Archived Reports

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Well the boys headed out to some nice contions on the 807 and 800 this morning and when they got there they found that the water had collapsed (green cold over blue) and they were none too happy about that. Most of the boats had headed north for the marlin bite but Maxwell and the Pelican tried to find the meat. They picked off a couple dolphin on the way south and then a white marlin - congrats to Jonathan Wilson from Hoboken in the great state of New Jersey on some fine angling abilities!!! After that they steamed about 7 miles to the 812 and 770 were the temps were just right at 78.5 degrees. Not much ado about fishing though and then...they got blessed - with a pallett. You know what they say about one man's trash! Well the Tuna Feverand Duncan and his crew caught their limit of dolphin and even left enough to spare for Pelican to get his limit too. With meat in the box the boys headed off on a tuna hunt but didn't find much. At time to go they were about 7 miles from the 400 line were a few yellowfin had been scattered for the fleet. Tight Lines!!

Thar she blows - and you know what? Its actually almost "cool" outside! I got home late last night - delayed forever at JFK of course and I will be backtracking the reports right now. Maxwell rescheduled his folks for today (and yesterday) for later in the week and we'll see what this wind brings our way! Tight Lines!

Blowing today - stay tuned for fishing news later in the week! Tight Lines!

While I was dropping my baby at camp for two weeks Maxwell was hunting a miracle for Martin Merser and his crew. The boys wanted tuna but were real sportman like about the hot water and this lovely El Nino thing we have going on right now. Heres how the day played out...
65 fathoms on the 823/380 the water was 82.5 degrees
On the 812/388 in 115 fathoms the boys picked off a pair of 45 pounders.
Off to the 809/417 in 120 fathoms one more pair or 45 pounders but one pulled off at the stern.
In 100 fathoms on the 801 and 448 there was a single in the box!
Back into 110 fathoms on the 810 and 400 the boys caught a 32 pound gaffer - nice!!!
And on the way home in 60 fathoms on the 807 and 440 they found some grass and picked off 9 bailers and two more gaffers about 18 pounds each.
In the end there were 4 yellowfin, 3 gaffers and 9 bailers in the box for Martin and his boys - nice going guys!! Tight Lines!

After their excellent day yesterday you know Wayne and his crew were looking for yellowfin today...well, they didn't find much. God love those whales and the boys found them on the 811 and 740 but there were no tuna about. The other whale hole - 791 and 650 had no tuna and no whales! What up with that? Anyway, in the end it was dolphin if you do and 2 out 0f 3 yellowfin in the box. Dolphin. Its the other, other white meat! Tight Lines!

It was a great day today for Hurricane Wayne and his crew - a lot better than yesterday - theres that diamond and stone thing again. The boys started out about 51 miles from home on the 747 and 923 and caught a limit of dolphin there. Mid way back they picked off a blue one about 500 pounds who put on a nice show and closer to home  - about the 793 and 855 they picked off another blue one! Nice going Dickerson!!! Congrats go out to Dougles Rule and Jerry Kinnemon on their fine releases! I LOVE it!! Tight Lines!

So this is a whacked (as my niece would say) fishing report to hang out there for the next few days...
Billy Klein and his crew get major kudos for sportsmanship today because the fishing was simply poor even though Maxwell took the crew way out of bounds! They went way south to the grass that held the dolphin yesterday and found - nothing. Well, not nothing exactly. They put seven dolphin in the box and I was afraid to ask if they were bailers or gaffers - or even baffers - so we will all just have to wonder! Good billfishing to the northeast for you shooty (hehehe) guys!
Kate is off to camp tomorrow - and its in we are heading out in the morning and I won't be back on the fishing report until Tuesday. If you need Billy call the house! 252-473-1097 and Tight Lines!

So what happens to an above average guy when the fishing is slow and someone actaully pukes...most of the beautioful women around whom he was surrounded finds himself nearly all alone. Kudos go out to Elle Klein who is a total fish-head (and I say that with love) and has been sticking it out with her dad and Capt. Billy since she was a little girl. The crew started out on the 400 rocks - which is where the tuna have been seen - and fished hard for red meat for over 2 hours. To no avail. Then it was off to the dolphin grounds where the crew had to fish hard again as the weed lines had been picked over by the fleet - but they got the job done - a limit of dolphin for the Kleins and a day on the ocean together for a dad and his grown up girl. Does it get any better than that? Well, Elle would probably say a limit of yellowfin would have been nice. Heheh Tight Lines!

First day of fishing this week for Keith Klein and his beautiful girls...what is it about some men being forever surrounded by beautiful women?? Anyway - one tuna in the box today right at the 815/407 and then the crew crisscrossed from the 430 to the 350 and found just about nothing - no grass. no birds, no life. They picked off 4 dolphin along the way and that was it! Tight Lines!

Great fishing for David Wilson and his crew today - who would have ever thought in theis El Nino and hotter than hades weather that the boys would fall upon a pod of yellowfin and put ten in the box??? Well, they did. And that was after a limit of dolphin right around the 797/430. The tuna showed up between the 420 and the 400 and it was fast and furious...25 to 63 pounders. woooweeee! Tight Lines!

So Byron Green (who is very tall BTW) traded paint in his outboard all day yesterday for dolphin and didn't want any today. So what did the boys see the most of - dolophin of course. But it did give Maxwell a little leway to run north and look for whales and stuff that says "TUNA". They started out on the 800 line in 200 fathoms and picked off 6 nice gaffers and 5 bailers early then they found some trash and picked off 6 more. Right around the 766 they had a double header of white marlin and congrats go out to James Ball who is Junior's dad and has totally gotten bitten by the offshore fishing bug - first yesterday and then again today - his first trip on a "big boat" and his first white marlin release. A couple more dolphin went in the box just inside with warmer but greener water and then around the 795 the boys got chased by a double header of blue marlin. Dickerson never got a shot but Maxwell says the show was incredible - two blue ones lit up and chasng bailers through the spread. Off to the whale hole on the 740 after that and there were 8 or 10 whales there which is a good sign but the boys didn't find and tuna or marks. Frown. In the end 15 nice gaffers (18 to 25 pounds each) and 8 bailers in the box and one exciting day for Byron and his friends!
Hey July is actually starting to fill up!! Thanks to everyone that has booked a day and not to forget the nice big eye bites we have had in the last few Julys - although we are in El Nino so anything can happen - like its going to cool off inshore tommorrow - a balmy 90 instead of 97!! Tight Lines!

What a day! William Avery and his crew ran down to the 417 and set out in 40 fathoms to see what they could see. And what they found was beautiful beds of grass and 74 degree water - whats more a SE wind was pushing the grass into even cooler water and though it was a pretty picture there were no dolphin about.
Off to the south east and about the 438 the grass scattered up and the temps went up and the Tuna Fever found some sailor gulls and trash and 300 dolphin!!! Well, those birds are a sure sign of life but they played havoc with the crew - except for Jeff who prefected the "bird drop back" and didn't share his secret with anyone! When the fish left the boat there were 33 in the box...mostly Jeff's!
Many Thanks go out the Capt Ned on the Sea Breeze who called the Billies in to some fish southwest of where they were - in the end it was a limit of dolphin with 7 nice gaffers. The Tuna Fever wound up the day north near the Point and found a stray gaffer or two but no whales or tuna. Tight Lines!

Perfect conditions and not a mark! Billy says the grass was a little scattered (sorry I don't know where) and the water color, temp and signs of life where all there and perfect but no tuna to speak of for the Tuna Fever. Mack and his crew eaked out a half limit of dolphin and a couple fat gaffers but the tuna they hooked jumped off, bounced off, broke off or spit the hook...all five of them. What a nightmare for the Billies! Well, all I can say is some days are diamonds...and dolphin IS the other white meat! Tight Lines!

Okay heres where I screwed up...I have no idea what the Tuna Fever caught today! I have Ron Lambert in the book and the boys did go today but I have no picture and no conversation with Billy about what they caught...not because he was in a bad mood but because he was busy tonight and then fell asleep on the couch. So since he was in a fine mood I know he caught something - Ron, if you're out there drop me a line and tell me about your day:-) Tight Lines!

John Locker and his crew picked a great day for dolphin fishing! A limit of bailers and three tuna - one BLT and by the looks of their picture a couple 35 pounders! Tight Lines!

Billy says it was just a great day of fishing. I say THANK YOU Jason for the great hat!!
The Tuna Fever started out on the 290 and ended up on the 417 and in the middle there was lots of action. The boys enjoyed some great dolphin fishing with a limit early in 78 degree water...tuna started busting real close to the dolphin bite and the picked one off the long rigger that tipped the scales at 63 pounds...after that there were lots of bites but little action and the crew threw out the stick for 4 more nice yellowfin. Good Story - they caught a bonita on the stick and tried to "bounce" it off which apparently they do all the time - but not when a blue one is chasing it and Maxwell says it was a sight to see...bout a 300 pounder all lit up and the only thing left of that bonita was it's lips (and the hook of course). Hehe!! What the crew though was another bonita turned out to be a 73 pound wahoo for Jason's dad John Skladan! The funny on that one goes that no one saw the bite - just a flash of silver - and Jason was working as the gaff man. You have to imagine (because of stiff penalties by the FCC) what Dickerson said to get that gaff back when he finally wired up and spot that wahoo!!! 2 big gaffers on top and you know what....Maxwell was right. Tight Lines!

Another great day for Kenny Wells - with a limit of dolphin and 6 more yellowfin ranging from 35 to 50 pounds! Wooooweee!
Now have you been watching the Big Rock? The Hatteras boys are doing us proud!! Citation is in the lead with an 883 pound blue one weighed today. Now that fish may have been beat out of Oregon Inlet (I am such a snob!) but since its a Big Rock record I'd bet the boys are sitting pretty. Say a prayer for Sea Creature - Creature's in firsh for dolphin with a 52.4 pounder..not bad at all. check it all out - they have got some cool features on the website although it's been completely rebuilt this year and I am not sure I like it as much but, then again, I never do like change..its not my favorite thing except in the garden! Tight Lines!

Better again. Maybe tomorrow will be perfect...knock wood quickly! Kenny Wells and the boys started out headed for some promising dolphin fishing about 50 mile south eat of the inlet - what they found was scattered grass that had been picked over by the Morehead and Hatteras fleets. They fished until about 10:00 in 80 ish degree water until Maxwell figured the change had to be shoving back in over the 230 rocks. Around the 250 rocks the crew managed to hook a double header of white marlin and congrats go out to Arther Sands and Douglas Slacum on their releases. From there on it was a pick and a pick. A 20 pound gaffer, a 62 pound yellowfin and a lot of marks around the 280. Dickerson finally put the wand out and whammo! 5 ymore yellowfin in the box and it turned out to be a nice day afterall.
Don't forget to keep an eye on the Big Rock Tournament this week. there are lots of boats you know competing - pick your fav and root them on!!! Tight Lines!

A better day - thank goodness - for Jack Evanko and his crew today al;though it was hard fought! The boys started out around the 450 in 78 degree water and found scattered grass and a northeast wind...they fished all the way to the 680 in some beautiful conditions but the fishing was slow. One yellowfin in the 35 pound range on the fly and then a fat patch of grass with about 300 starving bailers in it. Jack and the boys had a blast catching a limit in about 25 minutes flet! That must have done it for 'em because they are ready to come back in October. You gotta love that! Tight Lines!

Can you even believe it??!! Well, now you know for sure that I am not a fishing report habitual liar. There were several factors that contributed to today's skunking not the least of which was the fog that socked in at about 5:13 this morning and kept John Piper and his family to the dock until almost 9. They were up from sarasota and just wanted a tuna or two. I swear I don't think Billy ever prayed so hard for just a tuna (or two) and the fish Gods replied with a distinct and painful NO! Ah, my poor boy was devistated and the really wired (and frightful) thing was that he didn't get mad...which is the natural (no offense) male response to anything uncomfortable like taking someone's money and not getting the job done...he got SAD...really SAD. Well, I am sending out kudos to John who was a real gentleman and sportsman about the whole thing! Tight Lines!

35 knots offshore today and I think Maxwell said 9 feet every 12 seconds...nasty! But it gives me an opportunity to push trips in July! Looks like the yellowfin are finally home and July may turn out to be our best month for red meat. You never know with fishing. Anyway, we have got some days open so check out the calendar at and pick a day or I will have to spend everyday with Maxwell and I love him to death but part of the reason we were and still are attracted to each other is because he is never around in the summertime! Strange but true!! Tight Lines!

A great day for Scott and the boys today. Maxwell was right aBOUT THE WATER PUSHING IN AND GOT HIS FIRST WHAM EARLY  (oops, sorry, not yelling) around the 230. There were 14 yellowfin in the box anywhere from BLT to 45 pounders within a couple hours of lines out. A short time later the boys picked up number 15 then a sandbar shark which Billy says ran about 120 pounds (they got some pictures and released). After that it was off to the dolphin grounds for a 1/2 limit of bailers and 2 fat gaffers. The boys caught one more tuna at 50 pounds for a total of 16 sometime during the afternoon aND THE bILLIES GOT THEIR CLOCKS CLEANED BY A DOUBLE HEADER OF WHITE MARLIN...CLEANED mAXWELL'S CLOCK ON THE WAY IN AND dICKERSON'S ON THE WAY OUT AND IN THE END THOSE WHITES ATE 10 (COUNT EM) 10 (Dang I am yelling again..must have fat fingers) balyhoo in the spread. San Cocho, Baby!! Tight Lines!

Michael, Derrick, Bob and Dick had a great day today although the tuna were few and far between. Actually there was only one tuna for the crew and congrats go out to Bob who caught his first (and only) today. Go Harvard! The boys shot it out of bounds again today and headed another 5 miles east of the rockpile to a change....and then back across the change - from 80 degrees to 78 and there they were - dolphin if you do!! Only 1100 fathoms today and the crew was busy busy busy! A limit of big bailers in the box and when they picked up they were only 58 1/2 miles from the inlet . hehe. Looks like the wind will shove the water back into the rockpile tomorrow - maybe and hopefully some tuna will come with it. You can only pray...a lot!! Tight Lines!

So Maxwell is convinced that attitude is making the difference - I think the first thing George and the crew said was "we're not pricing this trip by the pound" and that made the difference. A short crew (less than 6) but a limit of yellowfin today none the less. Lemme see...the crew started out on the 530 and finally picked out 4 yellowfin on the 460...then 2 more on the 450. In between they managed 6 nice gaffers and on the way home they got whammed in 22 fathoms...8 more in the box out of ten! I have no idea what size fish they were...forgot to ask...but any fish is a god fish if you ask me! Tight Lines!

The Billies had a great day today - mostly because they had Jeff Farlow and his kids. Jeff put the elctronics on the old Red Fin any of you guys remember the Red Fin? Anyway, Lake made it out in the blue on the Tuna Fever for the first time today and the Farlows had a great attitude...lets get aout and the fishing will take care of itself which is exactly what happened. Congrats to Hunter and Fisher on their great catch and the rest of the crew (I know they helped) in the end there were 9 yellowfin in the box - 1 BLT and 8 nice ones between 30 and 45 pounds. 4 bailers, 3 baffers (cracked me up) and 2 gaffers one at 22 and one at 28 pounds! Nice!! Tight Lines!

Another nice day for us today although fishing was basically scrappy for the fleet on the whole.
I got more deets than I know what to do with so bear with me. I do know that Maxwell found some signs of life on the 280 and decided to stay put and see what would happen although the water temp was off and it had much of a funky green tint to it. By mid day he said you could see the water rolling blue and lime grean - the warm ater underneath trying to turn over. But the birds scattered grass and flying fish had his attention and the boys picked off 5 out of 8 bites early and put 4 nice yellofin in the box. A single strick soon after turned out to be a 300 piound blue marlin that apparently put on one hell of a show - congrats go out to Gary Culpepper for his victorious fight and clean release!! Late the water temp pushed up to 71.9 degrees and the crew picked off two dolphin that weren't quite vinegar dippers but close enough! Another single on the 280, a double on the 300 and 4 bonitas and 4 more yellowfin on the 309 rounded out the catch. Oh, one more single at the end of the day - almost forgot that one in about 50 fathoms (I am assuming on the way home ) and there were 12 yellowfin in the box One BLT and the rest nice fish in the 30 to 50 pound range. Billy says the nicest one was the one they broke off at the stern first bite of the day! Oh well - who can complain about this catch!
We just had a cancellation for June 17 - thats a Thursday - and we'd love to take you fishing. July would be loving some trips too - don't forget about the phenominal big eye bite we have had in July for the past few years!! The nice thing about is that you can go back though the archives and check it out for yourself - I ain't lyin' (my mother would be proud of that!) its all in the fishing reports and they go back to 1999 I think. Anyway, check it out and then call us or book your trip on line at Tight Lines!

What a wild ride today for Ed List and his crew! Suffice it to say that in the end the Tuna Fever was 64 miles from home in 1600 fathoms (thats about 10080 feet!) and had caught her limit of dolphin. The funny thing is the same thing happened to Ed last year although I do not think it was Caopt Bryneer that drug Maxwell off into no man's land...many thanks to Ed for remembering to bring an extra $100 just in case we used up a bunch of extra fuel trying to find the fish. Maxwell was beside himself - its the farthest the Tuna Fever has ever been from the Sea Buoy! Nice catch though - theres a picture up in the gallery. And also special thanks go out to Will for the invite to come hunt South Carolina and for not shooting a hole in the boat trying to bow hunt dolphin:-) Check Will out at Tight Lines!

Gaffers, Yellowfin, amberjack (???) and a few bonitas for Butch Pierce and his crew today. Maxwell says he fished from the 230 up to the 380 and there is no nice water anywhere...whats that mean? I am not sure. I would say that there is no nice water holding bait holding over top of any of those bottom structures that he knows like the back of his hand. Thats what I woud say - what do you say? Anyway, the boys scraped it out again today and I bet Butch had a good time...1 fine gaffers, 6 fat yellowfin, 13 jacks and 4 bonitas that will suffice for dolphin bait tomorrow. Cylce of the ocean, baby.
Now here a little something special. Just last week we got a FedEx from young Scott Mergner who fished with the Billies a couple years ago and plans on coming back soon. Anyway, Scott had the opportunity to contribute to his school's annual magazine and here is what he wrote...
Tight Lines *Dedicated to Billy Maxwell and the crew of the Tuna Fever
Tethered in the inlet is a family
Separated by posts, connected by ropes.
Captains at the helm eager to depart;
Waiting for the silhouette of the bridge to materialize out of fog.
The first vessel casts off, clunking the transmission into gear
Bilge spouting, exhaust ports yawning the morning breath.
Skipper, whose hands walk the wheel, eyes survey the horizon.
Slick calm is ideal for the run, but money is not
Made on a glassy surface. The prize is underneath.
Where the bluewater butts the green, Skip pulls back to three knots.
Peering through salt licked lenses
Waves come and go, but the water does not.
Outriggers broaden the shoulders of the old gal.
Drag pops. Spool Screams.
The hook grasps something and the treble holds firm.
Treasure from the deep requires patience to reveal itself.
The rod slouches only to prop back up again after each crank.
Only shimmers of the tail are looked upon from above.
Breaks the surface, eyes the gaff, only to be snatched.
One on deck, chest slams shut, drag set loose, spool screams again.
Till the box is full–Tight Lines.                                                                          
Scott Mergner

The boys scraped out a catch today and had a wonderful time with Omar and his family. In the box, in the end, where 35 nice dolphin (gaffers and big bailers) and one lone yellowfin (I have no idea how big) and in the cockpit there was...Icelandic! Now you try to explain the fine art of "over, under and around" while bailing dolphin to a buch of master carpenters who are speaking (and perhaps cursing!) in the home language of Iceland!  Phew! Being that the Billies are both carpenters (and fishermen just like Jesus, funny huh?) they had a great time with the boys talking building! Tight Lines!

Day off, Day off! Enjoy it while you can boys!
Oh, I heard Capt Marty on the radio this morning talking about the inshore fishing - apparently the cobia are hanging in there for a record setting season and the big drum have shown up. Check out the inshore report at you know you can do a half day trip, take the kids, show them some good old fashioned love and enertainment that doesn't plug into the wall. My dad used to take me fishing all the time and I turned out okay (?) Hehehe. Tight Lines!