Core Sound Seafood connects the fishermen of Down East Carteret County, North Carolina to the Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Raleigh communities. These fishermen—many of whom trace their fishing heritage back four or five generations—are increasingly leaving life on the water as global markets, community economic loss, rising fuel prices and decreasing buying prices threaten their livelihood. North Carolina fishermen are a tremendous resource in our state’s diverse agricultural offerings, and including them as producers in our local food shed is vital.
Core Sound provides a market to these fishermen through a weekly CSF (community supported fishery) of locally caught, fresh seafood. Read more about Core Sound Seafood at their website. Download a PDF with recipes for Dora Willis’s Crab Dip, Scallop Fritters, Shrimp Melts on English Muffins, and Pan Fried Whole Flounder with Plum Sauce.
Throughout the year, when items are in season, Weaver Street Market gets weekly shipments from Core Sound Seafood and sells them on ice in our stores. Read more. Panzanella also uses seafood from Core Sound Seafood and hosts Local Dinners featuring a menu centered on the seasonal catch.
Meet the fishermen
Danny began fishing with his father and stepfather. When he started fishing for his own living in the 1960s, fuel cost sixty cents a gallon! He’s lived in Atlantic, a small village on the sound end of Pamlico Sound, his whole life. He’s one of the few fishermen left in the Down East community who practices long hauling, a fishing technique with two boats each hauling the end of a long net. He catches primarily bluefish, grey trout, and spot croakers (or spots).
Eddie and Allison Willis supply Core Sound with delicious soft shell crabs. Unlike most fishermen, they cull their crabs, separating them by color and stage, to produce a crab that sheds in a stress-free environment. While they wait for the thousands of trapped peeler crabs to shed into soft shell crabs, they continue to fish their 400 crab pots for more peelers. In the fall, their catch includes red drum and flounder. They process all the Core Sound Seafood in their store, Mr. Big’s Seafood, in Harker’s Island.
Doc’s family has fished Down East for five generations. The tradition continues with Doc, his brother, Darrell, and his son, Travis. While Travis works on a scallop boat up north and Darrell works on a long haul crew, Doc fishes primarily for flounder and clams.
Little A (a.k.a. Aaron Styron, III) runs a small packinghouse on Cedar Island with his father. In the spring and summer, he catches and packs crabs: first soft shell crabs in April, and then hard crabs. In the fall he switches to flounder, setting pound nets to trap fish as well as operating live flounder ponds to produce fish for the sushi market.
After leaving Cedar Island to attend UNC-Chapel Hill and spending two years in real estate, Vince Emory returned to the commercial fishing industry and life on the water. He’s a fourth generation fisherman, making most of his income from flounder fishing. He occasionally joins his father to fish for mullet; in the winter off-season, he joins fellow fishermen to go duck hunting.