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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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"Bluefin notes and reflections" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 01/04/09
 

It's early Sunday and the fleet is back in action today.  Waking up this morning, I had a flashback to early 2007.  With a light easterly wind on the beach and fairly dense fog, the conditions are identical to the day when Capt. Brant and Capt. Barrett caught three giant tunas at the Shark Hole.  Bryan Aycock got in the action late in the day and caught one himself.  Let's hope history repeats itself. 

We are getting a lot of calls at the Ocean Isle Fishing Center regarding the proper gear and setup for these fish.  My feeling on the matter is that you don't want to go to a gun fight with a knife, but you really don't have to break the bank either.  We offer a variety of combos that you can successfully target these fish with at various price ranges, but it is vital that you (A) have a stout enough rod for the fish to set a hook and pressure him throughout the fight and (B) have enough line capacity on your reel to withstand the runs of the fish.  I don't recommend a rod more limber than 80# class or a reel smaller than about a 30 wide.  We have seen a lot of fish caught on the new Shimano TLD II 50WLRSA.  This reel will hold 500 yards of line if you spool it correctly with PowerPro, which we do right here.

Also, as far as terminal gear, it is vital that you use fluorocarbon leader to get bites from these fish. It seems like these tunas get more line-shy every year, and they are not going to go near another type of leader material that stands out in the water.  I have yet to hear of a fish this year being caught on a monofilament leader.  Also, the teeth in the mouths of these fish act as a rasp on whatever leader you are using, and fluorocarbon is much more abrasion resistant than monofilament.  I have heard of bluefin being caught on as light as 130# flourocarbon.  Just remember, the lighter you go, the more you increase your chances of getting bit, but you also increase your chances of breaking the leader.  Most anglers are reporting success with 200# fluorocarbon.

Hope that helps.  The weather looks good through tomorow, and as we all know, these fish seem to favor rougher water over calm.  Maybe the rougher water makes it tougher for them to see the leader.  Whatever the case, we are here to answer your questions (910 575 FISH), set you up for success on the water, and if you are set up to sell your tuna we will help you offload and chill your fish at no charge.


- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"Crushin' Em'" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 01/03/09
 

The Bluefin Tuna bite continues from the Fishing Center today as both Barrett and I managed to each land a fish.  Barrett's fish measured 82 inches and weighed roughly 300 pounds and mine measured 78 incheas and roughly 250 pounds.  The bite has not been super red hot with every boat hooking up, but it has been good and consistent over the past week.  Bluefin Tuna fishing is like hunting for a trophy buck.  You may get the big one on the first hunt, but in all liklihood, you'll have to put in your time before you get your chance.  The hot area has been with 3 miles on the Knuckle buoy, both to the East and West of it.  Oh yes, also saw a whale- fairly rare for this area.  It was 8 miles off of Ocean Isle.


- Capt. Roger Gales
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"More tunas" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 01/03/09
 

Tunas headed again to the OIFC docks.  We'll keep you informed.

Capt. Barrett just offloaded his fish.  Capt. Roger is on his way in with another fish.  We've heard tales of anglers fighting fish well past 100" today for four and five hours. 

Roger just offloaded his fish.  Looks like both the fish caught on the OIFC boats today were in the high 70s.  Forecast for tomorrow is good.  Go get 'em!!!


- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"Bluefin How To's" | OIFC 1- 36' | 01/03/09
 

Want to give it a try? If you are a King Mackeral fisherman or you fish the gulf stream, you have the skills to catch a Bluefin. Just give us a call or come by and Capt Roger/Capt Chris/Capt Brant/Capt Barrett will happily take you thru a quick how to to get you into the game.
- Rube McMullan
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"Bluefin Mania is Here!" | OIFC 1- 36' | 01/03/09
 

Blufin  fever is at a high pitch here at OIFC. Just look at the web cam and the dock is empty; all our boats are on the water with charters in quest of the ultimate prize in sportfishing. Catching a Giant Bluefin Tuna on standup tackle from a center console boat is equal in it's requirement for conditioning to a 10 round boxing match. It's the ultimate challenge, pure tee mano-y-mano. No giant oversize reels, no fighting chair; just you and the fish, strapped together into a harness with a 30 class reel, and a test of determination of who comes out on top. This is world class fishing, and it's available right here at Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. Who'd of thunk it!

The weather looks good for next couple of days until Tuesday and then gets good again Thursday hopefully on thru the weekend. By Tuesday, everyone will be ready for a break and by Tuesday we will have the store restocked with everything Bluefin. Call us now and we can get you geared up for next weeks action.

We still have plenty of our Baitmasters Horse/Large Ballyhoo; without question the best, most durable Bluefin bait available. Come on down to OIB, the "Bluefin capital of the World!!!"


- Rube McMullan
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"Today's HOT Bluefin Tuna Action" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 01/02/09
 

The OIFC charter fleet showed up strong today as both Capt. Brant aboard the OIFC.com boat and Capt. Roger aboard the Carolina Cat boated Giant Bluefin Tuna. Capt. Brant's fish measured 80 inches (250 +/- lbs) and Capt. Roger's measured 88 inches (350+/- lbs.).  They were both fishing 30 miles from Ocean Isle near the Knuckle buoy off of the Frying Pan Shoals.  Capt. Brant reported hooking up to two other Bluefin but pulled the hook on one and broke another one off.  The conditions looked very fishy and the boats will be heading out again tomorrow in search of Giant Bluefin Tuna-- if you want to give this awesome fishing a shot, don't wait- now is the time.  Call (910) 575-3474 to book a fishing or charter or you can certainly come to the Ocean Isle Fishing Center to get whatever you need to get ready to do-it-yourself.  The weather looks good over the weekend and I'm sure plenty of folks will be out there with us.  Good luck and tight lines.

HOT TACTICS:  Bluewater Candy pink/white JAG head with horse ballyhoo- 20 feet of 200# fluorocarbon leader- fished on a #32 planer set at 100 feet out-- don't forget to fish your baits far behind your boat and planer-- typically 100 yards or so-- waaaaay back!


- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Bluefin update" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 01/02/09
 

Once is luck, twice is coincidence, three times just might be a trend.  Capt. Brant just radioed in to say he was headed to the dock with two giant bluefins, and that Capt. Roger had another in the boat.  Looks like the action on this side of the shoals is for real.  Also, talked to Capt. Jon Tennant an hour or so ago and he said that the bite went off in Morehead City this morning as well. 
- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"It's Giant Bluefin Tuna Time!" | OIFC 1- 36' | 01/01/09
 

The weather looks great next several days for an all out assult on the Giant Bluefins. We'll be after them starting tomorrow morning. For anyone who has heard the stories or dreamed of fighting one of these monsters; now is the time. They are here, and they have tails, so hard to know how long they will be in our waters. Come on down and join in this amazing opportunity we North Carolina fishermen have to do battle with this world class fishery. People are calling from all over the world to charter with Brant for a shot at these incredible fish. For everyone who lives in NC, we don't have to go half way around the world to participate; it's right here in our own back yard. Don't miss out on the opportunity thats been presented us by the fish gods. Come on down! 
- Rube McMullan
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"AT LAST!!!" | OIFC 1- 36' | 12/31/08
 

Congratulations Barrett and Stephanie........Don't be mad at me, Stephanie said I could post it.....besides she's the best catch you'll ever have!!
- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"Rodeo" | OIFC 1- 36' | 12/31/08
 

At closing time the 2008 OIFC Rodeo ends.  Thanks to everyone who participated.  Give me a couple of days to make sure my records are straight and we'll announce the winners and the payout..  Hopefully we'll be able to to it in 2009.  Happy New Year and be safe.


- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"A few brief thoughts" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 12/31/08
 

I had planned to go bluefin fishing with Capt. Brant this morning, but the news we got from the buoy at 4 this morning was less than enticing.  So I went back to sleep for a few hours and now am on my sixth cup of coffee, organizing tackle and dreaming of calm seas/hungry fish.  Won't be long...

Jim Bowen from the "Stick Slinger" sent me these pictures the other day from his trip with his son to Rudee Inlet, VA.  What a great winter fishery they have going up there.  I know of several other OIFC regulars, including Derek McKee, Benny Hipp, and Woody Wooten that are big time striper anglers.  What's more, Jodie at Blue Water Candy makes some of the best striper gear around, it's huge up there at the NOBX and Virginia Beach.  There is a point to this--quite a few people have pointed out that there could be a viable striped bass fishery in the lower Cape Fear River if there was a fish ladder or weir at the dams.  Capt. Jeff Williamson and I talked the other day about how they catch fish now with the dam in place, and how that is is a fishery that could easily skyrocket with a little work.  Maybe we could push for that in the future.  I'm sure it wouldn't hurt the feelings of our inshore guys, Capt. Jeff and Capt. Kyle Hughes.  Food for thought for '09.

Also, Tim Garrett sent me this picture of the flounder he caught at the Caudle reef.  He kept it in a pen and fed it steroids and large bluefish for a year and it turned into this....  No, actually that was a halibut his father-in-law caught in Alaska, where he is a commercial fisherman.  Which brings me to the concept of the Traveling Fisherman trips.  Due to economic issues, there won't be one this winter, but that doesn't mean there won't be one in the future.  We can go abroad or go domestic.  We just want to know where you want to go--send emails to info1@oifc.com.  We can live bait sails in Palm Beach, fish for 300# yellowfins on a long range trip out of San Diego, or mooch for salmon in Ketcikan.  North Drop in the Virgin Islands?  Wahoos in Bermuda? Let the public speak...

2008 had its ups and downs, and not just in the economy.  We miss you Scott and Don.  Keep fighting Doug, you'll make it just fine.  Here's wishing a Happy New Years to fishermen, fish, friends, and  everyone else out there.


- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"Subsurface Report" | OIFC 1- 36' | 12/31/08
 

While the rest of the fleet was on a hot giant bluefin bite I opted for an offshore diving mission aboard the Dirty Martini with Jeff Martini, and crew Ace Parker and Eric.  Before the diving, first on our agenda was wahoo.  We left Little River just before daybreak and slugged it out to the 100/400.  The weather man slightly miss timed his forecast.  We fished in 4 to 5's most of the day before it finally laid out to nothing in the afternoon.  It made for a tough ride out and difficult fishing conditions, but by the late afternoon we were running wide open on the way in.  The fishing started off dismal with cool water, no bait and no surface activity.  Around noon we found a temperature change and the birds started showing up.  By 1:00 we had a 35lb wahoo, 15lb dolphin, and missed another wahoo.  Once we found the break the bait showed up and so did the birds.  For that hour we were busy but we all had diving on the mind so we left in the middle of the hot bite for our next mission.  Eric, Jeff and I deployed once securely anchored and Ace was our on-board man.  Clarity was great and we were greeted by a curious school of dolphins and amberjacks on our way down to the bottom.  No matter how many times you make a dive it's always overwhelming once you get to the bottom and see first hand what you've been looking at on your depth finder your entire life.  This time we saw a huge school of black bass traveling together like a school of tuna.  I had no idea they moved around that much.  Next we saw scattered grouper of vairous sizes, a few hog snapper and great big sea turtle cruising the ledge.  The tom tates, grunts and ringtails were also prevalent but we had dinner on our mind instead of sight seeing so we started our hunt.  The grouper and snapper weren't as thick as I've seen on other dives which made targeting them difficult but Eric did manage to shoot a couple.  It may have been a blessing we didn't get distracted by the fish because it gave us an opportunity to look into the ledges where all we could see was tentacles sticking out.  Jackpot!  We worked quickly to coerse the lobsters out of their dens and into our bag.   By the time we got the third lobster I looked over my shoulder and saw our signal it was time to go so politely provided by the two 8 ft sand tiger sharks that were investigating our catch.  The fish hunting was not so good but the lobstering more than made the dive.  It was starting to get late in the afternoon so we moved a short distance to drop down again but just before we reached bottom several more sand tigers were standing duty so decided not to tempt fate and returned to the boat and made our way home.  The sharks look menacing under water but they seem to be more curious than anything and anytime you make an aggressive move towards them they are quick to leave you alone. The problem comes when more than one shark shows up and you have a stringer full of bloody fish.  The dinner bell has been rung at that point and you're just "in the way" for the feast. 

Under water, above water, it's all good right now.  Grouper, Sea Bass, Snapper, Kings, Wahoo, Trout, and Bluefin Tuna; they're biting and we need some help down here.  Not many folks are taking advantage of the great fishing and low gas prices we have right now.  That means a few fishermen are having all the fun.  Pick a good weather day, stop by the OIFC to gear up, and we'll give you our best opinion on what's going on where.  All you'll have to do is reel!


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Bluefin bite is on!" | OIFC 1- 36' | 12/30/08
 

Fished today with Brant. Bite came down southeast of knuckle as good as I think I have ever seen it here in our waters. 20 boats fishing, 10 fish caught, others lost. Thats an amazing statistic. All the fish were big, no shorts that I am aware of. One fish was over 100 inches. Congrats to all the fishermen who caught fish today. Lets go get em tomorrow.

For anyone who has ever dreamed of fighting one of these monsters, now is the time to get here. Come by the OIFC and we can fix you up with everthing you need, plus tell you exactly where the bite is at. Come on down!


- Rube McMullan
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"Capt. Rickey's chances for sea bass title fade...." | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 12/30/08
 

.....as Randy Lingerfelt upgrades his lead by weighing in a 3.2 pound knot head this afternoon.  With only a day to go and sea conditions worsening, Capt. Rickey will need a miracle to have any chance of taking back the crown.   After losing employee of the month honors to Mack the golden retriever and getting stomped in his own rodeo, I'd hate to have to look Rickey in the eye lately. 

************************LATE BREAKING NEWS******************************************

Robert Hughes and Brian Richard stopped by just before closing to weigh their black sea bass, which tipped the scales at 3.2 pounds and 3.0 pounds respectively.  Not sure how the tiebreaker scenario works, we'll have to defer to Capt. Rickey on that one.  Hope he's able to answer the question through what is certain to be a fog of despair after getting dropped to approximately 42nd place in the rodeo.  I can't sugar coat this Rickey.  You just need to catch bigger fish.


- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"Red alert!!! The bite is on!!!" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 12/30/08
 

Ok, one fish is maybe luck (or not so much when you get three bites like Keith Logan did yesterday, but whatever...).  My point is that there definitely are some fish here, as there have been multiple fish caught in the vicinity of the Knuckle Buoy today and some have already been put on the docks in Southport.  Bryan Aycock just called me to report that two had already been sold up there and there are reported to be several more on the way in.  At least two boats are said to have multiple fish on board.  Bad day to be a giant tuna, I suppose.  With cooling weather to come, this may be the time when it all comes together for an all-out bluefin blitz on our beaches.  If you're not fishing right now, you need to tighten up and get down here!!!

I just got word from a reliable source that yesterday's hero, Keith Logan, again had multiple strikes/hookups and has an 86" fish in the boat.  Congrats again to him--that's quite a run he's got going on.


- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"More tuna pictures" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 12/29/08
 

Showcasing Keith Logan's fishing ability and Capt. Roger's climbing skills.
- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"Sea Bass Rodeo Update" | OIFC 1- 36' | 12/29/08
 

After conferring with rodeo director, Capt. Rickey Beck, Randy Lingerfelt on the "Stitchwizard" is now in first place in the OIFC Rodeo's sea bass division.  Randy weighed in a 2.2 pound blackfish yesterday to take over the lead.  Two days to go, time to tighten up!  I've heard rumors of a Dan Ratley/Jeff Beck trip tomorrow to set the record straight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGb2PL-bnVY


- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"Finally! FINALLY!!! They are here." | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 12/29/08
 

Okay, now we have the scoop on the first giant bluefin tuna of the season to be caught and killed on this side of the shoals.  Keith Logan, on the "Stand N Down II" nailed this 84 inch fish earlier today.  This giant was one of three that he hooked, so evidently a body of  fish has shown up to some degree.  As I am writing this, Donald Diehl of True World Foods is filling out the paperwork on this tuna.  He is our buyer for all the fish brought to the dock here and we have been really pleased to have him on hand in the past to help our commercial fishermen who wish to sell their fish.  My understanding is that the OIFC dock is the only place now to sell a bluefin in Brunswick County--Keith earlier took the fish to another fish house but was turned away.  Whatever the case may be, we are here at the OIFC with all the tackle, bait, ice, and fuel you need to go after your own bluefin tuna, and we will gladly help you through the sale procedure as long as you have your permits in order.  My hope is that this is just the tip of the iceberg for our bluefin fishery this winter.  Congrats to Keith for getting it started!!!


- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"Hot InShore Action and OffShore" | OIFC 1- 36' | 12/29/08
 

Before I get started, everyone check out this video that Capt. Chris just posted:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGb2PL-bnVY

Ahhhh, feels like summer again...

Winter is upon us whether the temperatures reflect it or not.  This is a time when  trout fishing  really heats up in our neck of the woods.  Most every inshore species has boogied off shore looking for warmer water.  But as long as the water is 50 degrees or better the trout action is on.

One of the great things about trout fishing around the Fishing Center is you don't have to go far to do it.  You can get action along the structures in the ICW from the Sunset Bridge to Sasspan creek, so long as you fish a moving tide.  This means you won't freeze cutting thru the winter wind in search of a fishing hole.  But you still need to bundle up.  For hunters, since deer season ends, use your tried and proven cold weather hunting clothes....it's the same principle.

Trout love shrimp.  It's their candy.  Live shrimp is hard to come by, and will get only harder to find, and if you find someone selling it, you will pay a premo price.  As they say, "shrimpn' ain't easy". and the price will reflect it  The best alternative is artificial shrimp like the DOA and the Halo, which we stock.  We also have OIFC Custom shrimp rigs for those who aren't sure how to rig for trout fishing.  To make the action more fun, use light tackle. 

If you've put your boat up, or for some other reason can't get on the water,  the OIFC has two of the best in shore charter captains in our area,  captain Kyle Hughes and captain Jeff Williamson.  They've fished here for years and know the locations and techniques as well as anyone I know. 

Don't think in shore fishing is the only action in town.  Off shore, the bottom fishing, king fishing and Gulf Stream action is on.  The signs indicating blue fin are in our area are strong also.  There have been several sightings and some cactches reported off Brunswick County.

If fishing during the winter isn't your cup of tea, check out the Expo in Raleigh the latter part of January.  Captain Roger, Captain Chris and Mrs. Juanita will be representing the OIFC.  If you want to visit our area there is a show in Myrtle Beach.  This time of year you are less than 30 minutes away

  The beach is almost deserted and beautiful during the winter.  We are open, as well as most of the local speciality shops and eating places.  This time of year you can actually get in without waiting.  Or if you like, venture to N. Myrtle.  At any rate there is plenty of action at a slower pace.  Don't sit home and wait for beach weather.  Come visit.  Stop by and see us, we can hook you up with the proper gear and information for fishing our area, as well as info on local shops and restaurants.  This is one of the locals' favorite times of year. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGb2PL-bnVY


- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"About Time" | OIFC 1- 36' | 12/28/08
 

Congratulations to Tim Garrett!!!!  I've talked enough smack that I knew someone would step up and give me my come upp'ns!  But, giving up first place to a 1.6 lb sea bass.  Neither one of us have anything to brag about, no offense meant Tim, but we've all seen a sea bass that weighs more than Tim and mine added together.  So now the challenge is to knock me off the board. You've still got a couple of days to try.

On another note captain Brant didn't score a blue fin on his trip yesterday.  Blue fin fishing is either feast or famine.  The crew reported that the area looked positive with birds and bottle nose dolphin however.  It'ill happen sooner rather later.  I didn't get any reports of any other action today.

Check out these pictures.  I took them this morning as I was crossing the OIB bridge.  One is of the OIFC.  Talk about foggy.  But it burned off quickly as the temperature rose to a balmy 74 degrees and the sun came out.  Captain Chris is right about the global warming.  I'll take it any day over global cooling!

 


- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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