Captain’s Spotlight: Troy Outland, Sr.
I am a 3rd generation fisherman and I pound net out of Mann’s Harbor, NC. My son and oldest grandson fish with me now that they have both served their time in the United States Marine Corps. My son also has his own crabbing operation.
I can remember hanging out at our family fish docks as a young boy, cleaning boats and cutting bull lip for crab and trout liners.
At the young age of 10, I saved my money and bought a 3 HP Wizard outboard and my grandfather allowed me to put it on his skiff and at the age of 15, I started crabbing after school. I fished seasonally until my now wife graduated from college to teach school. After working on all kinds of boats, in 1982, I decided to start pound netting. I was fortunate enough to work with some of the “Great” pound netters.
I use my 25’ Parker and a 32’ Manning to fish my pounds. We fish in the Spring and Summer for crab bait, butterfish and croakers. My main passion is to fish for Flounder in the Fall. We fish in waters that are about 16’ deep and during the Fall Flounder season, we fish four handed.
I still believe there is a future for the Flounder pound nets, that’s if we can be regulated by true science and not agenda driven NGO’s. When there are certain people are on the Marine Fisheries Commission and they have their own personal agenda, that is what we call “Voodoo” science. I personally do not believe that the fishermen have been treated fairly for a long-time due to the agenda driven “Voodoo” science.
It would be very difficult for a young fisherman to get into this part of the industry because of the cost of gear and finding a good location to set their pound up. Location is the key to success in this business.
I was Blessed to be able to buy out Capt. Melvin Twiddy and he taught me a lot. Now there are two more generations that will be able to take over my net locations.
Pounds are an old way of life. We pail the fish on a cull table, and are able to release anything that is not in season or undersize in seconds so they it can swim off and live to be caught another day.
I think that it is a cool feeling to know that several hundred years ago, Indians were using a similar method on Roanoke Island . . . where I live!
In 2016, we started Outland Seafood to market our own seafood. It has been difficult, but I believe with good, local seafood, we will succeed.