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Capt. Brant's Fishing Report

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"" | Show Time- 34' | 04/19/08
 

The Showtime, Captained by Capt. Brant and assisted by first mate, Capt. Zach headed out this morning with a charter consisting of Stan Abretski (the captain of this "bunch") Chip Zaucha, Ric Halsaver, Tom Mattingly (not the baseball player), Ron Schuman and Eric Mellette, of Mt. Airy, Md., Ocean City Md., and Washington, D. C. They found fish near the 100/400, at 160 ft. using balleyhoo. The Showtime boated 4 Mahi, 2 Kings and 2 Wahoo. The 100/400 seemed to be the hot spot today.
- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"By Chance" | OIFC 1- 36' | 04/19/08
 

Johnny Calhoon reports success in landing Red Drum yesterday on the ICW behind Ocean Isle. His grandson, Chance Collins landed two big Reds, one 26" and the other 27". Johnny and his two grandsons had a large day, catching several smaller drums in addition to the two big ones. The guys reported they got their Reds on a carolina rig with mud minnows. What a great way to spend time with kids!!!!!
- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"Upcoming weekend looks good!" | OIFC 1- 36' | 04/16/08
 

Weather this Friday, Saturday and Sunday is looking good! Make plans to come down and get on the water. The Stream should be good for Wahoo, the Kings are around the Horse Shoe and Tower and the Atlantic Bonito will be between AR 460, 390/390 and the General Sherman-- LETS GO FISHING !!!
- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Boat Trailering issue update" | OIFC 1- 36' | 04/16/08
 

Lot of behind scene work going on with the boat trailering issue. A legislative bill is being prepared which will be introduced in the State Legislature in May. As soon as I see how the language is written, we will inform everyone that we got a winner or a looser. I am encouraged we will have a winner as there is broad support for the bill on both sides of the political aisles in the House and Senate. Definitely encouraging seeing our elected officials not playing political games and working toward solving a problem for us citizens.They are to be commended for their work. The attached letter from DMV Commissioner Gore to the Highway Patrol Commander is definitely a step in the right direction, and indicates a desire to apply a level of "reasonableness" to the issue. Standby. Thanks. Rube McMullan   See letter below.

                                        

April 11, 2008

 

 

 State Highway Patrol

 Captain M. Nichols

 4701 Mail Service Center

 Raleigh, N.C. 27699-4701

 

 

Dear Captain Nichols:

 

     After reviewing the information in General Statue 20-4.01 (32a), and the Division?s previously established procedures, I have determined that no statutory change or procedure change has occurred concerning the consideration of a boat and trailer as a recreational vehicle. Historically, the Division has considered boats and their trailers as recreational vehicles and will continue to do so until such time as the General Assembly changes the law to reflect that they are not recreational vehicles. Absent some indication of commercial purposes, when a consumer is paid some small purse during a fishing tournament, it is my opinion the primary purpose of the vessel and its related trailer is still recreational.

 

     Thank you for interest in this matter. Please call if you have any questions.

 

 

Sincerely;

 

 

William C. Gore Jr.

Commissioner of Motor Vehicles

 

 

 

Cc: Wayne Hurder, Deputy Commissioner

      Portia Manley, Assistant Director VR

      Paula Windley, Administrative Officer II, VR

 

 

 


- Rube McMullan
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"Flounder Alert" | Speckulator - 22' | 04/15/08
 

Well folks, I'm issuing the first flounder alert for the 2008 fishing season. Based on this past weekend, the flounder bite should start to get really good in the coming weeks, as quite a few fish are being caught already. I fished the Tubbs Inlet area and found success using the old faithful mud minnows fished on a carolina rig. As is usual this time of year, many of the flounder are undersized, but there have been some keepers mixed in as well. We managed to boat a 3.5 - 4lber on Friday, so there should be some doormats making an appearance shortly. I saw water temperatures as high as 68 degrees over the weeekend, so the big trout should be on the feed prior to spawning. There are a few being caught now, and if the wind will stop blowing for a few days, they should really turn on. Finally, on the redfish scene, I pleased to report that they are still hanging out in their normal haunts along the ICW and in the backs of the creeks. I tried some skinny water redfishing on Saturday, and even though we were unsuccessful, I feel like we were in the right area, only a half - dozen porpoises had beaten us to the reds. As we eased into the back of creek, we were greeted by this pod of porpoises in 2 feet with their backs out of the water, and any reds that had previously been there had vacated the premesis. P.S. - Don't forget the Spring Inshore Classic, May 2nd - 3rd!
- Capt. Kyle Hughes
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"Inshore Weekend Update" | OIFC 1- 36' | 04/15/08
 

I spoke with some locals this morning who said that while I was enjoying Family Day at the OIFC, they were fighting the wind and tide fishing inshore. All said the tide was so bad Saturday that their anchors would hardly hold. But in spite of that they were able to boat several nice trout and even some keeper flounder. Based on their weekend's fishing they feel that this year's flounder fishing should be great. About time!!! These guys were using mud minnows and Gulp on the bottom. They were fishing structure behind Sunset Beach, but of course they weren't giving up anymore info than that to "Clark Kent". The weather is supposed to get nicer as the week rolls on so get out and get after some fish. Don't forget the OIFC Year Long Rodeo. The pot is growing and these guys think they are going to win it.
- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"King whackin'" | World Cat- 33' | 04/14/08
 

Just got word from Joel Bucklen that he and Jason Einbinder gave the king mackeral a good, old-fashioned whoopin' offshore of the Frying Pan Tower yesterday fishing on the "Cape Contender" out of Holden Beach.  The boys fished pink/white and blue/white Ilander/ballyhoo combos and said the kings tried to basically chew the props off of the boat.  Not the biggest fish, but they more than made up for their lack of size in sheer numbers and aggression.  Good to see this strong showing so early.  It won't be too long before you can catch these fish closer to the beach.  Congratulations to the crew of the "Cape Contender" for a great day on the water and a great catch.


- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"This Past Weekend" | OIFC 1- 36' | 04/14/08
 

Fishermen finally got a reprieve from Mother Nature toward the end of last week as the winds and seas settled. Many of the area?s offshore fishermen were registered for the Martini?s Wahoo Tournament and headed offshore to the edge of the Gulf Stream in search of big Wahoo as well as Tuna and Dolphin. Wednesday and Thursday both provided fair weather with winds from the Northeast at 10-20 knots and Friday was by far the best weather with flat calm seas, sunny skies and warm temperatures. The Gulf Stream waters had pushed up over the edge of the 30 fathom curve and provided favorable water temperatures in the 70-75 degree range. To be quite honest, the conditions were such that they should have leant themselves to some spectacular action, but it was truthfully not that way. Most boats managed a few Blackfin and a scattered Dolphin or two, but the Wahoo, which are typically plentiful, just weren?t hitting on much. However, as is the case with any tournament, fishing is all relative as somebody is going to win. On Thursday, Calabash fisherman Dean Spatholt and crew of the Fish Meister weighed in a monster 65.12 pound Wahoo and narrowly beat out Danny Juel and Chuggy Vereen of Little River aboard On The Way who weighed a 60.38 pounder. Other top finishers were Reel Relief with a 43.8 pound Wahoo, Chasin Bugs with a 19.04 pound Dolphin and The Law with a 20.90 pound Blackfin Tuna. Congratulations to all who placed in the tournament and thanks to Jeff Martini and Ace Parker for putting on the tournament. You noticed I didn?t mention my tournament results, and that?s pretty much because I didn?t have much to report. My brother and I chose to try to ?outsmart? everyone and fish Wednesday under mediocre weather conditions. We were the only boat to fish the tournament that day, and it was our thought that we?d rather fish alone and thus have a better chance. The concept was good, the execution was poor as we only managed a few King Mackerel and Dolphin during our day. On Friday, I sought to redeem myself as I took a group from Charlotte offshore aboard the OIFC 1 for a day of Gulf Stream fishing. On this day I decided to troll artificials at higher speeds and found the technique effective on Blackfin Tuna particularly as well as a lone Wahoo. By noon we decided to try something different. I had brought along a couple of my electric fishing reels, and we began dropping baits down to the bottom to try for Grouper. We tried several holes in 140-160 feet, but it wasn?t until I moved to a ledge in 240 feet that we found the Grouper and hit paydirt. We boated a half dozen Red Grouper in the 15-20 pound range and combined with our Tuna and Wahoo, we ended up with a decent box of fish and certainly some great eating. All in all, the Gulf Stream fishing wasn?t up to par this past weekend. I am expecting and hoping that it should improve and become more characteristic of the excellent action that April and May usually bring to offshore fishermen. Speaking of which, this is the first reminder that the GPS Store Far Out Shoot Out tuna, dolphin and wahoo rodeo will be taking place May 9-17 out of the Ocean Isle Fishing Center. Registration is May 9th and fishermen then have a chance to choose the best 2 out of 8 days between May 10th and 17th to go fishing. Prizes are awarded to the top combined weight of all three species as well as for the largest of each species caught. For additional information visit www.OIFC.com or call (910) 575-3474. Closer in, the King Mackerel began to move inshore as the water temperatures rose significantly. On Wednesday they were near the Frying Pan Tower and by Friday they had moved inshore and were nearly to the Horse Shoe. I also talked to some guy who were catching Grouper and Snapper in this same area as well as seeing quite a few Cobia. Even closer in, the Atlantic Bonito also showed up in their normal haunts around the General Sherman wreck and the 390/390. Surprisingly, they were also seen and caught near the Shallotte and Lockwood?s Folly inlet sea buoys. Inshore the fishing heated up just like the water temperatures. Capt. Kyle guided a trip on Saturday and boated Flounder in Tubbs Inlet, which is a sign of the new season. I also got reports of live shrimp in the waterway which means the Trout are going to be around as well. All this inshore action comes just ahead of Capt. Kyle?s Inshore Classic- Trout and Flounder tournament, May 2-3 out of the Ocean Isle Fishing Center. Registration is Friday, May 2nd and fishing is Saturday, May 3rd. For complete details visit www.OIFC.com or call (910) 575-3474.
- Capt. Brant McMullan
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"Family Day!!" | World Cat- 33' | 04/12/08
 

The OICF Family Day was today and what a great day it was. The weather was beautiful for the fun and games. Captain Amy and the rest of the OIFC "family" out did themselves. The children enjoyed face painting by Lisa, knot tying by Mrs. Anita, who is a former Coast Guard Boatswains Mate, cast net throwing by Captain Zack, free messages by Dr. Rick of Shallotte and free boat rides on the World Cat with Captain Roger. Jeff was also available for kayak rides. There was a GREAT yard sale with great buys on nautical themed wall art and other really unique items. Captain Brant and Amy provided refreshments and activities free. It was a great family activity which is one of the goals of the OIFC.
- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"Action 4-11-08" | OIFC 1- 36' | 04/12/08
 

Friday was a beautiful day in our area and proved to be an active fishing day. Captain Brant chartered the OIFC 1 and boated several large Red Grouper. He reported that he was in about 250 feet of water and using Northern Mackerel as bait. Of course, fishing that depth and catching grouper is impossible without electric reels. I've tried it and found that an electric reel is money well spent! On the inshore scene, Captain Jeff (Get Busy charters) who is running trips for us had very good luck in the Southport area, landing trout and whiting using cut fresh shrimp...not to be confused with live shrimp which just isn't available in our area yet. I also got a report of several flounder being caught in the area south of the Sunset Bridge. It looks like things are picking up.
- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"We lost a good one today" | OIFC 1- 36' | 04/12/08
 

For all our family of fishing friends, I am saddened to report that we lost one of our best old time fishing buddies this morning to cancer. Don Lenoard, of the "Billfish" fame, here at Ocean Isle, died this morning following a heroic battle with cancer. Throughout this battle, he always maintained the smile on his face and positive attitude and has been a inspiration to anyone who came in contact with him. He was also a damn good fisherman. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
- Rube McMullan
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"Back up" | OIFC 1- 36' | 04/11/08
 

Talked with Capt. Zach who was fishing for bonita with Boston Rob. Zach reported that the bites were comming on clarkspoons just off shore and near the sea bouy
- First Mate- Rickey Beck
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"Atlantic Bonitas Are Here!!!" | World Cat- 33' | 04/11/08
 

Just got word that the Atlantic Bonitas have arrived in the vicinity of the General Sherman off of Little River.  David and Luke Faulkner on the Sea Dozer have one in the box and are headed back in with a great supper.  These little guys are a blast to catch on light tackle and are maybe the best eating tuna in the ocean.  The best way to catch them is right at first light, with small planers and #00 Clarkspoons.  A fluorocarbon leader certainly helps your odds--these guys are line shy like all tunas.  Make your leaders no less than 30# in length behind your planer.  Above all, go out there and catch 'em up!!!  It's not often that you get to catch good eating tunas within sight of the hill.


- Capt. Chris Burrows
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"Pics" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 04/10/08
 


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Panama Wrap Up" | OIFC 1- 36' | 04/10/08
 

The dust has settled, my feet are back on the ground and I've had ample opportunity to reflect back on trip #1 for the Traveling Fisherman.  It's funny, while in the moment you find yourself occassionally complaining about petty issues and making comments such as "if we had our equipment" or "if we had this fishing at home" ect.  After you separate yourself from the moment though and have time to think back on the experience you see the trip for what it was meant to be and what it was- an adventure.  If everything was just like home what's the purpose of traveling half way around the world for a new experience?  My overall opinion of the Panama adventure aboard the Coral Star was that it was truly an awesome experience.  We may have had our expectations set a little high, but when it was all said and done we had great fishing, great accomodations, great food, unbelievable scenery, and a unique opportunity to experience a part of the world that most will never see.  <BR><BR>Fishing:  From a pure fishing perspective I was anticipating more action, but not the quality of fish we encountered.  What we lacked in quantity we certainly  made up for in quality.  Apparently with the use of such large baits (5-8lb bonitos), the sailfish action is diminished.  I believe there are a ton of sailfish in that area, but most of the fishing is targeted mainly at marlin so we don't get as many bites as you would if fishing with smaller baits.  And when you do get bites from sails they have a difficult time choking down the bait so the hookup ratio is not good.  For me personally this was what I would prefer.  I would rather fish all day for a couple marlin bites than catch 10 sailfish. But, that opinion probably differs from person to person.  I would like to see the Coral Star operation equip their boats with tackle that would allow them to target sails if the customer desired.  Such equipment would be ballyhoo, dredges, and smaller plastics. The rod and reels were completely sufficient.  They had mostly Penn and Avet reels in the 30 to 50 wide range with Seeker rods.  Depending on the angler's choice it'd be nice to have a better selection of light tackle.  It's difficult though to pull out the light tackle when the next bite may be a grander black. The terminal tackle, and lures left a little to be desired.  On my next trip I will carry an assortment of lures.  The mothership deal is absolutely the way to go. Each morning we awoke, had breakfast, boarded the sport fish boats and were fishing within 50 yards of the mothership.  There were absolutely no runs to the fishing grounds. In fact at times in the evening aboard the mothership you could watch billfish crashing baits from the uppder deck.  At lunch time we would come back to the mothership grab something to eat, maybe a nap, cool off and then hit them again in the afternoon. Again, this is my opinion, but to me fishing is about more than just racking up the numbers and seeing how many fish you can catch.  I put a lot of value in the style of fishing.  While trolling plastics and ballyhoo seemed like a very effective method for catching sails and marlin, I much preferred the live baiting method.  Once I figured out how to properly feed a bait back to a fish, the hookup ratio was much improved.  It really put a lot more feel into when you have to free line an 8lb bonito into a slashing marlin's mouth.  You could feel the difference between a sail billing a bait and a marlin sucking one down.  Watching a big bonito get nervous and then seeing the tell tale bang on the rod was awesome.  For the week the offshore fish captures are as follows:<BR>3 Blue Marlin to 550lbs, 6 Black Marlin to 500lbs, 17 sails to 130lbs, 5 yellowfin tuna to 275lbs. The inshore fishing yielded snapper, roosterfish and jacks for most anglers.  <BR><BR>Accomodations/Food:  From the hotel in Panama to the living arrangements aboard the ship, I thought the accomodations were more than acceptable.  The rooms and bathrooms on the ship were definitely tight to say the least, but we were usually so tired from fishing that it didn't really matter.  We spent little time in our rooms other than to sleep.  The upstairs outdoor dining and bar was where most of our time was spent while on board the Coral Star. Being more than 50 miles away from the mainland made for great sunsets and star filled skys which we took in nightly from the upper deck.  Chef Andy treated us well on the meals.  We had fresh fish most nights which was excellent.  If we ate on the sport boats during the day we typically had ham sandwiches and fresh fruit. There was some difficulty each day in making sure everybody had their beverages of choice, but for the most part that was overcome.  <BR><BR>Travel/Logistics:  The getting to and from our destination was quite an undertaking. It seemed like we kept moving from plane, to bus, to boat, to bigger boat ect. This was definitely an adventure to some of the most remote areas in the world.  With all the opportunities for logistical travel problems I thought everything went rather smooth.  The Starlite travel group who guided us through Panama City was a major help. The only travel issues came from the sport boats that seemed to be on their last mechanical legs.  To their credit though, the crew was resourceful.  They kept their boats running with duct tape and bubble gum but never missed any fishing time.  <BR><BR>Crew:  I felt the sport boat Captains and their mates were great.  They were super friendly, entertaining, and really cared about producing fish.  After some initial jostling and sizing up they were very receptive to our input on fishing techniques and intricacies. Capt. Don, who was at the helm of the Coral Star kept us safe and navigated his ship to the closest safe anchoring location to the fishing grounds.  He was very in tune to the conditions and kept the ship running in an orderly manner.  <BR><BR>I very much enjoyed this excursion and I believe the rest of the traveling fishermen would concur.  There are a few things I will do different when I return, but overall the concept is very attractive for serious fishermen who want to experience new fisheries and see new turf.  A few things I might do different would be to bring more of my own tackle, try to arrange the trips where there would be no mates just us to run the cockpits, and lastly perhaps shorten the adventure by one day.  <BR><BR>It's now safe to say The Traveling Fisherman program is a success.  We had a great experience in Panama with a great group of OIFC fishing friends and we look forward to more adventures in the near future.  Currently I am working on the late 08 and 09 Traveling Fisherman program.  We are hoping to add a couple trips this year with excursions taking place in September, and then maybe a couple between January and March.  If anyone out there has any suggestions on new and exotic fishing locations to check out please email me at <A href="mailto:captbarrett@oifc.com">captbarrett@oifc.com</A>.  My criteria for selecting the next destinations include great fishing, peak season, unique fishery or fishing experience, remote locations, attractive fishing styles, and quality accomodations.  I have several excursions in the works currently and as soon as I finalize a date I will post the details here. <BR><BR>Until the next adventure, Traveling Fisherman signing off
- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Panama Report Day 8" | OIFC.com- 36' | 04/10/08
 

Day 8 Friday 2/15/08:

This morning the Starlite Travel folks woke us up at the Marbella and loaded us on their shuttle bus for the Panama City airport. We all ended up on the same Delta flight to Atlanta, which was on time and smooth. Back in Atlanta everybody collected their gear and went separate ways all heading for home in North Carolina, South Carolina or Georgia. As for me I was ready to pet my dog and sleep in my own bed so I hit the highway and made the 6 hour drive back to good old Ocean Isle Beach.  Although leaving 80+ degree sunny weather was difficult especially when returning to 40 degrees and raining, I am glad to be home. After being away from the US for over a week and pretty much secluded from real life as we know it, it is almost surreal driving up and down the highway seeing all of the commercialization and the organized chaos of our society. It's amazing that you can be removed from your typical day to day life for just a week and the affect it has. I feel like it's going to take a couple days to get my feet back on the ground and back in the flow. I'm going to take a couple days now to reflect on the experience and will report back with my opinions and thoughts on the adventure and what the future holds for the Traveling Fisherman. 


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"More Panama Pics" | OIFC.com- 36' | 04/10/08
 

Panama Pictures
- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Panama Report Day 7" | OIFC.com- 36' | 04/10/08
 

Day 7 Thursday 2/14/08:<BR><BR>Today was our last day with the Coral Star. The game plan was to fish the morning until noon and then make the trip back up the river to David. From there we were to hop on a plane for Panama City where we would spend the night before returning to home.  At breakfast Capt. Don shared some interesting info with us.  Apparently there had been riots in downtown Panama City yesterday evening between the construction workers union and the police. He said they were still collecting information but so far the plan was to continue on with our original arrangements. It certainly made us a little nervous but I guess this is the type of things you potentially deal with when you travel to a 3rd world country. Everybody seemed to have a different fishing or travel objective so we scattered onto the sport boats and headed out around 6am. Ray Boyd, Jared Boyd and Yorke Pharr opted to get an early start on returning home so they left the Coral Star with Tito and returned to David. They jumped on Ray's jet and headed for home. Forest Taylor, Richard McCrae and Tony McCrae were with Juan and Juan decided to hunt the inshore fishing scene. Todd Helf, Brian Richard and Robert Hughes were with Capt. Alexis and also were on the hunt for rooster fish. Brant and Robby Dial were bound and determined to find a marlin for Robby so they went with Capt. Kidd and headed offshore to Ladrones. Rube, Tommy Lytton, Todd Schadd and I went with Capt. Chaca with a mixed plan of trying for marlin and sails at Ladrones early on the tide change and then switch over to bottom fishing the rest of the morning. Yesterday evening several of the guys loaded up a floating live well with live goggle eyes and blue runners. Each of the boats that were inshore fishing or bottom fishing split the live baits this morning and headed out. We made the 45 minute ride from Paridas out to Ladrones first thing, located live bonitos and deployed a spread.  We fished the bonitos for about an hour and a half with only one strike from an aggressive Cubera snapper. After making a good effort on the top water action we moved a little closer to the island dropped down live goggs and chunk bait for whatever was on the bottom.  Interestingly the Capt's down there preferred to target snapper without any lead weights.  They hook a bait and then just start free lining until a snapper strikes.  We tried with and without lead weight but without seemed to work best.  We caught a multitude of bottom species including 3 different types of snappers. We didn't find any monster cuberas and the action wasn't red hot. Around noon we headed back in and up the river towards David.  About half way up the river we saw Capt. Kidd limping in as they had encountered an engine problem.  After a valiant effort to fix the problem the decision was made that we were running short on time so Brant and Robby jumped on board with Capt. Chaca and us and made tracks for David. They had fished hard all morning but never were able to find that elusive marlin for Robby. We arrived back to the Coral Star which was already in port at David about 2:00pm. The cook Andy had a farewell barbeque going for us and we quickly ate, packed our bags and said our goodbyes to the Captains and crew. Robert, Todd and Brian had a successful day on the inshore circuit catching 2 nice roosters and a big cubera. Forest, Richard and Tony also had success inshore fishing with action from rooster fish.  Sam, Capt. Tito's, mate extraodinaire and airport manager guided us through the small airport and David and sent us on our way. We arrived in Panama City this evening and were once again met by the Starlite Travel group. They helped us locate our luggage and got us back to the hotel Marbella. Most of the team walked down the street for a nice dinner in bustling Panama City. There was no evidence of any unrest or hostility in our area from the previous day's riots so were able to explore the nightlife. After dinner we ventured to the casino one more time where Robert and Forest schooled me on the intricacies of crapps.  After I lost my money I headed back to the hotel and most of the other guys did the same as everyone is pretty worn out and ready to head home. We have another early wake up tomorrow with our flight departing Panama City for Atlanta at 8:30am.  It's been quite a journey and awesome experience so far. I'm sure once I have time to reflect on the entire trip I'll have an even greater appreciation for all aspects of the adventure. For now, I'm glad to be heading back to the US. <BR><BR>Thanks to Brian Richard for the pics.
- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"More Pics" | OIFC.com- 36' | 04/10/08
 

So far I have been posting pictures from the Panama trip that I had taken with my camera and also pictures from Yorke Pharr's camera.  I just got in a whole new set with pictures from Brian Richard. Brian fished with Todd Helf and Robert Hughes all week and had a variety of catches.  I'll continue to post pictures as I receive them.
- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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"Panama Report Day 6" | OIFC.com- 36' | 04/10/08
 

Day 6 Wednesday 2/13/08: 

Today we got another early start.  After a Capt. Don original wake up call, Andy had a big warm breakfast ready to go.  We were on the water by 6:15 and had bait and fishing for marlin and sail by 6:30. I was aboard Capt. Alexi's boat with Rube and Robby Dial. The weather was perfect today. The temps were still warm but it was overcast which made the heat much more bearable.  Today the plan was to fish around Montosa until about 2pm and then we had to start making the run back to Paridas a couple hours away. The action started quick for us. Right off the bat we missed a sail that couldn't choke down the big live bonito we were using for bait.  Just a few minutes later the excitement really began. I had brought with me a shimano Trevalla jigging rod with a Shimano Torsa reel spooled with 500 yards of 80lb braid.  These rods are extremely slinder but unbelievably strong. I had decided that today I was going to give her a chance and put a live bonito on the combo.  I had the bait on this rod placed in the short position when the rod tip gave away the signal that a bill had just struck the bait. I quickly threw the reel in free spool and the fish definitely was carrying the bait away. Then all of a sudden the line went slack. I knew the fish had my bait so I advanced the drag and tried to come tight. At the same time the outrigger bait popped out of the clip and Rube freelined it. About that time the Capt gunned the boat I had come tight and a beautiful 300+ lb blue marlin broke the surface right behind the boat. Rube also had now come tight and we were both hooked up. We quickly figured out the same marlin had eaten both of our baits so we gave him the double team. The fish went ballistic as he ran and jumped so fast away from the boat he caused the Avet reel that Rube was using to heat up so much that it left a burn mark on the inside of his arm the size of a baseball.  In the madness the acorbatic marlin had made a b-line towards a 65 foot Viking private boat that was fishing nearby. The fish showed no signs of stopping and actually jumped and hit the side of the huge sportfisher. The fish then went down for a few seconds and resurfaced jumping again right in the middle of the sportfish's spread. Nevertheless we both stayed tight and proceeded to gain back our line. Within 20 minutes the 30lbs of drag I had on the marlin slowed him down and inched him to the boat. At the boat the fight took on another life as the mate and Capt. Alexis grabbed the bill and went for a ride.  Eventually the hooks were removed and off he went.  Marlin are incredible fish. Personally I'd rather fish all day and catch 1 marlin than catch 10 sailfish. We put the lines back out and again it didn't take long until a sailfish came barrelling through our spread. He disappeared for about 5 minutes then my rod's bait went suspiciously slack and I free spooled. After 20 seconds of feeding I came tight on the sail and Robby Dial went to work and quickly handled the 100+ lb sail. This sail was unique in that it didn't have a bill. I went to grab his bill to bring him in for a picture but due to a deformity this sail had no upper bill.  We took a few pictures and sent him on his way.  About an hour later the big school of porpois moved into the area which meant tuna time. Several of the other boats nearby hooked up on big tuna but we never got the bite. However, we did end up in the middle of blitzing yellowfin in the 30 to 80 lb range. They were jumping all around the boat but weren't big enough to eat our baits.  So Rube took a surface popper on a spinning rod and cast into the school.  No sooner did the lure hit the water did it get eaten. Rube made short work of the 40lb yellowfin on spin gear. We fished a couple hours more missing one more sail that was tailing. It was then time to make the 2 hour run back to Paridas. On the way back we stopped at another set of islands called Ladronas or "Island of Thieves".  We fished for a short time but had no success. We made one drop on a piece of bottom on the way in and captured a rock snapper about 8lbs. When we returned to the mothership at our original location at Paridas we found we had new company. The mothership and sportboat from the Go Fisch operation had anchored right next to us in the protected cove.  The Go Fisch is the operation that you see on ESPN on salt water Sunday that travels around the world to the most secluded and incredible fishing destinations.  By dark all of our crew had returned and we took our positions at the upper deck bar and began the run down from the day's activity. Brian Richard, Todd Helf and Robert Hughes had a slow day catching only one dolphin and losing a big yellowfin for a total of 1 point with Juan and Juan. Richard McCrae, Tony McCrae and Forest Taylor caught one sail, three dolphin and missed two other bites with Capt. Chaca for a 5 point total.  Tommy Lytton, Yorke Pharr and Todd Schadd caught one sail, three dolphin and missed an incredible nine billfish bites for a total of 5 points with Capt. Kidd.  Rube, Robby and I ended with 7 point with Capt. Alexis.  Today's winner was Brant, Jared Boyd and Ray Boyd fishing with Capt. Tito and Sam. They won with one fish an estimated 500lb black marlin that Jared did battle with. We had mixed results today with some boats having significant action and others just didn't find the fish. Tomorrow is our last day. We will fish until about noon and then make our way back up the river and to David where the mothership will be at port refueling. Some of us are going to give the offshore fishing one last try around Ladrones while others are going to hit the inshore scene and try for roosters and cubera snapper.  Montosa was an incredible fishing destination. There probably aren't too many places in the world where you can go and have shots at multiple marlin day after day.  We never really busted into a large number of fish but the quality made up for the lack of quantity. We'll give it one more shot tomorrow but I think everybody is just about ready to get their feet on solid ground.  It's been a long, fun week out here but there's no place like home.


- Capt. Barrett McMullan
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