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What time of the year? And what area has the best Headboat fishing? We are thinking of going in Oct. Aound trhe 12th. Do you always catch fish or is it likely to come up empty on one of these trips?
 

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I think you can just about count on catching fish from a headboat. October is a great time to fish. There are headboats near about every major inlet in NC but your widest selection is going to be in Morehead/Beaufort. It's also the shortest boat ride to the deep water bottom fishing areas.
 

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Red X Angler
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I've never done the 18-24 hr trip sounds like fun!
 

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The Carolina Princess is a top notch operation for sure. I have been doing the overnight trips with them for several years. You don't have to but I bring my own tackle and do all my own rigging. Usually a heavy action rod for grouper, medium heavy for smaller fish such as B-liners and a 6.5' - 7' medium heavy for light lining. My rods are outfitted with Penn 330 GTs and Mitchell 600 series and Tidewater reels. Sometimes I bring along an 80 size spinning rod/reel if I think the Mahi will be schooling up around the boat.
 
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Red X Angler
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I ALWAYS grab the back of the boat on either corner.... I think it gives the best defense against tangling in others lines and you get a wide area to fish because you get a bit of side and rear....
 

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On the Carolina Princess the spots are assigned according to when you make your reservation. They have a very good system to eliminate arguing over spots. They call out the names according to the reservation list and hand you a ribbon. You tie the ribbon on the railing at the spot you want to fish and once the ribbon is tied on no one can take that spot.
 

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Red X Angler
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Continental Shelf opens for boarding @ 5:30 I think it is...( It's been 3 yrs) And you tie a wrag on your spot..First come first served!! I get there at 5!
 

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Marty called me this morning, said they'd gone out to the tower on his new boat.. said it was rough this weekend,, didnt see many other boats out. They caught some bottom fare but nothing to brag about.

Kinda curious too if anyone did the headboat thing...??
 

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Not bashing them, but I'm not a big fan of the Capt.Stacey out of morehead. Been out with them a few times and I have to say I was less than impressed.

Rye
Unfortunately the Capt. Stacey in my opinion has gone down hill. They don't have nearly as nice an operation as Carolina Princess. The biggest thing that I noticed about the Stacey the last time I fished on it was the lack of maintenance and cleaning. I went on the 24 hour trip and they had not even cleaned the boat from the previous day's trip.
 

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We made reservations today for the Carolina Princess for the 13th of Oct. We are number 6 on the list so thats pretty good I would think. How big of a cooler should we take with us?
That should be a great trip in mid October.

Hogg Tyed, I usually bring a small cooler with me just for bait. Try to find some nice cigar minnows. They usually come in 5 pound boxes frozen and you want to look through them and get the largest ones you can find. I also usually pre-rig 6-8 ballyhoos with various colored skirts for light lining. I also bring a 36-48 qt. cooler on board to store drinks and food. I keep an additional 48 qt. cooler in the truck to put fish in when we get back. Also it is a good idea to have approximately $30-$50 cash on you to have your fish cleaned at the dock. Trust me if you have a good catch it is well worth spending the money to have them cleaned at the dock as you will be worn out! Big Groupers are a tough fish to clean if you haven't cleaned them before. I don't always have them cleaned but it is a good option depending on your schedule.
 

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Big Groupers are a tough fish to clean if you haven't cleaned them before. I don't always have them cleaned but it is a good option depending on your schedule.
I don't bother cleaning big fish, especially grouper. I just take the fillets right off the whole fish - four or five cuts and I'm done - then I toss the carcass. No fuss, no muss. Smaller fish actually are more time consuming for me.
 
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