Capt. Brant's Fishing Report
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"Pogy Spotting" | The Flying Fish | 06/29/06
"Pogy Hunter" a.k.a "The Flying Fish" parasail vessel has located a large school of pogies today. Around 10am this morning I departed Lockwood Folly Inlet and headed south back towards Ocean Isle. About a 1/2 mile outside Lockwood inlet I found a large school of pogies in about 20 feet of water. They were popping on the surface and would have been easy to catch with one of our custom fast sinking cast nets. I'll report back tomorrow if I see anything off of Ocean Isle.
Capt. Barrett McMullan
"Shallotte Inlet Buoy Crisis; Solution in the Works" | The Flying Fish | 06/28/06
When the Coast Guard pulled the buoys from the Shallotte Inlet last year we declared "Red Alert" as it was obvious, removal of the buoys was inviting a catastrophy. Many boaters lack the expertise or navigation equipment to be able to traverse Shallotte Inlet without a buoy system so we made a decision to go to work and try to solve the problem. Our hope was to use the voice of the Ocean Isle Fishing Center to influence the Coast Guard however we shortly learned trying to argue a point with the Federal Government was hopeless. Their position was their 65 foot buoy tender could not safely operate in our 5 foot low water and thus they would no longer service the inlet and pulled their buoys. Our point was Shallotte Inlet is 99% used by small boats, typically outboards, and 5 feet of water was plenty of low tide depth, and that I could speak from 30 years of experience using Shallotte Inlet and it was no worse today than it had ever been....so, why pull the buoys?
Our argument fell on deaf ears so we went back to the drawing board and found out there was in fact a way to buoy an inlet with Coast Guard approval called "The Private Aids to Navigation Program". This program was established for exactly the situtation we had where there was an obvious need for buoying a body of water where the CG was unwilling to preform the service. The CG was very helpful in expaining the process to me which was simply finding a "sponsor" and filling out a form. They indicated they could grant approval in one day! So wow, we thought; simple problems need simple solutions. We then went to the Town of Ocean Isle and presented our plan and unfortunately the Town decided they could not get involved with the plan as they didn't feel they could accept the liability or responsibility. Obviously we were disapointed however it's not our style to quit on a project, so back to the drawing board.
I was going out the canal cut at the Fishing Center and noticed the buoys the Wildlife Resources places at their boat ramp and the obvious thought was that Wildlife was buoying their ramps all over the State so maybe we could talk them into taking on the Shallotte Inlet project. I contacted our State Representative Bonner Stiller who has many times evidenced himself as a true friend of sportfishermen and boaters and presented the plan to him. The basic approach was that in the event of a death on the water, it is Wildlife that responds and here was a chance to help prevent a tragedy before it occurred. Rep Stiller made the presentation to the Wildlife Resources people in Raleigh and their early indication was it might make sense and they would look into it. In less than 2 weeks time Wildlife sent their team led by Chief Engineer Gordon Myers to see us here at Ocean Isle and this past Friday we took the group on a tour of Shallotte Inlet to view the problem. Early indication from Gordon Myers is he feels confident Wildlife can help out and as soon as he does some quick engineering he will respond with a committment.
This is a HUGE victory if Gordon can come thru for us and a tremondous THANK YOU needs to be directed to him and to our State Representative Bonner Stiller who is responsible for getting the support from Wildlife Resources to solve the problem. It's important to let these people hear our gratitude so please drop them a email at;
Bonner Stiller- email@example.com
Capt. Barrett McMullan
Gordon Myers- firstname.lastname@example.org
"" | Black Pearl- 31' | 06/27/06
Hey everybody, sorry it has been so long since the last update, we have been busy running charters, fishing tournaments, and trying to work on boats. Here are some of the pics from last week, the king bite has really improved and I hope it keeps getting better, also the mahi and cobia are still around and biting. Live bait has still been an issue but we have been finding it up in the Cape Fear and around Carolina Beach. The weather has been an issue the first part of this week but we?re back on the water tomorrow.
Capt. David Hooks
"Jolly Mon 2006" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 06/27/06
Thanks to all for fishing and joining in the 2006 Choplin Marine, Jolly Mon King Classic. We registered 280 boats in the tournament and thanks to perfect timing from Mother Nature, most all got in a good day of fishing on Saturday before it turned rough on Sunday. The winning fish came from a variety of areas with Patrick Bryant's winner coming from the Horseshoe. 2nd came from the 30/30, 4th from the Cape Fear and 5th from Georgetown. The Jungle again produced the most leaderboard fish, but most of the fish from there placed from 20th-51st.
Capt. Brant McMullan
I again want to say thanks to our special sponsors- Choplin Marine, BB&T, Sea Tow, Magic-Tilt, Guy C. Lee (what a great Capt. Meeting dinner!), The GPS Store, Naber Dodge, Shallotte Rent-All, R&R Allstate, Elite Homes and all the other tournament advertisers who joined to make this event more successful. I hope you will consider patronizing their business and if you do, please say thanks for their support of the Jolly Mon.
Next up for the OIFC will be the Fall Brawl which had to be moved at the requirement of the town one week later to Oct 27-29. I hope you will all consider participating.
Also, for all of you who did finish in the top 51 places, your checks and prizes are being held at the OIFC for you. You can stop by from 6am-10pm to pick them up.
Thanks again to all and I'll see you on the water.
Complete listing of Jolly Mon results- http://www.oifishingcenter.com/tournament_results.cfm?tourneyid=1
"Day 1- Jolly Mon Report" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 06/24/06
We registered 280 boats to fish the tournament. Thanks to all who have participated. Today, the weather started nice but by noon the SE wind had picked up to 15kts and made the fishing day a bit tough. The "Twister" with Capt. Patrick Bryant of Holden Beach weighed in second and posted a nice 38 pounder which is currently in the lead. Scott Quaintance on the "Casual Water" posted a 33 and change for 2nd and "Wrench Head" posted a 30 for third-- for complete weigh-in information see- http://www.oifishingcenter.com/tournament_results.cfm?tourneyid=1 - the word is the top fish came from the Horse Shoe, 2nd from the 30/30 and 3rd from the River Channel. Thank you to all who weighed in and followed direction to keep the weigh-in line under control. At cut-off time at 5pm there were several boats that barely missed the cut, some of which were quite upset. At the Capt. Meeting I announced the official tournament time from the official tournament clock, and that is what the weigh-in line was based on. What your clock or GPS says is not relevant to the official tournament time, which is a good reason to be sure to attend the Capt. Meeting. I am sorry there were a few boats that missed the cut-off, but it is my every intent to maintain consistency in rule enforcement in hopes of maintaining the integrity of the tournament- I hope you understand.
Capt. Brant McMullan
Tomorrow will be the final weigh-in day. We have 35+/- boats fishing and we'll have to see how the leader board gets shuffled. Stay tuned.
"Jolly Mon; Game On!!" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 06/24/06
The Jolly Mon King Mackerel Classic is underway. Approx 300 boats entered the tourney and most are fishing today. Weather this morning is lite NE wind with a SE swell. Weighin opens at 2:00 and you must be in line by 5:00. Come on down and watch the weighin. PLEASE use our hassel free off island parking shuttle. It will begin running at 12:00 noon.We have lots of Jolly Mon tee shirts still available.
Brant is flying with Capt Brandon this morning air dropping Jolly Jugs.
Big news Brant shared with the crowd at the Capt meeting last night. You will recall from earlier post the efforts we have been putting forth to win the battle to get buoys put back in Shallotte Inlet. I am pleased to report yesterday we hosted a inlet tour with the Coast Guard, Wildlife Resources Chief Engineer Gordon Myers and State Representative Bonner Stiller. Brant took this group aboard the Carolina Contender and showed them how critical it is to get the buoys put back into the inlet. With the support of Rep Stiller[a 100% friend of the fishermen and boaters], Wildlife Resources has indicated they are receptive to take on the project and as soon as they can do some quick engineering they will make their committment to do so. We consider this a MAJOR VICTORY after we struck out with the Coast Guard and the Town of Ocean Isle. The Wildlife Resources Commission is to be highly commended for their willingness to step forward and take on this project in order to save lives. Please let them know via emails of your appreciation of their willingess to consider solving this crisis. Standby for more info on this project as soon as the Jolly Mon dust settles.
"Jolly Mon Report #1" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 06/23/06
It is on! We've begun registration and folks are showing up. We had 75 pre-entries and now are up to 100 or so. The weather is looking great and yes, the fish are here! Capt. Roger is on the way back from the Shark Hole this AM with a boat load of Kings, Mahi and Cobia. I have a bait report too-- HUGE, JUMBO menhaden at Battery Island (1/2 way between Southport and Bald Head entrance) in the Cape Fear River. We've got a great assortment of Jolly Mon T's and the store is packed with whatever you need to go fishing-- We had Jr. Jolly Mon registration yesterday and we've got over 50 Jr. anglers fishing today !!! Stand by for more!!
Capt. Brant McMullan
"Jolly Mon latest update" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 06/23/06
Weather PERFECT. You could skip a nickel to Frying Pan Tower today, not a palm fron moving; flat calm. The forecast says 3-5 feet but as we've been saying that's misleading as their reference is to a SE swell. With no wind, the swell means nothing, so stick with my forecast of PERFECT.
Fish are showing at all the normal spots, Jungle/Shark Hole/ect. Pogies still difficult but some bait showing at Carolina Beach. Everything kicks off today. Come join us.
"Jo9lly Mon weather/fish/bait update" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 06/22/06
-Kings showed up good yesterday at Shark Hole area. No real big ones but several in the low 20's.
-Pogies are still difficult, small ones in intercoastal. We have 25 cases of 18-24 inch ribbonfish being delivered today[hopefully they are good quality, we had to buy them sight unseen]. Also 50 cases of KingJigger ballyhoo. Could end up being a dead bait tournament.
-Weather still looks PERFECT. There is a SE swell to develop Saturday, but winds are lite so will have no effect. The wave height indicated is the swell and the wind is the afternoon sea breeze.
Come join us, looks like it will be a HUGE turnout, lots of $$'s to the winners!!!
"Today's Report" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 06/21/06
On your marks, get set...... The Jolly Mon is in its final countdown stages. I'm putting the final touches on what I hope will be a great tournament for the entire family. Lots of prize expansion in the Lady, Jr. and Senior categories as well as more money paid out. As a reminder, registration will be on Friday from 12-10pm with dinner at 6pm and the Capt. Meeting at 7pm. No doubt the Ocean Isle Fishing Center will be very busy and crowded, so I again ask that you park and ride the free shuttle service which will bring you from the off-island lot located 1/2 mile before the OIB bridge. It is very simple and it will be the fastest way to get the site. If you ride the shuttle, you will be eligible to win prizes upwards of $200 value.
Capt. Brant McMullan
The fishing has been better today than yesterday. They took a break yesterday, but today the fish are back on the feed with decent numbers of kings up to 20 pounds coming from the Shark Hole.
The big question is- what about bait? I've talked to guys from Charleston to Morehead and there just aren't any Pogys on the beach. The only place where Menhaden of much size have been holding is front of Sunny Point docks in the Cape Fear River up to Snow's Cut. Even those baits have been a bit on the small size. So, this year I feel like the tournament will be one in which alternative baits will be the norm. Don't underestimate a Cigar Minnow, Ballyhoo or Ribbonfish. Also, stock up on jig rigs and if you have a chance, catch a few dead Spanish for bait. Just because you don't have a live Pogy doesn't mean you won't catch the big one. Do you think the Kings at the Jungle see Pogys where they are? They are feeding on Cigar Minnows, Pinfish, Snapper........ Be a bit creative. For me, I like the idea of jigging Pinfish, Snappers, Grunts... etc... and anchoring up and chumming and fishing these baits under balloons.
And believe it or not, our charter fleet has been catching alot of good size kings up to 25 pounds off the dead baits- they've gotten to where they like to use small Ballyhoo as they hold up longer and are a bit larger than Cigar Minnows.
Hope to see you this Friday- stand by for further reports
"weather/fish/bait update" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 06/21/06
-Weather still holding, looks perfect. Slight swell developing for Sunday [that's the increased seas marine weather showing]but very lite winds so no effect. Scatterred showers which should only be a factor in late afternoon/evening. It's PERFECT!
-Big Kings either slowed down last couple days or everybody's quit talking. Were showing up at Jungle/Christina, probably still there. Watch out for Yaupon/River Channel/Lighthouse Rocks to click in.
- Pogies still holding in Cape Fear River, however big schools in intercoastal but medium to small size.
-We have 25 cases of 18-24 inch ribbonfish coming tomorrow.
-We have 25 cases of jigger ballyhoo coming tomorrow
This could end up being a dead bait tourney unless pogies suddenly show up.
"Limits of Macks All Around" | It Works- 27' | 06/18/06
Here's a picture of Capt. Shane's catch aboard the It Works today. Like myself, Shane also had his limit of king mackerel, however also had a couple of mahi's thrown in as well. Looking forward to getting back at it tomorrow!
Capt. Bryan Williams
"Water Report" | The Flying Fish | 06/18/06
As you've heard from the other fishing reports the kingfish bite went off today in the 65' depth around the Jungle and other spots. Not suprising, it is that time of year. While I don't make it out that far parasailing, I did notice some changes today in the nearshore waters (less than 2 miles). The water on the beach is clearing up very nicely to the optimal king green color. There has been an awesome tideline forming out of Shallotte inlet that is holding various types of baitfish and overall looks like a fishy area. I haven't seen the schools of pogies in a few days but I understand they are still up in the Cape Fear River fairly consistent as well as in the waterway around Ocean Isle. What I did see today which was interesting was a couple schools of big mullets running the beach. I wouldn't count on them for a source of bait but it's good to know they might be there so you can keep your eyes open. They are going to be right in the suds just behind the breakers. If the conditions remain stable the rest of this week as forecasted the water will continue to improve in clarity and more and more baitfish should move in. While the majority of the kingfish will likely come from the 65' depth of water don't be suprised to see the Jolly Mon winner to come from less than 45' of water. There won't be as many fish but the quality will be better. If you're fishing the tournament this weekend and conditions remain stable and you take the hero or zero approach, good spots to consider would be the Shallotte Ledge, Yaupon Reef and the Cape Fear River channel both at the end of the channel and right at the mouth. If I locate the pogies from the parasail this week I'll post a report. Good luck. Standing by on channel 11
Capt. Barrett McMullan
"Today's Report" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 06/18/06
Had a bottom fishing school yesterday and did pretty good on the Grouper in 90-110 feet of water. Today had a live bait school and had an awesome day of king fishing at the Jungle- THE KINGS ARE HERE !!! AND MOVING IN!!-
Capt. Brant McMullan
JOLLY MON THIS WEEKEND-- FISH ARE HERE!-
I'll report more in depth tomorrow-- time to go home and be a dad.
"Hot report" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 06/18/06
Hot report just in from Capt Squid...It's ON at the Jungle. 1 in the 30's, several in the 20's!!! Dead cigars.
"Jolly Mon King Forecast correction" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 06/18/06
My apologies on the Jolly Mon King forecast I put out earlier in the week. My forecast was the big Kings would show up early next week just in time for the Jolly Mon. I was wrong...they showed up yesterday. A 34 was caught at the Jungle and several others in the high 20's. This is first report of tourney winning fish and it appears they are showing up exactly where they are supposed to be. Tons of bait is at the 90/90; lots of smaller fish are at the Shark Hole and surrounding area. The water continues to be full of dolphin. Cobia are still here[we have live eels at OIFC].
Yesterday I accompanied Capt Brant on his bottom fishing school. We fished approx 100 feet, got on the grouper pretty good when we first started, got over confident and didn't want to shoot all the birds out of the covey so left to look for other hot spots, and spent the rest of the day struggling to find the grouper. Most importantly I noted the water looks good for first few miles out, then looks milky out to 25 miles, and then looks good. I think this explains why the king bite has been slow to go off in normal spots as the water is still milky from Alberto's wind and rain. As calm and stable as the weather is, the water will be clearing everyday and the Kings should really lite it up by early next week.
The pogies are still not here. Brant is doing his live bait school today and had to run all the way to the Cape Fear to find pogies. I'm still forecasting them to majically show this week. Capt Barrett is in the air today with his "Flying Fish" parasail boat so we should be able to get a satalite view from him this evening as to what's he's seeing from 800 feet. Brant's fishing the Jingle with his school so we'll have a good report from him.
For those planning to fish the Jolly Mon, if the pogies don't appear, don't hesitate to use a dead Spanish, Trout, or a horse ballyhoo on a Bait-O-Matic[will make a horse Bally swim like Mark Spitz]. Remember big bait....big fish.
Gulf Stream, Capt Roger had good catch of Dolphin yesterday and so did Capt Shane fishing closer in.
Standby for more info. Oh yeah....the weather looks perfect for the tourney. Chance of scatterred showers but the air is so dry and humidity so low, that I think any showers will not make it to the beach. We will be in a summer type pattern, southwest wind flow which means flat in the morning and a sea breeze in the afternoon. Perfect conditions. Come join us and PLEASE remember to ride the free off island shuttle. Win free rods/reels/ect just for riding the shuttle. THANKS!
"Pole Poppin'!" | It Works- 27' | 06/16/06
This afternoon, myself, Mark McCall, and his son Patrick set out on a 1/2 day mission around 11:30. With the very slow to non-existant inshore king mackerel bite, we opted for a different route. In the past few days there have been sightings of huge schools of spadefish on the Generel Sherman wreck so we decided to give it a try. For those of you who have never tried this, you HAVE to give it a shot sometime! It's super easy and a WHOLE lot of fun catching these hard fighting fish on small spinning rods (flounder rods)---here's how it works. On your way out, cast net or scoop up a couple dozen jelly balls. (These are the jelly fish looking creatures usually found on or near the tidelines of the inlets----they have no stinger and will not hurt your in any way.) When you get to the wreck, drop anchor and then string you up 4 or 5 and hook them to your downrigger ball. Move on top of the wreck (or just to the side of it) and lower your downrigger ball with the jelly balls attached to the bottom. When it reaches the bottom, reel it up very slow and the spadefish will usually follow the jelly balls up and will be nipping the edges off the jelly balls. (Usually there will literally be hundreds underneath your boat fighting over the jelly balls! Check out the picture below! And that was just the fish that I could get in a picture while standing on the side of the boat!) When you get them under your boat, there are several ways to go about catching them. We chose to tie a small #2 live bait hook on to our short section of 20 lb. fluorocarbon leader and put a very small chunk of a jelly ball on the hook. Simply drop the chunk down beside the "main course" and hang on! These fish will range in size from 1-2 lbs. up to 5 lbs. or more and to say they are a good fight would be an under statement! They will flat BURN down the drag on your small flounder reels! Another way to catch them is to dangle a small piece of jelly ball under a cork (just like speckled trout fishing) and position it right beside your jelly balls attached to your downrigger. (If all this sounds like Greek to you or if you are still a bit confused, stop by the Fishing Center and I or anyone else will be glad to help you.) While we were catching these spadefish, a cobia suddenly appeared amongst them and soon found his way to our cigar minnow that I had floating behind the boat for him. The spadefish bite slowed to a grinding halt when a barracuda appeared in the middle of the school so we opted to pick up and go in search of a king mackerel. The bad news is that they were nowhere to be found---the good news is that there is a TON of bait around the 90/90's and the bite should be very good in the next day or two. So all in all, we had a very productive trip this afternoon and like I said earlier, please stop by and talk to us if you have any questions about spadefishing. (Oh, and yes they are very good to eat!) We'll be back at it tomorrow so check back for another report!
Capt. Bryan Williams
"Today's Report" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 06/15/06
Alberto dumped a little rain and brought winds yesterday of around 20-30kts and gusty- not horrible, but certainly not a nice day to be at the beach. The storm moved out quick and just as rough as it was yesterday, its very nice today with little to no wind. However, the ocean did get churned up and the waters inside of 20 miles are pretty silty which will lead to slow fishing. None of our boats caught any kings within 20 miles today, but I'm still waiting for a report back from Capt. Roger who is in the Stream and Capt. Bryan who is bottom fishing on a full day. It is supposed to be very good weather for the next several days and within a couple of days the waters will clear and the fish will suddenly be there and be biting- guaranteed.
Capt. Brant McMullan
Its hard for me to believe, but the Jolly Mon is weekend after this weekend-- it has come on fast. I hope you have it marked on your calendar and are planning to attend. Early entry deadline is today, but you may enter up until 10pm, June 23rd at the Ocean Isle Fishing Center. On-site Registration will be from 12-10pm on June 23rd at the OIFC with the Capt. Meeting at 7pm- fishing is one day- EITHER the 24th or 25th- you must choose prior to lines in time on the 24th. We are planning a big Capt. meeting dinner compliments of Guy C. Lee building supply and of course, the annual Pogy Bobbing contest will be on the schedule. Hopefully Mother Nature will be kind and the weather will cooperate so boats of all sizes can enjoy a great day on the water. If you need information on the tournament, visit http://oifishingcenter.com/tournaments.cfmhttp://oifishingcenter.com/tournaments.cfm
or call (910) 575-FISH.
For those planning to fish, the OIFC is stocked with what you'll need to catch the big ones- rods, reels, nets, rigs, bait, ice, chum...... the only piece we haven't conquered yet is the ribbonfish, but we're working on that.
Stay tuned for updates on the fishing and the Jolly Mon.