Tyler Nonn of Tidewater Charters guides in Maryland for striped bass and other saltwater species found in the Chesapeake Bay. Nonn recently sat down to take on some questions for the Venturing Angler:
1. Why do you guide where you do?
I guide in several places. I primarily guide in the Chesapeake Bay from top to bottom. I have also done seven seasons in Alaska, and I spend every winter in the Florida Keys hiding from the cold.
2. What is your favorite fish specie?
If I had to pick just one fish it would be striped bass. After 10 years of traveling and fishing I still have to come back every spring and fall. I really have a passion for chrome Chinook salmon in tidal rivers of southwest Alaska and can’t get enough of tarpon and cobia either. But the striped bass is the trump card for me.
3. What is your favorite thing about guiding?
Having the opportunity to have conversations with very interesting people from all parts of the world. Hearing their stories and life experiences is intriguing. Most of these guys have forgot more than I’ll ever know. I listen when they talk.
4. What is the most memorable trip you’ve guided and why?
My first year in the Bay and I had some guys on some schoolie stripers. They were throwing 8 weights, 250 grains, and Clousers. The front angler starts yelling and hooting … after 15 minutes we boated a 39lb striper that could of swallowed a barn cat. Epic start to my first season working for myself!
5. What is the funniest thing you’ve experienced while guiding?
The questions I get in Alaska are hilarious. A few that stand out: “Which way is up river?” … “at what elevation does a moose become a caribou?” … “What way is the water flowing?” … and, “Is the plane coming back to get us?” The greatest question of all time came from an awesome geography teacher from the Midwest. We were in the ocean and he looked at me and asked, “How far above sea level are we?” I started to crack a smile and then we both laughed so hard I thought I was going to pass out.
6. What makes your guide service great?
I think people keep coming to fish with me because I’m enthusiastic. I try to treat everyday on the water like it was my last. I try to have as much fun as humanly possible.
7. If you had only one day off all year, where would you fish and what fish would you target?
If I had one day off it would be in early May. Sight fishing for giant stripers on some super sneaky, clear water flats in the lower Chesapeake Bay. Giant stripers crushing in 4 ft of water … that gets my blood flowing!
8. What are your favorite three flies?
If I had to pick my three favorite striper flies it would be the Hollow fleye, donkey size chartreuse and white Clouser, and a big bucktail fly with a synthetic tail called the predator that I tie for spring fish when they are eating big baits.
9. What is the one piece of gear you couldn’t bear to leave at home?
I can’t walk outside without my Costa Del Mar sunglasses. I don’t think I can even function with my glasses.
10. Do you have any other passions?
I just fish. I’ve had a one-track mind since I was a kid. I quit little league baseball because it was cutting into my fishing time!
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