Friday, September 30, 2011

I'm gone, but they're not

Congrats Wilbur for proving that it ain't over until it's over, this is one of 4 caught yesterday in the river. For me, Seafood Festival tonight, then off to CR for some tarpon payback.....planning on getting on my tuna as well as some sailfish, it's been really good down there.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Trout and Stripers

Great topwater bite this morning and this afternoon as reported by Capt. Greg. Capt. Joe is on such a good trout bite that I have hired him for tomorrow!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Flounders in the rain

Nice heavy handful of 19-22 inch flounders like this one, also decent trout and a little pup. Nice day in the rain.....unlike the flounder on this pretty day, no need for sunglasses today.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Down East Guide Service Fall Newsletter

can now be viewed at

Or shoot us an e mail to receive the pdf file version

It did rain yesterday....

....but despite the showers, it did not keep some people off the water. Here is a nice topwater striper from Capt. Gary

Friday, September 23, 2011

Not a drop of rain....

.....until late this afternoon....geeze, too much time on the couch. Newsletter about to go out.

In Costa Rica they had a good half day with the dolphins, catching a couple heavy handfuls.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

So you're afraid to get a little wet?

Buy a rain jacket......although it is just cheaper to cancel your two day charter.

Open tomorrow if anyone out there isn't so sweet that they're afraid that they're going to melt.

yesterday and today

"Good trout, flounder and puppy drum bite this AM. Trout fishing looks much better than predicted!" ----Capt. Gary

Some nice flounder for us yesterday and a couple big drum. It was Capt. Brian's last afternoon on the water and he finished with a bang with a double digit afternoon on the big 'uns.

Monday, September 19, 2011

See, they're not all gone

plus a handful of 18-21 inch flounder and a couple pups.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pics from extreme fishing

With extreme conditions, you never know if it's going to be 18 inches or 48 this case, over 50 inches.

The guys who fished today had a decent day, catching handfuls of big 'uns and double handfuls of keepers.

pics from here and there

Keep an eye out for our upcoming newsletter, working on that this week. We'll have some details on openings on our TARPON catching trip in Costa Rica Oct. 5-9. Also our inaugrial BONEFISH/PERMIT trip to Belize Dec. 10-17.

Here are some SAILFISH and MARLIN pics from a trip yesterday on the Dragin Fly, James and the boys had a great Green Season day: 4 sails, 1 nice blue marlin and 3 yellowfin for sushi

Lots of personal records were set this year, here are some pics from one of my record days this year:

Just talked to Capt. Brian and Capt. Gary, both of those guys have at least a handful of big 'uns this morning. With winds more out of the north, they've got some calmer water to fish.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Extreme Fishing

This is one heck of a nor'easter, some of the roughest conditions that we've fished in, the only thing missing with this storm is a name. But as predicted, some big drum got pushed up the river. It ain't over yet..... Decent fishing for the pups and yearlings on the shoreline on Friday with a handful of big ones. Today was not as good along the marsh, but some of the guys had double handfuls of big drum as far up the river as Oriental..... We caught a few today, but conditions were so rough, wet and cold, we bagged the trip and came in early for a hot shower.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

So what's going on with the fish?

Ten years ago, when I met Anna, she was working on her masters degree in marine science. She hired me and some of the other Down East Guides to help deploy her hydrophones which would record the courtship calls of red drum.....and many other fishes, but it was red drum that was her focus. Only the male drum make the drumming noise with muscles along their swim bladder and they only spawn at night, starting about sunset and winding down by midnight.

The hydrophones had to be set up before sunset and they had to be picked up by dawn so she could download the data, charge the batteries and get them ready to go back out in the afternoon. Anna was recording drum calls for 3 summers.

Drumming drum were recorded throughout the Pamlico Sound, lower Neuse and Pamlico Rivers. Spawning calls were recorded in late July, with peak activity occurring in August and September. There also seemed to be a peak of spawning during the full/new moons, but not enough years for this observation to be statistically significant. By late September, nearly all of the females had spawned out. During the last full moon in September or the first full moon of October most of the drum quickly left the sound.

So what's going on this year? The full moon was in early September, on Sept. 13 and fishing has been tough the past few days. Why?

1) The full moon factor: I've always said that the best fishing that I've ever had (tarpon, sailfish and drum) has been on the full moon.......and the worst days that I've ever had have been on the full moon. If you are there when they are biting, it's "epic", but they only seem to bite for a few hours each day. If you aren't there when it's happening, it ain't happening.

2) The spawn: With the big drum, the full moon factor can be compounded because they are activlely spawning and have something else on their mind than feeding.

3) Elvis has left the building: The big migration out of the sound is usually on the last full moon in September/early October, but the September full moon was a few days ago. Last week we started seeing many drum that have spawned-out, but also many drum that are still very gravid and far from finished. I believe that a lot of the fish that have already spawned chose this moon to exit the sound. Two days ago there was a large school of drum seen heading out of Drum Inlet. At about the same time, large schools of tarpon were seen between Cape Lookout and Beaufort....heading South.

4) Hurricane water: Before the storm, the best fishing was upstream of Oriental. After the storm, we had the best drum fishing ever, but each day we have seen the biggest body of fish slide down the river towards the sound, staying ahead of the dark, fresher water from upstream.

So what's the forecast? Getting better.
The full moon factor is subsiding each day, so fishing is going to improve, and fishing did get much better for me yesterday, we had a double digit afternoon. We are still catching a lot of fish that have not spawned out, so these fish should be around for a while. Although a lot of fish pushed into the sound or beyond from the fresh water, this nor'easter is going to turn things around. It's supposed to blow out of the NE for the next couple of days, which always makes for good drum fishing. It's going to mix up the water and shove a lot of saltwater up the river, with it will come the drum that are still out there.

Despite the slow down, here are some pics from the past few days:

Mike with a big female that still has some spawning to do:

We thought that we had a quad, but the 4th turned out to be a branch off of a persimmon tree, persimmons still attached:
"Hey George,
Man how time flies, it seems like only yesterday me, my dad and bother were out on your boat having the time of our life. I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know how much each of us enjoyed fishing with you. Your personality and professionalism made even the slow times (what few there were) enjoyable. I've shared my photos with the guys here at work and even seasoned "Drum" veterans were amazed at the quality of the fish we caught. " ----Jason

Monday, September 12, 2011

Double Trouble with Capt. Gary

Never Give up

I couldn't believe that Seth offered up the rod on the first couple of fish to his dad and Mike.....he got his turn, but it was late in the day and the fat lady was warming up in the background. Seth proving that the fish he just caught is almost as big as he is.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

tarpon anyone?

Ha, ha not here. I got a report of large schools migrating the ocean between Cape Lookout and Beaufort Inlet yesterday....don't know where they were coming from, I haven't seen much of them this summer. If you want to get into some tarpon catching instead of tarpon fishing, we have some discounted openings as a result of a last minute cancellation on our annual tarpon fishing trip to Costa Rica.

We also have a couple of groups looking for singles or pairs to split their sailfish trip in January and in March.

Capt. Gary had a good morning light tackle fishing up the Neuse today, PLENTY of stripers on top water once he got below the bad water up around New Bern. That should clear out over the next few weeks. He finished the afternoon with a couple of heavy handfuls of big drum.

Capt. Brian had another big day with "Never Enough"....catching just enough to make him happy.

I had the pleasure of sleeping late and taking the Vice-Chairwoman of the Marine Fisheries Commission and a couple of her friends out for an afternoon of drum fishing....everyone got a couple of fish, including some big enough for their citations.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Spawn is Awn

Mixed reports from the guys today, fortunatly we found some that were biting this morning, catching a few heavy handfuls in 4 different locations, including a school of busting fish that we were able to sight cast and hook a couple on bucktails......until someone rode through the school as we were hooked up......some people don't have a clue. For others, the bite was tough and reports were mixed, some folks had good flurries while others spent a lot of time waiting. They are spawning hard during the night with a good morning bite and laying up and recovering for much of the day. As we move away from this moon, the bite will pick up.

Some pics

Lauren helps out with the bait up on the Roanoke River, daughter of Greg from the Ponderosa Campground. Thank you Capt. Justin Haddock for introducing her to the salt. ...and some pics of some HOGS from Capt. Gary

Friday, September 9, 2011

Team Work

While the Down East Guides were getting what they needed, Capt. Brian and I went on a mission, leap frogging from Oriental to Ocracoke until we found what we needed. Good fishing for everyone.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011



Debris has pretty much cleared, but fishing is more....."challenging"....everyone is still catching plenty of fish with a lot of double digit half days. We're getting what we need, but the "big body" has moved around a bit with a lot of brackish, stained water coming downstream.

Some photos coming up.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Grand Slam for Everyone

An inshore grand slam anyway. My 3 guys yesterday made their first trip to the Pamlico Sound and at the end of the day each of them had a fist full of citation drum, plus several just under 40 inches. Fishing with me again this morning, they asked, "Is there anything else out there to catch?" I guess we got 'em too good yesterday afternoon. With a livewell full of finger mullet, each of them caught keeper trout, nice flounder and some in the slot pups......that are now on their way to the mountains. It was good to see the mixed bag, haven't done much of that in a while.

feels good to be the hero

Our fishing continues to rock, but it's also pretty good for some other folks:

"George: Good to see you on the water Saturday afternoon. I am emailing just to say thanks for making my fishing experiences with you both fun and informative. I took my two sons ages 14 and 11 after the old drum on Saturday night. My wife was there as well with the video camera and also a regular camera. We caught 6. I reeled in zero and had the best time fishing that I have ever had. I learned enough with you and Greg over the years to have a chance when I go and how to do the right thing by the old drum.------Walter"

Monday, September 5, 2011

Blue Bag

Anyone leave a small blue bag in the console of my boat?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Mornings or afternoons....

Doesn't seem to matter much, fishing for the big 'uns is good and steady, here are some pics from the past few days:

Friday, September 2, 2011

The River Record.......

..... unequivocably belongs to Capt. Brian Harrington, Jim "Never Enough" and John "The Great One". Congratulations guys.

No dove hunting for me tomorrow......and no records......I'll be very happy with going out with Anna as the "mate" and catching a citation or two for my customers, maybe that will be a record for them.

Hey Brian, Good luck next Tuesday with Jim.... :)

Post Irene Drum

Here's a pic of one of the "toads" that Capt. Gary recently caught. On my way home yesterday it looked like Capt. Gary was very busy with the afternoon bite.


Nuf said about the fishing the last couple of days....

Got a list of numbers and citation information from the ladies who fished with us a couple of weeks ago:
130 red drum (64 citations), 16 flounder, 29 Bluefish and 1 trout