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Wilmington, N.C. Fishing and Traditional Rail Bird Hunting

North Carolina Inshore Fishing: Light Tackle & Fly Fishing Opportunities in the Spring-Summer – Fall months.

Traditional Rail Bird/Marsh Hen Hunting charters are limited in N.C. to months of Sept-Oct-Nov.

Phil killed his limit of 15 Clappers in just an hour and ten minutes this cold windy day.Joe Guide & Mr. Richie with his second tailing redfish on a fly

I am a unique saltwater inshore fishing & wing shooting Outfitter- specializing in gunning Marsh Hen (Rail Bird) Hunts, and Inshore fishing for Redfish, and Speckled Sea Trout throughout the seasons of the year.

We are quite different from all the other guides.  I offer sportsmen a unique opportunity to get way back into the back country.  You will see the marshes and flats that lay behind the  sea islands where we take you to fish or hunt rail birds!

You will see why 80%  sporting customers return year after year to hunt or fish with Joe Guide Outfitters.

Experience skinny water flats fishing with either spinning tackle, or fly fishing for many different inshore species- throughout the year!

I would say that 100 % of my clients enjoy light-tackle sight fishing for Big Redfish….and approximately 20% of my clients are serious fly-fishing affectionado’s!  Only with me can you stalk tailing Redfish through flooding spartina grass flats May – early October, amid Fiddler, Blue, and Mud crabs reaching out to pluck spartina snails (perriwinkles) from the stalk. You might see skipping shrimp during the warmer seasons of the year.

Spring-Summer-Fall months during big flood tide days, we can access areas where we wade fish, or perhaps you like to be poled by your guide through wilderness regions and shallow flats sight-fishing for reds; or we could fish secluded bays, creeks, or back-country areas, or perhaps a saltwater duck pond if its too windy to get out on our big shallow sounds (Bays).

You can cast from one of my “forward casting platforms” and look across the grass flats, where the redfish enter during flood tides to hide from bottle-nose dolphin that love to gobble up reds in deeper creeks or bays at various times in the cycle of life.Dink-Spartina grass+big flies=ol' red

Winter months provide opportunities to pursue  Speckled Sea Trout, Flounder, or Redfish inshore, via our two skiffs. Warm days during our winter months provide certain opportunities in back country areas, and early spring provides for warmer water conditions and wade fishing. During the Winter Months I fish the big creeks, and flooded flats near deep creeks, or we focus on the big bays and creeks that are not as impacted by the wind, but are warmed by the winter sun. It all depends on what species you desire to pursue. Just let me know when you desire to book a charter.

You will see just how beautiful our Carolina wilderness areas that lay nestled behind a string of  barrier sea islands. It is here you will find a ecosystem that is rich in diversity and nutrients- food for the soul as well as fish and fowl.

Pirates partied on these same sea islands, and battles were won, or lost throughout history. Throughout time,  our native American Indians use to travel to the coast from far inland, just to get their salt, and of course- feast upon fish and fowl, and oysters and clams!

Some of you historians at heart will like to know that “Ancient Indian Shells Rings” still exist in a few areas along our coastal back country, however only Joe Guide Outfitter’s can show you exactly where those areas located. I also book birding expeditions on four hour charters in March and early April during those months to do bird counts and photography of unique marsh birds that breed deep in the salt marshes behind our barrier islands.old man and boy railbird hunt photo

Wing shooters you should once in your lifetime experience the excitement of a traditional Rail Bird Flood Tide HUNT. The Carolina low country has some beautiful back country to hunt four species of rail birds in North Carolina. Father and Son’s take note- during September- October – November rail bird hunting is available along during Rail Bird Flood Tides, and there are thousands of acres of wilderness salt-marsh behind our barrier sea islands in a land not too far from the port city of Wilmington, N.C.  It is a world that is amazing to see, to feel, and to experience. It will capture your imagination, and you can see why 90% of my rail bird clients return year after year to hunt with me.

Joe guide Outfitters is based out of  Wilmington, North Carolina- where the Cape Fear River meets the Atlantic Ocean- at one of the sweetest vacation communities  you will find along the Carolina Coast!


Are you  planning an Holiday in Wilmington, N.C. or one of our beach communities?

Wilmington’s historic Port City is downtown- off the Cape Fear River, and located just off N.C. Hwy 17.  Here you will find one of the most popular beach and retirement communities in all of the Carolina’s.

We have wonderful beaches for your family to visit, and there are two Mega Shopping Malls, if your wife or girl friend likes to go shopping! I only take Paying Clients on charters.


Wilmington, North Carolina is the home base of NC author: Walter (Joe Guide)  Dinkins. He is the author of The Rail Bird Hunter’s Bible (2014), and a Sports fishing and Travel book on the state fish of N.C. (Red Drum. AKA: Reds, Red fish, Spot tailed bass, redfish, puppy drum, rat reds).

According to YALE educated Professor of English Literature: Dr. Donald Millus PhD: “RED FISH on A FLY is the most scholarly fly fishing book- ever written- on the Red Drum (Redfish) in the United States of America“.

The Redfish is the most sought after- inshore saltwater inshore species- that tails like a bone fish, and feeds inshore primarily upon three primary species of crabs: (mud, fiddler and baby blue), as well as  mud minnows, silver-sides, menhaden, and brown and white shrimp that call our estuary system of our lower Cape Fear River delta home.  You can do a GOOGLE search and find a great many hotels or motels nearby for you and your family to stay when visiting beautiful Wilmington, N.C. during  your next vacation.

How the guide got his nickname: “Joe Guide”…


Walter (Joe Guide) Dinkins is a Presbyterian (USA) Minster, and Retired US Navy Chaplain, and OEF Veteran. He grew up in the Carolina low-country  and is a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA), Outdoor Writer: “Joe Guide“.

While in University, he Captained his college fishing team to win the prestigious Intercollegiate Sports Fishing National Championship (1984). U.S.C. Coastal Carolina (now: Coastal Carolina University)  continues to host such illustrious fishing teams from Universities such as: Harvard, Yale, Clemson, Georgia, USC, Florida, as well as the University of Tokyo, and Canada’s University of Toronto- in the oldest ongoing- Intercollegiate Sports fishing Contest  held each fall, it’s between Myrtle Beach, and Conway in South Carolina.

Joe Guide started guiding sports- hunting and fishing at the young age of nine while living in the low country of South Carolina, that’s just a hop, skip and a jump from Charleston.

In 1964 the outdoor writer, quail hunter, and Professor of English from the University of South Carolina- Dr. Havilah Babcock, PhD.,  nicknamed him “Joe Guide,” and that nickname- stuck throughout the years.

He has become well known throughout the United States of America from his scholarly series of articles about saltwater fly fishing, ecology,  outdoors, history and hunting  articles about his outdoor adventures across our nation and the world written by JOE GUIDE.

His aunt was the famous Children’s author- Peggy Parish, the creator of  the (Amelia Bedelia) children’s book series. His cousin Herman Parish continues writing that series. Walter was credited with the inspiration for two of Miss Peggy’s books- Granny and the Big Grey Thing, and Play Ball Amelia Bedelia.

Lefty Kreh, who is one of the most exciting fly fisherman our nation has ever known,  has said of Joe Guide- “I have never been with a guide, who was a Presbyterian Minister and a U.S. Navy Chaplain, but I’d sure like to!”

He doesn’t guarantee a miracle out there on the big water, but he will do his best to put you on your target, and the client will have to make the shot, or cast; what he will ensure is that, you or your family will have the “best of times” in the great outdoors!


CAPT Walter Dinkins is sponsored by a lot of nice people: Wulff Flyfishing Products, Powerpole, YETTI, and Creative Feather Fly Fishing Shop;.  I use different rods and reels: TFO,  Billy Pate/TIBOR Reels, H2o Inshore Spinning and Casting Rods, and I also love my WRIGHT & MCGILL 8 ft Inshore Spinning Rods. Shimino and OKUMIA are also super reels.

My YETTI Cooler keeps things mighty cold during our hot summers. Look in that photo on my book, and I’m wearing a COLUMBIA BONEFISH L/S Shirt (XL), and on my head is a FILSON (Long Billed Fishing Hat).

For you Waterfowl Hunters  and Wing Shooters you should take a good look at one of the many different Knotty Branch Duck or Goose calls.  Please take the time and effort to look at– all of my sponsor’s websites, and I think you will be mighty happy, happy, happy… that you did.  They are all excellent products, or I just wouldn’t be using them!


“Joe Guide” and “Joe Guide Outfitters” ™ is a “ Inshore Light Tackle, Fly Fishing and Wildfowl Hunting Outfitter” during the various seasons of the year.  Fishing for Redfish is done through poling my skiff, or by wading the saltwater flats during the seasons of the year- while sight fishing for redfish. We also target Speckled Sea Trout, and Flounder and offer Rail Bird Flood tide Hunts and Hunt Diving ducks in the big water duck boat blinds during the seasons of the year.

Friend, you seize your dream! You can’t catch a fish unless your hook is in the H2O, and you got to remember to practice some casting- Prior to booking a light tackle adventure.

Book a Inshore Fishing Charter where you use either Light Tackle or Fly Fishing and we will travel the back country flats fishing.   You decide on booking one or two half day (4 hr) charters. Let me know what days best fit your schedule, and I will let you know- what dates/tides are like during those particular days so inquired. Ask me and I will give you my opinion based on over forty years of experience.

We take advantage of good tides, and good people, and help you get to where you need to be in order to make those special casts necessary to catch speckled sea trout, redfish, or flounder throughout the seasons of the year.

NOTE: 90% of my Clients are return customers, and many book charters – three or six months in advance- in order to obtain one or two (half- day charters) during the highest of flood tides as many love to fish the back country flats searching for tailing reds, or those pushing throughout those creeks and flats.

For those interested in Wildfowl hunting, please note that I will be  booking only half day (4 hr) Big Water Diver duck hunting charters for the month of January in North Carolina, which is the last month of our season.  This usually has the nastiest weather, and when we see the largest numbers of diving ducks migrating along Southeastern North Carolina.

A Mottled duck and a "Grey duck" (Gadwall)

A Mottled duck and a “Grey duck” (Gadwall)

In North Carolina or down around Charleston, S.C.  I can be found on my skinny water skiff. I have a 20 foot D3 Marsh Master Flats boat with a 50 HP Outboard, or my 16.4 foot GO DEVIL Surface Drive Mud Boat and a 35 HP Surface Drive Outboard for getting in the back country for Redfish – I especially enjoy wade fishing or poling my clients when the redfish are in the spartina grass! Many of these same areas along the coast is where I also hunt rail birds or waterfowl at other seasons of the year.

In North Carolina, my local saltwater range: is from the lower Bogue Sound- to the Lower Cape Fear back country specializing in sight fishing for inshore species!

I normally do not fish on  Sunday mornings,  as I am usually preaching at a PCUSA Church;  I’m a Presbyterian (USA) Minister, and retired US Navy Reserve Chaplain. I also worked at nine U.S. Embassies around the world, with DoD/STATE special projects/programs, and therefore traveled around the world a great deal throughout my life.

I’ve had my own Cable TV Show, and write articles on fishing and hunting and Wounded Warrior, and Environmental fisheries issues that impact our Inshore community and estuary system along the Carolina Coast. I also work with wounded warriors, and retirees, around our nation, and have met some mighty nice clients from all over the USA.

FLY FISHERMAN. Approximately 20% of my fishing clients annually are Saltwater Fly Fishermen. I’ve been fly fishing for well over forty years, and am blessed to have lived and fished throughout the world and the USA. You decide if you want to go wade fishing from late May – September, or I’d pole you during the flood tide to chase some tailing reds.

Mr. Ed limited out within 85 minutes on his first Rail bird Hunt with "Joe Guide Outfitters"

Mr. Ed limited out within 85 minutes on his first Rail bird Hunt with “Joe Guide Outfitters”

What better person to guide you throughout the Inshore wilderness back country than a USCG,  NC and SC registered guide. If you prefer light tackle, I have a number of light tackle rods for you to use on your charter. If you want to wade fish,  you will need to bring your own wade boots! If you desire to fly fish, you can choose to bring your own rod (which you are responsible for it’s care and storage), or you can use one of my fly rods which I make available to my clients.

You can choose to hunt or fish with many different organizations, I appreciate you taking the time to read my website, and consider booking JOE GUIDE OUTFITTERS for your next inshore fishing or hunting adventure!

God bless you, and take someone in your family fishing or hunting this year.