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Capt. Brant's Fishing Report

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"Yesterday's Report" | It Works- 27' | 04/22/06
 

Yesterday morning, I hit the inlet at daybreak with high hopes of an Atlantic Bonita slaughter.  When I set lines out at the General Sherman (where the fish had been several days prior), I noticed that they were not on top busting the surface and jumping as in previous days, and there were no birds or bait in the area.  We set lines in anyway, and had 2 Bonitas in the boat within 30 minutes.  As we trolled around the bite slowed considerably as almost a dozen boats had moved in on the wreck so we headed back inshore a couple of miles to do some seabass fishing.  We found the seabass bite to be on fire as we caught upwards of 100 fish with a few being very nice 13-14 inch "knotheads" (larger sea bass).  All in all it was a beautiful flat day on the water and can't wait for the wind to die down so that we can get back out and chase down those Bonitas.  There was a lot of bait inshore near the 90/90 area so that may be a good place to look when the weather breaks.  Also, don't forget about the 7 Mile and 10 Mile Artificial Reefs (AR455 and AR445)---these are also very good areas to find these fish.

----Capt. Squid


- Capt. Bryan Williams
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"Stream Report" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 04/20/06
 

Word is they tore the tuna up again at the Black Jack today.  Capt. Roger will be on the ShowTime tomorrow and I'll be on the Carolina Contender tomorrow in the Stream to give it a go-- stand by for a report.  Inshore, Capt. John will be on the MacMarle'n for 2- 1/2 day Bonito trips and Capt. Squid will be on the It Works for a 1/2 day Bonito/Sea Bass trip.  Give any of us a call on VHF 11 and we'll do our best to help- or if you've got the fish hemmed up, give us a call to help us out-- thanks.
The Bonito are thick just inshore of the Sherman.  They're getting lots of pressure from boats, so think stealth.  Casting topwater lures- small- on light fluoro might do the trick.  Try to find schools away from the main group of boats- they've been busting all over the top and birds are on them.  There's a ton of bait at the 90's and inshore of it, so the Bonito will be working that way over the next week.  Stay tuned- Capt. Brant


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"THE BITE IS ON !!!" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 04/19/06
 

I hate to say I told you so, but no sooner did we get a few days outside of the full moon than the bite has gone off! 
Inshore the Atlantic Bonito are thick between the General Sherman and 390/390- keep in mind though, they are very thick, but they aren't always willing to bite.  Today, Capt. Roger caught them best very early by trolling the standard Clark Spoons on planers.  However, once the fish feel pressure, they get spooky.  Try scaling down to 12-20# fluro carbon leaders and casting Stingsilvers or Deadle Dicks or Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows--- they work!
Offshore is the best news- the Yellowfin bite went crazy today and YES- it was the Black Jack hole.  2 boats that I know of had a dozen fish and many others had good catches also mixed with wahoo up to 55 pounds.  The water was 75, but there were no flying fish-- THUS, the formula-- CEDAR PLUGS--- Hopefully this is finally the start for us of our late Stream season.  I've got a good feeling.  Our charter boats will be on the inshore scene again tomorrow, but we plan to do the Stream on Fri and Sat-- weather sounds fishable Fri and Sat we plan to go too- especially if the bite is as good as today. 
Anyway, excited to report.  Hope you'll come down and join the fun with us- Capt. Brant


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Gulf Stream fishing class openings" | Show Time- 34' | 04/18/06
 

I've got 3 spots open for my Gulf Stream fishing class on May 1st.  I figure this one is guaranteed to be good weather since we all know its only windy on the weekends.  Thus, this Monday class should be perfect.  The ground school portion of the class will be from 6-8pm on April 30 with fishing on May 1.  Call me at (910) 575-3474 to inquire or make reservations-


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"The bonitos have arrived!" | Show Time- 34' | 04/17/06
 

It gives me great pleasure to report, that after quite a bit of effort from our local fisherman, we have finally caught some of the targeted Atlantic Bonitos!  Capt. Roger Gales, a very game charter party from Ohio and Michigan, and I headed through Little River Inlet this morning towards the Sherman Wreck in hopes of bringing home some of the prized sashimi meat these tunas are renowned for.  Upon arrival in the area, the birds made it very clear what was going on, so we immediately set out a spread of four planers (two #1s and two #2s) followed by Clarkspoons (#00 and #0) on thirty foot leaders.  It wasn't long before two of the Shimano Speedmaster reels started screaming as 20# line peeled off.  Fifteen minutes later two bonitos lay in the fishbox.  We followed the birds while resetting the spread and managed to get five bites, putting four of the fish on ice.  All but one of the bites came on one of the the #1 planers, fished in the "way, way back" postion as opposed to the "way back."  As the birds left, so did our bites, but we now are certain that these fish are in the area.  They won't be here for long, but with a favorable forecast for the middle part of the week, don't pass up any opportunities to target them.  And if you do decide to go fishing this week, here are a few suggestions:

1)  Go light with the tackle.  Your standard Spanish mackerel trolling gear will work fine with these fish, so long as the reel is smooth enough to handle their runs.

2)  Incorporate a Stingsilver into the spread with the Clarkspoons.  Other boats in the area reported success with them and you can bet I will add one the next time out.

3)  Use a low-visibility leader, like fluorocarbon, and use at least thirty feet of it.  Fluorocarbon may be a bit on the pricey side, but it will pay you off  when you count fish at the end of the day.  It has made me a believer time and time again!

4)  Gloves are a good idea when leadering these fish because 30# will cut you very quickly when they try to run.  Remember, that even though these fish may not be the size of yellowfins, they are still tunas and will fight you all the way to the boat.  Besides when was the last time you caught yellowfins and could still see Cherry Grove!?!

Many thanks to Capt. Roger, Jill Schafer, and the rest of her party.  Hope you had as good a time as we did and can't wait to see you this summer.


- First Mate- Chris Burrows
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"Gulf Stream Report" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 04/16/06
 

The winds wrong, currents wrong, barometers too high, barometers too low, full moon....that's it the full moon. Our charter boats that followed my weather report and went to the stream last couple days reported the following: Rough seas, lots of wind, tons of bait, good tuna marks down deep, and slim to none on the catch side. General opinion from Capt Brant and Capt Squid is the fish are definitely there, the full moon had them shut down as they must be feeding at night under the full moon. The water at the Black Jack was perfect, water full of all kinds of bait, everything looked like it should have happened. What we have noticed in the past, when under a full moon there will be a very early bite and a late afternoon bite, neither of which work very well with charter fishing. At any rate, the moon effect is gone, and as soon as the DAMN wind will lay out, the game should be on.

And now for my much awaited 7 day weather forecast.....the SW pattern we are stuck in will give way to a cold front early in the week followed by ..guess what? Perfect weather for late in the week and next weekend. And based upon my recent forecasting skills, that forecast is probably worth what it cost. Come on down!


- Capt. Rube McMullan
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"still on'em" | Stori Teller-22' | 04/14/06
 

With stable weather and rising water temps my redfish bite has been very consistent.This morning I went back to my trusty oyster bar to find the reds still there and willing to cooperate.We started with artificial grubs with limited success but when we made the switch to live mud minnows the game was on.I found that floating the minnows under a cork just of the bottom was a deadly combination.With this set up we  surely lost a lower amount of jigs which without the cork hung up in the oyster shells alot.ON the flounder scene the bite isn't red hot yet but everyday the numbers of fish being caught is on the rise.Flounder fisherman with the fishing itch are bouncing mud minnows along the bottom on carolina rigs around docks in shallow creeks to get their spring flounder.Alot of the fish are on the small side so definitely take a measuring device to confirm that the flounder are a minimum of 14 inches.


- Capt. Stan Gurganus
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"redfish" | Stori Teller-22' | 04/13/06
 

On the inshore scene the fishing is just starting to heat up with all of the usual targeted species beginning to make a showing.We have been hitting the redfish pretty hard  with some regularity  using jigs with electric chicken trailers.They have been hanging around flooded oyster bars in the Shallotte river.The better bite has been on the last two hours of the rising tide.And for you flounder fisherman I have received scattered reports of a few finally being caught.I beleive they will show up in full force when the water temps bounce on the 65 degree mark.


- Capt. Stan Gurganus
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"weather" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 04/13/06
 

I'm getting complaints about the glorious weather forecast that I put out earlier this week for fishing this weekend. Here's the facts:[1] I flunked my college meteorology course [2] the weather has changed from my early week forecast.

So what we have is the possibility of trying to get tomorrow in. I think the morning will be fine, you can get to the stream, and you will have an excellent SW tail wind to bring you home.

Reports from today were not encouraging at the Black Jack/Steeples. Suggestion is to go south. Brant leaving approx 5:30. Channel 11 VHF. Over and out.


- Capt. Rube McMullan
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"Interpretive weather forcast" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 04/11/06
 

Quick update on weather forcast. Everything coming together for perfect weather period from Thursday throughout the weekend. The sea forcast is misleading as there is a easterly swell. The winds are forecast 10 kts or less so the seas should be almost flat discounting the swell which will not be a factor with the light winds. Hurry...get down here. Let's go kill some fish!

On the fuel expense issue. Just got a load in and it's gone up 8cents/gallon overnight. Definite problem however please join our Captains Club and we can save you up to 30cents/gallon by getting you the State road tax back via our computer tracking system. As bad as fuel cost is, by taking advantage of our ability to get you a rebate, our fuel is cheaper than if you buy it on the street! The Captain's Club is free.


- Capt. Rube McMullan
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"Long Range Weather looks great!" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 04/09/06
 

Time to put my 1970, Mr. Vicks Wingate College Meteroligy class to work. Weather for next week end looks perfect. High pressure will be building in with the passing of the cold front[it's blowing the shortening out of the biscuits this morning]. Clear and beautiful all week and by late in the week the high pressure will let up enough to get the wind to lay out. Also the northeasterly flow early in the week should push in all new water for the Gulf Stream. Forecast? An explosive Tuna bite beginning Friday throughout the holiday weekend. Look for a run on chop sticks, Wasaba and Soy Sauce[we're stocked up at the OIFC]. The Atlantic Bonita should also kick off close to shore, which I consider the best sushi tuna out there. Everything should come together for a great holiday weekend. COME ON DOWN!


- Capt. Rube McMullan
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"Fishing Report" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 04/08/06
 

my father, Rube and I joined Forrest Taylor and friends aboard Forrest's 36' Yellowfin- That's My Dog to go fishing on Thursday.  The forecast was good, so we thought we'd head and try to get the Stream trolling going.  At least a half dozen other boats from OIB headed out with the same intentions.  The problem, however was that apparently a bad stretch of water had moved into our area and the Stream waters were just not there.  Up and down the break from the Georgetown Hole to the Swansboro Hole, water temps were cool and water was dark green.  Thus the action was lacking.  We actually ran to the MacMarle'n hole and when we arrived there and found the water 68 degrees and darkish, we decided why not stretch the legs on the Yellowfin and go for glory-- at 60 mph, distance isn't really an issue.  I pulled out the chart and picked a spot I've never been to, but always wanted to see- the Beaufort Valley.  We arrived and found it-- a big valley that dropped from 1050 feet to 1250 feet- its' there.  We punched in OIB and it was 104 miles!  We actually found a nice rip with weed, temp and color change and flying fish right there and believe it or not, did not get a bite.  We were actually closest to Charleston and talked to one boat and overhead several others that fished the Georgetown Hole, Bubble rock and more and hardly nothings was shaking.  It was just one of those days-- funny how last week we had water that was too warm at 78 and now its too cold-- typical fishermen- always an excuse.  Anyway, we decided to try something else we'd never done before-- deep dropping to the bottom.  And I'm not talking a couple hundred feet.  We figured there might be some sort of sea monsters living at the bottom of the Beaufort Valley, so we rigged up one of Forrests reels- (it had several hundred yards of 100# braided line) and we put 48 ounces and two chunks of meat on the bottom in 1200 feet of water!  That was the good news, the bad news was not only did we not get a bite, we had to wind it in-- probably good we didn't get one on.  We decided to move back inshore where we fished some structure in 250 feet where Rube caught the unidentified Grouper seen below.  We then moved into 170 feet where we found pretty hot action with Red Grouper and Pink Snapper.  In all, it was a nice day with good family and friends.  And fortunately, the seas were nice enough we could utilize the boat's speed and travel time wasn't a concern. 
Certainly do not be discouraged in heading offshore.  The Stream will kick back in soon enough and the fishing might be just as hot as it was cold.  I tell you though, the deeper water bottom fishing has alot of potential.  I actually began to take notice of it from local Ocean Isle fisherman Scott Quaintance who kept coming in with boxes full of big Grouper.  He's been fishing a honey hole in 250 feet on all  his bluewater trolling trips and regardless of the topwater bite, he's been bringing home a nice catch every time.  Early Spring is the best time to catch these Grouper on the edge of the break before the inshore waters warm and they move inshore and scatter.  Right now they are thick and concentrated and very hungry.  Scott told me he was using whole, dead menhaden and when we did it, we first started with whole snapper fillets, but found that the head was what the Grouper really wanted.  Anyway, its just another way to add to your arsenal and a good option to have.  Electric reels would certainly be the ticket, and using braided line also helps as well-- or you can just work and hand crankem'--
Weather looks to hold us in til mid week- stay tuned.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Gulf Stream Report" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 04/07/06
 

Wow, what a weird day on the Gulf Stream yesterday. A good fleet of boats left from the OIFC heading north and south. The satalite shot the day before looked promising to the south, so we headed south to the MacMarlin ledge aboard the "That's My Dog" 36 Yellowfin, Triple 275 Merc's rocketship, captained by Capt Forrest Taylor. Other boats went north toward the Black Jack and Steeples. What all of us found from Georgetown to above the Same Ole was ZERO. The water was green, cool, and no action anywhere. I can't recall a time where it wasn't haoppening somewhere along that 100+ mile stretch. We went all the way south to the Beaufort Valley[south of Georgetown Hole], Capt Hook went all the way north to the Nipple[north of the Same Ole] and other than Dirk Parsons heroic catch of a decent Wahoo and Yellowfin[a piece of whcih I enjoyed for supper, thank you very much]; nobody else did anything other than a few weehoo's. On our boat we didn't have a smell. Which brings up the subject of this report. what to do to save the day when you get blindsided like we all did yesterday. For us, it was experiment with new games; and the results of our experimenting were interesting and rewarding.

First we tried something we have been wanting to try for along time. Super deep dropping for Tilefish. So in 1200 feet of water we gave it a shot. The truth is we failed miserably, however we THINK we may have got to the bottom, and we MAY of had a bite, but the facts are more research required. We weren't 100% properly rigged for the deal[I can assure you next time we will use a electric reel instead of winding in 1/4 mile of line on each drop]. Any way, standby, there is a game out there and we'll figure it out.

After that failure, we came into the break and drift/dropped on the ledge at the MacMarlin Hole[180 feet] and on each drop we either caught or got our butt wipped by Red Grouper in the 10-25lb class. We didn't have live bait but found by using the head of jigged up smaller fish, the Grouper would tear it up. Bottom line is we saved our day by branching out when the Gulf Stream didn't happen. Also available is good King fishing on top of the break[130-150 feet]. And the always dependable sea bass are everywhere.

It looks like it will blow for a couple of days and hopefully bring us some better Gulf Stream water.Our charter fleet is getting busy now, so stand by for updated reports when we can get out.


- Capt. Rube McMullan
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"Today's Report" | It Works- 27' | 04/06/06
 

Calm winds and smooth seas greeted myself and crew this morning as we cleared the inlet in hopes of catching a few of the elusive Atlantic Bonito.  I started trolling at the 90/90, but it seemed that the bonitos were not willing to cooperate.  After 45 minutes or so, we switched gears and dropped a few 2 hook rigs to the bottom.  The seabass bite we found there was world class, however most were just a touch on the short side.  While we were there, I decided to do a little on the water testing for a product we just received in the store---the Berkley Gulp squid flavor cut bait.  This stuff comes in a 7" long strip which you cut to size and contains the same fish attractants found in their other line of baits.  The only way to describe this stuff is AMAZING!  We caught well over 150+ seabass and still did not use the entire pack of Gulp.  Fish after fish after fish this stuff stayed on the hook----there was no rebaiting after every fish or even after every bite.  It even out fished the real squid 3 to 1!  The other great thing about the Gulp is that there is no mess----and when you're done fishing you can even take the strips off your hooks (which you have been using ALL DAY) and put them back in the bag to be used again!  I know that I'm definately taking some with me every time I go seabass fishing!
When the bass bite slowed a bit at the 90's, I ventured out to the Little River Offshore Reef (The Barges) again looking for the elusive Atlantic Bonito.  Again, however we came up empty but managed to put even more seabass in the boat for a ride back to the dock and into the frying pan.
Along with plenty of seabass at the 90/90 and the Barges, I also talked to a couple of guys on the radio who found a very good bass bite at the AR455.
We've got trips planned for the next few days so hopefully the weather will hold off and allow us to get them in, so be sure to keep checking in for updates!


- Capt. Bryan Williams
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"PARASAILING NOW OPEN!" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 04/05/06
 

For all fishermen, fisherwomen and anyone else that tunes into the OIFC website this is an announcement that "The Flying Fish" is ready to take you parasailing.  Now, before all you die hard fishing enthusiasts shrug this off as just a thrill ride and of no benefit to your fishing goals think about this.  There is no better way to spot a school of pogies than from above and the parasailing will be taking place in prime areas for locating schools of bait.  Also, it will be a good way to view the inlet from above and give you a better idea of the correct path to take.  Lastly, what better way to learn more about the waters we ploy every day than from taking it in from a bird's eye view? 

Parasailing vessel "The Flying Fish" will be operated by Master Captain Barrett McMullan and parasailing guru and Master Captain Jon Miller from the Virgin Islands.  We are located at the Fishing Center and will be running multiple trips daily.

Parasailing is a fun, relaxing, and safe way to take in the Brunswick County coastline from a unique perspective.  You will be gently lifted from the deck of "The Flying Fish" by the inflated parachute and slowly guided to a height  of either 400 or 800 ft. You can fly as a single or tandem.  At the conclusion of the flight you will be gently lowered back onto the deck of "The Flying Fish".  The flight is steady, dry, and relaxing as you'll be taking in the majestic views below.  Parasailing is a great adventure for all ages, both young and old. 

Give us a call at 910-575-FISH or come by for a visit to set up your parasailing adventure!


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Today's Report" | Show Time- 34' | 04/03/06
 

Yesterday first mate Chris Burrows and I headed to the Stream with local doctors- Dr. Ron Gilinski and wife Dianne and Dr. Reagan.  The wind was strong the day before from the SW and it laid overnight, leaving calm seas with a residual, large SW swell.  The swell made the ride out aggravating as we could only make 20kts or so, but once there, the fishing conditions were great.  We headed to the Black Jack and found very good water conditions with 75 degrees and blue blended water color.  We set a spread of ballyhoo and a couple of Mann's swimming plugs and began working the area at 6.5 to 7 kts.  We first worked the offshore waters in 200-250 feet then moved back into the 160-180 foot ledges where we found the bites.  The Kings were pretty thick and we boated several decent 15-25 pounders.  The wahoo were also there as two other boats fishing around us reported boating wahoo-- Congratulations to Annie Schilling on the "Spoiled Rotten" who boated and later weighed at the OIFC a 69 pound wahoo caught at the Black Jack.  We too had several good shots at wahoo, one of which I know would have been a monster, but as it goes in fishing, the ones that get away are always the biggest.  As such, we never boated a wahoo.  We added a Blackfin tuna and a few albacore and cudas to go with our kings.  It wasn't a box with the most glamourous fish, but the action was pretty steady and we did have opportunity for glory.  I did not mark much bait or fish or see any flyers, but to me, the water conditions and quality were ideal.  If I were to go again, that's exactly where I'd go back to.  Anyway, Capt. Roger will be heading that way either Tues or Weds, so we'll report on the latest.  The weekend looks pretty nice, so sharpen your hooks and come on down.
Also, I still have 3 openings for my Gulf Stream school on Saturday- call me at (910) 575-3474 xt 3 to reserve a spot.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"GULF STREAM FISHING SCHOOL" | Show Time- 34' | 04/01/06
 

I've got 3 openings available for the Gulf Stream school this Fri PM and all day fishing Saturday-  Call me at (910) 575-3474 xt 3 to sign up.  The tuna and wahoo are starting to bite- now is a great time to learn the ins and outs so you can do it on your own boat this season.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Stream Yesterday" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 03/29/06
 

Yesterday I teamed up with Dean and Russel Spatholt on the Fishmeister for a bluewater adventure.  We high hopes of loading the boat with tuna after receiving several good reports over the past couple of weeks.  We left out of the Fishing Center around 6:30am and had lines in at the Blackjack by 8:00am.  The water temps ranged from 73 to 74 which is typically perfect for a yellowfin bite but we found no action.  After a couple hours we headed north towards the Steeples where we ran into a couple of Carolina Beach boats circling tight.  Soon after rods starting bending.  The water temperature was about 75 degrees and the water a deep blue.  We picked up a few blackfin tuna and missed a screaming double header yellowfin.  The action died off for about 2 hours but then picked up full steam again around 3:00pm.  From 3 to 5pm the bite was on at the Steeples.  There was a large mark of bait and tuna down about 100feet hovering right over one of the Steeples.  Every time you crossed the mark a double or triple header was the result.  For us we just couldn't seem to keep hooks in our larger strikes.  We missed 4 or 5 strong yellowfin bites and managed to boat one.  In addition to the yellowfin we steady picked at the blackfin and skipjack tunas which are both great eating.  The hot boat without a doubt was the Judy Bee captained by Phillip Brock out of Holden Beach.  At last count I believe he had boated 8 yellowfin.  I won't divulge his secret spread but if you're heading to the stream anytime soon don't leave the cedar plugs at home.  Our most effective lure was a yo-zuri swimming plug trolled deep around 80ft from the planer set up like we use with bluefin tuna fishing.  The tuna never really surfaced all day and hung right around that 100ft mark which is why getting a bait deep was so effective.  The conditions are perfect right now for a hot tuna bite so it's time to go to work.  The fish are waiting.


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Stream Report" | Show Time- 34' | 03/28/06
 

A few boats went to the Stream today.  The weather looks pretty nice this AM.  Unfortunately I'm sitting behind a desk as myself and crew are scheduled for CPR and First Aid certification.  With the completion of this course, and the recent completion of many knick knacks on the boats, we are ready to GO.
I was looking at the sea temp this AM and the guys that went today should find awesome fishing.  There's a hard break right on the Black Jack and Steeples from 68-74 -- we'll see- stay tuned.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"inshore report" | Stori Teller | 03/26/06
 

Inshore fishing right now is on the difficult side.With the water temps in the mid 50's the presence of bait is almost non-existent.But do not get discouraged there are definitely fish to be caught.I have located a few populations of fish which are willing to bite artificials.These trout and redfish schools have been biting either Berkley Gulps on 1\4 ounce jigheads or D.O.A. shrimp under popping corks.The fish seem to like the D.O.A's to be white and the gulps in the molting shrimp.The key to getting these fish to bite is to be patient and really slow down your presentation and to give your fishing spot plenty of time to produce before you change location.


- Capt. Stan Gurganus
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