Captain Sarah Garner is much more than a guide, she is a fly fishing extraordinaire and she is a valued member of our In-Shore fleet. Captain Sarah was so young when she started fishing, she says she can’t remember not fishing, it’s always been a part of her existence. She has fished the world over in her 20+ year career and has some amazing accolades to her credit, including being an ambassador for companies Sage, RIO Products, Patagonia, and Jones Brothers Marine. Captain Sarah takes her Jones Brothers boat and works the waters off North Carolina’s coast from north to south, settling down in Harker’s Island running charters in a typical Outer Banks off-season. When asked why she prefers coastal North Carolina, she replies, “I just love being here. The moderate climate allows for a long season and the variety of saltwater fish keeps the trip challenging and fun!” But, she doesn’t stop there. Captain Sarah hones her skills in a variety of waters from Baja, Mexico to Costa Rica to Guatemala. This summer, she experienced the thrill of long range bluewater flyfishing in Costa Rica and caught multiple billfish during that trip! Her days of IRONMAN training came in handy wrangling those epic catches!
Because Captain Sarah loves being outdoors and enjoys teaching, she realized being a guide was a natural combination to join those two passions. She started the process of getting her captain’s license in her early 30’s and she wouldn’t change a thing! She says, “I meet some great people and they become family. This has been an amazing 20+ year career! I’m not getting rich and it’s a physically demanding way to make a living, but it’s very rewarding. I love guiding in the “open” boat class, because we have a lot of latitude in where we can go. Sometimes, I’m back in the sound fishing around marshes. Other times, I’m in the ocean. Anglers get to cast in the open boats, which is a more active way to engage the anglers than trolling. Small boats and light tackle are also kid friendly and a half-day trip in the sound is an amazing way to introduce a youngster to fishing! I love working with kids and they’re always an exciting part of the trip!”
When asked how she felt knowing that she might be regarded as a role model for some of the younger female anglers, she replied, “It’s an honor to be considered a role model. I try to make my gals feel that being on the boat is totally normal for a gal. For many, it’s new and sometimes a scary situation, so helping them feel comfortable and safe enough to learn how to fish is a big deal. I also like to point out first mates Zoe Smith and Vivian McPherson to the gals on my boat. More positive role models!” She also says, “I’m really proud to be a co-instructor at multi-day women’s fly fishing schools, hosted by Black Fly Lodge in the Bahamas. These schools are really intensive so gals go home with great fly skills, love for a great sport and new fishing buddies.”
Captain Sarah recounts the many trips she’s had over the years and finds them all memorable. She says, “It’s never just about the catch. There’s a memory in every trip and having anglers who appreciate special non-fishing moments as much I do is a treat for me.” She also recounts those trips where she was able to guide an angler from struggling with the process to catching fish and she enjoys their reaction. “I love it when my anglers catch "the big one" and achieves their personal best."
Captain Sarah believes a sense of humor is a must for a guide, too, and she finds humor in everything, so she’s certainly a good fit for the job here at Oregon Inlet!
The month of March celebrates women in history and we have some amazing women making history here at Oregon Inlet. These ladies work right alongside of the men, without fanfare or spotlights, doing a job that they love. We'll be featuring these ladies daily through the end of the month, beginning with our youngest first mate, Zoe Smith.
Zoe Smith arrived in the world very prematurely, weighing less than a trophy citation triggerfish, but just as scrappy of a fighter as they are. Her love of the water began as a toddler and around the age of 3, she started riding out with her Daddy, Captain Bobby Smith. She fished for and landed her first fish without any help at the age of 4 and has been hooked on fishing ever since.
Zoe is one the youngest of the mates here at Oregon Inlet and one of two females serving as mates this season. When asked how she feels knowing that she might be regarded as a role model for some of the young female anglers, she replied, “When I first started fishing, I really didn’t realize that this could be the case, because I never really saw myself as a “female fisherman”, I was just one of the boys when it came to that and I’ve always called my a fisherman. While this is still true, as I’ve gotten older and spent more time on the boat, it’s become more apparent to me that I have become a role model for some young girls and many who come out fishing with us think it’s cool that I fish. While I just consider it the normal thing for me, I feel blessed to have the opportunity to show girls that, yeah it’s okay to fish and it’s fun, and you can certainly do it just as well as the guys. That being said, I really try and keep it on the classier side on the boat and social media, because I don’t like how so many girls that fish these days feel the need to pose with their fish and wear these tiny bikinis and get the wrong kind of attention from the guys. I think young girls need to be shown they can fish just as well as anyone else and let that do the talking, not their pictures.”
While she had been fishing with her Dad since she was 3, she didn’t become an official first mate until around the age of 15. “My Dad’s mate decided to try the offshore thing and Dad was looking for a new one. I honestly don’t remember what prompted me to ask him to take me on for the job, but I’ve always loved fishing and being out on the boat. Of course, the money was a nice perk for a high school kid in the summers, but I really just loved the idea of working with my Dad everyday…….and getting a good sun tan!”
When asked what is the most exciting part of a trip, Zoe beams, “Every single time we run down the “crack”(channel), I get anxious for what the trip is going to bring, because you honestly never know and every single trip is different! Then, again, nothing beats the feeling of seeing a Cobia swimming around on a change and since cobia is my favorite fish to catch, and my Dad’s favorite, you can literally feel the excitement on the boat when we get a shot at one!”
Zoe shares her love and passion for fishing and is grateful to have the opportunity to do this type of work. She says the challenge has given her a strong work ethic, “tough skin”, ability to handle emergency situations, speed and agility in tough physical conditions, and most importantly a passion she knows will continue throughout her entire life. When asked why anglers should go fishing with her, she sells the experience with heart-felt candor. “Fish-n-Fool Charters is a family-run operation, and it’s rare that you find a father-daughter team in the fishing world. I’m happy to be a part of that. Our biggest goal is to make every single one of our anglers have the most fun day on the water possible. Going fishing on the Outer Banks is truly an experience you will never forget, and I hope everyone choses Oregon Inlet Fishing Center to guide them to that experience!”
Her greatest fishing accomplishment was her first big red drum sight-casting from the bow. “It was a really nice one”, she says, “and it was a day I’ll never forget. The other captains and mates even threw me in the creek that afternoon to celebrate, which made me realize that I really could do the job and that all the guys actually respected me and considered me one of their own.” Zoe is proud of being the first in her family to go on to a four-year college to pursue her dream of becoming a Physician’s Assistant. We’re counting the days with you, girl!!!
The sun has set on a member of our family, Jason Sadler. Jason was a mate for several seasons until last year when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He fought with a stubborn streak and a hefty dose of optimism, knowing one day he would be healed........and he was. Rest in peace dear friend.
In the world of gulf-stream fishing, yellow is a fabulous quality!! Anglers brought in a limit of yellow-fin tuna today aboard the Outrigger, while anglers aboard the Trophy Hunter brought in 2 big-eye tunas and some yellow-fins. Anglers aboard the Seaducer pulled in yellow-fins, as well.
We are very optimistic for a great fishing season and now is the time to get your spot on the calendar! Give us a call and let's talk about your trip 1-800-272-5199!
Monday was another day of blue-fin fights; some epic, some heartbreaking. More than a few anglers earned trophy citations for released fish. Congrats to Brian Eurice for releasing an 80" blue-fin, and to Frank DiGregorio for releasing a 77" blue-fin. On the upside, they pulled in coveted yellow-fin tuna and will enjoy some tasty meals. Did you catch that? Yellow-fin tuna pulled out of the fish box. A private charter reported in with a keeper blue-fin, as well.
Time to book your trip!! We have a trip available just for you!! Soundside Headboat half-day fishing, In-Shore half-day or all-day, Near-Shore half-day, all day or extended morning, and Off-Shore full day. You've got some great choices!
Give us a call 1-800-272-5199 and let's talk about your day of fishing with any one of the great captains here at Oregon Inlet Fishing Center! Hurry!! You don't want to miss getting your day reserved!
St. Patrick's Day certainly proved to be lucky, yielding an amazing day of blue-fin action! Several of our boats and quite a few private anglers pulled in some beasts today and a couple of them took more than a set of hands to hoist out of the boat! Weights today ranged from the high 300's to 791 lbs! Could great blue-fin action today be a pre-cursor to a super yellow-fin season?? Book your trip today and find out!! Give us a call at 1-800-272-5199 and grab your spot on the calendar before another lucky angler snags it!!
We're glad to welcome home the Escape!! Captain Gregg Middleton and mate are gearing up for a fantastic 2018 season and they invite you to step aboard and enjoy a day of Gulf Stream action! Captain Gregg and his crew say they are blessed with year round fishing that rivals any place on earth. Their home at the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center yields the shortest run to the fishing grounds, which equals more fishing time for their guests - you!
Captain Gregg lives for the thrill of the fight! He will target Yellowfin Tuna, White and Blue Marlin, Wahoo and Mahi Mahi, and more using light or heavy tackle, popping, trolling, or kite fishing. Captain Gregg welcomes every opportunity to share his passion and is able to teach you all these fishing techniques, even if you are a beginner, and can provide as much assistance as you may need.
Captain Gregg skillfully navigates this beautiful Ricky Scarborough offshore sport fishing boat, originally built in 1984. To enhance your off-shore experience, boat owners, Ernie and Donna Webb, just completed a major refit in 2017 and has equipped the salon with an air-conditioner, a microwave, a fridge, and reclining leather sofas to provide comfort on the ride to and from the fishing grounds. Powered by a 1150 HP Mann engine, with a maximum cruising speed of 25 knots, this vessel will not waste time traveling to the Gulf Stream waters.
Captain Gregg uses only the best fishing gear, with light tackle ranging from Shimano 20’s-130’s and Penn 30-50-80. They keep it all in pristine condition to make for a safe and enjoyable day on the water for you and your party.
You do have a job, though. Your only job for the day is to enjoy yourself and if you want to learn from the pro’s - pay close attention to the advice they give you! Ready to go??!! Give the Booking Desk a call and make your great Escape today 1-800-272-5199!!
Anglers were in the meat today! The top story belongs to Daniel Stilling fishing on the Fintastic for collecting a trophy citation for his monster blue-fin tuna, weighing in at 597 lbs! Congrats! His angling buddy, Charles Barbee released a chunky blue-fin and collected a trophy citation, as well. Awesome work! Thomas Stevens also collected a trophy citation for releasing a blue-fin, following a 4-hour fight. What a memory!!
Anglers aboard multiple private boats brought in good numbers of yellow-fin tuna, averaging in the 35/45lb range each. One boat also reported in with a 69" blue-fin.
There are boats available! Give us a call and let us get you booked 1-800-272-5199! Visit our homepage to book online.
We're seeing some good reports of blue-fin tuna catches, with some nice chunky fish coming to the boat. There were a couple of releases measuring in well beyond 73" last week on the recreational charters. One visiting captain also reported in with good catches of yellow-fin tuna and excellent king mackerel catches in some very warm water.
We've got boats available and captains ready to fish! Give us a call and let us get you booked 1-800-272-5199!
In-Shore Captain Aaron treated his anglers to an awesome day of drum fishing, throwing in some good numbers of black bass to top off a beautiful day on the water. They enjoyed some good catches of puppy drum and multiple red drum releases.
Anglers in the Gulf Stream narrowly avoided a total shut out on Tuesday with small numbers of yellow-fin and black-fin. One private boat reported in with a 72" blue-fin.
We're enjoying a nice break from the cold weather and we have boats available! Give us a call and let us get your trip scheduled 1-800-272-5199! There are lots of calls coming in checking on make-up charter availability. If you'd like to be included in a make-up charter, as available, submit your request online today.
Anglers ventured off-shore today and were treated to some nice catches before the winds blew. There were some nice yellow fins coming out of the boxes. We also heard of some of those blue fins swimming about.
Give us a call and let us get you booked 1-800-272-5199! We've got boats available and captains ready to go fish!