High Hook - Anglers Journal - A Fishing Life

Catching the Horizon, By Chris Landry continued

“Who’s the best fisherman you’ve known?”


Omie Tillett was the best teacher, and he was also at the top as a fisherman. He knew the fundamentals. He was the most enthusiastic fisherman I knew. And he hated wasting time. He didn’t like to see anyone walking. If you had to get from one place to another, you needed to jog. Get there and get it done. He didn’t want his mates sitting down. You were up watching lines, changing baits, doing something all the time.

Paul Spencer


Chip Shafer because he was calm and collected. He was extremely intelligent, a thinker. He studied water clarity and color and taught me a lot about that.

John Bayliss


People will be shocked that I’m choosing just one person. A guy named Jimmy Grant from Ocean City, who has fished around the world. The guy is constantly thinking about how he can improve … and how efficiently and quickly he can do things. He has great eyes and instincts. He was relentless and a great teacher.

Randy Ramsey


I fished a handful of times with Omie Tillett. Man, he was intense. It wasn’t about finesse; it was about getting the bait out there. You better pay attention to the details, but do it quick. I spent a lot of time fishing with Arch Bracher. He’s calculated and good at his game but also has a love for fishing like very few people do.

Ritchie Howell


You’ll get me in trouble. Remember, in this area, every fisherman is good. If you’re not, you won’t survive. For white marlin, it would be Arch Bracher. For blue marlin, it’s Bull Tolson in a boat named Sea Toy. For tuna it’s Barry Sawyer with First Crack, which is now Waste Knot.

Ritchie Howell


Omie Tillett was the master. He never quit. Regardless of what he caught he was always thinking about catching the next one. He was the best fisherman and boatbuilder and teacher out of Oregon Inlet. If you took the mates who worked for him who later became well known, you’d probably end up with 20 guys, maybe more. I worked for Omie for four years. How lucky was I?

Sunny Briggs


This is a catch-22. I have a long list, but my most recent was with my friend Capt. Fin Gaddy.

Paul Mann


Ron Locke — his energy, enthusiasm and passion for his job. It’s all about the hook-up and all about the hook-up for blue marlin. Not a mako, not a striped bass, not a dolphin, not a wahoo — blue marlin, period.


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Omie Tillett


Talking Fish, Talking Boats with the Boatbuilders of North Carolina



Talking Fish, Talking Boats with the Boatbuilders of North Carolina