FISHERMEN & BOATS OF THE OUTER BANKS
Around the Outer Banks, captains are better known by their boat name than their given name.
This practice comes from decades of working on the water, communicating over radio using boat names to call one another. Here are our favorite Outer Banks fishing vessels and those who brave the Graveyard of the Atlantic for wild seafood.
F/V SEA BOUND, HATTERAS VILLAGE
F/V Sea Bound is the only long-line boat on Hatteras Island, his harbor is less than one mile form our market! This boat is owned by our friend and life-long commercial fisherman Mr. Jeff Oden and currently captained by Will Tillet, they primarily target pelagic species including Atlantic Tunas, Swordfish, and Dolphin/Wahoo.
Sea Bound's short fishing trips, quick handling, and attention to detail consistently produces chef quality meat. Their passion for the fishery and dedication to sustaining the resource makes Sea Bound our favorite long-line boat. Mr. Oden has been an active member of state and federal fishing advisory panels throughout his fishing career.
F/V PROWLER, HATTERAS VILLAGE
F/V Prowler day trips using hook-and-line gear to target Snapper-Grouper species March through August and October through February he fishes for King Mackerel. Hook-and-line is a selective fishing practice, it has virtually zero bycatch due to the ability to target based on species and fish size desired. Prowler's method of fishing produces a superior product because each fish is immediately dehooked, killed, gutted, and iced.
Captained by Graham Harrison, he is the second generation to own and operate operate F/V Prowler in Hatteras. He continues to sustainably fish the same species his father, Robert, fished for 25 years on the same vessel.
F/V BIG DAVE, WANCHESE
F/V Big Dave is a small shrimp boat fishing along the Outer Banks. Owned by our friend and fellow commercial fisherman, Matt Huth, and operated by Captain Joe Elms this boat fishes out of Wanchese, NC. Our local inlet is no longer deep enough for shrimpers to come into Hatteras Village so they must go to our neighboring port.
Big Dave's small-scale operation allows for great attention to detail which produces the perfect shrimp, summer or winter! We love Big Dave because their commitment to preserving the shrimping heritage of their home port.
F/V HARDWAY, WANCHESE
F/V Hardway targets Atlantic Tuna, Swordfish, and Dolphin/Wahoo using long-line gear. This is a highly regulated and sustainable fishery due to the committed and passionate boats like Hardway. Captain Wimpy, as he is known locally, started working as a commercial mate in the Outer Banks 14 years ago. Slowly chipping away at the ranks until he became captain and eventually a boat owner.
In 2020, his dream of owning and operating his own commercial fishing business came true when he purchased Hardway and its permits after running it for five years as a hired captain. Hardway's short trips, quick handling, and attention to detail produces top quality meat. His dedication to maintaining the resource and passion for his fishery makes him one of our favorite long-line boats.
RETIRED CAPTAINS & BOATS
These are the local legends, those that spent decades working the waters of the Outer Banks to bring us wild seafood.
ROBERT HARRISON, RETIRED F/V PROWLER
Captain of F/V Prowler for 25 years, Robert filled the little green boat to the top many times over. He primarily targeted South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper, King Mackerel and Atlantic Tunas. Prowler was a creative commercial fishermen, always looking to perfect his techniques and product.
His fish handling advanced greatly when one of the world's leading sushi distributors, True World Foods, started sourcing Bluefin Tuna off Prowler in the early 1990s. Their South Korean buyer instructed Robert on how to expertly handle tuna for the sushi market. Robert had specific guidelines on how to process fish including where to cut the head, how to spine, and he even wrapped them in rice paper to preserve color! Following instructions paid off, his bluefins were flown to Japan for sale at Tsukiji fish market.