As promised, here are the remaining few pictures from Sunday's trip. These are from the kingfish bite we were involved in just in front of the tower.
- Capt. Bryan Williams
Address: 65 Causeway Drive, Ocean Isle Beach, NC
Fall Brawl 2016 Real Time Rankings
Last Updated - 10/15/2017 06:07:26 PM
Page 16 of 67
As promised, here are the remaining few pictures from Sunday's trip. These are from the kingfish bite we were involved in just in front of the tower.
On Sunday, I had the pleasure of joining my good friend Lee Frick, Mike Edge, and my brother aboard Lee's 35' Triton the "Frick'n Fishin'". The plan was to go bluefin fishing for a couple hours then head off to a grouper hole or two and finish up the day with king mackerel. With several boats heading out for the giants, we all decided to spread out with our starting hole being the Raritan. That morning I had noticed a 3 degree temperature break as well as a color change on the satellite shot right on top of the wreck and I thought it was the best place to set up shop. Lines in at 7:15, but the signs did not look nearly as good as expected around the wreck. At 8:00, Capt. Barrett comes across the radio "Boys, I'm tight, I'm tight! Got him on!!" Fifteen minutes later, he came back across the radio and told me that he was by himself and may need some help as he thought this was a nice fish. Without thinking twice, our rigs were out of the water and we were running 48 knots over to him to help out. When we arrived, it was a sight unlike anything I have ever seen before. Capt. Barrett was on the bow of the "It Works" strapped in to the harness and was literally being TOWED by this fish! (The boat was making a wake as he was being pulled so fast!) With thoughts of "The Old Man and the Sea" in our minds, myself and my brother boarded the "It Works" and started to come up with a gameplan. I'm sure you all have read Capt. Barrett's account of what happened next so I won't reiterate the details. (If you haven't read it, check out the report from Dec. 17 entitled "GIANTS".) I will say this though; although I have not caught nearly as many of these fish as Barrett, I have caught a few and this fish was in a totally different class from any other fish I have caught as well. Words cannot describe the strength of this fish. With all the pressure two people could physically put on the fish, we could not stop him. He towed the boat around, he towed the boat sideways. When he ran, I watched the fiberglass around the rod holder bend and flex from the immense pressure. And we the line parted after two hours, the only words that were spoken were "Well, there he goes." I would have not imagined a fish of this size in our waters but this is definitely proof that they are here. Now we just need one caught and brought to the docks!
After having our hearts, spirits, and bodies broken by this fish, Mike, my brother Travis, and myself all reboarded the "Frick'n Fishin'" and headed off to try to find some grouper. We stopped at a ledge in about 95 feet of water and jigged up some real nice cigar minnows and greenies. While we were jigging, I dropped a grouper rig to the bottom with no success. So with a livewell full of bait, we moved out to 105' and tried again. Once again, we drew a blank.
With the only grouper reports on the radio being those from the scuba divers shooting them, we slid over to the Tower and took part in a first class kingfish bite. From the time we dropped the first cigar minnow in the water, it was on! We caught fish constantly for two solid hours and even tried out some ultra light gear to have some fun. Lee was the first to venture out on the limb as he rigged his brand new 9wt fly rod up and drifted a live cigar minnow back into the prop wash. Since the rod wouldn't fit in a holder, he had to sit on the back of the boat holding the rod, watching for the explosion which was destined to occur. He didn't have to wait long as the first fish boiled on the bait no more than 2 minutes after putting it back. The fish missed and another bait went out. Another strike immediatey but this fish pulled the hooks within seconds. Third time is the charm, right? Third minnow went back and another fish boiled on the bait. He missed it but came right back after it and boiled again. By now we were all watching his bait and apparently the kingfish knew it as he skied on the bait coming right at us and nearly landed on the motors when he landed! So right away we knew Lee had a fish around 15-18lbs as he proceeded to melt the 9wt reel. Twenty minutes later, Lee had battled the fish to right under the boat. It was here when the unexpected happened. As he was lifting the rod to turn the fish's head----SNAP! His brand new rod was now in two pieces with the fish still attached. Five minutes later, however the fish was in the boat and Lee could now pose with his first king mackerel on the fly rod. After a few more fish, my brother got a wild hair and wanted to catch one on a spinning rod loaded only with 8lb mono. Same story----dropped a live cigar back and immediately it started screaming. Within 15 minutes, Travis had angled this 18lb. king to the boat on 8lb. line! We stayed there catching fish until sunset and ran back home on a slick calm ocean. Most of the kings we caught were between 12-18 lbs with the biggest coming two coming in at 26lbs and 31lbs.
Needless to say that from the epic battle with a bluefin, to an incredible kingfish bite, this was definitely a memorable day on the water. And at 75 degrees, bright sunny skies, and a slick calm ocean we had to pinch ourselves to realize that this was in fact Dec. 17.
I've attached some pictures here of our battle with Capt. Barrett's bluefin as well as more from the king mackerel afternoon bite. (There is also a video of Barrett and Mike fighting the bluefin from the rod holder that shows the unbelievable power of these fish so be sure to also check it out!) I doubt they will all fit at the bottom of this report so be sure to also check out the following report for more pictures! Tight lines and happy holidays!
It's been said that you learn something new everytime you're on the water. Today I learned there are creatures out there that just aren't meant to be caught. I'll give a brief recap of the happenings this morning aboard the It Works. I departed the Fishing Center at 5:30am on a solo mission with the intentions of fishing the morning and making it back in for lunch. After hearing of a double hookup first thing around 6:30am I was encouraged especially with all the porpoises and bait I was seeing. Sure enough at 7:30am my number finally got called for the first time this season. The top line went to screaming and I went to scrambling. I worked to clear the deck as quick as I could while the fish steady peeled line off my 30 Wide spooled with 130lb test. At strike I had 23lbs of drag. Once the deck was cleared I moved the rod to the midship rod holder and turned the boat towards the fish. At 5 knots I motored towards the fish regaining the line the fish had so easily melted off the reel. With all the braid now back on the reel I was onto the 130lb Momoi topshot and I jacked the drag to 35lbs and got into the harness. An hour into the battle it became readily apparent I was nothing more than a nat in the ear of this monster. It was like trying to kill a deer by throwing rocks. I called over the radio to the Frickin' Fishin' team with Capt. Lee, Capt. Squid, his brother and Capt. Mike to come assist as I was in a predicament. With a full crew now on the boat I torqued the drag up one last time to 48lbs- more than you can pull off with your hands. For the first part of the fight I angled from the bow of the boat and the fish was towing me at 3.5knots. Realizing this was not putting enough strain on the fish, when I turned the drag up to 48lbs I positioned the boat side ways to the fish and seas and angled from the midship rod holder. 48lbs of drag is too much for me to do stand up. Now side to, the fish was still able to drag the boat at 1.5knots into the waves sideways as the gunnels ducked down towards the surface with the immense pressure. In addition to the drag pressure I was holding the line with a pair of gloves and Mike had both hands on the spool and the fish kept going. We were probably in the neighborhood of 60-70lbs of drag pressure. Not once did the fish show any real sign of tiring. He always was moving away from the boat making ground. We were within about 50 feet of the fish when finally the 130lb topshot snapped after 2 hours of intense angling. We never got an eyeball on the monster but we all had a vision in our mind of what we were dealing with. I've been fishing the giants for about 8 years and have been fortunate enough to catch hundreds of these magnificent animals up to 600 lbs. The fish I hooked today was unlike any thing I had ever experienced. The strength and endurance was unbelievable and hard to convey. Never have I hooked a fish that I simply could not affect with the kind of pressure I was able to apply today. The other fish that were hooked today down here had a similar story as my ordeal. A long grueling fight but in the end the fish was the victor. This evening we learned the North Carolina state record for bluefin tuna was broken out of Morehead City. The record breaking fish was 111" and weighed 875lbs! The fish was caught on a 130 Wide and battled for 5 hours. In addition there was reportedly 9 fish caught over 100" today in Morehead. This gives you an idea of the class of fish we are dealing with. Since my heart breaking battle we have regrouped and beefed up our equipment in order to be ready for our next opportunity. My story is no exaggeration. There are some VERY BIG fish out there. If you get lucky enough to hook up to a fish that you just can't stop don't hesitate to call out on the radio for help. We need to put one of these monsters on the dock if it takes everybody working together to do it. We're standing by on channel 11. While these fish are certainly above average for our typical tuna you just never know when your number might get called. I'm taking tomorrow off but the OIFC team will be on the water searching for Cat Fish Hunter. Hopefully we'll have a monster tuna strung up on the dock tomorrow afternoon.
Capt. Squid took a few pictures of us doing work on the sea monster that he will be posting directly.
I just got off the phone with Capt. Brant who opted for a kingfish attack today near the Frying Pan tower. He reported they were so hungry that the props on the engines had teeth marks in them. They are using dead cigar minnows for bait and absolutely tearing them up. Most fish have been between 12 and 15 lbs but he said they've caught about 10 fish over 23lbs and released one right at 40lbs. A good game plan for this time of year is to target the giant bluefins in the morning and then go after the kingfish for the mid day and maybe hit the bluefin again on the way in during the evening time. We have plenty of boxed cigar minnows here at the Fishing Center so stop by and will get you set up and point you in the right direction.
The word on the tuna is that the bounty is still up for this week. $500 will be awarded to the first bluefin tuna brought to the Ocean Isle Fishing Center that measures over 54". The weather looks perfect for this weekend so come on down and be a hero. As far as the latest whereabouts of the bluefins Capt. Roger has reported a very slow bite at Morehead City yesterday and today. The last good concentration of fish caught up that way was on Tuesday evening and were found well to the south of Morehead at New River Inlet. Hopefully this means they are moving this way. In addition on Tuesday I had a report from the horseshoe area where there were only a couple boats fishing for the bluefin and one of those boats had a triple but somehow all managed to escape. The latest report I had was from yesterday where a local fishermen had a double header bluefin at the horseshoe and captured one measuring around 60". This is a smaller bluefin but still is quite a fish. This fish was not brought into the Fishing Center so the bounty is still out there for someone to collect. We'll keep you updated as the reports come in. If you need any gear to go after the bluefins we have it in stock from braided line, to custom rods, reels, lures and horse ballyhoo.
I've had the ShowTime in Morehead City for the past week and fishing has been decent. This week on Sat and Sun there was a good bite with 20-30 fish caught each day out of 100 or so boats fishing each day. We were starting to wonder, but our number finally got called on Sunday with a double header- we landed both Bluefin- an 81 incher and an 89 incher- quite the workout for myself, Capt. Jon Tennant and wife Amanda Tennant. I'm taking a few days off to regain my nerves and then I'm sure I'll go back to it. In talking with locals up there, many are gearing up to head this way by the end of the month or early Jan. as they feel the fish they are getting now will be here then-- we'll see.
This weekend there was an 101 inch landed and 107 inch landed, which are fish over 600 pounds for sure-- real giants. This January could be very interesting.
Heres a couple pictures from the trip Capt. Roger, my wife Amanda, & I took Sunday off Morehead.
Here's the picture of the Bluefin that was weighed in here on Saturday-- this was the first fish of the week, so it won the $500 Bounty-- the fish was 72 inches and approximately 200 pounds. It was caught a mile East of the Shark Hole. The crew was out of Holden Beach and fished aboard Capt. Brett Yaugers 26' Sea Pro- Monkey Jon- also on board were Chris Yauger, Jeff McDonald, and Jonathan Morton.
Folks, you could skip a nickel all the way to Frying Pan Tower this morning. It is magnificant! For all of you back inland thinking it's winter or getting ready for winter; drop what you're doing! Mother nature has given us an amazing blessing and you need to get down here to the coast to show her proper respect. It appears there is almost a 10 day pattern of this same weather pattern, so this is no time to pretend it is winter. Warm days, cool nights, calm seas; that is what we are experiencing. And, add to that very co-operative fish, and you can see why we are sending out this appeal....we need help enjoying all this joy. Come on down! ASAP!
On the fish scene, the Bluefin didn't co-operate very well with us yesterday. We fished the Shark Hole, lots of good bait marks, but no bites. Did hear of one fish that came from the Horeshoe. Also, congrats to Capt Roger and Capt Jon on the Showtime who doubled up yesterday on 2 excellent Bluefins. Hopefully the Morehead fish are coming this week and with the stable weather pattern we are in, it should happen.
As to a game plan for the Bluefin deal, we hit at them early starting at daylight, and if it hasn't happened by 11:00 it's time to change the game plan and work on the frying pan. The best sea bass fishing of the year is in the winter, and they will be on any of the rocks from a couple miles out and beyond. The Kings are thick in the Tower area. You can use dead cigars, or go to the Tower and jig up live bait. The grouper are still in the 80-100 foot water, and although I don't have a up to date gulf stream report, there should be wahoo on the break.
Bottom line, it's a glorious time to be here at the coast and a terrible time to be chopping firewood.
Capt. Roger and Capt. Jon drew first blood today, landing an 89 inch bluefin tuna, along with an 81 incher to boot. They were fishing out of Morehead City on the Showtime. There were also a few bites locally this morning in the vicinity of the Horseshoe and the Shark Hole. Get your reels spooled and ready, things are starting to heat up... Let's go fishing!
Just spoke to Brant. Hooked, fought, and lost a good one at the Shark Hole.
Brett Yeager on the "Monkey Jon" just arrived at the OIFC with a 72 incher approx 300lbs+. Will post pictures asap.
Brett Yeager on the 23 foot center console Sea Pro "Monkey Jon" is on the way to the Ocean Isle Fishing Center with a Giant Bluefin Tuna! He should be here approx 10:00. Jeff McDonald, of the "Undertaker" fame is fishing with him. You may recall Jeff caught a Bluefin last week and looks like this week his buddy Brett will take the "Bluefin Bounty" prize money!!!
Here are the pics of Monkey Jon's fish this morning. In the second pic Larry Cheek of Resort Brokerage and Consulting presents captain Brett Yeager with a check for $500 for the bluefin bounty prize sponsored by Resort Brokerage and Consulting, Cooke Realty, Ocean Isle Beach Realty, Sloane Realty. The next bluefin bounty will begin Monday the 11th and will run until the following Sunday or until the first bluefin of the week hits the dock. The weather looks perfect for this week so come and down and be a hero.
Capt Roger fought and lost one today on the Showtime. Blow tomorrow; looks like Saturday and especially Sunday will be fishable. All next week looks perfect and as weather stabalizes the Tuna show should be on. We'll be at it starting Saturday.
Confirmned report of Bluefin at Horeshoe today. One caught[approx 400lbs], others hooked and lost.
Spoke to Brant at Morehead. Few fish caught this morning but not like yesterday.
Just as I forcasted, he said heard couple fish hooked up at Horeshoe. Don't know if still fighting or caught. Hopefully yesterdays Morehead fish are moving into our waters.
Spoke with Capt Roger on Showtime this morning. No bites for the home boys at Morehead yet. Said some fish being caught but not like yesterday. If you'll remember, when we had the bite down here couple weeks ago, there was first a bite at Morehead so maybe that body of fish is moving down here and will be here this weekend. Looks like we'll have a good blow Thursday afternoon and Friday and weekend is settling out to look good.
Maybe that northeast wind will blow the Tunas on down here. Remember the "Bounty" tourney we are running for the first Bluefin of the week to be brought to our docks at the Ocean Isle Fishing Center[must come by boat]. $500 is being put up by local real estate companies Ocean Isle Beach Realty, Cooke Realty, Resort Brokerage and Consulting, and Sloane Coldwell Banker Realty. Each week the tourney starts on Monday and runs thru Sunday with new tourney starting on Mondays. Come on down, catch us a Tuna, win a little money, and be a hero. If you need motel rooms or a house with a boat slip be sure to contact the "bounty" sponsors.
Our boats didn't get any bites on Bluefin here today but there was a good bite at Morehead. Brant/Barrett are going up there to herd the fish back down here. Quite a few boats also fishing down here tomorrow. Standby for tomorrow updates.
Thanks to the many fishermen and their families who joined us for our Bluefin Blitz seminar here at the Ocean Isle Fishing Center. We are SO excited to see this worldclass fishery move into our waters and hope that many of you will join us this winter as we go on the hunt for these incredible fish. It is our intent to make the Ocean Isle Fishing Center your Bluefin Tuna headquarters for everything from information to supplies/tackle/ect. For those who will be selling their fish, we will have insulated shipping boxes for preparing your fish for sale and the buyers will come here. We also have a hoist to lift your fish for pictures. Stay tuned to our web site as we will keep you informed as to what's happening where. We will be fishing tomorrow and Wednesday and will be monitoring channel 11.
In support of our efforts to make OIFC and Ocean Isle Beach your Bluefin headquaters, several local real estate companies have agreed to put up a $500 bounty for the first Giant Bluefin of the week to be brought into the Ocean Isle Fishing Center[must be 55 inches minimum]. The weekly tourney will begin on Mondays[today] thru Sunday and we will continue the tourney each week as long as we have money. So, go catch a Bluefin, bring your fish to the OIFC, win a little cash, and be a media star hero.
If you're looking for accomodations here at OIB for you and your boat, please make contact with the companies that are supporting the "bounty"[Sloane Realty, 5796216; Ocean Isle Beach Realty, 5797770; Cooke Realty, 5793535; Resort Brokerage and Consulting, 5756262], Williamson Realty, 5792373. They can provide you hotel rooms or houses with boat slips.
Everything is in place; what we now need is to get everyone to work to find the fish so let's get at it. Game on!
Bluefin on the docks at the Ocean Isle Fishing Center. This AM Jeff McDonald and Jonathan Morton of Holden Beach struck out aboard their 23 Palmetto, Undertaker in search of a Giant Bluefin Tuna. Last evening Jeff came by the Fishing Center to get a few final supplies and while here, my wife Amy talked him into buying one of her just-made super-duper custom Bluefin Tuna rigs. Jeff gave in and low and behold, less than 12 hours later, the lure had found its way into the mouth of giant Bluefin. Jeff was working approximately 2 miles southeast of the Fairway buoy at 7:50am when the fish struck. The bite came off of the planer rig and the reel was a Penn 10/0 Senator with 80# test. In Jeff's words, "there was no room for error" as the Bluefin attempted to turn the reel in ashes. After the initial run, they pursued the fish and got it back with range. The fish made serveral shorter runs before eventually settling into the grueling up and down fight. 2 1/2 hours later, Jeff sunk the gaff in the fish and got a tail rope on it. With some help from local fisherman Chris Pardue, Jeff got the fish aboard his boat and headed back in. He brought the Bluefin to the Ocean Isle Fishing Center docks to be hung for pictures and tagged (a requirement before you can take the fish off the boat). I then gave a first hand lesson cleaning the fish and Jeff and family now have enough fresh Bluefin tuna to feed ALL their friends, and then some. Jeff was obviously elated at his first Bluefin and couldn't say enough about the power and new respect he had for the fish. Congratulations to Jeff and Jonathan and thanks for bringing in the first of hopefully many Giant Bluefin to the Ocean Isle Fishing Center docks in the 06-07 season.
FYI- here at the OIFC we are rigged up with a davet to take the fish off the boat and hang it for photos. We have tags to tag the fish and starting next week, we will have brine tanks on site for chilling your fish to go to market. We are working to have all you need to take care of your fish.
See you this Saturday at the Bluefin Blitz. Maybe we'll have some fresh Bluefin as a lunch appetizer??
I know it's short notice, but for anyone who may be near the Fishing Center this afternoon there is a giant bluefin coming to the dock. OIFC customer Jeff McDonald and crew aboard the Undertaker a 23' center console did battle and successfully landed an 85" giant bluefin. The fish was reportedly hooked near the Fairway buoy. So, if you'd like to get an eyeball on exactly what you're hunting come on by the Fishing Center this afternoon.