Biloxi, Mississippi—The celebration began as I announced to the large crowd gathered at the Kingfish Village in the parking garage of the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Biloxi, as the 2013 Mercury Tournament Trail’s National Championship came to an end. “The 2009 and 2011 National Champions, Brant, Barrett, and Rube McMullan and the McMullan family, have just won their third Championship title.” Obviously that’s a very special time for the winning team but this one may have been even more special.
Most of the clan were ready and all fished—Brant’s wife Amy, Brant and Barrett, Caroline and Brayden, and of course, Rube. They weighed two fish, a 56.28 and a 48.82 for a 105.1 aggregate and beat the second place team by more than ten pounds. “We do things differently; we never stop fishing,” he told me. I then asked him to write a story about their philosophy on tournament fishing forAngler magazine. Brant said he would, so watch for this piece coming sometime next year.
“We started at the City Rigs but quickly made our way to the Horseshoe after hearing Corey Bellamy on the Choice of Two/OIFC saying the bite was on at the Horseshoe,” Brant began.
“We started down sea of the fishing fleet,” Brant continued. “We never fish in a crowd but instead go down sea and work back to the crowd, then do it again and again. We literally stay out of the crowds because we always have a spread in the water even if we’re fighting a fish. We never stop fishing!”
They had the 48 in the boat relatively early and caught it and others on hard tails they caught in the Delta the week before. Rube lost one Brant estimated could have gone 60 pounds but that happens. “It’s just part of how we fish. We never let things like this bother us.”
They continued to catch lots of medium size kings, which they released. Finally, a little after noon, the 56 hooked up and ultimately ended up in the fish bag, ready to scale.
For their efforts, Team OIFC won their third Mercury powered Contender boat complete with a Loadmaster trailer valued at $55,000. They picked up the NBOA Marine Insurance membership contingency for $1,500, over $16,000 in TWT monies, plus two custom National Championship Ocean Tamer beanbags.
I get a lot of flack each year because a lot of our members truly believe that fishing the Championship in Biloxi gives a big advantage to the Upper Gulf teams. History certainly has not proved that to be the case. The proof is in the standings. We do it in Biloxi because it provides the best fishing anyone could ask for. Besides, our hosts at the Golden Nugget and Palace go out of their way to accommodate us all within a two-block area. Sponsors get to see a lot of people, which is so important to them, not to just sell product, but to find out what the consumer is looking for and let’s face it, we have the best sponsors. Plus we’ve received BP funds from the state to help with tournament expenses.
Guest post by Jack Holmes
Managing Partner of the SKA – Photos Courtesy of SKA
NBOA and SKA
The Southern Kingfish Association (SKA) has been around for over twenty years and has emerged as America’s premier saltwater tournament trail. The SKA is a family run organization, sanctioning/producing fifty plus events each year for members and non members. Their mission is to promote family participation in America’s favorite past time, fishing, and to reward those who excel. They also promote environmental awareness and preservation.
Over the past five years, NBOA has partnered with the SKA in various aspects. Not only providing insurance services and promoting boating safety, the SKA and NBOA host fishing tournaments together as well. Every year they reward those NBOA members who compete in SKA fishing tournaments, like Ocean Isle Fishing team. As a member of NBOA, Ocean Isle Fishing team received an additional $1,500 (as seen pictured above) at the SKA Nationals in Billoxi, MS.