Carhartt pro Caleb Sumrall was really looking forward to pitching lures around the thousands of flooded cypress trees at the Bassmaster Elite Series event on Santee Cooper, S.C., this month. Instead, he’s passing the time as a responsible American by fishing the cypress trees five minutes from his Southern Louisiana home with family.
“Oh man, I was really looking forward to the Bassmaster Elite Series on Santee this month, because let me tell ya, not every cypress tree is created equal, and having grown up fishing them most of my life in Southern Louisiana, my confidence was super high about my ability to fish them really effectively and do well on Santee,” says the former petroleum industry supply yard worker.
The good news is, there’s a small waterway five minutes from Sumrall’s home that allows him to #FishSmart in the treasured company of bride Jacie, sweet daughter, Clelie Rose (named for her French Cajun great grandmother) — and his highly animated 2-year-old-son, Axel.
“Clelie likes to fish, but she’s just as happy when deer season gets here, and Axel loves to be in 'daddy’s boat,' but he’s only 2 years old, so he’d rather play with the fish I put in the livewell, rather than focus on catching them himself,” says Sumrall, who notched six impressive Top 30 finishes in 2019.
“Truthfully, I’m kinda glad Axel isn’t into worms and bobbers yet, because that would probably require trips to a large retail store by our house to get fresh night crawlers, and right now we’re trying to be smart and avoid trips to places like that where people congregate,” he adds.
The longtime Toyota Bonus Bucks member adds that by fishing so close to home, he’s made roughly five trips to the lake with the family on just one tank of gas in their Tundra. “I’m super careful at the gas pump about safeguarding against the virus. I place a napkin between my skin and the pump handle, and then use hand sanitizer too,” he says.
Sumrall has also committed to better personal health through a passionate jogging routine of at least 5 miles per day. He’s jogged 420 total miles since the end of the 2019 Elite Series Season at Lake St. Clair last fall. It’s a fitness routine that’s peeled away 25 pounds of body fat the past six months.
Still, Sumrall would prefer to be 13 hours from home two weeks from now, running a row of flooded cypress trees in his Xpress boat on Santee Cooper — pitching a Texas-rigged black and blue Missile Baits D Bomb to their flooded root systems.
But with life and the Bassmaster Elite Series season being paused a bit right now, he’s making a concerted mental effort not to give into fear. And instead, absorb every simple great moment of family time in the outdoors near home.
#livesmart #fishsmart #bassmaster