The #1 Catfish Guide on Kerr Lake!image


Redbeard Cats is a fishing guide service for John H. Kerr Reservoir, which lies on the NC/VA border.  We specialize in catching catfish, but we also offer trips targeting striped bass and white perch during certain times of the year.  This guide service is owned and operated by Wes “Redbeard” Jordan, a fully licensed and insured guide.  Scroll down to see the most recent fishing reports.  For more info, including rates and booking info, please use the menu at the top of the page or contact us.  We hope you find this page helpful and look forward to fishing with you soon!!!

May fishing

20160513_173236The fishing has been downright hot these last few weeks! Several heavy downpours in early May brought the lake up well above full pool. This resulted in flooding, lots of debris in the water, and the closing of many boat ramps/ campgrounds. But the fish didn’t seem to mind at all! In fact, some of my best days this May were right after a heavy rain. We have seen a decent number of flatheads this month as the water temps are creeping into the 70’s. And blues in the 15-30 pound class have been abundant, however we’ve had a few bigger ones as well. The striper have also been quite active as they make their way back down the rivers and into the lake. Bucktails and Rat-L-Traps have produced good numbers of these fish, while live bait seems to tempt the larger fish. Right now I have bookings as far out as July, but there are still a few days left here and there! So give me a call and get out there while the fishing is still in it’s prime 🙂 Tight lines.


April Report

Congrats to Don, who drives all the way down from Ohio every year to fish for big crappie and catfish at Kerr Lake!

Fishing has really been picking up lately! With the warmer weather water temps have risen into the 60’s and alot of fish have pushed into the shallows making them easier to catch. There are still a lot of stripers in the rivers and we boated our first flathead of the season as well (pic below). With May right around the corner, spring fishing is almost at it’s prime! I still have a few April dates available, so don’t miss out on the action! I’m also starting to book night trips for May. If you’ve never been out there at night, you don’t know what you’re missing out on! Below are a few pics from our recent trips.


Spring Fling!

March might just be the best month to catch a citation blue catfish…and if you don’t believe me, check out some of the pictures below! I still have some dates left for April and May, but they’re filling up fast. Book today and make sure you don’t miss out on this spring action! 🙂

February Report


We are getting February started right! Water temps are still in the 40’s in most places, and the anchor bite has been pretty consistent. Above is Richard Jenkins of Durham, NC with a nice blue cat caught anchored in 50 feet of water. I still have a few dates available in February and March, but the spring is booking up quick. Book today to make sure you don’t miss out on the action!


January recap

January has been a great month for fishing! Winter storm Jonas came through and dropped water temps into the low 40’s. This is good because it concentrates baitfish in deeper water and makes the catfish a little more predictable. We have had some good number days drifting, but have caught most of our bigger fish anchored up. Striper are still active in the deeper creeks where bait is abundant. Here are a few pics from my most recent outings!

IceBowl 2016

Despite the winter storms which are projected to bring a foot of snow to some parts of Virginia over the weekend, the IceBowl is still on track for Saturday, January 23rd! Hopefully the weather man will be wrong and things won’t be so bad, but regardless team Redbeard will be out there bright and early representing NC! Good luck to all those who fish. Stay warm and stay safe!!!

IceBowl Ready
A citation blue catfish from January

January Report

Ethan and his father Glenn of Durham, NC, on a birthday trip! Great day on the water with these guys :)

The new year has finally brought with it winter! Well….sort of. Despite some freezing nights and a few blustery days, the water temps are still higher than normal for this time of year. The fish don’t seem to mind though. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I have seen larger concentrations of shad this year than I ever have before. Why is this?
Well for one thing, we got a ton of rain last month. The rain washes vital nutrients such as iron, nitrogen, and phosphorus into the lake. These nutrients are essential for the survival of phytoplankton, microscopic organisms that live in the upper part of the water column. But why do we care about phytoplankton? Well if you dig out your old biology textbook, you will remember the good old food chain. Phytoplankton are the bottom of the food chain, which means that they are vital to the rest of organisms higher up on the chain. Shad rely on phytoplankton as their primary food source, so more plankton means more shad. And more shad means more catfish! Another reason we are seeing such a large number of shad this year, is that water temps have remained mild. During a harsh winter, it is not uncommon to experience what is know as a shad kill. Smaller shad are not tolerant of extremely low temperatures, and after a hard freeze you can usually see them washed up on the banks by the thousands. Unless we have a brutally cold February, I seriously doubt we will see a shad kill this year. That is promising for the future, as shad make up the primary forage of most other fish in the lake. Now that we’ve talked science, let’s get to the fun stuff! Here are some pics of our January catfish so far…..

December report

5 fish hookup! 4 cats and 1 striper
5 fish hookup! 4 cats and 1 striper

This December has been an unusual one to say the least. For starters, it has been one of the warmest on record in the southeast. This translated to water temps which were much higher than normal for this time of year. Secondly, it was the wettest December I’ve seen since I’ve been fishing the lake. Kerr Lake suffered widespread flooding in mid December, as the Dan and Staunton rivers flowed out of their banks. This resulted in the temporary closure of many boat ramps on the lake. At least three bridges I know of were flooded as well, resulting in road closures. The state parks were forced to close all the campgrounds, as the Army Corp of Engineers did their best to manage the water without flooding all of the lakes downstream. The strong currents in the rivers also washed tons of trees and debris into the lake, making it difficult to fish and dangerous to boat. At a time when we normally see the lake at it’s lowest levels of the year, we’ve seen the opposite. So how did this affect the fish? It pushed them into the larger creeks and secondary creeks, where the water was less muddy and the current wasn’t so strong. The warm temps also kept the fish shallow through December, with most of our fish being caught in less than 15 feet of water. It is an unusual pattern for this time of year, but we were able to figure it out and stay on the fish. I had two December trips where we put over 20 fish in the boat! Not bad for this time of year. We’ve also been putting quite a few striper in the boat, as they seem to be in the same creeks as the cats. All in all, it’s been a strange December weather wise, but we were open to trying different things until we found what worked. Check out the double hookups in this video! 🙂


This has got to be my favorite time of year to be on the water. The weather is great, the scenery is beautiful, and the fishing is on fire! Congrats to Brett Meager (Creedmoor, NC) who caught her new PB yesterday. This behemoth blue cat was caught drifting a piece of cutbait in 35-40 feet of water. Call me for your chance to catch one of these monsters! Click here for more pictures and a video of the release 🙂