Oregon Inlet is a prominent port in the sportfishing world and familiar to most big-game fishermen. The inlet is often rough and always unpredictable, but the offshore fishing is typically excellent.
Dave Pfeiffer of Isle of Palms, S.C. is the president of Shimano Fishing North America, headquartered in Ladson, S.C., and the fishing industry is more than just a job for him. Last month, Pfeiffer completed an angling feat that has only been matched twice before. He landed a 219-pound bluefin tuna on antique tackle, including 24-thread linen line.
The wind was uncommonly calm Jim Rickman eased the Outer Limits through the sloughs towards Oregon Inlet and turned south, setting a course for his 55-foot sportfisher toward a bluewater hot spot known as The Point.
Offshore anglers used to catch plenty of yellowfin tuna off the coast of the Palmetto State, but that has changed so dramatically that very few have been caught in the past decade. So it was a big surprise to a group of lowcountry anglers at the end of June when they hooked and landed a 110-pound yellowfin while trolling in about 200 feet of water.
Four hours out of Hatteras Landing Marina, Bruce Armstrong Jr. saw something from the bridge of his charterboat, the Sea Angel. Birds were circling about a half-mile off the stern of another boat.
Prior to the closure of the Atlantic bluefin tuna angling category for “trophy” fish on March 17, Capt. Dennis Endee of Wanchese, NC managed to chart a course to success out of Oregon Inlet and hook retired Brig. Gen. Scott Chambers of Townsend, DE up to a big bluefin tuna. Two and a half hours later, they laid eyes on a fish that would measure 113 inches and weigh in at 877 pounds. The catch stands to topple the standing NC record of 805 pounds for a recreational catch, pending verification.
On the morning of March 2, Corey Schaible of Nags Head, NC boarded the Sea Wolf to mate for Capt. Donnie White of Sea Wolf Sportfishing on the last day of the bluefin tuna season. A few hours later and 40 miles outside of Oregon Inlet, Schaible hooked up to the largest bluefin of his life — an 835 pounder.