One of my friends was visiting from another part of the country and wanted to go to a seafood restaurant one night. Oh, I said, let me take you to my favorite fish camp in the area. She had no idea what I meant by “fish camp”. Here are 5 of the best fish camps in North Carolina according to Yelp.
Let’s get back to that question, “What is a fish camp”? It is different than seafood restaurants people in other parts of the country are used to. Southern Living magazine describes fish camps this way:”The original fish camps date back to before World War II. They were little more than rudimentary waterside kitchens, either outdoors or in smaller spots along riverbanks or coastal sounds, where fishermen could cook what they caught. Some of the fishermen saw entrepreneurial opportunities and hired cooks to help out. Over time, these camps evolved into no-frills seafood restaurants, a few of which remain in business today. Some are in the same locations as the old camps, while others moved a little closer to town.”
And the origins of fish camps are closer than even I knew until I did some research. This is what google has to say about the history of fish camps.” The earliest were established along the Catawba River in South and North Carolina in the 1930s and 1940s and began as sheds where anglers could fry their fresh catches. And while most restaurants purchase their fish from seafood wholesalers and farms, fish camps continue to be found along waterways.”