Family Fishing: Making memories on Beaufort's waterways

By Owen Plair |  Family activities are very important part of everyday life for people all over the world, and many families choose to hold these events in the great outdoors. Whether it’s a family vacation in the mountains, a trip to the beach or even to another country, spending time with your family is very important. One of the most favored activities to most families is fishing and as a guide, I always enjoy having family members on the boat. The bonding experience while fishing with family is absolutely awesome, and one of the best ways to create memories.

Being on a flats boat here in the marshlands of the Lowcountry is one of the best ways to get away from “reality” and simply enjoy what Mother Nature has given us. Leaving the dock at 6am with my customers still half asleep is one of my favorite things about fishing this time of year because when the sun rises above the tall oak trees their eyes open wide, getting them ready to fish. Younger kids and eager teenagers are some of my favorite people to watch on the ride out on the boat simply because of the all the excitement they have as we cut through some of Beaufort’s shallow creeks. Then you have the average businessman who doesn’t show his excitement until hes holding his first red on the fly for the day, which always brings the excitement out of ’em.

Whenever I get a father with his sons or daughters, it always brings a smile to my face as I remember memories of fishing with my dad growing up. It amazes me how one single day of fishing can bring so many great memories for a family, which in turn, brings memories for me as a guide. Whether its a huge cobia, tons of reds, or even the “one that got away”, memories are created all the time when on the water, just fishing.

The best part about our fishery here in Beaufort is that its all inshore. Being able to fish within feet of land is great for anyone who hasn’t spent a lot of time on the water. Getting in a boat can be a very daunting task for some people that feel uncomfortable around the water, but I promise that here in the Beaufort you will be more than comfortable the whole time we are out on the boat.  Fishing a lot of back creeks, flats, bays, and grass lines is how we target fish. In all of those areas we are rarely in more than 6 feet of water, so the comfort zone for most people is almost like standing on land.

Fishing with your wife or girlfriend is something I recommend for anyone who hasn’t done it yet. Most ladies choose not to fish with their husbands, but I find that when they do the ladies seem to catch more fish! Fishing doesn’t mean having to hold a “slimy, smelly fish”, but more of enjoying the catch of a fish to remember with that special person in your life. I find most ladies have a certain view of fishing, and my favorite thing of all time is showing them that its not as bad as it looks, and afterwards getting those magical 3 words; “I had fun.”

As a guide, I always bait hooks, hold the fish, and take care of most things ladies dislike about fishing, so remember that next time you want to get your husband a fun present. Also, with small children its great to have a guide and someone to take care of the all the harder points and any dangerous parts of fishing. The key is to always be safe around hooks, and making sure that the boat is in order to be able to cast and retrieve fish without having to worry about hooking your family member in the back of the head!

Its not always the fish that make memories on the water, but simply the time spent together while you’re out there. Talking about old memories, new memories, and things that most families simply just don’t have the time to talk about. It seems that being on the water always brings the happy side out of people and that catching fish while your at it is always a plus. You also get to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Lowcountry, dolphins swimming, birds diving, and getting a nice sun tan while your at it.

The water is a place where all family’s can enjoy a day of bonding and making memories that last a life time. As a fishing guide here in Beaufort, it’s what I do, and it’s one of the best parts about my job. Learning and experiencing the water and fishery in first hand is something I recommend to every family here in Beaufort.


Capt. Owen Plair was born and raised on the waters of Beaufort, SC and at the age of 18 was able to turn his passion for fishing into a career. A premiere local fishing guide and an Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing guide for Bay Street Outfitters, you can join Capt. Owen Plair for the Light Tackle or Fly fishing trip of a lifetime. Visit Capt. Owen’s website for more information at