The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

February 10, 2012

Josh Abrams, a man with a fishing future

Rick Goines

TARBORO — Meet Josh Abrams. He is a 24-year old local Tarboro boy that has very ambitious fishing plans for the future. Born and raised in Edgecombe County, Josh’s playground as a young’n was the Tar River. As a young boy, he was easy to find. Just look for water that held fish, and Josh was most likely near by.

Dagwood Abrams, local well-known craftsman carpenter, respected fisherman, and recent bait shop entrepreneur, is Josh’s Granddad, so the fishing bloodlines are definitely in place. Josh remembers some enjoyable times fishing Edgecombe County ponds with Dagwood. He recalls that a pond caught Largemouth Bass was probably his first freshwater fish, and a dish plate sized flounder got his first ever honors in saltwater.

Josh got my rapt attention early on when we started communicating and he spoke passionately about his affection for the Tar River. He said, “I love this river, and fish it like I am going to die tomorrow.” My kind of man! Josh knows the Tar River well, and approaches his angling seriously and scientifically.

Fly fishing is Josh’s favorite method of angling. He caught the fly fishing fever on an outing with Captain Rob Ottleid with Osprey Fishing Charters out of Flagler Beach, Florida. Josh said they targeted snook and trout on top water flies in the morning, and chased redfish (drum) in the flats later in the day. He’s been a devoted fly-guy ever since.

Josh enjoys fishing the Tar River pretty much year round, targeting different species different times of the year. If it swims in the Tar River, Josh has most likely caught it. Asked his favorite fish to catch, without hesitation he says carp. Interesting choice because carp are not usually on most peoples favorite fish list. Josh has the utmost respect for carp, and their intelligence.

Professionalism is important to Josh. The title that suits him best is professional fisherman. He is currently a licensed guide in NC. This spring he will receive his U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s license. It is his desire to take his fly-fishing to the highest level and become a Certified Master Casting Instructor. Josh is proud to be sponsored by Sage Fly Rods, Rio Fly Lines, and Simms Waders. Competition in the Southeast National Fly Fishing Championship is on his February schedule, too, as he is interested in seeing how his skills compare against others. I like that enthusiasm and spirit. It will serve him well in the future.

Catch and release is his mantra, because Josh simply does not want to kill the fish he catches. You certainly have to respect and admire that kind of attitude. We would all be better off if more anglers thought that way and practiced more of an ecology-friendly catch and release.

Alaska is beckoning young Josh. He is contracted to work at Kenai River Drifters Lodge this spring and summer. He will handle rafting trips in May, and start guiding fishing trips for Steelhead Salmon, Rainbow Trout, and Arctic Grayling in June. How cool is that? I am getting charged-up, juiced, and excited just writing about it. Lucky duck, Josh gets to live it. What a job! And he gets paid to do this!

Want to know how you can corral all that youthful exuberance, and put that fishing knowledge and expertise to work for you? Josh will guide you in his 16-foot G3 boat for a half or full day of fishing on the Tar River. His rates are very reasonable, and he has some dates available, before he heads to fishing nirvana in Alaska this spring.

Josh also has another unique skill you might want to investigate. Josh gives very affordable fly-casting lessons, on or off the water. What fisherperson wouldn’t like to have that skill? Casting lessons could be an ideal Valentine’s Day gift for him or her.

Sure beats a box of chocolates. He did a little casting demo for me at the shad hole on River Road, and one for wifey in our driveway, and we were duly impressed. This young man knows his business, no doubt.

Want to join Josh, here on the Tar, or in Alaska, for the fishing experience of a lifetime? Contact Josh on his cell phone at 252-458-3127. His home number is 252-823-2360, or you can e-mail him at

Tight Lines is so impressed by Josh. He is the real deal. He is a knowledgeable, conscientious young fisherman that I firmly believe will make his positive mark on

the fishing world in the future. If this kid (everybody under 40 is a kid to me) was incorporated, and trading on the NYSE, I would be buying his stock. This young angler has WINNER written all over him. I am so excited about his bright future. It is going to be a pleasure to watch this youngster climb the ladder of success in the fishing world.

We will be able to say we knew Josh Abrams when….

Hotspot of the Week – I hope by the time you read this, the shad bite will start to show some consistency. It’s been a few here and there so far. I want shadness, not shadless!

Of course, the best is yet to come.

Rick’s Soapbox – You still have time to take advantage of the upcoming Fisherman’s Post Saltwater Fishing Schools, but you better hurry. The Wilmington School is this Saturday, and the Morehead City School is scheduled for Saturday, February 25th. For more information, call (910) 452-6378, or go online at I hear very good things about these schools, and encourage your participation.

Catching fish? Tell us about it. Better yet, send us a picture with all the details. We love to hear from you at

See you on the water, my friend!