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Capt. Brant's Fishing Report


 

 

 

 
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"Far Out Shoot Out- COMING SOON" | OIFC | 04/23/18
 

As we head towards the upcoming Shoot Out, the big news is the Yellowfin Tuna are showing back up.  It has been 10 years, but they are suddenly being caught with consistency from the Black Jack hole to the north.  They have been mostly smaller 20-30# fish, but it is a start!  As a side note, in a recent email regarding our lack of Yellowfin, Randy Gregory, who is the NC DMF rep and sits on the ICCAT Advisory Panel, responded: 

For anyone concerned about yellowfin tuna, a quick read of the ICCAT Exc Summary will spell most of it out. It’s the Gulf of Guinea and FAD fishing with purse seines.  The Gulf of Guinea fishery was really harmful to the stock catching tons of very small YFT and bigeye.  So when you catch tons of very small fish, that’s lots of individuals.  These were unregulated fisheries for several years and a closure was put in place for January and February in 2013.  Hopefully we will see some positive results from that closure.   That’s the quick answer.....

So maybe with it being 3 years since closure we are starting to see what will be an increasing number of Yellowfin to our area?  Let's hope so!

Thus, as relates to the Far Out Shoot Out, the game is going to change this year.  With Yellowfin back in the picture, tuna are going to mean more again.  You can't ignore 30# of weight that could be added to your aggregate with the presence of Yellowfin.  

Registration is open on-line or you can stop by the OIFC anytime and enter.  www.OIFC.com/FOSO

One of 4 caught aboard OIFC World Cat on 4/20

  

 


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Redfish tourney " | | 04/21/18
 

Capt Barrett and I have been in Hopedale, LA the last few days fishing the Redfish Series 2-man event. Barrett normally fishes the Elite series, which is a one man show, but I talked him into the event and begged my way on board. We didn't get to do any scouting prior to the tournament, which is apparently a big thing, but with me on board, why would we need to? 115 teams were competing and the format allows to weigh 5 fish per day, with the winner being determined by 2 day combined cumulative weight. After day 1, we had weighed a 5 fish bag if 37.73 pounds which put us in 5th place going into day two. I was actually feeling pretty good about my redfish skills as I contributed to our days catch. An aside, Barrett is damn good at this fishing. It is very impressive to watch him; his ability to navigate, see fish and cast to them is humbling. Our day 1 was a good day. We had our 5 fish by 9am and spent the day upgrading and seeking out new schools of fish. Day 2 started the same as day 1 but soon took a hard left. We started where we had done well the day before, and we were seeing fish, but they would not eat. It was torture. It seemed they were very shy, likely due to pressure from the event. We beat up the area for several hours and saw fish but only caught one. It was 11am and we had one fish in the well. Barrett called it scrambling. He headed several miles away to a different area and we started hitting small pockets where we'd spend 15-20 minutes, see a fish or two and move on. We, no I mean he, caught two more fish, 3 in the well by 1pm. We had to leave at 1:45pm. We made a drift and Barrett caught another fish. At this point my best contribution was netting, unhooking, culling fish and making sure they were all staying alive. So that Barrett could get back to fishing. He caught two more. We had our five. We made one last move and Barrett caught two more for a couple of upgrades; notice it's NOT Brant catching. I was humbled on day 2, back to boat boy and score keeper for Barrett. Hey, but whatever I could do to contribute. Anyway, despite all the adversity, we weighed a 35.something bag for a 2-day agg if 73.something. We finished 8th overall and were 2nd place big bag. We won a few bucks, but missed a trophy by less than half a pound. Dang. 1st place had 77 pounds, but 2nd was 74 pounds; we were less than one pound out to show you how tight this stuff is. Anyway, we did pretty good. I'm going home and practicing my casting! Gotta cast a 1/4iz jig into a solo cup with 15kts of cross wind at 30 yards; that's the name of the game. Thanks for having me along Capt Barrett. Capt. Brant McMullan Ocean Isle Fishing Center
- "Capt. Brant. McMullan"
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"Team OIFC wahoo results" | | 04/15/18
 

We posted a 67.9 for our second wahoo of a 2 fish agg in the SC Wahoo Tournament. That goes with the 63 we weighed last week for a 130.9 agg. 8yr old Brayden wins top Junior and we finished 6th overall. Wahoo fishing has been pretty good over the last few weeks, with quite a few large fish being caught. The winner of the tourney had an 88 and 65 and the big fish of the event was 105. I believer there were 6 or so wahoo over 80 pounds weighed; most of them came from the Winyah Scarp area- our home waters! It's time to go fishing! The water is getting bluer and warmer on the break. I'd expect the Mahi to be a week or two out. Check out the SC Wahoo Tourney leader board at www.scwahooseries.com ***. Also- I have one spot open for my May 4-5 Gulf Stream school. This will be the last opening I have for this class for the 2018 calendar year; call 910-575-3474 to book. Capt. Brant McMullan Ocean Isle Fishing Center
- "Capt. Brant. McMullan"
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"Wahooing" | | 04/13/18
 

Posted a 63 in day 1 of SC Wahoo Tourney. It's a 2 fish agg so gonna need to find a 90 to take the lead. Team OIFC on the move. Capt. Brant McMullan Ocean Isle Fishing Center
- "Capt. Brant. McMullan"
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"Far Out Shoot Out- COMING SOON" | OIFC | 04/11/18
 

FAR OUT SHOOT OUT- MAY 5-19, 2018

Tuna, Dolphin & Wahoo Rodeo

 

 

- 2017 TOP WINNERS:

Sea P.A. - $12,235

Sea Bandit- $8460

No Quarter - $6240

Fishing is 1 out of 15 possible days (Saturday, May 5 to Saturday, May 19, 2018)

-No OFFICIAL Captain's Meeting

- AWARDS BREAKFAST at the Ocean Isle Fish Company , Sunday, May 20th- @ 9am  
$500 entry fee by 5/4, $550 by 5/18.  Registration will remain open through competition days. 

- Register by dropping entry at the Ocean Isle Fishing Center, mailing to: FOSO- PO Box 895- Shallotte, NC 28459 or Enter On-line CLICK HERE 
-You have until 8am the same day you plan to fish to declare your fishing day. Call (910) 253-3474 to declare.
-Meatfish TWT- $200 (based on largest fish weighed in tournament- Pays 1st-3rd)

-High Roller TWT- $500 (based on overall aggregate of one fish per species- Pays 1st-3rd)

-Lines in 8am- Lines out 4pm -- Must be to scale by 8pm

VISIT FAR OUT SHOOT OUT WEBSITE FOR COMPLETE EVENT DETAILS AND ENTRY- CLICK HERE


 

 OIFC FISHING SCHOOLS

Backwater:  April 13 land class, fishing April 15- 1 spot open

Backwater:  April 27 land class, fishing April 29- 1 spot open

Gulf Stream  May 4-5 - 4 spots

Backwater:  May11 land class, fishing May 13- 1 spot open

Call (910) 575-3474 to reserve or click on the date for more information


 

      

JUNE 14-17, 2018
- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Backwater Class Opening" | Tiberias - 22' | 04/10/18
 

Looking for one more brave individual to join our backwater class this coming weekend. Land class 4/13...First group of 3 fishing all day Saturday 4/14 and second group of 3 fishing all day Sunday 4/15. Please call immediately to secure your spot 910 575 3474. Below are pictures from my previous school in March. Redfish and black drum are hanging around and will be prime targets. We will also cover targeting speckled trout, but can not keep any due to the closure until June 15th. The focus will be learning how to target each species, catching will hopefully be a bonus. Lets go fishing! See ya on the water!


- Capt. Jacob Frick
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"Far Out Shoot Out- COMING SOON" | OIFC | 04/08/18
 

FAR OUT SHOOT OUT- Tuna, Dolphin & Wahoo Tournament. May 5-19 - fish 1 out of 15 possible days. 41 teams competed in 2017 with first place winning $12,200, 2nd- $8,400 and 3rd- $6,200. This tournament is dominated by center console boats, mostly in the 25-32' size range. The entry fee is $500 with additional TWT's available. The overall winners are determined by the aggregate of one fish from each species, with cash winnings also available for the largest fish weighed of each species. www.oifc.com/foso

 

 

 

 


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Weather Change" | Tiberias - 22' | 04/08/18
 

We got out yesterday just before the rapid weather change. The redfish were cooperating with most fish just under the slot, but some nice ones in the mix. Live mud minnows again were the ticket to finding the bite. I think we are going to give it a few days for the weather to settle down. I hope to take advantage getting some premaintanance done on the boat, so I am ready to roll when things settle back down. A few fish are hanging out and more are on the way. Come on down and lets go fishing! See ya on the water!


- Capt. Jacob Frick
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"Stream school report " | Catch All | 04/07/18
 

Yesterday I hosted Tom Knight, Robert Rabin and Robert and Tyler Keane for my first Gulf Stream school of the year. We spent 1.5 hours on Thursday evening at the OIFC discussing charts and water movements, weather and bait spreads, and then spent the last part learning to rig baits for the next days fishing. We departed at 6am aboard the OIFC 39 Yellowfin and heard toward the MacMarlen ledge and Winyah Scarp: It was flat calm beautiful. We had lines in the water by 8am and within a few minutes had a triple hookup; a pair of Blackfin and a False Albacore released. We settled back in, all the while discussing what we were seeing on the fish finder, depth and temperature and why I was trolling where I was; the method to the madness. We also got in a little knot tying practice. At around 11 we were hit again with a double and boated a pair of "weehoos", 15 pound Wahoos. We got hit again at 12:30 with a screamer on the shotgun, a 38 pound Hoo that Bob Rabin battled and boated, and while Tom Knight was clearing the flat line he got hit and boated another "weehoo". It wasn't super hot action, but we were making a day. Things got quiet though and we didn't get a bite for the next 3 hours. 4pm was lines up and it was 3:45. The conversation shifted to "what's the biggest Wahoo I've caught..." and my words were, "I was expecting a bite from an 80+ class fish today. I'm surprised we didn't get the opportunity." At 3:57pm the planer bucked and the TLD 50 went into a high speed squeal as a big fish smoked it off. It made a heck of a run and then stopped and swam toward us. The anglers did their job and kept up with the fish. The planer was taken off the line and the fish stayed deep, it wasn't planing up; a sure sign of a big fish. And that it was. Those big Hoos are so awesome to look at in the water. Bob hit the fish with the gaff and a team effort pulled the 79.95 pound Hoo into the boat for they days grand finale. Back at the dock the final lessons were on fish cleaning before diplomas were handed out. Good job to my class and crew. Hopefully you will have days of fishing success ahead on your own boats. I have 3 more Stream schools this Spring. My April 27-28 and May 11-12 are full, but I'm going to open another class for May 4-5, which now has 4 openings. Call 910-366-2945 to reserve a spot. Capt. Brant McMullan Ocean Isle Fishing Center


- Capt. Amy McMullan
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"Backwater Fishing Report" | Tiberias - 22' | 04/07/18
 

Our backwater fishing continues to have its challenges, but we have overcome them finding a few fish on each trip. Redfish and Black drum have been the main targets of late. Some days its all redfish and no black drum, other days it is a good mix. We are seeing plenty of short fish with both species, so the future looks good. Live mud minnows has been the tidcket to getting the redfish to bite. Fresh cut shrimp has also claimed a few redfish, but the black drum are the usual suspects when using fresh cut shrimp. Speckled trout have also made a breif appearance on a few of our trips, but must be release due to the closure. Trout have been keying in on live mud minnows as well and fresh cut shrimp. I have not targeted them with soft plastics of late, bluefish have been chewing up the plastics lately. Lets go fishing! See ya on the water!


- Capt. Jacob Frick
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"Elite Championship Conclusion" | OIFC | 04/05/18
 

My opponent and I pulled the host off to the side and I explained the exact sequence of events that surrounded my fish escaping my box and being put back in.  I then followed that up with stating that I acknowledge my opponent is upset and while I think we all know the correct fish were weighed I didn’t want to be part of any controversy.  This championship event was only paying first place.  The final day would be a battle of the top 6 anglers for one prize.  For this reason and the fact that I wanted to make him feel comfortable with the result of the day, I suggested to the host that my opponent be allowed to compete as well on day 3 making it 7 competitors rather than 6.  Pat appreciated the comment and agreed in principal.  In effort to get full information the host called two of the anglers over to the conversation that had been involved in the recapture of my fish.  He asked them both if they were confident the correct fish was put back in my box.  The answers were to the effect of, “yes, we are fairly certain the right fish went back in the box”.  The host then questions if “fairly” certain means “certain”.  They now began to waffle as they recognized their testimony was going to have significant impact on who would be advancing.  Their answer turned from “fairly sure” to “pretty sure” to “well it’s possible it wasn’t”.  I was in disbelief at what was happening.  The next question from the host to the two anglers was, “considering we are only fishing for one place tomorrow and considering this unfortunate situation, would you be ok if both anglers from this match advanced to day three rather than one.  The answer given from one from angler and then echoed by the other was, “No. We worked too hard to get here.  Adding another angler that we have to beat on day 3 wouldn’t be fair”.  My next words included, “are you kidding me” with some expletives.  They were dismissed from the conversation.  My opponent then jumped in and began professing that he was shocked the fish had been allowed to be put back in my box and that in bass tournaments this would never happen.  The phrase that began to dominate the discussion was “an angler is responsible for keeping control of his fish”. 

The host called over the co tournament director and then briefly conversed privately.  Clearly the tide had swung against me.  The host was in a terrible position.  He had three options.  One, he could side with me based on the fact the weigh in had already occurred, there were no objections prior to weighing the fish and there were eye witnesses supporting my claim.  Two, he could side with my opponent that I lost control of my fish and there was no guarantee the fish I weighed were the fish I caught.  Or three, he could elect to allow us both to advance considering the tours responsibility for utilizing only one release tank on this day and risk antagonizing the other competitors fishing day three. 

Citing he could only rule on 100% certainties the host made the call to disallow my weight for the day and put my opponent through thereby sending me home.

And there you have it.  A ruling is made and the angler with the heavier bag is eliminated.  As this is happening I’m saying to myself, “Think.  I know there is a way I can present this to make it end the way it is supposed to”.  It’s one of those situations where you know when all the dust has settled you’ll kick yourself for not doing this or not saying that.  The truth of the matter is my emotions were running so high by this point to try and convey a clear and calculated thought simply wasn’t possible.  My last request to the host before departing was that he asks the remaining competitors again if they believe a 7th angler should advance based on the extenuating circumstances.  I never heard whether this was done or not and what the result of the question was if it was asked.

I intentionally let time pass before I sat down to document this event as I knew clearer thinking would surface.  Regretfully, what I’ve come to realize has me feeling worse than just not winning a particular tournament.  In a situation like this it’s natural to search for blame.  Considering I am at the center of this story and most directly impacted, I acknowledge that my opinion may be skewed.  As a tournament director, and tournament fisherman for most of my life, and a generally reflective personality, I like to think I can be objective. 

First and foremost I blame myself.  Had I not lost control of my fish in the holding tank this situation never occurs.  I let my guard down, and went into post competition camaraderie mode before weighing my fish.  I know better.  I also regret communicating with my opponent prior to weighing.  I set the stage for amplified disappointment on his end with my sandbagging.  If I would have simply declined to offer information on my day or would have given him an accurate estimate of my weight, he likely never protests my weight.  My reaction to my weight combined with my sandbagging pushed him towards thinking that the wrong fish had been weighed and thus a need to protest. 

Second, I believe the tournament shares responsibility for this unfortunate event.  There should never be a scenario in which fish waiting to be weighed are sharing a tank where fish already weighed are free swimming.  The potential for catastrophic problem is obvious and in this case it happened.  I do not hold blame against the host or tour for making the ruling they did.  I understand it was the only black and white information with 100% certainty available at the time.  I am however disappointed a stand wasn’t taken against the advancing anglers after acknowledging the, “fair” solution was to advance both anglers from my match.  Considering the circumstances I believe most impartial anglers would agree this was the correct path.  Nevertheless a decision was made based on a technicality and as a tournament director, I can accept that. 

Third, while I don’t blame my competitor for his actions, I am disappointed in him as a fellow “Elite” competitor.  When the fish first escaped, he stood right next to me watching as the fish made its way around the tank and back into my box.  He never mentioned a word of objection at this point or for the next 15 minutes until I weighed.  It wasn’t until his weight was defeated by mine that he raised an objection.  Additionally, he, like everyone else around the tank saw the fish that was re-entered into my box.  The size of the fish going back in my box was a “normal” size fish 6-7lbs as stated by the angler who picked it up and witnessed by other anglers.  The weight I eventually posted was 36.35lbs.  That’s nearly 2lbs more than the weight he posted.  For him to have truly caught more weight than me a 4lb fish would have had to jump out of my box and be replaced by the 6-7lb fish.  That’s a fine thought except for two important pieces of information that I wish I would have argued at the time.  First, I never had a 4lb fish in my livewell all day or all week for that matter.  Every fish I caught was between 25.5” and 26.75”.  That length of fish would produce weights between 6.5 and 8.5lbs.  Second, and more important I don’t believe there was a 4lb fish weighed the entire week from any competitor.  Had I been thinking on my feet I would have requested the host weigh each fish individually that was left in the tank and I would accept the smallest weight as my 5th fish.  With the smallest fish in the tank I would have still had more weight than my opponent.  In summary, there was no possible way in which my opponent caught more weight than I did on day two of the Elite Series Championship.  I believe in his heart of heart he knows this.

Lastly, and most difficult for me to accept is the actions, or lack thereof, my fellow “Elite” anglers.  When I made the decision to join the Elite series and become serious about competitive redfishing  4 years ago I did so with the expectation of competing against “Elite” competitors.  It was presented to me by existing Elite anglers and the tournament director that the competitors on this series were not only extremely effective tournament redfishermen but were also Elite people.  Honor, sportsmanship and integrity are constantly broadcasted as characteristics of the folks fishing this series.  That was attractive to me.  I was at a point in my fishing where I wanted a new challenge and if I was going to commit myself to a new arena I wanted to know I would be up against the best who were there for the same reasons as I.  I wanted to challenge myself, chase glory and when I succeed I want to know I beat the best fairly while conducting myself with honor, integrity and good sportsmanship.  Standing around the tank, 4 competitors that I can remember were involved with the recapture of my fish.  Each was extremely confident the correct fish was returned to my box.  So confident in fact that the immediate conversation never contemplated that it was any other fish than the correct fish.  Yet, when given the opportunity to confirm the correct fish was returned to my box by the tournament director, those involved refused to confirm what they had confirmed just minutes before.  That’s called a lack of integrity.  Second, when given the opportunity to support a solution presented by the tournament director to what was clearly a difficult and unintended situation, two of the competitors (that I know of) opted to choose a path that would enhance their chance at victory, albeit a shallow victory.  That’s called a lack of sportsmanship. 

So where do I/we go from here?  Blame areas 1 and 2 are easily correctable and while painful to admit, I can accept and find a way to move forward.  3 and 4 are more difficult to digest.  Perhaps my expectations have been set too high of Elite Series anglers.  If this is correct, do I really want to be a part of it?  Or, now I know what I’m dealing with I can conduct myself accordingly.  One thing I want to make clear.  I don’t believe I nor anyone involved cheated or had intentions to cheat.  The ruthlessness, win at all costs by any means necessary approach was not something I had considered a possibility and thus my disappointment.  It does lend fear to the possibility of cheating though.  For this reason I am calling upon the Elite Series to buckle down on rule adherence, and expanded polygraphing.  The future of the Elite Series depends upon the full encompassing integrity of the event.

Time heals all wounds and this too shall pass.  Documenting the entirety of this situation is serving dual purpose.  Number one, it’s one heck of a story that needed to be shared.  Possibly it should be categorized as a tragedy?  Second, it’s personal therapy for me.  Venting is healthy.  I’m on the road to recovery and hope to find the fire again to get back in the game.  If I do, rest assured, I will be far more educated than I was prior to the beginning of the 2018 Elite Series Championship!


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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Casey 04/09/2018

Hey Barrett been following since you started posting on the redfish trail and first off let me say nice work you've been doing. But yes it's definitely saddening almost sicking just thinking about a grown man putting himself in the elite category of anything and losing their dignity and self respect when money gets involved! Probably going to catch some flak for it but it takes me back to the big rock guys swept the whole field by a large margin and broke the tournament record! But someone argues over the mates fishing license....... I know the rules but that's just me if a man beats me with out cheating in any way that gives him a advantage I take my hat of to him.... Proverbs 3:13. Joyful is the person who finds wisdom the one who gains understanding. For wisdom is more profitable than silver and her wages or better than gold...... Sad but true sounds like you gained some very powerful wisdom from this "life experience "....... Nice work down there

Rennie Clark 04/06/2018

Well put Barrett. I feel for ya man. That was an unfortunate set of events. You put it to all of us in that event and had a real shot of taking it home. Sadly we are all humans and competitive events shows the ugly side of some people. I have learned that some people will cut the throat of their competitor for a dollar and some glory. Don't let this change who you are, just learn from this unfortunate lesson and keep your guard up next time.





"Gulf Stream class moved" | | 04/04/18
 

I moved up Stream class to Thurs 5-7pm on land and then fishing all day Friday. I have 1 spot open if anyone wants to join. Call 910-367-2945 Capt. Brant
- "Capt. Brant. McMullan"
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"Part 2" | OIFC | 04/04/18
 

Approximately 6 of the 12 anglers fishing on this day were gathered around the tank with their fish waiting to weigh.  As was normal practice, the anglers were talking amongst themselves while the host weighed one angler’s catch at a time and conducted interviews.  My opponent approached me and of course asked how my day had gone.  In that we were in a match play format, whoever had more weight between us would advance to the final day.  Having just concluded my whirlwind of a day that included disappointment, anxiety, stress and then possible hope, my overwhelming feeling and answer was, “I just don’t think I did too well today.  Everything changed and my fish were gone”.  Hope crept into my opponent’s voice at this point as he explained tough conditions but believed he had just over 34lbs.  I told him I thought he had me and that, “he whooped me today”.  Those of you that know me recognize that I’ve never over estimated a fish for the scales in my life.  I prefer the humble route that occasionally yields surprising good news.  Some people call this “Carolina Sandbagging”.  I’m guilty. 

As my opponent and I were talking the unthinkable happens.  One of my very alive and very energetic fish exploded with movement kicking the top of my box open.  With only one hand on the lid, which was closed up until this point the next move occurred in an unstoppable, surreal, slow motion sequence of events.  One of my five fish jumped from my box and into the holding tank.  Keep in mind there are other fish in the tank.  Also keep in mind there are 12 eyes glued to the ruckus.  As the fish rolled from the box he slowly swam directly across the tank.  Angler 1 was the first to say, “there he is, I’m keeping my finger on him” as he pointed to the fish we had all seen exit my box.  The fish came directly and deliberately across the tank to angler 2.   Angler 2 reached down and had a hold of the fish.  As he lifted from the water, the fish slipped out and slowly swam back across the tank.  All the while angler 1 continues pointing and repeats, “I have him.  That is the fish”.  The fish swims a few feet away from me and into the waiting hands of angler 3.  Angler 3 grasps the fish, lifts him from the water in plain sight of all anglers gathered around.  As he is holding the fish he states, “That’s a six and a half pounder”.  My box lid is open and angler 3 puts the fish back into my box. 

You would expect the reactions to be shock at what had just occurred.  To the contrary, each and every angler laughed, shrugged, and stated something to the effect of, “wow, can’t believe that just happened”.  No further discussion of this event takes place and the weigh in continues.  Approximately 10 minutes later, it is time for my match to weigh. 

My match opponent approaches the stage first feeling confident in his bag knowing what I had told him about my day.  As he had predicted, his 5 fish weighed in at 34.48lbs. 

Next, I bring my fish to the stage.  The host comments on the attempted fish escapee, laughs at the unusual event and proceeds to weigh my fish.  To my surprise and my opponent’s, the host announces my 5 fish weight at 36.35lbs.  I had done it!  My first reaction was priceless.  I was so surprised at my weight I believe I made the host nervous that his scales were off.  My next move was to apologize to my opponent for underestimating my day.   In my on-stage interview I explained that the day was the perfect example of what to do when all your plans go out the window.  I confessed that I had not weighed a single fish during the day but knew they were all in the right length range between 25.5” and 26.75”.  I just never really computed in my head what I had.  The host congratulates me on the win and welcomes me to the final day of competition and we talk about returning to the Crawfish Festival weigh in site for the second year in a row.

As I exit the stage several co-anglers give me the thumbs up or high five as I take my place to watch the rest of the weigh in.  It’s at this point that I approach my day’s opponent and congratulate him on his day and apologize again for unintentionally misleading him on my weight.  His look back at me took me by ultimate surprise as I could tell he was in anguish.  At first I thought he was really upset about my sandbagging.  Then he told me, politely, in more or less words, that he was questioning whether the fish that had escaped my box temporarily was the fish that was put back in.  I took about 3 steps back and didn’t know whether to swing, argue, or walk away.  I briefly started to explain that it was the right fish.  We were all there and saw the same fish get put back in my box.  I could tell this wasn’t going anywhere.  I felt very comfortable with my position as there had not been any indication of a problem until this very moment.  I opted for the high road.  Knowing that I had just weighed the second largest bag of the day out of all the competitors which followed the heaviest bag of the day on day one, I knew I was onto something and had a great chance to the win the tournament.  As such, I told him I didn’t want any controversy and wanted to do this the right way so I suggested we talk privately with the host.  He agreed.


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Elite Championship Recap Part 1" | OIFC | 04/03/18
 

I know I ended up my Elite Series championship reporting abruptly last week.  I've had a number folks ask, "what happened"?  Well, truthfully, it took me about a week to come to terms with things where I could actually sit down, and talk about it.  So here you go.  This is a long read but I'm going to break it up into 2 or 3 parts.

 

Fall From Grace

My name is Barrett McMullan.  I am an angler on the One Man Elite Redfish Series from North Carolina. 

After the three seasonal events in 2017 I had established a 4th place ranking in the Eastern Division of the Elite Series and received an invite to the Championship event.  This event took place as part of the Louisiana Crawfish festival March 23-25th, 2018.

 

The Championship had a unique format whereby a winner would be determined by a match play framework.  On Day one I was pitted against a formidable opponent, #7 ranked and very accomplished gulf angler.  I had spent several days scouting the Delacroix area and had located what I believed to be several areas that were holding good fish.  I had a historic day on the water on the first day of competition and weighed a personal best 40.92lbs with 5 slot redfish.  My opponent had a great day as well and while I had posted a heavier bag, for his efforts and a 37+lb bag, he was able to advance to day two by way of a wild card. 

For day two, I was matched up against the #8 ranked angler who advanced by defeating the #3 ranked angler on day one.  Coming off my day one performance whereby I had posted a weight more than 2lbs ahead of the field, I was feeling confident.  Once I hit the water on the morning of day two that confidence began to dissipate.  The water, which was already low, had dropped out even more and the wind shifted directions and increased to around 20knots.  The fish I had been on at spot A, B and C had dispersed.  By 11am I realized I was in trouble and went into scramble mode.  The run and gun approach I transitioned to was intense, extraordinarily rough on my equipment and extremely stressful.  With just a few hours to get 5 slot fish in the well I began to have minimal success.  Rather than operating by normal protocol where a fish is caught, measured, weighed and marked for the well, I was short on time and moving at mock speed so I went to catching, measuring and straight to the well.  I knew there wouldn’t be time for culling so the weighing and marking of fish was unnecessary. 

Understanding the mental distress I was in on day two is important to fully appreciating where this story goes.  After a day one where I was on top of the world and very confident in my position moving forward, day two turned into a day full of panic.  With a morning filled with disappointment, I abandoned all predetermined game plans and went to scramble mode.  One bite at a time and I began to put my day together.  When I knew I was pushing it on time I had caught my 6th fish and culled once.  During this chaotic stretch of running and gunning across the Delacroix marsh I never once gave thought towards what weight I was accumulating.  I kept focused on catching a full bag of 5 measurable fish.   With my cull fish I knew I had 5 fish in the well between 25.5” and 26.75” and thought at least I had 5 and surely I was over 30lbs.  Considering the conditions and the curve ball I was thrown with my fish disappearing, I was appreciative and proud of my efforts to bring 5 to the scales.  At least I would have a chance at advancing now. 

I arrived to the check in site with just a few minutes to spare as the rest of the anglers were already prepping to measure and then weigh their catch.  The Elite Series does a great job with their weigh-ins.  The stage presence of the host is excellent and the time spent with co-anglers prior to weighing is tense and entertaining.  Since the inception of the one man Elite Series tour the weigh site would include two separate above ground holding tanks.  Once an angler advances thru the measuring station via the “bump man”, the angler moves his fish in a milk crate type box with holes and a lid into the first holding tank.  This is where anglers tend to their fish keeping them upright and alive and wait for their turn to weigh their catch on the main stage.  Once fish are weighed they are evacuated from the crates and deposited into the second holding tank where they rejuvenate before being released back into the open water.   For reasons unknown, on this particular day there was only one holding tank for fish to be weighed and fish already weighed.  Warning signals going off yet? 


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Gulf Stream School this weekend- 1 spot open" | OIFC | 04/03/18
 

I have a Gulf Stream class this weekend with 1 spot open.  The land-class portion will be held on Friday from 5-7pm at the OIFC and fishing will be all day Saturday.  The wahoo action has been heating up for sure in the Stream as of late.  Cost is $500 for the open spot.  Call me at 910-367-2945 to reserve.

Capt. Brant


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Spending Time with Family" | Tiberias - 22' | 04/03/18
 

Got out this past Sunday with my family for about an hour. We threw soft plastics for a little while just to let the boys get use to casting. A few small blue fish chewed on our baits, but no trout. I had brought 5 fresh shrimp to let the boys soak in a drum hole. My 6 year old Jasper quickly hooked up with a small redfish and then another one. My 10 year old Jake was getting eager and was rewarded with a black drum. Jake quickly got another black drum evening the score 2 to 2. Sibling rivalry at its finest! The bite slowed as the tide bottomed out, but Jasper managed to snag one more small black drum to out do his older brother. The house hasn't been quiet all night about today's action. Gotta love it! See ya on the water!


- Capt. Jacob Frick
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"Wahoo Report" | | 04/02/18
 

Gary DiFazio. Black jack hole. Easter Sunday on a black a red skirt with a 24oz wahoo bomb.
- "Capt. Brant. McMullan"
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"Warm Weather and a warm heart! " | Tiberias - 22' | 04/02/18
 

The Garrett Family joined me for a half day of fishing this past Saturday. The ladies got us started off with the first black drum of the day. Johnny and his Dad quickly followed it up with another black drum. The first hour or so of our trip provided back and forth action for 5 year old Jess and 7 year old Johnny. We took a quick break for the ladies to use proper facilities. Headed to another spot quickly finding about the same action, but a better quality of black drum. We finished our day with a nice double hook up with Grandpa getting in on the action and Jennifer not to be out done. Landing a beautiful redfish and a nice black drum. We let most of our fish go to fight another day only keeping enough for a fresh dinner that night. Enjoyed spending time with this sweet family and looking back at the photos of the little ones just warms your heart. Thanks for fishing with us! See ya on the water!


- Capt. Jacob Frick
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"Spring Break!" | Catch All | 04/01/18
 

Spring break! Great weather is forecasted for the rest of this week. The fishing has been pretty good around our area with black drum and red drum of all sizes willing to bite on most days. The wind has made things tricky so far this year, but we have managed. It appears that winter is behind us and things should start to get more consistent in the very near future. I was joined on Friday by a great group of guys who enjoyed catching and releasing several black drum. Even found a solid redfish to finish our day. Still have open slots this coming week for backwater fishing, so give us a call. 910 575 3474 See ya on the water!


- Capt. Jacob Frick
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"Seabassin'" | | 03/27/18
 

If you are heading to the beach this next week for Spring Break, don't miss the chance to get in on the end of season Sea Bass fishing: Fast action and a top 3 "best fish to eat". We are catching some good size Bass on 4 and 6hr trips aboard the OIFC charter boats. If you are on your own boat, fish the 50-80' depth range on structure for the best luck. See you at the OIFC- we are ready. #springbreakoib #oifc #blackseabass #fishingfun #besteatingfish
- "Capt. Brant. McMullan"
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