Fishing forges friendship

Robbie Trahan and Mark Driscoll couldn’t be more different — in almost every way.

Trahan, a Cameron Parish native, twangs fast with an alien-to Louisiana East Texas accent. He exudes confidence, almost cockiness.

Slender, of medium height and fair-skinned, Trahan sports a dashing reddish goatee.

Driscoll, also in his mid-30s, was born and raised in Littleton, N.H., where he lives now. Dark-haired and stocky with a short, dark beard and a ready smile, he speaks with an unadulterated New England brogue as pure as maple syrup.

In contrast to Trahan, who hopped around the boat like a predatory grasshopper, Driscoll moved in a deliberate, steady way, as if every move is pre-planned.

The duo bumped into each other while Driscoll lived in Nederland, Texas, from 2006 to 2009 during construction of the Cheniere LNG Terminal on the Louisiana side of Sabine Pass. They met each other during a cookout in Johnson Bayou, started talking hunting and fishing, and hit it off big.

Moving back to New Hampshire hasn’t crippled their friendship. Driscoll comes to Johnson Bayou once each summer to fish and again each fall for a cast-and-blast fishing-duck hunting adventure.

But he can’t get Trahan to return the visits.

“He won’t come up, even to shoot a bear,” Driscoll said with a mischievous grin. “He’s scared of the bears (Trahan snorted at this in the background), and he thinks he’ll freeze to death even in the summer when it gets in the 50s at night.

“I invited him up to ice fish and ….”

Trahan couldn’t take anymore and interrupted.

“I don’t need to cut no hole in the ice to fish,” he said.

Driscoll still marvels about South Louisiana.

“Everything is so different here: the culture, the food, the peoples’ hospitality,” he said. “They make you feel like family.”

The family tradition in Johnson Bayou is hunting and fishing. Trahan has been a fishing guide for 15 years. Before that, he guided for two years for the Point Pleasant Hunting and Fishing Club.

Now his specialties are running live croakers for big trout in the summer and shallow-water redfishing in the marsh the rest of the year (when he isn’t duck hunting).

And he fishes local redfish tournaments.

“I’m a ringer in redfish tournaments,” Trahan admitted. “I won every one I fished in last year.”

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About Jerald Horst 959 Articles
Jerald Horst is a retired Louisiana State University professor of fisheries. He is an active writer, book author and outdoorsman.

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