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While the air may be cold, the Gulf Stream fishing is red hot. Between the seemingly nonstop strong winds and rough seas, a small weather window allowed fishermen to head offshore last midweek to test what should be good Gulf Stream fishing.
The results were positive, as boats fishing from the BlackJack to the Steeples reported multiple wahoo catches as well as blackfin tuna and a mix of Mahi-mahi and sailfish.
Water temperatures were still in the upper 70s, and as they drop into the mid-70s, the action should only get better. In addition to the Gulf Stream, the kings and grouper have been biting well in 80-100 feet of water.
The kings in particular have been elusive this season, but this past week they were grouping up in the vicinity of the Frying Pan Tower and eager to take slow trolled baits.
The big problem we offshore fishermen have at this time is the weather. The wind has been unrelenting, hardly offering any opportunity to venture offshore without risking life and limb. Like many area fishermen, I am standing by ready to go, but in the meantime, I’ll settle on boat repairs and honey-do.
In other fishing news, the Southern Kingfish Association’s National Championship tournament is coming up next week. The annual event this year is in Biloxi, Miss., which is where my family and I boated the record-breaking 74.1-pound king mackerel that won the 2009 national championship.
The championship was moved to Florida in 2010 because of the BP oil spill, but now the coast is clear and hundreds of eager teams are ready to get back to Biloxi for a shot at massive king mackerel.
The Carolinas have brought back more national championship trophies than any other states at a rate of 2-to-1.
It is my hope and desire to continue this tradition as my family and I along with many other Brunswick County fishermen head to Biloxi next week to compete for the national championship title. One cool item is that the weigh-in is broadcast live at www.fishska.com Nov. 11-12. Hopefully, you’ll see Team OIFC weighing in another tournament winner.