Obsession Fishing Charters Outer Banks North Carolina

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Like fishing everywhere these days, the 2013 season had its ups and downs, but overall we had excellent fishing and some fantastic catches. Anglers on the OBSESSION earned 267 NC citations last year, including 211 for white marlin, 12 for blue marlin, 10 for bigeye tuna, 8 for sailfish, seven for yellowfin tuna, 6 for wahoo, 2 for dolphin and one for a bluefin tuna. The largest fish caught was a 600 lb blue marlin by James Gillespie.

As reported in my Summer 2013 Newsletter, we had fantastic yellowfin tuna fishing in May thru July along with plenty of dolphin, and bigeye tuna and as we rolled into August/September marlin fishing was "off the hook"!

Some of the highlights include:

JULY 1.... The Rosenbloom family caught yellowfin tuna & lost a bigeye tuna in the morning, then hooked two whoppers! Son Adam fought his bigeye for 2 hours when finally it popped up to the surface... shark had bit off its tail....weighed 193 lbs .... Father Glen boated his 215 lb lunker after 2 1/4 hours (he wished the shark had gotten its tail).

July 9...Celebrating his 50th anniversary, Dr. David Ennis and family enjoyed their first offshore fishing trip. We found a weed line, bailed some school dolphin, caught a 30 lb gaffer dolphin and Shawn Ennis's citation for a 36 lb gaffer. Later that afternoon they boated 7 big yellowfin in the last two hours. Congrats Doc & Elaine!

JULY 15...Seas seemed calm for good tuna action but one at a time, Ron, Joe, Ben & Thomas (one of my "make-up" groups) boated 17 1/2 20-50 lb yellowfin tuna with sharks eating several others. JULY 22....Eleven year old Ethan Finkelstein boated a 50 lb yellowfin tuna. JULY 23...Wesley Smith boated our largest bigeye tuna to date a 221 lb fish, again without a tail after a grueling 2 hour battle.

AUG 5...In the morning everyone boated a 20-50 lb yellowfin and in the afternoon Mike Moshier, Stan, Robert, & Cody each caught a white marlin and Robert released a sailfish. AUG 9...Ted Weber released a blue marlin and white marlin, and son Chris released a sailfish to give them a family 'Grand Slam'.

AUG 17... The OBSESSION, with Charles and Charley Townes, Shani Diggs, Jackson McKinney and Robert Crowder were in three way tie for third place with one day left in the Pirates Cove Billfish tournament; we released 4 white marlin day one and six on day two. Day 3 seas was ridiculously steep and we could only make 9-10 knots the first 38 miles...everyone set out an hour late, but we made it. Unfortunately, we did not have a good enough day, catching 2 white marlin and a sailfish, but pulling the hook on two other white marlin. We ended up in 5th place out of 60 boats. Fourteen year old Jackson McKinny, an outstanding young angler, won the junior angler award, catching 3 white marlin.

AUG 18...Whitley & Janet Stephenson & crew weren't bothered by rough seas and caught and released 8 white marlin. Whitely hooked several himself, Janet caught a couple and Carlee Hope Sharpe caught her first white marlin ever.

AUG 24 Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament...Peter Troiano, Charley Townes, John Proctor, Paul Race & Bob Fisher did great angling, working the deck, and caught most everything we saw, including 5 white marlin on Thursday and six on Friday, which in years past would have been great, but fishing was excellent, and we just didn't raise enough fish..... ended up in 10th place out of 70 boats.

With great weather from late August thru mid September we enjoyed fantastic white marlin fishing. AUG 28... Mark Mattice & crew caught 9 white marlin, starting the day with two double headers. SEPT 4...Robert Graham and crew released 11 white marlin inspite of hard luck catching only one of 5 double headers; SEPT 7... Brandon Wattenberger & crew released 13 white marlin in very rough seas, doing a great job fighting fish as well as standing up! SEPT 15 Mike Haffner & crew released 9 white marlin, including 3 double headers; SEPT 17.... Peter Zeliff, Larry Waite & crew caught 9 white marlin. SEPT 22...Mike Garofolo & crew released 9 white marlin their first day....their second day in the first hour, surrounded by a giant fleet of boats, they hooked 5 white marlin at one time...Mike, Ed, Joe, Pasquale & Bill did great catching all five, a first for the OBSESSION!

By early October, cool weather moved in and we switched to meat fishing, with some mixed bag of yellofin tuna, blacken tuna and maui maui. On OCT 1, Steve Clarke & crew had good morning action, boating 8 yellowfin tuna, 4 blackfin tuna and two mahi mahi then ended the day catching a pair of 30 lb and Steve Frye's citation earning 50 lb wahoo, giving the guys a DOUBLE MEATFISH SLAM! On OCT 6, Roy West & crew boated a catch of mixed yellowfin and blackfin tuna and Jeffrey Ramsey caught his first blue marlin, a 175 lb fish on a beautiful calm day. On OCT 20, Jim Hortan & crew from Maryland had action all day, starting off with some tasty blackfin tuna, then we got o a limit of school dolphin on light tackle, then a triple header and a single yellowfin tuna, and then we had a 150 lb blue marlin on for 15 minutes but the darn hook pulled.

OCT 26...You just never know fishing out of Oregon Inlet. We set out with the fleet in great water conditions over good bottom, but not much was going on...boated a single 35 lb wahoo the first 3 hours, ran south, saw some birds, set out and hung 9 blackin tuna, circled back & hung 7 more, then hung 6 or 7 more then things slowed down as other boats arrived, so we circled outside of the fleet and raised two small blue marlin, one on each teaser! Richard hooked one and the other piled on a cedar plug, we pulled the hook on the cedar plug fish, but Aaron Lavoiedid a great job catching his 100 lb blue marlin a great way to end a beautiful day!

NOV 22... Started the day with Preston Medlin catching a large (80 lb) white marlin... later hooked 8 yellowfins, boating 5 1/2.... 150 mako ate half of one of them and followed it right to the boat.... Richard was ready to free gaff it but it turned off and ate another tuna..... anyway, caught 2 more yellowfin and 2 wahoos, including a citation earning 43 lb fish landed by Brandon Wattenberger.


This was my 14th year running a boat to Mexico, and though we have had minor issues in the past, as one would expect, this years trip south came as close to disaster as I need to get. Along with deckhand Richard Wright, friend Mark Dunlevy, and the the F/V Country Girl, we headed to Mexico after New Years.... made good time to Key West with no problems and departed there 6 days later around noon with a reasonable window to get to Mexico, but we had to be there before noon the next day, when a very strong cold front with 30-40 knot winds was forecast. Sea conditions were better than expected, we were making great time, when at 10 PM, 180 miles from Mexico and 160 miles from Key West, I lost my steering, rudder and steering wheel locked up hard over to port, and a cruise ship about to run over us. I was dead in the water. Capt Al on the Country Girl stopped with me & was wondering, as I was, what we were going to do, thinking a tow into Cuba the only possibility to beat the storm. Fortunately I was able to repair my steering, the cruise ship turned off to avoid us, and we made it to Mexico in 17 hours with smooth sailing the rest of the trip. (check out entire story in Fishing Reports)

Sailfishing was definitely not the caliber of fishing we have gotten used to in Mexico, but even in a slow year, it is still good. Tom Palmer and crew started our season the first week of January, catching 14 sails their first day and 21 in two days. The next week, Tom Noonan & Mike Eakin caught 45 sailfish in 4 1/2 days. The last week of the month Dan Homa & crew released 38 in three days. Not bad fishing really and it got better in February, though the fish stayed further north than typical, so every day we had 30 mile run...but we caught fish. The first week in February, Jim Zimbardi & crew released 33 sailfish their first day ever fishing in Mexico. In mid-February, Mike Miller & crew released 32 sails their first day and 44 in two days and Phil Bennet and crew caught 25 sails day one and 39 in two days. In late February, Jeff Hoffman, Charles Spangler & Charley Townes caught 34 sails fin one day and 76 in 3 days.

We fished the Ocean City Light Tackle Tournament the first four days of March. This is an anglers tournament for a historic fishing club that has been in existence for 57 some odd years. A lot of history there, as we heard at the awards banquet. On the last day of fishing, we released 6 sailfish which put the OBSESSION in third place, but more importantly, Dick Mulholland, age 87, fished with me the last day and caught 2 sailfish out of 2 bites to put him in a tie for first place.....we were excited about that....congrats young man!!

Along with Capt Rom Witicar on the Qualifier, we left Isla Mujeres in beautiful weather Sunday March 10th at 5 pm, pretty much ran nonstop other that to clear customs in Key West and to fuel up, and made it to Manteo at 5 PM Wednesday evening...1300 miles in 70 hours. The old OBSESSION and the old captain and even the young deckhand Richard all had their tongues hanging out, but we beat bad weather and saved some money on dockage and fuel, helping balance out a tough season in Mexico where we burned way too much diesel.


My plans are to again run the OBSESSION to Isla Mujeres, Mexico for the light tackle sailfish season in winter 2015. The waters off the northern Yucatan Peninsula hold the world's greatest seasonal concentration of Atlantic sailfish, and provide some incredible light tackle billfishing. The OBSESSION will be available for charter from January 9 thru March 14. You can reserve dates by Email or phone 252-480-0094. If you do not have a full group and are looking to split some days with a few others, let me know....in the past I have put groups together. I am currently taking charters for 2015 and have already put 10 dates on the books.

In Mexico in 2015, the cost of chartering the OBSESSION will be $2200/day. The OBSESSION provides all bait and tackle. We will leave the dock at 6:30 AM and return around sunset (5:30 PM). We provide lunch, including sandwiches, munchies, fruit, yogurt, and drinks including a case of water, soda and cervesas (beer) ! We encourage angler participation and enthusiastically work with everyone interested in hooking their own fish. We use circle hooks to reduce injury to the sailfish.


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 2014 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 captjeff@mindspring.com 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


Need a few more to fill out your group or want to join a group to share costs for a charter, please email captjeff@mindspring.com or call me (252-480-0094) and I will discuss several options with you and hopefully hook you up with a full group. Most years I put 4-6 'makeup' groups together composed of folks that did not have enough people to book the whole boat.


I have S, M, L, XL & XXL T-Shirts with front pockets in Bluish, Greenish, Blackish & White Short Sleeve for sale. The original Obsession T-shirts logo are in blue and white, and the Mexico version are in green and black.

If you would like to order shirts, you can do so by email or phone (252-480-0094). Costs are $20/shirt + shipping(approx. $5 for one shirt; $6.50 for two shirts; $7.50 for 3 shirts).


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.


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.

We guarantee 110% effort to show you a great time and hopefully catch you a bunch of fish and maybe a fish of a lifetime! My wife Ruth Ann and I are always glad to offer any assistance and/or recommendations for your travel, lodging and dining on the Outer Banks or in Mexico.

Best wishes and tight lines....Cap'n Jeff

Obsession Sportfishing Charters

Outer Banks - North Carolina

Captain Jeff Ross
3102 S. Ocean View Ct.
Nags Head NC 27959