Project Update & Fishing Report

Wow! It has been an incredibly busy two months here in Ocracoke. The first week of February we hauled our new 46′ Buddy Cannady out of the water in Buxton, NC at the Hatteras boatyard. The main goal of the project was to remove the old Detroit engine, and replace it with a brand new John Deere engine. Along the way we decided to go ahead and update a LOT of other systems on the boat. A few of these include all new battery banks and wiring, all new paint in the engine room, new engine beds, new transom paint, fiberglassed engine stringers, new controls, all new steering system, and SO much more. It has been a long project but this week we finally put her back in the water and…..

We are happy to announce that this week we launched and ran our new boat the “Free Ranger” powered by a 750HP John Deere marine engine by James River Equipment. SUPER excited about how the boat performed with the new power. She is going to provide a fast and dependable platform to fish on here in Ocracoke…

I cannot begin to thank all of the folks who have helped me out through this project. I just could not have done it without so many helping hands! The Outer Banks boatbuilding community really is a special group of people. It is so exciting to bring this custom Buddy Cannady sportfisher back home and back to life.

We are so excited to take you fishing this summer. It is shaping up as a busy one, so please give us a call early to get on the calendar. As of right now I have 6 days remaining available in May, and 8 days available in June.

As for a fishing report, it has been great so far. Lots of yellowfin tuna and wahoo offshore, and big drum nearshore. I would say fishing has been well above average already this year.

A little about the name, “Free Ranger”. In the world of offshore fishing, captains will often hear other captains report their catch in this manner over the VHF. “Just hooked a big blue marlin, no condition, just a free ranger”. A “Free Ranger” is a term that offshore fishermen normally use to describe a big dolphin (mahi mahi) or a big blue marlin that is out on his own in the blue waters of the gulf stream. One of the reasons I love fishing offshore on NC’s Outer Banks is because you never know when you are going to happen upon a that next giant “Free Ranger” just cruising by herself out in that blue water world. Even on the slow days, you could happen upon a monster at any moment. The name is also a bit of an ode to Ocracoke’s history as a pirate haven. The “Ranger” played multiple roles in the story of infamous pirate Blackbeard. One of the first fleets that Blackbeard was known to be apart of was that of the ‘Ranger’ and another vessel named the “Ranger” was part of the Ocracoke battle that killed Blackbeard…

As a final note, I’d like to give a special shout out to Fish Ocracoke’s new mate Alan Doshier. Alan is an Ocracoke native and has been absolutely essential during the “Free Ranger’s” renovation project. Talk about dedication, he has been with me for 72 days straight, leaving Ocracoke at 5:30 to catch the ferry to Hatteras, and returning around 7:30 in the evening. I couldn’t have done it without him…. In the midst of all this he passed his USCG captains license test, so who knows, you might see him behind the steering wheel before too long. And if you think that name sounds familiar, it is… Alan’s father is Ernie Doshier, the renowned Ocracoke captain/owner of the Gecko…. Who said a little family competition wasn’t a good thing!

Enjoy the pictures…

New Boat!

We have been busy with waterfowl hunting season the last several weeks, but we have some HUGE news to share. Fish Ocracoke will have a custom built 46′ Buddy Cannady sport fisher in our fleet this coming season.

I just returned from picking it up from the prior owner down in Miami Florida. It is complete with a new 2020 750HP John Deere engine, generator, AIR CONDITIONING, heat, full head, sleeping quarters, large salon, three fighting chairs, and all the fishing gear you can think of.

More information to come, but if you are fishing offshore with Captain Rob in the coming year, you will be fishing on this beautiful new boat.

Don’t wait to get your dates on the calendar. We are filling up fast for prime dates in May and June already. Give us a call and lets go fishing!

Good fishing offshore and nearshore this week

Had a pretty good mix this past week. We were offshore on Tuesday and Wednesday, with a good mix both days. The dolphin (mahi mahi) made a good showing, along with a few wahoo, yellowfin tuna, blacken tuna, and we caught a sailfish each day.

Our new mate Alan Dosier caught his first billfish as a mate on Tuesday, so the traditional “creeking” was in store when we got back to the dock; congrats to the first of what we hope will be many more to come Alan!

On Friday we had some drum fishing groups aboard and had lots of fun. The morning trip was fantastic, big schools of the old reds (30-50lbs) on top all over the place. At 10 o’clock my party said they couldn’t crank in another fish and to head to the house. BIG FUN! Unfortunately the weather changed and because of the clouds we couldn’t locate them in the afternoon. We did catch one really nice fish on bait.

We are going to be fishing through Thanksgiving this year, so give us a call and lets go fishing!


We have had some computer issues here lately, and due to the fact that we live on Ocracoke, and NOTHING is easy to get repaired, it has been a slow process. I borrowed someones computer to post a quick update.

Just because the reports have been slack doesn’t mean the fishing has. We have been going very steady up until this really hard Nor’easter blow that showed up several days ago. Hopefully we will be back out there tomorrow.

With so many trips since my last Ocracoke fishing report It would take me the whole day to recount them all. I’m just going to pick one of my favorites. On September 8th we had one of the best days of offshore billftshing I have ever seen here in Ocracoke. We were 1-2 on blue marlin, and 6-12 on sailfish, and saw who knows how many more! Just an incredible day with non-stop action. Thats why I love Gulfstream fishing. The day before had been very slow for us, just not many bites. We showed up the next day and it was a completely different ocean overnight. Bait, life, and lots of hungry fish. You just never know what you will see out in the wild blue yonder!

As the water temperature starts to fall we are going to begin seeing more and more wahoo and tuna offshore. Plenty of days available in October, lets go fishing!

Capt. Rob

Where Are The Fishing Reports!

I didn’t realize until I logged in to to write this report how long it had been since my last report. We have been really lucky to have some great weather these past weeks, and we have been fishing almost every day. I’m going to catch up all at once here:

Offshore – Last week we had really good dolphin fishing, and caught a blue marlin and jumped off another. This week the trolling bite was much slower, but we made the most of it with some awesome bottom fishing trips; limits of triggerfish and snapper almost every day. We also released a sailfish on Friday.

Yesterday was a very special day. We started out the day catching two out of four wahoo, and a few blackfin tuna. The crew decided they wanted to go look for something bigger, so off we went to the deep. Our first swordfish drop we hooked up in about 5 minutes. We got the fish to the leader in about 20 minutes, but right before we gaffed it, it pulled the hook; about an 80lber that we got the release on. Next drop we were able to hook a larger fish, and had it to the boat in about half an hour. My mate Hayden made a great harpoon shot, and after the fish took the buoy over and pulled it around for a little bit, we were able to get the gaff in a nice 150lb swordfish. One more quick drop resulted in another hookup, but unfortunately this fish pulled off about halfway up. WHAT A DAY!

Nearshore – Absolutely outstanding large 3lb bluefish and spanish mackerel fishing happening lately here around the inlet. We have had a lot of great trips around the inlet lately limiting out quickly several times.