Sunday, September 23, 2018

A most excellent day

Been a while since we've had one of those.   Excllent light tackle albies, bluefish and Spanish in the ocean with giant bait balls flushed out of the sounds.   Looks like an epic fall fishing season.    Speaking of giants and epic, been some of that at the mouth of the river with double digit big drum. 


Saturday, September 22, 2018

little old ladies, fish kills and bright spots

We managed to put some smiles on the faces of a few little old ladies today, big thanks to Allen who came all the way from Asheboro and Jeffrey from Kinston.  Capt. Bobby Brewer and Capt. Gary Dubiel brought all they had and we got a lot done.  

During lunch at Brantly's Restaurant in Oriental I got a video from up at New Bern, dead and dying mullet, striped bass, flounder, catfish and yellow perch.   If you fill a 5 gallon bucket up with leaves and storm debris, add water, let it soak a few days then throw in a goldfish, that joker is going to be sucking air shortly.   The natural decay of all the leaves and storm debris will suck the oxygen out of the water.   Expect to see more on this fish kill in the coming days but there are some bright spots. 
The only thing we can compare this to is Hurricanes  Floyd a decade ago and Fran a few years before; the same thing happened.   We had bad fish kills in the main river, low oxygen everywhere but the creeks of the lower Neuse had better oxygen levels and became a refuge for fish, resulting in excellent fishing through the winter.  By spring, things were back to normal.

In addition to many of the creeks, the lower river should be in good shape, still with good catches of big drum, stripers and specks.    All is not lost and just like after Hurricanes Bertha and Fran followed by Dennis 1, Dennis 2 and Floyd, Irene and all the others, the fishing will recover and so will we. 

Oriental is cleaning up and opening up, The River Neuse Suites and River Dunes have places for you to stay.  The lights are coming on and the grills are heating up in several restaurants so you have a place to eat.   Capt. Gary and Capt. Bobby, along with Capt. Joe Ward have cleaned the pinestraw out of their boats and charged their batteries and ready to go fishing. 

At the beach, the motels are full with adjusters and contractors, but the Harker's Island Fishing Center was spared and the lights just came back on.   Capt. Rob Pasfield has dry, clean rooms that are ready for guests.   Capt. Chris Kimrey is starting his fall season tomorrow and hopefully will have a good report to follow.

Now more than ever, we appreciate your business and look forward to a great October/November.   Please give us a ring if we can help get you out there.

Friday, September 21, 2018

start time tomorrow

Saturday work day in Oriental, come when you can, going to start on the corner of Hodges and Broad St. with Ms. Christian's house.  Trying to meet there at about 7:30 am and see where that takes us.   I have another address for the afternoon.   Thanks for all the response.

How to fix a chain saw

Thursday, September 20, 2018

social media, chain saws and drum

You know how I hate social media but I have seen where it's a good thing, someone needs something, they throw it out there on the facebooks and bam, things happen.  You know who does not have social media ? The elderly.

I stopped into Oriental to see what was needed, they just got power back, they are getting a steadly stream of supplies but there are some seniors in need of labor.  I got a list from the town manager of a few folks in some serious need and am headed that way on Saturday with Anna.   Asking for volunteers to meet us Saturday morning in Oriental. 

Anna asks that some of the volunteers take the chain saw I bought away from me.   I finally got it started and after cutting 3 limbs the whole damn thing came apart in my hands.  Shit was flying everywhere.  I got it "fixed", but someone other than me should check this thing out. I do know that it cuts better when the chain is going the right direction.  I am much better at dragging limbs around. 

Labor with yard clean up, tree removal and insulation removal is seriously needed.  In many cases professional services are required and a fund is being developed to recieve donations.   More on this later.

Any of you who have bought bait from "Bruno" at Endurance Seafood should know that despite losing almost everything he has been serving hot meals for volunteers at night in Oriental.   A lot of heartwarming stories of neighbors helping neighbors. 

On another bright side, there were a couple of big drum caught on corks today at the mouth of the river.  There are still some fish around, but I hope you can give 'em a break for a day and join us in Oriental this weekend. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018


overwhelmed with offers of support.  Anna and I just got power and just got home.  Man it is nice to be home and never more thankful to have one.   I cannot express enough my gratitude to my wife who has been a champ through this whole process.   We have provided a lot of grunt labor, but she has dealt with the details. 

I hope to get out and about tomorrow and the next day to see who is in need and what is needed.  Thanks so much for the countless offers of support.

still rising

This pic was taken and posted by Joe Ward, on his way to his house to salvage what he can from the 2nd floor, which should have been dry and where he put what he could from the first floor.  When the water goes down, he's going to need a hand, but he's the kind of guy who will never ask. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Power at River Dunes

River Dunes has power.  We are still picking up the pieces and drying out.  We will not be able to get things together by this weekend, but I do plan on getting on the water over the weekend and check out the fishing.  With some good fishing reports, hopefully we will be back in business by mid-week. 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Pics from today

I want to thank all of you for the kind words and prayers, it has really meant a lot knowing that you are out there.   I apologize if I have not been able to individually respond to everyone, it’s been a little hectic.
Anna, my brother, my dad and my mom and I evacuated to my dad’s cabin up in the mountains of Virginia with the forecast of 140 mph winds.   These winds are life threatening and could have taken roofs off of houses and houses off of foundations.    When the storm weakened, we questioned our decision as all of us have ridden out storms with winds around 100 mph.   None of us have experienced a storm that hovered over NC for days, piling water into the western Pamlico Sound and Neuse River to previously unrecorded levels.    
As many of you know, the Pamlico Sound has little if any lunar tide.  When the wind blows out of the east, the water rises, when it blows out of the west, the water falls.   50-60 mph winds for several days can be much worse than 100 mph winds for a few hours.   Never have I seen a storm move so slowly and we were on the east side of the storm which always has the heaviest wind and rain.    This storm was a worst case scenario for New Bern and Oriental.
After several days up in the mountains in the comfort of our air conditioned cabin and big screen tv,  watching my home town become submerged and fast water rescues in places that have NEVER seen flooding, I could take it no longer.   I rented a U Haul, loaded it with supplies and headed south and east.   I dropped off a couple of generators along the way and made it to the Pamlico County Sherriff’s department last night with some requested supplies and slept on an air mattress in one of the deputy’s office.   At daylight I was in Oriental unloading a palate of water, Clorox, trash bags and cleaning supplies.  
I lived in Oriental for more than a decade and never saw anything like what I saw today and I only saw a small portion of it.   After empting the last of our belongings from the “guide shack” that we rented for the season on the Oriental waterfront, I cleaned out the fridges of the two houses we had rented at River Dunes, which other than downed trees, fared better than anyone or anywhere I have been today.
Paradise Shores and my friends there were in bad shape, but as they said, it’s part of the suffering you have to go through in order to live in paradise.   They love where they are and have an amazing attitude.   I stopped by the Sherriff’s office to drop off the last of supplies, water and MRE’s that I had picked up along the way and made it to New Bern.   My mom’s house is OK, even with power and my brother’s house is good, but my dad’s is a mess.  
He only had a foot of water in the house, but no matter a foot or 6 feet, the result is the same.  Everything the water touches is destroyed.     
 I am so glad that we left.  I cannot imagine my father waking up in the middle of the night, stepping out of his bed into knee deep water, which is what he ended up getting inside his house.  He is still in the mountains with caregivers, we are cleaning up, but it will be months before he returns home, if he ever does return to this home. 
All in all, we made out pretty good, no lives lost and some great family time together.  There are others who are in much worse shape.   Capt. Joe Ward has lost everything except his sense of humor and resilience.   Capt. Chris Kimrey is OK but he did admit to crawling under his house twice during tornado warnings at the height of the storm.   Capt. Wade Fickling is good to go as is Capt. Greg Voliva.   I am aware of no other major damage to any of the guides, but there are plenty of people who are in a jam and faced with major clean up.

It is amazing that one house or block can be 100% ok and next door things appear to be destroyed.   I remember after one hurricane watching a guy who had a flooded out house mow his lawn.  It was the only think that he could do that he had some control over, everything else was just too overwhelming.
What can you do?  Don’t worry about me, I’m OK,  but if you have some time on your hands, pack a cooler with what you need to survive, come down for a day and help someone you don’t know clean up their yard and see where that takes you.   Bring enough gas to get home, maybe an extra jug for someone’s generator.   Don’t plan on staying the night as there are no hotels, no power and no restaurants.   Soon enough there will be, along with fishing guides to take you fishing and we all appreciate your business.
Until then, tight lines, calm seas and God Bless,

Thursday, September 13, 2018

worse case scenario

The stalling of this storm is not good and causing major flooding on the Neuse in Oriental and New Bern.  Reports are coming in and they are not good.   This is unlike anything that we have ever seen and it is far from over. 

Thanks to all of you for your kind words, thoughts and prayers.  We are in a safe place, just not sure what we are coming back to find.  Clean up will be more of a priority than catching drum for the near future.

Deposits will be refunded once the waters recede or if you prefer, forwarded to a future trip which is what most have decided.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

drum will have to wait

most of the guides have evacuated and most of our customers may not be able to get to us with forecast flooding.   We have cancelled all trips through Wednesday.   Stay safe and stay tuned as I will pass along damage reports.

more pre storm pics

some of my triple digits....

just took me a few more days to get 'em.  I did have some help from Justin with the black drum and sheepshead. 

Triple digits for Capt. Justin

I know we don't do numbers, but you can do the math, triple digits in 4 days, that's pretty good fishing and what we are leaving ahead of this storm

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Slowing down is no good

OK folks, I've pulled the plug on charters through Saturday.  This storm is now forecast to slow down once it makes landfall.  Assuming you can get here and we are still here, we will try and get back on the water by Sunday afternoon.

Monday, September 10, 2018

corks and traps

I like the rattle trap bite better than the corks......


hopefully the predictions will keep moving landfall north, giving us the western side of the storm or a glancing blow.   Current predictions are not pretty.   Drum fshing is typically not affected by the storm and we have good catches the day before and the day after.....with less severe storms the day of.   Inland flooding may be a problem with people getting to us.

We are now cancelling trips for Wednesday and Thursday, hopeing to be back out there Friday afternoon, perhaps Saturday.

All is on schedule and on go for folks fishing Sunday through next week.

More update as predictions get more accurrate.

waiting for Jim Cantore to show up anytime

meanwhile we are enjoying double headers and double digit days. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

yesterday with Capt. chris

hurricane report and cancellations

Latest forecast has this storm in our area on or after Thursday.   Every day the forecast changes and there is a high likelihood that like most storms with similar forecasts, this turns out to be nothing but a near miss. 

Even with the current forecast, we are planning on fishing every day through Wednesday.  No cancellations.   We will cancel trips 36 hours before so if you have a trip scheduled, plan on coming. 

Friday, September 7, 2018

Live report from Capt. justin

yes, they are biting 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

fishing with Capt. Justin

So we had an epic trip with Justin.  Can’t say enough good things !! Thanks for the hook up ! 
We got XX citation  Drum.  
Mac Jennings got 5 with the largest being 51 inches 
Foster Jennings got 5 with the largest being 49 inches. 
We are interested in a Roanoke river striper trip in late April.   Open dates ?  We would like some of it to be fly fishing.  

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Capt. Jennings and double digits on the corks

Jennings had a double digit morning on the corks today.......and he is open on Sunday if anyone wants to play.

yes, I too can catch them on the corks

Got a heavy handfull this morning, but the early birds had that many before we left the dock. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Berto taking one for the team

Berto shielded the customer and took one for the team with this too close encounter with a blue marlin

Sunday, September 2, 2018

and for those who did not have the day off

Capt. Wade backing in the slip with a rigger full of flags. 
Good billfishing on the crystal coast

guide's day off

Saturday, September 1, 2018

planning a trip to Silver King in late October

Anyone want to join me?