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

Joe Guide is the Author of the book on the State Fish of N.C. – The Red Drum.

Google  my book: {RED FISH on A FLY}
It is the first such scholarly book on this subject too; so google it, or you could get it via AMAZON BOOKS.COM. It can also be found in coastal U.S. City libraries along the South Eastern and Gulf Coasts as well as the –inter-library book loan program.


Marsh Hen (Rail Bird) hunts are during the fall months of September, October, and November, and I offer sportsmen a unique opportunity to hunt 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 during the seasons of the year!  Boy…oh boy…think about it, this is the areas where The OLD MAN and the BOY; author, Robert Rourke wrote  a great deal of  enjoyable fishing and hunting stories about his 1920s – 1930’s adventures throughout this region- while growing up with his maternal grandfather, a former River boat Pilot who lived just across the Cape Fear river in the fishing village of Southport, N.C.


You will see why 90%  of my clients return to fish or hunt. We got tons of history,  and plenty of fish and fowl along the North Carolina coast throughout the seasons of  the year!


Many of my clients enjoy fishing for Speckled Sea Trout, off the Cape Fear River or the New River when the weather starts getting chilly just prior to All Saint’s Eve, we start seeing schools of “spikes” (a lot of em < slot) but that doesn’t stop your ablity to catch em on a fly rod, if you got the right color saltwater fly.

They start running into our coastal inshore waters and creeks. Those runs get awesome with 20-30 caught/released when they “pod up”  heavy in cooler water months of October – December. There are days when there are some bigger specks caught, and you got to be there just to experience it. Listen to me friend, you can not catch a fish from your living room chair,  soooooo you just got to decide to get out of your recliner and book a fishing trip with JOE GUIDE OUTFITTERS.

Striped Bass and Large mouth Bass fishing picks up near Wilmington in the winter months – often before the full moon of December. This a a nice sized lake, with mostly alot of two and three pound bass and we practice catch & release.   1,135 acre Sutton Lake has some of the “warmest reservoir waters” you will find. You hook up with five or ten bass in a four hour Sutton Lake charter. Give your PAPA or best buddy at Christmas or Birthday or Fathers day Special 4 hr Bass Fishing Charter.

Who loves sight fishing for Big Reds (Redfish) in the spring and summer months when the flood tides push back into the flats? Do you remember the first time you saw a  tailing redfish in the shallows and hooked up? Did you catch that red?  Now think about it, how you’d like to cast to a really big redfish in the grass?  Your call. Just let me know when you want to book a wade-fishing charter, because we got to have the big lunar tides and light enough to chase tailing reds in the grass.

Perhaps you desire to get out of the boat and try “wading for reds” in calf-deep H20…knee deep in a secluded spartina grass flats of our Carolina coast?  80% of my clients use light tackle and spinning rods, and approximately 20% of my clients are fly-fishing aficionado’s!  Only with me can you stalk tailing Redfish through flooding spartina grass flats, depending on when water temperatures’ get nice in late April and  May through October months.  Here you will see the Fiddler, Blue, and Mud crabs reaching out to pluck spartina snails (periwinkles) 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.

LA Boys...got into a School..of Specks in NOV

LA Boys…got into a School..of Specks in NOV


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!  with

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.
Wing shooters and Duckaholics -deserve to experience- the excitement of  going on a traditional Rail Bird Flood Tide Hunt.


The Carolina low country has some beautiful back country to hunt four species of rail birds, especially  awe inspiring are the  wilderness area marshes along North and South Carolina.

Attention father and Son’s take note- only during September- October – November,  rail bird hunting is available during Rail Bird Flood Tides, and there are thousands of acres of wilderness marsh behind our barrier sea islands in a land not too far from our port city of Wilmington, N.C.

 It is a coastal world that is amazing to see, to feel, and to experience. If you are a young fellow, being close to the water make the summer a wondrous thing to behold! There is something about the kiss of the sun on the dancing and prancing waves, fresh salt breeze in your face, and sun on your head, the taste of salt on your lips. Do you better grasp our little part of this state? It will capture your imagination, and you can see why 90% of my rail bird clients, return year after year to hunt with me year after year.

Joe guide Outfitters is based out of  Wilmington, North Carolina- Where is that you may inquire?  Why…that is 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 or the surf and sand to work on her tan!



Wilmington, North Carolina is the home base of NC author: Walter (Joe Guide)  Dinkins.

He is the author of  RED FISH ON A FLY (2007), and also the sporting book –The RAIL BIRD HUNTERS BIBLE (2014).

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


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. You may remember Professor Babcock from one of his popular books such as My Health is always better in November, or Jay Birds Go to Hell on Sundays.

Walter Dinkins became widely known as an author throughout the United States from scholarly series of articles about saltwater fly fishing, ecology,  outdoors, history. Perhaps you have read some of his hunting  stories regarding many adventures across our nation or during his years in Africa written under the pseudonym of- JOE GUIDE.

His aunt was that famous Children’s author, and TV Personality- Miss. Peggy Parish- the creator of  the (Amelia Bedelia) children’s book series. His older cousin Herman Parish continues writing that series. His little cousin Stan writes for Vanity Fair and Esquire Magazines. Walter was credited by Peggy, as 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!

Fishing for Redfish is done through poling my skiff, or by wading the saltwater flats during the warmer months- while sight fishing for redfish.

We target Speckled Sea Trout, Reds,  Flounder and offer Rail Bird Flood tide hunts and we hunt backwater Black ducks and way out on some mighty big water, where we set up the big boat blind, put out some strings of decoys, and gun diving ducks normally in late December and throughout the month of January. The winder the day is…makes it much better when you are out diver duck hunting.

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.

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.

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 been fly fishing for 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. Perhaps you perfer chasing Speckled Sea Trout? October – December bring cooler weather and big schools of Specks.

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 guides, 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 a wounded warrior fishing or hunting this year.

CDR Walter Dinkins, CHC, USN at FOB-Hadrain Chapel Southern Afghanistan Easter Sunday 2012

CDR Walter Dinkins, CHC, USN at FOB-Hadrain Chapel Southern Afghanistan Easter Sunday 2012 Special Operations Command-SE-AFG