OBSESSION CHARTERS FALL NEWSLETTER WINTER 2015
HIGHLIGHTS OF 2014 OREGON INLET FISHING SEASON
2014 was an exciting year fishing out of Oregon Inlet. With extremely limited government funding to dredge Oregon Inlet, every morning was an adventure trying to navigate around unmarked shoals, but thank the good lord, we managed to avoid disaster though my hair is much grayer then it was 8 months ago. Fishing was excellent, in spite of a mid season hurricane that caught us by surprise, and we had some phenomenal catches, with some of our best with some of my oldest and favorite groups!
April 12, our first trip back from Mexico, with good friends Jim Kitts, Reed Newton and their sons on their first offshore adventure... 10 year old Collin Kitts fought a big bluefin for almost two hours, then dad took over and an hour later he had it along side the boat.... measured better than 105 inches and close to 600 lbs.....unfortunately the season on giants had just closed so we had to release it. Remy Newton, 13 years old, caught a foul hooked 400 lb 10ft hammerhead shark! Then 14 year old Reed Newton II and 10 year old Collin Kitts teamed up to put a 88 inch (approx 350-400 lb) bluefin alongside the boat in an hour.
MAY and JUNE was an exciting mix of 'gaffer' dolphin and yellowfin tuna, with great catches of both throughout the month. In early May, a 'Make-up' group including regular customer Ben McCracken, Antonio Garabaldi, Bill Allen & wives filled the box with 10-3 lb 'gaffers', and ended the day with a cobia.
In mid-May, every-year customers Irving Pritchett & Robert Crowder had unbelievable action, filling the box with a beautiful class of mahi, ranging from 10-26 lb but averaging a whopping 15 lb.
Three bigeye tuna hit us one day in late MAY... Scott Creswell boated one 120 lb, Justin Snow's weighed 130 LB, and after a grueling 2 hour battle, David Dretel boated one 155 lb, all earning NC citations for their endurance.
In early June, Matt D'amico & crew, who fish with me a few days every year, , started their first day with a double and triple header of yellowfin tuna, one pushing 60 lb...... then a small blue marlin missed the bait, then 20 minutes later a bigger one showed up, Lucas fed it & David Lloyd released the 400 lb blue marlin after an exciting 30 minutes... late in the day we hooked a double header of 50 lb yellowfin, got going again & the big yellowfin hit everything..... Matt & company boated all six, some in the 55-65 lb class.
Good buddies Billy & Bryan Pittman have fished with me forever. Billy caught his first blue marlin with me several years ago with guest mate Capt Glen 'Floridian' Cameron...apparently it was his brother Bryan's turn, but somehow Billy ended up in the chair and caught the marlin. This mid-June, Bryan started their first day by catching a white marlin.... then with son Randy, the three filled the box with 25-60 lb yellowfin..... we spent the afternoon looking for a big bite, and sure enough, Billy yelled "there he is!!!"..... I woke up.... I mean I turned around, and a big blue one was lined up on a tuna bait attached to Billy's personal rod with a light tuna leader.... I calmly SCREAMED "switch him off' but as usual, they ignored me and fed him the tuna bait...."HOOKED UP BLUE MARLIN!!!" Billy grabbed the rod, and unbelievably handed it to Bryan....I would have cranked the damn thing in myself but they are nice guys.... Bryan did a great job and released his first ever 500 lb blue marlin after a very exciting battle.
In late June, long time customers Richard Watkins & crew, started with good yellowfin action, boating 8 fish from 30-50 lb in the morning, then Rookie Dan Williams, from Springfield, PA hopped in the chair, not knowing what he was getting himself into, and a grueling 1 1/2 hours later boated a 221 lb bigeye..... a short while later Jack Monahan caught his first white marlin.
The next day, Mike Hall & crew, who have fished with me forever, set out and immediately caught a pair of yellowfins, and for the next 5 hours picked away at 20-45 lb yellowfins, one at a time, till they had their limit!
July 3, with forecasts of a minimal Cat-1 hurricane, I decided to keep the Obsession at Pirate's Cove, removed the curtains and added a few lines....when they upgraded the storm, we had second thoughts, so other captains and I stayed with the boats. Prior to the eye going over us, tide was low, boats were fine even though wind blew 80-90 from the east... when the eye past, the wind come around to the west & the '... hit the fan'.... tide came up 5 feet in 2 hours....6 of us were scrambling to adjust lines to keep boats from beating on and getting over the pilings.... at the hight of the tide, the OBSESSION was precariously above the pilings but I had enough lines adjusted so it stayed off of them till tide receded... we were worried, but it worked out.
After that, we had good tuna fishing the first part of July, plenty of school dolphin and increasing numbers of billfish. Early in July, Mike Beard & crew bailed a limit of dolphin to start their day....we put the spread out and started trolling around.... saw some huge beds of grass offshore and trolled by them looking for a predator, and here he come....crashed the flat line dink bait.... "HOOKED UP BLUE MARLIN".....20 minutes later, Tim Draughon caught his first (100 lb) blue marlin on 30 lb line. We didn't have all the baits out when two poles bowed over.....TUNA!! and the guys boxed a pair of 40-60 lb yellowfin ..... put the boat back in gear..... sometimes you just can't make a wrong move....we again didn't have all the poles out and hooked another tuna..... suddenly, yellowfin were jumping and chasing flying fish everywhere around us.....everyone saw them grab flying fish in mid air....exciting show...lasted an hour during which time the guys boated 7 yellowfin up to 60 lb .... when that dissipated, we trolled around the same area, raised four white marlin, with Tim Draughon & James Danford each catching their first white marlin.
The next day, long time customer Keith Sneed wanted a bigeye....as luck would have it, we hooked three, but no fault of theirs, two, including Keith's got away, but Keith's grandson Dakota Sneed, from Clyde, NC, did a great job during a grueling 1 1/2 hour battle, boating a 188 lb bigeye.
In late July we had an epic day for the OBSESSION..... went south meat fishing, and were having good action on big yellowfin. With no current in the Gulf Stream, conditions were great for marlin, which I stated over the radio....and no kidding, it was like a marlin alarm, cause the blue marlin started biting.... boat next to me hooked a blue one, then we hooked one, and got going again and hooked another..... long story short, Greg Dickson caught 2 blue marlin, Tyler Lysovitch caught a blue marlin, Maranda Lisovitch caught a white marlin, father Charles caught a white marlin and they also boated 6 40-50 lb yellowfin tuna, 2 20 lb wahoo, and Tyler caught a 50 lb yellowfin on a TLD 20......Nice when it is your day!!!!
Marlin fishing was good from late July thru mid-September. In late July, Brian Herlihy, for his 13th birthday, caught and released 2 white marlin, his friend Brendan Borowsky released his first marlin and David Duhamel released a white marlin. Mark Mills & crew came up from Texas, fished the first 3 days of August and released 10 white marlin, and caught a bunch of dolphin including the seasons largest 42 lb mahi. In Mid August, David Bauer, who fishes single handedly with me every year, had his best day releasing 9 white marlin.
Congratulations to Bob Fischer, Charley Townes, John Proctor and Paul Race for super team effort & a great job of angling, winning a daily prize at the Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament. They released a single white marlin to start our last day, then two out of three sailfish and then another white, all in the first two hours, giving us an early lead for the daily.... then the morning bite slowed up..... late in the day, our closest competition, the Biopsea hooked 5 sails and caught 4, but simultaneously we hooked and caught a triple header to give us a one fish lead for the daily!
October and November provided good action for yellowfin & blackfin tuna & wahoo. In early October, Jim Worton and crew started their day hitting 4 or 5 blackfin tuna a few times to warm up, then steadily fought and boated yellowfins, filling the box by early afternoon, including a citation earning 72 lb fish boated by Jack Baron.
In November, Ed Watson & his crew had outstanding tuna action.... took an hour to get the whole spread out as we kept hooking one or two or three at a time right from the outset....guys boated their limit of yellowfin tuna by noon.
Overall, anglers fishing on the OBSESSION earned 164 North Carolina citations, including 121 for white marlin releases, 12 for blue marlin releases, 15 for sailfish releases, 5 for bigeye, 3 for wahoo, 4 for dolphin, one for yellowfin tuna, two for bluefin tuna and one for a hammerhead shark.
The OBSESSION will be available for sailfish charters out of Enrique Lima Marina, Isla Mujeres, Mexico from January 12 thru March 10, 2015. You can reserve dates by Email. At this time I still have the following days available:
SUN JAN 18
TUES JAN 20 - WED JAN 21
TUES & WED FEB 3 & 4
WED FEB 25
TUES MAR 3
THURS MAR 5 - TUES MAR 10 ( Full moon is Mar 5, so Mar 3, 4, 5 should be very good)
The cost of chartering the OBSESSION in Mexico in 2015 will be $2200. This fee covers 1-6 people and includes all bait & tackle, food and beverage for the day. A 50% deposit is needed to secure your fishing dates. The deposit can be sent to: Captain Jeff Ross 3102 S. Ocean View Ct. Nags Head, NC 27959.
FISHING OUT OF PIRATE'S COVE 2015
The OBSESSION is available for charter out of Pirates Cove thru the first week of December. We leave the dock at 4:30 - 5 AM and return around 5 PM. We head out of Oregon Inlet; the run offshore takes around 2 hours. The cost of chartering the OBSESSION, and all offshore full day charter boats fishing out of Pirates Cove Marina, in 2015 is $1900 for 1-6 people and this includes all bait, tackle, and ice for your fish. A tip for the mate (15 - 20%) is customary if service is satisfactory. FISHING LICENSES are not needed; charter boats have blanket licenses to cover customers. All you need to bring is your food and beverages, preferably in coolers, along with good luck and good weather. Pirates Cove has a fish cleaning service available, and there are two local business that vacuum pack and freeze your fillets if you are staying overnight. You can reserve a date(s) by Email or phone (H) 252-480-0094.
A $400 deposit is required to secure your dates... this deposit is fully refundable: 1-with notification of cancellation of your trip two or more weeks prior to your scheduled date or 2- due to bad weather. The deposit can be sent to:
Captain Jeff Ross
3102 S. Ocean View Ct.
Nags Head, NC 27959
MAKE UP GROUPS
Looking to join up with others or need an extra person or two for your group? Let me know ASAP and I will do my best to make it happen!
ABOUT THE OBSESSION
The OBSESSION is a 55 foot custom 'Carolina-style' sportfishing boat, the last and largest in a long line of vessels built specifically for charter fishing by Capt. Sheldon Midgette (for Capt. Sheldon Midgette). You will not find a more comfortable, seakindly boat when the ocean gets rough. This is one of the dryest boats ever built, and with a large keel, she is extremely stable when trolling. The OBSESSION was repowered in 2010 with a 1000 hp 3412 Caterpillar. The OBSESSION carries state of the art electronics including radar, color fish finder, and two GPS chart plotters. Its large salon features: heat/air, microwave, stereo, VCR and a refrigerator. Enhancing your fishing comfort, the hugh cockpit has a 130 lb class giant tuna chair, 2 additional fighting chairs, and a large built-in bait box, ice chest and fish box. The OBSESSION has a ladder to the flying bridge to allow customers/guests to join Capt. Jeff on the bridge for a different perspective.
Richard Wright, who fished with me for 5 years, took a job on another boat in the Gulf of Mexico (couldn't get far enough away from me) last spring. Lucas Jolly took over and did a great job for me last summer... no one ever worked harder. This winter Capt Scott Sumners, who has run charter boats and currently is full time deckhand on the F/V Hooker out of Oregon Inlet, will be fishing with me in Mexico. When I return, Captain Lee Collins will take over in the cockpit on the Obsession. I am really looking forward to fishing with Lee. He ran a charter boat for the last two years and really impressed me as a very hard & dedicated & intense fisherman..... loves it and is mad at them critters.... should fit in perfect on the OBSESSION... he is extremely personable, and has traveled around the east coast, sport and commercial fishing and always has an interesting story to tell.
ABOUT CAPTAIN JEFF ROSS
Captain Jeff Ross grew up fishing New England waters, working on 85 ft headboats for big bluefish and school bluefin tuna, and private sportfishing boats for giant bluefin tuna, sharks and marlin. He received a B.A. degree in Zoology at Ohio Wesleyan University (1974) and a M.A. degree in Fisheries Biology from the College of William & Mary (1979).
Since moving to the Outer Banks in 1982, and during the time he was a fisheries biologist for the NC Division of Marine Fisheries, Captain Jeff worked as a freelance mate on charter boats fishing out of Oregon Inlet. Since 1994 he has owned and operated his own charter boat, first the 48 ft Ocean OBSESSION and currently the 55ft Sheldon Midgette built OBSESSION.
Obsession Sportfishing Charters
Outer Banks - North Carolina
Captain Jeff Ross
3102 S. Ocean View Ct.
Nags Head NC 27959