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 PROWLER, HATTERAS VILLAGE
F/V Prowler is the boat that started it all for Harbor House. Bought in 1990 by Robert Harrison, he passed it on to his son, Graham, in 2015 after he completed his 20 year apprenticeship!
Prowler fishes in the South Atlantic Region targeting Snapper-Grouper, King Mackerel, Dolphin/Wahoo, and a few inshore species. Graham's day trips and a high attention to quality make Prowler's fish some of the best around. Prowler's life-long commitment to sustainability ensures longevity of our targeted species. Graham continues to fish on spots his dad fished 25 years ago! The secret is to only take as much as you need, leaving the rest to continue growing for next time.
F/V SEA BOUND, HATTERAS VILLAGE
F/V Sea Bound is the only longline boat on Hatteras Island, his harbor is less than one mile from 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 career, he continues to be our biggest advocate for Hatteras Island.
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.
F/V Lil Finn, Wanchese, NC
Lil Finn is our inshore net boat targeting Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish, Sea Mullet, Croaker, and more. F/V Lil Finn is operated by our young friend, Finn. He is still in high-school so goes fishing on weekends and in the summertime.
They fish nets off the beach, if you see several small boats while sunbathing this is what they are doing! It is highly regulated - the net is sized perfectly for the fish we want to catch. Fish too small swim through and fish too big bounce off!
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.