your guide - cap't jeff james

I am a native of Gloucester, Va., where I grew up on the water and in the woods, fishing, hunting and playing ball. I got my first boat on my 8th birthday and from that moment on I decided that I would be a fisherman. Once I finished Gloucester High School, I attended Randolph Macon College, where I played baseball, met my wife and graduated with a degree in Business/Economics and a minor in Art and Religion. After Macon, I made the difficult decision to leave my family’s business and moved to Nags Head, NC with the determination to try to find my place among the legendary Oregon Inlet offshore charter fleet. With a lot of help and direction, I got my start, and from the summer of 1989 until 2012, I made my living charter and tournament fishing. I got to fish from the Hudson Canyon to Charleston SC, throughout the Bahamas, the Florida Keys, up and down the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and Costa Rica. I spent 7 of these years in the cockpit with some of the best captains in the industry and later operated my own offshore charter business, Reel Deal Charters, out of Oregon Inlet for nearly 15 years. I put a lot of people on a lot of fish and also made a good showing in numerous billfish tournaments up and down the coast. We were even lucky enough to win a handful. During the course of this nearly 30 year roller coaster ride, my wife Jennifer and I have been blessed with 3 lovely children; Emili, Ashlen and Brady.

How We are Different

I look at each fishing trip as an opportunity to build a new relationship or to strengthen an existing one. My philosophy as far as the charter business goes is to build a long term, return-based clientele, who feel comfortable with me and on my boat. Many of my clients over the years have become good friends and this familiarity makes for a really smooth and enjoyable day on the water.
The foundation of this idea is based on effort…Seen and unseen…Preseason scouting and marking bottom, watching the weather and water conditions, noting the changes and trends, finding bait, fishing different areas, boat maintenance, plenty of rigging, early morning and late night bait missions, keeping up with the other guides around that I respect… If you do it right, it is a life of constant motion…
I realize that a lot of you have saved all year to come to the beach and to enjoy yourself, eating out and living it up. A fishing trip is often a part of that plan and when you go on the Reel Deal, you will always get that effort. I like to start early and will stay later if necessary to feel like we have given it our best shot. When we return to the dock, I clean and bag your fish. We talk and hang out and laugh…I never like to feel rushed. I only book one trip a day for that reason. It is your day.

If you have ever had the misfortune of going on one of these ding-dong, ‘bus-ride’, sound fishing trips, then you will understand the difference immediately. If you come to the Outer Banks to fish, then you need a guide who is a fisherman and who takes pride in the experience they offer… Give us the opportunity to get to know you and to show you the difference. See how much fun and how productive it can be. Book one trip and I’ll bet you’ll become part of the family that calls ReelDealOBX their guide to a good time on the Outer Banks. Hope to see you soon……………JJ