Capt. Brant's Fishing Report
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"SKA Nationals" | OIFC | 04/23/14
Breaking news -- the "NEW" SKA has agreed to comp Nationals entry for the top 10 finishing teams in each SKA division. Further, it is my strong belief that if you were ever going to fish SKA Nationals, this will be the year not to miss. It is concensus that Nationals needs to move around every year, and I am confident that is going to happen. However, this year it was too late to make changes and thus NBOA, the new owner of the SKA, is pledging to make Nationals a better event than ever. I know they are working hard on lots of new programs that will affect competition in next year's season, but this year I think they will make their big splash with the show they put on at Nationals. I hope you tournament fishermen out there will make an effort to qualify and make it to the Nationals -- yes, qualify -- that is something that has been lost in the last few years, but I believe that we had all better fish hard as the true meaning of qualifying is going to come back as well.
Capt. Brant McMullan
"HT Redfish Houma Practice Day 3" | OIFC | 04/23/14
The hay is in the barn as they say. Today was the last day of practice before competition starts tomorrow. Let me just tell you about today. Guys, seriously....I like to think I'm fairly effective with my ability to put on paper my experiences on the water but today I can honestly say words just won't do it justice. This is what Louisiana redfishing is all about. To say I found them would be an understatement. With the tip from afellow competitor, Gritter Griffin, I landed on the motherload of redfish today.
I sight fished from the time I came off plane until it was time to call it a day. Every 10 yards I'd see another pack of redfish. It was to the point I just put up my rods and eased along the bank and just watched the fish. It became clear if I had a rod in my hand I just couldn't help myself but to put my bait in the water. If bait hit the water, it wasn't long before redfish was on the other end. So instead, I just watched the fish and tried to pick out the right size fish. The key to this tournament is going to be identifying the right size redfish and not waste time on those that are too big. These fish down here are super fat and fight hard. I caught a 14lb 28" redfish today which is an enormous weight for that length of fish. It's tons of fun catching these overs but takes a lot of time, time you could be working on the right size fish for the tournament. Self restraint is key.
Hopes are high leading into the tournament tomorrow. The facts are though that probably just about every angler in this event is on good fish. I expect the leaderboard will be very tight. I'm still nailing down my final plan but in true Team OIFC style I just can't help myself but to swing for the fences at first and try something totally different than what the rest of the fleet will be doing. If that doesn't pan out I have one heck of a back up plan and more behind that. Having options in this game is critical and options is one thing I do have. Whatever the outcome of the tournament is for me I can honestly say today was without a doubt the most fun I've ever had on the inshore waters. I hate nobody else was there to share it with me but man I'll never forget it. Awesome.
Tomorrow, the weigh in begins at 2pm but probably won't get going until 3pm. You can tune in and watch the weigh in live.
Go to: http://theredfishseries.com/watch-the-redfish-series-live/
Capt. Barrett McMullan
"Buck Tails" | Do Work / OIFC | 04/22/14
This red trum hit on a top water plug for Shane Britt. That would have been a sight to see. We've got these at the OIFC. I am going to do some preventive maintainance on the "Tale Chaser" today and hit the back waters this week.
Shane most always fishes with buck tails. He makes his own which can be seen at Britts Bucktails on Facebook. But we have bucktails at the OIFC. I've been out fished many a day by someone using bucktails tiped with shrimp, mud minnows and Fish Bites. The weight of the buck tail is dependent on how hard the tide is pulling.
As Capt. Jacob says "see you on the water". Be sure to ask him why he needs to change it to "see you in the water". He tells it a whole lot better than I do. ;)
Capt. Rickey Beck
"Charters Available This Weekend" | Real-Time Update | 04/22/14
Weather looks great this weekend for offshore fishing. Charter boats are
currently available. Call 910 575 3474 to Book
"HT Redfish Houma Practice Day 2" | OIFC | 04/22/14
Back at it today down here in Houma, LA. Today was the second full practice day leading up to the tournament this Thursday. Tomorrow is the final practice day and is actually just a half day. Today I honed in on what I learned day one and started working on a game plan for the tournament. The issue with that is "everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth". Weather changes, water changes, fish change, boat traffic, yada yada yada. It all can change in a hurry so having plans A, B , C and D are critical. I've got a couple options now where I think I can put a decent bag together but I still need another back up plan. Tomorrow I will check a totally new area and see what the day brings. One thing I have been missing thus far in my exploration is clear water. I've been fishing very muddy water which is making sight fishing tough. Tough but doable. I'm catching most of my fish with 10 ft of the boat to give you an idea of the condition.
Down here in the marsh the scenery is pretty magnificient. The wildlife is truly amazing. Within a few minutes this morning I spotted a 10ft alligator, an 8lb redfish, a 40lb redfish, a catfish, a swamp coon, a family of nutrea, and a pod of 100+lb gar fish. That was all in one small pond!
Tomorrow is my last opportunity to find good tournament fish and then it's off to the Capt's meeting tomorrow evening. I'm definitely still the rookie on tour and a novice at best but I'm beginning to understand the fishery a little better which is helping me to locate fish. Like always though, you can be the best fishermen that ever lived but if you aren't around the fish it doesn't matter.
Capt. Barrett McMullan
"Wahoo Lures" | Do Work / OIFC | 04/21/14
This and a red and black Fish Finder Tackle Hi Speed lure is what produced so well for us last weekend when we were wahoo fishing Sent from my iPhone
Capt. Jeff Beck
"Backwater Fishing News!!" | Tiberias - 22' | 04/21/14
There has been some speculation on the speckled trout fishery opening up for commercail harvest and the limit doubling from 75 to 150 per day. This is not true. It was mentioned in one of the meetings that if you have two licensed commercial guys on the same boat, then they should be able to keep their 75 fish limit each. This is not allowed as of right now and will have to go through several public meetings before even being considered. New stock assessments are currently underway and that will have more influence than anything else on future decisions on limits. I recieved this information from Dr. Daniel Louis himself this morning around 9:30am.
There has also been some confusion on the closure of redfish. The commercial harvest for redfish is closed, not the recreational harvest of 1 per person per day between 18 to 27 inches. Recreational redfish are still open, but again at a meeting some commercial guys complained about the closure and pushed to have recreational closed as well. It is a very complicated situation with our fishery. Redfish are not to be targeted by commercial fishermen period, but they are allowed 10 fish as bycatch when they have enough of another species. Complicated and grey area there. The commercial fishery quota allowed is like 250,000 pounds per year. Although they are not a target species the commercial fishery over shot their quota in 2013 by more than 10,000 pounds. It will remain closed until the Fall season 2014.
Redfish are still open for recreational harvest of 1 per person per day between the slot of 18 to 27inches. As always I encourage catch and release of these hard fighting beautiful fish. Please only keep what you are going to eat fresh. See ya on the water!
Capt. Jacob Frick
"HT Redfish #1 Houma" | OIFC | 04/21/14
~~I'm baaaa-aaack. Back in the bayou that is. Last month I fished in an HT Redfish pre season tournament out of Chalmette, LA which I provided a daily diary of my adventure. This time I'm in Houma, LA for the actual beginning of the HT Redfish tournament series. Houma is about an hour and a half west of New Orleans or in other words a long dang way from Ocean Isle Beach. I took the 14 hour drive yesterday and made it to the fish camp right at dark in Bayou Dularge. They call houses that are this far down in the marsh, fish camps down here for clarification. Fellow tournament competitor, Gritter Griffin, and I are staying in the same camp. He's been at this game a long time so I'm making like a sponge.
It was up and at em' early this morning for the first practice day of fishing. This tournament series has extremely strict rules. First, anglers can not be on the water for 14 days prior to the Monday before the tournament. So today was the first time anglers could get on the water and try to figure out where the fish are. Not a big deal for 95% of the competition because they all live down this way and know where they need to be. For me, it doesn't really matter. I feel like I could have 3 weeks down here and I'll still be in the weeds. There are 2.5 practice days before the event begins on Thursday. 38 anglers will compete Thursday and Friday with the top 8 fishing on Saturday. This is a one man per boat tournament
First mission for me today was finding the boat ramp. Next was making it out of the marina. Check. Check. No problem. I had been prefishing for this tournament for weeks on Google Earth. I try to study the area as much as possible and get ideas of where would be the best places to scout before the tournament. I went down the list today checking off spots I had identified and added a few more. I thought fishing was fairly good by my standards. I caught fish sight casting and I caught fish deep. The trick is finding the right size fish that will win the tournament. I'm looking for 8+ lbers just under 27" which is the upper end of the slot down here. The tournament is decided by the angler with the heaviest 5 fish bag combined over 3 days so 15 fish total.
I will echo what I say every time when I come down here. There's simply no place like it. The thrill I get from standing on a platform above the water and seeing a stud redfish laying out in front me makes the 14 hour drive well worth it. I got my fill of it today.
Tomorrow it's on to more scouting and hopefully putting a tournament plan together.
Check out this 40lb black drum I caught in 10 inches of water today.
Capt. Barrett McMullan
"Salt Water Gone Fresh Water" | Do Work / OIFC | 04/21/14
This by Larry Spainhour from his Facebook page:
Fished today with one Professional and one Semi-Pro. This is one of 159. Don't ask how many I caught. Great fun with two fine friends.
Capt. Rickey Beck
"Jetties Drum" | Choice of Two / OIFC | 04/19/14
Ben Spier was fishing theLittle River Jetties this weekwith his dad and Cole Moon when he happened upon this monster drum.
Capt. Rickey Beck
"Rodeo!!!!!!" | Do Work / OIFC | 04/18/14
The YEAR ROUND IS ON!!!!!!!!! Same as last year...$20 per person per species or $60 blanket for the boat per species
Capt. Jeff Beck
"SKA News" | Do Work / OIFC | 04/17/14
Capt. Rickey Beck
Hi, just a reminder that you're receiving this email because you're a part of the Southern Kingfish Association and we have some exciting news.
Anglers, friends, and industry partners,
When we heard the Southern Kingfish Association (SKA) was closing its doors three weeks ago, like many of you, we were concerned. We have supported the SKA for the last six years, and over that time we'd grown attached to the trail - what it meant to the anglers, their families, and our fellow sponsors.
At NBOA, we've always put our customers first. We're a family owned and operated company, our headquarters has been in Sarasota, FL since its inception in '84 and since then we've grown into one of the largest marine insurance agencies and boating membership clubs in the country.
With that being said, legacy and tradition are important to us. So when we heard one of the best tournament trails was about to close its doors after 23 years of operation, we wanted to do whatever we could to ensure that didn't happen.
Fast forward three weeks and we are proud to officially announce: NBOA has acquired the Southern Kingfish Association and will be assuming all operations effective immediately!
So, what exactly does this mean? Business as usual, with a whole lot of exciting, new plans in store.
NBOA's Jim Butler and Erin Henshaw, will be the managing directors of the SKA, sanctioned tournaments will continue as scheduled, and we'll be announcing final intentions on this year's PRO Tour within the next three weeks.
The transition between current SKA management and NBOA is effective now. Please feel free to give our team a shout with any questions or comments. We're all ears and excited to hear what you (the lifeblood of this organization) have to say.
On behalf of the NBOA team, we look forward to continuing the SKA legacy, and broadening a tournament trail that's focused on the fundamentals of this sport. We are in for one heck of a ride and we sure hope you all are on board.
Here's to another great year on the trail!
Patrick and Iceseas Farrell
National Boat Owners Association | 4404 N. Tamiami Trail | Sarasota | FL | 34234
"SKA NEWS FROM JACK HOLMS" | Do Work / OIFC | 04/17/14
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Dear SKA Member,
It is my pleasure to inform you that the SKA will be up and running in the next few days. National Boat Owners Association ( N.B.O.A.) Marine Insurance, a prime sponsor of the SKA for the past five years, is purchasing the trail and is expected to pick up the tournaments, divisions, and Championship, we had scheduled. We are very excited and happy that they will keep the trail going and are expected to make it even better.
If you purchased your membership for the 2014 season, the new owners will honor your membership. This saves the time of refunds and the need to re-apply. We have turned over the list of members to them. We will be a couple of weeks getting everything moved and helping N.B.O.A. get geared up. We will continue on in an advisory capacity for a period of time to insure a seamless transition.
In '91 a building contractor from St. Simons Island, Georgia, John Jones, had this idea to form a saltwater tournament trail and enlisted our help. We had the ability to grow the sponsorship ranks, promotions, and the publishing of Angler Magazine. It was a very trying time the first year but it wasn't long after that Jim Armstrong came on board as our partner. Jones lasted thru '93 then left to pursue his building contracting business. In 1999 Armstrong and I sold the company to Sid Steverson, an industrial contractor from Georgia and a participant on the trail. In 2001 he sold the company back to Deona and I. The trail continued on under our leadership growing into the largest saltwater tournament trail in the world. Now the trail changes hands once again, I might add, in very capable hands. While I'm sure that the new team has some great improvement ideas, those changes will not happen overnight but within the foreseeable future. It's also anticipated that the sponsors will embrace the new owners. It's in their best interest.
Now it's up to the rank and file membership. You need to embrace and support the new SKA. Your input is very important and always welcome.
They will begin their series at the Saltwater Shootout in Pompano Beach, Florida, Division 10. If you really want to embrace them make plans now to join them for their N.B.O.A. event in Sarasota, Florida, May 15th thru 17th. See the full schedule at www.fishSKA.com.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, the SKA staff, I thank you for your support all these years and all the best on this years Mercury Tournament Trail.
Good Luck and Tight lines,
Jack and Deona Holmes and the SKA Board of Directors.
You can contact Holmes at 386-801-3200
You can contact N.B.O.A., Erin Henshaw @ 561-351-9393
Southern Kingfish Association
Capt. Rickey Beck
15 Garnett Ave
Saint Augustine, Florida 32084
"Saturday's Wahoo Trip" | Do Work / OIFC | 04/17/14
Sorry for the delayed report, but its took me several days to get caught up from our offshore adventure. Well here it goes, no information held back. Don't you just love it when a plan comes together. My crew consisted of Capt. Rickey aka Papa D, Eddy Jones of Team Choice of Two/OIFC, Jon Hayes, Jeremy Phillips and Camdyn who is now claiming to be the Captain of Team Do Work. We planned this trip over a month out from the fishing date and were lucky enough to get perfect conditions.
We head out Shalotte Inlet and had our course set of the 100/400 area. We arrived and found good water, but just wasn't marking bait or finding anything that was making us to excited, so we decided to troll towards the Blackjack. We began trolling and found our first fish just inshore of the Blackjack. This fish hit a deep trolled bait that was on an inline weight. Jermery was first up on the rod. This fish hit and burned the TLD 30 down. Eddy and myself knew we had a good fish on! Jermey put it to this fish and got her along side of the Do Work and we were able to land it. It was a 49 pound fish. High five were passed around the boat and we reset our lines and got back to work. Papa D stayed on the wheel and said that he was making good bait and was seeing a temperture chnge that was ranging from 73 to 75. Then Capt.Papa D said "get ready boys, I just marked bait from 50 feet to 150 feet." Then just like that three rods went off like a bomb! Triple header of wahoo. Eddy, Jon and Jeremy all grabbed rods and went to work. Camdyn and I began clearing lines and began helping anyway we could. Jeremy was first to bring his fish in and the fish was gaffed and put in the box, Eddy then got his in and it was landed. Jon was still fighting and we were not making any ground on this monster. Jon was able to get his fish with in sight and once this fish saw the boat it took off and made another huge run. Jon continued to fight and got the fish about two feet from gaff range and the line just snapped and the monster swam away in slow motion. Not bad getting two out of three, with the biggest being land was Eddy's weighing 44 pounds. We continued to work the same area and eneded up catching one more. We ended to day with 4 wahoo out of 7 strikes. We loaded up and Papa D took us in at about 35 mph running little to no tab, the ocean was smooth as glass.
Now for the information everyone wants. We caught all our fish down deep. All fish hit on the weighed lines or the planner. The fish seemed to prefer the baits on the inline weights. The lure of choice was the Red and Black or Orange and Black that are made by Fish Finder Tackle, which are available at the OIFC. The area we fished was just inshore of the Blackjack with depths ranging from 175 to 190. The trolling speed that produced most the strikes was 7.0 mph to 7.5 mph. I credit landing all of these fish to the outstanding crew that we had on board. Everyone stayed busy and worked hard to have a productive day. Capt. Papa D had the wheel all day and kept us in the prime area. Eddy stayed busy working the baits and keeping them in the zone. Now I see why Choice of Two/ OIFC is such a strong team. With all that being said it looks like early next week maybe fishable once again. So everyone has plenty of time to get some Fish Finder Tackle and get them rigged up and ready to go. Stop by the OIFC and get all your gear and get ready to roll. Capt. Rickey has tons of pictures,I will get him to post more from the trip.
Capt. Jeff Beck
"Backwater School" | Tiberias - 22' | 04/16/14
May 2nd land class 5-7pm...May 3rd full day of fishing. Currently two spots have filled for this class. Who will be the third? The cost is $225 per person. The focus of this class is to learn when, where, how and why to fish certain techniques. We will certainly do our best to catch fish, but the focus is on the process to become a more confident fisherman. Get more confident in making a move or changing your approach. Learn to search out new areas and fish them effectively with confidence.
The latest fishing action has been focused on the redfish. Trout are moving around and should get more active in the next few weeks. Flounder have started to make a showing in the Cherry Grove area and that action should get closer to home in a week or so. Peanut menhaden started to flip in the waterway around Holden Beach this past weekend, but this cold front might have pushed them deeper. They will be back soon. It is all coming together slowly but surely. See ya on the water!
Jack Ellis with a stud 30 incher caught just before this cold front hit us. Jack was fishing with blue crab on a 3/4oz. carolina rig when this redfish hit in just inches of water. It was quite a sight to witness, Jack!
Capt. Jacob Frick