The #1 Fishing Guide Service 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!!!

Record Breaking Fish!

dale141I would like to congratulate my friend Dale Lowe Jr. on this 141 pound blue catfish caught during the Ice Bowl fishing tournament on Kerr Lake!   This fish was just 2 pounds shy of the world record and is the largest fish to ever be weighed on certified scales and RELEASED ALIVE!  Dale was accompanied by his son Chase Lowe and teammate Stephen Faircloth.  The fish was kept alive, largely in part to our very own Austin Sartin.  As the owner of NC Marine Fabrication, Austin had a tank on his boat that he custom built to the specs of the 143 pound world record (caught on Kerr Lake in 2011).  The fish was kept in the tank for about 6 hours total, and was only taken out to be weighed and again to be released.  Much care was taken in the handling of this fish, to ensure that he swam away strong and healthy.  Click here to see a video of the fish being released!  It was very exciting to be a part of this fish tale, and I am glad to be a part of a group of guys who is so adamant about the catch and release of these trophy fish.  I truly believe this is why Kerr Lake continues to spit out record breaking fish, and I hope that we can preserve the fishery for our children and grandchildren to enjoy!


February Report


While charters usually slow down this time of year due to the cold weather, the fishing is still in full swing! Larger predatory fish like blue cats and striped bass prefer cooler water temps as it gives them an edge over forage fish like shad.  So don’t let the weather deter you! Both of our boats have partial enclosures and heaters to help keep you warm.  Or you can just keep an eye on the weather and pick your days like Roddy and Landon (above) did….they enjoyed some T-shirt weather in February!  Tight lines.

Pay it Forward


Cap’t. Redbeard here, reminding you to help somebody if you can!  
It is part of the fisherman’s creed…an unspoken rule.  You always help out a fellow angler in need!  I have certainly been on the other end of this rope and I know how much I appreciated a tow back to the boat ramp.  Besides….all good fisherman know that it pays to have a positive balance in your karma bank! It just might be the edge that helps you land that next world record. 😉

January Report

Me-Bill WardWe welcomed in 2017 with some nice fish!  We saw our first bit of snow in January, but it wasn’t enough precipitation to really budge the lake level.  However, the runoff did create enough current on the upper end to turn the big fish bite on for a couple of days.  Bait remains abundant just about everywhere you look, and with water temps still in the mid to upper 40’s I doubt we will see a big shad kill this year.  We are still catching good numbers of fish drifting in the main lake creeks.  However, most of our bigger fish have came from anchoring on ledges or structure.



It has been a relatively mild & dry December thus far.  The lake level has dropped considerably this month, and as a result a lot of the fish have pushed out into deeper water.  Small baitfish are abundant almost everywhere you look.  I can’t remember a year when I have seen as much bait in the water as this year.  If we don’t have a major cold snap this winter and the shad survive, I think it will be a great growing season for the big cats! Maybe we will even see another record fish come in the next year or two.


October/November Report

img_20161125_175300The last couple of months have been on fire! We’ve had a couple of days where we landed over 30 fish, and citations have been fairly common.  The striper have also been very active since water temps have dropped into the 50’s and 60’s.  Our fish have been caught predominantly drifting, but the anchor bite has proven more effective on some days. Hope you enjoy the pics!


New Team Member!

IMG_20160228_214738I am proud to add another licensed guide to the Redbeard roster!  Austin Sartin has been fishing the lake for many years now, and he has taught me much of what I know about catfishing.  He is a well-known and respected member of the Kerr Lake catfish community, and he is the owner of NC Marine Fabrication.  By adding Austin to the team, we will now be able to accommodate more dates and larger parties.  I’m very much looking to the year ahead. Welcome to the team Austin!

September Report


September is the month when the summer heat finally starts dwindling down.  I respond to the cooler temperatures with a sigh of relief, as do the fish.  Huge schools of tiny bait fish begin gathering on the main lake, making their presence known with a subtle flick of the tail.  The top water striper bite can be excellent early in the morning or late in the evening this time of year.  The catfish also welcome the cooler weather and the abundance of food.  Night fishing is great this time of year, and slip bobbers prove to be effective during the day.  Below are just a few of the fish we caught this September!



20160807_091546I’d like to send out a big congrats to Mrs. Redbeard on a new personal best of 88 pounds!!! This was the catch of a lifetime, and she caught it fishing with our very own Austin Sartin! I was out nearby with some customers, so we were able to assist with weighing and releasing the fish.  Definitely a day I will never forget!

August Report


Late July-August marks the end of the spawning period for most catfish, and it is the beginning of an exciting time of year for cat fisherman…the post spawn period! This is a time of year when fish are looking to replace the calories that they lost during the spawn.  This translates to fish being less picky and more susceptible to being caught, as almost everything is on the menu this time of year!  Mussels seem to be the go to food for the blue cats, while the flatheads take advantage of the bluegill spawn to fill their bellies.  Perch are also schooled thick this time of year, and the cats can usually be found hanging nearby. I hope you enjoy these pics from our August trips!