Home | River Info | Images & Articles | Links | Contact Us
Trout Bums At Large | Photo Gallery

Trout Bums at Large is a monthly column appearing in the Yakima Herald-Republic and the Seattle Times. The column is written by Randal Sumner and Mark Littleton. We will be keeping an archive of these articles on this page.

Redfish Round-up
by Randal Sumner


            When I bought the airline tickets to Atlanta I was not exactly sold on the trip. However; my wonderful bride, Liz, was really looking forward to visiting all the Civil War battlefields from Georgia to Virginia. She is a history buff with a serious interest in, “The War of Northern Aggression”, as some southerners refer to it.

             Don’t get me wrong, though I like old timey stuff as much as the next Trout bum and a road trip is always to be savored.

            About the time I realized she was out of the deciding stage and on to the get the airplane ticket stage I emailed a client and friend, Steve Philips who lives in North Carolina. Steve has business in Seattle a week a year and always spends day fishing with me.

             To say Steve exudes Southern charm would be an insult the folks that brought him up. He is truly a Southern gentleman.

             All I wrote was” What are the chances you could get us a Redfish guide out of Charleston on October 13”, I received a one word e-mail: DONE, with his cell number.          That is what I like about the few Southerners I have known; they are either in or out, never “Let me check my Blackberry and I’ll get back to you”, or some other weak kneed excuse.  

            The first full day of our road trip took us to Savanna Georgia, where we hired a carriage tour of the old city, the weather was warm and our guide was fabulous. Savanna was established in 1733 and was designed on a square matrix with small shady parks every other block full of ancient oak trees draped with Spanish moss and a lot of statues of guys on horseback.

            The highlight for me was seeing the bench where Forrest Gump was filmed waiting for the bus with his box of chocolates.

            We had planned to go to Paula Deen’s restaurant for supper (and a stick of butter) but found our selves out on Tybee Island at suppertime. We actually ate at Bubba Deens, Paula’s brother’s restaurant. I know, it’s confusing, ya’ all.

            By the time we arrived and toured   Charleston South Carolina for a couple days I had seen a seen a lifetimes worth of OLD TIMEY. I mean it is inspiring to say the least, standing on a porch where General Washington once made a speech, but I needed a day off. 

            When Steve picked me up at 9:00 the next morning, the plan was to have breakfast and meet up with our guide at 11:30 at the Isle of Palms marina.  But there was a marathon race going on as we crossed the bridge to Sullivan’s Island. By the time we finally got to the restaurant many of the runners were already inside drinking Bloody Marys.

            These are my kind of health nuts. It was so NOT West Coast; you have got to love these people.

            We arrived at the marina in plenty of time to meet our guide, Zack. He was about thirty five looking to be twenty. What is it about fishing guides? Cut the Hollywood ponytail, Zen Master, hillbilly guide routine, were here to go fishin’.

 And fish we did.

            Zack worked out of a beautiful Hells-Bay flats skiff with a 60 horse Yamaha and with a turn of the key we were flying out of the marina and through the saw grass channels of the inland waterway.

            The conditions were perfect, about 85 degrees, no wind and a dropping tide. The oyster beds were coming up fast in the lowering water like black islands and the baitfish were boiling all around us. Zack cut the motor and polled into a saw grass cove about 20 inches deep.

            The water color is a light brown so you have to see either the tails or the wake of the Redfish; truth is I couldn’t see either at first.    

            The trick is to get the boat stationed within casting distance without spooking the Redfish while they are busy churning up the mud bottom looking for shrimp. Then you calculate your cast with a shrimp imitation to drop in just above and beside the feeding fish and start stripping the line.

            Well, that all sounds very straight forward in concept, but these Redfish were really spooky. During the course of the afternoon we blew several excellent chances, I think I heard Zack talking to himself a little bit, something about a blind squirrel and an acorn.   

            Zack turned out to be an excellent guide, as with all guiding his job is to simply provide opportunity, Steve and I had to make the argument.

            Steve, Zack and I had a great afternoon catching Redfish and finding some common ground; north or south east or west. 

             It’s never really about the fishing, is it?

More Trout Bum Articles:
05/01/2015: The wolves will always eat the sheep by R.Sumner
11/17/2014: Red Fish Redux by R.Sumner
08/01/2014: Retirement by R.Sumner
07/02/2013: Custom by Randal Sumner
05/01/2013: Subaru Magic by Randal Sumner
01/19/2012: Ding Ho by RandalSumner
04/06/2011: A Cautionary Tale by Randal Sumner
11/24/2009: Kentucky Don and English Bob by Randal Sumner
08/25/2009: A word about Bears by R.Sumner
06/30/2009: Polar bear hugging by Randal Sumner
01/27/2009: Christmas letters by Randal Sumner
11/25/2008: Trip to Eden by Randal Sumner
08/07/2008: Mime Time by R. Sumner
06/02/2008: fuel vs fishing by R. Sumner
05/01/2008: Long sleeve Hawiian shirt by R.Sumner
02/07/2008: The Empire by R. Sumner
11/29/2007: Troutbum self-help by R. Sumner
09/04/2007: The Perfect Client by Randal Sumner
07/02/2007: High Anxiety by R.Sumner
03/29/2007: Grasshopper by Randal Sumner
01/25/2007: Chinese food by R. Sumner
11/30/2006: Old Whitey by R.Sumner
09/28/2006: Chief Holland USN retired by R. Sumner
07/10/2006: BBQ by R.Sumner
05/30/2006: Cashmere by R. sumner
03/30/2006: Sterling Choices by Randal Sumner
01/26/2006: Tying with Pablo by Randal Sumner
12/01/2005: Brrr by Mark Littleton
11/24/2005: Thanksgiving 2005 by randal Sumner
09/01/2005: Anchors Away by Mark Littleton
07/01/2005: Some kinda fun by Randal Sumner
05/01/2005: The Base Lake by Randal Sumner
04/01/2005: Humble Pie by Mark Littleton
03/01/2005: Dance monkey dance by randal Sumner
01/01/2005: Where are the Instructions? by Randal Sumner
12/01/2004: Das Boat by Mark Littleton
11/01/2004: What me Worry? by Mark Littlton
10/01/2004: Priorities by Mark Littlton
09/01/2004: Falling In by Mark Littleton
08/01/2004: Ice Fishing by Randal Sumner
07/01/2004: Honey, I flooded the basement by Randal Sumner
07/01/2004: Elvis Lives by Randal Sumner
06/01/2004: Coyote by Randal Sumner
05/01/2004: Redfish and Capt. Dan by Mark Littleton
04/01/2004: Vested Interest by Randal Sumner
03/01/2004: Are you a Troutbum? by Mark Littleton
12/01/2003: Christmas presents by Mark Littleton
11/01/2003: Oklahoma by Randal Sumner
10/01/2003: Steel heading JuJu by Randal Sumner
09/01/2003: Motor Home by Randal Sumner
08/01/2003: Life is Funny by Mark Littlton
07/01/2003: Deschutes by Mark Littleton
06/01/2003: Class of 2002 by Randal Sumner
05/01/2003: BOAT FISHING by Mark Littlton
04/01/2003: ALASKA, LAND OF THE MIDNIGHTBLUE TARP by Randal Sumner
03/01/2003: MARCH BROWNS by Mark Littleton
02/01/2003: DEEP IN THE HEART OF IDAHO by Randal Sumner
01/01/2003: TOP TEN by Mark Littleton
12/01/2002: SAN MIGUEL by Randal Sumner
11/01/2002: DISNEYLAND by Randal Sumner
10/01/2002: CAMPING by Mark Littleton
09/01/2002: MMMM MAYFLIES by Mark Littleton
08/01/2002: CARNEGIE HALL by Randal Sumner
07/01/2002: CRAWFISH PIE by Randal Sumner
06/01/2002: Sons and Pals by Mark Littleton
03/01/2002: Visitation by Randal Sumner
02/01/2002: Ouch by Mark Littleton
01/01/2002: Death by Randal Sumner
11/01/2001: Leakers by Randal Sumner
09/01/2001: Poser by Randal Sumner
08/01/2001: Snake River Diary by Mark Littleton
08/01/2001: It's Hard by Mark Littleton
07/01/2001: Etiqutte by Randal Sumner
06/01/2001: June by Mark Littleton
05/01/2001: Road Trip to Paradise by Randal Sumner
04/01/2001: What Are They Doing Up There? by Mark Littleton
03/01/2001: Gear by Randal Sumner
02/01/2001: Soft Hackles by Mark Littleton
01/25/2001: Motivation by Randal Sumner
12/28/2000: Winter Fishing by Mark Littleton
11/30/2000: Old Blackie by Randal Sumner