Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /homepages/2/d180405319/htdocs/wsb4163108502/wp-content/themes/woodnfolio/functions/admin-hooks.php on line 157

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


Captain Andrew who along with his Papa, started an enviormental effort – building “racks” along creeks and cuts that were erroding due to boat traffic. His innovative and visonarry methods also sought to restrengthen a struggling low country claming industry near Charleston, S.C., that started before WWII and continues today. This painting shows the 78 year old waterman and former Shrimp boat Captain- hard at work along a “coastal creek bank- Erosion Control Project”.

specks-school-up-in-october-and-novemberNorth Carolina Inshore Fishing: Light Tackle Fishing Year around & Fly Fishing Opportunities Spring-Summer-Fall

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} and be so kind as to do a review via Amazon Books Book Reviews.

Traditional Rail Bird/Marsh Hen Hunting charters are limited to seventy days – two split seasons during months of Sept-Oct-Nov.

Rail Hunt on limit September 2011 with Joe Guide Outfitters

Husband and Wife  had an exceptional September Railbird hunt with Joe Guide


As a saltwater fishing & wing shooting Outfitter– I specialize in chartering fishing and wing shooting trips for the more discriminating sportsman across America.

I represent perhaps the most knowledgeable history of rail-bird hunting across the flyways. The Rail Bird Hunters Bible is  loaded with history and covers all the major flyways.

It is the first such scholarly book on this subject too; so google it, or click on its photo and it should be linked into the publisher, or you could get it via AMAZON BOOKS.COM should you choose to order it. 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 programs.


Marsh Hen (Rail Bird) hunts are during the fall months, and 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 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 don’t stop your ablity to catch em on a fly rod, if you got the right color saltwater fly they want to hammer down.

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, and 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 in December (depending on weather and water temperatures) being conducive. Then it stabilizes during most of  January,  and afterwards the schoolie Striped Bass will start moving once again – during the months of February and March.

For Largemouth Bass fisherman, there is my favorate haunt…especially during December’s spawning seaon kicks off when water tempretures due to the plant warm those water’s up. This a a nice sized lake, with mostly alot of three & four pound bass and we practice catch & release only.   1,135 acre Sutton Lake has some of the “warmest reservoir waters” you will find- outside of tropical Florida, and the water is as clear as a bottle of gin (1.132 acres combine a number of fishing areas and awesome deep holes to fish, as well as some interesting shallow and structure areas too. Listen to my lips…hook up with eight or ten bass down there in a four hour charter, and you’ll sweat it out in these cooler months- fighting a big bass-even when though it might be chilly outside; your heart will be happy…happy…happy. Give your PAPA or best buddy at Christmas or Birthday or Fathers day Special 4 hr Bass Fishing Charter; contact me for those details if you want to put a special smile on your Papa.

On those warmer and less breezy winter days, you might find me sight fishing for pods of redfish, and you would find me  looking for schools of six – twenty-four reds warming in a distant shallow bay or back country creek around the mud and oyster piles, and catching some warmer sunshine.

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.

an average sized red caught in the grass. You looking forward to getting one this spring or summer?

an average sized red caught in the grass. You looking forward to getting one this spring or summer?

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.old man and boy railbird hunt photo

Wing shooters and Duckaholics… you 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. gopr5924

Perhaps you are down around  Charleston, Georgetown, or Myrtle Beach where I grew up in the low country of South Carolina. We still have land down there.  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 for you wing shooters  –The Rail Bird Hunter’s 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“.  He commented on NPR, on the subject of GREAT GUIDES I have known, in regard to Dinkins, he said this, ” I’ve fished with perhaps a hundred of guides in four different states, and I have fished with Dinkins a number of times when he was at the University, and he’s  a mighty awesome personality, and he was just as good, if not better IMO as any of those TV fishing shows, however, as I was a Vietnam Veteran, let me note that Dinkins is the only guide in America that is a Wounded Warrior, and Veteran, and of course, there is no fishing personality quite like- Joe Guide!”




How this 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. 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!


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 Okuma build exceptional 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).

Attention all 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 Fishing, Fly Fishing and Wildfowl Hunting Outfitter” throughout seasons of the year.

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.

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.

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.

Approximately 20% of my fishing clients annually are Saltwater Fly Fishermen.

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.

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 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