Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I like this guy, Anna's Australia trip coming together

Hi  Capt. Tim
I have cced my friend and customer Dr. Lee who is interested in possibly fishing with you on those October dates we have discussed for 2017. Rightly so he is concerned that black marlin over 400 pounds might be more the norm than the exception during that time. Can you guys get together and see if this particular trip might be a good fit. I would love to have Lee with us in Australia but I would much rather him catch his black marlin on the fly in a fun and satisfying way. If we think that could happen during the trip we are discussing then wonderful, but if the chances are not great...then we can consider other options.


Hi Anna and Lee,
We have been discussing the option of black on fly during the heavy tackle season and in my opinion it is probably not the best place to come during October with a fly rod. Fish size, weather will more than likely work against you Lee and if you wanted my best pick and where and when then it would be Port Stephens in the Summertime (your springtime), there are good numbers of blacks suited to the fly rod together with a more than healthy population of stripes and blues thrown in
That all being said, yes you will see and cast at blacks on the reef during the time Anna is looking at, yes we do have clients who want to do this at the time stated, yes they understand the fish can be huge and just like I mentioned to Anna you may feel like you are throwing rocks at Gorillas!
Most people who come with the intention of fly fishing the reef at that time usually find themselves swinging off the end of a Penn 130 at some stage anyways due to the above governing factors, weather and fish size.
Please come back to me with any questions you have and I will certainly give you an honest answer where I can.

Best Regards
Capt. Tim 

We are still looking for a couple of couples to join us in Australia in October 2017.    Pull the trigger deadline is coming up. 

pics from the Down East Guides


My son Kaden, got to cast to one, watch him take the lure and landed his first Trophy Red this a.m.!  45"

Friday, August 26, 2016

Light tackle and live bait less than 2 miles off the beach. NC Citation Spanish Mackerel and Sailfish...

That's right, sailfish less than 2 miles off the beach. 

Capt. Ken Kramer Report

Although Capt. Ken did make it into the ocean this week and has this report, most of what he is doing is on a little flats boat.   Max of 2 anglers, 3 if kids are involved.   Great way to spend the day chasing pups and trout and it looks like there will be a lot of that around the Morehead City area.  Give us a ring if we can help get you out there with Capt. Ken.   He will be running my Parker in late September and October.

 From Capt. Ken: 
" Hi George    Went to the inlet this morning. It's full of bait balls, macks, blues and jacks. Saw some bigger splashes that might have been alberts or bigger jacks.  Would love it if you send a few trips my direction,   I'm looking for half day ,light tackle and FLY, drum and trout trips close to Morehead City.  I can also do inshore spanish bluefish and alberts in the inlet, but would prefer to do that out of your Parker a when it's available a little later in the season.    Prefer to take 1-2 anglers or 1 adult and 2 kids, can do 3 anglers but it is hard to pole after drum w/ three anglers.  I enjoy poling the skiff, haven't seen any other guides doing that here.   Should not be any trouble throwing the castnet to get live shrimp for trout and drum. Makes a big difference in this hot water."

As predicted, the noreaster was what we needed............

.....double digit days are on us, or at least most of us, and the others are getting what they need.   The last two affternoons we ended up with more bent rods than anglers on the boat, catching a couple of quads and double digits for the day.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Anybody want "in" on this nor'easter?

They're biting.  Anyone want on the boat?   Ray has openings the next 3 days.   Call me. 252-671-3474


From Capt. Greg yesterday

Should be required reading for all NC school children.

The folks who have sent me comments and pictures of their copy are just the kind of people who I would have expected to have read it!

All you want

Over the weekend, Rod, Mitch, Greg, Ray, Jennings and I all got what we needed with as many as 6 or 8 bites from the big drum in a day  (especially Capt. Mitch on those corks and traps), some of us on some days just a couple, but every day it was what we needed to make a successful trip.   Throw in a keeper puppy drum for everyone on the boat, and it works out to be a great day.   

With this big moon rising later in the evening, they have not been biting when many folks seem to have been fishing.   Things will be back to "normal" soon, especially since this noreast breeze has cooled the water and shoved a lot of fish up the river.   Capt. Greg already called this morning and said it was all you want of the pups and yearlings up to 30 inches.   He got wiped out, stretched out and spooled at least once on the light tackle rods this morning.   

Friday, August 19, 2016

Another Greg drum

Canvasbacks and Terrapin Stew


This is a real rarity.  Crab pots, unattended gill nets and bombing ranges are pretty hard on them.   In reality, they should probably be listed as endangered.

Anyone know about the Old Man and the Boy?

It's getting better

From Capt. Greg and his afternoon

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Red Puppy Fish Video

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

15 minute old report from Capt. Ray

"50 inches on the cork and  plenty of red puppy fish on the shoreline."


I finally ran into my unicorns.   They were as magical as the first one that I ever saw.  Even tricked one of them into biting.  Threw the hook on the 2nd jump.  It was all worth it.

Giant grouper and NC Swordifsh

Capt. Brian  and a big grouper just shy of the state record.    
 In addition to running the Run Off on offshore charters and his center console on inshore and nearshore charters, Brian is also a commercial grouper digger.  He has recently delved into another pastime and in his first couple trips has been very successful:   NC Swordfish

Monday, August 15, 2016

Everything is hot

It's hot, everything is hot.   Air is hot, especially when its' full of green heads coming across that marsh.   Water is hot, over 93 degrees in the creek.  Capt. Ray says that its so hot all you have to do is add a little Old Bay to the creek because the shrimp are already cooked.   Although we have had some decent fishing with the big drum showing up in fishable numbers, they, like most of us, they are not moving around much in the middle of the day.   As more of the big 'uns get here on the filling moon, the consistency of the bite will improve as they will be easier to land on.    When the first nor'easter hits, gas will be thrown on the fire and you'll see another kind of hot.

No matter how good or bad your fishing may be, someone will be getting theirs.   That would have been Capt. Greg yesterday and not me.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Amazon Anyone

Thought that I would pass this along.   Would love to do this trip sometime.  If anyone has an interest, I have been talking to this guy for several years and have had some mutual customers who gave good reviews.  
"The water levels are currently receding nicely and the first week of October should prove to be a great week to fish. 
 We will be sailing out of Barcelos on October 1, 2016 for 6 1/2 days of hunting for the trophy peacock bass.
 Consider joining me on this trip. I have only 2 spots available.
The Paumari is a smaller boat that can get us far away from the beaten path."
 Cost of trip: $2,950.00
 Please call me for more details.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Got mine

Fished about an hour.  No not silver.  Damn unicorns.  Report of about 100 of the ghosts seen in one of their usual haunts, but none have been seen since and I am yet to lay my eyes on one.  A 48 and 45 inch drum, about 15 minutes apart.  Back at the Oriental Marina for dinner.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Capt. Mitch flatties and spots

Reply to drum inquiry, thought I would write it down in one place

I will be glad to help get you out on the water.   We have several different styles of trips on different types of boats.
The most consistent fishing is bait fishing, waiting for the rod to bend over and it usually does. 
The more “technical” fishing is with the popping corks.  Experienced anglers and better casters get more bites.  Both can be extremely successful.
Bait fishing is typically best in the afternoons or early mornings and a little wind is no problem, even helpful.
Popping corks is best under calm, morning conditions.
Bait fishing can be done on “bay boats” or the larger center consoles, but the larger center consoles are a lot better in the wind. 
Corking can be done on either boat, but the bay boats with trolling motors are a lot better for it.
Bay boats are ideal with 2 anglers, 3 as a max.
Center consoles are ideal with 2-3 anglers, 4 as a max.  
Morning corking trips start at or before 6 am and usually finish up by 11ish
¾ days start at 6 am or 2 pm
Full days start at 7 am or noon.
Split or extended days are only for die-hards

Rates:                                                                # hours             bay boats              23+center consoles      
Morning Corking cork trips                            4-5                         $550                      $600
¾ day drum trips am or pm  w/bait            6ish                           650                        700
Full day drum trips am or pm w/bait          8ish                           750                        800
Split or extended full days                             10+                           850                        900

Deposit Policy:  To confirm reservations a $200 per boat/day deposit is due within 7 days.   Deposits for reservations within 14 days must be secured immediately.   Reservations not secured with deposits are subject to cancellation without notice.  Deposits are NOT refundable, but are transferable if cancelled greater than 30 days from the date of the trip.   100% refunds for weather cancellations.
Weather Cancellations are at the sole discretion of the captain.   Rain is not a reason for a weather cancellation and we encourage you to bring rain gear regardless of the weather forecast.   Eminent danger from lighting, hurricane warnings and conditions deemed unsafe by the captain are justification for weather cancellations.    Any adjustments to the price of trips shortened due to the weather are at the sole discretion of the captain.   
Fuel Surcharge:   With the wild unpredictability of gas/fuel prices, fuel surcharges MAY apply.  In North Carolina our prices are fixed on fuel costs of $3.50/gallon.   The fuel surcharge is the difference between the current fuel price and $3.50/gallon times the number of gallons used.  Fuel surcharges will be applied in the fairest possible manner.   The Down East Guides will go wherever necessary to give you the best chance of success.  

Monday, August 8, 2016

Today's report


No unicorns, that is what I was looking for, and I found none after about 250 miles of looking the last three days, but boy did the drum show up.   Good "beating the banks" with Capt. Mitchell Blake this morning and Capt. Jennings was having a great afternoon on the shoreline with the bonus big drum on the right.  Capt. Greg had a boat full of Seafarers and had multiple releases this morning.  They also fired off on the corks. No, I did not see any UNICORNS.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Publishable pics from the tourney. We had a very good time.

 I wonder what the gnome is hiding behind his back.  Maybe a unicorn.

Capt. Joe Ward Neuse River mixed bag.


Jake just got back


Raised over 40 blue marlin, 18 bites on the fly and caught 5 blue marlin.

Jake and his guests have landed 35 blue marlin on the fly, all on IGFA, all on 20 pound tippet, all in 20 days.   That is very impressive and I feel confident that this has never been done by another charter boat on the planet.

Annual Unicorn Tournament

Since the end of the Oriental Rotary Club's annual tarpon tournament, local anglers who missed the competition started their own.   Last year Capt. Mitchell Blake caught one and he continues to be the reining champion because none of the 11 boats participating in this year's event caught a tarpon.   Capt. Greg Voliva, favored to win the event, did see one, but failed to get a bite.   Yes, I also participated and through my one day of practice and one day of competition, we did not see a fish.   We did catch two old drum,  one of them 5 miles up the river from Oriental and one of them 15 miles down the river.   Good sign that they are here.

For over a decade tarpon numbers in the Pamlico Sound have declined and no one knows why.  Herd plenty of theories, maybe you can suggest some more:

The inlets have closed.
Global warming, they are passing us by and going to the Chesepeake (where there is menhaden purse seining)
Since the ban of menhaden purse seining in NC waterrs, there is more bait in the ocean and they are staying there, not coming into the Pamlico Sound.
They can't find their way through all the pound nets.
There is less shrimp trawling and they depend on the bycatch.
There is more shrimp trawling and they are eating all the bycatch.
There are plenty of tarpon there, only they don't roll anymore.
All the tarpon fishermen who knew how to catch them are too old to fish for them anymore.

All this said, I am looking forward to next year's unicorn tournament.  Thank you Gene for putting this together for us.   One of the best days I ever had tarpon fishing, I never caught a fish.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Capt. Ray is BACK!

Capt. Ray has a new rig and is licensed up and ready to go fishing.   Adding Ray to the Down East schedule of guides opens up a lot of prime days during drum season.   Give us a ring to check availability and book your day.  252-671-3474
                                                           The New NO DOUBT

Monday, August 1, 2016

Duck Guide Rant

Capt. George,  
Can you recommend a duck guide(s) for mid January?

We would have to have a long talk about your expectations before I could make a recommendation.  So tell me specifically what you are looking for.  ----Capt. G

Capt. George
I understand. Didn't mean to put you in a bad spot. You put me with a good guide for drum fishing last summer so I thought you might have a recommendation.
 I'm a 40 yr old dad and went duck hunting for first time in my life this past Jan. Had a great time, got plenty of ducks, but I didn't like that the guide drank crown royal all day. I drink my fair share but not with a gun in my hand.
Me and another dad want to take our 11year old boys in late Dec.
 Another group of 4 guys going mid Jan.  All fairly new to duck hunting.  Very easy going.  Don't care what we shoot.  Just want to shoot ducks. Talked on phone to Captain Froggy tonight. Unless you tell me he's an axe murderer, I'll go with him. 
 Thanks,  ----B

I don't know who you hunted with before but it sounded successful, probably because, unknown to you, it was an illegal hunt.   The guide drinking in the blind was also illegal, but the baiting of the ducks in order to get you "plenty of ducks" is the only way to  commercially  duck hunt  and provide consistent success.    The reality is that legal wild duck hunting is a lot of work which most often results in a cold boat ride, beautiful sunrise, hopefully seeing lots of ducks in the distance and perhaps getting a few shots, sometimes the gun is never fired.   Rarely do you "get plenty of ducks". 
 "If you don't care what you shoot, you just want to shoot ducks", then I suggest that you go to a shooting preserve.
 There are several types of commercial duck hunting operations, the illegal ones, which are most of them and:    
 The  "private impoundments" which by definition are not going to be commercially successful because of the high costs of maintaining these impoundments increases the price/hunter beyond what most people are willing to pay.  Therefore these guides settle for lower prices and pack more people into their impoundments than the impoundments can support and the hunting sucks.   The only consistently successful private impoundments are extremely expensive with 6 digit membership costs and annual dues often in excess of 5 digits.  
 Then you have the scissor boat rigs.  Yes mobile, successful, more often legal, but my idea of duck hunting is not done from a boat. 
 These scissor rigs are also productive with sea ducks, but my idea of duck hunting is shooting ducks that are edible and not giving them away because they taste like rotten clams.
 Then you have those who lease shoreline and hunt the open water from shore.   If done legally without bait, then these hunters are at the mercy of the weather and the migration.   They can have the weather, but no ducks or most often they have several thousand ducks in the area but no weather to move them around.
 Then you have the public lands.  I would recommend some of these hunts in order to gain some appreciation for what  legitimate duck guides have to invest to be successful, not just in the expenses, but the time and knowledge. 
 If you want to shoot at ducks from a boat, I can tell you who has scissor rigs.
 If you want to sit in the marsh and hope the weather is such that some ducks fly by, then I can tell you who has a blind or two and is dabbling in it.
I met Capt. Froggy last year and he seems like a nice guy who has been doing it a while.   Give him a try and let me know how it works out, but no matter who you go with, if you measure success by how many times the gun is fired, you will most often be disappointed.  
For over 10 years I leased miles of shoreline, had multiple dogs, boats and hundreds of decoys.  Decreasing limits and the costs of doing it right exceeded what people were willing to pay, therefore we are no longer promoting that we still have a couple of blinds and a couple of guides whom may dabble in it.   Costs is usually about $200/person for a half day and if you have a greatly successful day, you will have your limit of bluebills which is 2/person.  If it is a day like most, the only guarantee is that the steaks and oysters in the blind will be good. 
I know this is  a lot more detail  than you wanted ........, but every once in a while I am prone to rant. 
----Capt. George