2016 HIGHLIGHTS ON THE OBSESSION NEWSLETTER
2017 FISHING IN MEXICO
HIGHLIGHTS OF 2016 OREGON INLET FISHING SEASON
Fishing is a sport of ups and downs, and that was certainly the case on the OBSESSION in 2016. We had a great year of catching, intertwined with a mechanical disaster and some slow stretches to balance the great days we enjoyed so much.
Deckhand Joe Bonvetti & I got the Obsession to Mexico last winter with no problems and had a excellent fishing with many great customers. We caught over 530 sailfish in 45 trips. Craig Sudbrink, Michael Huling, Tom Berry and Dan Birley had our top day catching 32 in mid-January; Rusty Garrett & Steve Stephans caught 31 in mid-February; and Robbie Morris' crew had great March action, releasing 21 sails one day, and double digit sails all three days. On the downside, I have never experienced the number of false albacore (boneheads/bonitos) that inhabited the sailfish grounds last year; damn critters turned great mornings into exasperating afternoons; but we had lots of action and enjoyed the fine dining, camaraderie, & pleasant weather the island affords.
Back on the Outer Banks, we started in late April. Catching was good right from the start, with a mixed bag of big 'gaffer' dolphin, yellowfin tuna and a few mako sharks. Seems like the big dolphin are showing up earlier in recent years.
MAY2 ... Israel Lau's crew and MAY 4.....Kevin O'brien's crews loaded the fish box with 10-20 lb 'gaffer' dolphin. Excellent dolphin fishing continued the rest of the month and most days a few yellowfin tuna were mixed in.
MAY 24... Shani, Charley, & Robert, my tournament crew loaded the boat with big dolphin two straight days.
We had been fishing most every day; things were going well; and then on the way in the next day, my 3412 CAT dropped a valve. We limped home that evening and the next day determined the motor would need a total rebuild.....lousy timing. I was booked every day, it was the day before Memorial day weekend, and the main Catapillar mechanic was on vacation, then obligated to finish rebuilding another charter boat's motor first.... OUCH!!
Two weeks later, we finally got going again the day before the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, which I had not fished in several years; had a good group of guys fishing with us and though we did not win any money, we caught billfish 3 of the 4 days, and had shots at several small blue marlin that did not work out.
When we got back to Oregon Inlet, fishing was 'rocking'!
JUNE 20... First day back, Paul Winter & Becky Hucks filled the box with 40-50 lb yellowfin and we headed in early with fish laying on the deck.
JUNE 26... Roy Wilson boats a 77 lb wahoo to go along with a box full of tuna and dolphin.
JUNE 29... Steve Everette boats one of the largest dolphin ever caught on the Obsession, a 57 lb 'squarehead'.
JUNE 30.... Eleven year old Logan Marley boated a 50 lb yellowfin unassisted as did his young friend.... With dad Dan & crew, they boated a bunch of dolphin on light tackle to start the day, and then the tuna in the afternoon.
For years, I told customers that want to catch yellowfin tuna off Oregon Inlet to fish late April thru June (maybe early July) and again in the fall. Tuna fishing typically slows up in July as waters get hot; this year it got better in the hot fast water; many days the tunas were chasing flying fish for a good part of the day, and the aggressiveness of their bites just incredible. Many days we filled the box with 40-60 lb yellowfin thru the first week in August....definitely the best July ever for yellowfin tuna, and billfish, wahoo and mahi were mixed in our catches most days!
JUL 1... Robert Benyo & crew started the month with a box full of school dolphin and 40-50 lb yellowfin caught with kites.
JUL 2...Tra Storey brought his friends and kids for their first offshore fishing trip; everyone boated dolphin up to 15 lbs, Tra's daughter Grace (age 12) boated a 50 lb yellowfin and Owen Byers(age 12) caught a sailfish;
JUL 10... Aaron Greer released a 300 lb blue marlin after a 30 minute battle on his first offshore fishing trip!
JUL 16... Jay Ashley & crew boated close to a limit of big school dolphin to start the day, then we found flying fish jumping everywhere trying to get away from big yellowfins; set the kite out and filled the box with 50-60 lb yellowfin; & Brandon Owens caught his first sailfish, which we picked off a teaser and fought with the kite in the air.... ACTION!!
JUL 25... Some days are special....The Morges Family has fished the Outer Banks for years; they wrote in my guest book that this year was their best fishing trip ever.....started the day on a grass line catching dolphin.... then put up the kite and everyone boated a 40-50 lb yellowfin.... then, with the kite in the air, Wayne 'DAD' Morges caught his first blue marlin ever... a 275 lb fish.... then after a few more mahi, we raised a sailfish and Wayne caught it on light standup tackle to give him his first two billfish releases and citations ever... a perfect day!!
When August & September come around, its time to think BILLFISH. This year, August was a mix of whites, blues and lots of sailfish, and September was outstanding white marlin fishing. August started off pretty good for us.
AUG 3....Grandfather Richard Smith, took his son in law and grandson fishing. Aiden (age 10) and Dad Kevin started the day with a father & son white marlin double header, and Kevin released a 200 lb blue marlin.
AUG 10... The Johnson boys took dad out to celebrate his 40th anniversary...John Johnson Jr (dad) caught and released his first blue marlin, a 200 lb fish on 30 lb line standup, and a white marlin, and all his sons, Chris, Daniel and John III released white marlin.
All was going well till the Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament... we had a terrible tournament, especially the first two days.... caught nothing!! However, Joe & I made some adjustments which seemed to work and we rebounded nicely the rest of the marlin season. The next day, AUG 20.... Don Carroll, caught a 250 lb blue marlin & a sailfish, ..... Kevin McCauley released a sailfish, William Love & Kevin Love released white marlin, and Dennis Graham caught a sailfish to give them a 'Grand Slam'.
Aug 21... 12 year old Logan Marley caught & released 2 white marlin unassisted on standup light tackle... he has great technique!!
AUG 25-27... Dan Hope, Charley Townes, Bob Fischer & Robert Crowder and mates Joe Bonvetti, Tyler Sudbrink & Gerrad Otto, released 13 sailfish Day1 & 4 sailfish Day 2 to place second in the 75 boat Virginia Beach Billfish Invitational Billfish Tournament.
AUG 30....The day before a tropical storm, Greg Tait, Roy VanWick and Bruce Nager caught all the dolphin they wanted, then released 4 white marlin and 3 sailfish, including a day ending double header.
White Marlin fishing really heated up in September!
SEPT 5... Sometimes after hurricanes, offshore waters are a stirred up mess and the marlin vanish, so when we got out after a storm, Big John Knight, Tony Cameron, Paul Winter & Becky Hucks were pleasantly surprised to find pretty water & great fishing; they released 10 white marlin. The next day, Big John & Tony hooked 4 double headers, one triple header and I think one time we had 4 whites and a wahoo hooked up, and boated the wahoo and 2 of the whites. Ended the day with a double & then a triple header; for the day they released 15 white marlin, and Big John caught a 46 lb citation earning wahoo on light tackle!
SEPT 13... Jim Hulin & his crew had an epic day releasing 15 white marlin; and the next day
SEPT14... Local friends & longtime surf fishing buddies Mark Dunlevy, Mike Stokes, Robert 'Bear' Cashwell, Jody Sylvia & Mike Howard released 11 white marlin.
Prior to Hurricane Matthew, Fall tuna fishing season got off to an awesome start with limits of yellowfin tuna and nice catches of school & gaffer dolphin mixed in... OCT 1 & 2 Local Dusty Rhodes & crew loaded the boat with mahi and yellowfin tuna as did Robert Barnes & his crew....
Thanks again to all of you who have fished with me once or 20 times.... I have often commented to other captains about the great group of anglers I have been privileged to fish with on the OBSESSION over the years.... I appreciate your business!
We are looking forward to seeing y'all in the upcoming year. As always, I 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....Capt'n Jeff Ross
Check out the fishing reports section of my website for pictures of fishing out of Oregon Inlet and Mexico
The OBSESSION will head south to Isla Mujeres, Mexico around New Year, 2017. This will be my fifteenth winter south of the border. The waters off the northern Yucatan Peninsula, at the convergence of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, hold the world's greatest seasonal concentration of Atlantic sailfish, and provides incredible light tackle action. This is a great place to work on your technique for hooking billfish, as we get plenty of opportunities, and and my crew are excellent at working with customers to help improve their skills.
The island of Isla Mujeres is a easily accessible and safe, crime free island just offshore of Cancun. The local populace is extremely friendly and the islands growth has included many expatriated Americans, Canadians & Europeans, who have moved to Isla Mujeres to partake of its mild/energizing winter climate, and have opened a diverse array of excellent restaurants, boutiques & galleries. My wife has travelled to the island for 15 years and navigates its street's night and day with no worries!
The OBSESSION provides all bait and tackle. We use Shimano TLD 20's with 25 lb line on light action stand-up trolling rods. We encourage angler participation and enthusiastically work with everyone interested in hooking their own fish. We use exclusively circle hooks to reduce injury to the sailfish. We leave the dock at 6:30 AM and return around sunset. We provide lunch, including sandwiches, munchies, fruit, yogurt, and drinks (water, soda & cervezas)! All you need bring is polarized sunglasses, sunscreen, rubber soled shoes, hat, camera, and good luck!
The cost of chartering the OBSESSION is $2200/day. A $1000/day deposit will be needed to secure your fishing dates. If you do not have a full group and are looking to split some days with others, let me know. Currently, I have a couple looking for others to join them WED FEB 22.
AT THIS TIME I HAVE THE FOLLOWING DAYS STILL AVAILABLE FOR MEXICO FISHING IN 2017:
JAN 6 - JAN 13 (full moon is JAN 12)
JAN 22 - JAN 27
FEB 18 - 21
FEB 24 - 28
MAR 1 - 3
MAR 7 - 15
I would be happy to provide more details upon request by e-mail or phone (252-480-0094). My wife Ruth Ann & I would also be glad to assist you with any travel questions you might have. Check out the fishing reports section of my website for pictures of fishing in Mexico this past season.
FISHING OUT OF PIRATE'S COVE 2017
SPRING - FALL FISHING SEASON
I am currently taking bookings for the 2017 fishing season. The OBSESSION is available for charter out of Pirates Cove from April thru early December. We leave the dock at 4:30 - 5 AM and return around 4-5 PM. We head out of Oregon Inlet; the run offshore takes around 2 -3 hours.
The cost of chartering the OBSESSION in 2017 will be $2000 for 1-6 people. The deposit to reserve a charter is $500.00. Cost 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. I have a blanket license that covers my customers. All you need to bring is food and beverages, preferably in coolers, along with good luck and good weather.
Pirates Cove has a fish cleaning service available, and there is a local business that will vacuum pack and freeze your fillets if you are staying overnite.
I recommend booking your trip at least 2-3 months ahead of time, particularly for May thru September dates, and 3-4 months ahead of time for weekends. You can reserve a date(s) by email or phone 252-480-0094.
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.
I have S, M, L, XL & XXL cotton, stonewashed T-shirts with front pockets in Blue, Green, Black & White for sale in the Mexico version for $20. (colors are not bright but rather more muted) I also have M, L, XL & XXL Denali long sleeve in blueish-green, with no front pocket, which offer UV protection for sale for $35. If you would like to order shirts, you can do so by email or phone 252-480-0094. Shipping is approx. $5.00 for 1 shirt, $6.50 for 2, & $7.50 for 3 shirts.
Obsession Sportfishing Charters
Outer Banks - North Carolina
Captain Jeff Ross
3102 S. Ocean View Ct.
Nags Head NC 27959