month. Everything you suggested is good. If no concentration of fish then high speed covers more ground. Sometimes they will bite better at high speed, but sometimes they want a bait. Getting a bait down deeper is always good. Experimentation is key till you find what works that day.

05/19/2015 - Boone Birds

Q: Would attaching a cedar plug to a Boone bird for mahi this time of year be a good combination? Or would you recommend something else? Also would a daisy chain of cedar plugs work good this time of year?

A: Rather than attach a cedar plug to a bird, I would use a green machine. The bird probably negatively impacts the action of a cedar plug which is designed to dart around in the water. A daisy chain of cedars works well, particularly in rough water as added weight keeps the lure in the water and it is more visible.

05/19/2015 - Fishing reports

Q: How do we get onto your fishing reports page? Do we just email Yall pictures and the information?

A: Yes

05/18/2015 - Sunset Bridge

Q: Hey Guys, I cannot remember the rules about fishing under the bridge. I know there's a tactic related to how much of the pilings are showing (based on water depth). I've heard you should fish when you can see light or the opposite. Which one is it? I hope this makes sense. Thanks for all you do. I read your site daily. See you in a couple of weeks.

A: Any time the water is moving is a good time to stop at the bridge. The low tide periods seem to be more productive which will expose the cement columns under the main slab. Allowing anglers to see light under the main slab...At the same time the water has been really dirty at low tide lately and the cleaner water has been near high tide. I have witnessed a good bite their near high tide at times as well. The Sunset Beach bridge area is a great area and worth a stop if you are headed that way. Conditions change all the time and good fishermen usually have a good idea how to make changes with those conditions. Moving water is always preferred and low water conditions have traditionally been more productive in that area. However, don't get caught up doing the same thing over and over, unless it is working. Capt. Jacob

05/18/2015 - ICW fishing

Q: We're coming to Little River, SC next for vacation, and staying at a house right on the intracoastal waterway. The owner has a dock but is not a fisherman. What might I be able to catch? And what tips would you offer? Thanks!

A: Red drum, flounder, speckled trout and black drum are all possibilities depending on the water depth around the dock. Small croaker, spots, and pinfish will most likely keep you busy as well with fresh cut shrimp rigged on bottom rigs with small hooks. If you are after the top four more glamorous species mentioned minnows and live shrimp are a must rigged on Carolina Rigs fished close to the dock pilings. For flounder slowly drag live minnows across the bottom feeling for any irregularities...if you think you have a bite do not set the hook immediately on a flounder...wait a good 15 seconds and wait for the flounder to make a slow steady pull, then set the hook hard! Red drum, black drum, and speckled trout love live technique for red drum and black drum is what we call dead sticking...throw it out there and let it sit until something nails it. Speckled trout really like live shrimp suspended under a cork. As always stop by the Ocean Isle Fishing Center for the latest and greatest information. Capt. Jacob

05/18/2015 - High speed trolling

Q: In November and December, would high speed trolling four baits towards the top of the water be the best bet to catch wahoo? We did that last weekend and caught one around 60 pounds within 30 minutes and just wondering if that would work good in the later months. Thanks.

A: That is an effective technique anytime. Wahoo are speedsters and they like a fast moving bait. The advantage is if fish are scattered you can cover a lot of ground vs natural bait trolling speed. Also if they are finicky they have to make a quick decision whether to attack or not which serves to stimulate a bite.

05/13/2015 - lockwood folly inlet

Q: How is Lockwood folly inlet? Looking to go out of it this weekend and just making sure that it is safe. Thanks.

A: They "try" to keep it marked so assume markers are right. Shallotte Inlet is well marked thanks to the NC Wildlife Resource folks.

05/11/2015 - Pogies

Q: Anyone seeing any yet? Heard there were some off of Carolina beach and down at little river. I know the storm will have them all out of whack for a while.

A: they are starting to show and with weather settling they should be available on the beach

05/08/2015 - Shrimping

Q: My family and I are planning a trip in the middle of June to do some kayak backwater fishing. I have a couple cast nets and would love to net some shrimp for live bait. Where is the best place to go near Ocean Isle beach to net a few live shrimp?

A: the creeks off intercoastal best. check the creek on the west side of OIB bridge on left bank.

05/08/2015 - Bait

Q: Is there any finger mullet to be caught yet, if yes where. Thanks for any help Gary

A: I've seen a few; mostly they are still too small but growing fast. You can find them in canals. Best bet right now is mud minnows. Peanut pogies are also beginning to show.

05/06/2015 - gulf stream

Q: Will all of this upcoming rain that is predicted for the next 8 days or so effect the fishing in the stream? Thanks

A: only if water gets so stirred up it is milkly, normally not much effect as current is strong and moving bad water out

05/04/2015 - winds

Q: I know it's unpredictable, I am new to the area but could you give me a general idea which wind directions create most favorable conditions out to about 15 miles? From a boating standpoint not necessarily fish catching point.

A: once you past 3 miles it doesn't matter much. if within 3 miles, a north wind gives you shore protection. best advice is wait for "slight and lite" or seas 2 feet or less".

04/22/2015 - stream

Q: Thinking about heading off to the stream this weekend but looks like rain it is supposed to rain a lot. What is ya'll's opinions about Saturday? Thanks

A: weather is dynamic and the gulf stream waters are a long way off. a decision to go/no go is made night before or that morning. Weather conditions change and you must adjust your plan accordingly. Beyond go/no go, that means the direction you head. Pick the trough and run either toward steeples or toward scarf; based on swell/wind/ect.

04/19/2015 - Cedar plugs

Q: How do yall normally troll cedar plugs? With bait, how deep, etc.

A: no bait, just the plug either with 80 lb-120 lb floro. Troll approx. 5-8kts. Can mix with natural bait, but best pulled a little faster than bait. This is a surface lure, most effective in gulf stream waters.

04/18/2015 - Gulf stream

Q: Any luck in the Gulf Stream today with dolphin or wahoo today, saturday the 18th?

A: see fish report -- just posted

04/17/2015 - offshore

Q: What was the name of the website your offshore specialist said to check out?? something about charleston offshore?

A: is a good site to follow what is happening to our south, which will show the movement of Mahi in particular.

04/16/2015 - wahoo

Q: how would you rig the zo zuri bonita?

A: its a deeper swimmer so you are targeting wahoo. we use approx. 6 feet of 90lb wire to protect teeth bites and lost lures.

04/16/2015 - Gulf stream

Q: How's the Gulf Stream action looking for about the 25th of this month?

A: it should be outstanding. late April thru May to mid June is the height of the season for gulf stream fishing

04/14/2015 - fishing

Q: what is the app you are using for the SST? I saw a screenshot on the fishing report. thanks

A: I believe that is the paid version of FishWeather. I use the site for WX reports and its very good -- but the temp part seems like it may be good too.

04/09/2015 - Lures

Q: We bought some lures for wahoo and dolphin that rattle, make noises, etc. We were told that bait was not needed and sometimes even worked better without. Should they still work the same without a ballyhoo and catch plenty of fish?

A: adding ballyhoo in my opinion will get you more bites

04/09/2015 - Lures

Q: We bought some lures for wahoo and dolphin that rattle, make noises, etc. We were told that bait was not needed and sometimes even worked better without. Should they still work the same without a ballyhoo and catch plenty of fish?

A: You can high speed troll with some success for wahoo[approx. 10-12kts] in order to cover more territory. Mahi will hit a lure if bubbles,skips,rattles/ect. However; I always have more confidence in ballyhoo with what ever type of lure you want to run. We use big high speed lures if we are trying to cover a lot of territory or if we push off into deeper water, blind trolling for whatever is out there, usually enroute to a different spot/temp break/ect.

04/08/2015 - fishing north

Q: when yall went up to fish out of oregon inlet last year. what was the course? did yall put in at morehead to keep from having to drive all the way around. did this take about three hours to haul up there? then how long to run the boat to oregon inlet? thanks, interested in makeing the trip. if i could find the fishing report from that trip it would probably suffice. send link if you are able to. thanks

A: we've done it both ways and both ways are a pain. road trip to OI is more like 4 hours+. If calm, more fun to trailer to MH. From Morehead its approx. 100 miles up there.

04/07/2015 - Speckled trout

Q: What is the best way to catch speckled trout right now?

A: Light 1/8th ounce jig heads tipped with white or chartreuse soft plastics jigged with a one two pausing motion is getting some strikes along the grass banks and hard structures during mid tide levels both on the rise and fall...early mornings and late evenings seem to be best right now. The Vudu shrimp 2 to 3 feet under a popping cork has also been effective for some folks lately. The vudu mullet is also another great choice...again, work the vudu mullet with a one two pause swim a little bit pause, one two pause swim a little bit(repeat) varying speed until getting bit. The trout bite really picked up today 4/8/15

04/02/2015 - what fish is this?

Q: Ok, I live on a natural canal subdivision in BC, with access to the ICW. Last few days I have seen a few singles, and I large school of fish lazily swimming around the docks. Shape kind of like a redfish, kind of rounded head. I tried a voodoo mullet, gulp shrimp, voo doo shrimp and they were not interested. Not skittish at all like I would think a drum / redfish would be. These fish looked about 18-26 inches. I was thinking big mullet but not sure I've ever seen mullet that big especially this time of year. I cast in them for several minutes and they hung around. I figured they would spook. By the way, I'm a newbie. Just leaning about backwater fish. Thanks

A: My first guess would be a mullet, but if that big, 2nd guess is a redfish.

04/01/2015 - Braid cutting Mono

Q: I have recently read a lot about braid line cutting into or through mono when the 2 are joined. The most recent article suggested joining the 2 with a short piece of hollow Dacron line. To me 2 splices could never be better than 1 as the possibility of error is doubled. On my offshore rigs I run 300 yds of braid on and then topshot mono over it and join the 2 with a double uni. Is this a problem? Is there a better knot to use? Or should I splice with Dacron? Also, as backing what would a reasonable life expectancy be for braid?

A: We run our lines just as you describe. Try using a reverse albright. We keep braid for several years. Come by OIFC and we can show you the knot we use. Haven't had problem with cutting, but sometimes if knot not correct it will slip when tying which tells you you did it wrong

04/01/2015 - spanish

Q: are there any spanish yet?

A: not yet but won't be long. Atlantic Bonita show first, probably in next couple weeks.

03/29/2015 - Inlet, groins

Q: Hi- my last run out of the inlet was a disaster! VERY skinny water. I am committed to using Little river this season unless tide is 3/4 up+. Have y'all found this to be the case? Any word on us getting groins built?

A: we have no problem with Shallotte Inlet[if in a outboard]. stay out of the white water. best to stay left of the last buoys. The groin project is slowly moving forward.

03/22/2015 - Spring kickoff sales

Q: Next weekend is the line included in the line spooling price or do you have to pay for the line you use separate than the $.02 per yard?

A: spooling free, just pay for the line. sorry slow to respond

03/17/2015 - fishing

Q: whats going on in the inshore scene?? Reds trout? Where? soft plastics?

A: everything is starting to come alive. mostly plastics. flounder starting to show at cherry grove, that is the start of the flounder season. reds/trout showing

03/10/2015 - fishing

Q: Capt jacob if I wanted to target tailing reds where and when is the best time of year?

A: John, Tailing doesn't happen very often around here...where? extremely shallow mud flats at low tide or way back in the grass at higher tides...kayaks, wading or super shallow draft boats are the only way to look for these fish...Dunn Sound, Calabash River, Behind Bird Island and small creeks connecting with Bonaparte creek are all excellent places to start...the Shallotte River has a few flat spots and Lockwood Folly also has a few places...both the Shallotte and Lockwood area sees heavy fishing pressure...taking a long boat ride up to the Cape Fear area is another great place, they have a lot more water up there with shallow bay areas and in the Elizabeth River area...again, best chance to see tails is low tide as far back as you can get in a creek...tails will either be exposed due to extremely shallow water or because a school is feeding heavily like cows with their heads down...stealth approach into an area well before you see any fish is also very important...I think this is why we don't see it much around here...most places see too much boat traffic, jet skiing, paddle boarding, etc...Best time of year? water temperatures must be at least 60 degrees during dead low tide period...I personally have not witnessed very many tails in the early spring, although this is when many other guides start seeing them and it should be the best time as their number one food source that time of year is crab...late summer during early morning and late afternoon low tide periods and during any low tide during the Fall as the water temperatures stay between 60 and 70 degrees. The biggest key is finding a school of fish and making a stealthy approach...again our area is much smaller than other areas and fishing pressure alone prevents seeing tails on most closing, keep this in mind, it has taken nearly 15 years for me to witness tailing reds in our area and it only happens a few times a year and I have been on the water the last several years 200 plus days. I share this, so that you understand this does not happen all the time. It will take work, time on the water, and patience to witness tailing reds...and still if you are lucky you might see it a time or two. See ya on the water!

03/08/2015 - Backwater

Q: What is my best bet fishing the backwaters right now?

A: tiny shrimp are showing up so reds/trout should start biting anytime. flounder will be a few more weeks away

03/06/2015 - 2015 schedule

Q: I am trying to put together an SK team for 2015 schedule Division I I'm having a hard time finding the schedule for Division I any help would be appreciated

A: should be on fishska web site. if not shown, then they haven't finalized their schedule

03/05/2015 - Gulf Stream Sunday 3/8

Q: Does anyone know how the water is looking? Planning a trip and trying to narrow down the water in search of a hoo or two. Any help is much appreciated.

A: sorry slow to respond. last trip last week, water was 67, blended color, but there were wahoo caught. obviously temps change daily

03/03/2015 - starting a new fishing season

Q: I haven't fished since October and worried about the gas left in the tank...what gas additive do u suggest..the tank probably has 50 gallons left in it...thx for ur input..the boat has a fuel water separator on...thx for ur help

A: there are specific additives to use to offset gas left in tank. hopefully you didn't leave ethanol in your tanks, as that will cause you big problems if left over winter

03/01/2015 - spring kickoff

Q: Are you having the spring kickoff this year. If so when is it.

A: Yes, it is March 28 and OIFC will be sending out a mass email in next few days for schedule of events

02/04/2015 - black bass size limit

Q: Wondering if the black bass size limit has changed and do you have to use circle hooks off shore...thx

A: we prefer to refer those questions to NC Marine Fisheries site as the rules change constantly, are subject to interpretation, and the last thing we want to do is give out incorrect info. thanks.

02/03/2015 - Inshore Fishing with my 216 CC tidewater

Q: Sir, I want to attend the inshore April fishing school. I have a 21' CC Tidewater that draws around 6-" of water. I have a trolling motor mounted and it's a tiller control. Am I going to be able to fish the back waters where you show us in the course

A: yes, there are lots of creeks off the intercoastal which is where your best inshore fishing will be, and they will be accessible to your boat

01/31/2015 - Holden Beach

Q: We are coming to Holden Beach on July 4 2015 for the week ans was wondering if you ran any charters out of Holden Beach.

A: we run charters from OIFC at Ocean Isle[island next to Holden Beach]

01/23/2015 - Fishing

Q: Are their any good spots between cape fear and the horseshoe with about 80' of water and good black bass fishing? Let me know please. Thank you.

A: any rock or ledge right now will produce good size sea bass. just pick any spot off of a pro-finder chart

01/18/2015 - holden beach

Q: We will be going to Holden Beach June 13-20 can you give me any advice on fishing in the backwater and the surf

A: Flounder/redfish will be in inlets and creeks off intercoastal. On the beach front you can catch whiting/blues/ect. Check with us at OIFC when you get here and we can dial you in on best baits/ect working at that time.

01/02/2015 - Fishing

Q: Been wahoo fishing a lot. I am looking for some advice on getting these fish to the boat. As a long time king fisherman I have a tendency to get hooked up clear the lines and making a wide turn to work toward the fish. I don't let off throttle when we get bit. But I just was wondering what your process is once you get bit by these wahoo. Thanks

A: Where most wahoo are lost is by not keeping your line tight as they are head shakers and will throw the hooks if line not tight. Once we are solidly hooked up, we bring back throttles, leaving one engine in gear at all times in idle position. Most fish lost at the gaff when fish either runs under the boat or head shakes. Keeping one engine in gear[or both at time of gaffing] will help keep fish hooked up and under control.

12/15/2014 - nearshore

Q: Is there anything going on bottom fishing nearshore right now? How close can I catch keeper sea bass?

A: Best action for bigger fish still in 80+feet but look for them to move close in next few weeks.

12/14/2014 - Planner Rod

Q: How long should a planner rod be with a bent butt setup? Basically a meat stick. Is there a range in length or just one set length? -Thanks

A: typically around 3-4 feet but depends a lot on how you are using it. If just to pull a big planner where you clip your baited line to it with a rubber band, then shorter. If using it with bait/lure, then a little longer. If just using to pull big planner, better to use your downrigger and attach with a rubber band to your running line. More fun to fight fish on typical tackle than planner rod.

12/09/2014 - Bluefin

Q: What line pound do you need for these bluefin? Can you spool a 50w up to do the job or do you need a 130w?

A: we use 130lb. you can use a 50w if you use braid with mono top shot

12/08/2014 - jetties

Q: what would "the hook" be reffered to at the jetties

A: either side of the jetties has a "hook" like bay

12/05/2014 - wahoo

Q: I want to run to 100/400 this Saturday, what is your opinion on the wahoo bite there, please advise, thanks

A: Sorry I missed your question. You're heading in right direction; if not there move toward BlackJack and/or Steeples. Hope you caught em!

11/25/2014 - Bottom FIshing

Q: Looking at getting out there this weekend. Obviously everyone has their own "personal" spots. Juty inquiring about more "known" pots such as wrecks or other structure in the 30-40ish mile range that would be holding beeliners, triggers and or grouper during this time of the year. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

A: Best starting point if ProFinder chart. OIFC provided them numbers for spots on their map. Best bet is to use that as starting point and then search area in proximity. You will see there are lots of rocks everywhere[especially in the 100ft depth]. Best action will be to find a rock that isn't on a chart and thus is not fished. Bottom fishing is my absolute favorite type of fishing....see him; catch him. No staring at the recorder tying to invent a tourney winning king.

11/21/2014 - trout

Q: Can you give me a better idea where to target trout at? Grassy banks on the water way?in the shallotte river around oyster beds? How far back do they go in the shallottte river? thanks

A: All the places you mentioned are all places we target. Trout go way up the Shallotte River at times. I have caught them under the main street bridge in Shallotte at times. Water salinity and bait movement dictates how far they go up the river. Trout move around a lot...we hit several places everyday to find trout. The bottom of the tide has been the best time to locate the trout as of late. See ya on the water!

11/20/2014 - Tournament

Q: Is there a limit of fishermen per boat for the "Cy's World Trout Tournament"? Thanks

A: limit would be coast guard limits for the boat

11/17/2014 - trout rig

Q: what is this custom trout rig?

A: a rig that our captains use that works very well

11/17/2014 - Testing from ICND

Q: testing testing 1 2 3

A: not getting notice to my email[]

11/15/2014 - Trout

Q: When is the best time of year to target trout oath mirrolures?

A: Right now and even better when water cools further and shrimp are gone

11/09/2014 - TROUT - 11/9/2014


A: Jeff is hooked up somewhere right now. The concrete canals have been the hot spot lately.

11/06/2014 - Pogies

Q: Are there still pogies on the beach??

A: very scattered and very hard to catch as they are moving fast

10/31/2014 - Planning Thanksgiving Trip to Sunset Beach

Q: A good friend has offered the use of his Sunset Beach house for the Thanksgiving week. My Dad (a strong 70), son (13) and I are driving from TX and hope to do some charter fishing. We are accustomed to Port Aransas (mostly king mackerel) ... what can we expect in the Sunset Beach area during Thanksgiving?

A: The Kings will be in the 30 mile offshore range as water cools down, the kings stay with the warmer water. They will winter around Frying pan Tower. Good bottom fishing this time of year in same depth for all sort of good eating bottom critters. Inshore, the trout bite is good.

10/25/2014 - jetties

Q: Hi could i get some info on the jetties, are they in s.c. and if they are how do we get there from Oak Island,i know i have to go down ICW, where do we go, and do we have to have s.c. licenes, please give all the info you can, thanks and tight lines, from the sea striper.

A: If you go intercoastal you will exit at Little River Inlet. The jetties are in SC waters although a tiny piece is right on the line. If you return to Little River inlet you are in SC. Yes you need a SC license. Their marine Fisheries folks are pretty aggressive

10/19/2014 - jungle

Q: could it be possible to ask for the numbers to the jungle, and what is the water depth, thanks and tight lines.

A: don't have numbers on computer[on the boat]. You should have a chart[ProFinder the best].

10/15/2014 - Catching Bait

Q: Aside from a larger/heavier cast net (I have a 5ft cast net), any advice for catching pogies; particularly in the ocean. Thanks!

A: look for pelicans diving. after their dive if they sit on water and then shake their tail, they have found pogies. if it is a shallow dive[like a skimming dive] it is glass minnows. you will not be able to catch pogies in the ocean with a 5 foot net. need a 10-12 foot fast sinking net[Capt Brants custom the best there is]

10/15/2014 - fishing in October

Q: Good afternoon... At this point I'm looking for Oct 2015 fishing, I'm sure you can tell me what it is like now.. We were just in Holden Beach last week for vacation but did not consider or discuss going fishing on a charter until the end.. SO I thought I'd do research now and get folks ready for next October.. Can you tell me what we should expect in October (I know the weather is odd and unpredictable then) and the 'rules' of fishing off shore? Thanks, John

A: October and May are the best months of the year. Oct is King Mackerel month with fish typically right on the beach. Everything bites in October as fish are preparing for their migration and feeding like bull dogs. Cobia/kings/ect are very prevalent in october

10/14/2014 - Fall brawl pics

Q: Where can i find the pictures taken of us and the fish taken at the dock before we weighed the fish in?

A: email

10/09/2014 - Big Reds

Q: How long can we expect the big reds to hang off our beaches this year, and what wind conditions/tides will be most favorable for finding them?

A: they will stay as long as the pogy schools are here[late October]. best is a north wind so flat calm on the beach

10/07/2014 - Tournament king fishing

Q: I need someone to fish with or someone to fish with me !! I was aboard the Spring Run during the 2008 jolly mon , I lost a life long friend and fishing partner that day ,I did not step foot on a boat for more then a year after that !!! But the sea keeps calling to me ,I am an old Long Beach boy ( oak island ) had a boat since the age of ten , I have a lot of friends that want to go fishing but none who can fish , I can throw a big net. Make king rigs and run and navigate a boat , I own a 25 sea fox with A single 250 and can catch fish. She is named the DIXIE MINNER Most tournament guys have seen us , I just need help finding people who can fish or another boat that needs a really good crewman !! Thanks Charles 910 520. 0584

A: hope you connect; welcome back to the water

10/05/2014 - king mackeral

Q: What is the best way for a small bay boat to land some king mackeral. WHat type of rig/ location/ ect.

A: Fish in October[or last few days of April, 1st week of May] in front of the Ocean crest pier[or any of the inlets]. You need a north wind so it will be flat on the beach. You need to net pogies or catch spots/blues ect. Live bait is the key. Standard live bait king rig.

10/04/2014 - Black Bass

Q: At what water depth are "keeper" black bass currently located, and do you have any recommendations regarding specific ARs and/or wrecks that are now holding the bass? Many thanks for your advice and assistance!

A: best/biggest will be 30 miles+. During the winter they will move into inshore AR's.

10/02/2014 - wind direction

Q: when looking at wind reports what is the best wind direction for calmer seas nearshore

A: north. island faces south so north wind is shielded by land. flat calm on the beach even if blowing 25+

09/28/2014 - Waypoints

Q: What are the waypoints for the "hammer"?

A: Don't have numbers at computer[on the boat]. You need a ProFinder chart[southwest of the Jungle approx. 5 miles].

09/26/2014 - Drum

Q: Whats the best live bait rig for drum at the Jetties?

A: just a simple 1-2 oz egg sinker, circle hook, 12 inches floro carbon leader, mullet minnow. get in drift line with other boats

09/25/2014 - Reds

Q: Will certain artificials work for the big reds right now, or is live bait a better option?

A: they are keyed on pogies and mullet...go with the live bait. Little River jetties or pogy pods

09/25/2014 - Reds

Q: What's the rigging for these big reds?

A: 1-2 oz egg sinker, 12 inches 12-15 lb floro, circle hook, live mullet if fishing jetties; pogy if fishing pogy pods.

09/21/2014 - trout

Q: I want to target trout. I have had great success with catching reds around docks but that's the only inshore game I am comfortable with. Can you help me to target this critters? I know under a cork is popular. i mainly carolina rig fish with mullet. Will they bite mullet under a cork on a circle hook? Where do they hang out? Thanks

A: How to target trout? Yes, floating a live shrimp under an adjustable cork is one of the most used and proven methods to catch nice trout. Trout will also hit live mullet on Carolina rigs as well. Trout can be finicky in the summer months, biting good one day and non-existent the next day. My favorite way to specifically target trout is with soft plastics. Look in our (How To) section under inshore fishing to see full details. Thanks Capt. Jacob

09/18/2014 - gulf stream trip

Q: I was wondering if yall had an opening for a gulf stream trip either the 26th or 27th and how much it would be for a combination of vertical jigging and trolling for hoo?

A: need to contact Capt Brant for charter info[9105753474]

09/17/2014 - Spanish Busting

Q: Last week we went out on Saturday Morning and pointed the bow towards the Jungle. From about 5 miles out all the way to the Jungle spanish were busting the water everywhere. I tried every diamond jig and gotcha plug I had but could only manage one strike. I was also pulling ballyhoo/pirate plugs and didnt get a hit. What gives?

A: That's surprising, normally if Spanish busting they will hit anything. Are you sure they weren't sardines or a similar baitfish? Normally a #1 clarkspoon on a #1 planner will most effectively catch Spanish, but if busting, gotcha should work. Any rate, seeing big schools of fish is a good sign for kings to be coming.

09/10/2014 - king fishing

Q: Looking to fish this coming weekend-where would I look for kings, where is bait, are spanish back in shore?

A: Kings finally beginning to show in 65 feet of water. Try normal spots[Shark Hole/Jungle/65 foot hole]. Spanish also coming back as water color has been bad but improving. They should be around the inlet mouths by this weekend. Bait is best toward Lockwood.

09/09/2014 - Spanish

Q: Usually do mostly offshore trips, but I have a few friends coming down this weekend and want to stay close and put some spanish in the boat. Any reports recently of how deep and roughly where? Only reason I am asking is because I havent seen any reports on the page recently. Thanks!

A: Spanish have been hard to find lately as water color has been bad but is getting better. Should be back to action by this weekend. Look for tide line and white birds dipping. Around the inlet mouths will be the best.

09/09/2014 - fishing trip

Q: Heading down 9/21/14-9/28/14 and am wanting to do a gulfstream trip. Woild like to do a combination of trolling and maybe some bottom fishing and vertical jigging for tuna and grouper. Was wondering what we could expect to catch. Hopefully the wahoo are around and if we're lucky a billfish of sorts maybe.

A: You got it right,. Wahoo still very scattered but they are around.Will get much better in few weeks when water starts to cool. White Marlin are also around now in a little deeper water[fish the deep side of the break; 250' +]. Vertical jigging will work on the break for the animal house that is on the break[grouper/African pompano/cobia/aj's/ect].

09/03/2014 - reds/flounder inshore

Q: I'll be down starting saturday for two weeks, and bringing my 17 ft skiff. Where is my best bet for big reds and keeper flounder, and do I need a SC license to fish Little River jetty?

A: Yes on SC license at jetty. Few big reds starting to show up there. Best flounder is on the close in artificial reefs[Jolly Mon/Cauble].Check with Jacob/Jeff at OIFC when you get in town for updates.

08/31/2014 - inlet

Q: Haven't been down since Oct 13. Will be down in Oct again. Just wondering how the inlet is? Bouys in correct position? Any info is appreciated.

A: If you are in a outboard buoys are ok for now. as always stay away from white breaking water. the only time I see where it doesn't look good is on a strong outgoing tide with strong sw wind, particularly around a full moon when tidal flow is stronger. however even then there is plenty of water[just doesn't look that way].

08/28/2014 - fishing Sat 8/30

Q: Havent been fishing in 2 years; targetting Mahi/kings. where would you suggest going Sat?

A: sorry late on your message. until the water cools down, best bet for kings/mahi will be in 100 feet of water over any ledge or rocky area. this time of year you may find a school of mahi so if you hook one, leave it in the water and the rest of the school will hang with him, thus you can catch multiple fish

08/27/2014 - trolling wire

Q: What is the appropriate wire to use for trolling king mackeral?

A: we like 40lb; either straight wire or twisted[you can tie it].

08/24/2014 - Kings

Q: Do you think the upcoming hurricane will push the kings back offshore again? Thanks

A: rode out yesterday; water mile off the beach is beautiful king green[no milky condition]. I bet there is a big king at Yaupon. Brant on the water today; check our web site for updates.

08/22/2014 - Double Pogey Rig

Q: How do yall rig your double pogey rigs? I have seen them rigged a few different ways. Just wandering what works best for yall.

A: we prefer a tiny 3-way swivel with separate bait lines. seems to keep tangles down. however just standard 3 hook rig works fine[first hook in lead dog, 2 hooks in trailer bait]

08/21/2014 - Mack's

Q: Coming down this weekend looking for kings, thought about 80' of water?? What's your thoughts? And how's the bait look on the beach? Thanks! 26' cc with twins so I will travel to get to fish!

A: suddenly the world has come alive. Kings are in 65-70 foot spots where they are supposed to be. Jungle/Shark Hole/70 foot hole. Pogies on the beach and on a north wind mullets are running the beach or intercoastal. Read OIFC fishing report

08/21/2014 - boat capacity

Q: what is the max.# of people that can go comfortably? Thinking about maybe an half day..

A: charter boats are allowed to take up to 6. 4 is more comfortable, but can take 6

08/19/2014 - riggers

Q: is there any disadvantage to using heavy mono for outriggers?

A: only that it will create a bend in the mono where under pressure. black plastic covered wire is better choice or cord

08/19/2014 - September Shark Fishing

Q: We have a shark fishing trip planned in September out of North Myrtle Beach. We have had good luck catching Blacktips behind shrimp boats and Little River Inlet in the past but would like to go offshore a bit this time. Do you know any hotspots (coordinates) or tactics for say up to 20 miles? We do plan on using chum. Thanks!

A: your best shark fishing will be around the inlets close to the beach[the sharks like to stay close to the swimmers]. Kidding but most dependable action will be close to the beach. There is a big tiger that hangs around the bardges off Little River

08/13/2014 - Night Fishing

Q: I am thinking about heading out to 90-100 feet Friday afternoon and bottom fishing through the night until Saturday morning. Have plenty of anchor rope and experience anchoring at this depth. Is this something that might be productive or something that you would stay away from. Thanks.

A: used to do that a lot when kids were younger. shine a light in the water and bait fish will come to the light. use a sabiki and catch the bait, and probably kings will show up. if possible move a little deeper[110 feet]. should have lots of interesting action. have good lights, good radar, and be careful/aware

08/13/2014 - fish

Q: Looking for some grouper? Brewers ledge? Can you give advice to some good grouper fishing spots? Thanks

A: any of the ledges/rocks in 100-120 feet is where you should fish. best bait is live pinfish[or live cigars] as they are very lively and thus the groupers bite is much more aggressive. if amberjacks eating you up go to cut bait or squid

08/12/2014 - Kings

Q: Are there any kings or dolphin being caught at the tower?

A: everything is scattered right now. if at the tower, try the ledges southwest of the tower[5 miles]and the navy wreck area. may find African pompano there also. soon as water cools a little, fish should get back to eating

08/10/2014 - All in one trolling/bottom outfit

Q: Is there a all in one rod/reel/line package to handle from the beach to 30 miles out, kings/mahi/bass.All my stuff is getting old and rusty. Thanks

A: If you are live baiting or dead cigar baiting best overall would be a Shimano Speedmaster with Arel rod. Not a expensive outfit but will work well as described above and also fine for sea bass fishing.

08/10/2014 - Second week of September

Q: Looking to come down second week of September. What charter is best bet for some Spanish or Kings. Prefer trolling

A: The longer trip you do the more options you have. Spanish are just outside the inlet. Hopefully by September the Kings will have moved back to the 65 foot depths so they can be reached on a 3/4 to 1/2 day trip. Right now they are 40 miles offshore.

08/09/2014 - 90/90's

Q: Good morning. I read in your posts that you catch fish at the 90's but I don't know where that is. Can you tell me please? We fish a lot at lighthouse #2 and the shark hole. Thank you.

A: that is a reference for old loran numbers..45590/39900. approx. 8 miles off from OIB/Sunset

07/31/2014 - Keeper black bass

Q: Will try for some Black Sea bass this weekend if weather permits. How for out are they now, and where are they, Thanks-harry

A: Fished yesterday and caught a good plate full of jumbo's in 95 feet of water. Also mix of bee liner and genuine reds[can't keep reds], triggers/ect. Tried to catch grouper but couldn't get past the AJ's. Plenty of rod bending. They should be on any of the rocks in 90-100 feet depth.

07/30/2014 - Kings

Q: Looking for fishing reports on kings but I am not seeing too much. Any ideas for depth or areas? Thansk

A: Not much reporting because not much catching of Kings. HOWEVER, OIFC World Cat did catch a good one at Shark Hole yesterday. Also big Spanish there and cobia. Reported lots of "life" there. Maybe with cool down they will come out of the summer doldrums and start biting. Try the Shark Hole or Jungle.

07/29/2014 - What's biting

Q: I'm coming down this weekend and was wondering what the kings and cobia are biting. And where is the best spot to catch bait in the little river inlet

A: We are in summertime pattern. Fish are scattered. You could find a king or cobia on the beach out to the gulf stream. Best bet would be Shark Hole/Jungle or out to 100 feet. Pogies also scattered. If at Little River best bet is beach on west side of inlet. Dead cigars or sabeki jigged live cigars best bet.

07/29/2014 - Kings

Q: Have y'all caught any kings lately or are they still biting slow? And would Friday and Saturday be ok days to fish offshore or would they be too stormy?

A: sorry missed your question. Kings have been VERY difficult. Best bet is 100 feet of water but still a struggle. Need water to cool down so they move back to 65 foot deep areas. Will happen soon.

07/28/2014 - selling fish

Q: I've heard from other people they sold their fish upon returning, is the true and who buys them?

A: It is illegal to sell fish without all the proper licenses[very heavy fines]. Check with NC Marine Fisheries or NOAA for license rules.

07/25/2014 - rodeo

Q: could u give us an update on the rodeo standings thanks

A: I forwarded on to Rickey. standby.

07/25/2014 - Redfish

Q: Hey Guys I'm coming down the first week of August with a Triumph 210 cc, what areas/rigs would you recommend for targeting Redfish? Thanks!

A: Capt Jacob does a great job talking about what he is using every day on his charters on the OIFC fishing report. Follow his post for best info[mullet/mud minnows on jig head]. Or come by OIFC in the evening when he comes in and corner him. Capt Jacob and Capt Jeff are happy to be very helpful.

07/18/2014 - Flunder in July?

Q: Hey guys, heading down next week and wondering what the intracoastal's flounder bite looks like? What are they biting at? Thanks for any suggestions.

A: holes in the inlets and creeks. best bet are the near shore artificial reefs in the ocean[Cauble/Jolly Mon/Yaupon/ect]

07/10/2014 - cabbage patch

Q: have you guys had any reports on the cabbage patch this year so far,? haven't fished that side of the shoals wanted know if there was a bite going on over there. that would be great to know!

A: we haven't fished there this year but I think many of the Got em on fish came from that side of the shoals

07/09/2014 - where is the jolly mon pictures?

Q: we weighed in a fish at the 2014 jolly mon king tournament, I came in 4th place in junior angler and they took our picture with our fish before we weighed in and I was wondering where we could find those pictures at? thanks -tyler

A: please email

07/08/2014 - fish

Q: Are there requirements to operate a charter? Do you need a captains license to charge customers on a fishing trip?

A: yes, lots of rules/laws/permits

07/02/2014 - Trout

Q: What is the best way to go about catching those bigger gator trout?

A: live shrimp on a popper is best.

07/01/2014 - fishing

Q: I am coming down for vacation on july 12.i fish using my boston whaler 19 outrage.usually go to the 90/90,18mi rock,shark hole for king mackerel.not much luck lately do I need to go further out to deeper water,cooler water,? I mainly use cigar minnows,any help would be great.thanks

A: you are fishing the right spots. hope for better luck. should be kings and mahi at those spots in the summer

06/29/2014 - fishing

Q: went fishing on your charter was wondering if you could email me the videos and pictures.

A: send a email to

06/24/2014 - Shark fishing

Q: Good location for shark fishing in OIB??

A: inlets at either end of island is best

06/22/2014 - Shark fishing

Q: I am at ocean isle beach and I was wanting to try shark fishing in the surf. I was wondering what would b the best bait to use. Where is the best place on the island to surf fish. Also is this even a good time of year for sharks or am I wasting my time. Thanks

A: Inlets will be best. Cut mullet will work well. Summer is best time to shark fish from the surf.

06/21/2014 - Shark Fishing

Q: Would you land a shark larger than 60 lbs?

A: not if I didn't want to get bit. we prefer catch and release on these fish; not what I'm looking for the skillet

06/16/2014 - Spanish

Q: Trying to go for the larger Spanish (00 clarks are landing the 12-15 inchers)...suggest using live menhaden on a live bait rig? Also, where are the menhaden being netted?

A: Size of Spanish generally is based on what is particular group of fish in our waters, although as season progresses they will grow bigger. To target bigger fish, live pogy or mullet minnow is good shot. Look for school of Spanish and throw livie into school with lite spinner. Pogies are showing up and down the beach[smaller ones in intercoastal].

06/16/2014 - tubbs inlet

Q: How badly is Tubbs Inlet shoaled up this summer. Are the areas behind Sunset and Ocean Isle accessable at low tide in a small boat?

A: You can still get into Sunset/OIB via intercoastal. I've heard the inlet has changed and may not be passable, but changes constantly. Check in with OIFC charter capts when you get ready to go for current info.

06/14/2014 - What fish

Q: Just wandering what type of fish are beimg caught in the backwater and marsh fising. Will be fishing in late June early July with you guys.

A: flounder/reds/trout should be biting good[they're biting now]

06/13/2014 - Stream trip

Q: Would Saturday or Sunday be a better day to run to the blackjack area?

A: sunday/Mon/Tues look perfect

06/11/2014 - live bait

Q: If i catch Blues and Pinfish this weekend will they stay alive till next weekend for the Jolly mon?

A: We have good luck with Blues, however best to feed them every couple days pieces of shrimp. The pinfish will be fine although after few days their fins will get damaged but they will live. The more we feed our blues, the bigger kings they catch for us!

06/11/2014 - Live bait

Q: Will blues and pinfish live from this weekend to next weekend for the jolly mon in bait pin or basket.

A: definitely bait pins best. a cloth basket does not work well. we have the best bait pens there are at OIFC. Also otters will chew into the cloth pens

06/09/2014 - Shore fishing

Q: Where would the best place be to catch flounder from the shore with Gulp? We usually go to Holden and fish Lockwood Folly inlet, but this year we're going to Sunset Beach. Is Tubb's inlet fishable from the shore? How about the Little River inlet? Thanks

A: Yes Tubbs is accessible from shore, Little river not. Also the east end of OIB is accessible from shore and a good spot. The pier on the east end of OIB is another spot, or any where along the intercoastal.As mullet minnows get bigger, flounder will key on live bait[mullet or mud minnows].Gulps will work, but also try the live baits which you can catch with a 4 foot cast net.

06/08/2014 - Flounder

Q: When do flounder show up on nearshore structure.

A: within next few weeks they will show up as water warms. usually around Jolly Mon time.

06/06/2014 - stream

Q: When planning a stream trip, which winds do you prefer W to SW 5-15 or S to SW or does it matter? Planning to fish either Mon or Tues. Thanks guys!

A: Wind direction is not as important as my favorite words... "lite and variable, 2 feet or less". The trick is to have a wind condition/direction that will let you make the 60 mile run if not lite and variable. A SW wind lets you run toward Steeples/Black Jack in the trough such that 10-15SW[3 feet] is not bad. Anything 4 feet+ is not fun and only go if you really wanted to.SW is our prevelant summer wind direction.

06/06/2014 - close grouper

Q: Do you guys know of any areas to fish within 18 miles that you can catch grouper? We love grouper but with a 20 ft tahoe we really just can't reach them . plz help!!! We go out of either shallote inlet or little river.

A: The grouper will move into our normal Kingfish spots[Shark Hole/Jungle] in next few weeks. Those spots are 15-20 miles out.

06/04/2014 - Temperature

Q: What temperature charts do you guys use?

A: there are links on our web site

06/03/2014 - Downrigger - Cable vs. Mono/braid?

Q: I received an early father's day gift -- a cannon dowrigger! It came with cable but I have heard some guys switch to mono or braid. Is that to reduce noise/hum as cable cuts the water? If you recommend replacing, what do you guys recommend - mono or braid?

A: Good gift and good question. The wire hums and we don't like that[we think the fish don't either]. So we take 250lb braid and put on top of the wire. Important to leave wire on the spool, as the braid will cut into the spool. The wire acts like a backing. We sell spools of 250lb braid[I think 300 feet] specifically for this purpose. Mono will work, but you get much more blow back. Braid is the way to go[and Cannon has best downrigger]. Hope to see you at the Jolly Mon!

06/03/2014 - close grouper

Q: I have a 20 ft tahoe single engine and will only go 90 miles on a full max rang that I would take it out is 15-18 I know grouper are deep water fish but do you guys know of any spots where the grouper hang out within 18 miles.If you can please HELP!!!

A: by early July they will move into Shark Hole/Jungle water depth[15-20 mile range]

06/02/2014 - Fish

Q: Can u explain tile fishing

A: go to 600 feet+. drop down to bottom a heavy mono chicken rig[circle hooks] with squid. If you are in right spot you may catch grays or goldens. Look for green bottom mark on your depth finder. You will need approx. 5lbs of weight to get down.

06/02/2014 - cobia

Q: Ive been keeping up with the reports on the oifc websiteand see that the cobia bite is ON, and we will be down June 7th through the 14th.where have the cobia been biting and what have they been most interested is bait/lure wise. I know a buck tail with a piece of squid on it always seems to work.if you could please inform me as to where they have been biting.That would be GREATLY appreciated.

A: sorry late on response. cobia will be around buoys or wrecks. Cobia jig tipped with squid will work and so will live bait. You can buoy hop or anchor and chum at a wreck.

05/22/2014 - Streamin'

Q: What time do the OIFC cats leave for the stream. Do you suggest trying to find live bait in the morning before a stream run. Thinking 100/400 this Sunday to try and get in on some of the Dolphin mania. Thanks for all OIFC does!

A: Charters typically for stream at 6. They don't normally stop for live bait as not enough light that time of morning, however, taking live bait to the stream will definitely entice a dolphin that is shy. Sunday looks like the day to do. Good luck.

05/22/2014 - fishin

Q: When I spanish fish my leader from the planer to the spoon is kinking up once I pull the fish in. It's brand new fluro and theres a swivel attached to the planer. I tie the leader directly to the spoon, can you explain why this may be happening? THanks

A: yep, it happens. not sure if floro is better or worse, but we typically just use 25-30lb mono. That way when it gets real bad, just cut it off and start over. A little expensive to do that with floro.usually the kinks will fall out when you speed up to trolling speed.

05/21/2014 - Need some help

Q: What are the main types of fish in the canals near the beach houses? Also where are the best snapper and drum fishing spots?

A: In canals you can catch pinfish/flounder/redfish/trout. Snapper are in 100 feet +. Drum best along Craven Street docks or in intercostal creeks.

05/20/2014 - Shallotte Inlet

Q: I was down this week-end and wanted to do some spanish fishing off the beach. (First trip out this year) I went out an hour before low tide and found the inlet with large breaking waves between the last two buoys. It looked like there was better water toward Holden. I turned around as it seemed too risky to run the white water. I thought inlet was dredged but looks worse than last year.

A: The dredge cut was on the OIB side, not in the marked channel. You can get out that way, but not marked. The channel markers seem to be right. I think you probably experienced a south/sw incoming wind and a strong out going tide associated with the full moon. We mark 4 feet at low tide all the way out.

05/20/2014 - Spanish

Q: What is the best chance for catching Spanish mackerel this weekend. Also are the cobia still showing around AR's.

A: Spanish should be outside the inlet. Look for tide line and white dipping birds. They are feeding on glass minnows Spanish are chewing on. If don't have luck there, head toward Lockwood or Little river inlets. Cobia season is in full gear and will be for next month. They can[and will] be at any AR buoy.

05/20/2014 - Jolly Mon Reef

Q: I am coming up late June and I was wandering do Spadefish gather on the Ar 460 reef? Also, what should I expect to see and is there any particular part of the reef that should be concentrated on more? I see there is a good bit of stuff out there.

A: Yes spades should be there. Mid June will be a great time to fish the Jolly Mon Reef. Kings/Cobia may be there. Also dormat flounder show up mid June there. There is scattered structure. Get a ProFinder chart which has the structure identified and located with GPS co-ordinates.

05/19/2014 - tomorrow

Q: I was wondering what your opinion on tomorrow weather for the stream was thanks

A: sorry running behind on answers. today looks "ok", not great but ok. Tomorrow not very pleasant. I look for "slight and light"; or "variable". Best couple days after passing of high pressure front. You want the H to be just offshore of us.

05/19/2014 - cigar minnows

Q: Hey, I normally troll with dead cigar minnows and have trouble with them spinning. How can I get rid of this problem? I use a skirted king rig with 2 #4 trebles. Thanks

A: you are placing your trailer hook so it is putting a bend in the bait. Must be perfectly straight with no bind or bait will spin. Also, use a leaded head king rig[OIFC makes them] and bait will pull better.

05/19/2014 - Black Bass

Q: At what depths and on what artificial reefs/wrecks/hard bottoms are "keeper-sized" black bass being caught? Any recommendations for specific AR's or wrecks? Many thanks!!

A: You will need to get out to 70+ feet to get bigger bass. Try Shark Hole/Horseshoe/Jungle. If you can go deeper, any reefs/rock/wrecks in 90-100 feet will produce the big ones.

05/18/2014 - Next weekend

Q: What are your thoughts for the tower, horseshoe, shark hole, etc for next weekend? Looking for Dolphin, Cobia, and Kings....maybe some Sea Bass while there. If weather good, possible for stream. We normal slow troll for Kings, Cobia, and Dolphin closer in than the stream, but now have a boat to go there too. Will slow trolling with a King spread work ok at the stream for Dolphin too?

A: sorry late for your post. yes on everything you said. In stream we typically pull ballyhoo as we can troll faster than live or cigars and thus cover more territory, but dolphin will eat anything so doesn't matter. It will be a few more weeks before dolphin begin to move into shallower waters[Jungle/Shark Hole/ect] but they will be here by mid June. Slow trolling with live bait works very well for Kings and surprises like dolphin/cobia. Right now gulf stream on fire with dolphin/wahoo and mixed blackfin.

05/18/2014 - FTP bouy

Q: Any idea why we are not getting any updates?

A: think government ran out of money. Go to

05/14/2014 - Cobia

Q: I'm seeing all these videos and pics of nice Cobia lately where are you finding them? I fish a 25' CC

A: They are migrating through our waters right now thru mid June, and scattered fish through rest of summer and fall. They can be at any buoy or wreck from right off the beach to 100 feet+. Best bet is to pull up to a buoy and drop a cobia jig or live bait. If they are there they will show immediately. If no one home, move on to next spot. Also we like to throw a few pogies off the motor mount when we pull up to a buoyl OR you can anchor at a wreck and chum. Most likely the chum will draw them to you and then a cobia jig or live bait. Tip your jig with a whole squid for best results.

05/14/2014 - Cobia

Q: I'm seeing all these videos and pics of nice Cobia lately where are you finding them? I fish a 25' CC

A: any of the buoys from the beach on out toward tower. Live pogies or a cobia jig tipped with a whole squid will work. Pull up to buoy and throw out handful of pogies. If they are there they will show. No show, move on to next buoy.

05/14/2014 - Surf fishing

Q: Is there a good place to surf fish for sharks at ocean isles. If so is mid June a good time

A: yes, best will be at inlets on either end of the island

05/13/2014 - Options

Q: Lets say for the time of year you vacation at OIB, the king/mahi bite has been moving farther offshore with the bait. If you are fishing from a smaller scale trailerable boat and wanting to access deeper water and new fishing locations...does trailering your boat to southport open you up to better fishing as far as depth goes, while running the same overall distance (10-15 miles)? Assume you run 180 degrees from shallote/OIB compare to 180 degrees out of Southport/Caswell.

A: Its a little deeper on the east side of Frying Pan Shoals. But I don't agree with your theory in terms of where fish might be. This summer the Jungle/Shark Hole will be best spots for smaller boats. It's closer to Jungle from OIB and closer to Shark Hole from Southport. Those 2 spots are better than any deeper spot in Southport area or OIB area. If you want a little deeper try Horseshoe[closer from Southport].

05/11/2014 - com fishing

Q: can you inform me on a commercial license? i see them for sale on craiglist from 2000-2500. If fishing in the oib area where would you sell the fish? whats average prices on mahi mahi?

A: rules are so complicated best bet is to go to NCMFC site or call them. NC Marine Fisheries

05/01/2014 - Spanish/Cobia

Q: Any possibility of Spanish being around this weekend and have there been any cobia seen near shore?

A: Spanish just started to show this past week right outside the inlet. Look for the white birds dipping in water which is sign Spanish are feeding on minnows below.

04/30/2014 - fishing

Q: If I were to target redfish right now, where would be a good place to find them. Also are there still some big fish around the jetties.

A: Most fish are still hanging really shallow. Docks along the waterway near low tide and Sunset Beach Bridge area have been hot spots lately. The jetties have seen a few mid 30 inch fish with a stray 40 incher. The wind has been blowing so hard lately that the jetties have been out of the picture. Water temperatures were in the mid 70's this afternoon and I suspect more redfish should start to move in around the jetties. The hotter it gets the better the jetties will be for redfish. Live mud minnows have been working well with the absence of menhaden and shrimp. Fresh blue crab chunks have also worked very well at times. Baby spots, croakers and pinfish have arrived making it difficult to fish fresh crab though. We hit a few docks today that the croakers were so thick they were eating our mud minnows. Menhaden should start to show up any day and the shrimp should start to pop out of the mud. Things should get a bit easier once they show up. Right now things are still pretty tight. See ya on the water!

04/29/2014 - Lockwood Folly Inlet

Q: Hey, Renting a house at the northern end of Holden this year as opposed to Ocean Isle. I'm familiar with the spots on Ocean Isle, but can you give some direction for flounder and backwater fishing in the Lockwood Folly Inlet. I want to put my 11 and 8 year old on some fish over the June 21-28 week. We will be using a 18 foot Grumman Stripper Boat. Thanks

A: Drifting the inlet itself is always a good start. Sand bars just behind Oak Island around Blue water point is another good area. Drifting our trolling the area just above the shrimp boats in the LW river is also another good area. Good Luck! See ya on the water!

04/24/2014 - this weekend

Q: What area to go for Wahoo and dolphin this weekend?

A: usually wind direction dictates which way we go. This weekend with SW to W wind should be best ride to 100/400/Blackjack/Steeples. Dolphin should be chewing.

04/23/2014 - Fishing

Q: What's this weekend going to be like for Gulf Stream? Flat calm I hope

A: Looks good. SW wind so perfect to run the trough to 100/400 or Blackjack or Steeples. Fish should be chewing. Dolphin showing up good.

04/17/2014 - Spanish

Q: Headed down to Southport next weekend and looking to take the wife out for some near shore fishing. Just wondering if any Spanish have showed up yet? If not anything esle worth going after?

A: Spanish not showed yet, water still in upper 50's[need low 60's]. Best bet is sea bass on any of the reefs[further you go deep, bigger they get].

04/17/2014 - Shark fishing

Q: Where is the best place on oib to catch a shark i know its a hit and miss thing but where would i be more likely to snag a shark and what bait is best to use. ive had luck from the ocean isle pier but nothing over 4 foot!

A: there is a deep hole where the island ends at inlet route out to the ocean. that is a good place

04/15/2014 - Easter

Q: hey guys ive been watching fishweater all week and it looks like it may lay this weekend what are my chances of making it to the tower area or a little further this weekend with your expirence with fishweather? i own a 25' with twin 150fs... THANKS!

A: it's blowing the shortening out of the biscuit. looks good for next week.

04/14/2014 - Near Shore Flounder Fishing

Q: What Inshore Reefs or Structures would you suggest to try and catch flounders in July & August. Thanks

A: The Jolly Mon reef[AR460] is one of the best. Yaupon and Cauble are also very good. Any of the close in reefs can/should produce fish.

04/11/2014 - Near shore

Q: Is there any keeper seabass or large flounder action around near shore spots up to fifty feet of water. I like to fish near shore out of little river when the weather cooperates and will be down this weekend.

A: you can pick thru lots of sea bass to get a few keepers but best action is 100 feet for the big ones. Flounder will show on reefs later.

04/08/2014 - Surf Fishing

Q: I'm going to be at the coast next week. I will be south, in Surfside, SC. I wont be taking my boat. I thought I'd try to surf fish with the kids. I've done very little of this over the years and wanted to see if you had any advice. Also, I'll be down May 3 for a charter trip aboard the World Cat....really looking foward to some Stream action!

A: 2 drop[hook] chicken rig with shrimp or sand fleas should catch whiting this time of year in surf. Or try cut bait and may catch a redfish. Stream action in May is best of the year for mahi/ect. Come on down!

04/07/2014 - seminar

Q: can you post the seminars to the website or youtube page? thanks

A: the spring seminars are live and not posted. watch our web site for future seminars or go to our "how to" section on the web site

04/07/2014 - bait pin

Q: If I was to get one of these bait pens, how long do you keep these baits in there? It needs good flow right? Do you feed the bait?

A: Pogies will not keep very long when water warms up. Bluefish will keep for week+. Yes we feed them, and when they are put on a hook they are fired up! Feed them shrimp pieces.

04/06/2014 - reds

Q: where can i find some tailing reds?

A: on warm days they may be in shallows off creeks. this time of year mostly caught in holes on bottom.

04/04/2014 - Easter

Q: I have a 25' CC w twin 150fs what do you think my chances are at getting out over Easter to do some jigging and bottom fishing in 100'+? Thanks for all the help!!

A: You got the right craft and the right plan; just need the weather to co-operate. Too far out to know but watch for 10kts or less or our favorite words...slight and lite.

04/01/2014 - Net

Q: What's the perfect size inshore net? I love brants 10 ft for offshore but need an inshore. 8ft 1/4 mesh???

A: Best all around net is a 6ft 3/8 inch have best of both worlds most guides will carry a 6ft 1/4 inch mesh to catch smaller bait in the bait gets larger and faster towards fall the 1/4 inch will not sink fast enough...regardless stick with a 6ft will want something that you can control quickly, close quickly and retrieve quickly before hanging it on an oyster bar...Capt. Jacob

03/31/2014 - shallotte inlet

Q: Is the inlet navigable right now or is the dredge still there working? If it is what in are ya'll using in the mean time?

A: I will ride out tomorrow and check it out but I'm sure its ok. Standby.

03/27/2014 - line

Q: I recently go a penn squall 30. Want to put some line on it for trolling, not sure what to go with. What do you guys use on your conventional trollin reels.

A: If you are using for offshore trolling[mahi/wahoo/tuna] on charter boats we use the Shimano TLD 30's and put approx. 400yds of braid and 100 yards of mono top shot. 60-80 lb. We can catch almost anything that swims with that set up and reel is light and inexpensive. Your's should be the same.

03/25/2014 - Window this Thursday?

Q: Looks like there may be a window of opportunity to get out this Thursday. What's your picks for Sea Bass locations coming out of Southport? Horseshoe, Raritan, or??

A: Sorry late to respond to your question, but yes, today is the day to go. Water is so cool, will need to get deeper to find good sea bass. The spots you mention would be the place to go. Watch out for Bluefin activity...gannets diving like crazy around Horseshoe/Raritan.

03/22/2014 - surf fishing

Q: I come down with a high school baseball team and have some free time to surf fish with the coaches, My question is there fish that bite around the 3rd week of April if we bring our surf poles??? bait?? etc maybe stripers??

A: No stripers where we are located; don't make it south past cape lookout. In April, beach front water just starting to come alive. Try a dropper rig with shrimp and you may catch whiting or dogfish sharks. Try cut bait and may catch redfish or blues.

03/20/2014 - fishing

Q: gulf stream this weekend?

A: You can get there on a SW wind by running the trough, but you would really want to go bad. Head toward the 100/400 or BlackJack and ride should be best. No problem fishing that wind, just the run is the problem. Personally, I like "slight and lite".

03/18/2014 - ncsu fishing

Q: I'm a senior at NCSU, been going to OIB my whole life. Fish on a 25 cc. Looking for some fishing partners. 3363913379

A: We got a lot more boats than we got fishermen and more fishermen = less gas bill.

03/06/2014 - Cigars-kites

Q: I was hoping to try some live bait in the gulf stream but the pogies are just not cutting it. Does anyone have any luck with sabikis getting cigar minnows around here? Other baits? Any suggestions where to go to jig these guys up????? Thanks!

A: We like to have cigars for any kind of fishing. You can catch them on buoys best areas 7 miles and beyond. weather buoys, ship channel buoys/ect. It is hard to troll live bait in the stream because so much current normally but it will work if you can stay on a ledge/rock. Pogies work fine. Another plan is to "run and gun". Troll your ballyhoo spread, and if you hook up with a dolphin or wahoo, throw a live bait out while you are fighting your fish. If he has a friend with him, hard to pass up a live bait. When doing that we like pinfish as they are hardy and will survive a long run to the stream.

03/06/2014 - sat sun

Q: Based on you experience is sat or sun looking like a decent day for a stream trip. Will you guys have any charters that day? I usually look for light and variable wind and try to stay away from that north wind component, but my wife is in school and this is her "spring break" and I would really like to hook some hoos. Thanks I have a 25cc, Thanks

A: Light and variable are our favorite words. NE are least favorite as winds from north, gulf stream current pushes north = big waves; not good. Sunday may work as on a west wind you can run the trough to southern spots[MacMarlen/ect]. Sat doesn't look very likely. Best to get up Sunday morning and if wind gone to west and in the 10ky range at Tower, then may be ok. Check with OIFC Saturday and see if they have trips going. If they do, Sunday would be the day they would try to go.

03/05/2014 - Tuna

Q: Lets say a guy and his wife were catching some sea bass and saw some birds working sat or sun. What type of "gear" would he use to see if a BFT was hanging around also. 50-80lb class wahoo rods 30-50lb dolphin / blackfin rods? some ballyhoo? I have no idea. Just curious what else to bring....You know... Just in case ;-)

A: Most likely if you hook a Bluefin with that gear you will get your butt kicked; but hey, the battle is the game. If we were specifically targeting Bluefin we use 130lb class gear. You can troll ballyhoo[horse best]. Most effective will be to use a large planner and run the ballyhoo deep off the planer.

03/04/2014 - Reef Fishing

Q: Would like to go out an fish for triggers,grunts an etc, im mainly a king guy but the family wants to put the (good) meat on the boat... what is the best time to fish for these fish? water depth an maybe a few locations? thanks guys

A: bottom fishing is my favorite. you can look on your bottom machine, drop a bait and catch them. best action will be 100 feet plus. bottom fishing is good anytime of the year. another fun technique is to deep jig on the break 165-250feet. Get on the break ledges at the drop off and every drop something will try to pull you overboard.As to where to fish,look on pro-finder chart and pick out any rock/ledges from 100 feet on out and you can have fun and catch plenty of fish.

03/02/2014 - What's hot

Q: Can you give me an idea of what will be hot over the next couple months near shore. I rely on you guys for all my tackle and appreciate your sharing information. I can venture a couple miles off shore in my small boat, still new at fishing and always looking for help. I appreciate your helpful staff when I drop by the store. Thanks for being so helpful.

A: The near shore fishery is dictated by water temperature. For now it's limited to sea bass. When it gets to the mid 60's[usually mid-late April]the Atlantic Bonita[the tuna with teeth] will show first on the near shore reefs/wrecks; next will be the Spanish Mackerel right behind the Tuna, and then every year[last few days of April]just like clockwork, there is a short run of king mackerel around Yaupon reef and Long Beach Pier. Then the Kings disappear and reappear in 65 feet water in early June. Cobia will also show along the beaches in early june/late may. Lots of great fishing coming. We have noticed with the end to netting of menhaden on our beaches, our near shore fishery has improved a lot with predator fish. If you want to shorten the learning curve of fishing, attend one of Brants fishing schools.

02/26/2014 - Fishing charters

Q: Need a captain with a boat large enough to accommodate 15 club members for a two (2) annual fishing trip.

A: Our boats are private charters and have six-pack licenses which means Coast Guard limits them to 6 passengers. We have 2 boats so could accommodate 12. You may be looking for a head boat[Little River, Cameron Sebastian]. They can take 15+.

02/26/2014 - boat paint

Q: how much does it cost to paint a boat like that GET FLOORED

A: sorry no idea

02/25/2014 - Sunday

Q: When they jigged on Sunday. We're they on structure or just offshore. Jigging on the bottom?

A: Just on and off the bottom side of the break[150-225 feet].

02/24/2014 - Fishing

Q: I fish A 25ft CC w/twin 150 i have the boat to go to the gulf but havent upgraded my gear for wahoo,etc but i have the gear to bottom fish an evering thing else what can i go after in the next 3 weeks?

A: Late winter/early spring is the best time of the year for deep water jigging[180-250 feet]; just on and off the break. You will catch AJ's/cobia/African pompano/grouper/ect on almost every drop. Come back in to 100-125 feet and catch big sea bass and all the other bottom fish species. Late winter/early spring is also the best time of year to catch wahoo in 175-250 feet deep.

02/24/2014 - Line

Q: Looking for opinions on line for our cobia amberjack an bottom reels 5000 series spinning reel line sizes..... thanks

A: we use braid for deep dropping as sinks much better than mono. for your application 50-80lb braid with 100 feet top shot of mono[50-80lb]. Then flouro leader albrighted to mono to your jig. Actually reduce the top shot to 25 feet as will get better drop or eliminate if using flouro.

02/12/2014 - Weather

Q: I know that the trout season is closed for a while. I was wondering what you guys thought about the rest of the fishery. Do you think that any other species will be impacted by the rough weather lately. Not only here but over the south east coasts.

A: The trout season was closed by NCMF because it got so cold the fish were stunned, and the giggers were wiping them out[they can keep 72/day]. Good move by MF. Not likely other species impacted by cold. In ocean fish can move to warmer deeper water if gets too cold.

02/06/2014 - King skirts

Q: When you are live baiting with pogeys or other live bait do you ever use skirts or do you only use skirts on dead baits?

A: The purpose of a skirt is to help the King see your bait. Notice the disproportionate size of their eyeball to their body size. Sight is important to their feeding. So skirts help them find a bait as it makes it more visible. Skirts especially important in dirty water, in fact its best to run a "noisy" skirt in dirty water, like a Yee Haw or Turbo, again for the purpose of helping the king find your bait. If using really big baits in clear water, we don't always run skirts, but again, the purpose is to help the King find your bait.

02/01/2014 - Sea Bass

Q: Fished the Horseshoe today. Some Sea Bass but not thick. Any other recommendations for tomorrow?

A: Wow that is surprising, would have thought they would be thick there. They "were" at the Shark Hole week or so ago. If not at Horseshoe maybe try deeper or shallower. Not being funny but sometimes the pack of seabass will wipe clean a reef area and thus will move to another reef area in search of food. It may be they are in same area you fished, just need to move a few miles to find another piece of reef that maybe they have not cleared off all the food there.

01/29/2014 - Fishing Saturday

Q: Comming to ocean isle Friday to stay with some buddies and taking the boat out sat and looking to hit up some wrecks and Reefs for sheepshead fiddler crabs I know are great. Any other bait options if we can't find the fids etc and where would you recommend fishing. I've fished the jettys but wanna strike out a little ways. I've got a 22 ft key west 250 Yamaha

A: I don't know of sheephead being on the reefs this time of know something I don't know? What I do know is there should be plenty of sea bass[and they would love a fiddler crab].

01/29/2014 - Fishing Saturday

Q: Well what would you suggest we fish for if we venture out a few miles or so and what can we fish for or stick to the Jettys ? We have trolling rods etc just need to come pick up some gear thanks

A: Close in this time of year[25 miles and closer], the only game going is sea bass. They are great eating; best[closest] action should be 65 feet of water[approx. 15 miles over normal King spots i.e. shark Hole/Jungle/Horseshoe]. If you could go way offshore[50+ miles should find Kings and bottom fishing is great. wahoo/blackfin/deep jigging on the break. If you want to fish inside, if it is a warming day reds will move onto bars[check with Jacob at OIFC for up to minute locations]. All in all best bet is to fish for sea bass, as they will be from a couple miles out on to 25 miles+. Spring will be here someday and kings/cobia/ect will be in your range.

01/29/2014 - Sea Bass

Q: Which reef or wreck or ledge would be my best bet to catch some of those keeper size(or bigger) black bass. What depth or water temp would hold the bigger fish? Thanks

A: Best[closest] action for keepers will be in 65 feet of water over normal king spots[shark hole/jungle/horseshoe]. There are plenty on reefs just off shore couple miles, but mostly not keepers, but lots of action.

01/21/2014 - inlet

Q: Whats the deal with shalotte inlet? heard it was filling in bad, will it get dredged?? just curious.. thanks

A: its about the same, not bad. looks bad on a southwesterly wind with out going tide but there is enough water there for outboards. supposedly when the beach renourishment project begins, they will take sand out of the inlet to do that. we are trying to co-ordinate with Town and Corp to take it from the right spot[tough assignment getting folks to listen to logic]

01/08/2014 - king leader

Q: Do you guys sometimes/always/ never attach a fluoro leader between your mono and wire on your pogey rig or dead bait rig? If so, I guess a double uni would be the best way, right? Thanks

A: we always use fluoro, usually 20lb. The uni is a good knot to use. king will tail whip you[as will most fish]

01/02/2014 - Jolly Mon reef AR460

Q: What kidn of fish are normally around this reef in late June early July?

A: Excellent time of year for Cobia; maybe Kings also. Sea Bass on bottom; flounder. May find Spanish Mackerel.

12/30/2013 - Capt Brant Fish Catchers Needed

Q: Hey Capt Brant, I saw you posted about needing people to go fishing and split cost of fuel. I was curious if you would be doing that in Jan and Feb? I know 3 of us that would like to join you and possibly a 4th. Could you accomodate that and how would one find out how to find out the times. Thank you!

A: Brant is out of action for next couple months following surgery. If we get something going, we'll post on web site. Thanks.

12/29/2013 - Black Sea bass

Q: How close to shore are keeper Black Sea Bass recently?

A: We fished 65 feet[15 miles] the other day and they were thick as fleas[up to 3 lbs]. Probably could find keepers closer in also.

12/13/2013 - duck

Q: I really need some help from some duck hunters?? Where are the ducks around there? Any of the inshore guys seeing divers or puddle ducks flying in the morning?? thanks

A: Sorry, not in the duck world. Last experience was when used to shoot in marsh in front of OIB highrise. Residents would sit on their balcony and watch, and occasionaly duck when a pellet came their way. The Town called an emergency council meeting and outlawed shooting in front of highrise.

11/27/2013 - grouper

Q: I was wondering how the grouper fishing was this time of the year and where would they be. Thanks

A: Haven't had a chance to give them a shot, but they should be making move back to deeper water. I would try 115-125 feet. They should be biting in that depth.

11/25/2013 - net

Q: whats the ideal net for inshore bait catching

A: a 4 to 6 foot net is what you need. doesn't need to be an expensive net.

11/14/2013 - SHRIMP


A: yes so long as our shrimp man shrimps

11/13/2013 - SHRIMP


A: yes

11/06/2013 - bait

Q: Just wandering if the bait mullet minnows/ shrimp are still around in good numbers. and if so wheres the best places to find them. headed down Monday morning

A: all bait gets hard to find when water cools down. we try to have live shrimp and we have mud minnows. artificals also work well this time of year

10/28/2013 - Offshore bite

Q: Going offshore Sunday. Where is the bite hot for wahoo and kings?

A: sorry I missed your question. late reply, same answer...wahoo on the break[150-250 feet] kings should be 32 mile rocks or navy wreck area

10/26/2013 - Flounder

Q: Going for Flounder Sun and Mon, Where to go? Reef, Jetties, River mouth or creeks,?

A: they're everywhere; best on the AR's right now.

10/25/2013 - Stream on Sunday

Q: Weather looks good for a stream trip on Sunday, would the blackjack or steeples area be better?

A: I like both. Since its closer to BJ, I like to start there, hope it happens there. If not, move approx. 7 miles to Gene's Ledge and hope it happens there. If not, 5 more miles to the Steeples. What you are looking for is a pod of bait in 180-250 feet. If you find the bait, you should find the wahoo. Mark the spot and continue to work it hard. It should happen.

10/25/2013 - Speckled trout

Q: What is the best way to catch trout from now to thanksgiving. Lures ,where to go etc. thanks

A: live shrimp still around and that will be most effective. jetties/bridges best spots. after shrimp gone, gulps shrimps best

10/21/2013 - weekend 25-27 where to fish

Q: I have a place over on 130 Holden Beach area me and some friends are coming down and was wondering can you give me some place over in the area to fish. I don't have a boat so any ideas would be great. Thanks guys and keep up the great work on your fishing reports

A: If wind blowing out of the north, the beach front is good to fish now for redfish/flounder/blues/pompano. Otherwise, the public pier on the east end of OIB is good to fish for reds/flounder. The ocean piers should be good for spots.

10/16/2013 - kings

Q: when we left sunday after the fall brawl the hot bite was at the sharkhole an jungle can I expect the the same thing this weekend? thanks.. Naughty By Nature Fishing Team

A: There was also a hot bite Sunday at Shallotte Inlet out to Shallotte ledge. Also Myrtle Beach rocks were hot. My guess is the fish will make the move from offshore to the inlets this weekend. River channel/yaupon/lockwood/Shallotte

10/14/2013 - Shallotte Inlet

Q: How are the buoys at Shallotte Inlet this fall? Accurate? Low Tide Depth. Thanks in advance.

A: They are a mess. Brant tried to move them into position but they are buried and he can's budge them. He has notified Wildlife and hopefully they will fix. In meantime, ignore the greens completely. Most of the reds are close to correct except for last couple. Proceed with caution and stay away from the white water.

10/08/2013 - Rod/reel selection

Q: What type of rod/ reel is best to handle the big reds this time of year. 30 plus inches

A: standby for Capt Jacob

10/04/2013 - stream

Q: Coming down next week and am wanting to go to the stream. Was wondering what was biting. Am wanting to go for wahoo and vertical jigging for tuna and target some grouper maybe.

A: Yep; you got it all correct. Check out OIFC fishing report from Wednesday; Capt Brant crushed the Wahoo at the steeples. They should be up and down the break; best wahoo fishing of year is in the fall. Blackfin should also be around. Grouper are in 110 feet.

10/03/2013 - This Weekend pier fishing

Q: What would be a couple of great piers/inlet spots (no boat) to fish from this weekend & what would I try to fish for? What bait and rigs should I use?

A: Spots are not here yet in big numbers but you may catch some with blood worms. Pompano will be in the breakers[shrimp or sand fleas]. Whiiting just past the breakers. Bluefish/spanish on gotcha plugs around the mullet schools. It's October...everything is biting!

09/30/2013 - bottom fish

Q: Im coming down this weekend with my boat 25' CC w? twins wher will be the best place to catch some keeper bottom fish Triggers,Grunts, Bass an Grouper

A: best action will be from 100-125 feet deep. take some live pogies for grouper. fish any of the spots shown in that water depth on ProFinder chart

09/30/2013 - fishing

Q: flat all week and weekend?

A: looks very good; weather stable; fish should respond

09/29/2013 - Black Sea Bass

Q: At what water depth can "keeper" Sea Bass be currently located?

A: The bigger fish will be found in 80 feet to 110 feet. During the winter, keepers will move back to inshore areas[provided season stays open].

09/26/2013 - Redfish

Q: What are the preferred baits and rigs for attracting redfish at near-shore structure, the jetties, and inlets? Thanks, and I hope to see you very soon. Bill (member OIFC captain's club)

A: 12lb floro leader, 2 oz egg, flounder hook rigged Carolina Rig style. End of jetties on incoming tide. Start at end of jetties and line up with other boats in a drift pattern. Keep bait on bottom using live mullet. Also around bridges and close in artifical reefs.

09/20/2013 - Drun in Little River Inlet

Q: Are most of the drum being caught drifting or anchored? Are more being caught any particular time of day or tide? Thanks

A: Go to the end of the jetties and basically get into a drift line with other boats on incoming tide. Do not anchor as will mess up the drift pattern for everyone else and be less effective. You will be fishing shoulder to shoulder with other boats; no problem if everyone stays in the drift line. 2-3oz egg sinker; 18 inches 12 lb floro; flounder hook; live mullet fished on bottom. A moving tide is important.

09/20/2013 - rodeo

Q: could u give us the updates on the rodeo board thank you

A: standby for Rickey

09/17/2013 - Fish fry

Q: Will be doing a lot of surf fishing this weekend... what should we fish for in order to have a good fish fry on the beach?

A: you might catch spots, whiting, pompano,blues; all good in the frying pan. what I would do is throw my cast net for a mullet. can't picture any greater culinary delight than a fresh caught mullet, fried up on the beach. don't forget to fry up the gizzard, best part and if the word got out would put KFC out of business.

09/17/2013 - fishing giants 101

Q: How do you access the info "fishing giants 101" ? For trolling and rigging ballyhoo.

A: I think you mean How To section. Click and scroll down and read the articles.

09/14/2013 - Fishing

Q: What's best way to catch large mullet? Dozen or more quickly

A: You need a cast net, the bigger net you can throw, the better your success. Great fall King Mackerel bait, and if King's don't eat them, split them open, cover with Carolina Treat BBQ sauce, and cook over your campfire. You'll better understand what a King Mack sees in a mullet.

09/14/2013 - Finger mullet

Q: For inshore and artificial reefs, better to hook finger mullet vertically through the lips, or horizontally through the eyes?

A: mullets thru the lips; pogies thru the nose[unless using a jig head then hook thru the lips]

09/12/2013 - fishing

Q: Really need an honest answer. Is this weekend going to be fishable? Looking to get out near stream. Got a 25 cc. thank you

A: That one is easy; even my 1968 Wingate College meteorology course can handle this one. Gulf Stream on a 25 ft boat with a NE wind blowing 15-20+ will not work. You may get there[following sea+-], you just can't get back[headsea +-]. You need to wait for better conditions. However, on the beach, it will be flat. Try Yaupon/River Channel/Lighthouse Rocks for Kings with live pogies.

09/12/2013 - Previous question

Q: Based on your answer to the previous question, would your answer be the same when heading to Bj or 100/400. I see how you can run into a headwind/sea coming from the scarp but would it not be a little different headed in a different direction...just curious. Knowledge is power. I fought a north wind all the back from the scarp once and always wondered, if I had went a different direction, would the outcome have been the same. Thanks, I don't intend to challenge your experience, I just know you can't learn anything without asking

A: Has to do with how much east component there is vs north component. If moves to the east and you are fishing BJ/Steeples, yes you could pick up a little benefit. HOWEVER, any north or northeasterly direction is bad in the stream in that the stream runs north, the wind blows from the north, the seas thus build into the wind. In a 25 foot boat not recommended. Not saying it's dangerous, just not pleasant. watch the forecast for "lite and variable', that's what you are looking for in a stream trip.

09/09/2013 - Shark rig

Q: What kind of rig would you recomend for bottom shark fishing

A: 6 feet 80-120lb wire; 9/0 hook, 120 lb swivel. we have a good pre-made shark rig at OIFC store

09/05/2013 - Vertical jigging

Q: I would like to do some deep vertical jigging. I've got the gear now, but where exactly along the break should I be headed. I know the steeples has more "structure" than say... the Black Jack, but does that really matter or am I just working the ledges mainly. I realize there's jack and grouper etc etc at the wrecks in 100ish water, but it seems the DEEP water in more productive on a variety of fish and maybe bigger fish ( from what I've seen and read). I realize you probably don't wanna give out your "secret" numbers, I just need a little nudge in the right direction so the trip will be enjoyable for the guys on the boat

A: I don't like the Steeples for jigging as there is normally so much current you can't conrol the straight up and down direction you need for vertical jigging. I like the Black Jack ledges or MacMarlin ledges, also the live bottom area at the 100/400. Just watch your recorder and where you see good marks drop it there. At BJ try the deeper ledges[200feet+]. Anywhere along the break[165+-250] will produce. What you catch will vary with the season, but you will almost always be catching[hooking] something on each drop and will give your buddies some heavy duty rod bending.

09/04/2013 - #4 Treble hooks

Q: Are there any #4 treble hooks that will not rust after 1 or 2 fishing trips. I wire my own rigs and looking for the best hooks.

A: You can rinse them off with fresh water after use, but if you want the "best hooks" you should replace them often.[hooks are cheap; catching big fish isn't]

09/03/2013 - Kings

Q: Where are the Kings??? this past weekend I fished from the sharkhole all the way to navy wreck stopping at the horseshoe as well.. we didn't get the first hit by a king all we battled was jacks... am I just unlucky or should I be fishing somewhere else? I fish off a 26' CC w/ twin 150FS

A: We had same problem. Fished the tourney, ran all over the ocean and had 2 king bites. Some of boats had good action I heard northeast of the tower; not sure exactly where. But standby, as cool fronts come thru, fish should make move to 65 foot area enroute to the beach for the fall beach bite.

09/01/2013 - Reel spooling

Q: If I buy a reel on the oifc website, how can I tell you guys to spool it

A: when you place a online order, we contact you to verify the order so at that point you could specify the line

08/30/2013 - Shark fishin

Q: Could I use the Star Aerial EX7040 and penn senator combo for sharks

A: Yes, that would be a good set up.

08/28/2013 - jigging leader

Q: How long of a flro leader would I use vertical jigging for grouper & aj. Ill be using 65lb and 80lb braid. I assume Ill attach it with a double uni and tie directly to the jig ?!? Thanks, P.S. If you keep answering em' I'll keep asking em'

A: I'd use approx. 10 feet of floro. Probably best to use minimum of 80lb up to 100lb. We use a reverse albreight knot to tie the leader to the braid. Tricky knot.

08/28/2013 - Fishing guides

Q: I am coming down to OIB for two weeks and I am bringing my 22.5 2011 Sea Hunt boat. Are there any guides who will go out and show me the "hot spots" and do a fishing school. I will provide boat, gas, etc. I am looking to do a day of Grouper fishing, a day of sapnish fishing, and potentially a day in the backwater. I will be down for two weeks starting on Aug 31st.

A: On occasion if our boats aren't booked, mates will do these trips[on their on, not connected to OIFC]. I will pass this on to Capt Brant to see if any of the mates can help.

08/27/2013 - King rigs

Q: I have one of the king mackerel rigs with two treble hooks and slightly weighted. How and where would you recommend fishing?

A: use a dead cigar unless you have learned how to throw a cast net for pogies. slow troll just like live bait[go to our "how to" section on web site]. where? good question. The Kings have done a disappearing act. They "should" be in the 65 foot depth. Maybe after cold front they will be where they are supposed to be.

08/27/2013 - Shark fishing

Q: What rods that you sell would be suitable for shark fishing? (There are none in the shark category.)

A: Star Ariel 7040 is what we like

08/26/2013 - Jigging gear

Q: Let me start off by saying anything you can catch on a spinning outfit is a blast! (to me)That being said, Id like to get a vertical jigging outfit and naturally I am leaning towards a spinner. Are the Shimano Sargosa's gonna be tough enough and hold enough line to handle a broad spectrum of fish since I'll probably start out experimenting with one rod. I need to lean toward a conventional style of reel. And what size braid do you typically use on these reels for jacks, grouper, blackfin etc. Thanks

A: Rod: Trevalo xxh Spin: Saragosa 8000n or Penn Battle Conventional: Trinidad Line: 80lb braid This is what we use for deep water jigging [150 ft+]

08/21/2013 - hogfish

Q: Hey I been trying for a year now to catch a hogfish do you have any tips as of what type of bottom they like or bait thanks

A: Hogfish is a very rare catch for us. They will typically be in 100+ feet water, rocky areas/ledges. Supposedly using crab broken in half or quarters is best way to target, but whenever we do catch one, its just on a bait rig fishing for seabass/triggers/ect. We do get them scuba diving as they will swim right up to your spear gun, but diving 100+ feet is not a real good idea. I have thought of trying fiddler crabs but haven't tried yet. Beautiful white flesh, great eating.

08/18/2013 - lockwood folly inlet

Q: we are planning on fishing the Brunswick saltwater classic and was wondering if lockwood folly inlet was marked or if it would be safe for me to take my 26' kencraft out of.... thanks Cody

A: Last time I came thru it[couple weeks ago] it was marked and no problem.

08/18/2013 - Fish

Q: What did they do to catch the kings wahoo grouper and pampano? What were the steps of the trip and where did they catch em? Need help filling the box. Thanks y'all are great.

A: They were fising in approx 110 feet of water over rocks/ledges/wrecks using live pogies for bait. Fishing just like king fishing, slow trolling the pogies. Lots of great action in that water depth with live bait. This is good time of year to catch the African pompano's. Also caught bunch of big amberjacks[released]. Grouper caught deep dropping live pogies to bottom. Just pick a rock/ledge off ProFinder chart and give it a shot.

08/15/2013 - sharks

Q: How do you suggest we try to target sharks? Taking some kids out on the boat in a few days and just curious the best way to try to catch them. thanks!

A: Go outside inlet and put dead baits[pogies work good] on bottom and drift keeping baits on or close to bottom. Or get live pogies and go to any of close in King fishing spots[90/90] and slow troll trying to catch kings, and you will probably catch sharks.

08/13/2013 - Long bay vs Onslow bay

Q: For years my buddies and I have fished out of masonboro inlet, nearshore for kings and dolphin and the usual suspects. We have always done GOOD trolling dead baits like ballyhoo and cigar minnows and some lures. We have since bought a place at Ocean Isle (2 years ago) where we enjoy the atmosphere and people and OIFC. Our bluewater fishing is pretty good but, our nearshore fishing using the same tactics, lures, rigs, etc, etc, hasn't been nearly as productive as what we used to. No goose eggs but we definitely aren't slay em'. What is different? Are there "more" fish above the cape fear?? Any suggestions would help. PS I realize live baits are always the best bet, I cant throw a cast net though

A: I have theorized that the reason so many of the SKA King Mackerel champions come from our neighborhood is because we have to work so hard to catch fish, thus we become better fishermen. I'm joking, however we do have to fish a little further offshore with dead baits than maybe on the other side of the shoals as our water is shallower. Best luck with dead bait will be in the 75 foot+ depths rather than 45+ depths. Often we use dead cigars[slow troll just like live bait fishing] and dead cigars are just as productive as live bait. That said, nothing is more fun that watching a live pogy get nervous as he sees himself getting eyeballed by a predador. You need to come by OIFC and we will show you in five minutes how to throw a cast net. Live bait fishing will open up an entirely new fishing world to you.

08/12/2013 - bait

Q: where have the pogies been lately?

A: hard to find on SW wind. should reappear this weekend as wind going north

08/06/2013 - Testing from ICND

Q: Testing ask a captain form from ICND.

A: received

08/02/2013 - Spanish

Q: I am coming down August 3rd and would like to try to catch some Spanish. Can you fish right outside the inlet or do you need to go someplace like the 90s

A: typically the spanish will be outside the inlet on the tide line. look for white birds dipping in the water along the line. they are feeding on pieces of glass minnows the spanish will have bitten

08/02/2013 - Knots

Q: What knots do you guys typically use to attach mono to braid, fluoro to braid, mono to fluoro, etc? Just curious! I used a palomar to attach my downrigger snap swivel. I just started fooling around with braid but the knot has held for 2 trips out. Thanks, sorry I ask a lot of questions

A: the floro/mono to braid is a tricky know. we do a reverse albreight and you have to hold hard and pull down hard on the tag ends or it will not hold. floro to mono a double uni is best

07/31/2013 - Flounder

Q: Whats the best kind and color of artificial bait to catch flounder on in this area?

A: standby for Capt Jacob

07/30/2013 - wahoo and tuna

Q: Ive never fished the stream in the fall. (Im also a hunter.) But based on this years weather so far and current conditions, when do you expect the wahoo and tuna to start showing up in good numbers again around the break. Thats the most fun to me and Im looking forward to heading out there again.

A: Mid October and definitely November. Biggest fish of year caught this time of year. We catch them all winter, but does appear to be some sort of a late fall migration.

07/29/2013 - offshore (Sat. Aug. 3)

Q: Been fighting the weather and work schedule... I can come down Friday night and fish Sat. Reef-cast looks not so good... But heard that it can't be completely true all the time. Whats your thoughts for Sat. Aug 3?

A: Anytime you look out that far in future, forecasting difficult. cold front coming late in week; winds will blow SW in front of front. If it comes thru then will go NW and settle out. If it stalls then may be stuck with SW winds. Better guess later in the week. Reef Cast is normally better than me.

07/24/2013 - GPS/Fishfinders/Chartplotters

Q: Lowrance HDS 5 or Garmin 541? They seem to have the same capabilities and built in functions. Do you know anything about ease of use? or Reliability? This is for a recreational fisherman / weekend warrior type. Fishing VA Beach/Chesapeake Bay, OBX, Moorehead City, and OIB. Thanks.

A: we use Garmin on all our boats and like them. haven't used Lowrance units since the old paper recorder 40 years go.

07/22/2013 - Line Recommendation

Q: Hey guys, I'm coming down first week of August and have 2 older Penn 209's to use, plan on mainly trolling or jigging arouns the near shore reefs, my question is this - What line would you recommend, it hold 320 yrds of 20 lb mono and i was thinking about 60 yrds mono backing and the rest braid, is this a good set up or what? I do think I'll bring the reels in to your shop to get spooled up, any help would be appreciated, thanks.

A: There is no reason to go to expense of braid if jigging at near shore reefs in shallow water. The reason we use braid is no stretch which is important if jigging in deep water [100+].Also, if we are trying to increase the line capacity, we use braid as you can get more on a reel than with mono; again, not important in shallow water fishing. For your application, the 20lb mono line is correct.

07/22/2013 - High tide?

Q: Noticed on your webcam it looks like all the gras across from the dock is underwater. Is that normal and how does such a high tide affect fishing when it drops?

A: around full moon tides higher/lower than normal. doesn't seem to impact fishing, unless they aren't biting and then we blame it on the full moon

07/21/2013 - fishing

Q: coming down the week of july 27th w/ my boat.usually fish the shark hole & the 90's 90's for king has the fishing been for kings?thanks

A: fishing is good. should find kings/spanish/cobia at 90's. area around jungle and 65 foot hole is also producing. check with OIFC when you get down for updates

07/20/2013 - rodeo

Q: would or could you post pic of the leader board ever so often so we ca see how is in the lead thank you

A: we'll put that one on Rickey's request list.

07/18/2013 - Hook size - flounder

Q: What size and kind of hooks do you recommend for flounder? Also, if using a mud minnow or live bait how do you hook them?

A: Standby for Capt Jacob.

07/09/2013 - Reef Fishing

Q: Coming down next week and would like to try some near shore reef fishing for flounder (weather permitting), could you recommend the best reef's to try. Thanks

A: any of the close in artificial reefs should produce. AR 460[Jolly Mon Reef]/ Cauble/Yaupon. Try to catch mullet minnows and fish on a Carolina rig. The trick is to find the place around the reef where the flounder are sitting. If you find the right spot you can smack them.

06/29/2013 - Sea Bass

Q: Which structure/reefs would you suggest fishing for sea bass?

A: Before the season opened[June 1] keepers were everywhere. Once season opened seemed like you needed to get a little deeper to find the bigger fish[approx 65 feet]. Deeper you go, the bigger they get on out to 100 feet. So try the various king mackerel spots or wrecks/reefs in 65+ feet.

06/28/2013 - Little river jetties

Q: When fishing the jetties, what is the best way to fish? Troll, anchor, or fish towards the end of the rocks? Also what is the best tide out there?

A: Standby for Capt Jacob as this is "Jacob's world". Short answer is best to anchor and work the rocks with cork and suspended live bait. Always best when current moving.

06/27/2013 - Kingfish rig

Q: When tying kingfish rigs with 7 strand cable is a simple overhand knot cinched down sufficient for the swivel attachment or should there be additional wraps back along the cable? Also do you think 30# or 40# cable is best?

A: double granny knot[double overhand] pulled down tight. 40lb test is what you want

06/24/2013 - Tubbs

Q: Is Tubbs inlet marked going in/out to the ocean???

A: no and it changes all the time. best bet is to "look" at it a low tide so you can see where the best water is and then wait for rising tide to try

06/22/2013 - BIG dolphin

Q: Where can I find the biggest dolphin in the summer months. I realize I can catch 15lb fish within 30 miles, but are there still 40-50+lb fish around the stream and/or break even though the wahoo and tuna are gone. I don't mind the ride or the distance if I can clean 4 BIG fish instead of 20, 12lb fish. Thanks for the help....DECOY

A: If you're catching 20 12lb fish you might want to stick with that plan as that is a good catch. Actually the summer is when the biggest dolphin will be caught but it takes some real good luck. The key is to be out in the gulf stream and find a large floating object. It will probably have dolphin[mahi mahi] hanging around it and they will be hungrey. They are very fast growers and if you find something floating the dolphin around it probably have been hanging with it all the way from the carribean and should have grown big.

06/22/2013 - No limits fishing

Q: When is the No limits fishing show is going to be on you tube.Unable to get the show when it is aired

A: Go to fishing reports on and click on YouTube and scroll down to No Lmits fishing show.

06/20/2013 - Cobia This Weekend

Q: If one were to go searching for Cobia this weekend with a south wind where should we begin. just trying to get some intel on where they may have moved to now.

A: 3 ways: -buoy hop throwing a live bait or jig at buoys marking the channel or articical reefs -pogy pod hopping; throw live bait or jig into pogy pods; cobia working the pods -anchor/chum at artifical reefs/wrecks. Get up current from the structure and chum will dram them to you. Live bait or jig to them when they show.

06/19/2013 - End of July

Q: What is the bite like around the end of July. Considering the kids trip or the 4 hour near shore.

A: The 2 hour kids trip should find spanish mackerel and sea bass. Good constant action for the kids. If you think they can handle a 4 hour, will have a shot at King Mackerel, maybe mahi mahi, amberjack.

06/19/2013 - pole rental

Q: We're planning on renting one of your boats for some intercoastal fishing and wanted to know if you also rent poles?

A: No, but we have very inexpensive outfits for sale.

06/18/2013 - Got em on King Classic

Q: im fishing in the got em on classic next month out of Carolina beach... ive never fished on that side of shoals so im not familiar with places to fish... any help would be greatly appreciated....

A: Fish should be in the 65-80 foot depth. Try cabbage patch, fairway buoys area, 30/30 or you can do like Team OIFC did a few years ago and try every spot in the ocean, come back to the Carolina Beach sea buoy for last few minutes of fishing before weighin, get a big bite, and win the thing within 5 minutes of the scales.

06/14/2013 - Inshore Flounder

Q: How is the flounder fishing right now or going to be in the next few weeks? Are they catching any off of the beaches or in the inlets yet? Also, what is the best artificial lure to catch flounder in June? Thanks!

A: standby for Capt Jacob

06/13/2013 - Advice

Q: Hey Capt Brandt, My friend Clay Ramsey and I fished for blue fin tuna a two years back and I thought very highly of you, your crew, and their skills. I am headed to Ocean Isle with my bay boat. Do you have any coordinates for inshore wrecks that would be easily accessible, few miles or so, from the inlet. I fish out of Morehead City a lot and have little knowledge of the waters down there. Thanks in advance for any help, Matt Walrath

A: There are a 1/2 dozen or so of excellent artificial reefs within 5 miles of the beach. Best bet is to get a ProFinder chart. They have all the reefs and also have a chart where they have mapped out the specific locations of material at the reef sites. You should catch cobia/kings/spade fish/sea bass at the reefs this time of year.

06/13/2013 - shimano speedmaster

Q: I have a shimano speedmaster with a med light star rod .And I plan on coming down to fish for mahi,kings,and cobia . How do you think i should spool they reel ? I was thinking about 150 yds 30# backing 500 yds 50# power pro ,and about 10 ft of 80 fluorocarbon .Also should I tie on wire ? And if so what size and how much ? And how much drag should i set the reel at Thanks

A: The Shimano Speedmaster is the perfect reel for catching kings/cobia/mahi when fishing live bait or slow trolling dead cigars. It is not the right outfit for trolling speed ballyhoo[6-8kts]. The setup you are suggesting is not correct for the application you describe. You only need to put 20-25lb test mono. No backing, no top shot. You will add 12 feet of 30lb flourcarbon leader and then tie on a standard King rig[wire leader]. You will then slow troll either live pogies or dead cigars. You will be barely moving[if your bait spins you are going to fast]. Go to our "How to" section on our web site. Come see us for more info.

06/11/2013 - dolphin

Q: coming to oib june 22/29 what wood be good #s to catch dolphin and how close inshore will they be ....thanks

A: Dolphin[mahi mahi] will be moving in closer from the gulf stream[approx 60 miles offshore] into the spots we catch king mackerel this time of year. That includes the Shark Hole/Jungle/65 foot hole/Horseshoe. They are an incidental catch while we are live bait fishing for kings with live pogies. Best chance will still be on the break[gulf stream] but there also is a good chance to catch them at spots mentioned above. Also you can catch them on dead bait trolling; if you find them[or they find you] they are not picky eaters and will eat live or dead bait.

06/07/2013 - Charter

Q: Capt.... Ive got a charter booked on the CAT for a stream trip this sunday. With this damn tropical storm hitting, is that going totally destroy the fishing grounds for a few days? Is it looking like it will even be out of the area by this Sunday? Just curious if maybe your crystal ball works better than mine, and maybe you have some insight here. Thanks, Don

A: Storm moving out today; conditions will be improving; but that is a capt Brant question. He will get back to you.

06/07/2013 - Pogies

Q: Where are the flounder size pogies hanging out around Holden Beach?

A: should be some around the bridge. at Ocean Isle they are in the concrete canals or in front of Ocean ISle Marina

06/07/2013 - jolly mon

Q: was wondering if ya'll thought the storm moving through will have any effect on the bite for the tournament... see ya next weekend!

A: Storm moving out; hopefully weather will settle and fish will move back to Shark Hole/65 feet area. we will keep everyone informed on what happens early next week when our charter boats are back on the water.

06/06/2013 - Tropical Storm Andrea

Q: Coming down Saturday 6/8. Wondering what you guys thought this storm would do to the fishing. Specifically the nearshore stuff.

A: It's going to blow the shortening out of the biscuit Friday; lots of rain. All the fresh water will impact the inside waters. Best bet will be to fish the inlet[inside waters] as the tidal flow will flush out the fresh water faster there. Doesn't look good to get outside of inlet this weekend.

06/05/2013 - july fishing

Q: Hi, first of all thanks for all your advice already available on here. I am bringing my 19 foot carolina skiff with me for a week trip on july 4th week. I plan on staying in the inlets because I have NEVER brought my own boat with me, only been on charters. Would love to mainly target flounder. Are they going to be active enough to spend most of my time going after? Second I guess would be reds. What should I look for when fishing for these types of fish? I dont know anything about fishing tides other than fish when the tide is moving. Anything else I should know? Thank you so much for helping me start what I hope becomes a tradition.

A: Capt Jacob will respond to you but flounder will be available in the inlets and creeks. Reds best along bridges and docks on intercoastal.

06/05/2013 - inshore king bite

Q: How is the king bite on the beach around Southport and the River channel, yupon and lockwood folly inlet.

A: Hit or miss. If have light north winds it is a good bet for a beach bite there. Most dependable action for now will be the Shark Hole/Horseshoe/Jungle

06/03/2013 - african pompano

Q: When and where would I have the best chance to encounter some African pompano. I've never caught any, and I would like to give it a shot. I mostly troll ballyhoo and cigar minnows. Thanks

A: Best time to catch them is in summer around Frying Pan Tower. Also may find them on ledges in tower area. Best bait will be live pogies but if you don't cast net bait, try a 7 pound test sabiki around the tower and you should be able to catch live cigar minnows. Live bait will be your best bet. Also, during February, we catch them on the break[165feet] with deep dropping jigs.

05/31/2013 - Wave height and duration

Q: Is there a website that I can find out wave height and duration? I see that near shore seas are to be around 3 feet (near shore) tomorrow,6/1/13, and was thinking of fishing but I'm going to have some "newbies" on board and don 't want to make the trip if it's going to be too bumpy on them! Thanks, Ken

A: Go to our web site [] and click on fishing reports, weather and then click on Reef Cast. Tells you exactly what you are looking for.

05/31/2013 - july fishing

Q: Hi, first of all thanks for all your advice already available on here. I am bringing my 19 foot carolina skiff with me for a week trip on july 4th week. I plan on staying in the inlets because I have NEVER brought my own boat with me, only been on charters. Would love to mainly target flounder. Are they going to be active enough to spend most of my time going after? Second I guess would be reds. What should I look for when fishing for these types of fish? I dont know anything about fishing tides other than fish when the tide is moving. Anything else I should know? Thank you so much for helping me start what I hope becomes a tradition.

A: stand by for Capt Jacob; that's his world

05/30/2013 - Black Sea Bass Fishing?

Q: What is the status of Black Sea Bass fishing here in Southeastern North Carolina? Can you keep them beginning June 1, 2013? Thanks!

A: Opens Saturday June 1. 5 fish limit/person.

05/30/2013 - 100/400

Q: Is this close to the tower or out futher, Basiclly were is it?

A: Aprox 15 miles further. 100/400 is a loran co-ordinate[45100/59100]. It is on ProFinder charts identifed as 100/400.

05/30/2013 - gps card

Q: Hi do you sell a card for a Garmin chartplotter that has the names of good fishing spot like the shark hole or jolly Mon reef steeples etc. Already preloaded on it. Thanks

A: Yes, ProFinder is the best and we have it at OIFC

05/29/2013 - bouy at reef missing

Q: Where is the bouy at the reef 3 miles off OIB? I think it is ar460 thanks

A: Yep, washed away. Artifical reef assoc says they don't have the money to replace it for now. Hopefully the Jolly Mon tourney will generate enough funds for them to replace.

05/28/2013 - Braid

Q: What pound test braid are you using on the TLD 25 for stream fishing/grouper ???

A: We use 65-80 on TLD 25 for stream fishing. We top shot it with 100yds similiar mono to give stretch. We back the braid with same mono based on amount of yardage we want to put on the reel. We use 100-130lb leader.

05/27/2013 - line on off-shore reels

Q: I went to my local fishing supply store in High Point and asked them to replace the line on 3 of my reels-2 Penn 330 GTI's and a vintage 113H. I asked them to follow similar instructions to those you all had on your webstore add for the Shimano TLD 25--150 yards of 50# mono as backing then 300+ yards of 65# braid. They tried to convince me to put on 16# mono as backing as that was the manufacturer's recommendation and was the same diameter as the braid. What should I put on the reels? Thanks, Mike

A: Sounds like a apples/oranges thing. We use the Shimano 25TLD for gulf stream fishing for tuna/mahi/wahoo. It is light and inexpensive. We are fishing for big fish and thus need a lot of line capacity, however the braid is so expensive we back it with cheap mono and then put the braid on it. The heavier pound test is because we are fishing for big fish; anything from 60-100 pound wahoo to a 350 lb blue marlin. It sounds like your application is for smaller fish, thus you use a lighter pound test line. Your tackle shop is correct, you match the backing pound test with the braid pound test and the pound test you use is based on your intended quary.

05/24/2013 - August Stream Fishing

Q: What do you target in August for your gulf stream trips?

A: August is hit or miss for stream fishing. If you find something floating you can load up on mahi. White Marlin and Sailfish are mixed. August not our best stream month[April/May/June best. King bite is good then[closer in].

05/24/2013 - Flounder and Drum

Q: I was wondering where the flounder and red drum have been and what they have been biting.

A: Right now best is mud minnows but small pogies are starting to appear so that will be a good bait. They should be around the bridges or jetties or docks along Craven Street.

05/23/2013 - July Inshore

Q: We’ll be done there the first week of July with our 22’ skiff. Having never fished inshore down there, what should we look for as far as catching flounder, trout and reds? From what I have read, bait should be fairly easy to come by. Thanks

A: Plenty of mullet or samll pogies. Best by bridges or jetties. Check with CApt JAcob at OIFC when you get here for updates.

05/22/2013 - Maui for Memorial Day

Q: How far out are the Mahi for this week end. Also is fishizzle still in business. Thanks

A: They are still along the break[50-60 miles]. Later in the summer they will move into closer in waters

05/22/2013 - Spade fish

Q: I saw a report today about spade fish. I did not evev know there were any in our waters! How and where do you go about catching them?

A: see previous post

05/22/2013 - spades

Q: heading down this weekend gonna try the spades looking for tips.... an heard jellyfish are best bait... do you get them in the ocean or where's best place... thanks

A: Take a crab net and scoop up a couple jelly balls[should be around inlet mouth]. Put them in a bucket as they will stain your deck. Take a coat hanger and run it thru jelly ball and lower to bottom on your down rigger. When you see your rigger bouncing, slowly wind it to the surface. Spades will follow. Take a small hook, 10lb floro leader, and small piece of jelly ball on your hook. Drop in front of jelly ball. Hang on. Should be at Jolly Mon Reef[3 mile reef] or Sherman or Cauble or any close in reef.

05/20/2013 - Wicked Tuna

Q: I remember seeing you guys wanting to get a team on that show. Any luck with that? Would love to see you guys show how the south does it!

A: We are still pounding away at them. Trying to create a north vs south conflict.

05/18/2013 - amber jack

Q: I wanted to can you eat AJ ?also barracuda Ive heard two different stories on both . i hear down in the gulf coast they eat AJ .And in the bahamas cuda what do you guys think

A: There is a good loin on upper shoulder of AJ that is beautiful excellent white meat. The lower part of the fish may show worms which they say won't harm you but not which I have been willing to try.Yes, they eat them in the gulf, but typically our fish are bigger and maybe get worms with age. Baracudas supposedly have cigaterra, will make you sick. We don't eat them at all.

05/18/2013 - Oct. 5

Q: Hello Captains, I've been fishing the Oak island surf now for about three years and have caught much at all. We are planning a trip the first weekend in Oct and would like to get on some Reds or flounder or trout. We have Kayaks and don't mind fishing back water. Can we get some advice/help.

A: Creeks and along the bridges are going to be best bet. Net some live mullet as they will be keyed on mullets that time of year. Use a Carolina rig.

05/07/2013 - Flounder Fishing

Q: I know it is a little early, but if you wanted to try and catch some flounder this time of year, where would you go and what type of bait would you use? Thanks

A: Live mund minnows are the bait of choice early in the season Drifting Tubbs Inlet or Hoggs Inlet will be the best two places to find a flounder early in the season.

04/30/2013 - wind

Q: I watch the noaa forecasts daily and I've noticed it's been a very windy spring. In fact, I don't remember a more windy spring. I'm concerned this is a new weather pattern. What is your experience with wind in the spring? Is it my imagination or should I sell my boat since almost every weekend it sits because I can't get our in 6' - 10' seas. Thanks for any info you can share. Regards, Nathan

A: Ha! Know how you feel. Only thing I can say is when it's real windy for long time, it will be real calm for long time. Nature seems to balance things, but I agree she seems to be on the fish side more than the fishermen. Guess the good news is the more fish we don't get to go catch, the more baby fish there are, and eventually the more big fish there are for us to catch. Patience Patience.

04/24/2013 - Tower

Q: I was wondering if yall had an reports from the tower see the temp is up enough for kings... Thanks!!

A: The kings bit like bulldogs yesterday at the Navy wreck. Also numerous wahoo caught including a 96lber. Look at the temp charts; that will tell the story[70degree+]

04/19/2013 - offshore wrecks

Q: i was wondering if yall had the coordinates for the Navy wreck I cant find them on line.... seen where there was a hot king bite an I am coming down on the 3rd so any help is appreciated.. also the Sherman wreck.... thanks...

A: You need to have a chart, ProFinder is best. If you fishiing from a skiff, Navy wreck is pretty far offshore]50 miles, SW of Tower.

04/17/2013 - Offshore

Q: Coming to ocean isle with the family in August. I need to get away and fish for a day. What is the best offshore trip to do in August? Do you ever have any trips that just need one more person?

A: August is a good time for Kings and maybe mahi mahi. The longer trip time you give the captain, the better likely positive results, but that time of year you can get to the fish on a 1/2 day trip. If you do a longer trip, can get further offshore and have good bottom fishing[grouper/ect] as well as top water game fish. We don't do make up charters but we will take your name and if someone is looking to put together a crew we will hook you up with them. Check with us when you get to OIB. Thanks.

04/14/2013 - near shore bottom fishing

Q: Where is the best places to do near shore bottom fishing in the Holden Beach to Little River area?

A: Look on the Profinder chart, and any of the nearshore reefs will be loaded with sea bass[catch and release for now]. Mid May, Kings will show up at 90/90 or Yaupon reef. Spanish will be at the inlets on tide line.

04/12/2013 - May

Q: bringing my boat back down on may 3 its a 25ft CC with twin 150 is there anything biting wthin say 25-30 miles offshore?? if so what an how do I need to fish for it? thanks!!!!

A: The water should have warmed by then such that the kings will be either at the Shark Hole or Jungle. Also Cobia will begin to mix in. Live pogies are hard to find that early in the spring, so I would use dead cigars slow trolled just like live bait. if water hasn't warmed so fish have begun moving in, push out a little further to the 27-32 mile rocks area and they should be there. If you want to go to the gulf stream[60 miles] May is the best time of the year to go for mahi/wahoo. You are welcome to follow our charter boats. When you get down check in with us at OIFC and we can give you up to minute as to whats biting where.

04/07/2013 - Circle hooks

Q: What are the new regs about bottom fishing with circle hooks

A: Suggest check out National Marine Fisheries site on that one[too confusing to risk telling you wrong]. Rules in fed waters different than state.

04/05/2013 - Shimano Saragosa

Q: Was wondering if anyone has used the Saragosa 10000? I've been trying to decide on a new jigging/bottom fishing combo and I'm having a hard time making my mind up. I'm really between the Saragosa 8k, 10k, or the 14k. Any thoughts. Thanks.

A: The 8k Saragosa is a fine reel for jigging for the price. However over time, and a bunch of big fish you will encounter it will finally give out. The Stella is the top of the line but very expensive. 3 Sargagosa's equal 1 Stella. we put 80lb braid on either one.

04/05/2013 - Snowy Grouper/Tilefish

Q: Saw that Brant, Barrett, and Rube had a nice deep drop trip last week. Was wondering the regulations on the snowies and tiles. Thanks and keep up the great reports!

A: If fishing recreation, snowy is 1 fish per boat. If fishing commercial you are allowed 100lbs of incidental catch while fishing for tiles. If fishing for tiles, be sure to have a venting tool in order to release the snowies.

04/03/2013 - Tubbs

Q: Is tubbs inlet going to be passable this year? And I haven't been out Shallotte inlet this year . Do you still hug the ocean isle side and line up on the buoys ? My boat and I thank you in advance. I have plowed corn through there and had a pucker factor of 10! Lol

A: Tubbs is ever changing. Haven't been out this year so not sure of condition, but if try it..beware. Shallotte Inlet is fine. Yes hug the OIB side going out and after you make the turn,follow the red buoys, except for the last red and you need to be on the Holden Beach side of it as it has pushed toward the OIB sand bar. Several of the greens are close to the bar so stay with the reds and you should be good. Brant[offical inlet master] is laid up following another surgery so he won't be able to move the buoys back in place.

04/03/2013 - May/June Fishing

Q: New to fishing the area. Wondering when to tell relatives to visit for good good fishing, May or June? Looking for flounder, Spanish, Reds, Blues, Trout and Sea Bass. Thanks.

A: All the fish you indicated will be here and available in May or June. With cool/cold may be better to wait for mid May. Both months are great. If you want to add to the equation going to the gulf stream, May is the best month of the year as mahi mahi/wahoo/tuna will be at their best. If Kings are of interest, they will be better in June as they migrate into closer in waters as water warms.

04/03/2013 - LIVE SHRIMP


A: I think only spot right now is up the Cape Fear River above Southport.

04/03/2013 - blue chart or profinfder

Q: My 2006 garmin 3210 gpsmap does not have a memory card. Do you prefer bluechart or profinder cards. thanks, harry

A: We like Profinder as it is tailored for our area, using names we use locally. We provided much of the info spots.

04/02/2013 - SURF FISHING


A: Best bet this time of year will be whiting. A good eating pan fish, catch them with standard bottom rig with shrimp. Or if you can find sand fleas in the surf, they are a good bait.

03/31/2013 - Surf fishing

Q: Where is the best place to surf fish and what bait is good I usually use ship crabs from canals and I've hear tha squid is good for surf fishing is that true

A: Shrimp or squid will get you a bite, maybe from a whiting or spot. Use mud minnows or finger mullet for redfish or flounder or bluefish. Sand fleas will work for whiting. Or throw a sting sliver for bluesfish. Any where along the beach will work, but look for holes which will show by a area of less breaking water. Look at low tide and spot out places to try when tide comes back in.

03/31/2013 - Canals

Q: What can I use to catch fish in canals off of a dock

A: Depends on the time of year, but generally mud minnows are best to catch redfish or flounder. Cut shrimp will catch pinfish.

03/30/2013 - Inshore Line

Q: What kind of line do you recommend to used while Trolling for flounder. I use spinning and baitcaster reels on med/ light rods. How much is the recommend line at the oifc.

A: 15 to 20 pound mono main line...use 15# fluorocarbon leaders...mono is 4 cents a yard...Fluoro is roughly $14 for 200 yds..Red Label..Bring em in and we will get you set up!

03/27/2013 - blackfin

Q: What should i look for when targeting blackfin or a possible yellowfin, versus just blind trolling temp breaks, structure, bait etc. Ive never done any jiggin, I mainly troll. Thanks for any help or info. PS. Ive never caught a tuna in the US.

A: Best area will be on the break and deeper. If targeting, look for birds.Birds don't lie. If you see birds there are tuna there. Pull cedar plugs/feathers for blackfin or small ballyhoo. You can jig them around structure like the steeples. You will see marks in the mid water column. MOst likely that is blackfin. Yellowfin have not been seen in our waters for almost 10 years. Read OIFC fishing report for response from NC MF as to what happened to them. We haven't seen bluefin in our waters in last 4 years.

03/25/2013 - Guided fishing trip

Q: My son and I, he is 11, are wanting to book a trip or two the week of March 30th. We are staying on Ocean Isle that week. Suggestions? We should we expect to catch?

A: You can do a inshore trip with Capt Jacob and catch Redfish and maybe trout. You can do a near shore ocean trip with Capt Chris and catch sea bass. Both are great trips for young kids. If you are more experience, the gulf stream action is good with wahoo and deep jigging for amberjack/cobia/ect. Call OIFC and Capt Brant will book which trip is right for you[910575FISH{3474]].

03/24/2013 - Shrimp

Q: Are the shrimp found in the icw the ok to eat? If so when can you fish them when are they in season?

A: Yes. The NC Marine fisheries opens/closes the season based on size of the shrimp. Normally early summer before they open.

03/15/2013 - surf/icw fishimg

Q: wondering what is being caught in the surf at this time and in the icw.any black or red drum in the surf?thanks

A: Early spring surf fishing, best bet is whiting, a good eating pan fish. Cut shrimp on a bottom rig or live sandfleas will work. Intercoastal, maybe redfish; use live mud minnows or jigs with gulp baits. Come talk to Capt Jacob when you get here and he will dial you in.

03/12/2013 - Gps spots

Q: We are trying to plan a trip and catch anything with teeth this weekend as Friday and Sunday look decent nearshore. Where would you go in a 20 mile radius of Little River Inlet or Shallotte Inlet? We always go to 390's first then Little River Rocks so is this our best option? Thanks for all yall do!

A: If you are happy to catch and release, the water is full of sea bass. You may find some dog sharks also. Other than that, the water is too cool still for kings or any game fish. Best bet is to come to OIFC Saturday for our Spring Kickoff. Lots of activities, free seminars/ect. Also the NC Marine Fisheries folks will be there to "explain" to everyone why they are keeping sea bass shut down in our state waters. That alone will be worth the price of admission[it's free].

03/06/2013 - Mid May Inshore

Q: Hey Guys! I am planning on coming down the weekend of May 9-12th and will be bringing my 17ft Carolina skiff for some inshore fishing (wish I could go a little out but my samll boat just cant handle it!) Do y'all have any reccomendations on what we might focus on during the trip? I've had luck before with gulp and mullet but we usually come down in August and I know it's a different ballgame in May. Please help with any advice at all, I really enjoy the site and all the reports/answers thanks in advance and happy fishing!

A: May is usually when flounder start to show up in decent numbers. Drifting live mud minnows on a carolina rig near the inlets, Tubbs and Shallotte, should produce bites from the flat fish. Red drum and black drum will be hanging around hard structures, brigdes, docks, rocks, etc...feeding on live or fresh shrimp. Sunset Beach Bridge area or Little River Jetties will be the hot spots. Speckled trout will also be around, targeting oyster bars, grass lines, and tidal rips should produce bites with shrimp under a cork or a variety of soft plastics on a jighead. Again, Little River Jetties or Calabash River will usually see the first action from the trout.

03/04/2013 - black sea bass

Q: When will the closed season re-open for sea bass. Thanks,

A: June 1 in our waters. The Feds are actually meeting this week and maybe somehow they will come to their senses and open up earlier.

03/03/2013 - Fishing trip

Q: We are new to Ocean Isle beach area, plan to stay there again this year. My 22year old son enjoys fishing along beach and back water. What kind of off shore or near shore trip would you suggest for rookies. our trip will be week of July 13, 2013. Thanks, Tony

A: Mid July is a great time to fish our waters. On a half day trip you may catch sapnish mackeral, king mackeral, sea bass, maybe cobia and maybe mahi mahi. The longer trip you can do the better as gives captain more time to search for fish or go further offshore. Suggest booking soon as possible as that is the busiest time of the year and all the boats will be chartered if you don't book ahead.

02/24/2013 - best tide for redfish

Q: I was wondering what is the best tide to catch reds. I have seen people catch them for thirty minutes then not catch another one until the tide changes back. Is there a secret with the tide for catchiing redfish.

A: Best tides for redfish? Generally moving water will get most fish fired up and biting. The best tide changes with the conditions...water clarity, temperature, clouds, sunny, etc. etc...Fish will also change their location with tidal movement and food sources. They may be in one place at low, but move to another at high. High tide or high water can be the most difficult time to locate fish. More water equals more places to hide. Low tide or low water can be the easiest time to locate the fish. Less water equals fewer places to hide. Most of the time a 30 minute bite happens because you have found them in a transition or staging area. Generally the bite shuts off because that group of fish has moved on to another location. You have to move to find them again or another group of fish feeding during a different cycle in the tide. Most guides will tell you that they can find fish on most tide levels and have great success anytime the water is moving. At the same time as a guide we have the advantage of locating fish by being on the water day after day. If I haven't been on the water for a while and had to put you on a fish. My sure bet would be to target either side of the low tide. See ya on the water! Capt. Jacob Frick

02/23/2013 - Natural Canals

Q: What type of bite can I expect in the Natural Canals this time of the year? We will be fishing march 2-6.

A: Best hope will be redfish or speckled trout. Water has to warm up more before flounder will be there. Check with Jacob at OIFC when you get to OIB; he can point you in best direction.

02/22/2013 - Garage Sale

Q: Are you guys looking to have the Garage/Yard Sale & Seminar this year? If so when? thanks much

A: Absolutely. March 16. Follow web site for info. Lots of activities being added this year.

02/20/2013 - Reef Flounder Fishing

Q: What time of the year is a good time to Flounder Fish on the Inshore Reef's Thanks

A: The inshore flounder reef bite seems to be best late summer and fall. Live mullet minnows work well.

02/16/2013 - surf/headboat fishing

Q: will be in oib april 1-6 what might I expect in the surf.past fishing reports I seen make it appear that whiting will be thick.thought about a 1/2 day headboat trip with my 11 yr old son also,who would you go with,we have never been offshore but lake fish frequently.lastly,are there any places in the area a fisherman can take his fillets or dressed fish and have them frozen till he departs for a reasonable fee.any advice or links will be appreciated,thank you Jackie sitton,hendersonville ,nc

A: Surf fisihing in April should produce whiting, but don't think you will find them thick. May also catch bluefish. Unless the Feds open black sea bass fishing up most of what you catch on head boat[or our charter boats that fish close in] will be catch and release sea bass. They are thick as fleas but the Feds think they are endangered species. The Feds don't have a clue. If you don't want to do a private charter[our boats] the best head boats we think are Little River Offshore Fleet. Best bet to freeze your filets will be your hotel freezer but if not available, I'm sure we could stick them in our freezer for couple days for you.

02/15/2013 - yellowfin tuna

Q: coming down sometime in may and was looking to go to the gulf stream. was wanting to try for yellowfin and was wondering how often yall have caught them and what else was out there that time of the year. dolphin and wahoo maybe.

A: May is absolutely the best month to go to the gulf stream if fishing our waters. Yellowfin used to be our staple gulf stream fishery and we could depend on double digit catches. Somehow for some unknown reason approx 7 years ago they disappeared and we now only see a few. However May is good for mahi mahi and wahoo and maybe a yellowfin or blackfin tuna. Also good month to deep drop jigs for all kinds of big animals on the bottom[cobia/amberjack/grouper/ect]

02/12/2013 - Big fish

Q: I know it's not quite your area. But I am going fishing out of Mayport FL in May. Its a party type boat, mostly bottom fishing. Any ideas on what type of bait to bring to catch the bigger fish.

A: If you are fishing in 100+ deep and you can take live pinfish, that will be the ticket to catch grouper/mango snappers.

02/08/2013 - Tournament

Q: Whats this I hear about yall having an inshore tournament again?

A: info on all OIFC tourneys posted on web site "Tournaments"

02/06/2013 - wahoo

Q: DO you suggest running 130 lb fluro to trolling rigs for wahoo or with wire or with cable?

A: if specifically targeting wahoo[and don't want to get bit off], suggest 90lb wire. If high speed trolling lures, then cable.

02/01/2013 - wahoo

Q: cable or wire for wahoo?

A: Prefer wire[approx 90lb] if pulling ballyhoo. If high speed trolling lures, then cable.

01/31/2013 - SPRING SEMINAR

Q: When are yall planning on having the Spring seminar??

A: middle of March[think March 16]. Check out our web site for details.

01/28/2013 - wahoo & tuna

Q: I saw a question about wahoo and dolphin. When would be the best time for Wahoo and Tuna. I like size but quantity is also fun

A: Our best wahoo fishing is in late fall and early spring, however wahoo can be caught any time of the year. During the late fall/early spring you can specifically target them. Yellowfin Tuna used to be a primary spring fishery for us however over the last almost 10 years they have disappeared. Only a incidental catch now, maybe this is the year they reapear. Blackfin can be caught best in the winter and spring, either trolling small feathers, cedar plugs, or jigging over structure in 200 feet +. Dolphin will be best May/June.

01/17/2013 - inshore,(trout,drum)

Q: Do you think the inshore bite will remain hot on Sat. & Sun. after this cold front/temps move into and offshore our coast. Thanks

A: The low pressure is right on top of us. The temperature is going to change a good 20+ degrees. I would say fishing is going to be tough. Can a few fish still be caught? Only one way to find out...go fishing! Slowing down presentation will be the key to catch trout and reds. Fresh cut shrimp at the Jetties or Sunset Bridge should still catch some black drum.

01/16/2013 - Duck

Q: Any ducks around the marsh? Seein any ducks?

A: Ducks have been scattered all over the marsh. Mostly bufful heads(Megansuers)...I think? Of course sea ducks, a few wood ducks up the Calabash and Shallotte River..

01/09/2013 - january fishing

Q: we fish out of lockwood and were wondering the closest place we could go to hook up on some false albacore,bonita ,kings.thanks for what you guys do.

A: Its all about water temperature. you need 68degree+. Should be in Frying Pan Tower area either around the tower, southwest around the Navy Wreck area, or northeast of tower approx 5 miles. Look at water temp report on on web page as a guild. Or go to the break and the water will be 70+ and you may also find wahoo/sailfish

01/05/2013 - Fly fishing

Q: I've been going to the area for 23 years now. I'm an avid fly fisherman in the high lands. The past couple years I've started to wonder what a blue might feel like on an 8wt. Looks like you guys know. What kind of tackle do I need to be picking up? Do you stock any of this? Looking forward to getting in the waterway and seeing what kind of new trouble I can find.

A: Thats a captjacob question:

01/03/2013 - Weekend

Q: With the weather and seas looking good this weekend so far, would the Tower area, SW tower bottoms, Navy Wreck be a good choice form some King Mac action? How much further would we need to go for the wahoo?

A: absolutely; good warm water has moved in. should be good. keep eye out for bluefin as you pass the knuckle and horseshoe[look for ganets/porpoise/whales]

01/01/2013 - Mono backing

Q: Where monofilament is used as backing for braid what life expectancy should you expect since it is not subjected to very much light? Is it still a good plan to change it yearly?

A: Couple applications. For our offshore reels[tuna/dolphin/wahoo/marlin] we fill with braid in order to increase capacity and then add 100 yards of mono as top shot[typically 80lb for each]. The only time we would use mono as a backing for braid is if we had a bottom fishing set up and didn't want to spend the money to load with braid. In that case we would load with mono and add top shot of braid. If you have a downrigger, we backfill with mono[or leave the original wire on the spool] and then put couple hundred feet of 250lb braid on top. This keeps the braid from cutting into the spool on your downrigger. In terms of changing braid, we do so every 3 years. As to mono, if backing, 3 years probably ok, if topshot, every year.

12/31/2012 - Cat vs mono hull Trolling spread

Q: Always owned a mono hull, just got a used Worlcat 266sf, great boat. What would be the best trolling spread for this boat, i go after spanish/mahi/kings out of shallotte. I saw your video and looks like you use the transom rod holders alot. thanks-harry

A: WC is a great family boat, very stable, lots of comfort spots. when spanish fishing, key is to run lines so they don't tangle with each other[same mono vs WC]. Use #1 planner with 25ft 30lb mono #00 clarkspoon. Let back 15 count, right stern rod holder. Same thing on left, let back 10 count. Top line is bird with same clark spoon set up. Dolphin/Kings 2 top lines with dead cigars and head weighted king rig. Run downriggers approx 1/2 depth to bottom and half of half for other downrigger. Spread your rods out in order to give max spread of baits so as not to tangle.

12/26/2012 - Tournament

Q: Hey I was wondering if you could tell me how hard it is to get out of the inlet there in a 29 center console, or if little river would be better. I'm planning on fishing two of your tournaments this year and I'm not familiar with the waters around there. Also could you recommend a marina to store my boat with easy assess to the open water even on low tide. Thanks, Chris

A: If coming from OIB side, after passing the Town pier, hug the beach side[100 feet+-] till you round the corner and then follow the buoys[stay away from white water as on occasion the sand bar moves around]. Best bet for dockage is Ocean Isle Marina[there is a link on our home page].

12/18/2012 - Sunset Harbor Wildlife Ramp

Q:  A friend told me Sunset Harbor was roped off this past Sunday. Do you know if it is open now? Thank for all ya'll do.

A: Sorry, don't have any info from up that way. Will try to find out. Standby.

12/09/2012 - wahoo

Q: What month would give the best chance to catch wahoo and dolphin mix?

A: Best time to catch both species mixed would be april-June. You can catch either of them any month in the gulf stream but best chances for both will be in spring migration. Our Far Out Shoot Out blue water tourney is based on catching a dolphin/wahoo/tuna. It is in mid May, height of the season.

12/01/2012 - blue fin permit

Q: can you sell a blue fin under a captians permit are do you need your own

A: The rules are much too complex and confusing for me to give you an answer[don't want to take chance of telling you wrong]. There are so many screwey rules. Issue not only involves licenses but safety gear. Best to contact Coast Guard at Ft. Macon in Morehead or google: "What do I need to sell Bluefin Tuna"

11/27/2012 - reel maintenance #2

Q: How about Internationals? 30s, 50s and 130s? Who would you suggest locally for maintenance?

A: same are only options we know unless send back to Penn

11/24/2012 - Live bait

Q: During the Fall Brawl I saw tourney fishermen throwing back netted mullet, are they poor bait for slow trolling for kings and other? If good how comparatively? And do they require any rigging modifications?

A: Mulet, particulary in the fall are great king bait. If they were throwing back mullet, most likely they netted more than they needed so they released what they didn't need. No special rigging, except best to use a single nose hook instead of a treble. Go up through the upper lip and be careful as they are very strong and get a hook in you easily.

11/19/2012 - Reel maintenance

Q: Who do y'all recommend for annual real maintenance for like tiagra 50's?.

A: Try the Rod and Reel Shop at Holden Beach or Island Tackle at Ocean Isle. Or send direct to Shimano.

11/09/2012 - trout

Q: I saw the post about the trout bite. Where and what's the hot bait?

A: live shrimp is best as long as they are available. otherwise DOA shrimp; best is to check with Capt Jacob when you get down as he will be dialed in.

11/09/2012 - Winter King Fishing

Q: Is there any good King Mackerel Fishing in the area of Ocean Isle Beach, in the winter months and if so where to start? What water temperature to look for Kings in the Winter?

A: most concentrated king fishing of the year is in the winter. they will be around the tower area. look for 68degree water. will be good till februrary and then they disapear and resurface on the break.

11/08/2012 - kings

Q: Do you think there are any kings left at the sharkhole?where would be the closest place to catch them?thanks!

A: sorry slow to respond; been at champ in Biloxi. Kings should be in the 25-30 mile range for next couple weeks. [Atlantic ledge/32 mile rocks/ect

11/03/2012 - Where are the kings?

Q: Where was the king bite today?(11-03-2012) Thanks Davis

A: sorry slow to respond; been at King champ in Biloxi. Kings should be in the 25-30 mile range for next couple weeks and then on to the tower area.

11/02/2012 - fall brawl

Q: Is there any pogies still around after the storm? or think its going to be tough to find them??

A: Nobodys been able to go out but they should start to get schools back together as weather settles. Should still be here.

11/01/2012 - WRECKS


A: Don't have access to a chart but the "Navy Wreck" refers to a area of live bottom and ledges rather than a specific wreck. There is a wreck but the fishing is more on various rocks rather than the wreck. The area runs approx 5 miles and is sw of the tower. It's approx 45 miles out of Shallotte Inlet. HOWEVER, i'm not agreeing with Brant on where the fish will be. I think they will still be close in once things settle out. If you can wait to fish till Sunday, winds should go flat moving from northwest to southwest. Lighthouse Rocks/Myrtle Beach Rocks/Fairway Ledges/90/90. The fish will be at the closest spot to the beach they can be based on water temps being 65degrees+. It is there natural pattern to come to the beach this time of year as part of their migration.

10/31/2012 - Water

Q: How is the water inshore, jetties, waterway, etc after the storm for this weekend?

A: Haven't put eyeball on it, but on a north wind should clear up quickly.

10/30/2012 - Sandy

Q: Was it a "Mullet Blow"??

A: It's when it blows hard enough to get the mullet moving on a north wind, but not hard enough to blow us down.

10/30/2012 - RE: Sandy

Q: Thanks for the quick response, but my question was not "What is", but "was it". I was just trying to figure out if it would be worth drowning some pogeys this weekend, if they can be found.

A: Any north wind we get is a mullet blow wind because our beaches are sheltered facing south, and for whatever reason, when the wind blows hard north the mullet run the beach. Fishing this weekend will depend on how fast the water clears up from the churn it got from Sandy. It was north for us the whole storm so that is good. Come join us in our Fall Brawl King tourney this weekend.

10/30/2012 - tower

Q: Is there any good fishing at the tower through the winter worth leaving my boat down for? If so what can i expect to catch....

A: Absolutely. From late November thru February the Kings school up thick on the ledges right around the Tower. It offers the best concentration of fish for the entire year. Bottom fishing is good in the winter in the same area. Also, MAYBE this is the year the Giant Bluefin Tuna return to our waters and they will be just inshore of the Tower in the Horeshoe area. Or you can push another 15 miles off and get to the break where you can catch wahoo/mahi or deep jig for bottom monsters or blackfin tuna. Plenty to do, bring your long underwear.

10/23/2012 - Water Temps.

Q: Do you thinks this up coming tropical storm will bring/keep the water temps warm in the Long Bay area?

A: Hard to say whether it will be better or worse. The wind is supposed to blow out of the north and our beaches face south, so we will be protected from large waves. However there is a large swell forecast so that will be a factor. Our hope is this storm ...."ain't nuthing but a mullet blow" and will blow down the spots, and give us that once in a year fantastic beach bite that really hasn't happened yet. The weather after the storm settles out, so the outcome may be positive.

10/22/2012 - Fall Brawl King Classic

Q: With regards to the Tournament this weekend, will you be monitoring the tropical depression that is forecasted to begin moving parallel to our coast this week? The model as of now shows the storm having a significant wind and swell impact on Saturday and Sunday.

A: Yes we are. Hope is high pressure will push it off to east and away from us; but yes, we are watching it closely.

10/22/2012 - speckled trout

Q: I was just wondering if anyone is catching speckled trout right now? And if so what are they biting the best?

A: Just a few starting to show; will be better when water cools down. Best bait is live shrimp.

10/20/2012 - Product Idea/Request

Q: Any thought of you guys adding sea witch/bullet heads and hair to the store? Lot of people are starting to get into it.

A: Brant will follow up with you[]

10/17/2012 - bait

Q: What is the best brime to freeze bait in so it doesnt mush?

A: If you're talking about bait you have caught like ribbonfish,spanish/ballyhoo/mullet; when we catch the bait, we put it alive in a brine of heavy amount of brining salt and baking soda. After couple hours we will then package to freeze, either in a vacume sealer or sealing wrapping paper. Key is the brining and then freeze it so no air to get to it. Or you can freeze in water so bait completely covered in water.

10/16/2012 - kings

Q: How fast do i need to troll live bait to have the best chance at hooking up? An how fast do i need to troll deadbait if different from live bait? An also what bait works best with skirts for kings?? Thanks Tucker......

A: Live bait you want to troll as slow as your boat will go, such that the bait is swimming with you. If you are dragging the bait, going to fast. Either bump in and out of gear or use 5 gallon bucket or drouge wind sock. If using dead bait, same with cigar minnows as live bait. If using jigger ballyhoo, can go a little faster, probably speed of 1 engine in gear. If bait spins, either going too fast or you don't have bait rigged so it is running straight without any bend in it. Skirts work on any bait, however if using dead bait, use a lead head lead hook as will make dead bait troll straighter.

10/10/2012 - Cape Fear Bouy

Q: Can you help me out with the Cape Fear Sea Bouy Gps coordinates. I have two sets and need them confirmed. Thanks.

A: The CF buoy is visible. You're probably referring to old buoy location. Don't have access to GPS at my desk but it is approx 1 mile southwest of buoy. Look for a buch of boats and this has been the hot spot this fall.

10/09/2012 - old sea buoy

Q: Sitting in the cold in Charlotte but love looking at your fishing reports. Where is the old sea buoy? I just bought a boat and eager to start learning this stuff.

A: Nothing we like better than to take someone knew to King fishing and help them catch. Come see us and we'll point you in right direction technique wise. Old sea buoy is where buoy used to be. There are rocks in the area. It is southwest of new location approx 1 mile. Fish are holding there right now but good from there on out to Lighthouse rocks. As soon as water cools a little more they will move onto the beach at Yaupon/Long Beach/Lockwood Inlet ledges and then on to Shallotte Inlet toward end of Oct[Fall Brawl time]. Then they will move off to 90/90 and then to Jungle and then to 32 mile rocks[Thanksgiving rocks] and then will spend winter on ledges around Frying Pan Tower.

10/09/2012 - tides

Q: is it better to fish at high or low tide? or does it matter? (onshore; casual)

A: best when water is moving; rising or falling. reds best on falling as they are then moving out of the marshes

10/09/2012 - spots

Q: Have you heard of any spots being caught

A: just a few scattered. they are still up north around Morehead. My guess is they show about time of Fall Brawl[Oct 26 weekend] which is why there is such a good King bite at Shallotte Inlet then as the Kings will key on the spots.

10/08/2012 - weekend of10/12/12

Q: How is inshore looking for Red's and Flounder and what are they hitting ??

A: Reds are biting pretty good. Live mullet minnows is bait of choice. Little River jetties or Sunset bridge or docks along Craven Street. Founder are very scattered.

10/08/2012 - aerial photos us open

Q: We saw a plane taking pics of the southport checkout any idea who it was and how to get a pic

A: there is a link on fishing report on our web site

10/06/2012 - cast nets

Q: Just recently found the joys of live bait fishing and was wondering if one of your captains could post a youtube video on throwing a cast net. Struggling with my new 10 footer.Thanks.

A: There is one from Capt Brant on OIFC U-Tube channel. Click on web page and scroll to cast net demonstration. Or come on by OIFC and someone will show you how to throw it.

10/03/2012 - OIFC nationals class

Q: I was just wondering, does the OIFC plan to have another class on fishing the national champioship this year?

A: Absolutely. Standby as will get Brant to determine when can do it. Will announce on our web site. If you haven't done the Biloxi trip, if goes down as in past 3 years, you will experience the most amazing experience a King fisherman could ever hope to experience. The king fishing is the greatest show on earth.

10/02/2012 - inlet

Q: Navigating Shallotte inlet? Any advise?

A: If coming from OIB side, hug the OIB beach[approx 50-100 feet off the beach] until you make the corner to inlet. Then just follow the buoys. If coming from Holden side, come to last buoy on south side of inlet in intercoastal before making your turn.

09/30/2012 - Planer rods

Q: You guys have any recommendations for a planer rod setup for a small boat that we can use stand-up. Looking for a rod and reel recommendation to pull #4 plus planers for wahoo fishing.

A: We can fix you up, however there is a better way to wahoo fish. We use our standard offshore equipment but take a large planner and attach to our downrigger and then use a paper clip/rubber band set up so that when you get bit, you pop off the planner and are straight to the rod. That way you are fighting the fish and not the planner.

09/28/2012 - Kings

Q: Where are the kings right now went yesterday fished 390/390 and nothing but sharks put me on some kings man

A: sorry slow to respond; tied up fishing tourney. Kings bit good Saturday basically everywhere in the 65 foot depth[Jungle/Shark Hole/ect. Hope you caught them!

09/27/2012 - king/ mahi

Q: Cap i just bought a 25' kencraft an was wondering where do i start when i comes to kings an mahi as far as how to fish for them?? Thanks, cody

A: Our absolute favorite question. For those who have spent their whole life fishing nothing more fun or rewarding than to get someone new started and see them catch fish. Beginning point for King fishing is dead bait slow trolling. Cigar minnows or jigger ballyhoo fished on a dead bait rig[OIFC leaded dead bait rig the best]. Go to the how to section on our web site or pick up a how to sheet at OIFC. Key is to troll slow enough you don't spin the bait. Must run straight so hooks must be set so as not to bind the bait and thus make it spin. This time of year best spots will be the 90/90; Shark Hole or Jungle. Fish 3 baits up and 1 on downrigger.Mahi more likely in summer months but technique is the same. eventually you will graduate to live bait fishing. Come visit us for more info[it's all free!]

09/27/2012 - spanish

Q: Do you think this Saturday will be good weather and Spanish fishing out of Southport? Coming from Raleigh. Thanks oifc

A: The weather looks absolutely beautiful this weekend and anyone who doesn't get on the water should have their fishing license taken away. The spanish are thick up and down the beach. Look for the white birds or fish around the pogy schools, loaded with spanish and blues. If you get bored, take a live blue/spanish or pogy and fish around Yaupon reef or Long Beach pier and you should find a King Mackeral.

09/27/2012 - Inlet?

Q: How is hard is shalotte inlet to navigate out of? any advise?

A: If coming from OIB, hug the beach and when you round the corner out the inlet just pick up the buoys and follow them out. If coming from Holden Beach, come to last buoy west of the inlet and then make your turn and hug the beach as above. The bad bar is basically in the middle of the intercoastal so avoid it by hugging the OIB beach.

09/26/2012 - King Mac's This Weekend

Q: Was wonderign what yall thought a good spot for the kings would be this weekend. Weather looks great so far, Was thinking about the 90's but do not want to over shoot them with all the bait right of the beach now...Thoughts?

A: I think you have the right game plan. It should happen this weekend big time and I definitely would try first at 90/90. If not there, then move to 65 foot hole and then to Jungle. If they aren't at one of those spots then I suggest we take up another sport. With the weather settling as it is, it should be ON! Also check in with the OIFC when you get down and maybe our charter boats will have update on what they're seeing.

09/26/2012 - shoals

Q: new to the area, I want to cross frying pan shoals, what would be the fastest and safest way to get to the east side?

A: The "path" is to go to Fairway buoys and cross following the buoys. However if ocean is calm, we pick our way across by staying away from white water where it is shoaling

09/20/2012 - LWF Inlet

Q: Could you tell me if LF inlet is now dredged, marked, and safe to navigate? Thanks

A: The first 2 questions are yes. I haven't been thru it but I've heard they shifted the new channel west and have it close to the ship wreck that is in the inlet. Shallotte Inlet is marked and good.

09/06/2012 - Shrimp

Q: How late into the year can you find a fair amount of shrimp in the backwaters to use for bait?

A: will depend on the water temperature. as long as stays warm you will be able to find them

08/30/2012 - Black Sea Bass

Q: Is it true that sea bass season ends 9/3/2012 its been a short season and only 5 fish a day per person

A: I've heard that but haven't confirmed. Stand by.

08/29/2012 - Labor Day Wknd Fishing

Q: We are planning to do some fishing off the OIB coast starting Friday. Any suggestions on where the King/Mahi are biting within a 15 to 20 mile radius of Shallotte Inlet (ie 90s, Shark Hole, etc)? Also, how deep of water are folks finding pogies?

A: Pogies still holding deeper than normal[25 feet, but on surface so they are nett-able. Kings should be/were at the Shark Hole. No recent trips out there this week but check with us toward late week. Weather looks great starting tomorrow thru the weekend. We'll be on the water. Come on down.

08/29/2012 - Captain Brant

Q: hi was wondering how the capt, is doing, hope and pray he is doing good , please advice.

A: Brant has turned the corner and is battling back. Long road, but he is on it.Thanks.

08/26/2012 - Jack Crevalle

Q: We are somewhat new to fishing saltwater. Brought bass boat this year. Stayed on the ICW. Flounder fished with some success. Had a couple hard fighting fish break off so we switched gears and tried to catch them. Turned out they were Jack Crevalle. We were fishing the inlet between Holden and Ocean Isle. Do Jack Crevalle frequent the ICW?

A: Thats a unusual catch in the intercoastal. I've caught them just outside the inlet, but with all the bait in the water, they certainly could follow the bait into the ICW. They are very hard fighting fish, lots of fun on light tackle. We catch them fishing king tourneys close to inlets, and you will swear you have the tourney winner on as they run a lot like big kings.

08/25/2012 - Shore fishing this labor day

Q: What will be biting this labor day inshore and from the beach thanks,mike I will be down their this coming weekend.

A: If the wind is from the north, the beach water will be flat and mullets will run the beach, and feeding on the mullets should be blues/spanish/redfish/flounder. Throw a gotcha plug or stingsliver for blues/spanish or use cut bait or live mullets on bottom for reds/flounder. Or use a 2 hook dropper rig on bottom with shrimp or sandfleas and catch whiting or pompano. On intercoastal side, use carolina rig with mullet or mud minnow and catch flounder/reds.

08/25/2012 - ribbon fish

Q: what technique is used to catch ribbon fish and where are they being caught . i see the pics on the web site . thanks

A: Best lure is a rattletrap with a short wire leader. Right now they are chasing mullets in the intercoastal or at the Little River jetties.

08/22/2012 - East wind

Q: How true is the saying East is least when it comes to catching fish. Is west best?

A: Never been able to figure that one out,but seems to hold true, unless it is a real lite east wind. The only "science" I can offer to the subject is maybe when we have a east wind, that probably means high pressure is building, and maybe the fish don't like that particulair pressure reading that comes on a east wind. That said, we've got lots of other excuses when we don't catch fish, on any wind direction.

08/22/2012 - Mahi Fishing

Q:  How close do the Mahi get to shore in June on average in the Ocean Isle area ? I know up the coast around Morehead City there are times when you can catch them 10 miles out.

A: Same here. During summer months we catch them when King fishing with live bait at all the normal king spots from 8 miles on out.

08/20/2012 - Braid Line

Q: What do use to cut Braid Line? Thanks

A: sissors

08/15/2012 - Temp. Boat Prking

Q: I come down to Ocean Ilse/Sunset Beach a few times a year. I want to bring my boat but my parents condo doesn't allow boat parking. By chance do you know any facilities where I could store my boat for a week at a time? Thanks, Scott

A: Best bet to check will be Ocean Isle Marina. There is a link on our web page.

08/14/2012 - fishing from the beach

Q: Hello, Are there any permits or regulations for fishing from the beach we would need to get, and where can we get them from? Thank you. see you saturday.

A: Call NC Wildlife 8882486834. You can get a saltwater fishing license over the tele.

08/13/2012 - Gulp Alive Baits

Q: Are the Gulp Alive baits a good substitute for live bait? Which color and size of the shrimp is best and are the pogies good to use?

A: Gulps definitely work, but when you can get live shrimp they will be the best. You can catch them now with cast net in back of creeks. Live Pogies work as do mullet minnows and mud minnows. Shrimp best for trout, other baits best for reds/flounder. When you get here come by OIFC and ask for Capt Jacob. He will tell you whats happening at that point in time. Anytime live bait is available, best to use live bait. This time of year there is plenty of everything live bait.

08/10/2012 - AJ's

Q: I have a few friends coming down this weekend wanting to hook up on something that will give them a fight. The first thing that comes to mind is an AJ. Was hoping you could tell me a decent location out of little river for them and how to catch them. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

A: Try the Little River Offshore barges; often AJ's will be there. If not, move to any of the wrecks further offshore[65 feet+] and you should find them. Live pogies will be best bet to get a bite. Fish just like king fishing. Typically you will see them swarm close to surface and you can just free line a bait to them.

08/09/2012 - Spanish/King rods

Q: Just recently, I’ve started fishing for Spanish and next time I come down, I want to try and find a near shore king. Our last Spanish trip, we were using 6'6" medium action rods with 4000 spinning reels. The rods were bending like toothpicks. I am interested in buying a conventional combo that I can catch both Spanish and kings on. I want to buy two, and my budget is 200-400. I don’t want to settle for the cheapest rod and reel out there. I’ve used Shimano TLD 15 and TLD 25’s before and I am interested in them but I don’t really know what rod to put them on. Any help would be great! Thanks.

A: For kings/spainish if you want one outfit to use on both, go with Shimano Speedmaster and Ariel Star rod; under $200. That is the combo we use for king fishing and will work fine for spanish.Kings are at the 90's now along with big spanish and mahi. Great time to fish[only approx 7 miles offshore.] Thanks.

08/09/2012 - King rigs

Q: Have you ever tried to make naked king rigs with fluorocarbon or anything other than wire leader? If so what is most economical?

A: Take a look at a Kings mouth and you will see why no kind of mono will work for a leader. You must have something tooth proof and wire is all I have found that will work. We do use flourcarbon leader[20-30lb test from the king rig to running line to give better protection for tail cuts and visibility issues.

08/09/2012 - spanish

Q: what types of set ups are you using to catch spanish?

A: I use the same outfit for spanish as kings, a Shimano Speedmaster with Star Ariel rod[less than $200].

08/08/2012 - Flounder fishing

Q: I am catching several flounder each time out but it seems that 95 percent are under size. How can I land more keepers?

A: Try bigger baits[big bait = big fish]. Best flounder fishing right now is at the near shore artifical reefs.

08/06/2012 - Reef flounder

Q: Thanks, as always, for the reports. I am curious how to get mullet minnows down to the flounder on these nearshore reefs. I always have the sea bass or croakers gobbling it up on the way down. Carolina rig? Thanks and let Brant know we keep praying for a quick, full recovery with minimal pain.

A: Basic Carolina rig. Answer is probably similiar to grouper fishing...if you're catching grunts and not grouper you are in the wrong spot on a ledge/rock.

08/06/2012 - Over catching(keeping)...

Q: Recently there have been some postings of some great days of flounder(or any other kind of fish) fishing. Do you guys encourage the "keep what ya can eat" theory to these local fisherman? When I was a kid we went out and would catch a cooler full of kings that I bet are still in the freezer to this day.

A: My opinion is most everyone in todays world is very respectful and committed to catching in accordance with the rules and limits set forth by the governing bodies[even those that are not agreed with[.

08/03/2012 - Shallote Inlet

Q: Whats the best way to use the shallote inlet to get to the ocean. Do you just follow the buoys out to sea?

A: The buoys pretty much line up as a 180 degree heading out. Wildlife is replacing missing buoys but in meantime follow that heading and stay away from white water[sandbars].

08/03/2012 - 70 ft hole

Q: hi; first off myself and my wife would like to say we hope capt brant has a speedy recovery, we will be praying for capt and family, now can anyone please tell me where the 70ft hole is,thanks

A: The 70 foot hole is close to the Jungle. It is identified on our ProFinder charts. Live bottom, rocks,ledges. If it's holding bait[schools of cigar minnows], kings/cobia/mahi/ect will likely be there.

07/31/2012 - Brant

Q: Brant, prayers are pouring in to you and your family from ours in Raleigh Nc. Keep God first he is our ultimate healer and by your side. Thank you for all you and oifc do for the fishing world.

A: Thank you. He is recovering and I think will be back on the water long before the Docs think.

07/27/2012 - Where are the fish?

Q: Please help, I repeatedly try to take the kids out to catch fish, but we never seem to have any luck. We fish all the recommended baits, live and artificial, use fluoro leaders, etc. I have come to believe the main key is getting the right bait where hte fish lay up. So my question is how to find these honey holes. I know the guides fish everyday, but for the casual fisherman how do you go about finding the prime spots that seem to always produce? Thanks in advance. I just want to get the kids out and have a good time. Hard to keep them interested when we don't seem to ever catch many fish.

A: You don't say if you are fishing inshore or offshore. If inshore, fish around the bridges at Sunset/OIB/Holden. Use live mud minnows/mullet minnows. You will get some sort of a bite. If offshore, spanish fishing is simple intro type of fishing or go to one of close in reefs or wrecks and bottom fish with squid/cut bait and you will get a rod bend and plenty of action from sea bass. Bigger fish are further offshore but same game with bottom fishing.

07/27/2012 - August 3, 2012

Q: we are interested in booking a trip for August, Friday 3. We would like to go for fish such as: Dolphin, sailfish, swordfish,tuna and other big fish. we would like to know if you're available for that day,and more information about this. Thanks

A: Contact the charter desk at OIFC 910575FISH to book

07/26/2012 - live cigar minnows

Q: How/where does one catch live cigar minnows in your area? Huge fan of this site and OIFC!

A: Use a 7lb test sabiki jig. Look around near offshore buoys or wrecks. On recorder look for red blob going from surface to bottom. Drop jig and twitch it as you slowly retreive.

07/26/2012 - sheepshead

Q: Please explain how to catch sheepshead and good places to fish for them near Holden Beach. We are staying on a canal their next week. Did not see much on them in the archive. Many thanks!

A: Key is to fish around bridge/pier pilings and jerk just before they bite using fiddler crabs. Watch your line as it enters the water; and if you see it move slightly then JERK. Use small short shank hook and 20lb flourcarbon leader.

07/22/2012 - Northeast florida info

Q: I am gonna be fishing a tourney in fernandina beach fl. in a couple weeks. Dont know much about the area and was wondering if any of the oifc captains might know some places in that area that would be decent for kings. thanks for your time and any info will be greatly appreciated

A: Out of our geographic knowlege territory. years ago, the "red tops" were hot off St. Augustine.

07/21/2012 - Captains Club

Q: Been reading and hearing about this captains club that you guys have going on but what is it? Thought I remember something about it on the old site but can't find anything about it here. Thanks

A: Every dollar you spend at OIFC you get a one point credit which can be used during the Capt Club sale[mid November] to get 50% off clothing and gift items. It's our "thank you" for being a loyal valued customer. If you're buying fuel it adds up fast.

07/20/2012 - Fishing in September

Q: Hello my family is coming to ocean isle in september and i am bringing an 18' open fishing boat that can handle 2-3' seas. ive fished all my life in Florida but i dont know what to fish for or where to fish in NC. Ive taken the bout out 20 miles in the Gulf of Mexico on fair seas. Just want some tips on where to catch some fish. Snapper, grouper, flounder,grunts whatever is biting. I just want some fish to catch and eat. I didnt know if there were any good numbers for reefs or wrecks to fish within 20 miles of shore. If you know of a good book that has any numbers i could plug into the gps i wouldnt be opposed to buying a book. Anything would help thanks. Just looking to show my family a good time.

A: Our primary ocean fishery is King Mackeral fishing. Depending on when you come in Setpember, Kings should be fairly close to shore. Best spots in your range should be Lighthouse rocks or 90/90. Maybe even Yaupon Reef. Best bottom fishing is 30+ miles out so that may be out of your range however in the 10-15 mile range is good sea bass fishing. You are weather dependent so keep eye on weather and passing fronts. Best bet is to check in with OIFC when you get to town and see what our charter boats are doing; or keep tuned to fishing report. The chart you need is ProFinder available at OIFC.

07/19/2012 - fishing license

Q: can i get my fishing license there for saltwater

A: Call 1-888-2486834 and you can do over the tele or online at

07/18/2012 - Sailfish

Q: Hi- I was wondering about best location for these sailfish that I don't think are targeted enough in our area (not a bad thing!). I have a buddy out of Charleston that has caught double digits this week!! Seems like they are always incidental catches by king fishers. (Outside of sailfish classic!)Anyway- Any input on good locations in our area? Is stream best bet or does horseshoe etc produce well if sails targeted (closer to shore locations)? Where to go!!?? Thanks for al y'all do!

A: We are in the time of the year that we see alot of sailfish and although not practical to target them, can almost bet that in a day of live bait king fishing you will get a shot. Best spots right now seem to be the Jungle and Shark Hole, but they can be anywhere you king fish at. Look for pods of bait, if there not only will the kings be there, but Mr. Sailfish is probably also there along with mahi mahi and cobia. If you want to target them and cover a lot of territory, certainly you can pull small ballyhoo and have a good chance, but honestly, best bet is to live bait fish with pogies. Not much swimming out there will turn its nose up to a pogy.

07/16/2012 - spanisg


A: They are around the many pogy pods in approx 35 feet of water. Look along the line where the sea buoy is located and on out 1/2 mile. You will see the dark spots in the water, with the pogies busting out of the water. Underneath them are blues and spanish. You can troll them or more fun is to use a gotcha plug or a deadly dick on a spinning outfit.

07/16/2012 - weather

Q: I'm planning a fishing trip to the Holden Beach area 7/18 to 7/21. Is the weather gonna cooperate? I'm new to saltwater fishing and have a 19 foot bayboat. Thanks for any help and advice.

A: You can get the marine forcast from our web site. I think there is a weak front coming so wind should be southwest 10-15 in front of the front and then lay out. The weather/wind is always dynamic so you need to make your decisions at time of departure. If blowing 10-15 SW, may not be good for your size boat; particuliarly be watchful of a SW wind and a out going tide in inlets. Inside flounder and redfish doing well. If you can get out, fish around the pogy pods[approx 30-35 feet deep] and you can catch spanish and blues.

07/16/2012 - mahi-mahi

Q: would it be possible to get the numbers to the horse show #1 i have charts the numbers that i put in from the chart always put me off , i know when i save enough money i will get one of your pro chips,please help thanks have a great day.

A: Answers to "ask a capt" occur in front of my computer[not on the boat or where I have a chart]. You are welcome to come to OIFC and write down the number of the spot you are looking for. I think a complete chart of all the fishing areas cost approx twenty bucks.

07/15/2012 - Spanish trolling

Q: Hi. Every time I troll with #1 or 2 planers in front of 00, 1 spoons I have luck but the Spanish are not tripping the planer and we just happen to reel it in and find the fish hooked! There is not fight at all, even when tripped. 20# line on penn 330 and slammer rod. What is wrong here?

A: Not sure; certainly should trip. Any chance you got the planner on backwards? For best catching results, we like to use 25-30 feet of 30lb mono leader.

07/14/2012 - mahi

Q: Any good location out of little river inlet to troll for mahi this week.

A: The mahi are filtering into the normal king fish spots like the Jungle/Shark Hole. May find them at Chrintina Ledge/Atlantic ledge or 90's. Best to use live pogies or dead cigar minnows.

07/13/2012 - fishing info

Q: CPT Brant, First off...Great Site! Love the fishing report page, gets me excited about my upcoming trip. I will be staying at Holden Beach end of July/begaining of August doing some surf fishing on the Fly Rod. Got any suggestions for me as far as tackle and locations. Were staying right on the beach so I was intending on chasing after Drum, reds, flounder, or whatever is biting in the morning right from my front yard (coffee is a lot closer that way). Also can you recommend a charter boat out of Holden Beach to take the family out on a day trip for some deep sea fishing? Someone that offers military discounts would be awesome! Appreciate ya! -Chris

A: Fly fishing off the beach will be a challenge unless wind blows from the north. Better bet will be to use a Carolina rig with a live mullet minnow or mud minnow to catch flounder/reds. Catch your bait in the surf with a 4 foot cast net. Also will catch bluefish like that. On charters, check out the OIFC fleet running from Ocean Isle Fishing Center, Ocean Isle Beach.

07/13/2012 - Horse Shoe #1

Q: how is the fishing at the horse shoe #1,and does any one have the numbers on the horse shoe #1, what kind of fish hang out there, and whats the water depth, thanks and have a great day, tight lines

A: The Horseshoe is one of best spots in our area. Kings/mahi/good bottom fishing/amberjacks; maybe a sailfish/cobia. Almost everthing that swims may be there. It is a broad area of live bottom and rocks and ledges. In the 75-90 foot range dependent on where you are in the area. Suggest getting a ProFinder chart, as there are many different hot spots there. Also check out the Jungle and the Shark Hole.

07/12/2012 - king fishing

Q: We will be coming down for a long weekend first part of august. Hope to do some king fishing. I am not familiar with the usual locations out of shalotte inlet for kings. Do you have a list of coordinates or names of places I can locate on the map that you would suggest?

A: Best spots should be Shark Hole/Jungle/Christina Ledge/90's. They are from 8-20 miles out. Should be scattered mahi mahi mixed in. Maybe cobia maybe a sailfish. Live pogies best bait. Get a "ProFinder Chart". We identify the spots on the chart by the names above.

07/10/2012 - Nearshore

Q: Any Dolphin or Kings being caught 15 miles or closer on the ARs or ledges?

A: The answer to your questions is..."they should be". Un fortunately, with the wind kicking into high gear this past week, what seemed to be the start of the King season at the Jolly Mon, came to an abrupt halt. What we need is light south to southeast winds, which appear may be in the forecast for later this week. That should crank up the Kings in the 65 foot water depth, and yes Dolphin should be mixed in.

07/07/2012 - King fishing

Q: We were thinking of coming down on the 28th. Do you think it is possible to have a captain come out on our boat to kingfish?

A: Our captains and our boats are running full speed this time of year. Off-season it may be possible. In the meantime, come on by OIFC when you get here, and any of the capts/mates/staff will be happy to get you pointed in the right direction to catch Kings on your boat.

07/06/2012 - Party boat fishing

Q: We are looking for a party boat fishing experience for 10 people-8 adults/2 kids somewhere close to Southport. We are from up North and are used to party boats and can't find any. We have 2 kids new to fishing, so no more than 3-4 hours at the most. Any place we can go?

A: Our boats are "private charter" limited to 6/boat. Head boats are available in Calabash or Little River[Hurricane Fleet].

07/04/2012 - E-mail pictures

Q: What e-mail address can I use to e-mail some pictures from trip to the tower? We are thinking of giving up on live bait fishing since we killed it yesterday inlcuding catching kings trolling at 7 knowts with cedare plugs. Hmnn. Tower activity was fast and furious, we also had somehting very big on the line for 25 minutes that we could not get near the boaat. 10 boats there and all were hooked up constantly.

A: Sounds like a great day on the water..congrats!

06/27/2012 - Shrimp

Q: Where is the best place to find a net full of shrimp big enough for reds and flounder?

A: Best at back of creeks off of intercoastal. Creek at OIB bridge is a good place.

06/26/2012 - king sized mullet

Q: Where can I find or where should i focus my efforts to net some king sized mullet? Can they be targeted or are they a maybe .. to find with a cast net?

A: When the wind blows from the north, often[especially starting in mid August thru the fall] they will run along our south facing beaches. Also,you can sometimes find them at the dead end of the canals or along the marsh grass at high tide.

06/25/2012 - jolly mon

Q: Looks like the bite was on.Where was the winning fish and the most fish caught. Has the OIFC ever thought about doing a live feed for the weigh in. Tried to watch by the webcam but hard to see the fish being brought in.

A: Winner came from Shark Hole.Most fo the fish came from the Shark Hole and the Navy wreck area. Passed your suggestion of live feed on to Brant. Thanks.

06/25/2012 - Braided line w/ mono top shot

Q: On earlier questions you talk about running braid then mono to gain line capacity, what is a good (read the best) knot to join slick braid to mono where they are such dissimilar diameter lines?

A: I use a reverse Albright. A little tricky to tie as you have to hold tight to tag ends. If you have trouble, come by OIFC and Jacob can show you.

06/22/2012 - Mullet Minnows

Q: Have you seen any Mullet Minnows large enought to fish with yet? If so where would be a good place to look for them? Thanks

A: Yes, look in canals or canal entrances or along waterway. There are plenty of them everywhere. Also peanut pogies are easy to find, best in morning or evening.

06/21/2012 - flounder size pogies

Q: I have not been down in 2weeks.Could you tell me if you've seen or caught any flounder size pogies this week.Thank you see ya this weekend.

A: looking at a school out my window this minute in main concrete canal entry. also look in front of Ocean Isle Marina

06/19/2012 - Jolly Mon Kings

Q: We fished today on the beach around oak island for a few hours ,not a kingfish in sight,we moved off to the shark hole , the water there looks silty and is weeded up ,we resorted to limiting out on sea bass and calling it a little early,we had several boats around us all day ,never saw anyone hooked up,on the way back in to southport we saw good water quality and lots of butterfish and spanish around the lighthouse ledges(Lighthouse Rocks) Please pass on the info .Thanks Charles Osborne Captain of the Dixie Minner out of Southport and former Spring Run fishing team member.

A: Yep, same thing we are seeing. The beach water is BEAUTIFUL, King Green. Big spanish schools are everywhere, glass minnows; it is classic conditions for a king beach bite. We are as mystified as everyone. Where the heck are they, and is the answer that the conditions have been so bad so long, that now that the conditions are perfect and continuing to be perfect throughout the week, will we snap our fingers and they appear just like the tourist suddenly appeared this week. Can't believe its not going to happen.

06/19/2012 - tackle for reef flounder

Q: I am interested in trying flounder on the Jolly Mon reef and maybe others. What is the best tackle / bait to use. Do I need live minnows or will something like Gulps work? Thanks for all you do. TR

A: Carolina Rig with small pogies or mullet minnows. Jacob also says the gulps sometimes work if the sea bass are too thick.

06/19/2012 - surf fishing

Q: I'm coming down next week for vacation and was wondering if there is someone at OIFC that I could stop and speak with about surf fishing rigs and proper usage?

A: Absolutely, any of the guys working can help you. All you need to surf fish is a 2 drop rig; use cut mullet for blues/sharks and use shrimp or dig up sand fleas for pompano/whiting. You may want to use a steel leader if you have trouble getting cut off as there are lots of sharks right now for some reason. You nay want to also try a stingsilver for casting to blues/spanish mackerel.

06/18/2012 - Sept. Fishing trip

Q: I'm planning a labor day visit to OIB and wondered what I can expect to find within 20nm or so of beach. Can make it to Gulf Stream but uses so much fuel looking for eating fish closer in, preferably mahi, Spanish, etc. also what are most productive areas that time of year? Thanks for all you guys do.

A: Best fishing that time of year in our waters for variety of game fish should be Jungle/Shark Hole/Horsesshoe/90-90. Should find KIngs and maybe have shot at mahi or maybe a sailfish. Spanish should be outside the inlets on tide line. Gulf stream not real good then as water is so warm. Bottom fishing will be good then in the 80-100feet depths.

06/18/2012 - Fishing for KIds

Q: I myself have never been deep sea fishing and neither has my 13 year old son but we will be down the week of 7/7/2012. We only have three of us and I noticed all the trips are for four,are there other options and would you suggest the kids trip first? I want him and myself to have a good ,exciting experience. Thank you so much

A: We are all about introducing the kids to ocean fishing. We have a trip designed for the first timers, a 1/4 day trip where we go just a couple miles out, and fish for Spanish Mackerel and Sea Bass. The trick with kids in not necessarily catching a world record, but getting alot of action. The Spanish/Seabass/Shark action is almost dependable. Our boats are all "private charter" which means, you own the boat, it's your trip for your crew. You can have up to 4 for price quoted, can add up to 2 more for total of 6, or can take any number under 6. Suggest booking well ahead as very busy time of the year.

06/18/2012 - spanish fishing

Q: I recently tried trolling for spanish and caught a few. I did have a problem keeping my planer from bumping the bottom. I was using 30lb power to a number 1 planer with about 20ft of florocarbon liter and a number 0 clark spoon. I was trolling in 10 to 15 ft of water and about 30 to 40 yards behind the boat. Also my speed was varied between 7 to 10mph any slower and I would hook into blues. I was under the impression that a number 1 planer would only dive to around 3 or 4 feet. Any sugestions on what I'm doing wrong or ways to improve my tactics would be great. Thanks guys and catch'em up

A: When you get shallow and start bumping bottom, you need to bring planner in closer to boat, maybe a 5 count. Also, using power pro, that line cuts threw water better than mono, so less blow back, thus you are getting deeper than with mono.

06/16/2012 - Tommy Helms?

Q: Well just how big is this fella Tommy Helms? and how would I go about chating with him over lunch?

A: Rickey at OIFC is his press agent.

06/15/2012 - off shore flounder fishing

Q: I'm wanting to try my luck on off shore flounder fishing. Do you have any suggestions on areas to try that might be productive than others?

A: Jolly Mon Reef[AR460] has been producing some flounder[maybe connected to our feeding station there?]. Also the Cauble Reef produces. If you can get Tommy Helms in a submission hold, try to get out of him where he fishes as he is the "high stick" in the world of offshore reef flounder fishing.

06/14/2012 - weather

Q: I'm comeing down this weekend an weather isn't on my side for Spanish/king fishing....what's happening inshore that I can wet a line for if you can tell me where that would be great...thanks

A: Sorry for the delay...been fishing hard so maybe I can answer this question accurately. The falling tide in the morning has been best lately. Live shrimp, mullet, pogies or mud minnows fished on a carolina rig will catch just about anything. Reds, Black drum and flounder have been hanging around hard the ends of the docks along the waterway. See ya on the water!

06/14/2012 - whats biting inshore

Q: Hey Captn's, We actually have a offshore trip planned with yall on Monday, June 25 but well also be fishing some inshore the rest of the week. My question is whats the best rigs to use for flounder and reds this time of year. We normally would use a red jighead with gulp in the canals and around docks, but this is the first year we'll be fishing for reds. What would be the best rig for that? Thanks for any info, Steve Pigg

A: Capt Jacob is our inshore expert and he will get back to you. However, most likely best bet is to use a standard flounder rig with a live mud minnow or mullet minnow. Get a small[4 foot] cast net] and you can catch your own bait, and good entertainment for the kids. Come see me in the store Sunday or Monday...I will show you the rigs that I use...we have live mud minnows for sale, but live bait is everywhere if you can throw a cast net. Little pogies, mullet and shrimp...all will catch reds and flounder...the shrimp are great for reds, sheepshead and black drum...everything is here right now, getting them to bite is the challenge. See ya on the water!

06/12/2012 - spanish

Q: I'm coming down the weekend of the jolly mon are the Spanish in yet? I fish out of OIB an little river....thanks Capt.......

A: Truthfully, the weather is not looking to be your friend this weekend. It will blow hard out of the southwest mid week in front of the front[thus dirtying up the water], and will then shift to northeast and blow hard after front passes and low pressure develops. Maybe by late Saturday or Sunday, wind will lay out enough so you can get out. Best spanish action this spring has been down toward Yaupon reef but certainly they sould be at all the inlets now. You will have to push out the inlet to where the tide line is at, as inshore water will be stirred up. Fishing will be a challenge unfortunately if forecast holds true. You may be able to hug the beach and maybe catch blues and/or spanish.

06/12/2012 - Fishing the marsh area

Q: We will be staying at the south end of the island backed up to the marsh and we have some young children in our group and would like to know what to use for bait I seen fish last year but didn't have any fishing gear. This year we are driving and am bringing some light tackle spinners. Thanks Marvin

A: Most productive will be to buy mud minnows or catch mullet minnows with a cast net. Great entertinment for the kids to learn to throw a cast net, as they will catch shrimp, mullet/ect. All they need is a cheap 4 foot net. Fish the baits on a flounder rig and at higher tides, will have good chance at catching flounder or redfish. You can also throw jigs baited with gulps for flounder/reds. Or you can go around to inlet and fish the same way. Come see Jacob or Rickey and they will fix you up.

06/10/2012 - Jolly Man

Q: Not able to fish the tournament this year. Will we still be able to attend Friday night festivity

A: Absolutely, come on down!

06/10/2012 - weedlines

Q: how far out do you typically need to ride to start getting into weed lines?

A: The weed lines that have best chance to be holding mahi mahi start approx 12-15 miles out. The most productive weed lines are in the gulf stream[60+ miles]. Sometimes the weed lines will move close in, and you may find mahi within 5 miles of the beach.

06/09/2012 - Reel selection

Q: What size/specs do you recommend for reels for OIB offshore fishing? I'm planning to fish for kings and mahi....with the potential of getting to the stream for wahoo on a good day. Would the Shimano TLD 25 be a good selection? Max drag is 23 lbs., is that sufficient in your opinion? Any other suggestions in the $150 - $200 range?

A: We use the TLD 25's on our charter boats for gulf stream fishing. We put approx 400 yds of 80lb braid and top shot it with 100 yards of 80lb mono. That gives you enough capacity to catch almost anything that swims in the gulf stream yet is a light outfit that is easy to handle[also lite on your wallet]. We think it is the perfect outfit for stream fishing. Closer in for Kings/ect we use Shimano Speedmasters with 20lb line. We are typically live bait fishing however can catch anything from Kings to Cobia to Mahi Mahi. If you just wanted one outfit for gulf stream or closer in king fishing, the TLD 25 is fine. Just take off the 100 yards 80lb mono top shot and replace with say 100 yards of 30lb mono. As to drag setting, I wouldn't use 23 lbs if I were fishing for Giant Bluefin Tuna. That is way too much drag. Need somehting more like 12 lbs for stream fishing and just a couple lbs for live bait fishing.

06/07/2012 - cigar minnows

Q: How do you keep a cigar minnow or ribbonfish from spinning while slow trolling, it doesn't seem to matter how slow I go or what I do they just spin.

A: You need a lead head jig on both of them. Make sure perfectly straight with no bend in bait from placement of hooks. 1 engine in gear; live bait speed, very slow.

06/07/2012 - Cobia

Q: looking for a cobia chase on sunday 6-10-12 Coming into Isle Vista resort on Sat.

A: They are on the normal king ledges, wrecks and artificial reefs and around buoys. Best on king ledges. Live pogies are best or cobia jig.

06/07/2012 - spadefish

Q: What's is the best way to fish for spadefish? Bait an rigging?

A: Take a crab net and catch a half dozen jelly balls. Put them in a bucket[don't let them touch your boat deck as will stain it]. Take a coat hanger and run thru jelly ball and drop down on your downrigger to the bottom. When you see the downrigger line moving around, slowly crank it up toward the surface and the spades should follow it till they are right under your boat at the surface. Take a 6 foot length of 12lb flourcarbon and a small hook, put a piece of the jelly ball on the hook, drop down to the jellyball, and hand on. Fish on the articifial reefs.

06/06/2012 - Yellowfin Boats

Q: Why are you selling the Yellowfins?

A: They are the sponsor of Team OIFC and the Jolly Mon and Fall Brawl tourneys. We sell the boats every year and replace with new. Just splashed a new 36 Yellowfin triple 300 Yamahas. It's a animal[it actually growls].

06/06/2012 - Planners/Trolling/Near Shore ocean fishing

Q: We are planning to fish Yaupon Reef over the next 6 days. I want to try for spanish and kings. If I use a hoo with cigars should I use a planner? I have a small boat without outrigs and downrigs. What is the best way to get some depth to my bait. Thanks.

A: You can't pull a cigar planner speed without it tearing up. Better plan is to take a 3oz sinker, place it 10 feet up your line, tie it in place with a rubber band or split shot, and that will be your downrigger. Find the Kings, they got to be there somewhere around Yaupon.

06/05/2012 - Kings

Q: Where are the kings at. are they still in100 plus? Thanks for all y'all do

A: Continue to be no show but with weather settling out, with the abundance of bait along the beaches, they've got to get the message and show any time. we will keep everyone updated from what our charter fleet sees.

06/05/2012 - Joly mon

Q: I am planning on fishing the tournament but am starting to get concerned with the non existent king bite, where the heck are they and will they show by the tourney

A: The weatther is settling this week and with the amazing amount of bait in our waters[pogies/bles/ect] the Kings have got to get the message and show up any minute.It's my opinion the unsettled weather and stirred up water is what has been negatively impacting the inshore king fishing. We will post exactly what our charter fleet is seeing.

06/03/2012 - BSB

Q: BSB have to be 12" to keep and 5 per person until july 1, when it goes to 13" and still 5 per person. Just didn't want people to be misinformed by the post on fishing reports.

A: Thats correct. See the link on Ricky's post on OIFC web page June 3.

06/03/2012 - trolling

Q: I've always been told that with spoons 5-7 mph is fast enough to stay out of the blue fish and on spanish. May 22-24th we couldn't troll fast enough to stay out of the bluefish. We trolled live bunker, cigar minows it did't matter. The blue's ate it. Never ran into this before. Is it just the blue fish get that thick sometime? we were from 13 miles and in.

A: We've seen more bluefish this year than I can ever remember. I don't know whats going on but if I were a King Mackerel, I would adjust my travel plans to our Brunswick County waters. If the water is thick with bluefish, you will not get away from them by varying your trolling speed. They are ravenous and when in a pack will bite anything[including you if you stick your toe in the water]. The over abundance of blues are keeping the spanish from being able to feed like normal. Best hope is any day now the Kings will see whats going on and attack the near shore waters with a vengence and get the bluefish population under control.

06/01/2012 - southern states

Q: i noticed you all made a statemeant that we need the right people in congress to get things done down in the southern states, i think it was said that the northern states has the right people, who is the person we need to vote for?please give a name and i promise he or she will get my family's votes, thanks for a job well done glenn

A: Excellent question. My point when saying the northern states had the 'right people" in Congress was to say, their northern congressmen have lots of power. Kerry, past Presidential candidate, Frank, head of Ways and Means committee,ect/ect; and they are Democrats, with Democratic party in control of national politics. It gives them the means to "mess" with things to benefit their constituents. Their power base is also connected to the large population centers they represent. Down south, we don't have the super large population centers and non of our elected folks have either taken the lead with fishery issues, or don't have the political muscle to get into the game for our benefit. I don't have the answer; either try to work existing folks[McIntyre as example] or develop new candidates. The point is we are being outsmarted by the powerful northern political folks; how to counter? Needs much thought.

05/31/2012 - black bass

Q: Are circle hooks required for sea bass?

A: Not in NC state waters[within 3 miles]. In Federal waters, any fish that is part of snaper/grouper complex is required circles. Best to carry circles on board in case Feds stop you.

05/31/2012 - circle hooks and sea bass

Q: what size of circle hook is best for sea bass,i got a lot of hooks, none of them are circle, i sure don't want to break the law, thanks

A: If you are in state waters[inside 3 miles], you don't need circle hooks. Best plan is to have them on board in the event a Fed stopped you outside of 3 miles. I'd say a 4/0 circle would be about right for sea bass.

05/30/2012 - fishing the end of June

Q: We are coming down and bringing a boat. What is usually biting hard within 15-25 miles out around the last week of June? And what is good bait to use (live or artificial)?

A: Basically everything should be biting then. If you fish the Jungle, Shark Hole, Horseshoe, Atlantic Ledge, and if you use live menhaden, you should catch Kings/Dolphin/Cobia/Amberjack. On the bottom, sea bass, grouper. Always live bait is best and menhaden most abundant bait fish which you catch with a cast net. Check with OIFC when you get there and we will know exactly where whats biting where.

05/30/2012 - Seasonal Question

Q: Hi. I love your store. Just got home from a great weekend at OIB. I am trying to schedule a trip that will allow for spanish and king fishing, within 10 miles of beach. Can I do this in July / August? What months should we target for both fishing options? Thank you. Chris

A: July/August are both excellent months for kings/spanish. During that time of year it is possible to catch both on 1/2-3/4day trips. Longer is better as gives more time to find fish, but that time of year, spanish are just outside the inlet and kings are within 10 miles. The way the trip runs is look for live pogies along beach front, catch them, then you can troll for spanish with spoons, then move offshore to use the live menhaden and try to catch kings/cobia/ect[or reverse the spanish/king sequence]

05/30/2012 - black sea bass

Q: how far out would be a good starting point for sea bass, when the season opens,i have a 21ft and don't want to go to far, thanks

A: start at the 3 mile ledges or Jolly MOn Reef AR460; try the 7 mile reefs. they shoould be on any rocks ledges within 10 miles. Further you push offshore fish should get bigger but should find plenty of keepers inside of 10 miles

05/29/2012 - bird island

Q: I'm visiting NMB in early June and am considering surf fishing on Bird Island. Is it worth the hike to go to the jetty? What other suggestions might you have vs. the Sunset Pier?? THANKS!!

A: If you are staying on Sunset Beach, Tubbs inlet is excellent and much closer[between Sunset and OIB]. Good flounder/redfish action there on live mud minnows, mullet minnows, or pogies.

05/27/2012 - Black Bass regs

Q: What is size and limits for Black Bass, june 1 as the NCDWL list it as "D" ???

A: 13" and 5/day south of Cape Hatteras. North of CH, think it is 20/day. That is a result of northern states having powerful congress folks and down south, we ain't got crap for political power in Congress. Think this is what started the Civil war.

05/25/2012 - fishing

Q: Are you sure we will be ok to fish the beaches this weekend? THe weather is forecasting large waves nearshore. Thank you

A: #1, I don't profess to know anything about the weather. I only share my opinion which comes from a guy that flunked a meteorology course 40+ years ago. To be sure, the weather has gotten worse than yesterday as apparently a tropical storm has decided to grow itself on top of us here at OIB. However, I was out this morning in my 19 foot Carolina Skiff and close to the beach it is/was fine. As long as the wind stays in a north/northeasterly direction, fishing along our south facing beaches "should" be fishable. I'm sticking with Yaupon. I can tell you there are lots of pogies on the beach, and lots of bluefish on near shore reefs and beaches. It will really surprise me if King bite doesn't happen at Yaupon. All that said, DO NOT rely on my forecast; you are responsible for yourself. Good fishing!

05/25/2012 - charter

Q: do you need to have a fishing license to fish on your charter

A: No, the charter boat has a blanket license for all aboard.

05/24/2012 - Weather

Q: Will this weekend be fishable considering the wind? Planning on hanging nearshore for some kings. Thanks

A: If you are fishing the Brunswick County beaches you should be fine as our beaches face south and wind is supposed to be north/northeast. The pogies have arrived and are up and down the beach. The water around the inlets and near shore reefs are thick with bluefish. On a north wind, what does that tell you? Tells me the beach bite should go off at Yaupon/Lockwood ledges/Shallotte Milliken ledges or near shore reefs[Jolly Mon AR460].

05/22/2012 - Little River Inlet

Q: is a south carolina salt water fishing license required to transport fish caught offshore through the little river inlet on your way to your home in Ocean Isle?

A: You are in SC waters coming thru inlet, and if you were stopped, yes they could give you a ticket for not having SC license.

05/22/2012 - mahi fishing

Q: Are you guys seeing mahi in any numbers inshore of the break at all or do you have to go all the way to the stream to have a good shot at them right now?

A: Haven't seen much yet in areas like the Jungle/Shark Hole but as season progresses they will filter in such that there is a good chance to catch them while king fishing. It still will be an incidental catch except in the stream where they are the target.

05/22/2012 - Cobia

Q: Where are some good local areas for running into a cobia?

A: Close in check the buoys as they will hang around the buoys. Moving offshore, they will be in the same rocks/ledges where Kings are at[Jungle/90/90/Shark Hole/ect]. Also check close in wrecks/artificial reefs[Jolly Mon Reef[AR460], Little River Offshore/Cauble/ect.

05/13/2012 - Flounder fishing

Q: What color gulp is working now around Tubbs inlet? How do you fish the gulp shrimps now?

A: New penny shrimp has caught some good ones in there lately. We fish the gulp shrimp on eighth ounce or quarter ounce jigheads...sliding or bouncing them slowly across the bottom. Good Luck! See ya on the water!

05/12/2012 - fishing

Q: who is the best charter or guys that might take you out on a great trip fishing for sail fish ,dolfin fish,king mackrel,wahoo???????the week of jun 9th?????

A: Suggest you ask around and there is about a 100% likelyhood you will be direct to Ocean Isle Fishing Center. We are all about fishing, and everyone who works here must pass Capt Brant's approval. For a trip to catch wahoo/dolphin you will need to go to gulf stream to have best chances. Kings[and maybe dolphin] will be moving in a little closer as summer progresses. Early June, best bet on Kings will be in the 15 mile range so suggest minimum 3/4 day trip. Our King fishing is live bait/light tackle fishing.

05/12/2012 - Spanish video on YouTube

Q: Saw the video on YouTube. Is it just a Alabama Rig on a planer? If you can tell me, what baits did you use in the rig itself? Thanks in advance.

A: We are adding 00 clarkspoons to each arm on the Alabama rig...we are not running it on a planer or adding any weights to it way behind the boat...75 to 100yds back to keep it in the water. Still in the experimental adding a trolling weight or trying to run on a planer may be possible...we have not tried that yet...has been working just fine running way back like explained above...See ya on the water!

05/12/2012 - circle hooks

Q: I've heard and read several references to circle hooks being required for bottom fishing this year but, other than red drum in the Pamlico sound and live bait billfishing, I can't find any state or federal regs requiring them. Is this something that is required in offshore waters, nearshore waters or all bottomfishing? Don't want to break any laws this season. Thanks for your help in this.

A: We "hear" same stuff, but we haven't been able to verify. We put our ace Federal fisheries rule investigator[Capt Jacob] on the mission of getting the real facts. The only thing "we think" is maybe that rule, if it is a rule, applies to using natural bait; but standby lets find out for sure. Best information I could find is on South Atlantic Marine Fisheries website( down the right hand column and you will see Grouper/Snapper Complex bulletin for use of circle hooks. Circle hooks must be used when targeting any species of grouper or snapper...regular j style hooks can still be used when targeting other species. This is federal, so some state laws may differ...example in Pamplico sound area circle hooks must be used when targeting red drum...when targeting sailfish circle hooks are required... In hooks are a good idea regardless, however, as of right now circle hooks are not required for all bottom fishing...just a few species...If you have a grouper or snapper onboard, you best have a circle hook tied to your live bait rigs...hope this helps...regulations seem to change daily, so try your best to keep up with the fish you target. Good luck out there. See ya on the water!

05/10/2012 - east wind

Q: What are your thought of fishing in an east wind? Stories I've heard always say bite the least when winds are from the east. Saturday looks beautiful but east wind

A: Yep, when we don't catch fish we blame it on an east wind if we have a east wind to blame. If not and we don't catch fish, we find something else to blame it on. Truthfully, don't know any science that answers that question, but it seems to work that way. That said, if you have a real good temp break coming in over the break[like we do], I think the fish will bite irrespective whats happening with the wind. If you have a Sunday option, wind should move to southeast; if not GO FISH. We'll be out there, east wind and all.

05/10/2012 - Little River Jetty

Q: I have read numerous fishing reports in which y'all have had great success around the jetty. We have been a few times and struck out each trip. Do you fish the rocks, fish the deep water (20+) feet through the middle, or do you travel between the rocks to the backside in the ocean? We typically fish for flounder, red drum, and other inshore species using baits such as mud minnows, finger mullet, and live shrimp. We are planning on heading that way Saturday morning and hope to have a more successful trip this time so any help/recommendations would be really appreciated!

A: We fish the rocks mostly...use an adjusting slip float setup to get you into the rocks...we will also use carolina rigs out on the points and middle to target reds and flounder. Wind, tide, and conditions all play a big factor in where we fish. Inside or outside of the rocks. Fish are typically hanging all along the rocks...trick is keeping something in the strike zone long enough to get the bite and not get hung in the rocks. Can be tough, but very rewarding if it all comes together! Last bit of outgoing and first bit of incoming tide are usually best times out there. See ya on the water!

05/09/2012 - oib inlet

Q: I am more familiar with lf inlet but it is not marked / dredged yet. How is Shallotte inlet (oib). Planning on going tomorrow and will be low tide when leaving. Thanks for all you do.TR

A: Assuming you are in a outboard, [not deep draft with running gear] my experience is the Shallotte Inlet is fine as it ever has been. Just follow the buoys out[almost 180 degree line]. There is one red buoy that is in the wrong side of the channel[got blown and stuck]. Ignore the color and just continue running the line. The only bad spot is the last sets of cans seaward, which is where a bar is at. If worried trim up your engines but shouldn't be a problem if you stay in right spot. Simple naviagion tool; stay away from the white water.

05/08/2012 - Charter for end of July

Q: We are coming down to The Winds for the last week in July. We would be interested in a 1/2 day charter. What typically is in season then? Last year we were by Ft Walton FLA and Red Snapper season was just coming to an end. Thanks.

A: In late July on 1/2 day trips we can typically catch King Mackeral, Spanish; maybe Mahi Mahi. We live bait light tackle fish. A longer trip gives more options as you can go further offshore and maybe find grouper/amberjack/ect.

05/08/2012 - Yaupon Reef

Q: Any reports from around Yaupon? Kings or Cobia?

A: There have been scattered kings/cobia caught there this spring. Cold front coming thru Wed-Thursday, and after hard north winds subside]probably Saturday] I forecast a good bite to develop at Yaupon/Ocean Crest for Kings and cobia. Go get em!

05/07/2012 - flounder

Q: has there been any flounder caught at the nearshore reefs yet?

A: Only heard of a few. Most of the action has been in Shallotte River, Tubbs Inlet, and Cherry Grove inlet

05/05/2012 - Cast Net

Q: What cast net would you use to catch mullet minnows for flounder fishing?

A: all you need is a 4 to 6 foot 3/8th inch mesh net

05/04/2012 - Sat 5/5 Fishing

Q: Headed to stream out of Little River. Where would you advise going?

A: Sorry didn't repsond; was out of town at King tourney. Hope you had good luck.

05/01/2012 - kings

Q: do you think there will be kings at the shark hole or light house rocks this weekend?fished the beach last weekend with no luck.Do you think it would be better to try in close again?thanks for all you guys do.

A: The kings definitely should be at the Horeshoe and probably Shark Hole. Pogies are showing up on the beach so net them if possible, otherwise dead cigars. The beach bite is unpredictible; its either on or not. Maybe give it a shot when looking for pogies, and then head off if you don't find them inshore.

04/30/2012 - Inshore Problems

Q: I feel like we're doing everything right and getting wrong We're throwing carolina rigged mud minnows with 1/2 ounce weights with a 18 inch flouro leader and throwing all colors of the rainbow artificials in great spots ,deep holes, under piers, good grass, and still didn't manage a fish yesterday..lot's of catchn. So here is my question you use flouro on your leader when using artificials and do you use a barrel swivel or do you clinch the leader and main togeter?? Thanks in advance and the pogy report was awesome caught all we needed in front off holden.

A: I guess that is fishing? I have gone plenty of days throwing the tackle box at them and then a few choice words with little result. It can be very aggrevating at times when you know fish are hanging around a particular area, but can't get the bite. I can only share some tips that may help. mentioned an 18 inch leader on your flounder rig...try shortening the leader down to 10 to 14 inches...this will keep the bait much closer to the strike zone and you will feel the bite more easily. Moreover, this also does not allow the minnow much running room to escape. Stick with fluorocarbon leaders... mentioned swivels attaching fluoro-leader to your artificials...when throwing artificials, I use a uni to uni knot to attach my two lines together. I use 10 to 15lb braid to 18 feet of fluorocarbon 10lb leader and tie the jighead directly to the line. I do not use any swivels in my artificial setups. Those are the only two terminal tips that I would have for you. Many other variables dictate our fishing inshore. Tide, wind, moon phase, and fishing pressure can all effect some of our favorite fishing areas. With that said... The fish were biting much better in the afternoon this past weekend. Fish were caught in the morning, but the fish were tough and scattered. Why was the bite so much better in the afternoon? The moon phase is growing to full, its position was directly overhead around 3pm Saturday and 4pm Sunday. Look at your tide chart and you will see that the overhead moon lined up right about mid outgoing tide. Then look at your wind direction. Find the places where the wind is going with the tide and you will likely find a honey hole for that day. Make a note and that is probably where they will be again in those conditions next time. I know that is technical, but you just got a good look at the inside of my little pea brain...LOL! Good luck to you in the future and I hope this gives you some good food for thought. See ya on the water!

04/29/2012 - offshore bottom rigs

Q: How do you guys make bottom rigs for trigger fish and sea bass? Do you have any forsale?The 50# mono we had been using ,when doubled up does not fit though the eyes of the now required circle hooks in the smaller sizes.We know hook size for sea bass is all over the place but how about the triggers?

A: You can buy standard 2 dropper rigs or make your own with granny knots. If targeting sea bass and triggers, don't need to use 50lb, 30 is fine. For triggers you need to use a smaller hook as they have small mouths; sea bass doesn't matter as they have a big mouth.

04/29/2012 - Jolly Mon Reef

Q: What are the GPS numbers for the Jolly Mon reef? Also, have you had many reports of fish caught at the 90's?

A: Jolly Mon reef is AR 460. Its 180 degrees out of Shallotte Inlet, 3 miles. Just starting to hear of few fish at the 90's. Should be getting better and better.

04/27/2012 - fishing

Q: is sunday going to be flat? Fish Hard Tight lines

A: We are stuck in middle of a front that can't decide whether to go north or south. Today it went south so weather good. Tomorrow is supposed to be ok and we have boats going to stream, but weather dynamic right now so best plan is to plan on going and get up in morning and see what conditions are.

04/27/2012 - gulf stream

Q: do you offer "walk ons" for the gulf stream trips if a party is short a person? i will be staying in Ocean Isle june 3-9 but unfortunately im the only fisherman going. thank you

A: Yes on occasion will put together make up trips. Best to contact or call OIFC at 910575FISH and they will direct you to Brant.

04/21/2012 - Bonita

Q: Any sign of Bonita in the area yet?

A: They have showed up on other side of shoals. Spanish are in our waters now[best around Yaupon] so Bonita should be here. Need to look around 90's, Little River offshore wreck or Caudle.

04/15/2012 - the jetties

Q: Whats the best method for fishing at the jetties this time of year mainly drum and trout

A: capt jacob will get back to you

04/13/2012 - boats

Q: 2002 36 yellowfin CC with 2007 Yamaha trip 250 500hrs aluminum updated fuel tanks 129,900 is this price accurate in your opinion or thoughts. Thanks

A: email

04/07/2012 - fishing

Q: I'm looking to schedule a charter for fishing jacks, snapper, etc.. and wanted to know what the best time of year to go is.

A: Anytime from June on thru the fall. Sometimes better in June as it seems the jacks get "smarter" as season progresses, but usually they are pretty dependable. Vermillion snapper season opens back up in June I think.

04/07/2012 - Charter fishing

Q: We will be in Ocean Isle June 30 thru the first week in July. Looking to charter a boat for 6. Is the 4 hour good for catching some fish or is 6 hour a better choice.

A: It's always better to do longer trip if possible as this offers more time to locate the fish as well as go further offshore if necessary. That said, in July the Kings and other gamefish can be at spots that we can reach on 4 hour trips.

04/04/2012 - maps

Q: Looking for a good map with all the fishing spots marked.Thankyou

A: We helped Pro-Finder on their chart identifies most of best local spots by name.

04/03/2012 - Fishin On foot

Q: Is there any place accessible by bike/foot, where I can fish for flounder, drum, trout, without alot of people. I know the public pier at the other end of the island near shalotte inlet is okay, but I want somewhere with lots of keeper fish! Thanks again, Jordan

A: Shallotte Inlet or best is Tubbs Inlet[walk up the public beach.

04/03/2012 - cans in lockwood folly

Q: have the buoys been replaced in LF inlet? my friend keep his boat about a mile south of the holden beach bridge. which would be the shortest distance from there to the ocean, Southport or Little River? (assuming low tide and we can't use Lockwood Folly)

A: Not yet but rumor is sometime this summer. Shallotte Inlet is well marked with buoys.

03/27/2012 - bonito

Q: Any signs of bonito around Southport Oifc area or possible prediction. Thanks oifc

A: We are on red alert[I don't leave the dock without wasabi and soy sauce]. Amazingly the water temp is 70 degress; it should be in the upper 50's. Not sure what is going to happen but suspect the fish are as confused as I am. Kings on the beach in March? Could happen. We'll report on web site soon as we see the bonita or any other species that shouldn't be here now.

03/19/2012 - stripteasers

Q: I am looking to outfit my two dredge bars with stripteasers. Do yall carry just the holographic fish?

A: Yes we do; come on by or call 910575FISH or email Thanks.

03/19/2012 - Spring break fishing from the shore

Q: What do you guys think will be biting if I am shore fishing.? I'll be down there spring break

A: Whiting in the beach front surf. Inside waters flounder starting to show as well as redfish.

03/17/2012 - Sea Time and Learning

Q: I am an experienced sailor with Merchant Mariner OUPV looking for a summer job opportunity. I am 33, a high school teacher, former military, and a ceritfied diver. I just want to learn more about boat maintinance and operation, fishing, and the ocean. I live in Myrtle Beach and will be available and receptive to any opportunity June-August.

A: contact

03/13/2012 - inlet

Q: planing on going out thursday and was wanting to know how the inlet looks?

A: The "unofficial" inlet master has moved the buoys to the best water[basically a straight line out]. As of today there is plenty of water. The only bad spot is the last 2 sets of cans which is where the bar is at but should be a good 3 feet at low tide. The inlet master reports there was one red buoy that he couldn't move and thus the red and green is reversed at that point. Just follow the line of buoys going out and you should be fine, however everyone should mark on their GPS their own route.The route shown is only a guide and all inlets are subject to changing conditions. Marinair beware.

03/09/2012 - OIB Inlet

Q: I see that you had your first charter of the year, can you please advise on the status of the inlet? Thanks for all you do for the OIB fishing community!

A: Word from captains is outer bar is where there is a problem. Brant is checking it out tomorrow and we will try to find the best path thru the bar and will pass that info on to everyone. Standby.

03/09/2012 - Cobia

Q: After reading your "how to" on cobia I have a question. Are the cobia in the same nearshore locations that I have caught kings in the past 10-12 miles out? the difference is a chum bag and be on the look out? What about under pogy pods near the beach. Thanks

A: The cobia will first show in early spring further offshore and yes, at the spots you king fish[structure]. We actually catch them in the late winter along the break by deep jigging. As spring progresses they will move into the same spots you king fish. Chum definitely draws them in. We put our chum bag down deep and then raise it to the surface so Cobia will rise with the chum. Best bet then is a live pinfish, pogy,cobia jig tipped with squid, or whatever you got. On rare occasions we will see them around pogy pods; more typically on structure.

03/06/2012 - OIFC Fishing Rodeo

Q: I have been thinking about buying tickets for the OIFC rodeo this year. If I enter into and catch the fish during a tournament and cant weight the fish in to the OIFC does it still count? I fish a few inshore/offshore tournaments a year and was wondering about this.

A: Your fish must be weighed at OIFC on the day it was caught.

03/05/2012 - Trout

Q: I see yall catch a lot of trout in the backwaters. What kind of bait and rig are yall using? Will the trout still be around at the end of this month? What's the best time of year to hook one?

A: Standby for Jacob.

03/05/2012 - Trout

Q: I see yall catch a lot of trout in the backwaters. What kind of bait and rig are yall using? Will the trout still be around at the end of this month? What's the best time of year to hook one?

A: Trout will still be here in March and April. Historically these are the two months that we see some large females caught. I would expect this year to produce a few with the mild winter we have had this year. Floating live shrimp under a cork or carolina rigging with live menhaden, pinfish, spots, or croaker will normally catch the larger trout. I like to use artificials to target trout and usually catch numbers with this method. Using a 1/8th ounce red jighead to 1/4 ounce red jighead rigged with my favorite soft plastics, 4" Sea Shads by Bass Assassin Lures, my favorite colors are chartreuse and white patterns. I own several different colors in this style of bait and experiment often with colors. Best colors for our area has been: Rainbow trout, Limetreuse Ghost, Chicken on a Chain, Electric Chicken, and Green Moon have produced well. The Little River Jetties is typically the place that produces the largest fish, some up to 9 pounds. The surrounding creeks and rivers usually produce numbers of fish between 1 to 3 pounds. If I were planning to target nothing but speckled trout, I would plan a trip in November. Our average day this past year was around 20 fish per half day in November. Our best day was 60+ trout on a full day charter with a few bonus redfish to boot. Again, I would expect a good bite to happen in the Spring this year as mild as our winter has been. We will just have to wait and see. Usually, the trout bite really peeks the last two weeks of April. Water temperature will have a lot to say about that and with the mild winter it should be earlier this year.

03/05/2012 - Rigs

Q: Whats size swivel do yall use on your King Rigs?

A: 50lb Spro

03/04/2012 - Canals

Q: Do alligators ever come into the OIB canals? We frequently swim and boat in the canals and was trying to see how safe it is to swim in them?

A: Alligators typically are fresh water critters although there have been reports of them coming ashore on the beach. Most likely they came down the Cape Fear River and out to the ocean and most likely there was something physically wrong with them to enter the salt water. You see them on golf course ponds; never seen or heard of one in the canals.

03/03/2012 - Kauak follow up

Q: Fyi your contact at info@oifc is not workIng. Returns email back. Anyways, thanks for the kayak attempted below Thank you Jacob Frick for the kayak information now on your site!  We now have a jetboat set up for fishing, so I am looking to the kayak to get up into the really shallow creeks around tubbs to target reds where even a shallow draft jetboat couldn't go.  Do you have any recommendations?  Do you do kayak charters?  Also, you mentioned reds, trout, and black drum around the Sunset side of Tubbs around the docks.  Is there a significant difference with the docks around the west side of oib?  Easy kayak (watching the tubbs tide current of course) over to sunset, just curious.... Thank you. Patrick

A: stand by for Capt Jacob

03/03/2012 - Drag set on your Kingfish reel

Q: What pound drag to you use to your king fish rigs. I want to make sure we get a good hook set. I'm using torium 30's with 30lb test Thank You Fred

A: Kings are aggressive strikers of a bait, thus with 4x treble eagle claws they will hook up on impact. Therefore you want to use very light drag as a heavy drag will either tear the hooks out since you will probably snag the fish, or you would straighten out the hooks on impact of the strike. Drag is just past the free spool, so that you can easily pull line off with your hand. Fight the fish with light drag[same thing, if you try to horse him hooks will pull out or straighten. I use my thumb and index finger to apply pressure when pump and wind. Come to our free seminar end of March.

02/28/2012 - stripteaser

Q: Is there a cheaper alternative to buying a stripteaser but that is effective?

A: Squid daisey chains are effective. You can make your own. A blue/white islander following a squid rigged with a ballyhoo[without a hook] is a good teaser. Teaser are VERY effective in gulf stream. Our charter boats almost always will have some sort of a teaser out.

02/20/2012 - When can we fish?

Q: Just wondering what are the first fish that start to show up around the 20 mile range? What's a good water temp and depth to start cause we are itching to get back out there. Thanks.

A: Atlantic Bonito are first to show, usually when water temp hits low to mid 60's. They will best be found around the 90/90 back toward Little River Offshore reef. Next Spanish will show when water around 65 degrees. They will be outside inlet mouths and same area as Bonito. Next will be the late April/early May run of Kings around Yaupon reef and Ocean Crest pier. From then on fish will begin migrating inshore thoughout the spring/summer. Come to our March kickoff and these subjects will be discussed in free how to seminars. The best fish to catch early spring/late winter, unfortunately our Federal Gov won't let you fish for, sea bass. They are thick out there but Feds closed season until June 1st. [Join our bus trip to Washington DC on March 21 to protest against absurb Fed fishery laws.]

02/19/2012 - crew/mate

Q: is it possible to get a job as a mate on a charter with no experience?

A: Thats a Capt Brant call;

02/09/2012 - fishing time

Q: I am planning on coming to Myrtle beach the week of April 9 -13 what is the weather and the fishing like usually at that time i am interested in deep sea fishing

A: Early spring is good time frame for gulf stream fishing for wahoo/tuna/mahimahi. That is fishing approx 60 miles offshore. In the 40 mile range, should be good King Mackerel fishing. Bottom fishing will be good at either location. Look on our web site and click on charter fishing and you can get more info. The weather that time of year is either real good or nots so good. Early spring can be 80degrees or 60 degrees.

02/07/2012 - steeples

Q: How far out is the steeples and do you think the wahoo will be there late March and early April?

A: Steeples is approx 68 miles from OIB. Our best season for wahoo is March[biggest fish of the year]. Also dolphin start showing then, and maybe this is the year the yellowfin tuna return as our early spring fish.

01/30/2012 - King rig

Q: When making king rigs for Live and dead bait. What size hooks should I use and what lb wire?

A: Hook size determined by bait size. Dead cigars; size 4 or 6. Live pogies, size 4; bigger baits like bluefish or mullet, size 2. Typically we use 43lb wire.

01/22/2012 - Winds

Q: What are the best wind patterns for fishing near shore or off shore in along the NC Coast?

A: offshore is simple; slight and lite which means you don't get your butt kicked. Inshore, less of an issue, but if blowing hard, need to find shelter so you can control your cast/presentation better

01/11/2012 - charter

Q: i am coming down jan 20 thru 22 is there any fish bitting offshore good enough to charter a boat thanks

A: Best games going offshore now will be Wahoo in the gulf stream along with deep jigging for tuna/aj's/grouper/cobia/ect. Around the Frying Pan Tower area, kings should still be there.

01/07/2012 - June fishing

Q: We will be making our annual trip a little later this year (3rd week of june). We usually do the gulf stream trip. Is that to late? If so is a vertical jigging bottom fishing trip best bet? Thanks. Will be booking soon

A: June is still a good gulf stream time for our waters. Also, can mix in deep vertical jigging on the break 175-250feet. Come on down!

01/03/2012 - Gwon Fishn

Q: Trying to put together a decent inshore fishing trip this weekend and was wondering if around Inlet View Restaurant in that marshland was a good trout hole or drum? Boat has a 9 inch draft and can get pretty shallow so any advice is greatly appreciated and also is there anything happening at the Jetty's in Little River? I live near Asheboro and OIFC hoodies are popping up more and it!

A: Capt Jacob will get to you on that one[]

12/30/2011 - Inlet and lures

Q: Yesterday we returned to Shalotte inlet at "mid" tide and had 4 foot depth at #2 can. Ended up turning around and hitting Little River. Is Shalotte inlet pretty bad right now? Come on jetties! Also- when you are pulling those tuna feathers are you putting bait on them? Thanks guys....u r the BEST!

A: There is a bar thats formed at that can, but if you are in an outboard shouldn't be a problem. 4 feet showing from tranducer on bottom of your boat is more like 5 feet. If you are real concerned just raise your motors a little; shouldn't be a problem except on full moon low tide. When we are pulling feathers, mostly looking for Blackfin Tuna, and no, don't use bait on them.

12/27/2011 - Grouper

Q: Have you heard of anyone catching grouper or any bottom dwellers recently? If so, what depth would these be holding currently? Thanks.

A: Grouper season shuts down Dec 31. They are probably in the 125 foot range by now.

12/27/2011 - Big Wahoo

Q: Heard about a 100 pound wahoo that was caught out of little river last week. Any other information on it or the guys that caught it? That sure is one amazing catch

A: On the report

12/26/2011 - hunting

Q: I was looking to come down and do some duck hunting? I was wondering if yall knew where any birds are? Really I was wondering what is considered legal to hunt? Certain distance from homes? Can I hunt any marsh off of the intracoastal? Thank you

A: There is some duck hunting here but not sure where. Used to hunt in the marsh in front of the hirise, but the Town declared an emergency meeting and passed ordinance against it. Think pellets might have been bouncing off the balconies. Think anywhere in County ok but not sure.

12/21/2011 - Sword trip

Q: I have a few questions about your latest adventure. Do you drift the whole night? and do you need to constantly adjust your course or just go with the flow? Also, are you using down riggers or weights to keep your baits at your desired depths? And lastly, it must be a little spooky out that far in the dark windy seas. Thanks, for the reports I look forward to them. ~Jetty Jay~

A: Pretty much yes to all your questions. At this stage in the discovery mode, learning along the way. This trip was blind; ran out to 1200 feet and dropped them over. Stagger bait depths with break off weights and/or downrigger. Just drifted blind except picked a spot based on temp break. And definitely yes on a moonless windy night. Old man Santiago was the MAN!

12/20/2011 - Winter fishing

Q: I am new to the OIB fishing scene. Wondering if there is predictable striper fishing in the area during the colder months.

A: Unfortunately, haven't been able to get stripers to come any further south than Cape Lookout; however with the huge schools of pogies that are along Frying Pan Shoals, we expect to see return of the Giant Bluefin Tuna this winter, and maybe if it gets cold enough, the stripers will hear of the excellent feeding opportunities here and come on a little further south.

12/18/2011 - crew/mate

Q: I am 30 and love to fish and be on the water. I have been out may times and own my own 23ft bayliner throphy WAC, but I am looking to make a career out of it. I would love the chance to be a mate for someone. If you could point me down the right path that would be great. Thanks, Paul

A: Best way to approach is go to marinas/docks and visit with Charter Captains. Reality is mates come and go, so you will probably find someone looking for next years mates.

12/17/2011 - speckle trout

Q: Has speckle trout season closed or not

A: Not in our waters; they're biting like bulldogs.

12/07/2011 - bft

Q: Does Capt. Brant have a tuna seminar in the works for this fall/winter?

A: I think he wants to, but needs some encouragment that they really do still exist. Standby.

11/27/2011 - illeagal catch

Q: Does Capt. Jacob Frick know it is Illeagal to catch redfish out of the S.C. slot 14 -24 inches as he bragged about on his black friday fishing report and then bring them back into N.C. and clean them?

A: Jacob will get back to you on that one.

11/27/2011 - kings at the tower

Q: How long will the kings stick around the tower area? It'll be a few weeks before I can get back down to the coast and since the summer season was so bad I'd love to catch a few.

A: Typically[which doesn't mean much this year], they will stay there most of the winter. For whatever reason, the water seems to stay above 65-68 around the tower until February and then it cools down and kings leave. I think Mother Nature wants to give everyone a rest in February to get ready for the spring fishing.

11/21/2011 - Chicken rig

Q: What is a chicken rig?

A: Its a simple 2 droper 2 hook rig. Can buy store bought or make simply with series of granny knots, one for swivel, 2 for hooks, 1 for weight.

11/18/2011 - nc championship

Q: Are yall doing the nc kingfish championship this year

A: Unfortunately, couldn't generate enough interest. Hate it as the best King fishing NC has to offer.

11/15/2011 - Trout Fishing

Q: Hi, my name is Jordan Caudle (13) and I have a few questions about trout fishing. 1) I have some D.O.A Natural Shrimp. Will that work on a 1/4 ounce jig head popping it up off the bottom? 2) What is the best bait to use for trout? Artificial or live and what? 3) How do you fish a popping cork and when is the best time to fish one?

A: Standby, Capt Jacob will get back to you.

11/12/2011 - Barrett and brant

Q: Hi! This is a stupid question but I was looking at the reports they posted from their scouting down in La. Those look like some MONSTERS they bought! I know those first couple are King Macks but those last 2 of brant are wahoo, right? This was the 11/10 report. Thanks!

A: Yes, wahoo caught on King Mack tackle. Big one weighed 83lbs.

11/12/2011 - Congrats

Q: Way to go on winning the nationals.

A: Thank you very much; a great McMullan family moment!

11/10/2011 - Flounder still around inshore?

Q: Hello, Just wondering if the flounder are still biting inshore around the Sunset beach/Tubbs inlet area? We were there 2 weeks ago and the bite was pretty slow. Lots of netters out! Is it worth giving it another shot again for the weekend of the 18th or just shoot for other species? Thanks, John

A: Flounder are still around, but game right now is the trout with mixed redfish. Best to check with Capt Jacob at OIFC when you come down for updates. of where/when/how.

11/10/2011 - scuba kings

Q: I have been trying to time a trip to OIB, looking for kings, calm seas, and good visibilty for some diving?? Can you tell me when and where that will be? My range is about 20nm, please point me in the right direction OIFC. Keep em tight

A: The kings have bypassed the 20 mile area, and are around Frying Pan Tower and to the east and southwest over live bottom. Thats about 50 miles out. Visibility varies based upon conditions leading up to your trip. There is good diving in and within the 20 mile range on wrecks/ect. Again, visibilty wil vary based upon winds/seas prior to your trip. This weekend looks great on the weather scene.

11/07/2011 - Canoe?

Q: My family and I will be down in Ocean Isle for Thanksgiving and my son has it in his head that he wants to bring our canoe and fish for trout. Is it a good idea to fish out of a canoe in the waters down there?

A: Not a problem as there are many creeks and the canals perfect for canoe fising. Check with Jaccob at OIFC when you get down. He is inshore expert and can point you in right direction as to where/when/how.

11/03/2011 - where would you go?

Q: Has the King Bite improved since the Brawl Near Shore?

A: No. Best concentrtion seems to be east of frying Pan Tower. Honestly the kings didn't do anything right this year. This time of year they should be at Jungle on out to 27-32 mile rocks and at the tower in December.



A: Jacob will go where the fish are at, but typically fishes from Little River to Lockood and on to southport

11/01/2011 - spots

Q: Will the spots be around this coming up weekend?If so, what is they best way to catch them?

A: some still around. fish intercoastal or pier with 2 drop chicken rig. best bait is blodworms or fake bait

10/25/2011 - Fall inshore

Q: Given the weather prospects and recent history, what are my best options for inshore fishing this weekend? What and where?

A: standby for Jacob

10/25/2011 - weekend fishing

Q: Being they are calling for 3 to 5 foot this weekend, will you all still go out fishing? Do you think lighthouse rocks is still producing KING? or best place. Deciding if it's worth the trip from Raleigh. Thanks as always.

A: Looks like hard north winds this weekend. Thats ok if the fish are on the beach[Yaupon/Lockwood/Shallotte]. Lighthouse Rocks might get a bit bumpy as approx 3 miles offshore away from the wind protection offered by the land on a north wind. So.. the question is will the fish finally show up to where they are supposed to be this time of year, but thus far have not shown up. Maybe this is the weekend. Beyond that, should be a good weekend for spots and oysters.

10/20/2011 - EPIRB/Fall Brawl

Q: I am not an SKA member. Is and EPIRB or PLB still required to fish in the Fall Brawl and be eligible for prizes for non-SKA boats?

A: no, that is SKA rule for SKA fishermen

10/19/2011 - Bait

Q: How is the Bait looking on the beaches for the tournament this weekend?

A: Its been thick all summer and fall, and sure enough, last weekend for Rumble it was very difficult. However, yesterday on our charters, it was back in 8 feet of water. Weekend will have north wind, so it "should" be easy.

10/19/2011 - shrimp

Q: From now till Thanksgiving where is the best place to catch shrimp to use for bait?

A: you may still find them in back creeks but gets harder as water cools down.

10/17/2011 - Little River

Q: If I leave OIFC and head down ICW and fish the Little River jetties, do I need a SC fishing license?

A: Yes, you will be in SC waters at the jetties, and the SC marine patrol is very active there.

10/17/2011 - king mackerel

Q: What is the closest I can go out on my boat and catch king mackerel. Bait?

A: This time of the year, the answer should be no further than the sea buoy for Kings. The bait should be right on the beach. The fish migrate to the beach in mid-late October. My expectation is this weekend, following the strong front coming Wednesday, that the traditional Carolina fall beach bite should be on fire. Our beaches face south, so any wind out of the northern quadrant is blocked by land, thus it will be flat on the beach fronts. That will be the case this weekend.

10/16/2011 - Nearshore/offshore fishing maps

Q: Whats a good nearshore/offshore fishing/nautical map for our area? Reefs, wrecks, etc. Good online site to get gps coordinates/info?

A: Best is ProFinders which we have at OIFC. We helped design the map; identifies sites by their local name.

10/16/2011 - Rumble

Q: Have you heard of any results from the Rumble.

A: In 2 deep won with a 31. Check out Kingfish for full results.

10/15/2011 -

Q: I often read your reports referencing a "slot" red. What is the term "slot" designate? Thanks.

A: It is the measurement of size for which redfish can be kept. A fish between 18inches and 27inches[I think thats correct]can be kept. Under or over must be released. Check on NC Marine Fisheries web site to confirm all the rules.

10/12/2011 -

Q: In the past during the off season, captains have been willing to join local anglers on their private boats as fishing consultants for an hourly rate. Are any of the captains doing that this year? Thanks!

A: contact Brant at OIFC 575FISH

10/12/2011 - where would you go?

Q: Headed down this weekend looks like weather will be great for near shore...would you target kings and within ten miles where would you start?

A: Looks like Lighthouse rocks are shaping up to be the hot fall bite location for kings, just like last year. Bite should be on[they bit there yesterday].

10/09/2011 - tuna

Q: when will be best times to catch tuna? also charter price and limit on persons? thanks

A: Yellow fins are typically caught in the early spring, but honestly haven't been seen in our waters in last 5 years Bluefins are caught Dec thru winter, but honestly they haven't been here in last 2 years Blackfins, we catch in the winter in the gulf stream, either trolling with feathers or deep jigging All that said, fishing is dynamic, so we never know whether mother nature will smile or frown on us. Whats bad can get good and whats good can get bad[thats why they call it fishing instead of catching] Look on charter fishing on our web site menu bar for rates/ect.

10/06/2011 - King bite

Q: I have followed your site since I started king fishing, and have become a much better king fisherman thanks to the folks at OIFC. I buy most of my rods and reels from you as well. And always fish the Jolly and the fall brawl. My question is: My best bite with the kings seems to be the last couple of hours of the falling tide. But how is the rising tide bite and is it the last few hours of the rising tide?I never seem to get much king action on a full moon or east wind. Should I just fish it all or should I stay with what seems to work for me? Thanks. Jetty Jay

A: Thank you very much; nothing gives us more pleasure than to help someone catch more fish. On your question, we believe moving water is the key as current moves bait fish and makes them vulnerable to predador fish as the bait is fighting the current thus can't get out of the way of a feeding king as easily. We have found the soluneer tables seem pretty accurate in forecasting the time of day of the best bite. There definitely seems to be a time, up and down the fishing area, when the fish bite best. Full moon problems, some folks think they feed at night under full moon thus not as hungrey during daylight. East wind, nver figured out this one but definitely seems to have an effect; must have to do with barametic pressure. The great thing about fishing is it's all "opinion" and lots of different ones out there. I'd say experiment, but stick with what you have confidence in.

10/03/2011 - past tournament

Q: who won & what was the weight of the largest king.

A: report is on the fishing report

10/03/2011 - kingfishing

Q: my brother an i are having a disagreement. maybe you can solve it. he says since the spots are running that the kingfish bit will soon be over. i disagree, i believe they are late because of water temp. what do you think?

A: Good argument. Although I agree the presence of bait[spots in this case] are directly connected to Kings showing up, I'm more of the theory that [1]the spots are early due to offshore hurricane Irene pushing northerly wind and spots south, [2] maybe this year we are going to have a real run on spots, which we haven't for several years, and thus maybe they will be here until early November [3]the Kings are holding off Shallotte Inlet because there is a massive amount of pogies in the 30 feet deep water[I think the pogies must read the State laws and know they are safe in Brunswick County due to our pogy netting ban] [4] the kings continued presence will be about water temperature; they will stay on the beach until the water gets down to upper 60's. Then they will move to the 90's and then on to the Jungle, and finally on to the area around Frying Pan for the winter.

10/02/2011 - spanish fishing

Q: how long should your leader be from your planer or troling sinker to your lure?

A: 25-30feet 30lb mono

10/02/2011 - spanish fishing

Q: how long should your leader be from your planer or troling sinker to your lure?

A: 25-30 feet 30lb mono

10/01/2011 - U. S. Open

Q: Wha area was Rube talking about near Apache Pier that is protected in a SW wind???

A: The more westerly the better, but if you are hugging the beach, there is a little relief down there.

09/27/2011 - Redfish

Q: Are the reds biting? Is it best to freeline or use a carolina rig with, say Pogies? Drift or stationary? Thanks, and we'll be fishing around the Oak Island area so any areas to look for would be great too!

A: Been a decent bite at end of jetties at Little River. Best is on bottom with live mullets[or pogies]. Our guys fish the Little River jetties mostly.

09/26/2011 - fishing rod

Q: do you have any inshore baitcasters you would recomend for fluke

A: Capt Jacob will get with you on that one

09/26/2011 - Jolly Mon Reef

Q: where is jolly mon reef

A: AR455 approx 3 miles south of Shallotte Inlet

09/26/2011 - king mackerel

Q: how should i rig for kings (blues, mulllet artificial)?

A: Best results, especially close in will be with any live baits. Use a "live bait King rig". If don't have live bait, dead cigars will work, especially as you move offshore away from the beach[and live bait supply]

09/26/2011 - spanish

Q: Is there good Spanish mackerel trolling right now?

A: Yes, although we haven't fished this week. As water cools down, will get better and better. Best just outside the inlets.

09/20/2011 - Inshore

Q: What will be biting the frist weeks in Nov and where will be a good area near shore/inshore

A: depends how fast the water cools down, but Kings should be somewhere between 90/90 and Jungle. Novemeber is a great time to fish as the Kings school up that time of year prior to migration.

09/20/2011 - king fishing

Q: what is the best lure for kings

A: we don't generally use lures for Kings. Prefer live bait, but if not available, use dead cigar minnows. Look on our web site on "How To" and you will see instruction on how to King fish with dead bait.

09/18/2011 - Channel slide

Q: Has this rig been shared, or still secrect?

A: Thats a Rickey deal[]

09/14/2011 - wahoo and anything else within 10 miles?

Q: I'm fishing the end of this week and was hoping you could give me advice on catching wahoo and other species currently near-shore. i'm comfortable in my 21ft boat getting to the 90's. i typically troll cigars and pogys as taught by your OIFC charters. any advice to increase my hook-ups (of any species off-shore) is appreciated. appreciate all you and your captains do!

A: Very unusual to find wahoo that close to shore. There have been a few caught this summer in 65-80 feet, but typically they are on the break in 160-250 feet water[60+ miles offshore]. Best game going closer in will be the Kings, which are BOUND to show up. They have been MIA all summer, but with cool fronts moving thru and water cooling, they surely will come to eat on the variety of food available for them. This weekend will be a strong cold front, with 20+ north winds. That should mean the Kings will bite at Yaupon or close to the Ocean Crest Pier. Mullets should run the beach on a north wind and that will be the best bait. Try those places or Lockwood Ledges just outside Lockwood Inlet. You will need to stay close to shore for wind break.

09/14/2011 - jetties

Q: have the jetties been productive lately?

A: The big redfish are starting to bite at end of jetties; live mullet fished on bottom

09/14/2011 - Sunset Cruise

Q: A group of us will be in Ocean Isle this weekend for a bachelorette party. Is there anyone that gives a sunset cruise in the area? Thanks for your help! Sally 678-617-6986

A: contact Capt Brant at OIFC[910575FISH[3474] or

09/12/2011 - redfish

Q: When fishing around structure for redfish what do you do/use to help prevent cut offs?

A: florocarbon leaders, braided line; yank em out of there.

09/09/2011 - hatteras

Q: how far is hatteras by boat

A: Approx 90 miles to Cape Lookout; approx 40 miles after cross slue to Ocracoke; approx 25 miles on to Hatteras

09/09/2011 - Thanks!

Q: Jacob, Many thanks to you for sharing your time and expertise with me earlier this afternoon! I greatly appreciate the information you provided about rigs and bait, as well as endorsing my proposed route for Spanish/Blues trolling and bottom fishing off Oak Island. Should I assume there is an ample amount of mullet minnows/shrimp in the creeks that can be gathered with a cast net (if I can remember how to throw the darned thing)? If so, what size mullet do you recommend for the reds and flounder, and what is your recommended place on the mullet to apply the hook; eyes, mouth, back? As I said when we were chatting at the OIFC, I really want to provide a good few days of fishing for my friends, and it's been a long time since I caught the reds off the Little River middle bar (pre-jetty). Again, many thanks for your assistance, and I look forward to seeing you tomorrow about 12:00 noon. Bill

A: sent on to

09/06/2011 - Kings

Q: First of all Congratulations to OIFC for winning the claasic this past weekend. Of the fish that were caught this weekend besides OIFC where were the other fish caught.

A: Thank you very much. The 2nd place fish came from Atlantic Ledge; a few of the smaller fish came from the Atlas Tanker off Cape Lookout. Thats all I heard. We fished straight out on grouper rocks in 110 feet.

09/05/2011 - No kings

Q: 3 boats fished Sunday...all with years of OIB fishing...hit 5 to 6 spots from 25 miles in...not a bump...any ideas??

A: What you experienced is whats been going on all summer. The Kings have been MIA. Our charter boats fish everyday and they have had to adjust to catching baracudas/sharks/aj's; anything to bend a rod. They have caught very few kings this summer and when I say very few I mean it. I don't know whats going on. The water is full of bait, been plenty of pogies all summer...something has changed effecting their migration pattern. I have no answer; just hope for a change with coming of fall.

09/02/2011 - surf fishing

Q: Coming down the weekend after labor day for a week, staying on the far east end, looking to spend some serious time surf fishing. Any suggestions?

A: Cut mullet or live mullet on bottom; should catch blues/redfish/sharks.ALso throw stingsilver/hopkins for blues/spanish. Sandfleas and small hook should catch whiting/pompano.

09/01/2011 - Bait

Q: Are there any Pogies still schooled up off the beach after the storm?

A: pogies showed back up today. also mullets running the beach; glass minnows in 40ft

09/01/2011 - 8-31 CHARTER


A: not good- water still not looking good in offshore waters[milky]. looks excellent on the beach.

08/31/2011 - Shallotte Inlet post Irene

Q: Any reports on changes to the inlet as a result of the storm? are the cans still in place? Thanks for all you guys do!

A: Our charters haven't reported any problems, but I will try to check out in detail tomorrow and will report back.

08/31/2011 - king rig

Q: Would there be any reason not to use a circle hook and 2 treble hook king rig?

A: Kings typically are a slash and bite type of fish which means they rarely swallow a bait on the strike. The way a circle hook works is the fish ingests the bait and hook, you go from free spool on the strike to engage on the drag after the strike, and basically pull the circle hook out of his stomach where it will lodge in the corner of the mouth. In that the kings strike is slash and bite, you wouldn't have opportunity to get the bait in his stomach in order to then pull the hook out of his stomach and then hook the king in the corner of the mouth. Beyond that, if he did swallow, the trebles would connect, negating any possibility of the circle hook working as intended.

08/31/2011 - The Brunswick

Q: We need a heads up on any good king locations.Thanks,~JJ~

A: Our charter guys haven't seen a king since the storm[and not many before]. Somewhere there are a whole bunch of Kings, but have been non-existent in our waters for some reason. For this weekend, tuff call where to fish. One thought is go deep[150ft]; other is River Channel historically is first place to see fish after a storm. Either use the gulf stream influence to clear the water or use the river flow for same purpose.

08/31/2011 - River channel

Q: Due to the flow of fresh water coming out of the cape fear after the storm do you think it will have a large effect on fishing lighthouse/cape fear buoy/ shark hole this weekend for the tournament? Where would you suggest fishing it?

A: I haven't riden up to the river, but it is at flood level so lots of water coming out. In years past, during fall king season, the river channel is one of first spots the fish wil re-appear after a storm, probably due to the flushing effect of the tidal/river flow. The water looks bad on surface, but may be clear under surface. If this is the case, use "noisy" skirts like Turbo Rattler or Yee Haw as fish will need help finding your bait. Also fish your spread closer to boat than normal as sound of motors will help direct the fish to you. Beyond that, water probably will be clearer on the east side of the shoals. Also should clear sooner at Horeshoe. Our charter boats have reported bad conditions last couple days; water is that turquoise milkly look that fish don't seem to like. They said closer in water looked better than say 20 miles out. However, with lite NE winds, conditions should improve quickly so come tourney Saturday, may be ok; and the fish should certainly be hungrey.

08/29/2011 - water clarity

Q: how long will it take for the water to clear after Irene to allow for spanish fishing? Than

A: With a northeast wind it should happen very quickly; probably already. Use a gold colored spoon if fishing dirty water.

08/27/2011 - Resumption of Fishing

Q: In your opinion, how many days will pass before in-shore (the beach to 10 miles out)fishing will again be possible? What species should begin to bit first following the storm? As always, your expertise and responses are ALWAYS appreciated.

A: I expect little negative impact from the storm. The water will clear up in a couple of days and things should be back to normal by mid week. The best news for us at OIB was this was the classic "mullet blow" and maybe it's the missing ingredient we have been needing to get the Kings biting. I expect an all out bite by the holiday weekend for all species[and maybe a Carolina Treat mullet on the grill!]

08/26/2011 - fishing

Q: How will Irene affect the fishing ? what about the weekend after the storm ??

A: The first thought is the fishing has been so bad[king fishing] that it can't hurt it, can only get better. However, the reality is all the rain and turburlance will dirty up the water and shut down close in fishing. Over the years, we've noticed after a big blow in the fall, the first place the fish start biting after the storm is the Cape Fear river channel. I think this is due to the cleaning effect of tidal flow and river flow. After approx 1 week things should be back to normal, so then fall back to the "it can't get any worse" senario.

08/24/2011 - fishing rod

Q: Do you guys make custom fishing rods?

A: we have a company make a custom rod for us designed by Capt Brant

08/23/2011 - channelside rig

Q: What is the "channelside" rig?

A: A flounder rig invented by one of our fishermen

08/22/2011 - Norfolk Spot and Sea Mullet (Croaker)

Q: What is the primary determinate for the fall Norfolk Spot run, and does a similar event occur with Croaker? If water temperature is a major factor, what are the (typical) weeks in September and October for the beginning of the run? Many thanks, in advance, for your assistance with this information.

A: My 60+ years of observations of when the spot run will occur: seems to be directly tied to when the yellow butterflies appear. Beyond that, depends how fast cool air and water arrives. Typically they will be here middle of October, but have seen them early Oct or late Oct, into November. Water temp should be 68 and dropping. We don't get a croaker run this far south, more so around Hatteras.

08/20/2011 - Leader wire for wahoo?

Q: What brand/size wire leader do you guys prefer for trolling for wahoo?

A: 80lb Malin. Whats really fun is take your King tackle and live bait for wahoo; in that case we use our standard King tackle/king rigs sized to the bait. #4 trebles for pogies; #2 for bluefish.

08/18/2011 - fishing in waterway

Q: how do i figure out the best time of day, tide etc to fish for flounder especially, in the waterways

A: They will bite best when tide is moving, coming or going. The reason is the tide moves the baitfish, hopefully past where the flounder are lying on bottom waiting to grap a snack.

08/16/2011 - sharks

Q: Any tips on catching near shore sharks?

A: With the poor King Mackerel season we've had this year so far, our charter Captains have gone back to their bag of tricks to generate some rod bending fun for their customers. Shark fishing is happening. Typically, they will catch spanish, cut the heads off[saving the filets to eat] and pull up behind a shrimp boat that is trawling and throw out the bait[give plenty of clearance to the shrimp boat]. The sharks are usually thick behind the shrimp boats. Or you can drift in 25 feet along the beach, best toward Long Beach to Southport with fish head on bottom. Dead pogies also work.

08/08/2011 - bait

Q: I am thinking of coming down first part of next week if weather holds out. wandering if you could point me in the right direction for where pogys are.

A: Changes every day, but check with OIFC when you get here and they will tell you what they know. Otherwise, most dependable is Lockwood inlet back toward Yaupon along the beach.

08/08/2011 - Bait?

Q: Taking a long time friend out this weekend if weather permits and looking to maximize fishing time. That being said, can pogies be caught the evening before your fishing trip? I just recently built a bait pen and was thinking about trying it out. Do they move back on the beach later in the evening? Any special procedure to catching them the evening before? And the biggest factor...where are the being caught at? Thanks in advance!!!

A: As warm as water is now, not alot of luck in keeping pogies alive over night unless you have a deep water location to keep them. Best advice is try and see if they make it. The where of pogies changes day to day as they have tails and they move up and down the beach, in and out of shallow water. I don't see any particuliar pattern. If there is one area they seem to be most dependable, its from Lockwood inlet back toward Yaupon. In order to have success netting pogies, need to be in approx 20 feet or less water. Look for pelicans dive bombing, a dark spot on water, or flips. Need a fast sinking net[CaptBrants custom made net is the best of the best].

08/06/2011 - wind

Q: With the position of your shore line, what wind direction is the one to avoid when planning a trip out of your area...... or carolina beach area. Thanks OIFC

A: Our beaches in Brunswick County face south, so a wind anywhere out of the south is not a friendly wind[15kts+]. Lesser wind speed isn't a problem. During fall, when big cold fronts come through with a hard north wind, our beaches are shielded and we can fish in any wind speed close to the beach, which is where the fish are that time of the year. At Carolina Beach, just the opposite as that beach faces east/northeast, thus a southwesterly wind gives their beach protection while a north/northeast wind hits them in the face. Again, it's all about wind speed. Lighter winds[10kts or less] don't create a problem with any direction. Favorite words of a fisherman is "slight and lite" or "lite and variable".

08/06/2011 - bait

Q: Do you sell live shrimp or live menhaden at oifc?

A: We haven't had luck keeping shrimp alive. You can catch them at back of creeks with small cast net throwing on the bank. We have had menhaden in past but same problem in terms of keeping them alive.

08/05/2011 - Jolly Mon Reef

Q: How far out is the Jolly Mon Reef from shallotte inlet?

A: 3 miles; approx 180 degrees from sea buoy.

08/05/2011 - king mackerel

Q: What is the best bait for king fish near shore right now?

A: We absolutely prefer to fish live menhaden when fishing within 3 miles. For whatever reason, the Kings seem to show definite preference for live bait close to the beach. When we fish further offshore[10 miles +] doesn't seem to make as much of a difference as dead cigar minnows work well. Also, bluefish, spots, pinfish, mullet; almost any kind of live bait will work.

08/03/2011 - Weekend of Aug 11th thru 14th

Q: My husband and 10 year old son are interested in deep sea fishing the weekend of Aug 11th for a 1/2 session. What are the prices and times available. If you could help me I would greatly appreciate it.

A: contact OIFC 910575FISH

08/01/2011 - winnings from tournaments

Q: I was wondering what the standard procedure for dividing the winnings was if you charter during a tournament. We chartered a boat for a tournament this past weekend out of wrightsville and our fish won the dolphin category. It was a 2 day tourney. Upon chartering we asked who paid the entry fee and capt. said they would. He said we would work out a percentage of the winnings. Just wondering what the standard was and how you guys would go about this. Thanks

A: Rule #1; make your deal before you leave the dock. Lots of hurt feelings/lost friendships occur as a result of everyone not being on same page. Every deal is different, and different circumstances make it more complicated[note this was 2 day tourney and Capt paid the entry]. "Typically" if you charter to fish a tourney, you pay the entry, you paid the charter, and winnings would first pay you back the entry[not the charter], and then split with capt on an agreed basis[50%;75/25?]. If Capt paid the entry, and you paid the charter, maybe same but reverse %. However, if Capt paid entry, and 2 day tourney, and winning fish caught on day 1, but charter also tourney fishing on day 2[thus day 2 charter also involved in the deal]; that where it gets complicated, and again, answer is work out whatever deal everyone is happy with before leave the dock.

07/28/2011 - surf fishing

Q: Plan on doing some surf fishing this weekend. What kind of advice on bait/lures and species can you offer?

A: The Chamber of Commerce folks probably wouldn't want to hear it, but now is a good time to catch sharks from the surf. Use a wire leader, chunk of cut mullet on a sinker, and let it sit. Also may catch bluefish or redfish fishing like this.

07/27/2011 - inshore fishing line

Q: what brand and size line do you guys recommend for inshore fishing with spinning tackle? Thanks!

A: Thats a Jacob question; standby.

07/27/2011 - Grouper

Q: The weather looks great for this coming weekend,we fish the navy wreck, tower area all the time and seldom catch a grouper,any ideas of somewhere else to try in the same area? We have all the charts and the pro chip that we got from you guys.. Any help would be great .

A: What we do is look for scattered rocks in the area of navy wreck. Ride around until you spot one. Doesn't have to be a real big rock or big fish marks. Best to anchor, but you can manuver boat to stay on top of spot and drop a pinfish or pogy.

07/26/2011 - high viz line

Q: I've switched a couple of my trolling reels over to high viz yellow line and havent caught a fish on them sense. Do yall use this stuff and if so, have u had better luck with it?

A: On occasion we have used it. Shouldn't be a problem since you should have approx 12 feet of clear mono leader[florocarbon or not].

07/26/2011 - shark fishin

Q: hey captain, Im headed down to holden beach to bowfish for some stingray or reds or flounder and was wonderin what areas any of those would be in. particularly rays. AND, i wanna catch some sharks. where should i anchor to catch a shark. it dont matter how big the shark is. thanks for your time!

A: Sharks are up and down the beach in 25-35 feet. Probably best around the inlets. Bowfish? You mean like gigging? Try along edge of intercoastal waterway at night.??

07/23/2011 - Inshore Report

Q: Hello - I make it down to Ocean Isle a few times a year and like to inshore fish. I noticed that your inshore reports never give reference to any fishing spots holding flounder, trout, and drum. They are always vague with even no detail as to where bait is being caught. Help an old salt out and give a little more detail so when I arrive to OIB, I can make best use of my time! Can you give me some insight? Robbie

A: When you get to OIB, come by the OIFC and Capt's will tell you what/where's happening when.

07/20/2011 - HMS Angling Permit

Q: Brant am I understanding it correctly that if you intend to recreationally fish for shark, tuna, sails or bills this is now a required permit for the boat?

A: Can't get an absolute answer on this one, and this not good subject to give out answers that aren't absolute. Best to check with the Feds.

07/19/2011 - Mahi

Q: How far inland have Mahi made it this year? Itappeares that horseshoe is the closest run? Is this correct?

A: We've caught mahi at 90's/sharkhole/65foot hole/jungle. They are scattered, can't target them, but nice surprise when king fishing. Next up will start to see sailfish in same spots thru August.

07/18/2011 - sheepshead

Q: Where are the sheepshead now located?

A: best place to catch them is around pilings at bridges. they are on the close in reefs, but hard to target them there.

07/15/2011 - late august

Q: What species are biting last week of August near shore trips. Thanks

A: 1/2 day trips will fish for King Mackerel/Spanish and maybe Barracuda/Amberjack/Mahi Mahi

07/15/2011 - Flounder Fishing the AR's

Q: Could you please ask around and find out what inshore reef would be a good one to try and catch some flounder off of. Thanks

A: Historically the most productive ones seem to be AR460[now named Jolly Mon Reef], Yaupon Reef, and the Cauble Reef.

07/15/2011 - 11 season

Q: where are the fish?????

A: Real good question. The summer King bite has definitely not occurred as normal. You would think with all the folks that aren't fishing for the last couple years and all the fish that therefore aren't being caught, and all the baby fish that are thus being born; that we would be experiencing great fishing. Best hope is to go with the story that the fish are late and will be here any day and should be chewing like bulldogs.

07/12/2011 - Leader

Q: How long is the flouro leader you guys use on your live bait king setups? Best not for connection? Thanks

A: We use 12 feet, 25 or 30lb test. You can use a uni knot.

07/11/2011 - pogeys

Q: I am fishing out of littleriver Thursday and I was wandering if u knew any locations to look for Pogeys at in the area.

A: They can be anywhere along the beach front. Look on the west side of the LR jetties toward Cherry Grove, and in front of Tubbs Inlet at Sunset.

07/10/2011 - Top shot

Q: Just switched to all braid/topshots (thanks Capt Steele!). NOw I have a question. I was going to tie on a spro swivel to the topshot and tie my lure leader with approximately 10' flouro or mono. Is this how y'all do it or will you have a longer length of leader line then attach lure leader?

A: Assuming you are rigged with probably 80lb braid and 80-100lb top shot for gulf stream fishing. If that is the case, what you describe is how we would do it. 10-12 feet leader to lure, crimped to spro, tied to top shot[or crimped]

07/08/2011 - age to fish

Q: Does a 16 year old have to have an adult with him on a chartered fishing trip?

A: Not that aware of. Parent/guardian would have to sign for the minor.

07/08/2011 - Craven St Docks

Q: Looking for advice on fishing the Craven St docks -time of day, tide, close to grass line? middle or around pilings - best bait. Thanks.

A: Basically work your way out with the tide. High tide in the grass, low around the pilings.Any tide so long as the water is moving. Morning/evening only factor if lots of boat traffic and mud line created close to shore. Mud or mullet minnow work on flounder/reds; live shrimp on the trout. Artificials also work well.

07/07/2011 - Afternoon storms

Q: When we have these storms predicted to occur every single afternoon do you still do all day charters (to gulf stream)? What do you do if caught out there in one?

A: Yes; the boats have radar and with scattered showers, can get out of their way. If frontal line, different story as no getting out of way of approaching line. Certainly it can happen that you get caught in a storm, and if so, again, usuing radar try to get out of worst of it. Beyond that, hunker down and let it pass.

07/06/2011 - Captains

Q: Is there anyway you can get a certain captain

A: Absolutely; your request[if available]

07/02/2011 - Spanish

Q: How far out do you have to go to find good spanish action now? Any areas better than others?

A: Best is early in the morning along tide line just outside inlets. Later in day sometimes better at near shore artifical reefs

07/01/2011 - Christinia's Ledge

Q: is the christinia's ledge a good place to fish? could you give the numbers to the ledge, and how far from cape fear sea buoy is the ledge, thanks , and tight lines.

A: There are several numbers that make up Christina ledge and in order to best fish it, need chart that gives all the numbers so that you can follow the edge of the ledge. ProFinders Charts is the best. Lots of good action comes from Christina; Kings/ect

06/30/2011 - Canals

Q: Is there any good fishing in the residential canals?

A: Flounder fishing good in summer on canals; mud minnows or mullets or jigs. Also redfish.

06/29/2011 - sails?

Q: Anyone encountering any sails offshore, perhaps at the jungle? if not there where may they be?

A: Have only heard of a few so far but winds have been a problem for last couple of weeks. Sails should show in good numbers from now through rest of summer. Jungle/Shark Hole/Horeshoe best closer in spots. Some are caught at 90's/65 foot hole/Chritina.

06/29/2011 - party boat

Q: Good morning- I was curious if you offered a booze cruise/party boat/ sunset cruise. Or knew of anyone in the area that did. I would really appreciate any help. Thanks!

A: Yes, call OIFC and they will connect you to booking office[910575FISH[3474]

06/29/2011 - Fishing from shore

Q: I'll be down at Ocean Isle the first week of August. I won't have a boat, but will have my 10 year old son who loves to fish. Where's the best place to fish without a boat at that time or year. It doesn't matter what we catch, just as long as we catch something to keep him from getting bored?

A: -Fish the beach front with cut bait and probably catch sharks[best bet for not getting bored as many side activities] -Fish the Town pier on east end of island and maybe catch flounder/redfish -fish the inlet at east end and maybe catch bluefish -fish on the big fishing pier and maybe catch flounder/trout/spots

06/28/2011 - Fishing

Q: When is the best time to catch wahoo and mahi

A: Wahoo seems to be best March/April/November but can be caught any month. Mahi best May/June but also can be caught any month. During summer months mahi move into closer fishing grounds[10-15 miles]. Wahoo generally in deeper water at continental break[165+feet].

06/28/2011 - Reels

Q: What's the average cost for a good deep sea reel

A: Depends what you are fishing for in terms of what sort of reel you would need. A good King Mackerel set up is approx $150[Shimano Speedmaster/Ariel rod]; a good gulf stream set up under $200[Shimano TLD 25 combo]. We generally don't use the real expensive equipment, prefer the Shimano lower prived equipment, and replace it every couple years in that it gets so much wear charter/tourney fishing.

06/26/2011 - topless fisherman?

Q: who is the top less girl in the fishing report?

A: Wow, I thought the same thing when I saw the pic. Maybe we need to start a OIFC "lady angler babe's" calendar, or maybe a line of bikini's made out of fish.

06/26/2011 - Offshore

Q: This time of year do y'all ever go to gulfstream or just go to places like horseshoe? It seems like the targeted species are closer in (Mahi and Sails for me!) I don't mind going 60 miles out but am wondering if it is actually BETTER to stay closer. I guess my question is: if time and gas $ are NOT an issue would you fish the 20 miles spots this time of year or head to steam? Thanks guys!

A: This time of the year, majority of charter trips are "tourist" trips, and they aren't as hard core as fishermen who want to fish the gulf stream[April/May trips]. Most trips are 1/2- 3/4 days, so limited to areas like Shark Hole/Horseshoe. Fortunately, doplhin move in to these spots during summer so charters have a shot at gulf stream fish. "Back in the day" when I used to mostly fun fish, we fished the stream on into the summer with good results on dolphin mostly, and yellowfin[now apparently extinct]. Also as summer progresses, see more sailfish/blue marlin/white marlin. So answer is, there are fish to be caught in stream during this time of year. Best shot is to find a weed line or something floating as it will probably be loaded up. Good time of year to put on the plastics and cover territory looking around for something fishy and while doing so may find Mr. Blue. Deep water bottom fishing always good back up.

06/25/2011 - where to go?

Q: We are wanting to try to get offshore sunday 20ft boat where to go for kings dolphins cobia we fish out of southport I was thinking sharkhole horseshore or south what is your adivce ?can u head me in what u think is best odds on getting on the fish thank you for your help matt

A: Your are correct in your plan of where to go for mixed species[sharkhole/horseshoe]

06/23/2011 - vhr

Q: which channel do i need to us in the ocean isle beach area. Is it channel 68

A: Our charter boats use 11 and 19.

06/21/2011 - Gulf Stream

Q: I will be coming to Ocean isle beach in 10 days, and it is my first time there. Just curious how far off shore the gulf stream should be?? Thanks in advance, Derek

A: What we call the gulf stream is really the continental shelf where the water drops from approx 165 feet on down to deep deep. The actual gulf stream is a warm water river running from the carribean, and it moves in and out, typically in our area anywhere from the continental shelf to 30 miles further out. Fish congregate along this drop off and currents caused by the stream and the drop off.

06/21/2011 - Monofilament

Q: What brand of mono line do you use in kingfish tournaments? Thanks

A: Yo Zuri pink 20lb

06/19/2011 - fishing on the beach

Q: do u guys carry the gear to fish off the shore i have been fishing on the beach at ocean isle for 10 summers do you guys have any tips on what to use and how to use it

A: Sure, we have everything you need. Best fun fishing on beach: take a 2 drop wire rig, and put a piece of cut bait on, and you probably will catch a shark. That will always create excitement on the beach with folks in the water. Also, might catch a bluefish or redfish using cut bait. Or use a mono 2 dropper with small hooks, dig up sand fleas in the surf, and use to catch pompano or whiting.

06/18/2011 - pay

Q: Craig Collard has a class June 25th & 26th, who do I make the check to?

A: contact

06/18/2011 - Sails

Q: When these guys show up in numbers, where are the best spots? I know they come in close but is offshore typically your best chance? Dink ballyhoo? And do you suggest spreader bars? Thanks for all you guys do!

A: Most of the sailfish caught in our waters are by King fishermen pulling live pogies. However, during July/August, there can be good chance of success pulling ballyhoo[rigged to swim is best]. You also likely will encounter dolphin and kings. Best spots seem to be Jungle/Shark Hole/Horseshoe as these are live bottom areas and typically hold cigar minnow schools. If you are pulling ballyhoo, a spreader bar is definitely a big help in attracting sailfish or any other species in the area.

06/15/2011 - 90's

Q: can u tell me the cordinants for lighthouse rocks, the 90's and the horseshoe thanks for the help

A: there are many numbers for these locations as there are many rocks/ledges that make up these spots. you really need a chart to you can map out a trolling pattern for best results fishing these spots. Pro-Finder charts is the best.

06/15/2011 - jungle

Q: can i also get the cooridnates for the jungle? thanks a lot.

A: there are a number of rocks/ledges in Jungle and 90/90 areas. You need a chart to be able to lay out a trolling pattern[best is ProFinders]

06/15/2011 - JOLLY MON WEATHER

Q: You guys are forecasting flat seas in the mourning and 2 to 3 in the afternoon for the tournament.the national weather service says three to five saturday and subsiding to three on sunday ,Lets not forget what happened in 2008 when we lost Captain Billy Scott Hewett ,I was on the boat with him and our forecast was much better then what is forecast for this coming weekend,please do not sacrifice peoples safety for the purpose of more entrees for your tournament.

A: Thank you for your comments, and I can assure you we will never forget Capt Scott. As to my weather forecasting, I limit my opinions to no sooner than 48 hours prior to tourney time[Brant unplugs me at that point]. Weather is dynamic and the forecast you see 3-5 days out means nothing in terms of what actually occurs. Everyone who gets on the water should absolutely get the real forecast the morning of fishing. That said, if folks are actually reading my forecast long term opinions and believing them, as an official disclaimer....I took a meteorology course at Wingate College in 1969. I flunked it.

06/14/2011 - flounder

Q: coming to fish with my dad saturday at holden beach. Plan on trying to catch flounder. I think he would die if we actually catch anything, so any tips would be helpful. Should we drift for flounder or focus on structure like docks, etc? thanks love the website.

A: drift the Lockwood or Shallotte river with mud minnows. should work for you

06/13/2011 - Live Bait Fishing

Q: When fishing pogeys on a down rigger, how fast do you troll? Thanks for any help Gary Culp

A: In fishing any live bait at any location in your spread, the key is to troll as slow as is needed so the bait can swim with the boat. If you are dragging the bait, you are going too fast. Use 1 engine, in and out of gear if needed, or drag a drone[or 5 gallon bucket] in order to slow you down.

06/13/2011 - 6 Hour Off-Shore Trip

Q: We're thinking about a 6 hour charter for possibly 6 people - for 3 of our 6 people, it will their first time fishing. I would like to try some trolling but if it is slow, switch to bottom fishing to give everyone an opportunity to catch something. Can we do both? Are there good sites for bottom fishing 10-20 miles offshore?

A: When you charter, it's your boat so whatever you want to do is the plan. The Captain will tell you whats biting best, but you can set the plan. This time of year, Kings/Cobia/dolphin/Amberjack/Baracuda will be your live bait trolling prey. Bottom fishing in the 10-20 mile range will find plenty of sea bass and maybe a grouper.

06/10/2011 - ska

Q: Do you get anything for being angler of year in the ska? Is there any point in joining if you dont plan to fish the national championship?

A: A little money, alot of recognition[all fishermen have ego's]. The SKA does alot of good work for fishing conservation interest via the RFA[Recreational Fishing Alliance]. Good magazine. Personal choice on joining, but nationals in Biloxi is a heck of an experience.

06/10/2011 - tubbs inlet

Q: I am sure you have answered this question plenty of times, but here it goes again: I am fishing out of a "new to me" 17' bay boat, and would like to get to Tubbs Inlet for flounder fishing. From the ICW behind OIB and Sunset, what is the best way to get there? Also, what do I need to know about timing with tides and shallow water?

A: Best route is enter just north of Sunset bridge. Follow crab pots until you learn the route[or better follow another boat]. Mark your path if you have GPS. First time, go on rising tide and go slow so your mistakes can be overcome. If mess up, try not to do so on a oyster bar[not forgiving]. Once get to Sunset, hug the docks and bank out to inlet.

06/10/2011 - surf fishing

Q: I read in an earlier answer to use sting silvers or casting lures for blues and spanish. Is the bite better in the morning or evening? High or low tide.

A: High tide will be better as low tide shore break prevents getting past breakers with your cast. Morning or evening shouldn't matter.

06/08/2011 - Fly Rods Kings and Leaders

Q: These fish have razor sharp teeth. If I were going to target schooling Spanish and Kings with a fly rod could I get away with some sturdy mono leader? Or would a foot or two of wire be better for stripping a bait fish pattern through the crowd? You guys ever come across Bonito near shore in early August?

A: Kings on a fly sounds like a lot of fun. Would be best to anchor and chum and then work the slick with your fly. Unless you are very good at hooking a fish just before he bites, you would need a few inches of wire for Kings. Try albright knot from floro leader to 4 inches of 40lb wire. If it works, we'd love to hear about it. Same game for Spanish, but on occasion, where they are schooling, you might be able to get a bite by casting into them. Same would be true for Bluefish. Bonito will sometimes mix with the Spanish.

06/08/2011 - Sail fish

Q: I read an article a couple of years ago about the sail fish bite out of Ocean Isle. What is the deal with that? Where to go and what to use? I fish mostly out of VB and Oregon Inlet.

A: We are definitely seeing more and more sailfish during the summer months. Typically they are unexpected surprise while live bait fishing for kings/dolphin/ect[use pogies]. Best spots seem to be the Jungle/Shark Hole/90/90/Horseshoe. These are broad live bottom spots with scatterred rocks/ledges and seem to hold lots of bait.

06/08/2011 - mahi

Q: I think it may be rough at Winyah this weekend? would you go? do you suggest Jungle for lots of Mahi or where

A: If you want to go to stream, check conditions night before you go. The closer in spots like the Jungle/Shark Hole/Horseshoe may produce mahi/kings/cobia. Most effective to fish live pogies, but dead cigars will work.

06/07/2011 - what to fish for

Q: I will be visiting ocean isle the week of 7/2/11-7/9/11 and I always surf fish but we usually only catch small sharks. Is there a way I can surf fish and target something else? Thanks, Jon

A: Try throwing a sting silver or other casting jig for spanish or blues. Try mud minnows for redfish or flounder. Try sand fleas or shrimp for pompano,spots,whiting.

06/07/2011 - cast net

Q: Do you know anyone that repairs cast nets?

A: Try Gordon's Net Works at Ocean Isle

06/07/2011 - Epirb

Q: I plan to fish the Jolly Mon Tournament as a non ska fisherman , do I have to have a epirb to fish this tournament?

A: contact for that one

06/03/2011 - Jigging

Q: Fishing gulf stream with y'all on the 7th. Do y'all still do vertical jigging this time of year? Thanks

A: Absolutely, at your request. Just let the Captain know you want to give that a try and he can plan that into the trip.

06/01/2011 - mahi

Q: Planning on fishing saturday. What's the odds of catching mahi at the 310/410? Where would be a good place to go within 25 miles

A: Possible; may have better chance at Jungle or 65 foot hole[a little deeper than 410/510. Kings and cobia bit good today at jungle and lighthouse rocks.

05/31/2011 - Bait

Q: Any suggestions where/when to catch pogies? I'll be down there mid June. Thanks!

A: Pogies are constantly on the move and whats here today will be elsewhere tomorrow. Check with OIFC when you get down for a current location report.

05/31/2011 - Gulf stream

Q: Going to be in town June 4-11. Is this to late for stream? Would we better off staying closer in for kings?

A: Typically June is a good month for fishing the stream, mostly for dolphin[mahi mahi]. It will slow down in July/August, however if you find something floating in the stream in the summer months, it probably will be loaded with dolphin and wahoo.

05/29/2011 - ICW sandbar

Q: Gents, Be forwarned that there is a sand bar that has encroached the ICW near the green can at the east end of the island. I was headed in from fishing yesterday and made it through SH Inlet at low tide, just when I thought I had the all clear and the throttles down in the waterway marked channel we hit bottom hard!

A: The intercoastal markers confuse many folks thinking they are markers showing path into intercoastal from the inlet[or vice versey]. They don't; they only mark the intercoastal. When you are in the intercoastal coming from OIB heading to the inlet, you need to hug the OIB beach[approx 50-100 feet off]until you get to the end of the island, and then make a right turn and then you pick up the inlet markers. Hug the green markers until you get to #3 and stay to the right[west] of #3 green, as it is misplaced and between it and the red is a sand bar. Brant tried to relocate it, but it is buried in the sand and won't move. Again, when in the intercoastal remember those markers mark the intercoastal, not the path from the intercoastal to the inlet.

05/27/2011 - backwater bait

Q: Yes I am just wondering when the miller minnows will start to show up for flounder fishing. Also what is the perfered method to catch mudd minnows. I can't seem to find any in the back waters to catch with my cast net

A: All the minnows will show better as water warms up. They can be found along the banks of creeks/ect.Catch them with a small cast net.

05/26/2011 - When are the kings going to move it?

Q: Just wondering when the king bite is going to start to go off. and when they will start to move in closer. It seems like there isnt alot of reports on them latley.

A: there was an excellent bite at Lighthouse rocks last weekend, also fish at Shark Hole. More and more bait moving in and Kings should get kicked into high gear anytime, probably this weekend.Shark Hole/Jungle/65 foot hole; normal early summer spots.

05/25/2011 - downrigger line

Q: it's time to replace the mono on the downriggers and think i want some of brant's downrigger braid. bought the boat used and downriggers have 100' of mono over cable. do i need to keep the cable or can we just go with all braid? we typically live bait kings so the length is not a big issue but occasionally get offshore and wannna get deeper but the cable hangs up at the end of the downrigger and is a pain when dropping down and clearing lines. if i bring the downriggers in can y'all show me how it's done on one? thanks, mick

A: Simply process; remove mono, leave wire as a backing, and add the braid. Brant has prepacks specifically for downriggers. If you need help, bring it in, but all you need to do is put sleeve at end of wire, and tie braid to the sleeve loop.

05/25/2011 - Where to go?

Q: Looking for some advice on catching kings. Leaving out of holdens Saturday morning where should I begin my search. Heard of some being caught at the 390s, but just wondering where to go. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

A: Try Lighthouse Rocks first and then on to the Shark Hole and then on to Horseshoe. They have bitten at all those spots this past week. Try to get live pogies for bait.

05/25/2011 - Offshore Fishing this Weekend

Q: Forecast is looking good to go offshore this weekend. Where would you suggest to start? We will be geared for trolling and bottom fishing. If biting, prefer to go fo Mahi, tuna, wahoo, billfish....but if not happy to catch anything. Most likely fishing Sat, but maybe Sun. Thanks.

A: if guld stream not happening, Kings/cobia should be at Horeshoe if you are heading toward Steeples

05/25/2011 - Offshore Fishing this Weekend

Q: Forecast is looking good to go offshore this weekend. Where would you suggest to start? We will be geared for trolling and bottom fishing. If biting, prefer to go fo Mahi, tuna, wahoo, billfish....but if not happy to catch anything. Most likely fishing Sat, but maybe Sun. Thanks.

A: where to go in gulf stream always about water temperature. there are free temp sites on our web site, or check with the fishing center and ask where our captains are fishing.Yesterday the dolphin were back in good numbers toward the Steeples. Grouper are in 125 water, sea bass season opens June 1.

05/25/2011 - 390s

Q: Where are the 390s located out of shallotte inlet?

A: approx 7 miles south. They are loran co-ordinates 45390/59390

05/23/2011 - yo-zuri hybrid

Q: I just bought two of your torium 20/oifc combos. Do I need to place any leader on this line prior to the wire rig?

A: Great outfit. I'm assuming you will be using them for King fishing. Your are probably using 20lb line, which is subject to a tail cut from a king; therefore we use approx 12 feet of 20 or 30lb florocarbon leader. We "albright" the leader to the line, and then tie on the wire leader via a small spro swivel. We can show you how to tie the line and leader together. The floro eliminates tail cuts.

05/23/2011 - barts

Q: should barts only be run with all barts or mixed with ballyhoos

A: You can mix them IF you have a really good ballyhoo that holds up to faster speed you need to run, when running Barts without bait. Ours is the best[Baitmasters].

05/22/2011 - grouper

Q: How far offshore is the grouper. Will they move in to the 22 mile rock?

A: They are still in 115+ but will begin moving in soon. Normally we see them in 90-100 feet water by early July.

05/22/2011 - fishing school

Q: Do you have anymore dates for the king mackerel live bait trolling classes besides on June 25th and 26th?

A: contact

05/22/2011 - Spadefish

Q: Are there any spadefish being caught yet? Where is the best bet out of OIB or Cherry Grove area?

A: Had some for dinner last night, excellent. These came from further offshore, but they should begin showing at Sherman and any of the close in wrecks. As a note, they are a schooling fish and it is easy to wipe out a school. Just like shooting quail, bad form to shoot all the birds in the covey. Catch plenty for dinner and then enjoy catch and release.

05/20/2011 - PLB requirements

Q: Is everyone who fishes in an SKA tournament now required to have an EPIRB or PLB on board? Does the ACR 2882 AquaLink PLB meet the requirement? Thanks!

A: Our understanding is yes and yes.

05/19/2011 - Mahi

Q: Have there been any sighting of Mahi at the Jungle or Wreck #2?

A: Not yet, but should be soon. Lots of mahi in stream now and should begin movement inshore soon.

05/18/2011 - spanish

Q: what rod and pound line should i use for spanish mackeral

A: we typically use a rod that is a little more stout than king rods because you are pulling a planner; however if you are planning to get into king fishing, king outfits will do the job and that way you only buy one set of rods/reels. Our Shimano Speedmaster/Areial rod combo is the best deal going. The best for the price for king fishing,and will work fine for spanish. 20lb line. Or, we have excellent spanish specific rods/reels which you can also use for sea bass.

05/18/2011 - jigs and spoons

Q: when lots of fish show up on the fish finder we sometimes stop trolling for spanish and throw out casting jigs is this the right thing to do? spoons?

A: Generally, you'll have better luck with jigs/plugs when you see them busting on the surface; however if you are over fish, dropping a vertical diamond type jig will work

05/18/2011 - lures

Q: does the ripple mullet work

A: Don't know the ripple mullet.??

05/18/2011 - Kings

Q: Heading out of OIB friday morning in search for kings, where should I begin my adventure?? Thanks

A: If in OIB area, head toward 90/90. If in Southport area, Lighthouse Rocks. If not at 90's, move off to 65 foot hole/jungle/shark hole. Pogies are showing along the beach or fish dead cigars.

05/18/2011 - sabiki

Q: do sabikis work and where would you fish them

A: absolutely work for catching live bait[cigar minnows/pinfish/sardines/ect]. Fish them around wrecks/rocks/buoys/ect. Watch your recorder and where you mark balls of bait, drop the sabiki.

05/18/2011 - July fishing!

Q: CPT Brant, Will I have any luck fishing with you the weekend after the 4th of July? What kind of fish might be hitting at that time of year? I have been to the gulf stream with you. I need the captain's advise before I reserve a trip. Thanks in advance, Davis

A: That time of year our King fishing is in high gear. Also, dolphin[mahi mahi] start to mix in with the Kings. Typically we are fishing approx 15 miles out. Although it is possible to have luck on a 1/2 day trip, the longer trip you do, the more options are available in terms of finding fish. Also on longer trip, can move further offshore for grouper and snapper. Gulf stream still active at that time with dolphin. Bottom line...theres fish everywhere that time of year.

05/18/2011 - Lighthouse Rocks

Q: Where is the river channel and the lighthouse rocks?

A: River Channel is the Cape Fear River running out of Southport. Lighthouse Rocks are approx 1 1/2 mile past the sea buoy at end of river channel.

05/17/2011 - fishin

Q: whats your thoughts on the weather this weekend for fishing?

A: Looks perfect friday and on. See you on the water.

05/15/2011 - Kings and Bait light house rocks and River Channel

Q: Looking to fish midweek riverchannel lighthouse rocks 17 ft boat that is max dis for me. looking snake king only I'll have cigars any advice. Any help will be apreciated

A: they should be there; sometimes little harder to get them to bite dead bait close to live bait food source[menhaden]. Try jigging up live cigars, they may be there by now.

05/13/2011 - Fishing

Q: Was thinking about fishing out your area this weekend, coming from Raleigh. Been watching weather and reports, do you think its worth the time to come down with what you have seen this week, with good chance of fish catches?

A: If you believe the marine forecast, wind supposed to blow from the south this weekend 15-20. Truthfully, a southerly wind 15-20 is not a good direction for us as we sit north south, thus south coming right off the ocean. Mixed in is scattered thundershowers[low pressure approaching from the west]. Weather will stablalize mid next week and next weekend looks a lot better right now. Thats the bad news; the good news is the gulf stream is on fire, kings are being caught at Ocean Crest pier[thus a beach bite at Yaupon], kings caught at Lighthouse Rocks and the 90's. Cobia showing in good numbers at the offshore king spots, and spaninsh good at inlets early in the morning.

05/12/2011 - pogies

Q: Any pogies in the canals or waterway, flounder size?

A: I haven't seen them yet, but should show any day now.

05/12/2011 - pinfish

Q: What fish would want Pinfish for as a bait? And what type of presentation (rig)? Through nose or back?

A: Pinfish are our favorite grouper bait. We hook them in area toward tail. This makes them swim down and gives them freedom to swim with the hook as their head is not weighted down with the hook. This makes the grouper have to chase them, and thus a very aggressive bite. Also, pinfish work well on cobia, a great pitch bait from a spinning rod when you spot a cobia.

05/12/2011 - Cobia

Q: Going out of OIB this weekend and was wondering where to look for cobia?? Thanks

A: They will show up in areas where you would be fishing for Kings[90's/Jungle/Shark Hole/ect]. They are hard to target in our area as the water clarity doesn't allow you to spot them along beach. More of a incidental catch when king fishing, but this time of year they are migrating in heavily and good chance you will unexpectantly get attached, usually by a whole pack of them. If you specifically wanted to target them, buoy hop, stopping at buoys and pitching a pinfish or eel or cobia jig.

05/10/2011 - White Marlin Angling

Q: Why did Capt.Steele seemingly continue at trolling speed instead of slowing down to help the angler and get the fish in quicker?

A: Typically, when we hook a fish, will keep boat moving at idle speed in order to insure angler line stays tight and keep fish from swimming past the boat. If there is a loop in line from fish running, may accelerate in order to run down the loop. Or if another fish in the baits, may keep boat at trolling speed to intice another bite. Thought I would weigh in as well. Normally with a single billfish hooked, we would actually stop, back down or give chase with the angler on the bow. As you saw in the video, We had 2 White marlins plus a dolphin hooked up at the same time. By maintaining trolling speed or slightly less, I was able to keep the lines separated, allowing the fish to not school back up and tangle lines, prolonging the fight and risking losing them. Also, by maintaining speed, the fish are more predictible and easier to handle at the boat because they are forced to swim in a straighter line. Both fish were released in VERY healthy condition to fight again. -Capt. Steele

05/09/2011 - kings

Q: I will be coming to ocean isle around june, and was wondering where is the best place to catch live bate at and where would be the most typical place to go to catch the kings. thanks alot

A: Pogies move up and down the beach front. Best bet is to check with OIFC and they will tell you where the bait is on your day. In June, Kings should be at the 90's/Christina/65 foot hole/ect. Best bet will be to check with OIFC and find out where our charter boats have found the kings that time period.

05/09/2011 - Grouper

Q: What type of knot do you use when grouper fishing?

A: Depens on the pound test of the leader. If 80 or less, I use typical fishermans knot. If heavier, and particuliarly with florocarbon, pass the leader thru the hook eye, do a double loop around the eye, and pass the leader back thru the loops and pull tight. Can't remember the name of the knot. Come to OIFC free seminar this Saturday and learn from the Captains on the how to's.

05/09/2011 - Dolphin trolling

Q: What do you use for baits and how fast do you go? You have been gaving some great catches lately!

A: If were are specficially targeting dolphin fishing in the gulf stream[60 miles], we pull ballyhoo rigged with a trolling lure. we pull at 5-6kts[ a speed where the lure/bait is swimming and slightly skipping. During the summer, dolphin will move inshore to the king mackeral grounds[approx 10-15 miles; 65-70 feet of water]. At that time we are either pulling live menhaden or dead cigar minnows.

05/08/2011 - KING

Q: Have the pogies moved close to youpon or is cigars best bet? or what baits on previous days have been good? Thanks OIFC.

A: There are some pogies scattered along the beach. Best spots to find will be toward Long Beach and Yaaupon beach. Always, live bait is best, particuliarly if fishing along beach. If move offshore to 90's/Shark Hole/ect, dead cigars work fine.

05/06/2011 - spanish mackerel

Q: What rods do you recommend for trolling for mackerels with planers

A: You need a rod that is a little stiffer than king live bait rods, but king rods will work ok. Check with CApt Steele at OIFC.

05/04/2011 - Yaupon Beach

Q: Ok going out this saturday and it's looking like a winner. I saw kings 8 miles off in front of yaupon . Is that consistent through may or just a once in a while deal. I have yet to catch a king and need to hear my reels do some straining!!!! Where would you go this weekend? I know this is against fishing code but I need a shot in the arm to get going!!!

A: Our fishing code is to do everything we can to help you catch fish. We have no secrets[except during tourney time]. Every spring about this time, the Kings make a showing around Yaupon/Ocean Crest pier. It will last a couple of weeks and then they disappear and will reappear at the Jungle and Shark Hole. Last week there were Kings that showed up at the 90/90. Best bet is to check in with OIFC Friday and get a up to date report on where our charter boats are finding them.


Q: I really struggle getting through shallote inlet. I hit so hard last time I sanded pits in my prop. I just can't understand why they don't mark the channel all the way back to the intracoastal. I want to use the inlet but honestly I'm new to offshore fishing and am tired of beating the total crap out of my boat..I need help in the most simplest language on how to navigate that inlet. Last time I came in doing 35 just keeping her planed up praying I didn't do the worst. HELP!!

A: You don't indicate where you are having a problem, but many folks confuse the intercoastal markers as inlet markers. They aren't and don't have anything to do with the inlet route. There is a big sandbar just past the green intercoastal marker at the mouth of the inlet, and if you are using that as your turning buoy you will run aground at low tide. If coming from OIB, hug the OIB bank until you make the turn, and then follow the inlet buoys except for #3 which you need to pass to the right of. If you are coming from the Holden Beach side, hug the Holden beach side[except not as close as OIB side] until you make the turn, and then follow the inlet markers. The best bet is to scout the inlet at low tide, using you recorder and the above info, and mark your own channel.

04/30/2011 - pinfish

Q: Whats the best way to catch alot of pinfish for bait?

A: Try inshore wrecks/buoys. Most effective to put out chum, use a sabiki tipped with shrimp. Great project to take the little youngin's on.

04/30/2011 - fishing

Q: How many blackfins can we keep? Once grouper season starts you can only keep one gag in the boat?

A: Go to NC Marine Fisheries for "current" rules. They are ever changing so best to have the official word.

04/29/2011 - SPANISH

Q: Have the spanish started showing up at OIB yet??? Thanks

A: Spanish are here, blues are here, atlantic bonito will be here this weekend, kings will be here this weekend; you need to be here!

04/28/2011 - Saturday fishing

Q: Planning to go out this Saturday...looks like a very nice day! In terms of a general area with the best fishing right now...would you go to the Steeples/Blackjack area or head down to the Winyah Scarp area? For us out of Little River Winyah tends to be an easier ride but good fishing is first priority! What water temp. should we be looking for?

A: The direction we go is based on: -yesterdays reports -satalite info as to water temp/eddies/ect -sea conditions[avoiding head sea on long ride]. Best locations either direction will be where best temperature breaks locate over the drop off. More contrast in temps the better. Generally for tuna/wahoo we like it a little cooler[low 70's]. Dolphin generally in warmest of gulf stream water[75+]. The conditions are dynamic, so you need to wait until day before you go to make your decision, using above factors.

04/26/2011 - king

Q: What can we use the chlorphyll concentration for? DO king prefer higher concentrations with dirtier water? Do pelagics prefer less concentration?

A: That ones above my pay grade. I can tell you the best water for kings is what we call "King green", clear green water, not gulf stream blue, but clean/clear green water.

04/22/2011 - spanish

Q: when trolling with planers nearshore sometimes they would pull drag and almost seem like dragging on the bottom. What should we do?

A: May be using too big a planner[use #1] or may be going to fast, or may have too much line out, or may be too shallow. Adjust any or all and you should be ok.

04/22/2011 - Question about wahoo lures

Q: Capt. Rickey Beck, Looks like a great trip with lots of wahoo. What do you pull for lures and what speed?

A: Typically dark color lures with ballyhoo at 6 kts or dark lures without ballyhoo pulled high speed at 12kts

04/22/2011 - Wahoo Rigs

Q: How long of a wire leader do you recommend when making a wire ballyhoo rig?

A: We like to keep our wire short so it is less visible, but long enouogh to prevent a bite off; typically 12-18inches will do with 60-80lb florocarbon albrighted to main line.

04/22/2011 - weather

Q: will you go out if windy but not drizzling and the temp is mid to low 60`s

A: We go out if its below freezing and snowing if there are fish to be caught. We don't go out if the winds are such that conditions are dangerous; a call made by the Captain.

04/22/2011 - bad fishing

Q: if we dont catch fish do we get some of our money back or do we get to choose a diffrent day

A: There is no guaranty in fishing. Thats why they call it "fishing" and not "catching".

04/22/2011 - 6 hr fishin

Q: would yall go out tommorw

A: Yep,we're on the water; they're biting like bulldogs.

04/20/2011 - wahoo

Q: Could you clarify if the wahoo catch limit is 2 per person or 2 per vessell.

A: 2/person

04/16/2011 - spanish

Q: are there still spanish nearshore?

A: They are just now showing up. Our charter boat caught a few yesterday. Water is still cool[61 degrees]. They will be more prevelant when water gets to mid 60's along with Atlantic Bonita[the tuna with teeth, great eating]. Any day now should kick into high gear.

04/15/2011 - Gulf Stream

Q: After the transition from green to blue water can any of the popular game fish be caught? Or is the 25 fatohm line the minimun starting point? Wahoo, Tuna .....

A: Late in the summer/fall, sometimes wahoo will filter into 75 feet water, but rare, and can't target. Same for blackfin, but incidental catch. Dolphin however will move into shallower water and can be targeted. They will be caught in summer at all the normal King Mac spots; shark hole/jungle/ect

04/11/2011 - bonito

Q: Were coming down for spring break next week and looking to fish. Do you think that the bonitos will be in?

A: They should be here any day. Water almost warm enough and temp should be there any day now.

04/11/2011 - Bonita

Q: I am going to be fishing the 16th to the 23rd out of little river. What are the best places to look for this fish in that area? 90s? Sherman wreck? Thanks

A: Yep, also the Little River Offshore[Barges] or Cauble Reef.

04/10/2011 - Line for live bait trolling

Q: What line and leader is your top recommendation for live-bait trolling for king mackerel (brand / test / color for each)? Thanks!

A: We use Yo Zuri hybred pink 20lb line. Leader we use American wire strand, piano or titanium 40lb.

04/09/2011 - Bluefish

Q: What baits can catch nearshore blues now?

A: troll with planer like spanish; gotchas if see surface activity; bottom fish at inlets with fireball rig

04/08/2011 - 21' boat

Q: Just to clarify, you can make the stream run on a 21' boat as long as it carries enough gas. I have done it. You need to take safety precautions and not go by yourself but it can be done. In fact i've seen a 19' out there. We both caught fish.

A: I've done it too in a 21 Mako; think my comment was "I don't reccomend it". Everythings fine as long as everythings fine, but doesn't take much of a unexpected change to make for unhappy trip.

04/08/2011 - water temp

Q: I don't venture out far enough to worry about sst maps and temp breaks... but what's a good source for near shore water temps and current sea conditions . Ocean crest pier has a monitor but its down and the tower is out of my range. Suggestions?

A: Check the buoy locations on the OIFC web site. Also, there are free water temp sites on OIFC site

04/08/2011 - Circle hooks

Q: With the new bottom fishing regulations requiring circle hooks,what size and brand would I need to use for beeliner and triggerfish ?

A: I haven't tried circle hooks on beeliners and triggers yet, but the key to catching both these varieties is to use a small hook. For beeliners, typical J hook would be a #1; for triggers, basically as small as you can get away with, depending on the size of triggers. If they are small, like a spot hook, bigger will straighten that size so need something stronger. For circles, same thing, small hooks, probably a 1/0-3/0 for beelines and 1/0 for triggers. You don't need an expensive circle for these fish, just a basic eagle claw is fine.

04/05/2011 - Tuna

Q: If I am limited in the areas I can fish due to boat size, a 21 foot deep v, when and where can I catch tuna?

A: Not a good idea to try to make it to the stream in that small of a boat, as it is 60+ miles. Best shot is to focus on the bonita[the only tuna that has teeth, excellent eating]. They will show up any day now and can be found several miles offshore, best around the 90's to the barges[Little River Offshore Wreck]. Fish for them like spanish trolling with planer, 30 feet 30lb leader, and number 1 Clarkspoon. Look for birds.

04/05/2011 - live bait kings

Q: when you guys fish a kmt (or just fun fishing) and have a livewell full of pogies do you ever jig up bait at a spot you are fishing and switch to that instead of pogies?

A: Definitely good idea to jig up whats in area you are fishing. Typically, we would mix those baits with pogys, and if we found fish were keyed on other baits, yes we would switch out.

04/03/2011 - No boat fishing

Q: At different times of the year what are some good places to fish without a boat around OIB?

A: Great free pier on east end of island at intercoastal. The fishing pier on ocean can be good for variety of fish at different times. West end of island at inlet good for flounder.

04/03/2011 - Amberjack

Q: How far out do you have to go to catch AJ? Do you look for a certain type of structure or certain water temperature? Thanks

A: Closest spots normally would be the Sherman and Barges[Little River offshore]. Better spots are wrecks 15-30 miles. Definitely wrecks are best. They will show up when water is upper 60's to 70 degrees and will be here all summer/fall.

04/03/2011 - Drift Fishing creeks

Q: How do I go about drifting the creeks. Would i just let the current carry me or would i put my socks out and use my trolling motor to keep me straight as i do for catfishing here at home? What speed is best for drifting for flounder?

A: Speed will vary based on status of tide. Don't think matters a lot, as no tide will have you going so fast you need to slow down with socks. Contact and he can fill in finer details for you.

03/27/2011 - Bonito

Q: When do you think the first Bonito will arrive? And best place to find them, if leaving out of Southport Marina. As Always Thanks OIFC.

A: They should show when water hits mid 60's, usually 2nd week of April. Best areas to find them in Ocean Isle area is between 90's and barges[Little River Offshore wreck]. Toward Southport, probably Lighthouse Rocks area. Look for birds just like spanish fishing, but a little further offshore.

03/22/2011 - Flounder at Tubbs

Q: I've heard that Tubbs inlet is one of the first places flounder will start biting pretty good. Just wondering when that usually is and how do they usually catch them?

A: Capt Jacob is our inshore guru at OIFC, so check with him for up to the minute info. Flounder will first show in Cherry Grove inlet as it is a shallow inlet thus warms up faster than a deeper inlet. Next they will show at Tubbs, also a shallow inlet, but not as shallow as Cherry Grove. Mud minnows/mullet minnows work well but Jacob swears by the artificials[more sporting he says].

03/22/2011 - bonito

Q: what lures are good for deep jigging for early bonito?

A: If you are referring to deep jigging for blackfin tuna, we like Blue Water Candy's jigs as well as Shimano. Speed is the key for the tuna and they are in mid water collumn so don't need the heaviest of the jigs.

03/20/2011 - bonito

Q: What wreck is the closest nearshore producing bonito now?

A: They're not here yet, but should be in next few weeks. Best areas in our waters is between the 90's and the Barges[Little River Offshore Reef].

03/19/2011 - artificials

Q: new to offshore fishing and we are planning to troll drones, crystal minnows and other deep divers to find kings early this spring and then switch to cigar minnows. do we need wire or can we just go flouro to the lure?

A: You will need wire or will be loosing expensive lures. In spring king fishing, the fish are scattered, so strategy of moving faster than dead bait cigar trolling is a good approach. What we like better than drones is a lure called a "Bait-o-matic". This is a lure that is best run with a jigger ballyhoo, can be pulled at 4-6kts, and thus covers much more territory. Run it on your down rigger approx 1/2 of water depth. Your ballyhoo will swim like Mark Spitz. Very productive.

03/16/2011 - Easy connection for trolling artificals

Q: OIFC - thanks for the help. I am heading to Abaco in a month and will be hauling 3 trolling rods and Shimano 25s. Ballyhoo is tough to come by - so I bought some artificials (pre-rigged skirted ballyhoo, etc...). Can you guys recommend an easy connection (new to trolling) from main line to these artificials? Just a simple swivel? Thanks very much and tight lines!

A: Spro swivel 80 lb is all you need.

03/16/2011 - Weather & water surface temps

Q: What resource/website do you use for gulf stream weather and water temps?

A: There are links on our web site to the free ones. The "paid" sites we use are Hilton and Terrafin.

03/15/2011 - inlet

Q: How is Shallote inlet now? Is it marked, and should you still hug the right side coming from the bridge to the inlet as you get there and make the right turn?

A: The slough along OIB is still there and you can use it; however the bar at the crossing with the intercoastal was dredged this winter. You can follow markers to Holden Beach side now; however that bar at some point will probably fill back in again. Also, and of greater concern, is the bar that started forming last year where the new dredge cut was made for the beach renourishment. This winter it has filled in a lot, and may be impassible at low tide. Probably the inlet is going to revert back to its normal path of swinging out toward Holden Beach.

03/15/2011 - z-wings

Q: is there anyone on this planet who can help me with any how too or just basic info on z-wings? not being mean, just frustrated.

A: Tried them many years ago and think my solution was to throw them away. As I recall, they won't work for dead bait trolling speed[6kts] and if live bait fishing, create too much un-natural disturbance in water which takes away from natural presentation of live bait. Frankly, I don't know what purpose they serve, at least in our world of fishing. I think they are used in Great Lakes for salmon fishing, where you are using dead biat, and it doesn't seem to matter what your presentation looks like. My experience is our fish are too smart, and we have to make everything look good so we can trick the fish.

03/14/2011 - regulations

Q: With all the changes in the regulations this year, can you recommend a website that details the new bag and size limits for various species? If not, can you provide that information? Specifically, I'd like information on Wahoo, Mahi, King, etc.

A: Google NC Marine Fisheries for State waters and NOAA Fisheries for Federal waters.

03/13/2011 - Boat Ramp

Q: Can you tell me when the boat ramp will be open for loading & unloading boats?

A: I think it is open now.

03/12/2011 - inshore

Q: what lures are best for trout and redfish now?

A: Read Capt Jacobs report on the OIFC web site. He gives an excellent report on whats he's catching and whats he's using to catch them. Capt Jacob is the inshore guru.

03/11/2011 - epirb

Q: do the spot gps things count as an epirb for ska?

A: Yes

03/08/2011 - Muttons

Q: Capt. Steele mentioned mutton snapper in his March 4 report about grouper and other bottom fish. What is the best way to target these fish in our waters? I was under the imperssion they didn't come much farther north than Miami.

A: On several occasions last spring, about this time, we caught several BIG mutton's per trip using jigs. Areas with live bottom seemed to hold them. Specific areas that we caught them were at the 100/400 and Winyah Scarp. Same areas you target Cobia's will hold the Muttons. Would not say there are enough to target with regularity but it is one that you can keep and eat if you get lucky enough to get into them. If you catch 1, you will catch more. Target the bottom 15 feet of the water column using Roscoe or the OTI jigs... They seem to like those.

03/06/2011 - fishin

Q: where is a good area to anchor up and jig bottomfish and also catch muttons. can we keep muttons? and red snapper grouper and sea bass are the fish that we must release

A: We do have Muttons but they are rare. Anchoring probably not your best bet while jigging. You want to drift with the current to cover bottom. Key is to keep the line as vertical as possible. May involve having someone at the helm to keep boat slowed. You can keep Muttons but please refer to current regulations as they change often.

03/02/2011 - what is biting

Q: what is biting from spring to sumer

A: First to show will be Atlantic Bonita, water approx 65 degrees. Next spanish, water around 67 degrees. Next Kings, water around 68 degrees in area around Yaupon/Ocean Crest Pier. Next Cobia, water 70 degrees.Next dolphin, water in low 70's. Flounder will show when water upper 60's, first in inlet at Cherry Grove, and then Tubbs Inlet.

03/01/2011 - bonito

Q: do yo u troll for bonito just like you do for spanish, i.e. follow tide lines, use spoons, planers, etc? Also when is the giggling mackerel reopening?

A: yes, except a little farther offshore. area around the barges produces well. Look for surface action; #1 planner, #1 clarkspoon. Gamck this week I think.

02/27/2011 - squid

Q: is there a way to catch squid for bait around sunset beach

A: try a squid jig

02/27/2011 - fishin

Q: r clams a good bait for anything

A: heard they work for big black drum

02/27/2011 - fishing

Q: wehn do redfish bite and what baits should u use for them

A: Jacob our inhouse redfish expert. Follow his reports on our web site

02/26/2011 - Atlantic Bonito

Q: What baits/lures will produce the most bonito near shore soon?

A: fish like spansih trolling; #1 planner, #1 clarksoon. If see on surface cast stingsilvers or gotchas

02/25/2011 - squid

Q: can u catch squid live if u can how

A: there are squid jig rigs. i haven't tried butbet they will work, probably on close in artifical reefs

02/22/2011 - kite

Q: i bought a kite from yall and due to bad use the brackets r pretty broken. do i need to buy a new one or what? thankyou

A: Get with Steele at OIFC[910575FISH]. He can probably order just the parts you need to put it back together.

02/21/2011 - spanish mackeral

Q: when is the earliest we can get away with catching spanish mackeral?

A: They will show early spring based on water temp of approx 65 degrees[usually mid April]. First will show Atlantic Bonito[the only tuna that has teeth, great eating]. Then Spanish, and then the Kings will show around Ocean Crest Pier/Yaupon Reef. Begins mid April, with Kings last few days of April.

02/20/2011 - Jigging Reels

Q: Looking into getting involved with jigging and was wondering if it is better to get a spinner or a conventional reel and what would your reel of choice be for about $300 or less? Thanks!

A: If you are going to be doing deep water jigging[150 feet +], you need the equipment that can stand up to the animals you will encounter. Best for the money is: Spinning: Stradic 8000 with upgraded drag or Shimano Saragassa 14000 Conventional: Diawa Saltist 30T Get with Steele at OIFC and he'll make you the best deal possible.

02/19/2011 - Christina

Q: Is 'Christina' a wreck, ledge, area, or what? Thanx ...

A: It's a ledge.

02/17/2011 - flounder

Q: when do flounder start hitting and what baits do u use for them

A: They will first show up in early spring in Mad Inlet at Cherry Grove. This is a shallow water inlet, and water will warm quicker than deeper inlets. Next they will show at Tubbs Inlet, same situtation. From there they move to creeks/holes. Best baits will be mud minnows/mullet/pogys; whatever is available at that time frame.

02/17/2011 - DILL chill

Q: what baits will work for blues

A: If you see surface action, can't beat a gotcha plug. If fishing a near shore wreck, a diamond jig. If fishing a inlet/bar, a Clark spoon on a planner. If fishing a inlet bar at anchor, a fireball bottom rig with cut mullet.

02/16/2011 - looking out for us all

Q: Not a question but a statement to the dedication your crew has to the management of the coastal waters. From the pogie nets to the gill nets I want to thank you for being vocal for the future of the fishery.

A: Thank you very much; we believe in what we say/do. And standby, got a new plan working on that if we can succeed will be a big deal in our Brunswick County world of fishing.

02/15/2011 - fishing in august looking to charter

Q: whats the best action and weather conditions?

A: Kings/dolphin/amberjacks best show going in August. Weather is normally calm and hot.

02/14/2011 - black bass fishing

Q: let us know the status on black bass fishing

A: In the infinite wisdom of our federal government, black sea bass is shut down until June 1. We are working on dog shark menus for our charter fleet. The whole issue is how they are making their calculations, which has no legitimate scientific basis, which means it is political. Answer is new politicians will appoint new folks to the committees/boards.

02/12/2011 - Trolling weights

Q: Was reading the offshore how to and it talks about using a sliding trolling weight that you secure in place with a rubber band and half hitches. Seems like a great idea so when you get up to it you do not have to hand line in the shock leader. Seems like you cut the rubber band and it slides down to the leader. Do I understand this right and where would you get this type of trolling weight?

A: Wahoo bombs. Work great to get heavy weight in line in order to get bait below water surface, but out of the way of your lure. We typically put tem 15-20 feet above leader/lure. When you wind in to bomb, just undo the rubber band and weight will slid down to leader. Simple/easy/effective. Also, we use large planners with rubber band/paper clip set up, running planners off our downrigger. This way, when hook up, breaks free of planner, and you are straight to the fish with no weights.

02/11/2011 - guayaquil

Q: capt macmullen, you were going to provide me with a contact in guayaquil to help us in the city. thanks again stan rogers

A: contact

02/08/2011 - fishin

Q: whats going to be the best fishing coming up from now going thru spring offshore?

A: Since sea bass is closed until June 1, only option is to go to gulf stream. This time of year, deep jigging on break works good for cobia/aj/african pomps/blackfin. Or you can troll for wahoo or blackfins. Kings will also be where water temp is upper 60's.

02/07/2011 - drum

Q: What stage of tide are the drum being caught?

A: Any moving water works. For up to minute info talk to Jacob at OIFC

02/07/2011 - epirb

Q: What is the base line most affordable epirb that meets the ska requirments,I don't want to skimp on safety but can'tafford to spend six or eight hundred bucks right now. Where can I get it?

A: Check with Steele at OIFC or GPS Store at OIB

02/03/2011 - Drum

Q: Where are these drum being found? Canals, River ?

A: mostly canals when temp warms with sun, they are in the shallows; but for expert opinion, call Jacob at OIFC

01/31/2011 - black bass fishing

Q: Does the black bass closure include recreational fishermen on there own private small boats.

A: yes it does. vote the Democrates out of office[tree/turtle huggers]Committee appointees then are replaced with "us".

01/29/2011 - boat ramp

Q: are they fixing the boat ramp its self or just enlarging the parking lot at o.i.

A: everything is a mess right now

01/27/2011 - Regulations

Q: How can I be sure that I am legal when I go fishing? The size and bag limits keep changing,I mostly offshore bottom fish,can I keep a single fish of any species ? Seems like the rules change everyday!!!!

A: You're right abouth that. Best to go to NOAA web site or NC MArine Fisheries and print off copy of latest.

01/23/2011 - Old drum

Q: I have fished old drum(60+lbs.) and I was wondering if there are any in the OIB area?

A: I think there have been some big ones caught in the past in the Shallotte river, around the shrimp boat docks.

01/19/2011 - Charters

Q: Do you put together charters? I'm new to the area and want to do some fishing and a charter for just me is a bit too expensive.

A: We will try to hook up folks together for a trip, but nothing formal. Best bet is to call OIFC when you are planning to come down.

01/18/2011 - Fisheries management meetings

Q: Are any of you guys either planning a trip or going to either the New Bern or Charleston Fisheries Management Meeting? This is the time to show your thoughts on the possible wahoo, mahi, and cobia limits along with catch shares and the possible sea bass closure.

A: Think some of us will try to make trip to New Bern.

01/17/2011 - Fishing

Q: What fish is starting to bite the earliest now nearshore around sunset beach?

A: Only thing in nearshore waters will be sea bass, but really need to get out to 80 feet to get the bigger ones. Inshore trout/redfish can be caught.

01/12/2011 - dockage

Q: About six of us would like to come down by (39 ft) boat to visit your shop and have lunch at the restaurant next door in about a week or two. Is that possible.

A: Not a lot of dock competition these days. Come on down. Sharkeys also has dock parking.

01/11/2011 - light gulfstream setup

Q: I am working on my gear getting ready for spring and adding a few new setups. I have been interested in hearing about the setup that Barrett put together. I've always enjoyed the fight more while pushing smaller/quality gear to its limits.

A: He's taking his new gear to the Galapodos to fish for marlin. Should be a great test. Contact him at My current preferred gulf stream set up is a cheap simple TLD25 with 80lb braid and 100 feet top shot 80lb mono for shock. Barretts deal will be a mercedes, mine is a chevy.

01/09/2011 - redfish

Q: where are the redfish biting around sunset beach and ocean isle this time of the year?

A: The Craven Street docks are always a good bet. If its a warm sunny day, fish the shallows. Best bet is to speak to Jacob or Steele at OIFC for up to minute status when you are ready to fish.

01/03/2011 - BFT

Q: IF these bad boys ever show their fins, how far out do you typically find them in our area? Thanks for all y'all do!

A: Best spots in past have been in the Horeshoe/Knuckle areas along the shoals. Also around the Shark Hole.

01/01/2011 - whats biting

Q: We were coming down this week and were going to fish do you know what is biting inshore right now and what bait to use?

A: Read our fishing report on our web site

01/01/2011 - ballyhoo

Q: where can i chum up live ballyhoo to take offshore?

A: Nearest place I know is Alligator Lighthouse, Islamorada Florida. We don't get them up here to where you can net them.

01/01/2011 - bottom fishing

Q: I heard that all the bottom fishing will be closed from january to april. Is there any truth to that?

A: Think its grouper/snapper however best bet is to go to NC Marine Fisheries site and NOAA site.

12/31/2010 - boat landing

Q: why is oib's boat landing closing on jan 3?

A: The parking lot is closing; think the ramp will stay open. Apparently Wildlife decided to move forward with their plan to add another row of parking. Thats the good news. The bad news is the width available will make it difficult to park any size boats over about 23 feet. Their engineers decided it wasn't a problem; we'll see. Geat to have more parking; just hope don't mess up whats existing.

12/30/2010 - black sea bass

Q: i want to go bsb fishing, but do not want to go out a long way,is there some areas that is not to far out,please help, i would be leaving out of the south port area, gps numbers and location names would be very nice, thanks for your help.

A: There are sea bass at any of the rocks close in but catching legals will be the challenge. The biggest are in the 90-100 foot depth[approx 25-30 miles out]. Lighthouse Rocks is close in to Southport, but you need a chart[ProFinder best] to pinpoint exact location of rocks/structure.

12/27/2010 - Stripers

Q: Any news of stripers being down this far?

A: Don't see them this far south; other than a few are caught in rivers[not ocean strippers]

12/27/2010 - red drum

Q: Coming later this week for New Years. What is the best rig and bait right now for Red Drum?

A: Mud minoows fished on bottom; but check with Capt Jacob/Capt Steele at OIFC as they can tell you up to minute whats happening where.

12/26/2010 - Jolly Mon

Q: Do you have firm dates for the 2011 Jolly Mon? Thanks!

A: Posted on[tournaments]Think its June 17+-

12/14/2010 - Charter Lesssons

Q: I am a long time freshwater guy but I am a novice when it comes to saltwater. I would love to learn more about kingfishing and saltwater fishing in general. Given your success with Kings, would you guys be willing to come out on someone else’s boat (19ft Sea Hunt CC) once kings are back in season for a charter to give recommendations on trolling setup, bait presentation, etc.? I’m registered for the Saltwater Sportsman Series this Jan in Wilmington but would also like for hands on experience with a captain. I’ve heard feedback from other guys who have done this with stripers and found it’s invaluable for people who are willing to listen and learn. Thanks, Drew

A: Before the tourist season gets going, Brant has made mates/captains available for a hands on trip on your boat. Email Brant at and he will get back to you. Brant's done the Saltwater Sportsman seminar in past; surprised they didn't ask him for Wilmington.

12/10/2010 - Kite Fishing

Q: During the set up of my Kite I am having trouble setting the bridle to just the right spot. My question is, during higher winds do I move the bridle closer to the kite or away from the kite? I us a kite that is rated for 5 to 15 mph.

A: 1st step is make sure you have a good kite. There are big differences in kites and whether they fly good or don't fly good. Some are simple, some tempermental. We like the SFE kite[simple to fly]. As to the problem you are having; it's all about adjusting the bridle and that is a trial and error deal, based upon your particuliar kite. Also, some kites that have lower wind specs will have trouble flying in higher winds. Not a simple answer, just have to play with it to find right position for right wind.

12/09/2010 - bsb

Q: Looking to sneak down for a day or two between now and New Years to hit some black sea bass. Any special secrets besides going to your favorite king mackerel spots in 65-90 feet of water and looking at the bottom graph for some stuff stacked up? Thinking of trying the Sharkhole area most likely (running out of Lockwood or Shallotte).

A: You got it. Thats what I would do.

12/07/2010 - Tuna Permit

Q: I was told by having a special stamp on your saltwater license you can harvest one tuna a year, also this is for all pelagic fish (Kings). Is this accurate and do you know what the stamp is called??

A: None of our guys heard of this and doubt it is correct. Bad info we think.

12/01/2010 - Blue Fin

Q: What kind of rig is used to fish for blue fin, and what do you use for bait?

A: Typical offshore trolling rig, except 200-300lb test flourcarbon, horse ballyhoo for bait. Brant will be doing a free Bluefin seminar soon. Lots of info you need if haven't tried it before. Follow for time of seminar.

11/30/2010 - Live Shrimp

Q: Do you know who is selling live shrimp in the area? i plan to be down Thursday to start looking for a few trout and would greatly appreciate any information you can provide. Thanks Steve

A: Think Shelfield has them

11/25/2010 - fishing this saturday

Q: Capt., We were planning to go after Kings on Saturday. Would we be wasting time and fuel with the wind out of the north. We ' ll be leaving out of little river in our own boat. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Mike

A: Anytime/everytime, before heading into ocean, critical to know what the weather is doing. In this case, Saturdays forecast is to blow the shortening out of the biscuit as stong cold front coming. The fish are approx 25 miles offshore and biting like bulldogs, but don't think you can/should get to them on Saturday.

11/22/2010 - trout fishing

Q: what tide have the trout been on? live or artificial? what types of artificial?

A: Live shrimp is best is you can find them; difficult this time of year. Any moving tide is important. Types of artificials seem to change; contact Jacob at OIFC 575FISH for whats hot on day to day basis, as he is our inshore specialist.

11/20/2010 - Offshore Hooks

Q: What is your opinion on knife edge hooks for ballyhoo? Are they better than a non knife edge? Been hearing both sides of this. Thanks

A: That one is above my pay grade; knife edge hooks, haven't heard of. But as to hooks, for any species, super sharp points are important. When pulling ballyhoo, typically will have enough speed and drag that a hook will set on the strike if you have a good sharp hook point.

11/18/2010 - fishing saturday

Q: I dont get a lot of chances to get my 21ft carolina skiff out. What do you think my chances of running to the Jungle sat morning to catch some kings? And will dead cigars be ok?

A: May work out, forecast is 2 feet or less. Dead cigars will work just fine, and you probably can jig up live cigars.

11/17/2010 - temp

Q: what is considered too hot water? whats ideal for king? whats ideal for gulf stream?

A: Kings like 68 and up, best 68-72, but warmer ok. Gulf stream best 72+, best 72-75.

11/17/2010 - Bluefin Tuna Permit

Q: If I possess a commercial fishing permit in NC, which HMS permit category do I need to obtain in order to catch and sell a bluefin tuna? Thanks.

A: Don't trust myself to answer that one. Call OIFC[910657FISH] and speak to Capt Steele or go to NOAA web site or NC MArine Fisheries.

11/16/2010 - Catch Shares

Q: What do you guys think about the new government ideas and the idea about having catch shares?

A: Generally any government ideas are not good. The focus of these plans ultimately will deal with the commercial fisheries.

11/16/2010 - KINGS MAHI

Q: how far off shore are the kings and Mahi you were talking about in your report? Frying Pan Tower? Or any other suggestions. Any suggestions, we are very hungry after this years fishing weather.

A: There was a warm water eddy[73 degrees] that moved into approx 90 feet. All the other waters were in the low 60's. That congragated the fish over live bottom in that area. Unusual. water temp key to fishing this time of year. Find the warm water and you will find the fish. There are various servers that provide water temp info. Free ones are on our web site.

11/15/2010 - Frozen Cigar Minnows

Q: When fishing for kings, what speed to you suggest we pull these? Thanks.

A: Go to "How To" section on our web site and click on dead bait king fishing.Complete info on dead bait trolling for kings.

11/09/2010 - spots

Q: Has anyone ever tried the spots out off the beach out of their boat vs fighting the pier. Got soe friends headed down this week and can't handle crowds

A: Don't see why that wouldn't work. Look for porposies working close to shore. They are most likely feeding on spots.

11/09/2010 - Jigging up Bait

Q: This time of year what would be a good artificial reef to jig up some nice king bait in the Little River area?

A: This time of the year, big schools of bait are on the surface around the king grounds. Should be at 90's. Standby, going tomorrow, will report back.

11/08/2010 - weekend at hatteras

Q: do you think fishing the tournament this weekend will be ok or wdo you think it will be too rough

A: Hard to see that far out, but right now Saturday doesn't look that good. Sunday may be ok, Monday better, then Thursday thru Saturday looks like might be best[as of now].

11/08/2010 - water temp

Q: What is the water temp now at OIB or off shore Thanks, OIFC has been alot of help.

A: I've ehard 61 degrees and I've heard 66 degrees. Haven't been out to check so don't know what is correct, but Kings have probalby left the beach. Should be at 90's or if that water has cooled, should be at Jungle or Horeshoe.

11/05/2010 - pogies

Q: are the pogies still hanging around anywhere?

A: nobody has been out with the strong winds lately. this time of year they get difficult, but cigars and tinker mackeral move in for jiggings. Kings will move first to 90's and then to Jungle/Horseshoe as water cools; and to 27 mile rock areas around Thanksgiving. Dead cigars will also work.

11/04/2010 - Flounder

Q: I am reading on the fishing report about good # of flounder being caught, I fish Tubbs and and Shalotte but no results. I am using a Carolina rig with mud minnows. Trolling,casting any tips???? Thanks RC

A: Stop into OIFC when you are down, and check with Steele/Ricky/Jeff/Kyle. Conditions are changing as water temp cools, and they will be dialed in on where fish are at.

11/02/2010 - state championship

Q: I am thinking about fishing the tournament and have never fished up there before. would like some info on where to catch bait and maybe a few locations to fish.

A: Hatteras is pretty easy to fish, as all you have to do is look for the huge commercial kingfish fleet that will be fishing the waters then. Typically they are about 10-15 miles offshore between Bad Bottoms and Smell wreck[Empire Gem]. Pogies are still around, but need fast sinking cast net or gill net to catch them this time of year. Also can catch bluefish around shoals.

11/02/2010 - king

Q: whats the best way to get bait if fishing the nc kingfish tourny?

A: You need a fast sinking cast net for pogies, as they are very smart and very quick in the Hatteras waters. Check Brants nets on our web site. Some fishermen use gill nets. Also, bluefish should be available around Diamond Shoals and Cape Lookout shoals.

11/01/2010 - bottom fishing

Q: i was out at the blackjack and wasnt marking anything on the bottom is it my transducer? i know theres good bottom fishing out there?

A: Just like all areas, there are areas of rocks/ledges and areas of flat sand bottom. Make sure you have good numbers for the good bottom at Black Jack. Check your bottom machine also. The bottom fishing at Black Jack is good, especially jigging.

10/30/2010 - november kingfishing

Q: I am planning on making a trip down to little river area around the third week in november for some kingfishing. This time of year what are some areas to look at and also usually what is the bait situation like this time of year.

A: Kings will have moved either to Jungle area or 27 mile rock area, based upon water temperature. If stays warm, may be at 65 foot hole area. This time of year, we try to jig cigars or best of all, tinker mackeral show up, and kings go nuts. This great time of year to king fish, as they school up in a tight pack and bite can be explosive.

10/28/2010 - Near shore reef flounders

Q: Have you heard of any flounder being caught on the near shore reefs and where can you catch some mullet minnows. Thanks for any info.

A: mullet minnows are at mouth of creek, been so windy lately havenm't heard of any reports from reefs

10/28/2010 - King fishing

Q: How long now will the king mackerel fishing stay good on OIB side of the shoals. Trying to plan another trip from raleigh

A: Amazingly the water temperature is still 73 degrees. The Kings will stay here until it drops into the mid 60's as they have lots of food source here. They will then move to 90/90 and then to Jungle, and then to 27 mile area, and then will spend winter at Frying Pan Tower area. You can catch them the entire year somewhere in our waters.

10/27/2010 - Pogies

Q: Coming down tomorrow Thursday Staying on canal, where are the flounder sized pogies hanging out?

A: they can be anywhere; look down toward OIB MArina in intercoastal

10/26/2010 - NC Championship Tournament

Q: I am considering entering this event but have never fished the Morehead/hatteras area. Which location would be the prefered one to fish out of i.e. access to preferred fishing areas? Where did most of the guys fish out of last year?

A: The Hatteras late fall King bite can be epic. Last year it was pretty good[couple 50's caught] but hottest bite was East Rock at Cape Lookout. Day 1 we fished Hatteras and had a 48; day 2 we fished East Rock and had a 50. Both spots were great; we'll see how it goes this year. We will most likely fish Hatteras as just like it up there. Fishing Hatteras is simply a matter of finding where the large commercial fleet is at. They will find the bite.

10/25/2010 - winning fish

Q: Where were the top 3 fish in the fall brawl caught at.

A: I think every fish on the 27 places on the leader board came from the end of the shipping channel out to Lighthouse Rocks[just as I forecast prior to the tourney].

10/25/2010 - Blue Fin tuna Seminar

Q: When are you offering next Blue Fin Tuna seminar? Thanks

A: Passing that one on to Capt Brant. Right now we are fighting to get Marine Fisheries to delay Omega from netting menhaden until close of Bluefin season[look on "political issues" on our web site]. If we can't win that battle, may not be any Bluefin again this year.

10/22/2010 - Sunset Bridge

Q: Any news on opening new bridge?

A: Soon they say, and then another delay.

10/21/2010 - Jungle & Shark Hole

Q: What are the coordinates for Jungle & Shark hole?

A: There are a variety of numbers for various rocks/ledges. You need a chart[ProFinder is best]

10/20/2010 - fish

Q: Where is the big king going to come from this weekend ? And tell the truth or you are going to the devil...LOL

A: Read todays fishing report[Oct 20]

10/20/2010 - Shalotte Inlet Buoys

Q: Are the buoys all back in place?

A: Yep; Brant relocated the ones out of line following the storm, and Wildlife rescued the ones that broke free and they are back in place.

10/20/2010 - castnet

Q: What's the best way to repair a 10ft castnet? Thanks

A: take it to Gordon's Net Works, OIB

10/20/2010 - Wahoo

Q: I had dumb luck in the spring at the 100/400 and caught nice wahoo. This time of year do I need to go that far out or are they closer? If so where? Thanks

A: Best bets will be to fish on the break[165-250 feet] however, on occasion a wahoo will get lost chasing baits in 60-80 feet, typically caught by King fishermen with live pogies.

10/19/2010 - Loop Protectors

Q: Just wondering if you guys have any good,bad,or indifferent opinions about using loop protectors on trolling rigs.

A: If were fishing for marlin or giant bluefin tuna where you could expect a long fight, good idea; however typical dolphin/wahoo/yellowfin fishing we just crimp, and redue after a hard fight.

10/19/2010 - Bright or coffee colored wire

Q: Do you guys have any preference as to bright or coffee colored wire for wahoo rigs?

A: Dark; [fish have big eyeballs for a reason]

10/18/2010 - bait

Q: where can I purchase live shrimp in ocean isle area this weekend?

A: We've tried to carry live shrimp but death rate is too high. Best bet is to catch your own with a cast net in back of creeks.

10/18/2010 - Madison Hole

Q: Do you have the gps number for the Madison Hole? We went on a charter on the World Cat a few years ago and the captain told us that was where we were.

A: Thats a new one on me.??

10/17/2010 - line size

Q: What size line is best to use on your reels, when trolling live baits and dead cigar minnows for kings, and is there a favorite color of line

A: 20lb YoZuri pink with 12 feet 25lb flourcarbon leader

10/16/2010 - khe hammer

Q: what is the gps # for the hammer, I have one but not sure if right. thanks

A: 5 miles SW of Jungle; bunch of different numbers[on the boat]

10/15/2010 - Nearshore Sites

Q: Are there a few fishing holes (structure also) that are within site of land around OIB,HB,SB? And do you sell a chip that will work with my Lowrance HD-S to help get me there?

A: Check with CApt Steele at OIFC on chip, but probablt all you need is a local chart[ProFinder is best]. It shows all the close in spots such as 90/90/artificial reefs/ledges/ect.

10/14/2010 - Sheephead

Q: I caught a couple of nice Sheepshead fish in ICW around the docks. Are those fish common in our area? I never hear people talk too much about them. I was surprised how much fight the sheepshead had in it?

A: Yes common; around piers/pilings. Bridge is good place. Use fiddler crabs and fish right beside pilings. Trick is to set the hook just before he bites.

10/14/2010 - fish

Q: wheres the best place to sell fish if i have a commercial license in the oib area?

A: Barrett handles fish at OIFC[]


Q: I have a place in oib and visit you often but, will be going out of Hatteras/teacheslair next week. Could you recommend any good waypoints or locations? Thanks

A: Fishing Hatteras in the fall is all about water temp and temp breaks. Spots that should produce this time of year are Smell Wreck, Bad Bottom, Avon Rocks, and the Hook at Cape Hatteras, however the real key is to find out where the commercial fleet/charter fleet is at. They are VERY GOOD at finding the temp breaks and thus the fish. There is a large commercial fleet there so not too hard to find them. The waters around Hatteras are very dynamic with current flows, so everything can vary day to day. We have a good chart for Hatteras at OIFC.

10/13/2010 - blues

Q: i need to know how to catch bluefish consistenly? how fast to troll when trolling spoons and where to fish? and what bottom rig works?

A: Best[easiest] way is to fish just like spanish trolling with #1 planner, 30 feet 20lb leader, and a #00 clarkspoon or mackeral tree[about 1000-1200rpms, probably 6-8kts] Also can vertical jig over inshore wrecks with diamond jig. Or can bottom fish with a fire ball rig with cut bait on close in structure. Best places are outside of inlets just behind sand bars. Shallotte Inlet/Little River/bar in Cape Fear just off Caswell Beach.

10/12/2010 - Stream ?

Q: Crazy question do you know when you have reached the gulfstream? I know general milage and assume you see color/temp change. Is that all? (It moves around...correct? Thanks for all you do!

A: A very logical question. Actually when we say the stream, we don't really mean the stream, but the continental break at approx 160 feet down to 250+. The stream does move around, and sometimes it may be on the break and sometimes it may be up to 20 miles further out. The spots we refer to like Black Jack/MacMarlen are ledges/rocks along the continental break. If the stream is in close on the break, makes for better fishing.

10/11/2010 - spanish

Q: Hows the spanish bite been? I know it is late season for spanish, but wondered if the warmer water temps have kept them around later this year.

A: The spanish and every thing else that swins has been MIA since the big rains, but this week recovery finally came. The Kings are showing up on the beaches and the river channel and spanish are also back. There is lots of spanish in the river channel[connect the dots to kings] and also along the beaches.

10/10/2010 - Clark spoons

Q: What is the best way to rig and troll a clarkspoon?

A: #1 planner with 30 feet of 30lb mono leader tied to clark spoon. Drop planner to 5-10 count[based on water depth]. Do one on other side of boat opposite depth so don't tangle. Thats most effective. Can also do same set up with a 2 oz trolling sinker in place of planner.

10/10/2010 - great product

Q: First off this not a question but a comment. First I fished the rumble this weekend and bought one of your Heavy nets at the capatins meeting. Lets just say the best money spent loaded the boat at cherry grove and had plenty spare. 2nd the yee haw fish call. I didn't weigh a big fish on the Rylee Girl but all three kings came off of that fished 30 feet down with a pogy. Great product. Thanks Guys.

A: Glad to hear our products are working great for you. As fall progresses, the pogies start "running" instead of circling, so becomes critical to have a fast sinking net to catch them. Nothing worse than throwing and throwing, and coming up empty when you are seeeing them flip. The Yee Haw definitley works, especially in dirty water. Kings have big eyes for a reason. They have to see to feed. Noise making lures in dirty water help them locate the bait. Thanks!

10/08/2010 - Drum charter

Q: We will have a group down Oct 28 for a few days. Do you have a charter that possibly could put us on citation drum (40 inch )? What about some of the AR's?

A: Call OIFC 910575FISH. Capt Kyle is the best of the best for this game. Bite has been at LR jetties.

10/08/2010 - Old River Channel

Q: Can you give me coordinated for the old river channel? Where is it located in reference to the marked channel now? Thanks

A: SW of current location approx 1 mile. Have to pull numbers off GPS on boat. Standby.

10/07/2010 - ocean

Q: its flat today will it be that nice out at blackjack tomorrow ? how did yall catch blues ? it was posted n report yall caught them?

A: Friday doesn't look good for Blackjack; hard NW/NE wind. Sat/Sun should be better. There are blues outside Little River Inlet either on top of bar or just offshore of the bar on the west side of inlet.

10/06/2010 - barts

Q: is there a black bart that i can pull without rigging a ballyhoo on and mahi will eat it?

A: That is typically how Black Barts are rigged and fished; a higher speed trolling without bait. However, you can rig with bait, just troll slower. We use them typically when we push offshore of the break in deeper water, covering more territory. Also use them when specifically targeting marlin or super fast targeting wahoo.

10/06/2010 - Skirt colors

Q: What color of skirt seems to be the best this time of year when fishing a dead bait rig.

A: all about water clarity. dirty water, bright skirts, clean water, dark skirts; most importantly dark water, noise heads[Yee Haw/Turbo rattler]. The clors are trying to create constrast in water to help kings see your bait easier.

10/06/2010 - pin fish

Q: Are pin fish a good bait for any type of fishing?

A: I think pinfish are the best grouper baits as they are strong enough to be able to swim off the bottom with the hook. This makes the grouper have to attack them rather than just pick up off the bottom. Makes for a much more aggressive strike so you know you got a bite. Pogies are good, but not as strong as pins. Pinfish also decent bait for king mackerel or anyother predador fish.

10/06/2010 - free lining

Q: Exactly what is the best method of free lining live bait? I see the term alot but dont exactly know the technique? I want to catch some spanish or trout around the jetties . Do you anchor?use bobbers?

A: Free lining generally refers to King fishing, where the fish are so thick you don't have to troll, just put boat in neutral and put reel in free spool and slowly let line out as your bait swims away. Key is you have to detect the bait getting nervous before he gets bit so you can put reel in gear before the strike. If you don't you will either burn up your thumb or get a back lash. Trout fishing at jetties is typically done with a bobber with live shrimp or mud minows or mullet. Spanish typically planer trolling, or casting to surface feeding schools with sting silver or gotcha plug or live mullet minnows.

10/05/2010 - Kings on 10/14 and 10/15

Q: i'm planning to try trolling for kings in mid-october using the tactics i learned on a charter trip with your guys last month. Do you think i need a down-rigger or is the bite typically good enough to snag a king slow trolling using your techniques on your "How To's" on the website?

A: Kings in fall are very aggressive, and many bites are skyrockets, but always good idea to have a bait in the water column. If no down rigger, take a 3 oz egg sinker and place approx 10 feet above your bait. Tie it in place with a piece of rubber band. Now you have a downrigger[old school]. If you can get live bait, will offer best results[pogies/mullet/spots/blues/ect]

10/04/2010 - king fish bag limits

Q: On a charter boat does the captain count towards the bag limit

A: no

10/04/2010 - OIB inlet

Q: On Saturday, it looked like the cans were gone or moved from Shallotte inlet. Can you comment if the most recent track is still valid route at low tide? Thanks for all you do to support local fishing.

A: Brant moved the cans that were out of order back into position on Monday. However 2 of the cans broke loose and are now on the beach. He has contacted Wildlife to get them rescued, and then he will be able to reposition them. For now, the inlet is marked, however the seaward cans are gone, so follow cans in place and when pass last cans out to sea, head straight toward the sea buoy. When coming from OIB out to inlet, either make your turn just past blue house, or better, hug the beach on OI side till you make the turn in inlet and then follow the buoys.

10/04/2010 - temps

Q: How can i find a vivid sea surface temperature map?

A: There is free info on our web site[weather]; or pay services like Hilton's and Terrafin.

10/04/2010 - lure colors

Q: When using a hook up lure for dead bait, what seems to be the best colors this time of year.

A: Lure head color has to do with water clarity. If fishing dark water, use bright contrast so will show up. Kings have big eyes for a reason. They need to see what they are after and in dirty water, color and noise is important. Right now, water is very dark due to the massive rains, so noise becomes important[i.e. Yee Haw or Turbo Rattler]. Fishing clear water, skirts not as important, however anything you can do to help fish fine your bait is good.Use contrast, clear water, dark head; dark water, bright head.

10/03/2010 - FISHING INSIDE


A: Excellent idea. Standby.

09/30/2010 - INSIDE LURES


A: Yes we do. Call Jacob or Steele for more info[910575FISH]

09/30/2010 - stream

Q: is the stream run worth it next week? whats the best bait for for smaller blackfin and dolphin while trolling? strip baits?

A: Should be able to catch a wahoo on the break. Venture offshore from break and if find anything floating[logs/wood/ect] should find dolphin. There were some small blackfin last weekend at Steeples. Use small feathers mixed in your spread[No Alibi] or cedar plugs. Strip bait might work. If you want some real excitement, if you catch one of the small blackfins, put it live on a king rig and see what happens[should be something big!]. Everything out there feeds on the small blackfins.

09/30/2010 - citation

Q: Do yall carry citation forms? if not where can i get one?

A: Yes we do. We are certified weigh station for NC and IGFA.

09/29/2010 - weathe

Q: how is the weather looking so far for the rumble in the jungle. Reefcast is looking a little sketchie for middle of next week just wandering.

A: Looks perfect to me. Go to our web site and click on 10 day onshore forecast. Watch the hign and low temps during the period. You will see night temps stay in the 50's and stable, and daytime in the 70's and stable. That means high pressure is in control, which means light north winds, perfect for this time of year. River channel bite/Yaupon/beach bite should go off once winds settle and low pressure leaves, and high pressure stabalizes.

09/28/2010 - us open

Q: what do you think in shore off shore good weather or bad?

A: History. Almost every year an all out bite kicks off in river channel during US Open. Fish are late this year due to warm water so hard to say if it happens. I bet they reschedule anyway due to bad weather forcast for this weekend, so it may work out perfect where water will have cooled and river channel lights up. If not, I would probably guess a beach bite off of Ocean Crest area/Yaupon.

09/27/2010 - GPS readings

Q: When entering a gps reading with only 2 numbers after the period do you add a 0 before or after the 2 #'s

A: after

09/27/2010 - GPS readings

Q: When entering a gps reading with only 2 numbers after the period do you add a 0 before or after the 2 #'s

A: after

09/27/2010 - gps reading

Q: The fishing hole straight out from the high rise at ocean isles, Is it 90-90 or 390-390. This should be about 6 to 8 miles out. Could you give me the gps coords. for the correct answer.

A: yes. 90/90 refers to the old loran co-ordinates 45390/59390. It is an area. There are a number of specific rocks. You need a chart[ProFinder is best] that gives several GPS numbers at this general location.

09/27/2010 - regulations

Q: I have a 20' boat and I venture offshore occasionly in the 6-10 mile range to do some bottom fishing. Does all boats need a venting tool and dehooker to meet regulations

A: Think that is just for commercial boats, but confirm with NC Marine Fisheries

09/25/2010 - Boats

Q: I have a 20 ft. Scout sportfish a 200 hp Yamaha 4 stroke. Lowrance HDS-8, radio ect. My question is since my boat is called a near shore boat, how far out is near shore? Some guidelines about wave heights and winds would be great. I have been out in 3ft waves and the boat was fine.

A: No fixed rule; based upon sea conditions and your comfort level. Sea can be flat like a mill pond or the opposite. Watch the weather, stick your nose out the inlet and you will be able to make your own decision. There is good king fishing in the fall from the beach to 8 mile out.

09/24/2010 - what is biting

Q: what fish are biting?

A: We are waiting on the water to cool down and get the typical fantastic fall fishing started. We are still stuck in summer, and water has not cooled down. Should change this week as cold front coming late in week. Fishing[catching] has been very difficult for weeks. Give it a week or so and big changes should occur and everything will be biting.

09/23/2010 - Weather

Q: Why did you guys remove the links to weather etc... from your website?

A: We didn't.??

09/23/2010 - sword fishing

Q: I would like to know how far you go out for swords and what the spread set up is. What kind of bait do you use? Boston mack?

A: Need to be in 1000-2000 feet[80-90 miles out from our area. Typical spread is 3 lines set at varying depths, 50-100 foot intervals. Typically use big squids with lite sticks.

09/23/2010 - spots

Q: when should the spots be running

A: when water cools down; probably will be late arriving this year; my guess mid October

09/21/2010 - scattering ashes

Q: Is it possible for one of your Captain's to take my husband and I out to the wreck of the General Sherman so we can scatter my sister's ashes? Both my Mother and Father were scattered there so we'd like to do the same for my sister. What would you charge and could we possibly schedule for this Friday, the 24th? Thanks you, Sue Baker

A: Sent your email on to Brant, but call OIFC 9105753474. Thanks.

09/21/2010 - Sharkhole

Q: Planning a trip this weekend for some king/mahi fishing and was wondering, have there been any action at the sharkhole area? If nit where are some places that you would recommend. Thanks

A: Our charter boats caught kings and dolphin in 100 foot of water couple days ago. Haven't heard anything from normal spots like Shark Hole. Problem is water not cooling down like should this time of year, and fish seem to be holding up inshore migrtation. Could change any minute as surely they are looking at the calendar. If go to 100 feet, fish rocks/ledges; probably find a grouper also.

09/21/2010 - live pogeys

Q: were are the king size pogeys being found around oak island can you help have 2 sons wanting to go king fishing but we are live bait fisherman can you help thank you matt wilson

A: Pogies lately have been very hard to find, but magically they will show up. Area from Lockwood Folly Inlet down to Cape Fear ussually the best. Check the hot hole off Yaupon, caught them there few days ago. If can't find pogies, water is full of mullet, which is excellent option.

09/19/2010 - NC King Championship

Q: Some friends and I are thinking about getting into the tournament but first we're looking into the logistics and costs. 1) What marina is the tournament held out of? 2) Where do most folks stay up there? Recommendations on hotel near the marina? 3)What are the specific dates of the tournaments? Is it still fish 2 of 7 days? 4)Can you rent a wet slip near the marina where it's being held? Thanks for the info. Hopefully we'll be able to make it.

A: Contact for info on the NC KIngfish Championship.

09/19/2010 - GPS Number Conversion

Q: My Gps is set up to take 3 digits in the seconds place for both Lat and Lon. Many of charts only show 2 places in the seconds. Eaxmple 33.49.96 078.15.43. How do I convert this to a 3 digit GPS number? (33.49.XXX 078.15.XXX) Thank you.

A: Had to think on that one. Just put in a 0.

09/19/2010 - inshore map

Q: Is there such a map that shows creeks and bays along the waterway.Seems offshore maps are pretty easy to find bit cant find anything for inshore.

A: We have a decent, but not great map that shows creeks/ect. To my knowledge there is not a detail map that shows deep water routes thru creeks.[You reading this John@ProChips maps?]

09/17/2010 - live shrimp

Q: Do you have live shrimp?

A: We've tried to have them, but casualty rate is so high, just doesn't work. Most guys catch them with a cast net up inside of creeks on sand/mud bars. They will be available until water cools down in November.

09/16/2010 - our trip

Q: there will only be 4 ppl wanting to fish on october 9th and we would like to know how much it would cost to charter a fishing trip for that day.

A: Go to our web site and click on charters. All info is on the site or call OIFC 910575FISH

09/16/2010 - bait

Q: Been fishing at Ocean Isle for quite a few years now (mostly inshore). Couple questions... 1. Is there a particular time of year/style of fishing that it's best to fish Dunn's Sound for Flounder/Redfish/Trout? Have not had the success there that others seem to. 2. We never have trouble getting plenty of mullet/live shrimp/mudminnows during the summer months but when fishing picks up in the fall we have more trouble finding live bait. Any particular area at ocean isle where the bait moves as the water cools? Thanks in advance for the help guys

A: No special tech that I know of. Just need to know where the holes/drops are as that is where fish will be laying in ambush for bait. Mullet/ect very active now everywhere, later may need to look in creeks for better luck

09/15/2010 - bluefish

Q: whats the best way to catch bluefish this october?

A: If got a boat, look for birds in feeding frenzy from surf out to couple miles, and around inlets on current rips. If find a frenzy, throw gotcha on spinning rod, 4 feet 12lb flourcarbon leader. Or fish in surf with fireball rig and cut bait.

09/15/2010 - license

Q: If i bought a commercial fishing license is it lifetime and does that mean i can take fish to any restaurant and they will buy it if they want?

A: You can only sell fish to someone that has a dealers license[fish houses/ect]. Some restaurants may have a dealer license, but that is rare. You sell to the dealer and he sells to the end users. The license has to be renewed every year. This is highly technical subject, so verify anything related to this subject with NC Marine Fisheries.

09/14/2010 - Surf Fishing

Q: We were down Sat and caught 3 red drum in the surf and a few small blues in only 2 hours. Is it prime time for surf fishingor was it just a stroke of luck. Also i caught a trout in my cast net back at the little public pier is it legal to keep it if it were to happen again i did release it saturday?

A: Water is full of mullets as they do their fall migration. Reds/blues/spanish/ect are the predadors so they are feeding on the mullets, right in the surf. Trout on cast net; unusual. Not sure of any rule on that one.

09/13/2010 - Fall Brawl

Q: Will the pogies still be around late October for the Fall Brawl or is dead bait the way to go for that particular tournament? Are the kings on the beach yet?

A: Varies from year to year. My bet is this year, with the water still so warm, the pogies will probably be here. Dead bait will work as last option, but any kind of live bait will be best if fishing on the beach. Spots/mullets/whiting/blues/ect will do the job. Almost every year the winning fish is at the sea buoy at Shallotte Inlet, so probably will be a beach bite, thus live bait important. As of now, the kings are not on the beach. They have not really come back from deep water following the hurricane, but that should change any day, as fall is coming.

09/13/2010 - Gulf Stream

Q: Has the bite offshore picked up yet? Thinking of going to Blackjack and 100/400 area this week. I have not heard of a consistant catch of Mahi/Wahoo/Blackfin? Hate to waste the fuel.

A: I was out there couple days ago bottom fishing in 200 ft and saw nothing of interest. However, conditions change every day. Check out water temps and if you see a good temp break, that should be deciding factor in whether to go or not. Yesterdays report not the answer; the satalite don't lie.

09/13/2010 - beeliners

Q: Where and how is the best way to catch beeliners?

A: Typically in 80 feet on out to 200 feet. A 2 hook chicken rig with small diameter hook, size #1, will do the trick. They hold off the bottom, so if you see fish mark starting at bottom and going up 20-30 feet in water column, probably beeliners. Fish with cut bait.

09/09/2010 - Sunset bridge

Q: Whats the latest on when the new bridge will open?

A: We hear October.

09/06/2010 - down rigger

Q: My father and I are having trouble with our cable on our you sell the fishing line that you folks run on your downriggers?we would like to order the line from you if you sell it.thanks,matt comer

A: Yes, specific for downriggers. We use braid, approx 200lb test. We like it because it is thin diameter[reduces blowback]. and doesn't sing like wire. Leave your wire on downrigger as backing and put braid over top of it. If you don't have a backing, the braid can cut into your spool.

09/05/2010 - Hotels & Marinas

Q: Not exactly a fishing question, but wondering, coming up for US Open, R in the Jungle, & Fall Brawl from Hilton Head. Have stayed at Harbourgate, anywhere similar to that, Hotel with Marina, in Ocean Isle? Harbourgate is great, just want to try something different, especially when I may be fishing closer to Southport? Thanks

A: At Ocean Isle, best bet is to rent a house on the canals so you have dock at the house. Check the "accomodations" menu on our web site, and it will direct you to the local real estate companies that handle the rentals. I think that time of year they will have a tourney program for the weekend. Tell them you are fishing the tourney. Check with us at OIFC for the fish locations.

09/04/2010 - fall fishing specials and

Q: Capt Brandt- My annual fall family trip for kings/grouper has fallen through due to 3 of 5 members who typically join are not able to afford an offshore trip this year. We will be at the beach Holden the week of sept 18-25. Question: I am considering a two man trip for half or 3/4 day, but I am concerned that we will not be able to have time to make the grouper/king trip, and we don't want to spend that kind of money to catch spanish or sharks. For that week of fishing offshore, can you advise me what a 1/2 day or 3/4 day trip would allow us to catch? Would "inshore" fishing be better for the money that week? Thanks, Steven J Clark

A: That time of year the kings "should" be in 1/2 day range[approx 10 miles]. That is close to time, depending on how fast the water cools down, that they will actually be on the beach. On 3/4 day you will have time to get to the grouper, as they will also have moved in closer[approx 15-18 miles]. Kings will also be in that depth.

09/01/2010 - Yo-Zuri Hybrid Line

Q: What is your opinion of this line? Thinking of re-spooling some king and light trolling reels with it. Thanks for all of your help guys.

A: Thats what we use for our tourney fishing. 20lb

08/31/2010 - boone birds

Q: Do people normally use boone birds when live bait trolling for kings to keep the bait at a certain depth or on the surface? If so what size work the best or does it depend on the sea conditions? Thanks in advance.

A: No; your speed at live bait fishing is so slow, there would be no action with that sort of a lure. Typically we use small skirts like Blue Water Candy or the famous Yee Haw Fish Call or troll the live bait necked.

08/30/2010 - license

Q: I am coming from out of state to OIB for vacation. Do I need a license to fish off of the beach and if so how much does one cost? Thanks.

A: yes. google to NC Wildlife Resources. There are a variety of licenses available, cost based on time.

08/30/2010 - Shrimp

Q: 3 part. When does shrimp season open in NC? How much for resident license? recommend fishing day or night?

A: not really clued into shrimping rules. google to NC Marines Fisheries web site

08/26/2010 - 390/390 ledge

Q: Planning a trip labor day weekend and thought about going to the 390 ledge to do some dead bait trolling and bottom fishing, any advice on what to use? What kind of fish normally hang around there? I've heard people talking about the "90's", is that the 390 ledge or a different spot? Thanks in advance.

A: The 90's is the 390 ledge[old loran co-ordinates 45390/59390. It's a live bottom area with small ledges. I've dived it before and it's hard to see why fish hang there, but for whatever reason bait is there and thus the predadors. Kings/Mahi Mahi/big spanish, occasional sailfish. Sometimes decent sea bass fishing on bottom, but not great. Right now we desparately need a weather change which is supposed to occur this weekend. Fishing is a struggle right now; you may find a king or big spanish fishing either live pogies or dead cigars. The weather change may change the slow pattern we have been stuck in. If nothing happenening with bigger game fish, try fishing live mullet minnows on bottom. May catch big flounders/red fish.

08/25/2010 - gigging

Q: Coming to OI late Oct, staying on canal. Any flounder gigging in canals around that time?

A: Not in the gigging world, but if water clear probably good. Biggest flounder of year are caught that time of year.

08/23/2010 - Reading SST charts, etc for Kings

Q: Without giving up any of your secrets I was wondering if you could shed some light on how you read a SST map and other maps to figure where the kings are most probably going to be located? I've been following you all for a long time and know you can't win all those tournaments without a little understanding of locating the big kings. Congratulations on all OIFC's success.

A: Thanks, and no secrets here.Where to fish for a tourney winner?? We look at temp charts to see if anything weird going on. For example, last week there was dramatic temp change along beaches at Hatteras[80-64 degrees]. That info knocked out idea of fishing up there. What we like to do is take a ride the day before tourney to look at water color/ bait/fishy looking conditions. We like King green water, not blue or too clear. Last week before Sneads Ferry tourney we looked at Drum Rocks and didn't like the blue water and weeds that moved in. We looked at Beaufort Inlet and water color was perfect green, and loaded with spanish on incoming tide. Looked perfect; and just to show all the analysis doesn't change the luck factor, 2nd place fish came from Drum Rocks, and we didn't get a bite at Beaufort Inlet. That said, its all about having a reason to fish a particuliar spot, and thus putting yourself in a position of having everything right that will lead you to catch the fish you want.But then luck screws everthing up[which is why king tourney fishing is such a great sport; nobody controls luck].

08/23/2010 - Mahi?

Q: Planning on going out of OIB this weekend and was wondering where mahi can be found without going to the gulf stream and what can they be cuaght on, any info will be greatly appreciated.

A: We catch them as incidental catch while fishing for Kings during the summer, usually with live pogies or dead cigars, slow trolling. Best spots seem to be the 90/90/Jungle/Shark HOle/Horseshoe

08/23/2010 - bald head Island

Q: Can we rent a boat and cruise from ocean Isle to bald head isle in one day? If so how long does it take? And approx. how much gas?

A: Yes, it's approx 25 miles, probably burn 40-50 gallons depending on boat and speed.

08/23/2010 - Christinas Ledge

Q:  Im a rookie at the saltwater fishing game and I was thinking about going to christinas ledge this weekend, Ive never been there so I was wondering what kind of fish hang around there and how can I catch them. Thanks in advance.

A: A good spot; ledges and live bottom. At different times, kings/big spanish/mahi mahi/cobia/sailfish. All game fish can be there. Best bet is live pogies, but if just starting, dead cigar minnows work. Get copy of "How to dead bait troll for Kings" at OIFC[free].

08/19/2010 - sharkhole area

Q: are there any gags in the area this time of year?

A: They should be on their way. Typically Gags will show up in 65-70 foot water in the fall. Right now probably better a little deeper; 90-110ft

08/19/2010 - Live Baiting Kings

Q: What size, in length, bluefish do you typically use when live baiting with them for Kings?

A: Perfect is couple pounds[big bait=big fish]12"+, however have used them up to 4-5lbs in Biloxi. When fishing for Giant Bluefin Tuna, a 10-15lb bait will get a bite.

08/17/2010 - Spanish

Q: I was wondering if spanish could be caught this time of year, and if so what are the best tactics for this time of year.

A: You can catch them early in morning at inlet mouths with clark spoon/planner. Bigger spanish can be caught at near shore reefs on live pogies while king fishing

08/17/2010 - cigar minnows

Q: where do you get cigar minnows?

A: we jig them with a sabiki[7lb]around artificial reefs, live bottom, or sometimes you will see them on the surface

08/16/2010 - Fish

Q: Do any of the fish have large talons?

A: haven't seen any fish with feet for talons, but sure have seen them with big teeth

08/14/2010 - early sept fishing

Q: i am planning a near-shore trip sept 1st-3rd. will you do the "hire a captain" deal that soon? i find/fish mudd minnows, finger mullet and pogys. are cigar minnows different and if so where do you find them? thanks

A: Doubtful; contact OIFC [910575FISH]

08/12/2010 - big drum rigs

Q: I have seen a lot of reports of people catching 10+ lb. drums in little river inlet. What is the best setup to catch these fish? From anchor or drifting? Under floats or on the bottom? What type of rig? Thanks

A: Anchor or drift, bottom rig, just outside jetties. A egg sinker, couple feet of flourcarbon, hook. Best bait mullet minnow or mud minnow. If they are there they will eat[not picky]

08/11/2010 - bait?

Q: Where can i find finger mullet and poggies for flounder fishing around the area now? Also,have the flounder and Spanish moved into the shallote inlet?

A: The peanut pogies and finger mullet are all over the waterway and canals right now. With the amount of bait in the water, we should be growing some big flounder/redfish/trout. With the water so warm, flounder are on the nearshore artificial wrecks or in deep holes where water is cooler. Spanish are around inlets in morning and then move to the nearshore wrecks in afternoon, particuliarly on the heavy summer southwest wind where water is clearer.

08/10/2010 - CHARTER A CAPTAIN

Q: Yall used to have a deal where you could charter just the captain but I cant find it on the site. Is that program still a go

A: During the summer season everyone is running wide open with charters. After summer season over, after the captains recover, we'll try to make that available.

08/10/2010 - Yellowfin Ad

Q: Just wanted to say congrats to the OIFC Fishing Team on a good looking Yellowfin Ad in the latest Saltwater Sportsman Magazine....a great way to get the OIFC and Ocean Isle on the map!

A: Thanks! Don't think a day goes by where a "happy thought" passes my mind as I think about us catching that fish.

08/09/2010 - tubbs chart

Q: Do you know where the best place to find a tubbs inlet nautical chart it thanks, jb

A: Theres not a real good one that I know of. We have a chart that swos backwater but doesn't really show the actual route from intercoastal to Tubbs. Best to map it out on your GPS either follow another boat or go at low tide so you can see the channel[look for the crab pots]

08/09/2010 - The Hammer

Q: Just heard about this spot and I think it is somewhere off the jungle. Is this true? Is there anywhere other then a profinder chip to get a general location? Thanks for your help guys.

A: The "Yellow Hammer Hole" used to be one of the "secret" spots. I think Wayne[The Kingfish]Hill was first to find it years ago. Been bunch of tourney money won there, as well as the Jungle. It's approx 5 miles[just out of sight] southwest of the Jungle. No longer a secret so typically will see boats there.

08/06/2010 - king fishing

Q: Planning to go out of Little River Monday, how is the weather looking? Could you suggest a king location going from LR? What is the best rig/bait to use for king right now? Will cigar minnows be productive at all? Lastly, I'm assuming running on downriggers is the way to go with the warm water, yes or no?

A: Yes to everything you said. Start at 90's and if nothing, move on to Jungle. Kings are difficult right now but will probably find big spanish, mahi mahi, and maybe a sailfish. Live cigars are the jolly ranchers of candy to everthing out there swimming.Weather should be fine, unless tropical storm pops up. Check weather when get ready to go.

08/05/2010 - Spade Fish

Q: Have you heard of any Spade Fish being caught lately? If so, what wrecks/reefs are holding them. Also are there any jelly balls to be had? Thanks for any info.

A: Spades are scattered at any of the various AR's at different times. By this time of year they have been pounded on pretty hard, but still can be found. Jelly balls best found right outside of inlet in approx 20-30 feet of water.

08/05/2010 - Flounder at AR's

Q: What is the best setup for flounder fishing around the artificial reefs? Do you anchor up on the structure or drift the area? Same setup for reds? Any bait better than others? Thanks for any advice you can give us.

A: Standard flounder rig works,with egg sinker and hook set up below[without cork] mullet minnow or mud minnow. You can drift if not much current, otherwise best to anchor. Same technique works for reds.

08/04/2010 - Surf

Q: Do you have the 'magic' answer to when is the best time to surf fish...outgoing/incoming tide? Full moon I know is generally better, but for the time and tide advice, everyone has a different opinion. Thanks and this site is the first one I check every day!

A: Honestly, for me, the best time to surf fish is when the beer is sufficently cold, the sky is clear, the breeze is light, and I'm feeling a need to "chill out". Thats essence of surf fishing; not serious, just relaxing. That said, whenever you have tide movement, any fishing is better. Couple hours on either side of high tide should be best. At Ocean Isle, best when wind is out of north, as surf will be calm with south facing beach.

08/04/2010 - boat rental- scattering of ashes

Q: I am looking for somebody that is able to take a family out to scatter ashes at Sunset Beach. Can you send me any names and numbers of people I can call. Thanks for any help that you can give me. if they want to call, my phone number is 704-309-9859. Melony

A: contact OIFC 910575FISH

08/04/2010 - 90`s

Q: Can`t afford a prochart or chip but sure woulld like to get my twin sons in on some of the sailfish and king action at the 90`s ,any hints of a gps corod. would be greatly appreciatted,we tried running 7 miles sw out of shallotte ,trolled all day and only caught a blue fish. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

A: not where i've got a chart, but call OIFC and ask one of the guys[910575FISH]. If you have loran, the co-ordinates are 45390/59390[i.e. the 90's]

08/03/2010 - Shark Hole

Q: Do you have the coordinates for the shark hole?

A: There are a half dozen or more numbers for the Shark Hole and rocks in the vicinity. You need a chart[ProFinder is best] so that you can fish from spot to spot. Kings/ect normally will be at the structure of the various spots.

08/02/2010 - waterway fishing w/ out a boat

Q: I'll be in OIB for vacation next week and am interested in fishing waterway/backwaters. I do not have a boat so I need to know about locations, equipment, licenses, bait, tactics, and target species. I'm an experienced freshwater fisherman, but have done almost no saltwater fishing, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

A: Best bet will be to fish with live mullet minnows or mud minnows for flounder/trout/redfish. You need a 4 foot cast net or buy the mud minnows. Simple flounder rig is all you need. Fish along intercoastal[Town pier on east end of island], in canals, at inlets, or around bridges at OIB or Sunset. Or charter a captain or rent a boat.

08/01/2010 - king

Q: will king eat a sea bass or any bottom dwellers? what's the best way to keep spanish mack alive?

A: I've never caught a king on a sea bass[or even a grouper]. Don't know why, but that always has surprised me. Kings will bite bee liners real good, and I've caught them on red mouth grunts, pinfish, and ring tails. Keeping spanish alive is a challenge. Best to put them back out as bait when/where you catch them. They won't live in a live well, but have had some luck keeping them alive with a tuna tube.

07/30/2010 - fishing

Q: live in greensboro and plan on taking my brothers king or dolphin fishing tommorow,dont want to ride to far and am fishing out of lockwood,would you head to lighthouse rocks or the 90 s or doe it matter?really want to get my younger brothers on a couple of kings.I really appreciate what you do and the website and store.thanks matt comer

A: Either spot can be productive. Our boats fish the 90's more than Lighthouse rocks as the 90's are closer to OIB. If you can push little further out, Shark Hole area good almost always, approx 15 miles out from Lockwood..

07/30/2010 - ajs

Q: where can u catch ajs closest to beach? it said brant caught them n 45 ft. where can I do that? without makik long run

A: On occasion they will be at the Bardges[Little River Offshore Reef], and the Sherman.

07/29/2010 - YO ZURI LINE

Q: Have you found the Yo Zuri line to be superior to other lines?

A: Thats what we use.

07/29/2010 - carreer

Q: Hello im 20 years old and my dream is to work on the water. Do you haven any pointers or anything on how i can take these steps to be able to make a carreer of it. thanks you

A: Start at the bottom and work up. We have several kids who started as dock boys and are now captains. Best[worst] place to start learning curve is working on a head boat.

07/28/2010 - pogy

Q: where are the pogies?

A: seem to be mostly holding down at Long Beach to River, but after the big rain, they will probably push south toward OIB

07/28/2010 - fluorocarbon

Q: Do you guys use a section of fluorocarbon between your main line and your leader when king fishing. If so how long and what pound test?

A: 12 feet of 30lb flouro

07/28/2010 - Reels

Q: Do you guys have any suggestions as to where to look for reasonably priced 80's or something similar to use on a planer rod? Don’t want to break the bank and was mainly thinking used. I don’t think a 50 would have enough drag to hold a #8-16 planer. Any help would be great guys. Thanks!

A: A 50 will work fine with short stiff rod[or broken rod]; best bet is to use down rigger.

07/26/2010 - grouper

Q: running out of southport do you have any good bottom fishing coordinates looking to try to catch some grouper

A: This time of the year the grouper are in approx 90-110 feet of water. Late in the summer/fall they will move into 65-70 foot water. We grouper fish in the same places we king fish. Rocky areas, ledges, or wrecks.

07/25/2010 - fishing line

Q: What brand of line does the oifc team use when fishing tournaments in nc? Also what pound test.

A: King fishing, we use Yo Zuri pink, 20 lb test.

07/23/2010 - late august

Q: I will be down at OIB the last 2 weekends of august. Will the kings be gone? What type of fishing would you reccomend?

A: The king bite is with us throughout the spring/summer/fall. The key is to know which spot[how deep of water] they are holding at a particular time. Check with OIFC as our charters are on the water everyday and they are best guide as to where the fish are at. If you have a boat that can get anywhere between the 90/90 to the Shark Hole, there are about a dozen different spots the fish may be at. Also, if you want to go further out, bottom fishing is real good this time of year in 100+ feet of water. Or troll the inlet mouths for spanish, or fish the inshore wrecks for spadefish, or fish inside for flounder/trout/redfish. Plenty of fishng options going on.

07/23/2010 - 390/390

Q: when coming out of the shallotte inlet, how far south from there is 390/390? And what can I expect to catch there?

A: 90/90 is approx 7 miles southwest, approx 5 miles offshore. This is a great spot in summer for kings/spanish/cobia/dolphin, and even sailfish. Live pogies, or live or dead cigars.

07/23/2010 - Inshore live bait

Q: Where is a good place to find mullet minnows, finger mullet, any kind of bait for flounder inshore. What size cast net is good to target these little minnows, Also what is a good tactic for throwing a cast net off a boat tiller arm boat by your self.

A: you should see mullet minnows running in schools in intercoastal waterway and in the canals. Look for a "V" formation in the water, like geese or ducks flying in formation. Throw in front of them[kinda like bird shooting]. A 4-6 foot net is what you want so you can throw it long distance to get to fast moving school. Motor you boat to where they are in range and throw.

07/21/2010 - Re: Planers

Q: I have Penn downriggers and they have plastic spools. Running a big planer off them with that much pressure wouldn’t that crack the spool? I have heard that they can cause about 40 pounds of pressure. Thanks for all of your help.

A: We leave the wire[or mono] on the spool as a backing, which keeps the braid from cutting down into the spool. Haven't had one blow up but have heard of it occurring, which probably is from not having the backing.

07/21/2010 - Boat Slips

Q: Where's the nearest OIB spot to rent a boat slip for two nights? Have a 28'

A: Ocean Isle Marina; click their ad on OIFC home page

07/20/2010 - attire

Q: what is recommender attire for deep sea fishing 1st week in August? 1st timer!!

A:  OIFC tee shirt, OIFC hat, shorts/glasses/sunscreen.

07/20/2010 - Planers

Q: What kind of rod and reel would you recommend to run a #8 to maybe a #16 planer in line with a bridle system? Didn’t see that you guys had planer rods. And also how are you guys running this type of setup? Thanks for your help!

A: Best plan is to run the planner off of your downrigger. We put 250lb braid on ours so you have strength and limited blow back due to thin diameter of braid. Not necessary to use bridle system, this much simpler. You put your planner down[if you want to be 40 feet deep, let out 80 feet on planner]. Then put your bait out on rod and reel approx 100 feet, then take a paper clip and hook clip onto planner line and wrap a rubber band around your fishing line. Then simply let out 40 pulls on your line, and water pressure will carry it down the planner line to approx 40 feet. When you get bit, rubber band breaks and you are straight to the fish with no planner to deal with. We use this system for Bluefin Tuna fishing and wahoo fishing. If you don't have a downrigger, same plan will work with a rope line for you planner line.

07/20/2010 - flounder / Redfish

Q: I ahve some guests coming in from texas. They like to fish. I have a Triton boat and my son has a jon boat. We would like to take them out to fish for flounder and/or reds. What typ of bait and rigs should i use? Should i fish at the inlets on the waterway side. As you can tell, i don;t do much inshore fishing. I can catch mud minnows. THANKS for your help!

A: Redfish bite for big fish getting going at Little river jetties. Fish mud minnow/mullet minnows on bottom in front of rocks at inlet mouth. Flounder bite continues at Tubbs Inlet and Shallotte Inlet. Best plan to get dialed in would be to charter Capt Kyle for 1/2 day so you can learn the ropes and then take it from there on your boat.

07/19/2010 - Surf Fishing

Q: I enjoy surf fishing and will arrive @ Sunset Beach this coming Saturday. Wanted to know what is running now and how best to catch. Hoping for Blues and maybe even stripers. Hoping that Reds are running in the inlets. Please advise. Thank you in advance for your response and assistance

A: You can catch blues from surf, but not stripers in our part of the world. Best bet around inlets and bay behind Sunset is to fish with mud minnows or mullet minnows and catch flounder; maybe a redfish or trout.

07/19/2010 - Tournament

Q: Some friends and I wanted to enter some of your fishing tournaments but was always discouraged with all the side pots etc.. What pots are required and are they the same price as the entry fee or is the cost different? What do all the abbreviations stand for? (TWT) Thanks Wanna go fishing

A: TWT is "tournament within a tournament". They are usually $100, and it's like a side bet. Typically there will be a $100 TWT for biggest fish, and some tourneys have a "high rollers" for $250. Not necessary or required to enter when entering the tourney[probably 75% in $100 TWT, 25% in High Rollers]. The only problem is if you screw up and catch a good fish and you get to watch someone else take your money you would have won. When that happens, that usually is the cure for not entering[at least the $100 TWT]. Saying goes....."if you're not in, you can't win". Tourney fishing, as a fisherman, is probably the most exciting, most depressing fishing thing you can do. If you win, there is no higher high; if you don't do any good, there is no lower low. A fishing friend gave a good description of "why you tourney fish". Answer is "the high is slightly higher than the low is low". If you catch a money fish, you are hooked for life.

07/19/2010 - bluefish

Q: will bluefish hit a sabiki rigs?

A: Yes,if you were jiggig over a wreck or on a buoy, but only way you would know is your rig would come back without a hook. The blues most likely would bite thru the light mono on the sabiki rig. Try verticle jigging with a diamond jig.

07/19/2010 - fishing

Q: We are headed down for a weekend of fishing.With the SW winds how do you think the fishing will be.

A: Fishing is probably fine, the problem is getting to fishing grounds. A southwest wind is not a friendly wind for us and fishing 4-5 footers 15-20mph not a lot of fun. We seem to be stuck in this pattern, but looks like may lay off a little for weekend. Shark Hole has been hot spot lately,and running that direction should put you in trough, but check at OIFC with where our charter fleet is fishing when you get down.

07/15/2010 - bluefish

Q: where can i catch bluefish and how?

A: If in a boat, just few yards off the beach[10 feet] or on tide lines outside inlets or vertical jigging on near shore wrecks or on sand bar outside Little River jetties. If fishing from surf, fireball rig with mullet or sting silver if see bait in waves.

07/13/2010 - dolphins

Q: This time of year, how far off shore do i need to go to find Dolphin? Also any location you would be willing to suggest.....?

A: Other than the gulf stream[60+ miles], dolphin/mahi mahi are an incidental catch when we are King fishing, but on occasion this time of year are almost dependable. Best spots close in are the 90/90, Christina/Jungle/Shark Hole/Horseshoe. Those spots are 10-20 miles out.

07/11/2010 - Kayak inshore fishing

Q: I'll be at OIB for the last week of July and have a kayak with me. Any tips for inshore fishing from the kayak (I'll be off the canal by the Intercoastal close to OIFC).

A: Any of the creeks will offer great kayak fishing for flounder/trout/redfish

07/10/2010 - sharks

Q: Hey, I've been catching these little sharks for years here off the beach. Do you know what kind they are? I mean, their actual classification/species? Thanks.

A: Expect you are catching what we call dogfish sharks; not sure of scientific names/classification.

07/09/2010 - GPS

Q: Own a 20 Sea Hunt, not experienced at ocean fishing, would like a simple to use GPS to find artificial reefs just outside, any ideas?

A: The experts in this areana are the GPS Store at Ocean Isle. Visit them and they can fix you up with best advice/best prices.

07/07/2010 - gulf stream

Q: I haven't seen many reports about the gulfstream. Is there much action in the gulfstream now and is it worth the 60 mile run? Thanks.

A: All our charters this time of year are 1/2 days for Kings. Haven't heard a report in some time, but I'm sure you could still find dolphin. This time of year, trick is to find something floating, so if nothing on the break, go hunting offshore to find something, anything, and it will probably be loaded with dolphin. Watch out for a Blue Marlin. Also, throw in some deep jigging.

07/07/2010 - king follow up

Q: what do you mean bar?

A: Ha! The sandbar just east of the inlet mouth.

07/07/2010 - Inlet depth

Q: Hi! I know the inlet is supposed to be in the best shape ever right now but when I go out at low tide at about the shoreline (5th can?) I mark about 1 and a half feet!! Is this accurate? (Are we still in good shape?). Any word on getting some government money for protection?

A: Only shallow spot is when you leave intercoastal, but if you make your turn past the green can in intercoastal, past the blue house, you can pick you a route where there is 7+ feet at low tide. Get too far east or west from that route and you will find shallow water. The inlet is excellent, in fact I forecast this fall someone wins a King tourney fishing our inlet channel[just like Cape Fear river channel]. The only Fed help we get is when there is a beach renourishment project, and along with some good politicing, we got us an excellent inlet route.

07/07/2010 - seven strand crimping or tying a knot

Q: do you use a barrel and crimp seven strand or do you have a knot you can tie

A: usuallly go with a double granny as much quicker to tie the rig

07/07/2010 - king fishing with circle hooks

Q: have you ever tried fishing with circle hooks when targeting kings?

A: no, but on occasion will catch one on circle hooks when grouper fishing. When live bait fishing, drag set is so light, circle hook wouldn't work. Thats why we use very sharp trebles as basically the King is snagged on strike.

07/06/2010 - tarpon

Q: I have heard that there are alot of tarpon around here. A couple of weeks ago I saw several off of Carolina Beach. To target them specificly where and how should I fish. The river, in a deep hole or on the outside and with crabs, or live pogys or cut bait. Thanks

A: We catch them occasionaly as incidental catch when pulling live pogies for kings, usually off the big hill at Long Beach. However, there is a directed fishery off Bald Head Island, where Frying Pan Shoals hits the land. There are holes and channels across the shoals where they seem to congregate. You can use live or deat bait, usually fished on the bottom.

07/05/2010 - king

Q: where and how is the best way to catch bluefish and ribbonfish? is it possible to catch another big king in the river channel where the winner for jolly mon was caught? thankyou yall are a great help

A: You can catch blues at bar just outside Little River jetties[north side] or along current ripe outside inlet. Same at Cape Fear across from tower just off Caswell Beach. Pull clark spoons just like spanish fishing; or anchor on bar and fish with fireball rig with cut bait. There will be many more winning kings caught in the river channell. If you look at history, probably more tourney winning kings have been caught there than anywhere; anytime of the year.

07/04/2010 - Pogey for flounder

Q: Is a pogey a better bait over a mullet minnow or mudd minnow better for flounder fishing. Also what is the best way to hook a pogey for flounder

A: No set answer as the fish make that decision; it varies. mud minnows are best before pogies show up and mullets get big enough. it seems bigger fish are caught on pogies, but that probably has to do with the size of the bait. hook pogies in nose so they can swim with current or at troll just like King fishing. The flounder grabs them by the tail, and then turns them so he swallows them head first[thus the drop bait before hook set]

07/03/2010 - Kite Fishing Reels

Q: What would you recommend as a good entry level kite reel. I have a 113H with 50 pound braid. Would that do the trick or is something a little heavier needed. Thanks guys!

A: That will do the trick to get you started. Once you perfect the technique, there always is a upgrade available[just like a bigger boat]

06/29/2010 - tides for flounder

Q: What tides do you prefer when fishing for flounder? I haven't found a set pattern that I like yet, except dead low and dead high are generally...well...dead.

A: you have the answer; moving water is best, either direction. the fish lie in wait for bait to be pushed by them so they can attack.

06/29/2010 - licenses

Q: ahoy captain, i will be staying on ocean isle during the third week of july and was wondering what kind of license i would need to fish from the pier as well as the beach. a friend is bringing a boat, will i need a different license to fish from the boat. godspeed, thomas mccall

A: The peir will have a blanket license just like a charter boat, but if you are fishing off beach or on friends boat[not a charter boat] you will need a license. Call 888-2486834[NC Wildlife license sales number].

06/29/2010 - east wind

Q: i heard fish dont bite good on a east wind. what is your thoughts about that?

A: It seems like that is the case; particuliarly offshore. Close to the beach on our south facing beaches, doesn't seem to be a factor. I have no idea why, but always a convienent excuse if you don't have a good catch.

06/27/2010 - chip

Q: if i was going to order a pro chip for my garmin how do i know whether its a garmin proprietary or garmin sd?

A: We leave those questions up to the Profinder folks when we place an order for a customer. They will spec the correct chip.

06/24/2010 - Jelly Balls

Q: Where can you find jelly balls.

A: just outside of the inlet; 300 feet of water or less

06/24/2010 - grouper

Q: been fishing soley for grouper last 3 years have heard there are limit changes this yr would u fill me n please thanks capt tom boat Heaven Bound

A: Best to go to NC Marine Fisheries web site and print off the current rules for all fish as rules seem to change regularly

06/23/2010 - spanish trolling

Q: how many lines do you usually use for trolling with spanish. What is your lure of choice and do you use trolling weights. trying to learn salt water fishing!! thank for your help, Shane

A: 2 down lines with #1 planners; one back 5 counts, the other back 10 counts. Trolling weight down middle or subsitute bird with lure or substitute yo-zuri swimming lure. If you run more than 3 lines you will spend your time untangling rather than catching.

06/23/2010 - jellyballs

Q: how do yu get jellyballs?

A: You will see them outside of the inlet. Take a crab net and "catch them" in the net[fun for the youngins]. Put them in a 5 gallon bucket. Do not put on deck of boat as they will stain the fiberglass. Run a coat hanger thru the jelly ball and lower on down rigger to bottom or hang over side if you see the spadefish. Cut pieces off another ball for bait. Don't take more balls than you need[maybe 3-4].

06/21/2010 - Spade Fishing

Q: Would like to try Spade fishing and would appreciate any info. you could give ie: hook type, what type of rig, line size, what wreck would be the best to start looking, gerneral how to do it. I know jelly balls are the prefered bait. Thanks for your time and info. Gary

A: 12 lb flouro carbon leader, small hook, a little bigger than you would use for spots, 1/2oz egg sinker 18inches above hook. Take a coat hanger and run it thru a jelly ball. Lower it on your down rigger to bottom and when you see downrigger bouncing around, slowly raise it to within sight approx 8-10 feet below surface.Spades should rise with the jelly ball. Then put piece of jelly ball on your hook and free line it down to spades. Lite spinning rod makes for lots of fun. You can wipe out a school so just keep enough to eat and release the rest. Also, be sure to put jelly balls in a 5 gallon bucket as they will make a mess in your boat and will stain the fiberglass.

06/21/2010 - cigar minnows

Q: how fast do you pull dead cigar minnows

A: The trick is to pull them so they don't spin, but run straight. Spinning is caused for 2 reasons; either you are going too fast or your bait hooks are creating a bind in the bait fish. Best techinque is to bump troll just like using live bait which means you are just barley moving. If bait spins, you're probably going too fast. A simple solution is to use a lead head lure which will cause the bait to swim straight. We have several varieties that will do the job.

06/21/2010 - Sea Witch follow-up

Q: A lot of guys like to tie their own seawitches. Have you guys thought about carrying different heads and skirt material?

A: Would absolutely love to be able to. As you regulars probably know, space is a hot commodity here at the OIFC. Tell you what, I am more than happy to special order any seawitch making materials you may want and will even teach folks how to tie them if they are interested, but at this time, I do not foresee carrying these supplies. Sorry guys... Capt. Steele

06/20/2010 - off shore fishing license

Q: what is required and does charter co. take care off?

A: charter boats have b;anket license so you don't need one if fishing on charter boat. if fishing on your own, you need one

06/17/2010 - kite fishing

Q: when kite fishing do you use a standard live baiting rig for your baits or do you tie the rig different because of the different angle on your line.

A: You can use standard rig, but you want to hook the bait behind the head or back rather than the mouth, due to difference in angle of bait entering the water.

06/15/2010 - Ribbonfish

Q: When are the ribbon fish coming to the OIFC.

A: The dead ones are supposed to be in the freezer; if you mean live ones, they will start showing up anytime now. We catch them at the jetties at Little River, and Shallotte River.

06/15/2010 - Current for small motor

Q: How strong is the current in the creeks around the fishing center. I have a 20 ft pontoon boat with a 10 hp motor I'd like to bring along on vacation to go crabbing with the kids. Is the current going to be a problem for the small motor. Thanks for your help.

A: not a problem; poonton boats make excellent flounder fishing platforms.

06/14/2010 - Kingfish rigs

Q: Have you ever heard of or used more than one bait on a rig at the same time? Suggestions?

A: Absolutely; the double pogy rig is a standard and very effective in enticing a bite.

06/13/2010 - Sharks

Q: Do you consider an area a bust if it is loaded with shark. Or do you try and sort the shark for what you are looking for?

A: Excellent question. If conditions look right[good water color, bait schools, you would fight thru the sharks[as long as you could stand it]. Sometimes, if you move few hundred yards off of spot, you can get away from them. Bottom line is if looks like right spot, slug it out.

06/12/2010 - deep sea fishing

Q: I was just wondering if the deep sea fishing is chartered by someone or if we do the driving and stuff..

A: On our charters you get the boat, the captain, all the fishing gear, bait tackle. You bring the winding power.

06/12/2010 - 90's

Q: Where the heck is the 90's ?

A: Its a live bottom area off Ocean Isle[approx 5 miles offshore, 5 miles southwest]. It refers to the loarn co-ordinates 45390/59390. Since most folks use GPS now, it's become known as the 90's. It is one of our most productive close in locations durning summer/fall. The Jolly Mon and Fall Brawl both have been won there. Kings/Cobia/Sailfish/Mahi/ect are caught there. I've scuba dived there and interestingly there is not much relief, just 2-3 foot ledges, however for whatever reason it holds bait and thus the predador fish.

06/11/2010 - Fishing School

Q: Do you have fishing school for any other dates in July other than the ones listed on the website? We will be at OIB July 10-31. I was thinking of maybe doing this for a Fathers Day Gift. Thanks Tammy Young

A: Doesn't have a school scheduled then, but you could set up a charter and specified it as a "teaching charter"

06/11/2010 - Horseshoe Area

Q: For a mixed bag of trolling & bottom fishing, has the horseshoe been productive? Any other suggestions??

A: The horseshoe is one of the most productive areas any time of the year; ranging from super size sea bass and bluefin tuna in the winter to kings/cobia/dolphin/sailfish in summer. The horseshoe also is one of the hot spots for the winning Jolly Mon king to come from.

06/10/2010 - Full moon

Q:  Is there any secret to fishing during the full moon?

A: The only thing we have been able to determine is fish seem to bite early and late on a full moon. Definitley impacts their feeding pattern; theory is they feed at night on full moon.

06/10/2010 - Charters

Q: Are the times listed for the charters actual fishing time or does it start from the time you leave the dock? If it starts at the dock how long can you expect to fish on a half day trip?

A: Time starts when leave dock. If Spanish fishing, start fishing as soon as clear the inlet. If King fishing, may look for live bait or go approx 8-10 miles offshore. 1/2 day typically 5 hours so there typically will be 3-4 hours of actual fishing, plenty of time to wear you out if they are biting

06/09/2010 - Sharks in the ICW or inlets

Q: Is now a good time to start tageting some small sharks in the ICW. Where is a good place to go try i only have a 16ft flat bottom?

A: The inlet in deep hole just off end of OIB probably best spot for sharks. With the new deep cut we have, they could be anywhere in the cut.Also, don't be surprised to find a King or Cobia in the new inlet as it is 12 feet+ deep.

06/08/2010 - tubbs inlet

Q: Coming down this summer, family member bringing boat,Iunderstand that the inlet is in constant change but in ballpark figures how much water can he expect to find going thru inlet to ocean I know it isnt marked with bouys any charts you guys sell. Thanks Mike

A: You are correct inlet changes constantly as well as water depth. Best bet is to carefully examine it when you get here or come to OIFC and our inshore Captains can tell you about current conditions. It is useable on higher tides, but you need to know where you are going.There are no buoys/no charts.

06/08/2010 - another tubbs question

Q: I have fished Tubbs a couple of times and wondering exactly what area most of the flounder fishing is coming from? All the way up close to where the inlet comes in from the ocean, or back closer to the waterway? Drifting or anchoring?

A: if fishing the inlet you need to drift with current. once inside, most guys like to fish the deeper holes and ledges, usually at anchor. The fish move around, so no one place all the time. depends on tide, water temp ect

06/08/2010 - pogies

Q: Had trouble finding pogies for Kings this a.m.. Rode from Shallotte to Lockwood. Ended up using small Blues caught on Clark Spoons. Thouht about Sabiki rigs but didn't. Any Ideas?

A: blues are great baits, so are spanish. you can jig sardines/greenies where you mark them on your recorder or if see surface action. sometimes pogies do disappearing but should be getting more and more plentiful

06/07/2010 - Sea Witches

Q: There are a lot of guys including myself that tie their own sea witches. Have you thought of adding nylon hair in the different colors and sea witch heads to the store? Just a thought for you guys

A: Good idea; how about it Capt Steele??

06/07/2010 - Jigging Gear

Q: What type of gear is ideal for jigging? I have 2 shimano TLD 25s and 2 king combos. Would I have to buy all new gear? Is it worth jigging within 15 miles of the beach? - I am limited due to the size of my boat.

A: The specialized[and expensive] jigging gear is primarily designed for deep water jigging for big fish. Go to our wen store[key in word "jigging"]. For jigging within 15 miles, what you have is ok. The lighter gear is fine for sea bass; the TLD 25's might be best for when the grouper move in to that range in a few weeks. You may need a stiffer rod set up for grouper, but give what you got a shot first.

06/07/2010 - Jolly Mon

Q: Yes the rules state for the Jolly Mon no lines in the water before 7am. Does this include jigging a Sabiki Rig for bait.

A: no fishing allowed with a rod/reel before lines in the water. a cast net is ok, jigging is not

06/07/2010 - Flounder

Q: Up until May 20th or so I was having great success with mud minnows. Once other baits show up do they seem to not be as effective as compared to finger mullet/pogies? Thanks!

A: If you can catch peanut pogies, they are most effective now. The mullet minnows are for most part still too small but will grow as summer progresses. Mud minnows work fine for flounder and redfish.

06/07/2010 - runnin

Q: A friend of mine told me that a fish was running that looks like a sheephead and it was being caught at 10 - 12 pounds what is that

A: Could be a sheephead[caught around bridge pilings on fiddler crabs; or maybe Spade fish, caught around close in artifical reefs using jelly balls.

06/04/2010 - flounder fishing

Q: I come down to sunset beach twice a year. I'm looking for a new area to catch flounder. I fish tubbs inlet every time I go down. Is there any other area you would recommend near sunset or ocean isle? Thanks for the reports, I read once a week. Adam

A: Flounder can be caught anywhere along intercoastal, best at creek mouths, Sunset bridge; however, the hottest flounder bite in memory has been going on at Tubbs Inlet this year.

06/04/2010 - kings

Q: when you all say the beach bite is good because of water conditions what is the fish strategy and exactly where would you fish along the beach? I fish out of little river and my geographic area is limited when leaving LRjetties to an approximate 8 mile radius. I am fishing this weekend.

A: Best beach bite in your area would be Myrtle Beach Rocks and rocky area off Springmaid Pier. Within 5 miles is 390/390, barges/sherman wreck. Also Cauble reef is good right outside inlet.

06/04/2010 - mahi

Q: when trolling in the stream do i need to put ballyhoo on all my lures to catch mahi or can i just pull skirted lures without ballyhoo

A: Ballyhoo will be much more productive, however if you are specifically targeting bigger fish, large high speed plastic lures[Black Bart]work very well.

06/03/2010 - where it fish?

Q: I have a smaller boat and like to stay in sight of land where is the best place to fish down there off the coast of holden beach or ocean isle? Thanks

A: Best close in spots for kings/cobia/ect will be the 390/390; barges; Sherman wreck; or any of the artificial reefs along the coast. Also good ledges just off Shallotte Inlet and Lockwood Inlet. All these spots are within 5 miles of land. You need a chart to locate specific spots.

06/03/2010 - ballyhoo

Q: what is the best wire to use when securing ballyhoo down when rigging?

A: We use Malin, copper or silver. The copper is easier to work with, the silver is more durable. The simple solution are the springs, but some guys insist on the wire.

06/03/2010 - Temp Breaks

Q: What website / program do yall use to locate temp. breaks, check salinity, plankton, sub surface temps, etc.

A: On our web site we have free sites; Hotspots and Rutgers. We also use subscription sites; Hilton's and Terrafin. They are all good tools. Come by OIFC and we can show you them all on our computer.

06/02/2010 - Waterway to Inlet

Q: I have encountered some really shallow spots getting from the waterway to the new inlet. Can you describe the best way to approach the inlet from the waterway if traveling east from the fishing center?

A: Stay in intercoastal until you pass the blue house at mouth of inlet on mainland and use that as your turning location heading toward the first set of buoys in the inlet. There is good water on that direction, but you may want to pick out your exact path crossing from the intercoastal to the inlet. The inlet itself is marked perfectly and has excellent water.

06/02/2010 - Rigs and bait

Q: What kind of rig and bait should I use while while surf fishing and what kind of fish should I expect? Also is there any one to possibly go fishing with once I get there to show me the ropes (I'm coming down 7-2 through 7-9.

A: For basic fun fishing use a 2 hook droper rig with squid or shrimp. You can catch whiting, pompano, spots. Upgrade to cut mullet and catch blues and sharks. Upgrade to live mud minnows or mullets and catch flounder/redfish. Another option is to dig up sand fleas in surf along beach and use for whiting/pompano.

06/01/2010 - Tubbs Inlet

Q: Where is Tubbs Inlet located and how do I find it from the waterway?

A: Between Ocean Isle and Sunset. Couple access points off intercoastal[front of OIB Marina or just before Sunset bridge. You will need to slowly map out course as creeks have lots of bars[oysters and sand]. Best to map out at low tide[or follow someone].

06/01/2010 - re: Tubbs inlet question

Q: In regards to the previous answer about how to access Tubbs inlet, I have been navigating those waters for many years now and just wanted to point out that the opening across from the marina is nearly filled in and would not be advised as an access point.

A: Thanks for update

06/01/2010 - Deep sea fishing

Q: I will be vacationing in ocean isle the week of 6/27. I would like to go deep sea fishing for a half a day but we only have two people. Is there a possibility of teaming up with another party to make it more affordable?

A: Call OIFC 91105753474.

05/30/2010 - Pogey

Q: The past couple of times fishing the pogey that we have caught have been small perfect for flounder fishing but not for catching big kings. When will the bigger pogeys start to move in and will they be found in the places that the smaller ones have been found

A: We had big schools move thru early in the spring, but lately they have been holding in the Cape Fear river. I think what happens is they push out of the river when big rains occur[salienty issue]. We had a big rain other night, but it didn't make it to Cape Fear basin, so pogies haven't moved out of river yet. Hopefully any day they will move[in time for Jolly Mon]

05/30/2010 - Inshore Equipment

Q: Can you what line is used for flounder/trout/sheepshead fishing? Mono or Braided, weight and name brand. what about leaders? Thanks

A: Lots of fishermen are using braid, 15-25lb, but mono works fine[12-20lb]. Good idea to use flouro leader[20lb] with either line.

05/28/2010 - Brant's New Yellowfin

Q: I know he was selling the 32 and I guess he did. What is his new ride? Yellowfin's are sweet looking boats.

A: Yes, he sold last years model and just picked up this years. Same boat; now just need to teach her to catch fish as good as older sister.

05/27/2010 - Steeples

Q: I have heard of the Steeples for a while now, but being out of the outer banks i have never had the chance to go. Im heading out of holdens Beach this weekend and would like to have the GPS Coords for the steeples locked into my plotter. Could someone forward that to me. Thanks.

A: You need to get a chart or GPS chip[Profinder is best] as there are a number of "steeples", which are actually mountain peaks that rise 150 feet off the bottom. Also there is other good bottom in the area that will be shown on the chart.Key to fishing that area is to know where the structure is at and fish from peak to peak.

05/27/2010 - 15 MILE ROCK/SHARK HOLE????

Q: is it too early for gag groupers to be this far in??looking t head out this saturday?

A: It is just about time for them to move into the 70-80 foot range. I plan to check it out tomorrow. Best bet is pogies or pinfish.

05/26/2010 - Shallotte Inlet

Q: Greetings, I know that Rube and Brandt had reported a huge cut in the inlet and I believe the suggestion was to run from the the last house on Holden toward the Sea Buoy. I went out at dead low tide last weekend and there were rollers similar to what you would see in the past on the sand bars. I stayed further left near the old inlet and there ws no water. Can you provide any comment on viability of this exit point and when the inlet might get marked? Sincere thanks to the OIFC staff for this service and for working with NC Wildlife! It is a great service to OIB.

A: Brant's on it. Standby.

05/26/2010 - shalotte inlet

Q: Have they finished the dredge and have the markers ben moved yet?

A: Dredge is done. Brant's in touch with Wildlife folks to get permission to move the buoys. Hopefully soon.

05/26/2010 - charter fishing

Q: I'm interested in taking my son 9yrs old on a fishing trip. (but concerned about the cost) Do you have any trips planned the week of july 4th that have a vacancy for 2?

A: Please call OIFC at 9105753474 and they will know.

05/25/2010 - Bait Tank

Q: I am wondering what would be a simple set up for a bait tank for a single wide jon boat just used for flounder fishing. I wanna use pogys and also mudd minnows. I dont have alot of room. And ive been told that i cant put pogys in a minnow bucket any help will greatly be appreciated

A: You need a small round tank with a live bait pump that brings water in and then discharges water over the side. Look for a small one to fit the size of your boat, but a circulating pump is what you need.

05/25/2010 - inshore bite

Q: Hey guys, I was wondering how the inshore bite was lately. I do quite a bit of fishing for redfish, flounder, and trout but have never fished down around Ocean Isle/Shallotte. Just looking at goolge earth images, I thought I'd concentrate between Ocean Isle and Sunset Beach as it looks like there are plenty of backwater creeks. Any info you can give me is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

A: Hot flounder bite this year. Tubbs Inlet has been on fire. Shallotte Inlet should be heating up now that dredge is finished. Trout bite beginning at Little River jetties, redfish scatttered in creeks. Inshore has been best I can remember this year.

05/25/2010 - Intercoastal

Q: Does the intercoastal hold anything of value worth going after? i.e...I know there's fish there, but aside from spots and croakers from a house pier on the narrower parts, which is where I usually fish from, is there any use in putting live bait/larger bait out...or is the action near the inlets and back in the rivers? Stupid question I know, but still learning. Thanks!

A: No such thing as a stupid question; we all started from the same point, the beginning. This spring has been the best flounder year I can remember. Fishing off a pier on intercoastal with live mud minnows/mullet or pogies should produce flounder and or redfish and trout.

05/25/2010 - Wire or cable

Q: Do you recommend wire or cable when tying/ retying King rigs? What sizes do you recommend? I like the idea of using cable, but want to know if it will affect my fishing.

A: For everyday fishing, which ever you are most comfortable tying.Don;t really think makes any difference in presentation of your bait. In tourney fishing we typically use cable as believe less likely to bite thru, which is a big problem with big fish[and a heart breaker]. Typically, in day to day fishing I use 43lb straight wire as I can tie it quicker.

05/25/2010 - fishing & water

Q: Is there a captain who would show us the waters using our 22 Pathfinder? We atre from Hawaii and bought a house in Sunset and want to familiarize ourselves with the water and different fishing techniques. of course we will pay, the captain will need to know the use of Northstar 6100 GPS system.

A: Yes, our Captains would be happy to work with you on your request. Contact Capt Brant at OIFC as he handles all the bookings for the Captains[910575FISH].

05/24/2010 - sponsor

Q: how does somebody go about getting a sponsor? from as big as yamaha to a nearby business?

A: Best bet is to find a business that you have an existing business relationship with that would receive value by having their name in bright lights when you win the tourney. Honestly, its a tough mission. As long as we've been at the tournament thing, very little success in getting sponsor help.May be lack of effort on our part. Basically if you don't ask, don't expect results.

05/23/2010 - tarpon fishing

Q: Where and when can i catch a tarpon near oib? Thanks, Jordan

A: There is a summer tarpon fishery along the Cape Fear Shoals close to the beach off Baldhead Island. During fall we catch tarpon when live bait fishing along the beach for Kings, best area seems to be just north of the Lockwood Inlet. There is another fishery on the south side of the jetties at Georgetown in September.

05/22/2010 - kingzilla

Q: what did you catch kingzilla on?????

A: pogies and yee haw fish call

05/21/2010 - Spanish

Q: Where and what time of day would be best to fish for Spanish this time of year? Thanks

A: Any of the inlets will be good. Look for tide line and fish clean side. Look for white birds dipping the water as that is a sign of spanish feeding and the birds are picking up bait that the spanish have killed. Typically, best bite is early in the morning or late in afternoon.

05/21/2010 - weed line

Q: How far out is the weed line off South Port/ Carolina beach?

A: Weed lines move based upon currents. Best lines are typically out in the gulf stream where you have the gulf stream current however during summer current loops break off from the stream and move inshore. When that happens we have good dolphin fishing within 10 miles or less of the beach. No way to define exactly where a line will be. Best bet is info from other boaters who may come across a line, but where it may be today is not where it will be tomorow as lines move, form up, break down/ect all based upon whats going on with current.

05/20/2010 - Shallotte Inlet

Q: Although an experienced inshore boater, I am a bit unsure about negotiating the inlet. Any advice on safe exit/entry of Shallotte Inlet, beyond staying within the buoys? My boat is a 20' I/O Cuddy Cabin. Thanks!

A: Inlet at out going tide and southerlly wind is a mess, as it has severly filled in. Don't suggest traversing it in your size boat in those conditions. Good news is recently completed beach renourishmnent project has created a new cut that has good water. WHen Brant gets back to town, he will mark it and then ask Wildlife for permission to relocate buoys. Hopefully will be done soon.

05/19/2010 - Pogies

Q: Greetings. Have there been any pogies on the beach this week?

A: Best down toward Long Beach right now, but periodically seeing scatterred schools.

05/19/2010 - Bait Pen

Q: I am building a bait pen to hold bait (pogies) for the summer. Would you reccomend using a mesh liner or a netting of any kind? I am not sure what to use. Also, how long will they live? Would it be better to keep them in a place with current or no current?

A: Otters will eat thru the mesh and netting. We make ours out of 1 inch lattice, shapped as a rectangle approx 2 feet deep. This material provides good water flow, otter proof, and is lite enough to transport when we go to tourneys. Will be most effective where you have current. We can keep pogies approx a week. but in some areas where water cooler, and good flow, some guys keep them for weeks and they actually get stronger.

05/19/2010 - gulf stream

Q: Going to be in town June 5-12. Will gulf stream still be a hot fishery or is that past prime time?

A: Honestly, it hasn't really clicked in yet this year. Just been scatterred fish, not like all out bite we should have. My best guess is fish are running late this year so your timing may be perfect. Check with OIFC when you get to town and see how our charter boats are doing as they will have trips to stream.

05/18/2010 - Rod Rental

Q: Would you consider renting rods & reels set up for trolling for those of us who trailer a boat down once a year?

A: Good question. Will pass on to Capt Brant.

05/18/2010 - gulf stream

Q: would you suggest putting a couple feet of wire or stainless steel cable on all my ballyhoo rigs or just mono or fluro when heading towards the stream?

A: Prefer not to use wire unless Wahoo are a problem as believe get better action from Tuna/Dolphin without wire. Generally will run lines that are down in water column with wire[with lead trolling weights or planner] as wahoo more likely to bite down rather than on surface. That said, always a risk of getting cut off. Flouro helps a little bit in terms of bite off, but no 100% answer.

05/17/2010 - Bait fish

Q: Is it possible to catch bait fish from shore like pogies or cigars? If so, how and where? Bad idea for surf fishing?

A: Not likely, best bet is to catch mullet minnows as they swim along the bank. Sometimes you will see pogies along bank on intercoastal side. Both excellent baits to fish live[or buy mud minnows]

05/17/2010 - Canal Fishing

Q: I will be staying in a house on the canal. Any tips on what kind of rig and bait should I use to catch fish? Is the fishing better in the canal at high tide or low? What kind of fish can be caught in the canal?

A: Flounder fishing off the canal docks is best bet. Years ago, Captain Brant[at age 10, caught a 11 lb flounder off our dock. Basic flounder rig with a mud minnow or mullet minnow is the ticket. If you have small kids, catching pinfish is a good consistent game for them[basic 2 hook drop rig with shrimp as bait. Best fishing is when tide is moving, either rising from low, or falling from high.

05/16/2010 - Kite Fishing

Q: I have a lot of friends in South Florida that have a lot of luck kite fishing. Do you think it is worth all of the trouble to kite fish our waters? Would kings be the only fish that could be targeted this way? Thanks

A: Kite fishing is awesome. Almost any strike is airborne, which makes for a great show. I don't think I can recall putting out a kite and not having something attack the bait, kings/sailfish/cobia/aj's/ect. I like to get over good bottom, put kite up, chum. That brings in the entire water column[and the air] and lets you fish for anything from sea bass/ grouper to kings/sailfish. A really fun exciting way to fish and I'm surprised more fishermen don't do it in our waters.

05/15/2010 - MAHI

Q: Looking at past fishing reports it looks like mahi can be caught in as close as the 390's and Christina's ledge. Can you tell me more about the bait choice and trolling methods used to land these beautiful fish?

A: Yes, the mahi will move into the closer in hot spots as the water warms and the summer progresses. Mahi and sailfish will be caught[yesterday a 28lb tuna was caught at Christina], generaly as by chatch from King fishermen using live pogies or dead cigars. If you wanted to specifically target dolphin/sailfish, trolling skipping ballyhoo would be the way to go.

05/14/2010 - king

Q: Have you had luck with teasers/dredges while king fishing?

A: We primarily live bait fish, and in that we are moving so slow, don't think dredges/teasers would get enough action to be of any value. If you were dead bait fishing, and pulling lead head lures so you could move faster, dredges/teasers would be worth a try. Would love to hear a report.

05/13/2010 - Kings

Q: Looking for some kings this weekend. Where do you think they will be? Thanks

A: Hot bite today at 390/390 on dead cigars. Also should be at Christina/65 foot hole.

05/13/2010 - Jigging Bait

Q: Where is the best place to jig up bait using a sabiki rig? Can you briefly describe the technique you use.

A: Any of the artifical reefs will have pinfish and should also find cigar minnows. Also if you see surface schools, they will bite. Use 7lb sabiki for cigars. Use 2-3 oz weight, throw and let go to bottom. Twitch it lightly.

05/13/2010 - Artificial Baits For Flounder Fishing

Q: Yes i was wondering when fishing in the folly, tubbs, or oib inlet if artifical baits are any better then live baits if so, which brand as far as berkly gulp seems to work the best with what jig heads thank you.

A: Live bait almost always works best. If not avaiable, gulp penny with spro head.

05/12/2010 - Sat Gulf Stream Trip

Q: We were thinking about heading out Sat to the Steeples area and working our way back south. Been looking at reefcast and getting some mixed reviews. What is your takeon the weather for Sat and the decision to head out? Thanks

A: Saturday looks ok, not perfect but ok. SW wind means you can run the trough toward Steeples. Should be fine. Check our web site fishing report as our boats are fishing.

05/12/2010 - grouper

Q: how far would i have to run offshore to catch grouper? and what kind of rig do i need.

A: This time of year generally best action out on the break, but as summer progresses they will migrate into shallower waters from 70-100feet. We caught them last week in 90, but best action seemed to be in the 165-200 foot depth. In deep water, jigging works well, shallower where you can get live bait down, pogies or pinfish work well. Rig is simple 3 way swivel with approx 6-8 feet of 100lb flouro carbon leader with a 9/0 circle hook.

05/12/2010 - jolly mon

Q: Who came up with the name jolly mon. And what's the meaning behind it.

A: The Jolly Mon is a mystical fishing character who sings to the fish and they enjoy with him. We actually met him in the gulf stream many years ago[see "Ode to the Jolly Mon" poem in Jolly Mon brochure. It is true as written. The Jolly Mon actually exists. In order to honor him, Jamie Milliken named the tournament after him.

05/11/2010 - Boat Rental

Q: I see that you rent boats, are these equipped to attach line to and go tubing and or wakeboarding? And if so do you rent tubes or wakeboards as well?

A: Insurance folks won't allow use of boat for towing/tubing/ect. Sorry.

05/11/2010 - flounder

Q: Hey there. Can you recommend the best way to fish flounder without a boat? Intracoastal/pier/beach? Basic rigs, etc? And are the Gulp baits as good as the sand fleas and mud minnows? Thanks!

A: If you are fishing Ocean Isle, best bet is to fish at public pier at east end of island intercoastal side[or anywhere along intercoastal]. Live Mud minnows,mullet/pogies will be most productive[standard live bait flounder rig]. Gulps defintely work on jig, but live bait most productive.

05/11/2010 - Friday, May 14th

Q: How does this FRiday look for a gulf stream trip as far as weather is concerned? Are there any hot spots you could fill us in on? I'm still trying to figure this weather forecasting out using ReefCast etc. Thanks.

A: Friday/Saturday looks fine to me, south to southwest 10-15, seas probably 3 feet with a good interval. With a south to sw wind direction, you can run the trough heading to various fishing grounds based upon where you leave from. Call OIFC[575FISH] Friday evening and we will be able to give you update on what we know in terms of whether the best bite is Black Jack/Steeples[north], or MacMarlen/Scarf[south] or check out the fishing report. It is TIME for spring gulf stream fishing to explode!

05/11/2010 - inshore hot spot

Q: i'm heading down to southport to target various fish. Where would be a good location to fish for all inshore species? Also, what would be the necessary tackle for inshore species (ttrout, redfish, and flounder)? As in rod/reel and rigs?

A: Southport not in my geographic range, but along waterfront should be good for flounder. Mud minnows/mullet minnows/pogies best.

05/10/2010 - 21 foot sea pro bay boat

Q: On good seas, how far off would you take a 21 foot sea pro bay boat with a 57 gallon fuel tank?

A: Fuel is no problem as you could almost make to gulf stream. Issue is hull configeration, and bay boat has modified hull vs deep v. Thus your range is limited by weather and sea conditions. Look for "lite and variable" forecast and stay in 15 mile range. That will give you access to most all the game fish we catch during the summer. Good luck.

05/09/2010 - eels

Q: Where can I buy live or dead eels near the southport area? What is the best way to rig for cobia?

A: We have had live eels in the past at OIFC for the Cobia season, but difficult to keep live in our tanks. They are top bait for Cobia, no doubt. If you have them, place on ice so they will go dormant, that way you can handle them. Take approx 6 feet of 60lb flouro carbon as leader, 6/0 short shank live bait hook. Hook thru mouth. When the eel hits the water, he will come back to life, and the Cobia will eat. Other good options are heavy cobia jigs tipped with Gulp eels. Also live pinfish/pogies/crabs work well.

05/08/2010 - reef cast

Q: How do I read the charts on reef cast? What type of winds are not favorable to go out and fish, which ones are favorable

A: Depends on size of your boat, but generally 3 feet or less, 15kts or less is comfortable. Key point isn't the wind, but the wave size and interval. Thats what reef cast will tell you. Typically, if wave interval is twice wave height, then you have a freindly ocean, as waves will be a long swell. When you see wave height and interval close to same, not good conditions.Also direction you plan to run comes into play as you can run the trough more comfortably than a head sea.

05/08/2010 - Sheepshead

Q: Is sheepshead good eating? If so, how do you go about fishing for them around pier pilings? Sand fleas and Jigging?

A: Yes, sheephead is good eating[pure white meat]. I think best bait is sand fiddlers and fish around pilings. Scrap some banacles off piling, drop down fiddler. Key to catching is to jerk before he bites as you won't feel the bite. Watch your line as it enters the water. When you see it move sightly in a circle; jerk. Definitely a challenge to catch, but great fun as they will try to get you into the pilings to cut you off.

05/08/2010 - offshore charts

Q: Can you tell me where and what to purchase in terms of offshore charts if I am going to go out of oregon inlet, hatteras, ocean isle for mahi, tuna? I am new to this and need all the help and advice I can get.

A: We have excellent chart at OIFC for Ocean Isle area made by Pro-Finder Charts that identifies fishing spots by their known name. Profinder also has charts for other areas of coast. We have other charts as well, and can direct you to hot spots based upon time of year you are fishing. Come on by OIFC when you are ready to go and we will point you to where you need to be.

05/06/2010 - Blackfin

Q: is floro required for blackfin? Or are they leader shy?

A: Depends high "High tech" you want to get with your fishing. Personally, no, I don't think it is necessary due to the speed you are trolling; but thats what makes fishing fun is so many different opinions. Certainly doesn't hurt, just the cost issue of floro vs mono.

05/06/2010 - Fishing Memorial Weekend

Q: I am headed to OIB for memorial weekend with 3 friends. I have an 18' center console that I don't like to take much further than 10 miles out. I am wondering if I am better off king fishing or staying inshore for drum, flounder, trout. If staying inshore what would be my best bet? Thanks.

A: Watch the weather and if conditions are right for you, Kings have started biting at 390/390 which is only 5 miles off the beach. Cobia will also be showing up, as well as Spanish. There should be lots of close in options for you as the fish continue to migrate to the closer in waters.

05/06/2010 - loran

Q: Is the loran system still going to be used?

A: Not sure of latest talk on that, seems to go back and forth if to be maintained or not. Check with GPS Store.

05/06/2010 - gulf stream

Q: what it the best rig to go to the stream with? from shock leader to hook that prevents wahoo cut offs

A: If we are pulling deeper baits, we usually use wire leaders as deeper baits more likely to get wahoo bites and wire prevents cut offs. We typically run 10-12 feet of mono leader[120-150lb] with couple feet of 80lb wire and 130lb spro swivel. The wire leader is the only thing to your rig that can eliminate most wahoo cutoffs.

05/06/2010 - need a driver

Q: 4 married women on a girls trip looking to spend a day on the ocean tanning and cocktails. However, don't want to drive the boat. Can you rent a driver?

A: Call OIFC 9105753474 on that question. Possibly, depending on charter schedule of captains.

05/06/2010 - cedar plugs

Q: I was reading this month's Saltwater Sportsman and there was an article about the use of cedar plugs and their use with a variety of fish. I was wondering if you have any experince using these and if so, what success or lack thereof. Any thoughts or insight is much appreciated. -Tight Line

A: We use cedar plugs alot in our gulf stream fishing and catch tuna/dolphin/wahoo on them. They seem to work best in early spring before flying fish show up, and at that stage we switch to natural bait as fish seem to be keyed to natural bait at that point. We run cedar plugs at a higher speed than natural baits[appro 8-10kts, and you can mix them in with other high speed lures for marlin/tuna/dolphin/wahoo.

05/05/2010 - pogies

Q: Any pogies in the waterway near Shallotte River for flounder fishing yet?

A: saw them in Shallotte inlet yesterday. They are showing up and down the beach.

05/03/2010 - Oil Spill to Spread to the Carolinas

Q: I have just recently heard that the loop current in the gulf, which feeds the stream, is going to inevitably supply us with the problem. Have yall heard or have any information about that?

A: I've seen the same reports. Hope it doesn't work out like that, but guess we have to wait and see. My guess is if stream does pick it up, seems like it would stay in the stream rather than break off and head inshore of the stream.

05/02/2010 - Good Eats?

Q: Are amberjack and blackfin tuna any good to eat?

A: Blackened Amberjack is a high end restaurant specialty. Me personally, I can't get past the worms that are in the meat[except for small area around the upper loin area]. Blackfin are among the best of the tuna. Just don't screw it up by cooking it; best served as sashimi. If must cook it, sear 1/3 way thru on each side, leaving middle raw. It is excellent.

04/30/2010 - Grouper and snapper limits

Q: Can you spell out for me the specific limits for both, I really could not figure it out from the link. I will be down a week from Saturday with my son for a gulf stream trip. Thanks, Jeff

A: Red snapper still closed;other snaps open with various limits. Scamp and gag groupers 1/person. 24 inches gag; 20 inches scamp. Truthfully the more I think about other questions the more uncertain I am of other answers. Very fluid, seems to change daily. Stand by, we'll dig deeper and post.

04/28/2010 - king

Q: Where was the hot king bite last year during the jolly mon

A: Yaupon/River Channel/Jungle/Shark Hole. Past history, is jungle/90/90/shark hole/30/30/cabbage patch/Carolina Beach inlet/River channel/yaupon

04/26/2010 - winyah scarp

Q: Is the winyah scarp ready to fish? Is the dolphin and wahoo there yet? will the wheather be good enough this weekend to go

A: The Scrap area is just about to bust wide open. Last week good wahoo fishing[see OIFC fishing report]. We should just be days away from the best time of the year to fish the gulf stream for tuna/dolphin/wahoo. Watch the satalite reports[or call OIFC]. Weather looks good this weekend. It should be game on for now thru May. Mix small feathers in your spread for blackfin as yellowfin still not showing up.

04/26/2010 - Surf/Inlets/Canals

Q: Heading down the 3rd week in May. I have two 9 foot rods. Do you have any suggestions for surf or inlet fishing? Last time, I fished mainly in the inlets and catch was mild at best. Should I try the canals? Is it worth fishing in there? I think my equipment is too small for real surf fishing is that correct? Thanks! MF

A: Your equipment if fine for our class of surf fishing. Try the beach front with cut mullet and you might catch blues/sharks/redfish. Down on the east end of the island at Shallotte Blvd there is a new park where you can fish the intercoastal for flounder/red/ect with mud minnows, or walk over to the beach. There is lots of debris in the ocean side water from old road beds which make for good structure for fish.

04/26/2010 - Flounder Gigging

Q: Is flounder gigging without a boat a productive way to fish? Where on Oak Island would be a good place to try gigging? Great Web Site! Thanks Brian

A: Not much help on the flounder gigging world, but recall as a kid, walking along edge of intercoastal at night where boat traffic doesn't stir up water and catching more crabs than flounder.

04/25/2010 - Surf Fishing

Q: Hey there. Love the site. We are having family visit us on Holden Beach in July/August. What is the best method for surf fishing...i.e. bait, rigs for entertaining the little ones and some of us big ones? We're not looking for trophy mounts, just some fun for the family. Thanks!

A: Buy a cheap spinning rod/reel[sand will kill expensive gear so throw away gear best,under $30]. Use a simple 2 dropper rig, and use shrimp for whiting, cut bait for blues/sharks, or have kids dig up sand fleas in surf for pompano/whiting. Grab a ice chest, a chair; kick back and let the fish come to you!

04/24/2010 - Bonito & spanish

Q: Ran out of SI yesterday in hopes of finding the tiny tuna at the Sherman or the 90's. We had no luck but just after leaving the inlet in 30 feet of water we encountered some "bubbling" water and got into our first spanish of the year. Encouraging signs!

A: Wow, surprised to hear of the Spanish. Spring is moving fast, making up for lost time. Hard to imagine, but every year last few days of April, first of May, a King Mackerel bite kicks in at Ocean Crest pier and Yaupon reef area. Yesterday looked a little while for the Bonita before converting to scuba. Saw a little bird activity but no bites. Did see couple jumping around the barges.

04/24/2010 - trim tabs/fuel economy

Q: How much fuel do you guys burn in a day, What is the mpg? I have just purchased a chawk 25 pilot house with twin 140s any advise on increasing fuel efficiency, and how do trim tabs contribute to a smooth ride. I am flustered Thank Jeff

A: Fuel consumption depends on many variables, i.e. boat design, hull design, weight, type of engines/ect/ect. But basically 4 strokes will definitely give better effeciency than standard outboards. To get max fuel efficency on your boat, you need to find "sweet spot" where it is planned off and running at best speed suitable for your particulair boat. Again, that varies on every boat. As to trim tabs, they definitely will help your ride as they will allow you to get your bow down in head sea, or bow up in following sea. Don't think your boat is a deep vee so it will never perform like the deep vee boats but tabs would help. As long as you keep your fishing range within reasonable distance[say 20 miles], and pick your days, you will be fine on your boat and be able to catch virtually everything that swims our waters.

04/22/2010 - near shore

Q: When heading out of shalotte inlet (or lockwood), where do you recommend I go for good action as close to shore as possible (less than 3-5 mi) this time of year? Planning bottom fishing with minnows, cut bait and shrimp. Please advise me about drifting vs dropping anchor for best results. This will be my first time taking my 23 ft boat fishing off shore. I appreciate your expertise.

A: The artifical wrecks/rocks/ledges shown on our charts within 3 miles of Shallotte Inlet will have keeper sea bass[basic bottom fishing]this time of year. Also this time of year, flounders will be on these same spots as they begin their migration into inside waters[live mud minnows on flounder rig]. In couple weeks as water warms the Atlantic Bonita will arrive[best eating tuna we catch, the one that has teeth]. Fish for them with #1 planner and #1 clark spoon just like spaninsh mackeral fishing. If you see them on surface throw a sting silver lure to them. Lots of fun on light tackle. Shortly after the Bonita, the Spanish Mackeral will arrive and you can catch them just outside of inlets on tide line. Look for white birds dipping. Same gig as Bonita, planner and clark spoon. Little later the spade fish will arrive at same wrecks. Catch them with small piece of jelley ball, tiny hook, drifting where you see them. Lots of fun on light tackle. That should get you started. Go getem!

04/22/2010 - fishing school this weekend

Q: Looks pretty sporty. Were schedueled for monday you made a call yet? Thanks will talton

A: Brant will call you.

04/21/2010 - Wahoo and Kingzilla

Q: Are you sure that the Wahoo you caught yesterday in the Tournament is not Kingzilla with a fresh coat of paint???

A: Wahoozilla shrunk a little bit from hitting the boat to weighin, but still a very nice fish. Whats amazing to think of, as big as he looked, he was couple ounces smaller than Kingzilla!

04/21/2010 - pogies

Q: what is the best way to make a pogie tank. the live well on my boat will not keep them without turning their nose red.

A: Your tank needs to be circular[most boats are]. Most likely you are putting too many pogies in your tank. We typically figure 1/gallon[30 gallons/30 pogies]. If your tank on your boat is too small or not circular, you can get a aux round tank and hook into your pump with drain out to your scuppers or overboard. Another problem with your existing set up may be your pump is too small. Try 300 gallons/hr pump minimum.

04/20/2010 - jetties

Q: do you need a sc fishing license when fishing the jetties

A: yes and if you fish NC side and come in Little River, you also need a license if you have fish on board

04/20/2010 - Sailfish?

Q: Would appreciate some info on catching Sailfish in our area. When, where and how?

A: As summer progress and waters warm, Sailfish will move into the waters where we King Mackeral fish. Most are caught when we are live bait trolling for Kings, but seems like we are seeing and catching more and more so option of targeting them is something we are going to work on this year. Best locations will be the Jungle and Horeshoe. We will troll swimming ballyhoo at 4-5kts. We run teasers, and typically the sailfish will come on to the teaser which will allow us to throw a "pitch bait" to them right in the prop wash. Great way to fish. After pitching the ballyhoo to them, we immediately pull in the teaser, and the fish switches to the bait from the teaser. Lots of fun, very exciting. August will be best month to target them. Trolling outfits are just like fishing for tuna/dolphin/wahoo except better to use lighter leader[60-80lb flourcarbon].

04/19/2010 - June fishing

Q: We will be on the island on June 14-18, and we are interested in a charter, and we plan to surf fish and from a canoe in the backwaters. What would be a good inshore or near shore charter? What should we be fishing for from the beach on in the backwaters? Thank you.

A: We have inshore charters to fish inshore for flounder/trout/redfish. By mid June, everything should be biting. For offshore, we have variety of trips, but 1/2 day in mid June will get you to the King Mackeral/Cobia/Amberjack/Spanish Mackeral/ect.

04/17/2010 - OB Motor work

Q: Captain Brant, Your Dad sent me over here, I have a 150 Johnson and I need to have the carbs rebuilt and also the fuel pump. There is not anyone up here that I trust to do it and I would like to bring the boat down there in a couple weeks to have thet work done. This would maybe give my son (14) a chance to get a line wet. Been one heck of a winter up here in Black Mountain. I would appreciate any help and advice with this, Thanks, Butch

A: Call Tom Sasser with Pro Tech- 9104434771

04/16/2010 - near shore

Q: planning a trip to go couple miles offshore and fish some of the reefs next weekend. Will anything be biting this close to shore yet, if so what species?

A: Sea Bass bite is red hot -- 12 inch minimum

04/16/2010 - Week of April 25

Q: My family and I are coming to OIB on the 24th. I would like to take my Dad on a fishing trip. Probably look at like a 1/2 day trip and he would not really want to go offshore. He is used to fishing freshwater lakes in KY. What could go after and is the fisihing productive right now?

A: He could do a 1/2 day in the ocean about 3-5 miles out for Sea Bass or he could stay in the back water and fish for Speckled Trout and Redfish. Both fisheries will be good then- call 910 575 3474 to book

04/16/2010 - Knot Question

Q: I have 80 pound braid for jigging and I am wondering if you guys could tie a PR (page ranking) knot to a heavy fluro leader for me.

A: We use wind-ons instead. They are premade and ready to go. Not realistic to try to tie the PR while you are fishing unless you are very experienced.

04/15/2010 - Tarpon

Q: What time of year do we have the best shot at getting Tarpon in our area? Do they show up each yr, or is it hit-or-miss fishery?

A: They are reliable every year in August and September. Bald Head island area is most common, but they can be seen from occasion along the beach feeding in Pogy schools. Hopefully with more Pogys around now, this fishery may improve, I think its likely.

04/15/2010 - early May fishing

Q: I plan on fishing in-shore on May 6th and 7th around HB and OI (or further if you recommend). Can you give me your quick advice for landing Reds, Trout, and Flounder? I fished mud minnnows around docs before and after high tide last week without much luck. Thanks! Awesome website.

A: Mud Minnows are good- fish the docks when the water is out of the marsh grass. Will have to try lots of them. Some hold fish, others not.

04/15/2010 - Bottom fishing in the intercoastal.

Q: I was wondering if the bottom fishing in the intercoastal has picked up yet. Fishing for small sharks, blues whititng things like that?

A: Water still a bit cool. Give it another few weeks and it will be much better

04/15/2010 - Braid

Q: Any hints on what knots to use to tie braided line to mono? What about tying braid to your spool for jigging? What knot would you guy’s recommend?

A: Safest is to tie Bimini loop in braid then have a wind on connection for a loop to loop connection-- otherwise, albright, uni to uni, slim beauty or OK -- I wouldn't use if you were putting lots of pressure on them- always a risk

04/15/2010 - Another Jigging question

Q: I am putting 80 pound braid on a reel for jigging. What do you guys think a good leader would be? Fluro wind-on or something else?

A: fluoro is more abrasion resistent, I recommend it. I'd use 130#.

04/13/2010 - inlet

Q: What is the status of Shallote inlet? Are the cans marking the inlet correct?

A: As correct as it can be. Inlet is not in good shape right now. Maybe beach renourishment that is about to start will take sand from areas that will help us? Cans are correct.

04/13/2010 - Fishing times

Q: I am looking at coming down the weekend before Memorial Day for a full day trip. Given the time what would you see the catch being...not numbers but what would we going after.

A: Full Day- King Mackerel, Cobia, Amberjack, Mahi, Grouper, Snapper Gulf Stream- Mahi will be at peak, very good fishing for them, mixed Wahoo, Billfish and Tuna, also Grouper, Amberjack, Snapper...

04/12/2010 - Fishing Reports

Q: Dear Captain, I love Rickey's fishing reports. I wanted to show my appreciation for all of his help. Do you think roses would be too much? Does he like pina colada's? Frank P.S. Has he ever had a mustache?

A: His fan club is growing, we can hardly keep him under control. Next up is the RBFC- Rickey Beck Fishing Center - Roses will do fine I think.

04/12/2010 - flounder fishing

Q: I know it is early for inshore flounder fishing, but if you were going this time of year where would you go and what would you use for bait? Thanks for any help. Gary

A: live mud minnows- Cherry Grove area sees fish first every year. After that, inlet mouths, Tubbs usually sees fish next

04/11/2010 - Different Trips

Q: What trip needs to be scheduled for Amberjacks

A: AJ- take the 7 or 9 hour trip and we should be able to locate them. 9 is safer but 7 should work, particularin the Summer.

04/11/2010 - High Speed trolling

Q: Pulling Black Barts and Ballyhood lures for Wahoo. What speed is recomended?

A: Barts are good at 12-18 knots, I like 12. Ballyhoods, not so sure. If they use natural baits, can't pull as fast. Typically its one or the other.

04/11/2010 - Jigging

Q: When you guys are jigging do you rig with 1 or 2 assist hooks? I can't figure out what way is best. Thanks

A: We use 1 only. Works fine.

04/10/2010 - pogies

Q: Have any pogies been seen on the beach?

A: not that I know, but in a week or two should start to seem them around Southport if not all ready. They are usually small to start.

04/10/2010 - fishing

Q: What is the best center console fishing boat?

A: that is too broad of a question. Narrow down what you are trying to accomplish and size range you want to stay in and I can offer and opinion- Capt. Brant

04/05/2010 - Any Bonito in the Area?

Q: Any reports on Bonito in the area yet? Is it too early? thanks, DB

A: It is too early. We usually look for them the last 2 weeks of April- water temps should be in the 62-65 degree range.

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