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, CAPTAIN GRAHAM HARRISON
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, gutted, and iced.
In 2015, Graham become the second generation to own and operate F/V Prowler. He continues to sustainably fish the same species his father, Robert, fished for 25 years on the same vessel. Prowler holds Federal Fisheries Permits to target South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper, Atlantic Mackerel, Atlantic Tunas, Dolphin/Wahoo, Black Sea Bass, and more!
F/V HARDWAY, CAPTAIN DAVE SHIELDS
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. In fact, Prowler and Attitude were the first Outer Banks' boats to have Bluefin Tuna flown to Japan.