Cameron Wright has traveled all over the world and fished in some of the most amazing places on the planet. His book, The Southern Surfcaster, is the go-to body of work for both beginners and veterans seeking the insight that only 40 years of sport fishing experience can provide. Wright is back in Charlotte this week just in time for Jesse Brown’s Coastal Party and was gracious enough to talk with us before his visit with us – and you – on Thursday, June 27.
JB’s: Most fishermen are a secretive lot. What made you decide to write a book giving away all you’ve learned about surfcasting over the years?
CW: I started fishing when I was very young. My brothers fish; my dad fishes. I travel a lot for work, so I’ve fished all over. All my buddies are avid fishermen, too, and they said, “you know, you should write a book.” So I found myself with time in the hotel rooms and several years later, wound up with a book.
JB’s: Tell us about your new book.
CW: My new book, My Southern Soul, comes out in 2015. It really covers the fabric of who we are as Southerners. There’s so much that’s built our society and our way of life, our traditions and our philosophies. It covers from the Revolutionary period forward, through the time of the War of Northern Aggression, to the textile mills, ACC basketball and all that. It’s got 17 chapters, even one on barbeque.
JB’s: What’s it been like to write this book?
CW: It’s been great fun. I’m able to sit on the porch at night, pull out the laptop and write. Many of the subjects I know about from being an historian, other subjects I’ll go to the source for information. I spoke to a friend of mine who’s a member of the Close family in Fort Mill. I asked them about the textile industry. I was lucky enough to talk to Bill Spoon about barbeque before he passed away. Who’d have thought a B/C student in school would have produced two books!
JB’s: And you’re also helping your father with a book, too.
CW: I’m helping him produce his own book. At 88 years old, he’s writing his memoirs on World War II. My publisher, The History Press, says it may likely be one of the last memoirs published by a World War II veteran. He’s very excited about it. We’re still working on a title for it.
JB’s: You’ve mentioned barbeque twice. Do you have a favorite?
CW: I do enjoy it, that’s for sure! I’ve sampled close to 70 barbeque restaurants here in the Carolinas. I know there’s lots of contention as to which one is considered the best, but I think that really comes down to what side of 85 you grew up on! I’m a big fan of Lexington style. Outside of the Carolinas, Memphis is my favorite place to get barbeque.
JB’s: You’ve said the Carolina coast is your favorite spot to fish. What comes in second place?
CW: Probably Australia, just off the Great Barrier Reef. I caught a 7-foot Great White off a small boat there once. I let it go, too. Just reached out there and snipped the line. I sure didn’t want to put my hand in his mouth to free that hook! The salt water will corrode the hook, so it’s no problem for the shark.
Come Thursday, Cameron Wright is back at Jesse Brown’s Outdoors for our Coastal Party supporting the Coastal Conservation Association. Make sure to ask him about why his plane was nearly shot down on this same fishing trip! See you there!