The New Orleans metropolitan area is ranked in the Top 50 cities in the country, with a population of about 1.3 million people. And situated in the middle of Orleans Parish, the waters surrounding the Seabrook Bridge (recently named the Senator Ted Hickey Bridge) make it one of the top inshore saltwater fishing areas located within the city limits of any major metropolitan area in the United States.
Referred to by locals simply as “Seabrook,” this iconic fishing hole is sure to bring back nostalgic memories for those who grew up in New Orleans loving to fish. Even today, old fish stories around docks and tackle shops can be invoked simply by uttering the word Seabrook — and it seems nearly everyone has a story to tell.
But perhaps no one in this generation has spent more time, or knows more about fishing Seabrook, than Alan “Chink” Sumas. He grew up in Gentilly, and started fishing when he was just 5. As a youngster, he loved to fish so much that he even rode the bus to go fishing at Seabrook. Now 80, he still fishes every day he can, and many of those days are spent there.
I was fortunate enough to tag along on a recent trip to Seabrook with Sumas and his long-time fishing buddy, Dr. Bob Weiss. Both men are legendary trout fishermen in Lake Pontchartrain fishing circles, and that morning, they revealed many of the secrets of this iconic trout hotspot.
With only a pink cast in the sky hinting at sunrise, we motored at idle speed from the public launch on Lakeshore Drive. To my surprise, several other boats had already arrived before us.
I looked at Sumas and said, “Did these guys sleep here?” He looked down, shook his head and said, “Man, you haven’t seen anything. Just wait a little while, and you won’t be able to fit another boat in here.