Archive for September, 2010

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

By Mike Marsh

NCPAF, Inc. Raises $1325.60 and OIFC Repeats Winner at Brunswick Islands Saltwater Classic

Hurricane Earl pushed back the 2010 Brunswick Islands Saltwater Classic Tournament from its originally scheduled dates of Aug. 27-28 to Sept. 10-11. Last year, the tournament was also delayed, but only for one day, because of another hurricane’s near miss. But the big surprise in terms of repeats was not the weather delay, but in the tournament’s winner. For the second year in a row, The Ocean Isle Fishing Center team won first place in the king mackerel division and was again the first boat to weigh-in a fish.

Capt. Brant McMullan, the team captain, was also the angler. His father Rube McMullan handled the gaff. Other team members included Brant’s 5-year-old daughter, Caroline, who won the youth angler prize for the fish, and Chris Eckert.

“We were fishing in 110 feet of water about 47 miles offshore,” Rube McMullan said. “I drove the boat while Brant fought the fish. When the fish hit, it was burning it down so we knew it was a big king.”

The OIFC team was fishing in deep water, where wahoo are also present. Therefore, Rube McMullan initially thought the big fish could be a wahoo.

“When we got over the fish and could see it down deep in the water,” he said. “As it got higher in the water, we could see green, so then we knew it was a king. It circled one time and I hit it with the gaff. I called for help and Brant put down the rod to help me get it in the boat.”
            Eckert is usually the angler, but he was busy with another fish. That fish struck a menhaden fished deep on a downrigger. Rube McMullan was reeling in a line that just had its rig cut off by another fish, leaving only Brant McMullan to available to grab the rod with the winning king mackerel. Eckert also caught his fish, but it only weighed in the low 20s. The team also caught landed four other kings.

“My kids grew up fishing with me,” Rube McMullan said. “Every parent dreams about their kids leaving them in the dust. I’ve seen that happen and it’s a great feeling.”

The winning king mackerel weighed 43.14 pounds and brought in total cash winnings for the OIFC team of $12,200. Last year, the same team’s winning fish weighed 29.11 pounds. Besides bigger king mackerel, more of them were caught this year than last year, with a total of 23 kings brought to the scales.

In the redfish category, Darin Strickland and Todd Streeter of the Long Bay Boatworks team weighed in two fish. Strickland’s fish, a 5.35-pounder, took first place and Streeter’s 4.04-pounder took second place.

“We were fishing in the lower Cape Fear River,” Streeter said. “We fished on the rising tide and caught a few fish. Then we had to put the Power Pole down because we had to sit there and wait for two or three hours for the tide to fall again. We were fishing a place where the water was falling out of a marsh gut. Eventually, the falling water brought the bait and the fish back out again.”

“We culled out 16 fish to get our two and both were in the 24-inch range,” Strickland said. “We were using Skitter Walk topwater lures and Berkley Gulp Jerk Shad soft baits. We could see the fish and cast to them as they swam by.”

Terry Adkins of Bluewater Promotions again organized the tournament. Adkins’ company promotes nine king saltwater tournaments from Florida to North Carolina every year. This year’s Classic was hosted for the second year in a row at South Harbour Village Marina at Oak Island in support of the North Carolina Public Access Foundation, Inc, a non-profit organization founded to save and enhance public access, especially ocean fishing piers and boat ramps.

NCPAF, Inc. volunteers included board members Capt. Jerry Dilsaver, Justin Marsh and Mike Marsh. Other volunteers included Taylor Ryan, Carol Cini, Luther Dishman, Vince Gubey, John Schneider, Jim Knight and Jeff Todd. For more information, visit

Total proceeds from the tournament to NCPAF, Inc. were $1,325.60. The NCPAF, Inc. Board of Directors will determine the distribution of the proceeds for public access needs. 

Brunswick Islands Saltwater Classic Tournament Winners (General King Mackerel Category, Top Ten Winners):

1. Ocean Isle Fishing Center         43.14

2. Rollin Out                                      35.53

3. Liquid Fire                                     29.91

4. Reel Buzz                                     28.08

5. The Seahorse                              27.47

6. Final Approach                            26.27

7. C-Sick                                            23.44

8. Top Choice                                   22.94

9. N 2 Deep                                       21.36

10. Grace                                           19.87