Now, We’re Hooked
by Lindsay Gifford
I caught a big fish! And, there is no feeling like it.
My sister-in-law Jessi and I went out for a fun afternoon with Beaufort’s Cast Away Charters crew, and after we cruised through Archer’s Creek into a placid Broad River, put a line in the water and had a near immediate bite... I knew I was hooked!
The Back Reel: The morning arrived and the texts started flying between Jessi and I. “What should I wear? What are you bringing?” All from girls, who in the summer can be ready for the boat in a skinny minute with no question of what to bring. So here’s the scoop: We didn’t need anything! The charter was four hours long, so we weren’t going to starve, plus Mrs. Captain Tim (a.k.a Mare the V.I.P. connoisseur) had a cooler packed with snacks and water. As far as the clothes, something comfortable was perfect.
Oh Captain, My Captain: Jessi and I had the rare pleasure of having both Captain Tim and Captain Joe show us the ropes, so as we began fishing we naturally paired up and the competition was on. The Team J.T. (Jessi and Tim) started off strong with three fish right off the bat, but Team L.J. (Me and Joe…ironically my full name is Lindsay Jo) didn’t let them have all the fun. OK, real talk ... or should I say reel talk? I was nervous about this trip. I haven’t fished much since I was young, and I’m always feeling as if I am going to mess up every fishing rod that comes within a foot of me. Here’s where the Cast Away crew comes to the rescue. They cater to whatever the client needs, which in my case, Joe would cast out to the perfect spot and then guide me through “snatching” and moving the bait around to entice a bite. And more importantly, he did the less desirable stuff like baiting the hook. But, I promise when it came to holding up my fish proudly, my attitude took a 180...what slimy thing? This is awesome!
Jessi has way more fishing experience, and after getting a feel for her reel, Tim began to coach her in casting and where exactly to land it. It was working for them because she was reeling them in quickly! In fact, after Jessi hooked her third fish (off the rod I’d just handed her as we switched spots…jus’ sayin’) in true fisherman’s fashion, I said, “Well, I should probably take a picture with this fish, just in case I don’t catch any myself!” The fishy gods didn’t keep me waiting long after.
Our Fish Tale: Our fishing competition came down to the line as Jessi hooked her sixth fish, and from the bend in the rod, it promised to be a whopper. While they were reeling, I got a hit and controlled-chaos began. I started fighting my fish, which also promised to be sizable, and we both ended up with huge spot tails! So who won? We decided to call it a draw with Team J.T. team pulling in six fish and Team L.J. team with five, but the largest!
Meet the CreW: Captain Tim Deckard (a USCG 50-Ton Master Captain) followed his lifelong passion for the water when he founded Cast Away Charters in 2004. His goal from the beginning was to provide a world-class fishing experience to locals and visitors in the Lowcountry. Together, with his wife Mare Deckard, they started a tradition of excellence in fishing guide services and superior customer care. The crew grew in size and stature as Master Captains Joe Marshall and Zach Shedd came on board. After enjoying a day on the water with Captains Joe and Tim, it’s easy to see how passionate they are about fishing. Captain Joe said it was a blessing for him after he retired from the Marine Corps with several deployments and wounds under his belt. What better way to spend your time than on the water? They captain 24-foot Sport vessels, which allow for performance and maneuverability in the shallow flats, plus a smooth ride.
One thing important to point out is how safe I felt. Although, I am experienced on the water, heading out fishing with a guy I don’t know in a boat, where my only options are to hang out or swim with the fishes, can by intimidating. All three of the captains pride themselves on making their client feel safe and comfortable. And, our crew definitely came with some laughs. They picked up on our personalities quickly, and we soon had some tunes playing, while we were getting to know one another, talking about family and friends and listening to some of their funnier charter stories.
Business PartnerS: Not to be left out are the most important business partners: The fish! In fact, if the fish aren’t biting the captains laugh and say they must have slept in. The Cast Away crew generally practices catch and release, while allowing their anglers to keep a fish or two within the required size limits. While we were out, we had a guest appearance by a friendly dolphin wanting some fish. It swam around the boat, holding it’s head up to entice us to feed her. When we just took a picture, she eventually gave up.
The Five-Star, V.I.P. Experience: I can write all day about how much fun I had on the boat ride, but the experience starts with the crew. They personally answer every phone call and book and customize every charter accordingly. That’s right NO online booking! Their commitment is a five-star experience from beginning to end. For instance, I mentioned it would be Jessi’s birthday, and voila, a fun, wrapped gift in the mail for me to present to her with a certificate for her fishing trip inside. Not only do they email photos to fishing guests but a handwritten thank you note and printed photos with cute sayings about our trip arrived snail mail a few days later. These are the little things that round out an experience and set them apart.
Hook, Line and Sinker: Okay, you’ve read about it... now it’s your turn! Cast Away Charters offers several great near shore and inshore fishing options for anglers—novice to seasoned—and a variety of fun and unique experiences. Here is a sneak peek:
> Large Party Tournament Style Competition: With three captains, they can accommodate large parties (over six) and they fish tournament style with an award certificate and prize for the winning boat. It’s perfect for a family outing or even bachelorette!
> Angler U: Their professional captains come aboard the client’s own vessel, advise them on proper equipment and teach them how to navigate and fish the local waterways.
> You Hook It, We’ll Cook It: Enjoy a charter and then dine on your catch that evening at a local Port Royal restaurant.
> The Ultimate Fishing Adventure: The captains personally prepare and serve guests fresh catch “al fresco” after their charter.
> Moonlight Cruisin’: The signature evening boat ride, which includes a basket of picnic nibbles for two.
> For the Occasion: They even off water taxi service for wedding parties with festooned boat(s).
All options are customizable and personal. If you’re surprising your husband with an outing and you mention he is Clemson fan, they’ll have a Clemson flag flying and Clemson paraphernalia on board. For me, Mare must’ve known we were Lowcountry gals because she had the cooler set for a beautiful picnic, featuring bobber mugs and linen napkins.
So whether you are looking for a great gift for your hubby (think Father’s Day, birthday, Christmas, etc.), a fun and interesting couples-day-out, or a new experience for yourself (my recommendation) call the Cast Away crew and book your own fishing tale.
For the Reel Experience, call today: 843-322-1043!
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