Charlie Brown, commercial fisherman turned guide, dies after battle with cancer
In last years, he battled for 'gamefish bill', lobbied for restrictions on damaging commercial gear
Brown was a hunting and fishing guide, owner of Old Core Sound Guide Service and a prolific waterfowl decoy carver – he came from a fifth-generation Down East fishing family.
Brown grew up as a commercial fisherman, dredging for shrimp and oysters, clamming, setting nets for flounder and mullet and working as a deckhand on an ocean-going scallop boat.
While working in 2000 for the National Park Service at Core Banks, he was injured in a freak 4-wheeler accident and suffered permanent damage to a shoulder and arm. At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, Brown recovered to become a full-time fishing guide. He fished commercially until 2009, an occupation the men of his family had been in for five generations.
“But I saw the writing on the wall,” said Brown (in an interview last year), who became a solid supporter of a gamefish bill, a proposal opposed by commercial fishermen that would have protected spotted sea trout, red drum and striped bass from nets.
“I’ve been on both sides of each user group,” he said then. “But we’ve let one user group run wild and call the shots for so long, right now you can’t make a decent living. And that means you can’t pay your bills, put your kids through college, and you can’t have what you want. Most of all, there’s nobody there for the resource.”
During the last years of his life, Brown was an advocate of protecting coastal fish stocks and eliminating damage caused to North Carolina’s sounds by large shrimp trawls. He wanted a return to the days when small commercial boats didn’t destroy as much marine habitat and kill millions of juvenile fish in trawl nets.
A memorial service for Brown was held Feb. 24 at First Baptist Church in Davis.
He is survived by wife, Sandy Brown of Straits; sons Michael Brown of Tusk and Robby McGee of Straits; daughter Gina McGee Behan and husband Patrick of Atlantic; father Charles Ray Brown and wife Carolyn of Newport; brothers Robert Brown and wife Silvia of Lexington Park, Md.; Kyle Brown and wife Anna of Cedar Island; sister Rebecca Goodwin and husband Jimmie of Cedar Island; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother, Sara Willis.
Memorial donations may be made to the Captain Charlie Brown Benefit Fund, P.O. Box 123, Gloucester, N.C. 28528.
Subscribe Today and Save!!!
North Carolina Sportsman is the complete hunting and fishing magazine for North Carolina.
Devoted to hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities in the wetlands,
North Carolina Sportsman is the information guide for North Carolina's most active hunters and fishermen.
Posted on June 15 at 9:08 pm by Craig Holt
Posted on May 28 at 11:48 am by Craig Holt
Posted on May 19 at 9:11 pm by Jerry Dilsaver
Posted on May 16 at 5:56 pm by Jerry Dilsaver
Posted on February 25 at 7:00 am by Jeff Burleson
|Reports / Forum|
User Submitted Videos
|Calendar of events|