Captain J.R. Waits, a Charleston native and licensed captain, will be your guide to an exciting day on the water. Whether you are a first time fisherman or a world record holder, your captain will cater the charter to fulfill all of your expectations. Captain Waits has been guiding since 1996, and has been featured in Sport Fishing Magazine, Saltwater Sportsman, In-Fisherman Magazine, South Carolina Game and Fish, South Carolina Sportsman, North Carolina Sportsman, plus many more, and he also has been featured on In-Fisherman Television, Dodge Everyday Sportsman, Shallow Water Angler Television, Familiar Waters, Big Water Adventures plus other TV shows as well.
Captain J.R. Waits (me!) will be your guide for an exciting day on the water. I am a U.S.C.G approved captain that started guiding in the Charleston area in 1996. I grew up on the waters surrounding Charleston, and fishing with my father are some of my first memories. I graduated with a degree in Geology from the College of Charleston in 1993 when I decided to pursue my education further by enrolling in Graduate School at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. I thought that I wanted to go on to get my doctorate and teach at the college level.
I started teaching in graduate school, but soon found it was not my cup of tea. The most important thing I learned in North Carolina was that I wanted to spend the rest of my life in Charleston. There is nothing wrong with Chapel Hill except that there is no ocean. I never appreciated my hometown until I moved away. I got my Master's of Science Degree from UNC in 1996 and immediately moved home. I really was not even thinking about getting into the guide business, but just having fun. One day my mother said, "You're 26 years old and it's about time that you move out.
Why don't you get a Captain's License and get people to pay you to take them fishing?" It was awful nice to wake up every morning, walk down to the boat, go fishing, and then come home to Mama's supper on the table, but she had a point. My father warned me to be careful and not ruin my hobby, but come to find out, I enjoy helping and watching others catch fish as much or more than catching them myself. So in 1996 I got my Captain's License, and I've loved it every since. I am currently living with my wife Pilar, daughter Greta, and son Guerin just down the dirt road from my parent's house on the Wando River. There is a picture of all of us below.
I have gained much recognition in the fishing community since I started guiding. I am on the Pro-Staff Fishing team for Action Craft Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Minn Kota Trolling Motors, Humminbird Electronics, Bob's Machine Shop, Pure Fishing - Penn Tackle, Abu Garcia, All Star Rods, Shakespeare Tackle, Pflueger, Berkley Tackle, Fenwick Rods, Stren, Spidarwire, and Precision Tackle plus I'm a guide team member for, G. Loomis, Ross Reels, and Tibor Reels. I have also been featured in many magazines including SportFishing, Saltwater Sportsman, In-Fisherman, Saltwater Fly Fishing, South Carolina Game and Fish, North Carolina Game and Fish, North Carolina Sportsman, South Carolina Sportsman, Women's Health, etc.
I have been featured on several television shows on The Outdoor Channel, Outdoor Life Network, ESPN, FOX Sports South, TNN, Turner South, and others. I have been featured on In-Fisherman Televsion, The Dodge Everyday Sportsman, Outdoor Sportsman Televsion, Off the Menu, Inshore Fishing with Mike Dias, Shallow Water Angler, Familiar Waters, and Big Water Adventures. I have also been a feature speaker for both Saltwater Sportsman's National Seminar Series and SportFishing's Learn from the Experts Series.
I have been recognized by South Carolina Marine Resources many times over the past years. I used to tag alot of fish for the SCDNR, but don't do it much anymore because they have a good handle on what the fish are doing now. I had a goal to tag over 1000 fish in a year because no one in South Carolina had ever done it before. I wasn't counting but when SCDNR sent my Master Angler Certificate for 1999, I had tagged 1007 fish! I was also awarded the Most Interesting Catch of 2001 when we caught the same 100+ pound tarpon that some of my clients had tagged the previous summer. We caught the fish in the exact same spot just a few days over one year later!
Makes one think that the tarpon visit the same inlets every year! I was also awarded The Ecology Certificate from the Charleston Trident Fishing Tournament in 1997 for my tag and release efforts. My brother-in-law, and I won the Tarpon Tournament for two consecutive years in 2002 and 2003. We also got a very close second place in the 1999 tournament. In 2004, I had some good clients, Hylan and Brad, get 4th place overall and 2nd biggest fish in The Redfish Tour Tournament in Charleston. Other than those few, I have not fished any more tournaments in the last few years. The problem with these new large redfish tournaments is that you have to leave your family for weeks at a time, and I am just not willing to do that. We did win the 2009 IFA Charleston Redfish Tournament though. My partner Hylan Furniss kept the Ranger flats boat that we won.
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