Nate Garrett, 15, lives in Wilmington, N.C., and is a member of the Generation Wild Pro Staff.
It was a foggy Saturday morning when the alarm clock went off at 4:30 a.m. That meant one thing: Time to go fishing. We then gathered all of our gear, headed for Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, and arrived at the boat ramp at 5:30 a.m. to meet Captain Hank Beasley at his boat, True Grit, out of Wanchese, NC. We then loaded the boat and waited for the fog to settle because visibility was poor, and Oregon Inlet is the second most dangerous Inlet in the world. Once the sun came out and the fog lightened, we motored out of the inlet into fishing territory.
We encountered five- to eight-foot swells, so it was rough ride. On our way out, we ran into a school of bluefish. The first mate rigged several rods and threw them out, but after 15 minutes we did not have one bite. The captain and the mate said they have never seen this before and said the fish must’ve been stunned by the cold water. Normally, blues are some of the most aggressive fish in the ocean.
From there we headed on to the Gulf Stream. The mate then got all of the rods and outriggers ready to try and catch our target: Tuna. We trolled around for about an hour and then finally we hooked at a bluefin. It shocked me at first, as the fish took the lure down and started swimming off with fierce amount of power. After about 20 minutes of nonstop pulling and reeling, a local angler Jamie Mercer took over. We had to rotate turns fighting the fish because it was weighed so much and was so strong. We were fishing with 100-pound-test line, and the crew estimated the fish to be 200 pounds! Needless to say, we became worn down real easily. Finally, after three hours of fighting the fish, we finally got it into the boat. And when we didn’t I could hardly believe the size of this thing.
About 30 minutes later, when we were back to fishing, we hooked two yellowfin tuna, and my brother and I reeled them in. They each weighed about 40 pounds, which the captains said was average. Those fish would be the last of the day. We then made our way back to Oregon Inlet. On our way back we saw a whale that was blowing and flipping in the water. What an amazing sight!
When we reached the dock, all of the tourists were waiting to see what the fishing boats had caught. One of the marina employees loaded all of our fish onto the back of his truck and weighed and filleted the fish. They weighed the bluefin and told us it pinned the scale at 186 pounds. The captain said that I would have pushed 200-plus pounds, but a lot of the blood had drained out. It was an awesome experience and my first time going offshore fishing. I can’t wait until my next trip.