The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Tight Lines

September 28, 2012

Fishing community is a concerned group of people

TARBORO — My experience in 50 years of fishing is that anglers are some of the most generous, giving, thoughtful people I know. I have watched them numerous times while out fishing share tackle, equipment, bait, advice, and knowledge. In a lot of circumstances this “help” was extended to complete strangers. Why? That might be hard for me to explain, but to put it in simple layman terms, fishing breeds a benevolent brotherhood and sisterhood. Typically, it transcends all social and political barriers. Our collective fishing goals and ideals are simple. We all want to cast a line and catch a fish. Those in pursuit of elusive fish, with hook and line, have an unspoken bond and connection, somewhat like a close family enjoys.

The Carteret County fishing community recently learned that one of its own was battling cancer. Captain Charlie Brown of Old Core Sound Guide Service has been diagnosed with small cell cancer. Don’t be fooled by the word “small.” There is nothing “small” about it. It is a very aggressive, life threatening form of cancer that needs to be taken very seriously. Radiation and chemo treatments are part of his treatment process.

I don’t know Charlie Brown personally, but people I know and respect, speak very highly of him, and that is good enough for me. Those that know him all describe him as a hard worker, and an enthusiastic, colorful fishing guide. The kind of charter captain that works very hard on the water to insure his party has an enjoyable, memorable fishing outing. I’m told Captain Brown’s booming voice in that Harker’s Island brogue will get your rapt attention rather quickly.

As you might expect, Charlie Brown is the type of man that wouldn’t ask for the time of day from a clock, but that hasn’t stopped his friends and associates from organizing fund raising events for his benefit. The expense of treatment, travel, and loss of income are taking their financial toll on the Brown family.

As a former commercial fisherman and recent fishing guide, he has always been a big supporter of the NC chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association. Appropriately, this years CCA Inside & Out Tournament, scheduled for October 13th out of Morehead City, will dedicate all proceeds to benefit Captain Charlie Brown.

This interesting tournament has divisions for red drum, speckled trout, flounder, king mackerel, and false albacore. With that cast of characters, it’s not hard to figure out where they came up with the name: Inside & Out Tournament. Entry fee is $150 per boat if you sign-up before October 5th, and $200 after. If you need more info, check-out the CCA web site at

Gary Hurley, publisher of Fisherman’s Post, Carolina’s saltwater newspaper, was the first to clue me in about Captain Brown. Since, I have heard from several others about different projects and fundraisers to help Charlie Brown. If you want to help, the Crystal Coast area has many opportunities and options for you to do so.

Attitude is very important in these situations, and I hear that Charlie Brown has a wonderful, upbeat outlook. When Gary Hurley called to express his concern, Charlie was quick to say, “We still have lots of fishing left to do together.” I like his style. He sounds like my kind of guy.

This attention for one of its own is inspiring, but not surprising to me. Something about fishing and being out there on the water, communing with nature, tugs at the heartstrings. Fisher persons are good people, and this outpouring of love, and concern for Captain Charlie Brown is just one more example of the quality people that make up our Eastern NC fishing community.

Care to share? Tight Lines welcomes your fish snaps, tall tales, and outrageous lies at

See you on the water, my friend!

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