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Capt. Brant's Fishing Report

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"Bluefin x 2" | Show Time | 12/05/03
 

Today the same all-star crew of Captain Roger, Captain Brant, Captain Barrett, Captain Stacy and court jester Captain Sumo once again fought the less than perfect conditons off of Morehead City in search the giant bluefin.  Conditions were 7-8ft. swells with a 3 ft. chop, a rather pleasant 50 degrees and overcast.  We left in the dark and fog but made our way to the area we caught our fish yesterday around the Beaufort sea buoy and had lines in just as you could begin to clearly see the cockpit.  After searching for a few hours we finally got in the right area where the fish were being caught about 18 miles out of Beaufort inlet.  The bait was thick and the bluefins were plentiful.  You could actually mark the individual fish on the depth finder.  It was a matter of time before the fish rose from the depths and began feeding in full force.  We finally saw our action around 11am when the long line and the deep trolled line both took off simultaneously.  After about 5 minutes one of the hookups spit the hook but the other was not so lucky.  After 45 minutes and several rounds of pulling for each member of the team the fish was beat.  The second bluefin of the year in as many trips for the Showtime- still batting .1000.  This fish measured 82 inches and weighed in the 300 lb range.  Back at it again tomorrow weather permitting.  Stay tuned.


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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e 12/30/2013





"Bluefins are Here" | Show Time | 12/04/03
 

We braved the cold wind and rain today in search of a bluefin.  They are now here and starting to bite.  We caught a bluefin today 79"  - 300lbs.  Book a trip today.!  The fishing will on proceed to get better over the next couple of weeks.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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e 12/30/2013





"Today's Report" | Show Time | 12/02/03
 

Well, its time for Bluefin Tuna season but the weather has been BRUTAL.  Strong winds persist although there are reports of some Bluefin being caught off of Morehead City.  I'm not diving head first into the season yet as I want to wait another few days until they become more abundant and hopefully the weather will settle a little- stay tuned.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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e 12/30/2013





"TODAYS REPORT" | Carolina Contender | 11/28/03
 

It's windy and rough here.  No offshore fishing this weekend, but we are hosting our 1st annual inshore tournament and have 15 boats registered to compete to catch the largest Flounder and Trout.  Boats will scatter from Southport to Little River in search of the biggest fish.  The Trout have been biting good with many fish in the 2-3 pound range.  The Flounder fishing has been winding down, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a late season monster top the board as the biggest Flounders will stay inshore until the very latest in the season, getting fat on Mullet.  Stay tuned for results.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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e 12/30/2013





"SKA Nationals Report" | Carolina Contender | 11/26/03
 

In a word- WOW!  It was the best King Mackerel fishing ever experienced in the history of tournament fishing- no exageration.  Some 350 boats weighed 55 Kings over 50 pounds and 175 Kings over 40 pounds- and that's just fish that were weighed.  Aboard the "Carolina Contender" we had exceptional catches both Friday and Saturday with a 46 pounder on day 1 and a 50 pounder on day 2 for a 2 day aggregate of 96 pounds- that would have finished 2nd last year, but fortunate or unfortunate, depending- it put us in a respectable 23rd place in the tournament- And although it wasn't a top 3 finish, as long as you can place in the top 10% you've done well in my book.  Each day we caught and released some 30-50 King Mackerel ranging from 25-50 pounds.  We likely caught a dozen over 40 pounds with many in the upper 40's.  It was an incredible experience and a great way to cap off the 2003 season.  Here are a couple of pictures.
Locally the fishing is great for Kings and Grouper in the 25-35 mile range.  We will start our Giant Bluefin Tuna fishing season next week, so stay tuned.  Everything this season has been running behind, so we'll have to see if the Bluefin are on time or not


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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e 12/30/2013





"Latest Report" | Capt. Hook | 11/24/03
 

Well as a lot you know Captain Stacy, Alan, Ned, Jim and I went to Biloxi to compete in the Naitionals for the SKA. We were entered in the 23 and under division and let me tell you there is some stiff comp there!! Upon arrival on Tuesday of last week we were greeted with gray skies and howling winds. Well who would figure any different for a Tourney! So our prefishing plan was shot but we decided to go Thursday and get some Hard Tails penned up for game day. As we checked out Friday morning the wind was calm and the seas were flat. No argument here. We hit our targeted rig about 40 miles offshore and pulled the throttles back. On the first bait I deployed a 40 pound King hit it, burned my thumb, went through another boats lines but still ended up in the box. There were some choice manuvers to make that happen. We ended up catching and releasing several nice fish from 30 to 45 pounds and scaled a 46.65. Not bad for day 1. On Day 2 we returned to the same spot and found a smaller grade of fish 25 to 30 pounds. A 31.10 was all we could muster and put us in 27th place overall. We had lots of fun and bluebird weather and thats what counts. Capt'n Stacy and Alan ran a trip on the Saturday before we left and caught several nice Kings, and they also had some pretty good grouper and American Reds. Stay tuned we are hoping for a Wahoo trip over the holidays!!


- Capt. David Hooks
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"Today's Report" | Carolina Contender | 11/17/03
 

We fished the USAA National Championship over the weekend and weighed a 47.85 pound King Mackerel to take 2nd place in the tournament.  Myself and family are now heading to Biloxi, MS to fish in the SKA National Championship tournament, which will conclude our 2003 King Mackerel tournament season.  We've done well this season, placing consistently in the top 10 and winning the USAA Angler of the Year title, 2nd in the USAA Nationals and now the final piece is the SKA nationals- wish us luck.
Here at Ocean Isle the King Mackerel fishing remains strong.  The Kings have moved from the Jungle area a few miles east and are holding in the Offshore 65 foot hole.  Pogys are still on the beach, but there is also plenty of live Cigar Minnows to jig at the fishing holes.  The Gulf Stream reports from the weekend were not very encouraging as only a few Wahoo were captured.  The Sea Bass are biting near shore and the Flounder and Drum are inshore with the Speckled Trout beginning to make a show.  Don't forget our 1st annual Flounder and Trout Classic held from the Fishing Center after Thanksgiving- see the below link for details- http://www.oifishingcenter.com/tournaments.cfm


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Today's Report" | Carolina Contender | 11/12/03
 

The weather has been decent past couple of days but it looks to kick up rough until the weekend.  Kings were caught yesterday at the Jungle and 65 foot hole.  Pogys are still plentiful off of Holden Beach and Long Beach.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Season recap- weekly report" | Carolina Contender | 11/10/03
 

Local Teams Win King Mackerel Crowns on National Level

by Capt. Brant McMullan

 

It’s been a long season, but for myself and many other tournament King Mackerel fishermen, it’s been a year full of challenge and mystery.  Here in the Carolinas, the tournament season kicks off in May with the Spring Frantic Atlantic and finally wound down this past weekend in Morehead City with the Toys for Tots King Mackerel tournament.  The early season started fairly typical with mostly smaller Kings being caught and the majority of fish holding offshore in 65+ feet of water.  The area around the Frying Pan Tower produced the most fish.  In June the 30/30 located on the East side of Frying Pan Shoals was the hot spot and produced many of the typical 30+ pound Kings it takes to win events.  There were scattered fish caught at typical spots such as the Jungle and Shark Hole, but most of the fish were abnormally small.  By July we had a few sporadic bites of bigger Kings, but the fish continued to be abnormally small all around which led to tournament winning fish being smaller than normal.  At this same time the southwest winds kicked in and we began the unusual upwelling affect which led to water temperatures being well below average which contributed to the near disappearance of King Mackerel.  There were scattered Kings caught at different spots, but the only consistent producing spots through September were Georgetown Inlet and the Frying Pan Tower area.  Most fishermen including myself struggled just to catch a fish during this period.  Case in point, my brother Capt. Barrett and I fished the Atlantic Beach King Mackerel tournament out of Morehead City in early September.  In this tournament the unpredictable weather and poor fishing led to only 250 boats signing up for what is usually a 500 boat tournament.  Barrett and I felt like the fishing was so bad that if we could just catch a fish we’d be on the leaderboard.  Thus we ran some 100 miles south and fished offshore around the Frying Pan Tower in 4-6 foot seas and caught a 20 pound King which would believe it or not finish 6th place in the tournament.  That is the smallest fish to ever even make the leaderboard that I’m aware of, nonetheless finish in the top 10.  In fact, there were so few fish weighed in (24 on the first day and 15 on the second day) that they didn’t have enough fish to fill all the places on the leaderboard.  That tournament personified what had been a tough year of King Mackerel fishing.  But then came Hurricane Isabel, which was a horror to the folks at Hatteras and to the north but a savior to our fishermen in this area.  The strong winds and rough seas reversed the upwelling affect and brought the water temperatures closer to normal.  Immediately following the storm we had the best day of King Mackerel fishing of the entire year.  For the next few weeks the fishing got progressively better with the Kings finally moving into the Cape Fear Ship Channel and getting back on schedule.  In the US Open tournament held from Southport some 500+ boats registered and there were over 40 Kings weighed-in over 25 pounds with a 43 pounder taking 1st place.  And from then on King fishing was good and became awesome by mid to late October.  The Pogys have continued very abundant along the beaches and the water temperatures have stayed unusually warm.  The pattern seems to indicate that fishing is running some 2-4 weeks behind schedule as the Kings are still in the 10-25 mile range whereas they are typically in the 20-30 mile range this time of year.  Anyway, as you can see its been a season of ups and downs, but through it all a few teams managed to endure and adapt to succeed in the long term scheme of things.  In the Southern Kingfish Association (SKA), their annual Pro Tour includes five tournaments from Louisiana to North Carolina where teams compete to accumulate points by finishing high in five Pro Tour events.  At year-end, the team with the highest point total wins the coveted Angler of the Year title.  Another similar organization to the SKA called the U.S. Anglers Association (USAA) also exists, however it focuses more on fishing exclusively in the Carolinas.  Like the SKA, the USAA sanctions King Mackerel tournaments and awards points, which eventually lead to a year-end Angler of the Year.  Here in Brunswick County, three fishing teams rose to the top of the platform as they competed and eventually won Angler of the Year titles.  Dean Spatholt of Calabash fishing his 31 Contender, “Fish Meister” had an exceptional year fishing the SKA Pro Tour placing very high in 4 out of the 5 pro tour events and finishing a very close runner-up in the Angler of the Year race.  His finishes included a 3rd in Ft. Pierce, FL, 6th in Golden Isles, GA, 3rd in Morehead City, NC and 6th in Fourchon, LA.  That’s an exceptional season on a national field and congratulations and thanks for representing our fishing community are in order.  In the U.S. Anglers Carolina wide series a duel unfolded between Shallotte fishermen John Hunt with crew Maryann Webb, Andy Broadwell and Lauren Brambe fishing aboard the 32 Donzi, “Direct Connect” and myself, wife, Amy, brother, Barrett, father, Rube of Ocean Isle fishing aboard our 27 Contender, “Carolina Contender”.  All season both John and I fished our regular schedule of some 10-15 tournaments and both of us had consistent top 10 finishes with no heroic 1st place finishes.  But that’s not what Angler of the Year is all about.  It’s about consistently placing and accumulating points all season.  Sure you get more points for a 1st place finish, but two 5th place finishes are better than one 1st place finish in the point system and thus consistency is rewarded.  Coming into the last tournament held this past weekend out of Morehead City, the “Direct Connect” was some 30 points ahead of the “Carolina Contender” for the Angler of the Year title.   To that point, the tournament results were as follows- “Direct Connect”- 3rd Swansboro King Mackerel Tournament, 4th Shallotte Inlet King Classic, 6th Wrightsville Beach King Mackerel Tournament, 6th Topsail Offshore Fishing Club King Classic, 9th HOOK King Classic, 14th Sneads Ferry King Mackerel Tournament, 17th Jolly Mon King Classic, 17th Raleigh Fishing Club King Mackerel Tournament and 20th Greater Wilmington King Mackerel Tournament.  For the “Carolina Contender”- 4th South Brunswick Islands King Classic, 5th Teach’s Lair Shootout, 6th King of the Cape Classic, 6th Atlantic Beach King Mackerel Tournament, 6th Coral Bay Open, 9th Sneads Ferry King Mackerel Tournament, 10th Wrightsville Beach King Mackerel Tournament, 11th Toys for Tots King Classic.  However, it all came down to the final event as myself and team would need to best John by at least three places on the leaderboard in order to win.  It was really a tragic and not-so heroic ending, but it was the way fate unfolded and proof that skill is only part of the equation as your equipment and luck are strong factors as well.  Both John and I fished north off Hatteras in the horrible weather, which brought seas in excess of 10 feet.  We fished pretty much side by side and although there were some nice 30+ pound fish caught around us by other anglers, neither of us had the hot hand as we could only produce small fish.  John left early knowing that he needed to be sure to weigh whatever fish he had in order to get the points and make my team’s opportunity to win much more difficult.  I fished right up until the last minute, but could not catch the big one I needed to insure the victory.  We were fishing some 70 miles north of Morehead City and had 20 miles of running in 10 foot seas along with another 50 miles of running the Core Sound in 3-4 feet of water with 3-5 foot seas and nets and crab pots everywhere.  If you’ve never run the sound behind the Outer Banks you’ve missed an adventure.  I pushed the throttles to the dash on the “Carolina Contender” and we rushed to put our fish on the scales not knowing what John had caught.  About halfway down the Core Sound I could see a boat ahead weaving and attempting to dodge the pound nets that often protrude into the channel.  I kept on the throttles, following my marked course through the sound that I’ve become very familiar with.  Up ahead I saw a boat idling and as I approached I recognized it as John and Andy on the “Direct Connect”.  Tragedy had struck as they had hit one of the pound nets and thus spun the hub in their propeller.  They were on one engine and would not be able to make it to the scales in time to weigh-in.  I stopped to insure they were OK and left my phone number to call me if they needed help.  And thus fate had opened the door as I again dropped the throttles and took off to make the weigh-in.  It was close as we made the weigh-in with only minutes to spare, and despite only weighing a 17 pounder and finishing 11th in the tournament, it was what was needed to propel the “Carolina Contender” into 1st place in the USAA Angler of the Year race.  Thus, I’m happy to say John and I have succeeded in bringing back both 1st and 2nd place Angler of the Year for the entire Carolinas right back here to Brunswick County.  Congratulations to John and team of the “Direct Connect” as well as the team of the “Carolina Contender” for an outstanding year in what was otherwise a not so outstanding year for King Mackerel fishing.

Right here, right now the King Mackerel fishing remains great.  Right up until the weekend cold front the Kings were biting like mad at the Jungle and Shark Hole.  Things look to settle by mid week, and I think the Kings should not have moved much.  Offshore in the Gulf Stream the Wahoo are out there, but the weather has not allowed many fishermen to get to them.  The Spots are still inconsistent at best and the Flounder bite off the Ocean Isle Fishing Center docks has been sporadic but red hot on a few occasions.  All in all, Fall fishing is still in high gear, so come on down and join in the fun.  I want to again remind you that the Ocean Isle Fishing Center’s 1st annual Thanksgiving Flounder and Trout Classic will be taking place November 28th-29th.  Registration will be on the 28th with fishing on the 29th.  I hope the tournament will offer a good opportunity to get out on the water with family and work off some of the Thanksgiving feast you’ve no doubt gorged yourself on.  For information call the Fishing Center at (910) 575-FISH or visit www.oifishingcenter.com

 

 

 

 

 

 


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Today's Report" | Carolina Contender | 11/09/03
 

We enjoyed a very nice and productive week of fishing but that all came to a hault with this cold front.  It's been too rough to fish since Saturday, but the King Mackerel fishing continued excellent all week thru Friday.  The winds look to settle by Tuesday and I'd expect the Kings to be right back at it- they may move offshore a bit, but I really expect them to be in the same areas.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Latest Report" | Capt. Hook | 11/08/03
 

Fishing has been real good while the weather was good. It also seemed to deteriorate as the weather did. The live bait has been fairly easy to get and the Kings seem to like dead ciagrs almost as good as live bait!! The normal spots---Jungle, Shark Hole, 65 Foot Hole and etc. have all been holding fish. We have also had some good bottom fishing trips in the 4 to 10 mile range catching nice Black Bass and a few Flounders as Capt'n Hook Sr. shows off in the picture. We will be fishing this weekend and then heading to Biloxi, Ms.  to compete in The National Championship. I will be with Capt'n Stacy and fishing in the 23 and under division. Stay Tuned this should prove interesting!!


- Capt. David Hooks
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"Today's Report" | Mac Marle'n | 11/05/03
 

Another hot day fishing at the Jungle.  Caught over a dozen Kings from 10-25 pounds.  Pogys were still off of Holden Beach.  There was a large crowd at the Jungle and everyone is catching fish left and right.  The Kings are also biting good at the Shark Hole, Atlantic Ledge, Horseshoe and believe it or not there were several fish caught this AM at the 390/390- its turning out to be a late season and looks as if the fishing will continue good through the month.


- Capt. Roger Gales
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"Today's Report" | Carolina Contender | 11/04/03
 

Hot bite again today at the Jungle with Kings from 12-30 pounds.  Pogys were off of Holden Beach but there are also pods of Sardines just inshore of the Jungle that are easy to jig and also very good bait.  The Kings were biting so good that live or dead bait didn't matter at all.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Today's Report" | Carolina Contender | 11/03/03
 

Super hot King Mackerel bite at the Jungle this weekend.  Also the Kings were biting pretty good at Christina's ledge, Little River offshore reef and 65 foot hole.  The Pogys are hanging around unusually long this season and are still plentiful off of Ocean Isle and Holden Beach.  King Mackerel fishing is very hot, so don't miss the chance to get out there ASAP.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Today's Report" | Carolina Contender | 10/28/03
 

It was a very dreary day on the coast.  It rained most all day, but the good news was that the winds stayed light and allowed for fishing the offshore King grounds in fair comfort- other than being soaking wet all day from the rain.  The Kings were hot and heavy at the Jungle in the AM until about 11am when they slowed down to near nothing and the Sharks took over.  The action was very sporadic through the rest of the day, but Kings could be seen skyrocketing bait and it was obvious they were there but not feeding.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Today's Report" | Mac Marle'n | 10/27/03
 

Video Clip 1

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Crushed them again today at the Jungle.  The fish were biting like mad dogs and we took full advantage.  This AM it was pretty rough with a big, sharp swell from the southeast.  Luckily there was not much wind on it and we made our way offshore at an easy pace.  We stopped by the Little River Offshore reef and jigged plenty of live Cigar Minnows and were then off to the Jungle.  Capt. Roger and I set 3 lines and it was 3 fish on within minutes.  There were a few 10-15 min lulls, but for the most part we stayed busy with Kings from 8-25 pounds.  The Kings were hitting top lines and downriggers, it didn't seem to matter.  At one point several pods of Kings could be seen skyrocketing schools of bait as the birds hovered overhead.  A lot of fish and some pretty decent sized ones.  Check out pics and video clips.
Also had a nice 10lb Flounder caught by Joe Swails weighed in at the Fishing Center- check it out


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"" | Carolina Contender | 10/26/03
 

A fun-filled weekend of king mackerel fishing resulted in some aching backs and sore knees.  The weather was very tough this weekend which made getting to the areas where the kingfish were holding difficult.  However, if you could get there, the kingfish did not dissapoint.  Live bait on the beaches is becoming more and more elusive.  Fortunately, there are plenty of live cigar minnows on the artificial reefs to jig and also dead cigar minnows are working fairly well.  Brant and I took the Carolina Contender up to Morehead on Saturday for a kingfish tournament and battled the conditions for a 24.62 lber.  Nothing to write home about but good enough for sixth place.  Keep your fingers crossed for some good weather this week and coming weekend for the Wrightsville Beach tournament and the Frantic Atlantic.  If we can get some good weather the fish will be chomping. 


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"The Bite Was ON!!" | Capt. Hook | 10/25/03
 

We ran a trip Thursday that started out a little testy!! The wind was 15 to 20 out of the NW the Ocean a little sloppy, the air about 50 degrees, getting some sea spray every once in a while, you know fall fishing. The first stop was the 65 foot hole and the dog sharks were chewing!! We decided to run to the Jungle area. When we arrived it was slow but the wind started laying out. As soon as it calmed down to an almost slick ocean we started "gettin it done" as the customers stated. We caught a limit of 15 Kings in about 2 hours after they started hitting. They were skying the baits and we finally went down to pulling 2 lines!! Thats how we like it!! The fish were any where from 10 to 25 lbs and averaged around 15lbs or so I would guess. We made a stab at it again Friday but it was a bit too rough to get where we needed to be so we decided to cut it short and shoot for another day. Stay with us the fall bite is on!! I have heard some horror stories about boats catching a dozen or so WAHOO on single trips to the stream. I plan to give that a shot soon.


- Capt. David Hooks
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"TODAYS REPORT" | Show Time | 10/25/03
 

Kyle and I embarked on a fall kingfish mission today.  After jigging bait at the bardges our sights were set on the jungle.  We managed to catch several nice kings, and plenty of sharks.  Fall fishing is in full swing.  Now the only problem is getting the weather to cooperate.


- Capt. Grady Gordon
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"TODAYS REPORT" | Mac Marle'n | 10/23/03
 

King Mackerel are back to chomping today.  Limited out and released another 10 or so.  Very hot bite after 1pm at the Jungle.  Menhaden are getting difficult, so we opted for dead and live, jigged Cigar Minnows.  The Kings definitely don't mind.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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