Below is an excerpt of a report from Robert Ford (Not the Senator) after a fishing trip with Ralph
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Had the honor and privilege to finally fish with the Master, Ralph Phillips today. Met Mr Phillips to set out for some topwater action early this AM. First spot produced a couple trout for Ralph on his skitter walk while the trout didn’t seem interested in what I had to offer… Moved on to the next spot and after a few casts caught my first keeper trout on topwater of the day. Ralph was up on me like 5:1 by this point…but, at last I had my trout in the boat with my Top Pup. Moved on to an area along a wood line…Ralph said to me…”Hey Robert..grab this other skitter walk I have and try using it”….I said…”OK” and tied it on….While tying the knot I hear a BIG KERSPLASH and looked up to see Ralph’s rod almost bent over with the tip just about pointed straight down into the water…HE HAD A BIG ONE ON….dropped doing what I was doing to assist by grabbing the net and getting ready…After about what seemed like almost a 10 minute fight getting that fish out of the grass and then away from the dock piling it was going into and then getting the line free from around the foot of the boat motor, Ralph got the fish close enough for me to net it and get it in the boat.
I continue throwing and about 3 cast later…BAM!!..fish on again…I say..”Ralph I got another nice red on”….drag was screaming off my reel and it’s pulling like a nice healthy red likes to pull and as the fish gets near the boat, I get a little glimps of it and my heart about came out of my…… well you know…..low and behold it was a BIG FAT GATOR TROUT….I was nervous as hell and I think Ralph might have been too ….I was thinking to myself….Ralph don’t mess up netting that fish…and at the same time, I know Ralph was thinking to himself…Robert…don’t you lose this fish!!…It all worked out and fish was landed successfully and you couldn’t have SLAPPED THE HAPPY OFF MY FACE!!
It wasn’t even 8:30 yet and I told Ralph….”I’m done”….the day was perfect…I didn’t care if I caught another fish the rest of the day or not!!!…..Which I did, of course and so did Ralph….The weather was beautiful. The companionship, fellowship, and comaradery was excellent. And, the fish cooperated all day…Of course Ralph out fished me like by 10:1 but I did manage some a few more really nice healthy redfish and trout. Just before the day ended, Ralph said “Hey Robert…throw over there in THAT spot”….so I did and BAM…hooked up on what I thought was a nice keeper trout. Ended my day with a nice keeper 17″ flounder to round out the SLAM!!! Had a FANTASTIC time fishing with you sir, and can’t wait to do it again…Thank you again for the oppurtunity to fish with Charleston’s finest….”The Fish Master” Ralph Phillips!!…It truely was my honor!!