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Capt. Brant's Fishing Report

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START 1) 45.60 - Clearly Hooked     2) 44.00 - Team Grip Flip     3) 43.05 - Fish Hard Gear     4) 43.00 - Outta Line     5) 42.10 - Reel Methods     6) 41.05 - Open Wide     7) 39.45 - Shockwave     8) 39.35 - Beeracuda     9) 37.80 - Conference Call     10) 37.30 - Wilm Auto/King Hunter     11) 37.10 - Karma Bites     12) 36.85 - Four Sons     13) 36.20 - Lil John/Reel em up     14) 36.00 - Sea P.A.     15) 35.50 - OIFC     16) 35.15 - O D Bank     17) 34.80 - Max'd Out     18) 34.55 - On Point     19) 34.35 - King Carnivore     20) 34.35 - All In/AM    FINISH

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"" | Carolina Contender | 06/23/04
 

We are still battling the hard southwest winds on a daily basis here at Ocean Isle.  The wind direction is making it difficult for us to get to some of the better producing fishing grounds, but nonetheless we are still pounding our way out there and are finding pretty decent action.  The mahi, kingfish, jacks, cobia, and barracuda are still holding in the 10 to 25 mile range.  Getting out to these spots is a bear but once you're out there the fishing is very rewarding right now.  Still I have yet to see any consistent bite from the kings especially no big kings.  I feel like there are more and more fish showing up everyday and I anticipate that the next time we get a couple of calm weather days in a row they are going to start chewing.  Today I fished the Sherman, the Jungle and a couple of other structures and found a few 10-12lb mackerel, small cobia and great big amberjacks including one citation release over 50 inches.  The pogies are still plentiful along Holden and Ocean Isle Beach.  Let's hope this summer time southwest wind will give us a break for a couple days so the fish can start biting and my back and knees can recover. 


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"TODAYS REPORT" | Carolina Contender | 06/22/04
 

The past couple of days have been filled with North and East winds and King Mackerel that did not want to bite.  Today however, the Ole Summer time South West winds came back and so did the Kingfish bite.  They were biting from Christina ledge to the Jungle and everywhere in between.  There were plenty of fish to go around but most were on the small side.  This could prove to be interesting in a couple of weeks for the Jolly Mon.  Stay Tuned


- Capt. Grady Gordon
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"Weekend Review" | Mac Marle'n | 06/22/04
 

We've been fishing hard here at the Fishing Center and I'm happy to report things are going well.  The big story is the variety of gamefish available- King Mackerel, Amberjack, Mahi, Cobia, Shark, Barracuda, Grouper and Snapper are all plentiful and often we're catching them all on the same trip.  The Kings have been biting on live or dead bait so long as the Amberjack don't eat the live baits first.  Spots that are holding fish include the 18 mile rocks, 410/510, General Sherman, 26 mile rocks, Gary Ennis wreck and Atlantic Ledge.  The beaches are plentiful with Pogys so live bait shouldn't be a problem.  Below are some pics from the weekend.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"cobia! cobia! cobia!" | Carolina Contender | 06/20/04
 

Like I have been mentioning over the past week, it seems like the cobia are making a second late season migration through our area.  Yesterday verified my thought as the cobia bite was on fire.  I was able to catch plenty of live pogies just on the east side of Shallote inlet in 15ft of water.  We then headed off about 15 miles into a very annoying 5ft. swell.  There wasn't much wind involved but the seas were still a little sloppy left over from the blow the day before.  Fortunately the weather improved drastically throughout the day.  Our first stop proved not to be the answer as I still am not seeing the kind of bait pods I am used to seeing this time of year in the 65 ft depth of water.  Next we decided to go ahead and move another 10 miles off into 80ft over some structure.  The move was a good one.  Within ten minutes of arriving we had a double header cobia on.  After an hour of battling we landed one 40lber and had one throw the hooks.  For the next couple hours we fought 3 more cobia landing 2 out of the 3 with the escapee being a monster probably more than 60lbs.  We made one more pass over the structure before it was time to go home and this time we hooked into something with even more fight than the cobia we had been catching if you can imagine that.  For thirty minutes we pulled on this fish on heavy tackle sweating bullets in the hot sun before we finally got a glimpse.  After 45 minutes of fighting a beast of an amberjack was brought on board and the battle was over.  Back at the docks the scales read 56.65 lbs- a citation amberjack.  A great and exhausting day of fishing aboard the Carolina Contender.  The fishing is great right now so stay tuned to the reports or better yet come on down and join us on some of these adventures. 


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"" | Carolina Contender | 06/19/04
 

Yesterday I ventured out on a 7 hour trip to brave the high seas in attempt to take advantage of the great fishing we have been experiencing over the past week.  I found live pogies in about 30 ft of water, which is unusually deep, but with my custom designed net catching them was no problem.  I then headed to the east due to the hard southwest wind we were greeted with accompanied by steady 6ft. seas.  We started fishing around the horseshoe area and managed one decent kingfish and fought and lost several other mystery fish.  The ocean made actually boating fish very difficult.  We ended up fishing around the Raritan wreck for our last hour of fishing.  There was lots of bait and again a couple of lost fish before all heck broke loose.  I was just beginning to pack up with my tail between my legs and head home when the long line single pogy and downrigger with a single pogy took off.  After ten minutes one of the two bites revealed itself as a 50+lb cobia that was being cheered on by two of his buddies both about 35lbs just feet away.  As I attempted to get the other two fish to take a bait to avail, we continued to do battle with the two fish we had hooked up.  After another 10 minutes the 50lber neared the boat and took one quick lunge under the boat and snap! The line was cut by the hull and there goes our saving grace of the trip.  But wait! We still are fighting one fish that hasn't appeared yet.  Another 10 minutes passes and finally the mystery fish is coming closer.  With 30 minutes of hard fighting in the books already amongst heavy seas the fish revealed himself as 40lb brute cobia.  For the next 20 minutes it was up and down but finally we succeeded and the fish was captured and all was well in the world.  A tough day on the ocean marked by an extraordinary cobia attack to end the trip. 


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Today's Report" | Capt. Hook | 06/17/04
 

We have been running pretty steady and doing OK. We are not settin the woods on fire but the fish are cooperating to an extent. The kings have been sporatic inshore and off, nothing real consistent at any hole. The cobia are popping up now and again as they should all summer. The Jacks are a good bet if you fish the wrecks and reefs. Yesterday we did well on the kings around the Horseshoe but today it was slow there and I hear they bit well at the Sherman!! It shows you never know!!


- Capt. David Hooks
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"Artificials" | Stori Teller | 06/17/04
 

While enjoying the hot flounder bite that has been happening lately, I've been mixing in a few artificial baits along with my usual live bait spread. The hot ticket has been 1/4 ounce white jigheads with chartreuse shad body tails. The technique I have been using is to bounce the jig off the bottom with short hops while drifting in inlets on the incoming tide.


- Capt. Stan Gurganus
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"heating up" | Stori Teller | 06/17/04
 

The past week or so the the fishing has really been picking up. The offshore reports have been very positive and the the inshore has been improving.  The spanish bite has been very good before nine each moring along the beach says Capt. Woody.  The flounder bite has been hot the last few days during the rising tide.  The key is too drift the inlet back in forth, dragging one or two hook rigs with mud or mullet minows on them.   


- Will King
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"biting again" | Stori Teller | 06/16/04
 

After a bit of a lull in the hot founder bite we have been experiencing the last couple of weeks they have started biting again.On the east and southeast winds of the last couple of days the bite had slowed a bit but with the shift to the south, southwest they heated back up.They seem to be biting better on the incoming tide while drifting live mullet minnows along the bottom.


- Capt. Stan Gurganus
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"Live baiting heating up" | Carolina Contender | 06/15/04
 

Once again I'll apologize for the lack of fishing reports, but between actually going fishing and preparing for a fishing trip there just isn't a lot of time to get on the computer.  For the past week I have been live bait fishing and bottom fishing anywhere from 8 to 35 miles offshore on 5 hr to 9 hr trips.  The amberjack are still plentiful providing a serious tug of war for anglers and are surprisingly good table fare.  In addition to the jacks the cudas are also very abundant and seem to be very intent not to let me get an entire king mackerel or spanish mackerel into the boat.  Also it seems like the cobia have gotten going again as we are seeing at least one on most all trips.  The spanish have been biting great especially in the morning time around any of the inlets in our area.  Gold #0 and #00 clark spoons behind a number 1 or 2 planer is the ticket.  I've also been throwing in a larger swimming plug into my spread just in case something larger is nearby.  There are plenty of pogy's on the beach.  They have been moving around a lot from day to day but you can be assured they are somewhere between shallotte and the cape fear river or shallotte and myrtle beach.  I did get a chance on one of my trips yesterday to do a little bottom fishing.  The grouper bite was on as we were able to catch a few keepers a few throw backs and did battle with many more that got the best of us.  There is no other pull like a big grouper.  All in all the live baiting has been providing very consistent action.  The larger kings are still m.i.a. but I have to believe it won't be long.  Whether it's small kings, spanish, cobia, jacks, sharks, mahi, cudas, or grouper there is plenty of reasons to get out there and enjoy this early summer live bait action.  Come by the fishing center for up to the minute fishing reports, useful tips, and any fishing gear needed to catch these creatures. 

Here are a few pics I have from this week.  My hands were too full to get many. 


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Weekend Report" | Mac Marle'n | 06/15/04
 

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Been fishing hard over the past weekend and having decent success on a variety of species.  The numbers of Kings in the typical 10-15 pound range have not really shown up yet, but we are starting to see more and more of them and hopes are that they will soon arrive in typical spots such as the Jungle, 90/90, Shark Hole, etc...  There are plenty of Pogys along the beaches and after catching bait, if you fish offshore in the 80-110 foot depth range over structure there's all sorts of action going with Kings, Mahi, Cobia, Jacks, Sharks.......  I look for the Kingfish action to continue to pick up nearshore, so stay tuned and see you soon.  Here are some of the weekend's fish pics.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Capt. Brant's Live Bait Fishing School A Success" | Carolina Contender | 06/15/04
 

“Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day; teach him how to fish and he’ll eat forever.” 

This past weekend Capt. Brant hosted his first live bait fishing school out of the Ocean Isle Fishing Center.  The class consisted of on-land, classroom type instruction on Friday evening from 6pm-9pm followed by a full day of practicing/fishing on Saturday aboard the “Carolina Contender” with Capt. Brant.  The class was composed of relatively experienced fishermen and boat owners who were looking to hone their live bait fishing skills.  By day’s end on Saturday, the class had successfully mastered the fundamentals of live bait fishing and brought home a nice catch of King Mackerel, Mahi, Cobia and Amberjack.

On Friday evening the small group of four fishermen met with Capt. Brant at the Ocean Isle Fishing Center.  Capt. Brant had highlighted rig tying, knot tying and cast net throwing as three of the most necessary fundamentals that needed to be mastered prior to going fishing.  Aided by Ocean Isle Fishing Center pro staffers Kyle Hughes and Capt. Barrett McMullan, Capt. Brant split the group in half and focused with them in pairs on each topic.  Most of the class had some experience with throwing a cast net, but Capt. Barrett and Kyle worked with them on loading the net quicker, opening the net more evenly and learning to throw from awkward positions.  Meanwhile, Capt. Brant worked with the other pair of aspiring expert fishermen to teach them the importance of making a good haywire twist to barrel wrap when tying King rigs.  Capt. Brant explained all the terminal tackle required for the rigs and why he recommended each particular product.  Each member of the class started off a little bumpy in trying to get their haywire twist smooth with most finding problems actually making the haywire versus the barrel twist.  But with a little hands-on demo and understanding, the entire class succeeded in a matter of minutes in learning how to tie rigs that will never slip or break which will end up saving them hundreds of dollars in store bought premade rigs.  Capt. Brant also worked with each student on tying particular knots including splicing fluorocarbon to mono.  After both groups of two had visited the cast net throwing station and rig tying station, they got back together for Capt. Brant to discuss a variety of details that will enable them to succeed and prepare them for the next day of putting their new found skills to work.  Among the details mentioned was what particularly to look for when searching for Pogys and how to approach the school when attempting to net them.  By 9pm on Friday the class was ready to go fishing as they left with a free bag from the Ocean Isle Fishing Center which included wire, hooks, skirts, swivels and a $25 gift certificate.  Capt. Brant’s homework assignment was to tie rigs for the next day of fishing and be at the dock by 7am.

On Saturday morning the class showed up ready to go.  The winds were flat calm, but the forecast was calling for them to switch to the north and pick up to 15-20 kts.  Upon exiting Shallotte Inlet and heading toward the east in search of bait, the students immediately recognized the telltale dive of Pelicans, which likely signaled the presence of Pogys.  Capt. Brant steered the boat to the Pelicans where the class then spotted the flipping bait, mud ball and dark spot associated with a school of Pogys.  Each student then took turns loading the cast net and throwing the net on the bait so as to insure them they had the ability to catch their own bait.  Enough bait for the day of fishing was caught with the first throw, but Capt. Brant insisted that each student throw several times.  In fact, several other boats had gathered near the school of Pogys and the students actually were able to catch and pass bait to other boats.  Each student passed the bait catching test with flying colors and it was on to the next task.  Capt. Brant had the students to tie on fluorocarbon leaders and then tie on their rigs they had made for homework.  Meanwhile, Capt. Brant plugged in the coordinates to the Horseshoe some 30 miles out of Shallotte Inlet.  As the “Carolina Contender” pulled away from the beach, the winds had switched to the north and freshened a bit which guaranteed a real-life experience fishing under adverse conditions.  It took the big 36’ Contender 45 minutes to reach the Horseshoe as the seas had picked up to a choppy 3-4 foot.  Capt. Brant took time to work with each student on how to properly hook the Pogy and how to set up a spread of baits that was easy to maintain and simple to fish.  Use of the downrigger was discussed and techniques such as dropping back to a missed fish were covered.  It was only a matter of minutes before a feisty 12 pound King smashed the long line and Capt. Brant quickly shifted the lesson to cover proper angling and gaffing techniques.  The first fish was put in the boat and the class lit up like a Blue Marlin as they realized their newfound skills had been tested.  From then on Capt. Brant mostly sat back and let the students hook the baits, set the lines, catch and gaff the fish as he only intervened to offer suggestions, corrections or make special notices of why certain details were critical in order to succeed.  As the day progressed the wind picked up to a steady 18-20 kts with the seas reaching 4-6 feet.  Of course the conditions were not ideal for a perfect day of fishing, but they did give the students a more real-life experience and certainly if they could fish in rough seas, then calm weather would be a breeze.  The class ended up with a nice catch of King Mackerel, Mahi, Cobia and Amberjack, and by 2:30pm Capt. Brant hit the throttles and headed back to the Fishing Center for a final lesson on cleaning fish.

Overall, the class was a wonderful success as the students successfully conquered all the important fundamentals of live bait fishing while gaining pricless experience under the watchful eye of Capt. Brant.  And with their basic skills learned, each student can now go out on his own and gather more and more experience to become a better fishermen on each outing.  Capt. Brant has another live bait class scheduled for June 25-26 which is already full, but he plans to host a variety of fishing classes in the future covering live bait fishing, bottom fishing and Gulf Stream fishing.  Visit his web site at www.oifishingcenter.com for updates on future fishing classes as well as up-to-date fishing reports.  If you are interested in future classes please call Capt. Brant at (910) 367-2945 so he can put you on the wait list.

 


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Latest Report" | Capt. Hook | 06/12/04
 

I haven't updated recently so here it goes. We have been doing well with the Kings, Spanish, Cobia and Jacks. Capt'n Stacy and Sumo held down the ship last Saturday to return with 3 big cobia one was 41 lbs. They also had some Kings and Jacks. Sumo and I ran a 1/2 day yesterday and put a Lady on our biggest King of the Season, mid to upper twenties from the Sherman!!  We also had a nice Cobia Kicking, and a few Spanish. So come Join us and try your luck!!


- Capt. David Hooks
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"Today's Report" | Show Time | 06/11/04
 

Our half day trip this morning began with a stop at the Shallotte Inlet Sea Buoy to catch a few spanish mackeral.  We found the spanish unusually finicky so we set off to find some pogies and head offshore.  After running all the way to Tubbs Inlet without locating the bait, we went to Plan C which was to run to the barges and jig some bait with hopes of a king mackeral.  We were able to find both bait and the kings there, however the kings were not the wall hangers we were looking for.  Along with the kings, the barracudas were thick right over top of the wreck which made getting fish to the boat an interesting challenge.  The fish are definately here and moving farther inshore.  We'll be back at it in the morning so stay tuned! 


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"catching up" | Carolina Contender | 06/09/04
 

Fishing has kicked into high gear with the arrival of summer.  After a week's vacation / work fishing in a kingfish tournament down in Venice, Louisiana I returned back to Ocean Isle to find the charter fishing fleet burning the candle at both ends.  For the past few days we have been mostly live bait fishing in the 10 to 40 mile range.  On Monday Capt. Roger and Capt. Grady fished the Raritan wreck and had a good catch of small kings, dolphin, amberjack and a rare African Pompano (check out the pic).  Yesterday Capt. Roger and Capt. Stacy fished the MM near a wreck about 30 miles out and had a big catch of 15+ amberjack including one at 50lbs, 2 cobia, 2 dolphin, and a boat load of b-liner snappers.  I fished the Carolina Contender over a few wrecks and rocky bottom in the 35-40 mile range and blistered the kingfish.  Though the fish weren't huge they are getting bigger now reaching the 10-12 range.  Also we found a few mahi and some barracudas.  Today I fished two half days both at the Sherman wreck about 10 miles from Shallotte inlet.  This morning we caught amberjack and cobia and a few spanish.  This afternoon we caught spanish and a bunch of throw back kings at the 410/510.  Capt. Grady also a good catch of kings, cobia and jacks this morning in the 20-25 mile range.  This afternoon I left Capt. Brant at the Sherman and he was working hard on the cobia and amberjack.  So, as you can see by this condensed fishing report we've been extremely busy and the fish are biting.  Keep an eye on the kingfish scene as I believe the fish as whole are getting a bigger and we should start seeing a good number of 15-20lbers at any time.  Bait has been right at shallotte inlet all this week but today it was between shallote inlet and the holden beach pier.  The catch of the day today was a 41 lb king mackerel brought in by a boat called the Northern Lights who caught their fish on a live pogy at the Sherman wreck this morning.  The cobia are making a resurgence and the kings are growing up.  There is plenty of action on the live bait trips so its time to put that gulf stream gear down for a couple months and dust off those speedmasters and penn 545's and start getting after all these fish. 


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"flounder pounding" | Stori Teller | 06/09/04
 

Started this morning drifting in tubbs inlet to no avail.while trolling to a nearby creek we had a triple header.We quickly dropped the anchor and began fan casting the area.On almost every cast for the next one and a half hours we caught a flounder.last count we had caught 27 flounder with six in the box.


- Capt. Stan Gurganus
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"flounder bite is on" | Stori Teller | 06/08/04
 

We have been catching good numbers of flounder in and around Tubbs inlet.Even though some of our fish are still under the 14 inch size limit most are keepers.During the mornings,when the ocean allows I have been sneaking out the inlet to catch spanish mackeral.They are biting #00 clark spoons behind #1 planers.


- Capt. Stan Gurganus
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"TODAYS REPORT" | Mac Marle'n | 06/05/04
 

Another day and another nice king fish on the docks, todays smoker was 27.5 putting the Mac Marle'n on the board for largest King Mackerel weighed in at the OIFC this year.  I hope this is a sign of what is coming.  Along with several king fish, we also had Amberjacks to 40lbs, and a nice mahi.  The hot hole today was the Horseshoe. We will be taking tomorrow off and back at it monday morning.


- Capt. Grady Gordon
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"Today's Report" | Carolina Contender | 06/04/04
 

Tough day on mother ocean.  The plan was to have a full day of serious bottomfishing for Snapper and Grouper.  We started off with a nice thunderstorm in the AM that we barely evaded as it hit the beach moments after we caught bait (at Holden Beach pier) and headed offshore.  We did miss the lightning but the wind picked up to 20-25kts and made the run offshore pretty tough.  We started at 27 miles and got on the ledge and were just starting to bottomfish when the Amberjack invaded.  I have never seen them so hungry as we absolutely could not get ANYthing to the bottom-- I mean I couldn't get a 1/2 cut dead Cigar Minnow down without the Jacks eating it.  So, we had fun playing with Jacks as they nearly cleared the water after baits.  We finally got a few baits down and caught a Grouper and a bunch of 12-14" B-liners before the anchor gave way to the building seas.  Upon pulling the anchor, it came up with a 45 degree bend on the shank and that was a big problem.  We attempted to anchor at another spot where we did catch another Grouper, but it was hopless getting on the ledge due to the anchor bend.  Anyway, the seas picked up to a nice 4-6 and made the ride home a joy.  Yes we did catch fish and certainly had a few nice meals, but we earned every fish.  The weather looks a little iffy for few days, but stay tuned for more action reports.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Streamin" | Capt. Hook | 06/03/04
 

The Capt'n Hook headed to the Stream again today!! We started at the Black Jack and caught one Mahi. I moved offshore of the 100\400 to 700 plus feet of water and started trolling back inshore. We ended up with a great catch of Mahi up to 30 pounds. We lost one I would estimate mid 40's at the gaff  but you will have to ask Sumo about that!! The fish seemed to be hanging around 450 feet 180 degrees off of the 100/400. We got awful close to a couple of those minature Hurricaines we call squalls. Oh well I guess its that time of year. Headed out for a 3/4 day tommorrow. Maybe we can find the kings.


- Capt. David Hooks
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