2009-12-06 - Tis the Fishing Season - Updated with NC Pics

December 06 , 2009

’Tis The Season…

‘Tis the season to begin to get serious about Winter fishing and all the great opportunities that await.  ‘Tis Giant Bluefin Season, that’s for sure.  Captains Joe and Keith kicked things off on Friday with their first Giant Bluefin Tuna trips of the season in North Carolina.  Meanwhile, down in Florida, ‘Tis the Season for Sailfish!  Although the bite has slowed from what it was two weeks ago, the cold front that is currently passing today had the sails snappin’ this afternoon.  As I sit here writing this report, I’m hearing on the VHF that the leading boat has 23 releases in the local Islamorada sailfish tournament that’s currently underway.   Capt. Joe McGivern just texted me that he went 2-4 in a half day this morning out of Lauderdale. So things are ok, to say the least.  ‘Tis the season for Wahoo, that’s for sure, and a wide open bite down in both Key West and the Bahamas continues.  So if this fishing report finds you settling in for a cold winter’s nap, just remember, ‘Tis the season to plan your winter fishing trip!

Tight Lines,
Captain Trey Rhyne

Islamorada Fishing Report

I sure wish I had lots of great stuff to report, however, things were not easy this week. Conditions left us with very little to work with. The weather was not the best, with lots of cloudy days which was our first obstacle.  Bait was tough, as we had very little current all week. The Sails bit a day here and there, but no consistency.  Same with the King Mackerel. The reef was not easy either. The dirty water was great, but with no current or just a trickle back up into the wind, it was a struggle.  The Sailfish did bite for the Islamorada Sailfish Tournament.  Not a great bite, but good enough to make for a real fun time. We were reef fishing this weekend, and managed to pick away at some nice big tails and Kings. We also caught several nice reef sharks and one real nice Bull shark. We tried some deep jigging on a few wrecks and FAD’s, but had very little success. We will be a little slow this coming week, but will be out over the weekend. Happy Holidays and be Safe!!

Captain John Oughton - Email Captain John

Key West Fishing Report

The weather is cool but the fishing is hot!

If you enjoy mixed bag days, the inshore fishing should be great. Areas like Jewfish Basin just north of Key West are filling up with spotted seatrout, jack crevalle, ladyfish, mackerel and aerobatic blacktip sharks. Breezy conditions make for exciting shark fishing when we break out the kite and live mullet.

Offshore, expect to find some excellent offshore fishing. The first two weeks of December generally produce spectacular offshore results and 2009 is proving to follow that pattern. A change in current from west to east, combined with a full moon to produce several spectacular days of wahoo and tuna fishing in Key West. A number of methods proved effective, ranging from chumming with live pilchards, slow-trolling goggleeyes, blue runners and speedos to high-speed trolling with deep-diving artificials like the Mann's Stretch 25+ or Boone's Cairns swimmer. A few adventurous free divers got in on the action, shooting wahoo with spear guns. For those interested in this kind of thing, we can lead you to the fish. Give us a call and we hope to see you out on the water.

Captain Ted Lund
Email Captain Ted

Bahamas Fishing Report

Bahamas Wahoo Bite Continues to be Strong

While the weather has not been as conducive to Wahoo fishing this week, the bite continues to be solid.  A nice bite was reported down in Rum Cay all week, until this weekend when an approaching front shut things down.  The sharks were worse than normal claiming more than their fair share of hoos, however.  As the front passes over the next couple days, the bite should be back on again.  When the wind begins to clock as a cold front approaches, the fishing will often shut down in all the normal “hot spots” as the wind pushes the fish and bait off the edge.  When this happens, it is often a good idea to try some different locations, or a western facing edge in the islands.  Places like Alligator Point off Cat Island can bust wide open with a good west wind.  Alligator Point is on the west side of the island and when the wind is westerly, it pushes everything from the deep water of Exuma Sound right up on the western edge of Cat Island. As the front passes and a strong north-east blow develops, the bite usually turns right back on.  When the wind comes back NE, it pushes everything up tight to the edge in many locations, like the Abacos and prominent south-east facing points, like Columbus Point and the South East Point at Rum Cay.  If history holds, the fishing should turn back on strong down in Rum Cay about Monday or Tuesday as we get back into a NE wind pattern. 

Tight Lines,
Captain Trey Rhyne

Morehead City, NC

Well we are all set up and have now fished two days. We are currently seeing a slow start to the season with unseasonably warm weather. With air temps in the 70 ’s for most of the week, the water is still a tad to warm with temperatures ranging from 61 to about 66. However, this has all just changed with the latest front. We had temps dip to about 35 last night and it is still cold today. This should get the bite in gear, and we expect a good number of fish to be caught this week. There was one fish caught earlier this week, measuring out at 85 inches.

This week we mainly did some scouting, looking around for the areas holding the most bait. We started at the C buoy on Friday, and found pretty good bunker marks all the way out to NW Places. We are getting a good number of king mackerel bites as well as rather large false albacore.

On Saturday just a couple of us ventured out in a driving rain storm and we spent most of the day around the Shad Boat. We continued to see scattered bait as well as diving gannets. The false albies were on top feeding pretty good. This was a very good sign as in years past we have often caught Giants mixed in with them. I expect to see the water temps drop into the low 60 ’s which is exactly what we need to get it all going.  There seems to be a lot less boats out and about than in recent years.

(To the right, Captain's Joe & Thomas with a nice bluefin from a couple of years ago)


We've got two boats fishing this season. Both our 48' Ocean and 55' Custom Carolina boat are on scene. For crew this season, we have Capt. Keith Burnet, with "Lil" John Giffith working pit. This team fished our 46' Whiticar in MHC last season. Myself, Joe Bonvetti, and Johnny Kauterman have slid down from Avalon, NJ on our 55' Gwaltney. Our spread on the Gwaltney, includes two deep rods and two long riggers.

We are trolling our own OU packed horse ballyhoo just brought in from the Florida Keys. Our baits are some of the very best I have ever seen…..Thanks Trey.  We are running sea witches and islanders, in front of our Ballyhoo, mostly red or pink heads with crystal skirts.  We have opportunities to fish here in North Carolina for $200 per person, all season, which lasts from now through the end of January.  Give us a shout if you want to take your shot at a Giant Bluefin!

Tight Lines,
Captain Joe Trainor
(To the left, Captain Keith Burnett with one of his Giants from last year)

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Fishing has been slow this week here in Ft. Lauderdale. Monday through Saturday we fished from Miami all the way to Boca. We have been able to catch a few sailfish and dolphin but it has been a struggle. We finally got a cold front here on Saturday and it helped pick things up for us on Sunday. We fished a half day out of Ft Lauderdale and right off the bat we hooked and lost a sail. We then got a nice dolphin. About 30 minutes later we hooked a double header of sailfish, but were only able to get one out of the two. We moved out a bit deeper, and caught a nice double header of tunas. Just before we were about to head in we hooked another sailfish. Marty made quick work of her and we headed in. The seas were nice, we had a great NNW wind which made it nice and cool all morning long. This week we have a few full day trips and the Sailfish Kickoff tournament this coming weekend! Hopefully, we have a great week and an even better weekend!

Captain Joe McGivern

Fish with the Pros - Fish with OU logo!

OU Bite

Key West, FL

Cobia, mutton, yellowtail snapper, sailfish, blackfin tuna, wahoo, cero mackerel

Islamorada, FL

Sailfish,Mangrove & Mutton Snappers, Mackeral, Yellowtails,

Ft Lauderdale, FL

Sailfish, dolphin, kingfish, tuna


Wahoo, yellowfin tuna

Morehead City, NC

Giant Bluefin Tuna

Islamorada, Florida

December 06 - Shark Fishing, barracuda and mackeral today - Captain John Oughton
December 05 - Good couple of days of fishing - Captain John Oughton
December 04 - Morning half day reef fishing report - Captain John Oughton

Key West, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

December 06 - 2 for 4 on sailfish, Tunas & a nice Dolphin - Captain Joe McGivern

Morehead City, NC

December 04 - First Morehead City, NC report - Captain Joe Trainor


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Islamorada, Florida Keys - Split Charters

Trip Type
Full day Fishing on That's Right, 50' Evans- One of these days
$550 (for up to 3)
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$425 (for up to 2)
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$600 (for up to 3)
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$550 (for up to 3)
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$400 (for up to 2)

Bahamas Open Boat Excurions

Trip Type
5/4 (nights/days fishing) - Treasure Cay
7/5 (nights/days fishing) - Cat Island
5/4 (nights/days fishing) - Treasure Cay
5/4 (nights/days fishing) - Start in Treasure Cay & end in Cat Island

Back by popular demand, OU has put together an open seating schedule for the upcoming Bahamas season.  Pricing is per person, excludes gratuity, and is based on accommodations aboard the Over Under, 54' Bertram. Hotel rooms are available at an additional fee.  Rates include breakfast and lunch aboard.  Dinners, drinks, and transportation are excluded.