Jake - Always NC Fresh
Type of fishing: Gillnet, longline and beach seining. I longline for sharks and Mahi. I gillnet for various species mostly sharks, spots, sea mullet and mackerel. I also have one of the few beach fishing rigs that I fish in the spring for star butters.
How did you get started in fishing? I got my start in it through my family. Mother and father both fished, and Mom had to drop back to have me, so I was born into it. Got my first net boat at 10 and have done it since.
What is your fondest/best/proudest memory of fishing? My mind goes to beach fishing and some of the beautiful catches and being able to keep it alive, but I’d say it’s when I was told, “For every fisherman that you can show me you think is making it, I’ll show you 10 that aren’t.” Here it is 20 years later pushing forward using that as motivation.
What is your favorite thing about the fishing community? The fishing community is a very strong knit group. Any issues that come up, everyone works together because at some point or another, on or off the water, you’ll find yourself in a tight [spot]. Always been proud to be part of it and help when I can.
What is the biggest misconception about the commercial fishing industry? Social media and propaganda have single handedly crippled my biggest fishery, the shark fishery, to the point our regulators (NOAA) are putting out articles backing the fishery trying to fight what damage has been done. There’s always been a sort of grudge against fishing gears, but it stems from misinformation and propaganda.
What is your favorite seafood dish? Can you share the recipe? There’s a lot of great seafood to eat, but I challenge [you] to think outside the box and fry a piece of spiny dogfish. Find them anywhere on the coast in the wintertime, and you’ll be floored by the outcome. Ribbonfish and star butters alike. Try something new. If it’s caught here in North Carolina why not try it, you might like it.