Fishing for Fatherhood

Fishing for Fatherhood

Sit down and talk with almost any angler about how they first struck an interest in fishing and you’ll likely hear stories of childhood experiences with a parent, grandparent, sibling or family friend. For many anglers, the early seeds of a lifelong passion start simply - with a father figure, a rod and a body of water.

This tradition is certainly true for Capt. John Irwin of Fly Right Charters who first started fishing with his parents as a young boy in North Carolina. Now specializing in both fly and conventional fishing ranging from the inshore flats along Charleston, South Carolina’s Lowcountry to the state’s bluewater bite, Capt. Irwin is a nationally recognized professional guide known for his good-natured sense of humor, extreme patience and family-first attitude.

Irwin and his wife Caroline, an exceptional angler as well, have never shied away from immersing their two children, 7-year-old Izzy and 3-year-old Johnny, in their outdoor lifestyle. They live together on a farm, complete with horses, plenty of dirt and a healthy bass pond.

“From the time Izzy and Johnny were babies, we have had them on the water and around boats, fish and fishing,” says Irwin. “It’s always super relaxed and all about enjoying the time. If that means building sandcastles or throwing rocks in the river, that’s what we do. There’s no pressure on the fishing, but they really enjoy it.”


“They always want to do what we are doing, so it’s easy to get them engaged,” with bright smiles, sun-kissed hair and the itch for adventure, Izzy and Johnny take after both of their parents explains Irwin.

There is no doubt that these children come by their interest in fishing honestly, but they also have the good fortune of having a great teacher to help them learn the ropes. “Being a guide for almost 30 years, I have a lot of patience, and that probably helps. If they want to cast, we let them do everything on their own. Whether it’s right or not, they are learning.”

This approach keeps fishing fun, something that will likely turn these two kids into avid anglers down the road. Even at their young age, they’ve already experienced some of the finest sportfishing available in the Southeast. Redfish, spotted seatrout and flounder are regular catches for the young family.

When discussing his kids, Irwin is noticeably proud. “They can cast and fish better than a lot of adults I know, especially my daughter,” says Irwin with a grin. “Izzy uses a Teramar SE spinning rod in the 6 to 12-pound class with a Stradic 1000. It’s the perfect size for her, but she can use just about anything at this point.”

When there is much to compete with for the attention of young people and adults alike, it’s extremely important that family fishing traditions continue. “It’s easy to get caught up with a lot of distractions these days,” admits Irwin. “I feel really fortunate to be able to enjoy these moments with my family.”

To the anglers out there who are fathers and father figures, thank you for helping build for all of the core memories you have facilitated for countless young people and passing along your passion for our sport. You have created whole lifetimes of tall tales, laughs, and learning experiences for the next generation of anglers. And so the tradition continues…





Stradic Shimano Teramar SE Spinning