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Page 29 of 67

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"IT IS ON" | Team Carolina Wellcraft | 01/19/06
 

Hot off the press.  Capt. Brant and the Carolina Contender are on again!  They have a 97" in the boat and are hooked up on number 2.  Come on down to Ocean Isle and get in on this once in a lifetime fishery.  We have all the tackle, bait, ice, fuel you'll need.  Give us a call 910-575-FISH.


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"He's in the boat!!!" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 01/19/06
 

Hot off the coconut telegraph....just spoke to Brant. He just put a 97 incher in the Carolina Contender! Approx 500lbs+. Heading to the Ocean Isle Fishing Center with the fish. Caught it at the Horeshoe. Several other boats hooked up.


- Capt. Rube McMullan
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"9:00am Tuna bite" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 01/19/06
 

Just got off tele with Brant. He's at the Horeshoe; 2 boats are currently hooked up fighting Giant Bluefin Tuna. There are 10 boats fishing the area. Standby for updates. Folks, this deal is real! The fish are here. The weather looks perfect throughout the weekend. Although the focus seems to be on the Horeshoe, there may be fish at any of the King Mackerel spots. You're looking for temperature breaks at structure locations where bait will hold. If you see the Ganets diving, that's where the Tuna will be as the Ganets are diving on bait that's balled up; by the Tuna! Check with the Fishing Center[575-FISH] as Rhett/Brian can look on the satalite and locate the temp breaks.

Don't miss the opportunity to take advantage of mother nature smiling down on us and delivering us this incredible resource to our local waters.


- Capt. Rube McMullan
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"" | Mac Marle'n- 32' | 01/18/06
 

Captain Dale Britt on the fishing vessel Sensation will have Dr. Barbra Block's Tag-A-Giant tagging team on board fishing near Frying Pan Shoals this weekend. The program provides invaluable research to help protect the future of this fishery. The team uses satellite tags that track the migration and breeding patterns of these magnificent fish. You can learn more about the Tag-a-giant program at: www.tunaresearch.org  I encourage all fishermen to participate in tagging these tuna. It is a very unique experience and a great way to give something back. The tag boat Sensation will be monitoring channel 6 &11. If you hook a fish that you would like to transfer for tagging, call the tag boat and they will walk you through the rest.


- Capt. Jon Tennant
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"Bluefin madness" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 01/18/06
 

The entire area is in a frenzy.  The phone is ringing and people are talking Bluefin tuna.  The weather looks great starting tomorrow, so we'll be on the water on VHF 11 Thurs-Sunday.  Carolina Contender, Show Time and MacMarle'n.  Give us a call.  The area's I'm going to focus are Shark Hole, 24 mile hole over to Horseshoe area.  If anyone needs any gear to give it a go, we are set up to service your needs.  Bait, ice, tackle.....  give us a call (910) 575-FISH or stop by-- we're open 12pm-7pm daily.  If you've ever wanted a shot at these giant tuna but didn't want to travel too far from Ocean Isle, now is the time to give it a shot.  Our charter boats are operating daily and ready to hook you up.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Bluefin infrastructure in place" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 01/17/06
 

Well, after realizing that there are fish in the ocean that can absolutely kick my butt, and after destroying two 50-100 pound class rods, I've licked my wounds and I'm ready to give it another try.  The Ocean Isle Fishing Center will now be open daily from 112-6pm to serve your  bluefin fishing needs.  We are stocked with rods, reels, line, lures, fluorocarbon and bait.  We've got it all and we're ready to help you catch a bluefin.  As reported, there was a  bite that occured at the Horseshoe, but by luck or fate, a boat ended with lines out between lighthouse rocks and the 15 mile rocks and hooked up and caught an 84 incher.  That opens up a whole new world to the fishery.  It is no longer a bigger boat, 25+ mile fishery.  At 9 miles off the beach, the bluefin are accessible to almost all boats.  And if they are that close inshore, why not the 390/390, Shark Hole, Jungle, 65 foot hole, Barges.....??????  The only reason the fish caught off lighthouse rocks was caught was because the guy who caught it ran out of gas and decided to throw out his lines.  That is the story of our bluefin fishery in a nutshell.  We sort of had an idea they were always here, but we never confirmed because we just weren't fishing for them.  And now, we thought we had to 25+ miles out, only to find that they are right off the beach.  This fishery needs a great deal of exploration.  A large group of charter and commercial boats are coming to the area from Morehead City, and I welcome them.  I don't see them as competition, but rather as helpful explorers in helping us to determine the viabilty of this fishery in our waters and just where the fish are.  We need the help.  So, for all of you guys coming to the area, feel free to stop by the Ocean Isle Fishing Center.  We'll do our best to make you feel welcome and share our knowledge of the area's waters.  This weekend's weather looks gorgeous, and I invite and encourage all our area fishermen to come down and take part in the birth of the bluefin fishery. 
I will be hosting a Blufin Fishing 101 seminar on Friday evening at 7pm at the Ocean Isle Fishing Center where I promise to share all my knowledge on where to look for the fish, how to get them to bite and how to land them.  Having knowledge and experience to find and catch these fish is certainly important, but also remember that you may be dealing with a very big fish and safety is also critical.  Let me help you get prepared so  you can make the most of this opportunity.  The wind is supposed to blow tomorrow, but we plan to be fishing Thurs through the weekend.  We will be monitoring VHF 11 and typically leave the dock around 5am.
BLUEFIN ACCOMODATIONS DISCOUNTS OFFERED
Ocean Isle Beach, NC
Islander Inn- 25% discount- (910) 575-7000
Ocean Isle Inn- 25% discount- (910) 579-0750


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"3:00pm Bluefin update" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 01/16/06
 

Just got off tele with Brant. He was hyperventalating from excitement. Here's highlight and Brant will post full story this evening. Bite went off this morning early at the Horseshoe. He was late getting there but 3 boats hooked up. Al Morris on Sea Dragon hooked up at 8:00am, fought a fish for 5 hours and called Brant over to try to help him. Brant jumped on board, went to battle, and according to Brant, this was the biggest baddest fish he has ever encountered. Understand Brant knows his way around big Bluefin but he said he couldn't do anything to affect the fish. Finally he put the rod in the rod holder, tightened down the drag to full pressure on the 200lb test line on the rod; the rod broke; he spliced the broke rod's line to another reel; back at the battle, put that rod in the rod holder; the rod holder exploded and cut the line on the broken medal. Brant, speaking from experience said he is sure this was a 1000lb+ fish.

All the other fish were also lost exccept for John Quatlebaum who caught a 84 inch 3 miles offshore of Lighthouse Rocks.

Folks; this is our dream come true. The Giant Bluefin Tuna have come to Brunswick County waters. There were 6 boats fishing and 50% had a bite. The water is full of pogies, ganets, bonitas/ect. We had decided to close the Fishing Center to give everyone a break for January but Brant says store will be open for anyone who wants to get into the game; how to/where/equipment/ect. This is once in lifetime opportunity..Come join us!


- Capt. Rube McMullan
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"Bluefin bite is on!" | Team Carolina Wellcraft | 01/16/06
 

Just got report 3 boats are hooked up to Bluefin at the Horseshoe. Will have fulll report when Brant returns this evening. Standby.


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Bluefin Tuna Rally IS ON - MONDAY" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 01/15/06
 

The Carolina Contender is in the water and ready to go.  I'll be leaving the OIFC at 5:30am and be standing by on VHF channel 11.  It will still be dark, so if there is anyone who wants to follow me out Shallotte Inlet, no problem.  I'll give a call on VHF 11 at 5:30 am so listen in and be ready to go.  I'll be heading toward the Horseshoe area, but will confirm details in the AM.  Hope to see you then.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"BLUEFIN TUNA! BLUEFIN TUNA! BLUEFIN TUNA!- HERE- O" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 01/14/06
 

Well, it is 100% confirmed and on.  The Bluefin are officially here.  For three days in a row Bluefin have been caught in a square from the Knuckle buoy to the Horseshoe across the shoal to WR-4 to the Fairway buoy.  From Ocean Isle its 27 miles to the Knuckle buoy and 32 to the Horseshoe.  Day before yesterday a single boat fished and caught a 72 inch Bluefin at the Horseshoe.  Yesterday a double Bluefin including an 84 incher was caught at WR-4 and a fish was broke off at the Raritan.  On all of these days, no more than 4 or 5 boats were fishing for the Bluefin.  Case in point, they are here and now is the time to go make this happen.  It looks like we can slip in a weather day on Monday, so I plan to be aboard the "Carolina Contender" after these tuna.  I'll be leaving the OIFC at 5:30am and heading out of Shallotte- anyone is welcome to follow.  I'll be on VHF 11 and 6.  Communication is key with this fishery as we must spread out.  I'd say that fishing from the Shark Hole back toward the Horseshoe will be the area we need to look at.  I hope you can join me on Monday- VHF 11 or 6- give me a call.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Bluefin update" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 01/13/06
 

One was caught today close to Cucumber[84 inches] as part of a double header and another was hooked and lost at the Horeshoe. Soon as front passes we'll get after them with full force.


- Capt. Rube McMullan
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"Pogies = Bluefin Tuna" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 01/12/06
 

You read Brant's report of the Bluefin caught along Frying Pan Shoals. Also got a report of another one  being caught at the Horeshoe. And best of all here's another report......saw the biggest school of pogies since I was a kid growing up, off Sunset Beach today. As long as Omega honors the agreement we made with them to stay out of our waters maybe this means we will have more and more pogies, even during the winter. And when you have pogies during the winter..You have Bluefin!!! The pogies are apparently also along the Frying Pan Shoals which is where the Tuna were caught, but we're also seeing them along the beach.
Yee Haw and thanks Mr. Omega for staying out of our neighborhood!


- Capt. Rube McMullan
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"BLUEFIN CAUGHT-CONFIRMED OUT OF SOUTHPORT" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 01/12/06
 

It has happened- 100%, no doubt, confirmed.  Yesterday a boat out of Southport threw out a rigged Ballyhoo behind a blue/white Sea Witch just East of the Fairway Buoy.  After trolling 5 miles the water temperature went from 53 to 57 and began creeping higher.  Birds were diving on bait and then fish were busting.  Immediately the boat hooked, landed and released a 71 inch  Bluefin.  The single 9/0 reel used for trolling was redeployed and immediately hit again.  The big tuna hit so hard it blew the reel up and the fishing for tuna was over for this boat.  BUT, the fish were obviously there in big numbers.  So as of today, I am putting the Carolina Contender in the water and will be fishing Bluefin out of Ocean Isle Beach.  The wind looks to be blowing this weekend, but when it calms to 15kts or less, I'll be on the hunt.  The area that I plan to target is the area around the Frying Pan shoals where the water temperatures get into the 57-62 degree range.  I invite and encourage anyone with the same ambition who has a  boat to join the hunt.  This is a viable fishery off our coast.  Stay tuned for more reports.  The bite off Morehead City was also pretty good this week.  It seems to peak on the first good weather day after a blow then slowly diminish until the next weather change restarts the cycle.  The fish are in the area though.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Bluefin Rally postponed" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 01/09/06
 

The Bluefin have started to bite again in Morehead and thus, all the boats I had lined up to search for them off our beach, have bugged out to fish what they know in Morehead.  This is all part of the discovery process, so don't worry.  Fishermen typically fish the known (thus fishing in packs) versus searching for the unknown which is risky.  So, we'll wait til the fish move out of Morhead again and then we'll have our rally with lots of boats.  To have a chance at being successful, I think we need at least 10 boats.  Please stay tuned to our reports as we will keep you abreast of Bluefin progress in  Morhead and then also work on scheduling the Bluefin rally from our area.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Bluefin mission" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 01/08/06
 

Looks like weather man thinks Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday looks better than Monday for Bluefin mission so we're setting up to go Tuesday. We'll be monitoring channel 6.

If you get bored with Bluefin, bring your sea bass rods as the biggest sea bass of the year are caught now. Haven't checked yet but Kings are probably around the Tower area and Wahoo are in the stream. With the perfect weather forcast for next week, it's time to get off the sofa and get to work. Let's go kill some fish!

The OIFC is operating on a sorta open/sorta closed schedule this month. We're doing fishing seminars around the State f or Saltwater Sportsman Magazine and boat shows in Raleigh and Greensboro. When we're at the OIFC we are open. If you need anything we are checking the telephone 575-FISH so give us a call and we'll get back to you.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Bluefin heading south" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 01/05/06
 

I feel like the weather guy reporting a sighting of Santa Claus leaving the North pole Christmas eve; but here goes. We have good info that a spoter plan has located the Bluefin Tuna around Frying Pan Shoals on the east side. A Bluefin was caught off Carolina Beach today.

As you may know the Morehead bite has been dead since before Christmas  and everyone has been trying to figure out where they went. This report confirms what we had been thinking that they may have headed south to our neighborhood. Obviously if the Bluefin would relocate to our area this would be huge for our winter economy.

Therefore, Capt Brant is organizing a bluefin tuna hunt for Monday, leaving at daylight. The weather looks perfect. We need as many fishermen as possible to get on the water and fish around the Horeshoe/Raritan on the west side of the shoals and the cabbage patch/cumcumber/fairway on the east side, on out to Frying Pan. Please use VHF channel 6. The Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce is prepared to award "Citizen of the Year" to whoever can get the bluefin fishery going in our neighborhood, so now is the chance...Be a Hero!


- Capt. Rube McMullan
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"Bluefin Report" | Mac Marle'n- 32' | 12/27/05
 

My wife, Amanda and I have also been hard after the Bluefin on the MacMarle'n.  Capt. Roger has had the upper hand on us for a few days aboard the ShowTime, but we showed him we mean business as well by boating a double header 88 and 90 inch Bluefin bite on Tuesday.  We look forward to getting back after them this week- stay tuned for reports.


- Capt. Jon Tennant
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"Bluefin Report" | Show Time- 34' | 12/27/05
 

Hope everyone has had a great Christmas.  We've had an eventful last week as the Bluefin fishing was good.  The ShowTime had the hot hand as we landed several fish between Tues and Thurs.  Included are a few pictures of one of our trips.  Friends Dr. Kendal Suh and Dirk Parson joined me aboard the ShowTime and as you can see, had a blast. 


- Capt. Roger Gales
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"Happy Holidays" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 12/26/05
 

As I type with a full belly, I hope everyone has had a great holiday.  This is the first Christmas in which my daughter Caroline, now 13 months, has really gotten into the spirit.  Although she hasn't gotten the Santa Clause bug yet, she definitely knows there is something very special and fun going on.  Her specialty seems to be in unwrapping presents- never mind the gift.  On the fishing scene, we've taken a few days away from the Bluefin season.  We've had good luck on them prior to the holiday and hope to be able to continue within the next few days.  Again, I hope everyone has a great holiday, and I look forward to seeing you in the coming New Year.  Capt. Brant-


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Bluefin Bite On Fire!" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 12/21/05
 

Monday night, myself and Rhett made the 3 hour venture up to Morehead City for a bluefin tuna adventure on Tuesdsay.  Rhett joined Capt. Hook on his new boat, The Black Pearl, and I joined friends Lynn and Chad on Lynn's 29' Century since my crew had cancelled on me last minute.  The day started off as any other day----we left Harkers Island Fishing Center around 5am and headed out of Barden's Inlet (right beside the Cape Lookout Rock Jetty) and headed to the R14 bouy some 20 miles offshore.  The bite had be decent there the day before and upon arrival we discovered why.  Birds diving, bait all over the surface, and fish finders lighting up with huge bait balls.  Everything looked perfect except-----no bluefins.  Around 9:30 we heard of a bite about 5 miles to the west so we pointed the bow to 240 degrees and began trolling to that way.  As we were trolling boats were screaming past us headed in the same direction.  After some 15 boats came by us at full steam we reeled in our lines and fell in line at 35 kts.  We put our spread of Blue Water Candy lures and seawitches in front of horse ballyhoo out and once again began trolling.  This area too looked very fishy with oil slicks appearing everywhere from where the giant bluefins were feeding on the menhaden under the surface.  All around us boats were hooked up and fighting fish.  The radio chatter was intense as guys had fish "stretched out" everywhere behind their boats.  Just as we thought our time would never come, around 12:00 our deep bait began to scream and the chaos began.  Lynn was the first on the rod as myself and Chad cleared lines.  I pointed the bow toward the fish as he was steadily dumping line off the Tiagra 50WLRS under 25 lbs of drag.  I eased the boat up to him, steadily gaining line on the giant.  The 3 of us switched up on the brute to try and keep a fresh person in the harness at all times in the attempt to wear him down quickly.  After 45 minutes the fish surface some 30 feet from the boat and our eyes about popped out of our head.  At first glance I estimated the fish between 95" and 100" and some 550 lbs.  As we looked into the eyes of the giant and he glared back at us, he decided that we were apparently too ugly for him and he dove straight down 105 ft. all the way to the bottom.  This is where the real struggle began.  The fish kept his head down doing the "death circle" straight under the boat.  We could not budge him even under 30 lbs of drag.  He wore through each of us 2 more times before we FINALLY saw color again 45 minutes later some 25 feet below the boat.  As Lynn cranked him up for the final time, I leadered the giant up to the side of the boat completely exhausted and sank the gaff in his head.  It was then that I realized that the fish wasn't quite as long as I thought, but he was much fatter than most fish his size.  At the fish house, the fish measured 93" and dressed out (no head, no tail, and no guts) at 413 lbs!  (The fish was easily 525 lbs. while alive.)  After some quick pictures, he was sent on a plane to be sold in Japan.  So with aching backs, aching legs, and smiling faces, we headed the boat back to Harkers Island with one thing on our mind-----SLEEP.  This morning I felt as if somebody had literally beat me with a 2x4 after doing battle with this beast but it is a fish that I will not soon forget.
Overall the bite today was the best it has been all year and promises to be even better as we head in to January.  There was an estimated 100+ fish caught among the fleet yesterday with sevaral boats  boating two.  (This includes Capt. Brant and Capt. Jon on the MacMarle'n---their fish were around 90" each.)  Captain Roger on the Showtime also boated a very nice fish in the 90" range.
The bite is definately on so if you'd like to try your hand at these giants of the sea give us a call here at the Fishing Center and let us set you up!  I promise that doing battle with these fish will give you something to talk about for weeks to come!


- Capt. Bryan Williams
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