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The wind is allowing the fish a needed break, but starting next Saturday, their vacation is over. Registration for the GPS Store Far Out Shoot Out offshore rodeo is open online now at www.OIFC.com and will continue open on-line through May 15. The captains’ meeting will take place 6-7 p.m. this Friday, May 8, at the Ocean Isle Fishing Center along with good eating and I’m sure a few fish stories.
Of course, you may register in person at the captains’ meeting or any time through May 15 by visiting the Ocean Isle Fishing Center. Competition days are May 9 through May 16.
In the past, registration for the tournament has been cut off after the captains’ meeting on Friday night, but this year it will remain open through competition days. The hope is fishermen that can’t fish the first weekend of the event and are worried about putting up entry money without knowing the marine forecast for the following weekend will watch the weather and decide to enter midweek or even as late as May 15 to fish on May 16.
The tournament format of fishing one out of eight possible days allows a lot of flexibility in watching the weather and working around personal conflicts. Hopefully, extending registration will make entering the event a further convenience.
Also, the Shoot Out is part of the new Masters series. By participating in the Far Out Shoot Out Tuna, Dolphin and Wahoo Rodeo, Jolly Mon King Classic and Fall Brawl King Classic, a captain will have the opportunity to win the Masters by achieving the best average finish in all three events; a feat worthy of great respect and extra prizes in the form of cash, entries into 2010 Masters events and sponsor products. Come fish the GPS Store Far Out Shoot Out Tuna, Dolphin and Wahoo Rodeo with us.
Fishing continues to improve on all fronts as the weather and water warm. The Gulf Stream has moved over the edge of the 30-fathom break and, as a result, fishing for dolphin, wahoo and tuna will be very good. In particular, the dolphin bite that fishermen experience off our coast in May is world-class.
A bit closer in, the king mackerel and grouper are moving into the 80-to 100-foot depth range to such spots as the horseshoe, 32-mile rock and Atlantic ledge.
Close to shore, the Spanish mackerel are schooling along the beaches and around inlet mouths. As a result, a few larger king mackerel are also lurking in this area as they feed on the Spanish. Over the weekend a 35-pound king was landed off Ocean Crest pier and many boaters encountered larger kings in the vicinity of Yaupon Reef.
Spring is well into gear and summer is fast approaching. I am looking forward to more fish moving inshore and great all-around fishing action for May and June.
Brant McMullan is a charter captain and fishing columnist for the Beacon. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.