I have had an interest in nature and the outdoors for as long as I can remember….especially anything to do with water and boating.
Living and growing up along the Grand Strand has afforded me ample opportunities to indulge those interests with the array of aquatic environments this area has to offer from freshwater rivers with their brackish lower reaches, to the saltwater, and of course the Atlantic Ocean. The Lord had the stork deliver me to a great place!
The first experiences for me fishing came at a very early age with my dad in a pond off our backyard and from the pier at Cherry Grove Beach. My maternal grandparents introduced me to the salt creek at approximately age five aboard their green and white wooden “Carolina Boat.” I had my first knee deep encounter with pluff mud that day. They say you never forget your first time, soooo true!
Dad preferred the freshwater and he often included me on boat trips to “the river” where we targeted largemouth bass, bream and crappie. It was always a big deal and an adventure for me to go along with him. He must have had the patience of Job because he managed to teach me how to flip a bait with a bream pole and eventually graduate me from a push button spincast reel to a spinning reel without getting hung up in the bushes on every attempt to cast.
Those early days set the hook in me and fishing has been one of my favorite activities ever since.
As I grew older the saltwater became my focus with the broad range of species available to pursue. When possible, when the chance to be on the water arose, on my boat or with friends, I was there.
In the early 1990’s slow trolling live bait for King Mackerel became my technique and target of choice. The tournament bug bit me and by 1997 it had turned into an obsession. By 1999 team “FISH ‘D IN” (as in hook, line and sinker) was competing on the Yamaha Professional Kingfish Tour, traveling to venues along the southeast coast from Morehead City, North Carolina to Key West, Florida and up and across the Gulf Coast of Florida to western Louisiana. Our most successful year was in 2001 when we won the season opening event in Miami Beach, Florida, finished a close second at St. Simons Island, Georgia; placed in the money in five out of seven tour events and ended the year fourth in the standing for team of the year honors.
Having accumulated well over the required amount of hours to qualify, I attended Sea School and received my OUPV Captains License from the U.S. Coast Guard in the spring of 2002.
That same year a return to simply “fun fishing” with my former teammates and friends along with others blending offshore bluewater trips with casual excursions to the more shallow waters in and around the inlets was a refreshing change of pace.
It was during this time that I realized I enjoyed assisting and watching others catch fish as much or more than actually being the one with the bent rod in hand.
After thirty years in the restaurant industry in Myrtle Beach it was time for a change. I started running trips part time in 2009 and since 2010 have dedicated myself to being a professional captain and fishing guide. My experience working with and serving the public has carried over for me, and I am able to spend more one-on-one time with my customers and making new friends while in great surroundings.
I have a daily increasing appreciation for the environment in which I am blessed to go to work. Regardless of the number of hours a day spent on the water, I can’t seem to get enough. This drives me to get back out there to experience and learn more about every aspect of the marsh and nearby waters…especially the FISH!
Capt. Greg Holmes
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