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Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Captain J.R. Wood of Woods Guide Service spends his days as a Port Aransas fishing guide, but that wasn’t how it all began.
Believe it or not, Captain JR is actually a former bronco-riding cowboy from Kansas who has worked on ranches in several western mountain states.
Despite being relatively new to the fishing game, and to Port Aransas, Wood, has made a name for himself in the local community as a hard-working and friendly guide who puts his clients on fish!
Before getting his start in fishing, Wood spent his days on ranches. He hails from Junction City, Kansas, located about 60 miles west of Topeka. He was a college bronco-rider for one year before he got his start working on ranches. His first ranching job came that summer, and he never looked back.
“They paid me whether I got bucked off or not,” Wood said about his first paying job as a cowboy. “I thought it was a pretty good deal.”
From that point on, Wood bounced around, training colts and horses mainly. He ranched in places like Colorado, Nevada, Montana, Oregon and Wyoming.
During his cowboy days, Wood didn’t do much fishing. He worked long hours and had little time on the water. Plus, while he enjoys saltwater fishing, he lived in mostly landlocked states.
“I was too busy looking at the south end of a north bound cow,” he says. “I did a little bit of fly fishing, but that was it.”
In 2008, Captain JR hung up the spurs and cowboy life, jumped on a motorcycle he built, and hit the road.
“I headed for the coast and ended up here in Port Aransas” he says. “I didn’t even know this town existed when I got here. I just found it on dumb luck, and I fell in love with it.”
After he arrived in Port Aransas, he and some friends went fishing on Baffin Bay, and from that point on he was hooked.
“I caught my first black drum down there, and it was game on after that,” he says. “When you’re chasing black drum, and you can see them, and you’re pitching that bait right to them, that’s what I love.”
Back in Port Aransas, Wood started a boat detailing business in 2008.
He washed bay and sportfishing boats, and he also spent a winter as a deckhand in Isla Mujeras and another in Key West doing the same.
With his detailing business, he gained clientele after nine years, but his true calling was to start his own guide service. That’s when he decided to obtain his captain’s license and buy a boat.
In 2017, he started Wood’s Guide Service, and he purchased a 21-foot Majek.
Asked if he had a name for his boat, he joked, “Mine.”
Wood said owning a boat and being a fishing guide is “a lot more stressful” than boat detailing.
“It’s amazing to me that fishing for a living can be as stressful as it is,” he said. “There’s days when it’s tough to produce fish. You want your customers to catch fish more than probably they want to catch the fish. On days when you struggle, it’s exhausting, mentally.”
Wood said aside from being named Boatman of the Year, the highlight of his fishing career has been simply making a living in fishing.
“It’s pretty crazy,” he said.
My husband and I had a great time fishing with JR for redfish and trout! We did two half days and it was great! Definitely will fish with him again.
Did a half-day private charter with my son and his friend and caught our limit of sheepshead. Capt. J.R. was very patient with this trio of landlubbers as we got hung up in all sorts of situations. We had a lot of fun and will book him when we come back.
My husband and I took our Grandson fishing with Capt JR for his 10th Birthday and I highly recommend him! He is the nicest guy and great with kids. He was so patient and kind, and did everything he could to make sure that our Grandson had a great experience. You can tell he takes pride in his work. He knows where the fish are and has great equipment too. We will definitely go fishing with him again! Thanks again Capt JR for a wonderful experience and great memories!
All rods, reels, and tackle are included.
This guide will clean your catch for an additional fee.
Feel free to enjoy responsibly, but please no glass.
You will get a refund if the trip is canceled due to weather.
No, this boat does not have a bathroom on board.
No meal provided.
Rods, reels, tackle
At an Additional Rate
No added costs.
Hat, sunscreen, polarized sunglasses, foods, and drinks
Texas fishing license
Payment & Tipping
After paying the deposit, a QR Code will be emailed to you. On the day of the trip, your guide will scan your QR code to automatically transfer the remaining balance. The only cash needed is for a 10-20% customary tip.
Yes, cancel for free up to 10 days before the trip.
Where to Buy a Fishing LicenseFind a license for your state here.
Port Aransas, TX, USA
07:00 AM, 01:00 PM