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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


- Capt. Stan Gurganus
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"Shallotte Inlet Crisis; UPDATE!" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 03/24/06
 

Not having buoys in our inlet this past year and currently is obviously a major crisis and is a catrosphy waiting to happen. In yesterdays post I stated we decided to go to work on this problem, and guess what...amazingly enough  there is a defined clear path to solve the problem, and all it took was a little time and effort to uncover. Here's the deal.

The US Coast Guard has a program called "Private Aids to Navigation". This is a program designed to allow for placement of buoys in navigable waters that are not being maintained by the Coast Guard. For example, around boat ramps, private channels, ect; this is where this program is used. In our case, the program can be applied to buoying our inlet since the Coast Guard is no longer willing to do so since their 65 foot boat can not navigate our 5 foot low tide water. It's as simple as filling out an application and according to the CG they can approve within a week! They have asked us to plot out a proposed course which we will do using the Corp of Engineers soundings chart they did this past year.

We have forwarded all this info on to the Town of Ocean Isle and hopefully they will pick up the ball and run with it as the request needs to come from the Town. Not to over simplify the deal, there has to be insurance put in place to cover liability and I don't have an answer back on that. I do know however, anything is insurable and whatever the premium cost is will be worth it to protect boaters using the inlet. Standby.


- Capt. Rube McMullan
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"Shallotte Inlet Crisis; UPDATE!" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 03/24/06
 

Not having buoys in our inlet this past year and currently is obviously a major crisis and is a catrosphy waiting to happen. In yesterdays post I stated we decided to go to work on this problem, and guess what...amazingly enough  there is a defined clear path to solve the problem, and all it took was a little time and effort to uncover. Here's the deal.

The US Coast Guard has a program called "Private Aids to Navigation". This is a program designed to allow for placement of buoys in navigable waters that are not being maintained by the Coast Guard. For example, around boat ramps, private channels, ect; this is where this program is used. In our case, the program can be applied to buoying our inlet since the Coast Guard is no longer willing to do so since their 65 foot boat can not navigate our 5 foot low tide water. It's as simple as filling out an application and according to the CG they can approve within a week! They have asked us to plot out a proposed course which we will do using the Corp of Engineers soundings chart they did this past year.

We have forwarded all this info on to the Town of Ocean Isle and hopefully they will pick up the ball and run with it as the request needs to come from the Town. Not to over simplify the deal, there has to be insurance put in place to cover liability and I don't have an answer back on that. I do know however, anything is insurable and whatever the premium cost is will be worth it to protect boaters using the inlet. Standby.


- Capt. Rube McMullan
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"Stream Report" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 03/24/06
 

Yesterday Ocean Isle fishermen Charlie Fasson, Woody Wooten and crew ran to the Same Ole' hole aboard their boat "Reel Pursuit".  They reported good sea conditions and water at 75 degrees.  They hooked up to several large fish there, and boated 1 Yellowfin and 1 Wahoo besides the many that got away.  They trolled toward the Steeples and 4 miles from the steeples in 200 feet of water found the Yellowfin breaking on top.  It was 3pm and Charlie knew it was time to go home-- 1 pass and 3 on and 3 Yellowfin in the 35 pound class boated before time to go home.  Charlie reported most of his bites came on "those darn cedar plugs".-- you just can't beat them.  Sounds like the action is heating up offshore- I can't wait to get out there.  For you prospective charter fishermen, we have lots of open dates in April, especially early on.  Call to and schedule your trip- (910) 575-FISH.  Looks like Saturday may be fishable, but Monday/Tuesday look very good.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Shallotte Inlet Crisis" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 03/23/06
 

As you may be aware, the dredging of  the Shallotte Inlet as the sand source for the beach renourishment project is dead.... again. This continues the crisis we have as a result of the Coast Guard pulling our buoys last year based upon their position that since their 65 foot buoy tender could not safely navigate our 5 foot low tide waters, they considered our inlet not safe and thus pulled the buoys. No sense in going back to argue the logic of that one, the facts are we are buoyless and there is no doubt but that a catastrophy is imminent. Amazingly last year, nobody was killed in our buoyless inlet, but we are only weeks away from the deluge of tourist, and will be  lucky again this year?

The situtation we are in is: Do we sit back and wait for the dredging miracle the Town is working on to occur? Or do we as citizens step forward and say this is wrong; it will not stand; and we take the bull by the horns and attack. I'm sure everyone out there knows where we stand; it's ATTACK! And just as everyone's help was vital in the SAVE OUR POGIES  effort, your help will be needed again. We are researching and studying the problem and will be back to you with a plan asap. Please standby and once we come up with a plan, join with us in an effort to solve this crisis before the impending catastrophy occurs.  


- Capt. Rube McMullan
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"Thanks to all" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 03/20/06
 

A big thank you to all the fishermen who came to our seminar here at the Ocean Isle Fishing Center this past Saturday. It was a perfect day, clear, but windy enough nobody wanted to be fishing. We had a great turnout of 200+, and hopefully everyone who came learned something that will be of help in your fishing. As expensive as fuel is, whatever we can do to help you be more productive with your fishing hopefully helps better justify the cost side of the deal.

On the subject of cost, if you're not already, be sure to join our free Captain's Club. Lots of free benefits, but most importantly we can track on our computer system your fuel purchases and at the end of the year give you a computerized print out that you turn into the State of NC Revenue Dept[form #GAS-1201]. Since we are a marina and only sell fuel for boats, they have to give you back the road tax[approx 30cents/gallon{less sales tax if you're not commercial}]. The trick is you have to be able to prove it was purchased  for boating purposes, and you have to ask for it. In fact, by purchasing fuel from us, when you subtract the refund, we are much cheaper than any  road side gas station.

The weather will settle down soon and it will be time to get at em. This week doesn't look great but, just as I keep telling myself...patience. When ever the weather does break and the green flag is dropped, the fish better look out because there is definitely some "pent up demand" building up!


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Today's Report" | Show Time- 34' | 03/13/06
 

Yesterday I headed to the Stream on the ShowTime in hopes of cranking up our Gulf Stream season.  We ran to the Steeples and trolled 71-72.5 degree water but never found the hot bite we were looking for.  Other than a few small blackfin, the ocean was fairly quiet where we were.  Of course, they are always just out of reach- when we returned we learned that a good bite of Yellowfin took place from just north of the Steeples to above the Same Ole' hole-- Last year the same thing occured as the Yellowfin held north of the Steeples til early April when they filtered south the Steeples, BlackJack and 100/400 areas.  If you are King Mackerel fisherman, they are absolutely crushing the kings at the Frying Pan tower and surrounding areas.  Limits of 10-15 pound fish are no problem.  The Snapper and Grouper bite hasn't quite kicked off yet, but the Sea Bass are chewing at any piece of structure from 45 feet to 100 feet. 
REMINDER_
This weekend is our Spring Kickoff sale.  Included will be hourly seminars on various topics (see schedule below), free lunch, a used tackle trade/swap/sell forum (bring your own stuff) and a storewide sale at the OIFC (see details below).  Bring your family, fishing friends or whoever and come by to enjoy the atmosphere and get the season going.  Also, as an additional help, the GPS Store and Bluewater Marine Electronics will be on hand with a booth set up to help you learn more about maximizing your boat's electronics.  They will have electronics from Raymarine, Garmin, Furuno and Northstar on-hand to offer group or 1 on 1 help.
SEMINAR SCHEDULE:
10am- Capt. Brant McMullan- Grouper
11am- Forrest Taylor- live bait King Mackerel
12pm- free lunch
1pm- Capt. David Hooks- Wahoo
2pm- Capt. Barrett McMullan- Yellowfin tuna
3pm- Capt. Brant McMullan- Chumming uses and techniques
4pm- Keith Carter- Bluewater Marine Electronics- How to get the most out of your boat's electronics
OIFC SALE:
20% OFF- Capt. Brant 10' custom cast  net- was $250, now $200
20% OFF- OIFC custom rods
10% OFF- Baitmasters ballyhoo by the case
10% OFF everything else in the store- includes all tackle, marine supplies, clothing, gifts.........
PLUS- 50% OFF select clearance items and Berkley Big-Game $.01/yard fishing line spooled free- 12,20 and 50# available.


Come by and join with us as we kick-off the 2006 fishing season.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Fishing Sunday" | Show Time- 34' | 03/11/06
 

Looks like we're locked and loaded to go to the Stream on the Show Time on Sunday AM.  We'll be leaving the dock at 5:30 am and leaving from Shallotte inlet if anyone needs to follow.  We plan on running toward the Steeples and hopefully find the wahoo and tuna.  Stand by for a report tomorrow-- don't forget next Sat is the Spring Sale-- everything in store is at least 10% off, with many more items at up to 50% off-- plus Berkley line for $.01/yard. 


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Key West Trip" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 03/08/06
 

Last week I had the distinct privilege to join the renouned past Top Angler of the Year Fishmeister team for prefishing and the first leg of the SKA pro division tournament held in Key West, FL.  On Sunday prior to the Fri/Sat tourney days I met up with team Captain Dean Spatholt and Dennis Watson for the truck ride down.  Arriving Monday morning we met up with the final piece of our crew David Haynes late that afternoon.  After a Fishmeister pre tournament ritual Monday evening we awoke early Tuesday morning ready to tackle the beast.  The beast being trying to figure our way around the surrounding shallow Key West waters and then learning where to find smoker kingfish.  We made the decision before leaving that we were going to fish an area about 80 miles to the west of Key West near the Dry Tortugas where numerous monster kingfish have been caught in the past few years.  Due to the long ride to the fishing grounds and the need for us to spend as much time as possible in that area we made the call that we would spend the following night on the boat in the protection of the Ft. Jefferson harbor.  Ft. Jefferson is a national park now and is about as big as a football field some 75 miles west of Key West.  We left out of Key West that first morning in the triple Yamaha powered 36' Yellowfin and ran 80 miles in a 4-6' sea.  The weatherman was calling for it to subside.  He was wrong.  We fished all day mainly for bait (bluerunners), and a little bottom fishing for dinner.  Just before sunset we traveled about 10 miles from the fishing hole to Ft. Jefferson and anchored up.  This is where the highlight of the trip begins.  A beautiful scene surrounded us being 80 miles out in the middle of the ocean yet protected from the seas by this historical landmark just as the sun was beginning to sink.  It was at this time I began cleaning some yellowtail snappers we had caught just hours before that we had captured for the purspose of throwing on the grill for dinner.  Dennis was standing next to me setting up the grill when I saw something out of the corner of my eye.  It appeared as if the bottom was moving underneath us as we were only in 8 feet of clear water.  Before I could say something about the anchor slipping my eyes refocused and an excited few words came flying out of my mouth as the other guys surrounded me to see what had generated my response.  Just inches from the hull of our boat lay 4 of the biggest fish I had ever seen.  These jew fish or goliath grouper were enormous.  We estimated these fish somewhere between 400 and 700lbs each.  They had come to the boat to investigate the fish cleaning.  It was then that things really turned interesting.  We began feeding the monsters scraps of fish and they would thankfully gulp down the easy meal.  Their mouths were so big they could of swallowed a five gallon bucket without it touching the sides of their mouths.  As we were feed the jewfish seveal pelicans came around to investigate the situation as they too were looking for an easy meal.  What happened next could only be described as National Geographic, "When Animals Attack".  A small piece of fish was thrown into the water and just as the pelican stuck his beak down to pick up the scrap the aggresive grouper gobbled him up.  Off swam this 700lb grouper with nothing but the wings and feet of a pelican sticking out of its mouth.  Fortunately I was armed with my camera at this point and captured an incredible moment.  With that being the highlight of the trip we all sat back and enjoyed fresh snapper on the boat grill that night and slept underneath a star lit sky.  We fished hard the next several days and caught a variety of species and kingfish up to 35lbs. Unforunately we were not tournament heros as a 28 and 32lb fish put us into 34th place for the event, which was not great but it keeps the team in position to make a run at the Angler of the Year title in the remaining events.  Despite our lackluster tournament performance each of us could honestly say we had experienced a truly amazing sequence of events of nature in its most raw form.  Another first for me was the monster black grouper we caught while slow trolling live baits.  The 50lb black grouper ate a 2 lb blue runner on the surface line in 110 feet of water.  The Tortuga area is an awesome and still somewhat untouched piece of the world that offers incredible and unique fishing. 

Though the Key West experience was awesome there's no place like home and I'm glad to be back and ready to kickoff the upcoming Gulf Stream season. 

Check out the pics. 


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Weekend Looks Great" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 03/08/06
 

Its supposed to be 80 degrees this weekend, sunny and YES, light winds.  If you've got cabin fever, this is your chance to dust off the cobwebs, break out the rod and reels and get on the water.  And what might you go searching for???  With the light winds forecast for Saturday, you should be able to go about anywhere.  I've been watching the surface water temperatures and there's a good eddy of 72-74 degree water pushing back down from the Same Ole' area towards the Steeples.  With any luck, if that finger makes it to the Steeples, it might make for awesome action.  The 68 degree water break looks to be about 10 miles offshore of the Horseshoe and this is where you will likely find the Kings and also have good bottom fishing for Snapper and Grouper.  If you can't make it out quite that far or don't have the time to dedicate an entire day, I've talked to a few guys who have been catching lots of Sea Bass in the vicinity of the 90/90.  As it warms up a bit, you will be able to catch limits of good size Sea Bass within 5 miles of the beach through the early Spring.  The OIFC is stocked and ready to provide anything you need for your offshore or inshore fishing adventure.  Stay tuned for reports.  I may try to slip out on Saturday myself.-- Capt. Brant


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Today's Report" | Carolina Contender- 36' | 03/06/06
 

A couple of boats headed out and fished the bluewater on Sunday, but unfotunately the weather and water conditions led to a tough day.  The supposed 5-10kt winds were a steady 15-20 from the North all day, making fishing the 3-5 foot seas pretty tough.  In addition, the water temperatures were in the 69-71 degree range with no breaks or apparent changes.  Early season like this, you never know exactly what you're going to get.  As it warms and we move later into March, the fishing will pick up and become more consistent.  Stand by for more info and fishing reports- I'm getting the itch.


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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