Bubba Life



Deep in the ACE backwaters, slogging somewhere in the 350,000 protected wetland acres Basin of Charleston, South Carolina, oysterman Trey McMillan is tending to his oyster farm. “ACE stands for the Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto Rivers, where all three rivers flow into the ocean,” says McMillan. “The confluence of the three rivers offers some of the purest water you will find in the country and its what gives our oysters their world-renowned taste.”

McMillan is the consummate oysterman. In these trying times of the Coronavirus outbreak, he’s a true testament to get out and enjoy an open-aired outdoor lifestyle more than ever. McMillan started the Lowcountry Oyster Co. brand in 2015; a calculated move after spending 13 years traveling the world chasing billfish as a professional angler, but the drive to bring people around the waters he loved consumed him. “LOWCO came to life after I decided to build my craft around my love for the Lowcountry waterways. One of the main reasons I farm the sea is because it seems to bring joy to everyone. I’ve never seen anyone mad or upset when they are around friends eating oysters. We started in 2015 but then really began to pick up headway in 2017 after people started finding out about how dedicated we were.”

McMillan’s Lowcountry oysters are known for their superbly briny taste and immediate availability, mainly due to the pureness and clarity of the surrounding waters. “Very rarely do our water temps fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, so the oysters never go into a “hibernation” mode and stop growing.” That kind of growth rate allows for a relatively expedient turnaround time from farm to table. “We can grow a single market oyster (3 inches) in 8 to 12 months. Most other places north of us take 18 to 24 months to do the same.”

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An oysterman needs a proper oyster knife in their arsenal, and McMillan has some thoughts on what goes into making a perfect oyster blade. “To me, a perfect oyster knife has a skinny width with a strong backbone to pry into the shell, medium length so as not to be too short or too long to fit the shell and a pointy blade to start the shuck; one that will fit in the hinge and easily pop it open.”

And his favorite way to slurp them down? – “Straight-up raw on the half shell! Every once in a while, I'll put a dab of hot sauce on it or a really good mignonette, but for the most part, I love the natural taste.”

As states are pushing for more and more time apart in efforts to beat this pandemic, know that there’s always time to “socially distance” and suck down a few fresh oysters. You’re gonna need the right blade. Pick up your new Paddoc™ Shucking Knife in sizes designed for the slickest oyster slice.
― The BUBBA™ Team