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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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"Fishing Report" | Black Pearl- 31' | 07/24/06
 

The King bite is steady and we are still snagging a Cobia and Mahi once in a while. The live bait is a little finicky but shows up on most days. On the backwater side the Reds are biting at the Little River Rocks and Flounders are here if we can find them in their air-conditioned holes. This hot water in the dog days seems to slow things a little but hopefully the bites will hang on!!

Stay Tuned


- Capt. David Hooks
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"Today's Report" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 07/24/06
 

I fished a 3/4 day today with the Springer family from OH who have been fishing with me for at least 5 years.  The seas laid out nicely and after catching some Pogys in the waterway, we headed offshore to the 70 foot hole to see if the Kings might have started biting again-- since they shut down for us on Sat and Sun.  I got two lines out and two fish on right off the bat.  I called in Capt. Roger on the "MacMarle'n" and Capt. Ryan on the "Black Pearl" and we commenced to catch quite a few kings in the 8-20 pound range.  While I was using mostly live bait, Roger and Ryan had no problem getting bites while fishing dead Cigar Minnows.  The bite wasn't red hot, but we picked a half dozen kings in a couple hours before deciding to head to the Jungle to see what was going on there.  We set lines and immediately a monster waterspout dropped down from a cloud less than a mile away and put on quite a show.  The crew was mesmorized, but I continued to set lines and within minutes we were hooked up.  These Kings were a bit larger, most in the 15-25 pound class and were chomping the downrigger at 40 feet.  We caught another half dozen at least within a couple hours before calling it a day.  Needless to say, the bite was on and the kings are certainly there.  Moving from spot to spot, the 55-80 foot depth range is absolutely loaded with pods of baitfish.  I'm not exactly sure what kind of bait, but the Kings are obviously keying on it.  Stay tuned for more.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Fishing Report" | Black Pearl- 31' | 07/20/06
 

We have been doing well with the Kings in the 20 mile range. The livebait has been consistently easy to get off Ocean Isle Beach which is a welcome change. The Mahi have slowed down a bit but are still hanging around. I am loading a picture of a clients sons first crabbing trip aboard the easy now with Capt. Ryan. Speaking of Capt. Ryan ever wonder what he does when he is not fishing? Check this out!
Stay Tuned


- Capt. David Hooks
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"King Mack Attack!" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 07/19/06
 

FINALLY!  They are here.  Last year I think we talked about the fish running behind schedule and I had hoped they were just behind this year, but I was kind of wondering if they just wouldn't show at all.  However, yesterday I defunct that notion as I spent a 3/4 day trip aboard the Carolina Contender with a group from High Point.  We pulled out of Shallotte Inlet and caught a bait well full of Pogys which were just a 1/4 mile West of Shallotte inlet.  We then ran to the Shark Hole and the action was on.  I started with mostly dead Cigar Minnows just to get more bites but after we quickly boated 5 or 6 fish, I switched to all live bait to try to increase the size of the fish were catching- mostly in the 8-12lb range.  Instantly the action picked up as the bigger kings came to life and the downrigger at 30 ft with a live, plain Pogy was the answer.  We caught at least a dozen Kings in the 15-25 pound range, just like its supposed to be in early July.  Last week I think I made mention of the fishing to come-- I just felt like with all the bait we were seeing move into the 50-70 foot depths and the fact that we were still having decent catches of kings while under a full moon and hard southwest wind;, when the conditions changed to more favorable, the fish should turn on- and they have!  So, for all you folks watching from land side to see when to come down- I'd say this is the time.
And for all you guys getting cranked up in the tournamnet circuit, you should see better catches-- and yes- WE HAVE CAPT. MARK'S CHUM on hand.
Stay tuned for more reports as we continue in search of the big ones.
Capt. Brant


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"More Pictures Of Whitey" | Mac Marle'n- 32' | 07/18/06
 

Just wanted to add a few more shots of today's catch.  It seems the boys had plenty of cameras on their boat today.  We can all thank them for that.


- First Mate- Chris Burrows
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"White Marlin" | Mac Marle'n- 32' | 07/18/06
 

Congratulations to Dan Mitchell, Steven Mitchell, Ben Mitchell, and Mark Mansfield from Alabama who caught their first billfish today, a fired-up white marlin at the Blackjack Hole.  The group left this morning at 5:00 with the OIFC's very own Jonathan Coleman.  The bite at the Horeshoe was slow, so they headed on offshore in hopes of teasing up a billfish.  As it happened, they never even got their teasers out.  As Jonathan was setting out the first bait (a dink ballyhoo on TLD-15) it was attacked by the white, who missed the bait on the inital strike.  The drop-back hooked the fish, and after nearly a two hour fight on 15# test, he was boated, de-hooked, and released.  The group was thrilled to see him swim away after a short revival period to fight again.  White marlin are not the most common catch in our Gulfstream fishery, so we are definitely pleased to see one reported, and even more pleased to see it released.  Of course, upon returning to the dock at the Ocean Isle Fishing Center, Jonathan was promptly thrown in the water to commemorate his first billfish as a mate.


- First Mate- Chris Burrows
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"Fishing Report" | Black Pearl- 31' | 07/17/06
 

Things were pretty slow for the first leg of the FLW Kingfish Tour NC Division. The field was full at 100 boats and there were only 38 fish weighed in from 28 down to 7 pounds. I am participating as a crewmember on Skip Canipe?s Soar Loser and Saturday evening we were just that! We left that morning in a fierce SW wind cooking around 20+ knots or so. We caught bait in the Yacht Basin at Carolina Beach and headed for the high seas. The 30/30 was our destination but at about the 5-mile mark we turned around and opted not to brave the conditions and fished Carolina Beach Inlet. We stayed there until lunchtime with not even a sniff. We decided to head back to the Yacht Basin, freshen our live well up and sit it out at Yaupon reef. Well this turned out to yield a zero also. In this fishing arena if you start out with a zero it will be extraordinarily hard to pull back up, but the Soar Loser team will give it a shot. On the charter side the kings bit good today. Capt. Ryan ran a full day and limited out on kings and released several more. There were no great big ones but this a welcome site. Last week I carried a couple of my out of town family members into the 35-mile range on our 21-foot Pursuit the easy now and had a great day with the Mahi and Kings. There is just something that makes you feel more accomplished when you whip them on a small boat!! Stay Tuned


- Capt. David Hooks
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"Today's Report" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 07/14/06
 

Wind is blowing today- 15-20kts- SW- 3-5' nearshore and 4-6+ once you get 10+ miles out. 
Really sorry I haven't been on-line much as of late to keep the fishing report up for you.  I've been running 110% between fishing, managing the OIFC and keeping all the boats running. 
This past week the fishing has slowed down, much in part I think to the full moon we are having now.  We're catching a hand full of kings and dolphin on all our trips, but we're having to work hard for them.   Over the past few days we are seeing more and more bait move into the 55-75 foot depth range and thus I would expect more action from kings very soon.  My feeling is that once this bit of weather subsides the fish will start biting good again.  We are still seeing a good many dolphin fishing anywhere from 10-30+ miles out.  Some days we'll hit a school of peanuts and catch quite a few, but for the most part its singles or doubles of 10-15 pounders at random.  They make for a nice surprise.  Offshore in the 90-120 foot depth the Grouper are biting.
If you're looking for menhaden, they've been holding around Lockwood's Folly and the Cape Fear.
For any of you that may be fishing this weekend's FLW tournament or next week's King of the Cape, we just got in a new shipment of Capt. Mark's chum and have it available in 7lb boxes or 25# blocks.  In addition, we're stocked up with plenty of Cape Lookout skirts and other assorted brands to suite all you need to catch the big one.
Stay tuned for more- Capt. Brant-
Oh yeah, Capt. Roger and first mate Hank guided a crew to a Sailfish release the other day- pictures below.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Lately" | Black Pearl- 31' | 07/13/06
 

The kings and mahi have been steady on the offshore trips. We seem to get a little bigger fish on live bait when we can get it. The bait is still sketchy but seems to be holding off of Oak Island. The Jungle area has been pretty good but the best bite is a little further offshore around the Horseshoe, Atlantic Ledge areas. But at a lot of these holes you need a weed eater to cut the grass so you can get your lines out! The weed is a big factor in most of our favorite places but should be clearing up soon. Stay Tuned.


- Capt. David Hooks
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"Pictures" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 07/12/06
 

Although not an official fishing report, I did want to post a couple more pictures of the sailfish that one of my charters, Rob Johnson, caught aboard the Carolina Contender on Monday, July 3. 
Tight Lines!

--Capt. Squid


- Capt. Bryan Williams
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"Pogies Everywhere" | The Flying Fish | 07/10/06
 

For those of you live baiters who've been waiting on the arrival of the pogies....they're heeere.  From my eye in the sky underneath the parasail I saw school after school of pogies beginning at Lockwood Folly Inlet all the way back south to Tubbs Inlet.  The bait schools are not large, about the size of a swimming pool for the most part but there is a new school about every 100 yards.  You'll find that size of bait is mixed.  One school will have 4 to 5 inchers and the next will be 10  inchers.  When deciding which school to throw your net on look for the pogies flipping their tales that cause a larger splash.  Small quick splashes will be the small baits and the big splashes with loud pops will be the big baits.  I've also heard reports that there is plenty of big baits between Oak Island and the Cape Fear River.  So basically anywhere you enter the ocean in this area you should have the option to catch pogies.  If you're in need of the best pogy net made stop by the Fishing Center for an OIFC custom fast sinking pogy net and a quick lesson on how to throw it.  Guaranteed to catch pogies.  We'll be out flying all week so if you need a pogy report call The Flying Fish on channel 11.  With all the bait on the beach I've got my eyes peeled for skying king mackerel and schools of spanish. 


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Pogies are here!" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 07/10/06
 

Finally the pogies showed up. Thick off Shallotte Inlet and up and down the beach. Look for Spanish to show now and summer King bite with bigger fish to get it in gear. All our boats are fishing so stand by for what's where.


- Rube McMullan
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"Today's Report" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 07/06/06
 

Sorry I've been absent as of late.  I've been fishing steady and just haven't had time to keep the reports coming- hopefully Rube has been keeping you up to date in my absence- tomorrow I'll post a full report.  Here are some pics from the Lucas party the other day.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"King update" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 07/06/06
 

For King tourney fishermen this weekend:
Our charter boats still catching them at Horeshoe and Christina, best today at Horeshoe. Had one in upper 20's. Also hearing improved action at Georgetown. Menhaden at Georgetown and Cape Fear.

We got new shipment of 25lb blocks of Capt Mark's chum. Also still have some ribbonfish[quality is "ok", not great but ok.]

With north to northeast wind this weekend, look for beach bite at Yaupon or River Channel. Look for mullets on the beach.


- Rube McMullan
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"Gaffin' fish and takin' names!" | Show Time- 34' | 07/05/06
 

It's hot outside and someone was shooting fireworks off last night, so I think it's early July.  I'm losing track of the days because of the  hot fishing lately.  And that's a good thing...  On the MacMarlen Capt. Roger Gales and I led our party to ten solid kingfish and one giant Spanish mackerel yesterday at Christina's Ledge pulling dead cigar minnows.  Capt. Shane Hollar and Capt. Brant enjoyed similar success on their trips as well.  The docks at the Ocean Isle Fishing Center saw a steady flow of dolphin and kings today as all of the boats ran and caught fish.  The Horseshoe still seems like a good bet if you can work your way through the weeds, and the kings at the Atlantic Ledge are getting bigger, seemingly by the day.  Finally, there are pogies in the mouth of the Shallotte River if you want to spice up your spread with some live bait.  It's been in short supply this year, so I can't wait to throw that cast net tomorrow.  Good luck to all and tight lines...


- First Mate- Chris Burrows
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"Spade Fishing" | Black Pearl- 31' | 07/03/06
 

My 6 year old son Tripp, long time friend and fishing partner Bengie Cox, and myself struck out on a Spade fishing trip on my 22 foot bay boat last Saturday not really knowing what we were doing. We started by netting a couple of dozen Jelly balls just outside Tubs Inlet then headed offshore to the Sherman. We anchored up near the wreck and Bengie slid 3 or 4 Jelly Balls down a fish stringer and then tied it to about 20 feet of twine with a 16-ounce sinker. He did this in lieu of a downrigger, then put it over the side of the boat while holding the twine. In about 10 minutes he felt them hitting the line and I baited a 10lb spinning outfit with a quarter sized piece of jelly, on a small nose hook with a ¾ ounce sinker, and flipped it over the side. I stuck it in a rod holder to bait a second rod and heard a commanding DAD, DAD and the rod was peeling drag. I took the pole down and handed it to Tripp and he got his first experience of being pulled into the gunnels! After a long fight I netted the 10-pound Spade and we kept repeating steps one and two. On light tackle these fish are an amazing fight. After that one battle Tripp became the net man. We caught 5 or 6 and headed home. Later that evening we put some on the grill and it is a great eating fish to boot!


- Capt. David Hooks
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"Lately" | Black Pearl- 31' | 07/03/06
 

We have been running strong here lately and the fishing has been pretty good, both inshore and offshore. We are catching Kings, Mahi, Spanish, Barracuda, Cobia and Jacks. Some days are slower than others but we are definitely set into our summer pattern. On the near shore/backwater side the flounders and specks are slowing down in the backwater but we still manage to pull a few out here and there. The near shore on the close wrecks and inlet mouths is doing better at this time.


- Capt. David Hooks
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"Mahi Mania---Round 2" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 07/03/06
 

Video Clip 1

| Video Clip 2
This morning, I captained the Carolina Contender for a 3/4 day mission.  With a stiff 3 foot S/SW chop in our face, we opted to change course and head to the Horseshoe, which would provide a better ride.  Along the entire ride, I noticed that there was a ton of scattered grass and was hoping that it cleared up before I got to the Horseshoe.  When I pulled the throttles back, I noticed that the grass was definately there, however it was managable.  We trolled around for 45 or so minutes before our first bite----soon after an 8 lb. mahi lay on the ice.  For the next couple of hours, we struggled to get bites from anything other than grass, however the bites that we got, we made the best of and managed to put 6 more mahi's and 1 king mackerel in the fishbox.  At 11:30, though, the entire day turned around with just one fish.  Line started screaming off the long line reel and the fish began tailwalking across the ocean, jumping straight at us.  All I could see was the fish's white stomach and the first words out of my mouth were "Good gracious what a mahi!"  However-----after about 3 jumps, she turned sideways and tailwalked for what seemed like forever and it was then that we saw the bill and sail of our first SAILFISH of the year!!  She put on quite the display, jumping well over 30 times for us before finally settling down for a tug-of-war.  Rob fought the fish for 45 minutes and had it beside the boat at least 8 times within picture (and video) range but would not let me grab it's bill.  Finally she was tired enough to lay beside the boat and allow me to drag her over the side for some pictures and a quick measurement.  On the tape, she went 72" (6 feet long) and am proud to say that when released she swam away unharmed!  With it now 12:15, we decided to call it a day and just as I got all the rods packed up, my tackle bag zipped up, and the boat cleaned, I looked over the side of the boat and all I could see were mahi's.  Without delay, I took 2 cigar minnows out and threw them over the side to get their attention, then proceeded to cut cigars in small chunks and put them on a single treble hook.  As fast as you could get a chunk in the water, you had 5 or more fish fighting over it!  These fish weren't itty-bitty either----all of them were 5+ lbs!  This action continued until we ran out of cigar minnows, however if we had more, we could have sat and caught them for hours!  Talk about luck and being at the right place at the right time!  With the mayhem of the sailfish and mahi's, I wasn't able to get many pictures, BUT-----my charter took some VERY good pictures and will be posting them as well very soon.  Hope you enjoy the pictures and be sure to also download the short videos that I shot!  Till next time---tight lines!

---Capt. Squid
- Capt. Bryan Williams
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"What's happening where" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 07/03/06
 

Dolphin bite still good at Horseshoe, Capt Squid will report on his day but I saw his catch of Dolphin/Kings and a SAILFISH! He crushed them. Also decent King bite at Jungle.

The big news is the Gulf Stream is on fire! Well formed weed lines and lots of BIG dolphin[lots of 20-30's]. This could be the last big push for the Gulf Stream this season so need to get out there while fish and weather is co-operating. Best action has been inshore of the Steeples where lots of current is interacting with weed lines over structure...perfect recipe for fast action. Also several reports of Blue Marlin attacks in same area. When dolphin get thick like this we primarily pull skipping ballyhoo, you can go a little faster and with our Baitmaster Ballyhoo[the best ballyhoo on the market], they hold up to faster trolling speeds.


- Rube McMullan
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"Gulf Stream Report---Don't Hang Up Your Rods Yet!!" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 07/02/06
 

Yesterday I had the pleasure of joining my good friends Jeremy and Jason Foster and Lee Frick aboard the Foster's 33' Palmetto Custom, "The Job Site".  Our plan was to head to the stream and take revenge on all the big bull dolphin that we haven't been able to catch all year.  So off we headed to the Blackjack Hole since the satellite shot showed a very good temperature break just offshore of it and we thought that there may be a good weedline on it.  About 10 miles inshore of the Blackjack Hole, we ran across a very good weedline with a 1/2 degree temperature break on it.  Instead of stopping, we decided to stay with our plan and keep heading offshore in hopes of finding the bigger fish.  As fate would have it, 3 miles inshore of the Blackjack we ran across another weedline---this one being bigger and better looking than the first.  This one was too good to pass up so we stopped and got ready to drop baits in.  As we were setting the spread, we noticed a huge amount of life under the weedline and we knew that we were on to something.  Within 20 minutes of setting the spread, our first rigger clip popped and our first gaffer mahi of the day laid in the box.  For the next hour we trolled east up the weedline as it was taking us straight toward the Steeples and we picked mahi's off it one at a time.  Just as we got near the Steeples, the mats of weed started getting bigger and the fishing got even better.  It started with 5 lines going off at once (we caught two) and as fast as we could put baits in the water, we were hooking 20+ lb. gaffers and putting them in the box.  (Within 20 minutes we had 9 fish flopping in the box!)  At one time we stopped the boat and counted more than 15 fish under the boat---each one being 20+ lbs!    This action continued until 12:00 before we finally got a break to grab a sandwich and count our fish (23 in the box---almost all gaffers).  Just as we thought it couldn't any better, Jeremy saw a fish on our flat line and pounced to the back of the boat.  When I turned around, the fish had pulled loose from the flat line and went to the short rigger.  It popped, came tight, then pulled off.  Without any delay, the long rigger pops and Jason comes tight----we all look back and all we saw was the bill and wide open mouth of a Blue Marlin shaking wildly trying to throw the hook!  Then just as quick as he showed up, he had shaken his third hook and left us all shaking our heads wondering how we had just missed "the man in the blue suit" 3 different times---but that's just the way bill fishing goes (you catch far less than you hook).  In the next couple of hours we picked up a few more fish before we eventually ran out of bait (we took with us 67 ballyhoo) and decided to pack it up to come home.  As we ran across the weedline for the final time we got an idea----we had stuck a freshwater bass rod in the t-top with a popper tied on just in case we were able to use it.  So we pulled up to the grass line and I got on the bow with the bass rod and gave it a good cast toward the grass.  Within 3 times of popping the plug, mahi's rushed out from under the weedline and I had 4 fish crash the bait all at once!  We stayed there for 30 minutes or so, catching 4 more mahi's to bring our final total to 33 mahi's (13 bailers and 20 gaffers with the biggest being 33.5 lbs!) and 2 wahoo's.  Just as we were packing up to come home, Jeremy stood up on the bow and noticed a fish swimming on top of the water.  So he grabbed the popper again and proceeded to catch the biggest puffer fish any of us have laid eyes on!  (See picture below)  This thing was easily the size of a small beach ball and gave us a good laugh and a perfect way to end the day.  So it's safe to say that the gulf stream season is still not over----there are PLENTY of quality fish just waiting on us out there!  This was by far the best day I've had down here in a long time and can't wait to get back out there to do it again! 

---Capt. Squid


- Capt. Bryan Williams
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