I had my good college friend, Rob Simmons, and his dad, Spike, from Beaufort SC on the boat Monday and Tuesday afternoon and my old college roommate Matt Vaughan joined them on Monday.  Matt and I have plenty of good stories from those days.  The Simmons boys kill plenty of turkeys and catch plenty of fish in the lowcountry but only in Halifax County in April can they kill a gobbler in the morning and catch 50 stripers in the afternoon.  These guys are real anglers and are used to catching specs, “spottails”, and tarpon regularly at home, but they don’t get much action on the stripers down that way.  The pressure was on, and like any other charter, I really wanted to perform.  We got really lucky and stumbled onto a great topwater and artificial bite both days.  We caught 20-23 inch fish pretty steadily on topwater on a storm chug bug and on 3/8 jig heads with a Z-Man MinnowZ and SwimmerZ.  Pearl, Pearl/Blue Glimmer, and Blueback Herring were the hot colors.  Spike sat up on the bow and fished hard all day.  He wasn’t there to mess around……….and after all, the man who makes the most casts usually catches the most fish!  My personal favorite was the aggressive topwater action.  I’ve tweaked the single barbless hook on the plugs to maximize our hookup ratio and we really weren’t missing many bites.  Between the two trips, we caught close to 100.  RED HOT ACTION!  Did I also mention that we caught 2 tagged fish on Mon. afternoon (one was a $100 red tag with a transmitter embedded in its belly) and 4 tagged fish on Tuesday.  When Rob looked at me after the first day and said he caught more stripers in this one trip than he had ever caught combined previously in his life, it brought a huge smile to my face and a sense of satisfaction and a high that makes guiding the best job in the world!

A Roanoke River cast and blast grand slam!

Red Tagged Striper

Rob with a slot fish

Me with a slot fish


Me (left), Mr. Striper (center), Rob (right)

Vaughany with one of many