Sunday, July 7, 2019

Elephants and green mambas

Elephants, zebras, water buffalo and more from our porch.  Glad that I saw the mamba  hiding under the door before stepping on it.   Very cool first afternoon in Tanzania.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

My first customer

My first customer.

I show up at the dock, still wearing tennis shoes back then, but the white boots weren’t far to follow.  Just out of college and I am fired up about my first official trip as Down East Guide Service.   As I pull up to the ramp, my one customer is waiting, small igloo cooler at his feet, half a stinky un lit cigar being chewed from the corner of his mouth below a big mustache.   A tent-sized red rain jacket covered up the enormity that was Rick Goines.  

As soon as I swing through the boat landing and wheel around the 60 mph bass boat from which I was guiding in those days, Rick is yelling at me.  

I didn’t know at the time that he wasn’t really yelling at me.  This may have been in the early days of his hearing loss and to compensate for not being able to hear, he would raise his voice.  

Before I get the boat in the water Rick informs me:
“Beckwith, I’ve fished with a lot of guides before and I know how you guys operate”.

I didn’t dare divulge that this was my first for hire trip. 

Rick went on, again, with voice raised loud enough that I and everyone else in the parking lot heard it
“You   guides are all alike.   You go here, you go there, you fish a little here and you fish a little there.  Then at the end of the day, you go to the Glory Hole.   Well, Beckwith, I like action and you can just skip all the looking around and take me to the Glory Hole right now!”

I slipped the boat off the trailer, told Rick to make himself at home and parked the truck, wondering all along if I was cut out for this kind of berating.

We left Lawson Creek Park and caught a livewell full of 3 inch menhaden just a few yards from the dock.   Rick commented on the large amount of bait we were bringing and if I expected to catch a fish on every one of them.   

We blasted off up the Neuse River and across to a huge array of pilings that are now all gone and replaced with a modern marina.   Twenty years ago, the pilings we idled amongst were the remnants of a time long ago.    Perhaps 150 years ago or more these pilings supported a huge loading dock to which ships under power and sail loaded and unloaded their fares.   Now, nothing remained above the mean water line, but below, the centuries old pilings were encased in barnacles and mollusks, all with shells and sharp edges.  

At lower “tides”,  the tops of rows of hundreds of pilings would be revealed, but at times of higher water they would be barely visible if at all.    It was a matrix that ate lower units and gouged the bottoms of boats who got too close, so no one fished there.  But, if you knew how to navigate through the pilings and towards a drop off that went from 12 to 6 feet, then you had a chance of an epic day.   

A drop off and structure, like a lot of barnacle encrusted pilings,  equals striped bass; a lot of striped bass.   They wait in the pilings to ambush baitfish that would swim along the drop off.    The problem for fishermen is that if you cast anywhere near the pilings, a 24 inch striper would pull you back into the shell laden poles and cut your line.    

Rick already had a rod in hand, waiting for a bait to be put on his hook as I explained the plan.    I dipped into the livewell and broadcast a dozen live peanut menhaden into the water.   They were thrilled to have escaped their enclosure, then terrified to be free and all alone.    They made a mad dash for the security of the pilings, unbeknownst to them, behind every pole was a hungry striped bass.

The whole area around the boat erupted with striped bass as they gave pursuit to the baitfish and flushed them out into the open.  For hours Rick and I caught fish and we laughed and caught fish and laughed and caught fish in the Glory Hole. 

Rick was there for me buying fishing trips when he had no business buying fishing trips.   He was my greatest ambassador and anyone who knew him, knew that he loved to fish and he told them about me.   He built me up bigger than I was and made me famous on the radio and with marketing opportunities I never would have considered nor could have ever afforded.

We shared a lot of great fishing and a lot of great fishing trips.   Rick loved the action of a hot bite in the Glory Hole, but he also had the patience to wait for it.   He would keep casting, no matter what.   

The most memorable trips for Rick and for me were the time on the water that he was able to share with his son Rich.   Although Rich’s independence in life may not have led him down the easiest paths, it was that independence that Rick was so proud.    He was proud and confident that no matter what was thrown at him, his son Rich was going to make it.  

 Don’t know what to say, but I’ll miss him.  I imagine he is sitting behind a pile of red hot Jimmy crabs or sitting on the bank of a heavenly stream waiting for the first shad of the year.  

Keep casting.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Ah, yes, those were the days.......

4 blue marlin on fly rod in 3 days

not too shabby.......

Day trips are yiedling double digit sailfish days. 

Excellent tuna fishing

All this in Costa Rica

Argentina openings

You know how the last day of the season can be, well the last three days of July are open for duck hunting in Argentina

sight casting puppy drum

I guess if you are sight casting you could call them redfish, but most of the ones I catch are definitly puppy drum because they eat a chunk of mullet. 

Pretty work Capt. Will on filling hte customer request of taking them sight casting redfish.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Cobia recapture

One of the cobia we tagged this year off of Cape Lookout was recaptured 26 days later, in Virginia, 270 miles away.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Fly fishing for blue marlin report from the seamounts

Click the link for the complete report with all the details and more pics.

In short, 7 blue marlin releases on 20 # fly tackle in 3 days.   Not too shabby.

more tarpon, excellent king mackeral fishing at the coast

that's the report

Sunday, June 16, 2019

NC tarpon

have arrived with reports coming in yesterday from a pretty good sign of fish

Capt. Ray bottom fishing day

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Meanwhile here in Costa Rica I am working hard....

.....most days.

Capt. Jake and my buddy Mike are in town for a few days and we had to check out the Green Season fishing.   Started the day catching cigar minnows which were very abundant up on the bank and had the sailifsh fat and lazy, making it tough for catching them on the fly.    Most other boats had double digit bites/releases on conventional, but we managed only to raise 4 up to the teasers and only one of them ate the fly, but I caught him.

Those cigar minnows worked extremely well with the tunas.   A school was reported a few miles away and we picked up and ran, caugth all the tunas we could want and ran back to the sails, all within an hour.

We spent another hour or so pounding the bottom and loading up on the snappas, one of them is going to be our guest of honor, grilled whole, next to the pool this afternoon. 

The weather has been beautiful and typical for this time of year.   No rain for 5 of the last 7 days except for perhaps a shower at night.  Mornings like the pic below and amazing sunsets in the afternoon.   We are very, very busy for the next couple of months but can still get you out on the water for a last minute Costa Rica Green Season vacation.

Jake is off to the seamounts in a few days and hopefully will have a good report from him, from the boats who are out there now we are hearing of consistent double digit days on blue marlin. 

In case you ever visit Hatteras or need a reason to go

There are some great boats up there, including the the Catons,  Patrick on the Little Clam, from where these dolphin pics came, and Capt. Rick on the Free Agent who is a legend.

Drop us a line if we can get you rigged up there.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

trouts are biting

Thanks for the pic capt. Joe Ward. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Big Rock vs. Costa Rica

June 10 Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament:  181 boats fished to release 18 blue marlin

June 10 Costa Rica seamounts:   2 boats fished to release 20 blue marlin (before lunch)

Sunday, June 9, 2019

all the best from the tropics

I slipped down here to get away from the Big Rock crowds.  Plenty of sunshine here in Costa Rica, a few rain drops and clouds in the afternoon.   While we were chasing tunas up to 80 pounds yesterday the sailifsh bite was going off, some of the boats have 20 bites.   By the time we got there, the bite slowed and we only raised a couple of lazy fish to the teasers, not hungry enough to eat the fly.   Before going in we made a few drops to add some white meat to the red meat in the box, catching  a handfull of really nice 10 pound red snappers. 

I am working from here this week, shoot me an e mail,  it's a good time to reach out and get your 2020 trip finalized. 

Monday, June 3, 2019

mini wave and great fishing

Seems like we have a mini wave of cobias, lots of little ones included, but we have had a keeper each of the past few days.   Hopefully this is a good sign for next year.   Meanwhile, for those who are not restricted to only fishing for cobia or only fishing for sharks behind shrimp trawlers, the rest of the world has had some mighty fine catches. 

Yesterday Greg had double digit aj's, a pair of cobia, kings, spanish mackeral as big as kings and grouper.

Tom Cat had all that minus the cobias, in place of them he put a couple of nearshore mahi in the box. 

light tackle king mackeral bite has really fired off, great action and those are the size that fit in fish tacos really nicely. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019's also official that the huge mass of cobia being caught on the northern Outer Banks and in Virginia have passed us by, coming ashore to the north of us, not even leaving us a few crumbs. 

it's official

Capt. Wade Fickling and  The General, along with Joey Massey from Lasceration Lures caught this 600 pounder over the weekend to win the Swansboro Rotary Tournament.    That's good for 6 figures.

So proud of Thomas, Wade's boy, for catching the mackeral that teased up that beast.

Friday, May 24, 2019

aj fishing with Capt. Greg......and a cobia

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

released with transmitter and tag.

Report from yesterday

1 short cobia on the shoals, 4 keeper gags and about 20 snappas up to 20 pounds….and a sailfish, yup a sailfish.  I hooked my first Atlantic sailfiish while jigging up greenies in 55 ft of water.   I could not believe what I was looking at, put a greenie on a hook and it was immediately inhaled.   We got the quick release, but lost the fish after a very quick run and jump.   Very cool nonetheless.

Meanwhile, Capt. Greg has informed me that the summer time trout bite is very, very good with plenty of keepers.

Monday, May 20, 2019

5/20 report

a little dorado action for Greg today.  For us it was a nice gag, some aj's, big snappa and a couple of short cobia before the afternoon blow picked up.

No big showing of cobias down here, hopefully a little wave will pass by, in the meantime, there is pulledge available.