5 celebrated charter captains share the local seafood spots that lure them back to land

Reel experts on their favorite places to eat fresh seafood
Hatteras Sol

Photo courtesy of Hatteras Sol

Captain Jessie Anderson
Carolina Girl Sportfishing
, Hatteras, North Carolina

“I would say Hatteras Sol because they have a great atmosphere and awesome food. It’s not formal by any means. It’s casual, yet the food is upscale—but not priced upscale. It’s just really high-quality seafood. You’re right on Pamlico Sound, so you can see the sunset while you’re enjoying your fresh seafood. My favorite thing to get there is the shrimp and grits.”

Captain Fuzzy Davis
Silva Dolla Fishing Charters
, Hilton Head, South Carolina

“There are so many good options, but one really great spot is Skull Creek Boathouse. The menu is diverse and priced well, and the food is very good—I recommend the Angry Tuna Rice Bowl. They’ll also cook your catch. It has a patio area that overlooks this really pretty Intracoastal Waterway setting with lots of boats coming by. There’s a lot to see just sitting there and watching the water.”

Captain Debbie Hanson
She Fishes 2
, Estero, Florida

“My favorite is Dixie Fish Company. They have a phenomenal smoked fish dip. Most places that make smoked fish dip here in Southwest Florida use mullet or parts of the fish that essentially no one wants. The dip at Dixie Fish is made with wahoo, which is one of the best-tasting fish. The restaurant is all open-air, and it has an old-school, historic fish-market vibe.”

Captain Troy Frady
Distraction Charters
, Orange Beach, Alabama

“My favorite restaurant of all time is Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina, where we keep our boat. They have the best food in town. The upstairs dining menu is usually very small, but the chef up there, Chef Bill, is very particular about the quality of food he puts out. The fresh fish of the day is always good, and the Murder Point oysters are delicious.”

Captain Mike Frenette
Redfish Lodge of Louisiana, Venice, Louisiana

“I would pick New Orleans Food & Spirits. The food is excellent, and it’s where the locals go. They’re known for their fried seafood dishes. They give you way too much to eat, so you get more bang for your buck. Everything is good, so it’s tough to pick a favorite, but I like to get their seafood gumbo or blackened catfish pasta.”

This article appears in the Spring/Summer 2021 issue of Southbound.