Capt. Joel LeVine has watched the tides come in and out on the Charleston coast for decades. He has in many ways grown up with the water– living on boats in the harbors, scheduling college classes around fishing and, of course, chasing after the many species the water holds. He has a special bond to this area, from a long running family history to his current conservation efforts to ensure his kids get the same– if not better– fishery that he has. Capt. Joel built RedFin Charters to not only put people on fish, but also to give people an experience they’d never forget while instilling a sense of appreciation and respect for the ecosystem. He is an inshore light tackle master and a gracious guide and teacher. Capt. Joel also not only practices catch and release at RedFin, but one of his goals is to put more fish in the water each year. Years ago a coldsnap ripped through the area, leaving in its wake scores of dead fish. The spotted seatrout were the main victims. Capt. Joel knew something needed to be done to help the fishery, so he founded Project ReSpeck. They were able to raise tens of thousands of dollars to donate to the Waddell Mariculture Center for a new specialized spawning tank that could produce 700,000 speckled trout a year. No matter your experience level or background, fishing with Capt. Joel– or any of the outstanding guides he has hired– guarantees you will walk away with much more than you came with. Be it a new skill set, refined existing skills, a new outlook on conservation, a new passion, or cherished memories.
Capt. Erven Roper describes his perfect fishing day as something like this: The water is slick calm, like glass, reflecting the glowing pink and gold sunrise over Bulls Bay. Your skiff skips across the low incoming tide until it slows to a stop. Your guide climbs onto the poling platform and in the growing light you see the faintest black dot– a tailing redfish–exactly what you came for. Capt. Erven has fished this area for nearly a decade, casting his flies into the estuary’s grassy flats in search of reds, speckled trout, drum, and other game fish. He grew up in Easly, SC where he learned to fish on the area’s lakes and ponds. He attended the College of Charleston, which is what originally brought him to the area. When he wasn’t in class or on the baseball diamond, he spent his free time exploring the waters around Charleston. After graduation, he played for the Angels before coming back to Charleston and starting at RedFin. He is following closely in the footsteps of his idol Flip Pallot and also works on boats when he isn’t at RedFin. For Capt. Erven, fishing is all about the experience. It doesn’t matter if it is your first redfish or your hundredth, he will put in the work to make sure you have a memorable experience. His level headed demeanor and patient guiding style is perfect for anglers of all abilities hoping to sight fish to tailing fish.
When Captain Justin Carter was young he asked his mom, “Do people get to live on vacation?” He was referring to the Outer Banks, where his family was vacationing. She replied, that yes people do get to live and work where other people take vacations. The idea of living a life that most people dream of stuck with him. A few years and a couple hundred fish later, Capt. Justin found himself at the College of Charleston. The decision wasn’t necessarily based entirely on academics– the fishing around Charleston was just too good.
Capt. Justin made the waters around Charleston his home. He fell in love with the fishery, the laid back lifestyle, the great people, and the incredible nature that surrounds Charleston. He first fished the area by kayak which forced him to slow down and really be in the moment more. He would work all day through areas that most anglers from motorized boats would only fish for half an hour. He was able to observe the ecosystem better this way as well and learned the subtleties of the ecosystem. He eventually started competing in kayak tournaments and worked his way to becoming one of the best kayak anglers in the country.
He started guiding charters as a way to share his passion and knowledge with others. He loves taking people out and providing safe and fun charters full of memories that they will cherish forever. His commitments to the fishery and to the sport are contagious– you’ll no doubt leave feeling like you just took a master class in ecology and saltwater fishing.
Wilson Hanna For twenty years Captain Wilson Hanna has been putting people on fish all around the Charleston area. To put it simply, he just down right loves fishing. Every aspect of fishing is a cherished moment for Capt. Wilson. No matter your skill level, he works hard to make your fishing trip a lifelong memory. From teaching total beginners the ins and outs of fishing Charleston’s waterways to helping people conquer their fears by catching sharks, Capt. Wilson has a patient demeanor and plenty of knowledge to share. His truest passion is fishing with children. Capt. Wilson loves taking kids out and instilling in them a love for fishing. He wants to pass on not only good technique, but respect and a passion for conservation as well. He believes that fishery is only getting better thanks to conservation efforts and wants it to be the healthiest and best fishery possible for younger generations. Starting at his grandparents pond as a small child to now being a USGS 100 Ton Master Captain, he has made a home for himself on the water. His father has a shrimp boat and his mother loved the water and they made sure to raise her children with that same love and respect, something Capt. Wilson now passes on to his three young children.
Austin Daniel Hailing from the small Georgia town of Waynesboro, Austin Daniel first held a fishing rod when he was two years old. His parents spared no time getting young Austin out on the boat to fish local ponds. When he was in middle school he started tournament fishing with his dad, which helped him quickly hone in on his skills. Striped bass were his species of choice, but it did not take him long to fall in love with redfish. He attended Charleston South University and started a fishing charter company with his dad after college. If you ask him what his favorite part of fishing in Charleston is, he will tell you all about chasing big bull red fish in the grass or the variety of species you can catch in the local waters. His teaching background helps him relay technique to his clients. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced angler, being on Captain Austin’s boat you know you will walk away with new knowledge and experiences to take home. Captain Austin understands the importance of sustainability and what it means to maintain a healthy fishery. As he sums it up as, “a hell of a fishery” and he does his part to ensure that it stays that way. He encourages his guests to take the catch and release principles, as well as a sustainability mindset, with them to their homewaters.
Ask Capt. Pat Person what his favorite fish is, and with a big smile he will say, “Tarpon. They control me.” Tarpon haunt many angler’s dreams and many may not realize that the silver kings make their way all the way up to the Charleston area. For Capt. Pat, the estuaries and rivers around Charleston are paradise. The ever changing conditions of the fishery keep him on toes– there are hardly any other places where you can catch a hundred pound tarpon in the same water you usually fish for reds in. Capt. Pat was five or six when his dad first put a fly rod in his hand. Young Pat would accompany his dad on fishing trips on his native Pennsylvania trout streams. Growing up, he was lucky enough to travel around the country and fish in different destinations, exposing him to different species, techniques, and guides. Having so much exposure to great guides across the US, Pat decided that he wanted to become one. On top of his six years guiding saltwater, he also guided a few years in Colorado. After his westward spell he came back to the east coast in search of a fishy home. Having vacationed in Charleston as a kid and having family friends in the area, he decided on Charleston. Charleston has proved to be a perfect home for Capt. Pat and his family– the fishing season never ends and the area has an abundance of hungry fish. If the conditions aren’t right for fishing (which is rare) you can find him spending time with his family, golfing, or grabbing a bite at the Seewee.
Caleb Andews Henry David Thoreau once wrote “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." If you ask Captain Caleb Andrews what he thinks people are really after he will say “What they are fishing for more so than anything is a good story.” Charleston makes a perfect setting for any angling tale, and what better character to have in your story than a guide who has been fly fishing since he was 8? Caleb discovered fly fishing in his childhood home in the countryside of Charlottesville, Virginia. His dad handed him a fly rod and he never looked back. For his Eagle Scout project he worked at a fly fishing camp for people with disabilities. He went to school at the University of Tennessee where he studied engineering. After graduation, an engineering job brought him to Charleston. He bought a skiff and started exploring the waters...the rest is history. He now takes clients of all ability levels out to chase the many species around Charleston. Caleb’s engineering mind is fascinated with the dynamic tides in the area. He looks at the challenging water as an optimal test of abilities, both for guiding or angling. He likes to check in with his clients every morning and find out what their goals for the day are. His goal is always to help the clients meet theirs while showing off the fishery...and giving them a good story to take home.