On this week’s show, Bob heads to the beautiful low country of South Carolina for some early-winter trout and red fishing. Hosting Bob this trip is Chris Mattson of Mattson Guide Service in Beaufort, South Carolina. Chris is a former U.S. Marine with two tours of duty overseas and now a full time fishing guide. Plus, on this week’s Sportsman’s Table, we feature another great South Carolina-certified seafood recipe.
[Announcer] On this week’s show, Bob heads to the beautiful low country of South Carolina for some early-winter trout and red fishing. Plus, on this week’s Sportman’s table, we feature another great South Carolina-certified seafood recipe. All this and a whole lot more. And it all begins right now.
Caught on here.
Yeah, fish on, Chris. Alright, buddy. Yeah man. Yeah you working it.
It’s not looking too bad.
There we go. Decent fish.
Come here buddy.
Good 13, 14 incher. Can’t complain about that. God, they got such soft mouths.
They do, he’s not too bad.
No. There you go. Alright, gotta be more where that came from.
He thumped it as soon as it came outta that grass.
That’ll just give us a little bit of information to work off of here. That would be wonderful. ‘Cause they haven’t really given us anything.
Other than whiting.
There’s lots of whiting today.
[Bob] There you go. You’re putting it on me, mmm!
I’m not doing it intentionally if it makes you feel any better.
That’s okay, it’s fish, that’s alright.
This was a luck– I mean, I was literally just bringing it in. Alright, here, little guy.
You got the luck of the Irish here, look at that.
And a litter mate to the last one.
Pretty little guys.
Try to make sure, I have these gloves on and they’re wet, I try to make sure I have wet gloves on when I’m messing with those trout, ’cause you’ll pull those scales off.
Then they’ll get infections. That doesn’t do them any good. And so they seemed to be ganged up on these glass minnows.
Fish on! Fish on!
Did he get you wrapped up in that grass?
I dunno what he what he’s wrapped up in, brother, but he’s on there.
I think he must’ve gone around that grass.
Go ahead and just free line him and see if he’ll swim right out of there.
All they gotta do is lay that grass down, and they can swim right outside of it.
Yeah, here he comes, here we go. Here he comes. Well, folks, we’re fishing. It’s been about nine or 10 years since we’ve been down here in Beaufort, South Carolina, and my guy today, and our host, Chris Mattson of Mattson Guide Service. Chris, former marine, two tours overseas, and now in 2011, you’re a full time fishing guide, brother.
Yes, sir, things are quite a bit different.
I bet they are. But, you know, with Paris Island right here in the background, that kind of brings back some hoorah.
That’s right, that’s right. We’ve been listening to their gunfire all day.
There you go.
It’s nice to be able to get a red fish in the boat here.
Yeah, whoo man, oh yeah. There we go. Uh huh, we’ll let the camera look at him a little bit, Chris.
That’s alright, you’re doing good, man. You’re doing what guides do. See, you don’t get a fish very often.
[Chris] I’m usually cheating with a net, too.
[Bob] See, no nets on our boat, see. Alright, get him, you wanna get him?
[Chris] I’ll tell you what. If this was a tournament day, he is perfect size.
[Bob] Yeah, he would be, wouldn’t he? Whoo, yeah.
[Chris] And no spots on that fish either.
[Bob] No, not a lick. Isn’t that funny?
[Chris] That hook just came right out from him fighting against that grass.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, look at that. You know what’s so nice about these fish, is that blue coral tail.
[Chris] That’s right.
Because they’re bumping down there, so with that, let’s let this hummer go. And we’ll get him down. Alright, he’s gone. Bump! Man, I’m telling ya, but Chris, listen real quick. Tell us about your guide service, okay? You know, you’ve kind of been fishing all your life.
You’re originally from Florida.
So, tell me, I mean, gosh, you fish, what, over 200 trips a year?
Right around 250 a year. Mostly focused around the summertime. And I do a lot of family trips, so I’m fishing a lot of cut bait, a lot of live bait, up to six people. It’s very conductive for other people to be able to come out and enjoy this resource that we have.
There you go.
We do a lot of, mostly catch and release, but we catch a lot of good size fish when they’re cooperative.
And you know as well as I do how it can just tuck out.
Well, you know, and it’s always nice to come back. Of course, we fish all over the country and stuff, but it’s always nice to come home.
And fish off the South Carolina coast, and again, you know, you’re gonna have to have me back, now. Folks, the last time we were down here, we were sight fishing for cobia right in this very broad river area right here. So, you gotta come back in the spring and take us cobia fishing.
That’s right, we’ll do it.
Alright, bud, hoorah. Alright, let’s do it.
[Announcer] Stay tuned, when we come back, more fishing from the low country of South Carolina. Bob Redfern’s Outdoor Magazine is brought to you today by Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Bob Redfern’s Outdoor Magazine; by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture; by South Carolina, it’s a matter of taste; by Pennington Seed, the leader in outdoor forage products; by Browning, Browning, the best there is; by South Carolina Embroidery and Screenprinting; and by Back Woods Quail Club, offering southern style hunting and an array of exciting and challenging clay target shooting sports.
You’re back on?
Alright, get it, get it.
He’s not as big as I thought he was, I don’t think.
That’s okay! Get him, Chris, get him, buddy, you’re due.
I don’t know, he’s changing his mind. I had that drag set down for reds. I don’t know if he’s hooked funny or.
You’ve got a little bend there. It’s okay, bud.
Don’t want him getting around that power pole there. I don’t know what it, it’s not fighting like a trout. Nah, it’s a red.
It’s just, he’s not a giant but he’s fought as much.
Listen, he knew that Chris Mattson was on the other end of that rod and reel. And was just flat gonna just give up. I’ve done it, that’s all I can do.
I couldn’t figure out, I thought he was either a giant trout, or he was a fish that used that four knot current. There we go, come on, buddy.
Now, did he come back and hit that again?
Yup, that good.
You know, the ones that I hammered did the same thing.
I think he just straight up missed it.
Well, you know, our conditions today are a little, a little different.
They are, it’s for, uh, you know, the time of the year, it’s unbelievably warm.
Yeah, that’s okay.
We’ll take it. I’m not whining. It’s not every day you can be out saltwater fishing.
Get a new one on here.
When it’s supposed to be snowing.
When he hit that bait, he turned his head. I thought he was a stud.
Yeah. But he turned it right into that current, and I think that’s what added to it, ’cause he was right on that current line.
Get him, Chris.
Yeah. I thought he was gonna do a little bit more than that.
Eh, it’s not that little.
No, he’s not, actually, he kinda grew a little bit. I thought he was more of that nine to 12 inch kind of guy.
I think your eyesight’s slipping, man.
It might be. So what’s neat is, I’ve seen a lot of these fish lately.
And they’ll be like this one where they’ve got an injury from a bird.
It’s almost all been on the tail end. I don’t know if that’s because those are the unsuccessful attempts.
It may be.
But, I’ve seen quite a few of that, those lately.
Now, do you have a good trout recipe that you share with your clients?
You know, you can do a lot with them. You can do fish tacos with them. You can do, I mean, in the South, we fry everything.
There you go.
I really like breading them with panko, just about everything with panko.
Do you really?
Mmhmm, and then I cut it into chunks that are of similar size.
So that when you’re frying them, you can fry them evenly.
Just so you get some even cooking. Otherwise you end up overdoing the tail or underdoing the top slab of meat.
With the trout, you don’t have to worry about the blood line as much as you will some other fish.
See, most folks just, they lop the heads off and cook the whole thing, or broil it in butter, and this, that, and the other thing. Fish on, Chris, fish on, brother!
There you go! That one’s pulling a little harder.
Yeah he is, yeah. Hey, man. Come here. You’re not very big, but that’s okay. You think you are.
I thought he was big at the beginning. That’s a little bitty red fish.
Yeah, a little one, that’s okay. You know, he was hungry.
He was hungry. He could feel like he meant it.
Nice pretty tail, nice black spot. He’ll grow up to be a big ‘un, one of these days.
He will, got a little sea lice on him there.
He hammered, he hammered that thing.
This one has got that blue on the tail.
Yeah, it does, I’m telling ya. They’re eating oysters.
And a false eye. If you didn’t think that mattered, I’ve seen a lot of them, we were showing you earlier about that trout that had the damage in back.
I’ve seen them where they’ve gone after that spot in the tail, thinking it was the head.
That, golly. Alright, I tuck this thing right back up in behind that grass.
Which side of it?
On the right side. And he came out and grabbed it. And make no mistake about it, he wanted it.
Maybe they just hadn’t slid in here yet, and they’re sitting on that oyster.
Yeah, it could be. Could be.
I usually don’t play on top of that oyster bar too much. I usually keep it on the inside, inside edge.
[Announcer] After commercial break, we head to the kitchen for a great South Carolina certified seafood recipe with fish caught right from the South Carolina coast. The Sportman’s Table is brought to you by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture. Whether you live in South Carolina or out of state, be sure to buy South Carolina grown meats, vegetables, and fruits. Make sure your food is South Carolina certified. It’s a matter of taste.
Welcome, this week, folks, we are in beautiful Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. Wicked Tuna restaurant, right here along the coast, is this wonderful place, and joining me is the executive chef here. This guy and his staff produce some of the finest meals. Well, listen, you just gotta come visit The Wicked Tuna when you’re here down in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, but my executive chef today, and my guest, is Patrick Fowler here at Wicked Tuna. And what have you got for us today, okay? You guys are all about fish, man.
All about fish.
I don’t know anybody that does fish better than you guys.
We’ve probably, we claim to fame is hook to plate.
There you go.
We catch it, and literally about four, five hours later, it’s touching the plate, ready to go.
Oh, man, Patrick. What have you got for me today?
Today, we’re gonna cook some red snapper. This was caught right off the coast.
By one of our boats. And we’ll cook it up, put it over our local grits, and let’s get started.
Alright, man. Oh, gotta have oil, he’s gotta have a little, he’s gotta slip and slide through that pan.
I am a firm believer if you’re cooking fish, it needs to be in olive oil.
There you go. Now you know, and again, I say this all the time, but folks listen, these chefs will tell you, when you’re cooking meat at home, whether it’s chicken, it’s steak, it’s fish, whatever, don’t overcook the meat, okay? A lot of folks, they do that, that’s the first thing. They just cook it to death.
Yes. We do a trick, we just lightly coat it in flour.
[Patrick] And what that does, that keeps all the moisture in, so you get a nice juicy fish when it’s done.
[Bob] There you go, okay.
[Patrick] So I’m gonna get some, little bit of salt pepper on there. Get that rolling. We’ll go ahead and start plating. These grits are already prepared.
Yeah, I’ll get this pan out of the way here. Oh, wow, nice yellow grits.
[Patrick] Nice yellow grits.
Alright, Patrick, we about ready?
Yes, sir, alright. Now we’re gonna season with a little bit of blackening.
It’ll make it just nice, beautiful, goes really well.
[Bob] That is an awesome looking filet.
[Patrick] Let me put some butter on top, get that nice and wet. Get that nice and juicy.
[Bob] Now, you guys prepare this, this is an entree right off the menu, right?
[Patrick] Yes, sir, this is our blackened catch.
[Patrick] It’s one of our popular ones. People love it. It’s like a taste of breakfast at dinner.
[Bob] There you go.
[Patrick] So we’re gonna take it, and then we’re just gonna put that right on top like that.
[Bob] Oh, yeah. You know, the eye of the beholder, it’s just great, ’cause you guys take a lot of pain to make sure it looks good.
Not only does it taste good, but it looks good.
Now we’re gonna add, this is a marvelous sauce, it’s almost like a raspberry reduction, and this just goes well with any protein that’s blackened. It’s just absolutely delicious.
[Bob] Oh wow.
[Patrick] And we’ll take this, make a nice pretty little swoop.
[Bob] Was there a special class at chef school?
There was, there was. And there you go, a blackened catch.
I’m always amazed, wow. Right here, executive chef Patrick Fowler from the Wicked Tuna here in Murrells Inlet. Patrick, as always man, it’s a pleasure, okay? Come on down and check out The Wicked Tuna. And remember, buy and eat local. It’s simply a matter of taste. Log on to certifiedscgrown.com and see what’s fresh on the menu for you. We’ll be right back here again next week on another great recipe on The Sportman’s Table. Man, that looks awesome.
[Announcer] To find out more information on food that’s fresher and tastier, go online at certifiedscgrown.com. Buy certified South Carolina grown products. It’s a matter of taste. Bob Redfern’s Outdoor Magazine, brought to you today by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, life’s just better outdoors; by Shakespeare’s Ugly Stik GX2 rod, Ugly Stik, America’s strongest, most sensitive rod; by Ranger Boats, still building legends one at a time; by Browning Ammunition, Browning, the best there is; and by Southern Wood Plantation, a place where the grandeur of times past can still be experienced today.
He’s shaking his head like he wants to have some.
Well, that’s a good thing. That’s a good thing, brother.
They’re not growing in the right direction.
No, but, hey.
Unless we’re going for spots.
There you go.
He’s got a lot of spots going.
He’s got a lot more spots than a red fish, yeah. He needs to be, he’s a dreamer.
Tell ya, it’s good to see, you know, we get the mod winners. We don’t have the fish kills that we do if it gets–
No that’s true. Exactly, and the bait kills either. Of course, the bait moves around a lot.
You know, it’s crazy, even in the dead of winter, we’ll have mullet way up in these creeks.
But, those big, when we get those big trout, they’ll just keel over. They go to the deepest hole they can and we get, if we get those really brutal cold days, and it’s, there’s no sun, and we also have big tides, it’ll turn that water so much that there can’t be a thermocline down there to protect them.
And they just, they just go belly up. That, and our white shrimp. They’ll over winter in those deep holes and just wear ’em out.
Do you enjoy living in Beaufort as opposed to Florida?
You know, I really loved fishing and living in Florida. But, man, did it get built.
Yeah. Everywhere is going that way, but that’s kind of where.
Yeah, I mean.
Not because there’s so many people and houses, but because they were taking prime places for wildlife and because the land was cheaper, they’d plow everything over, and then they were just filling it and put in a mall, everywhere.
See, and now you’re in that low pace, low country style.
You fit right in, man, I’m telling you.
It’s nice, it’s a nice way to live.
There you go. Well, folks, that’s our show this week. I gotta thank my guide and our host today, Chris Mattson. Chris, thank you, my friend.
No, thank you. I tell you what, thank you for your service. We appreciate all that you’ve done for the marines and all the great Americans across the country. I mean, serving two tours in the Middle East is not something that we overlook and take lightly, so thank you, and God bless you for that, but, having said that, man, we ain’t caught a big fish today.
But we caught a lot of fish today, okay, in the reds and the trout. You know, I will tell ya, when your clients come, you have a great knack of finding all these little nooks and crannies, and so, you know, fishing’s fishing.
Fishing’s fishing, sometimes you follow the crumbs and you find a full cookie, and sometimes you don’t.
There you go, man. Well, listen, we’ll come back. Gotta do some sight fishing for cobia because Beaufort is known for that.
Again, it’s beautiful down here, just a day on the water, okay? And listen, anything that’ll tap the old rod and reel is a good day.
And so, we thank you very much for that. Folks, listen, if you want to come fishing with this young man, log on to Bob’s top 16 at our website, bobredfern.com and Mattson Guide Service will be located right there. Click on, either give him a call or send him an email note, and you can come on down to beautiful Beaufort, South Carolina and come fishing with him. As I always like to say each and every week, the outdoor is my passion. I want it to be yours, too. We’ll see you next time.