New Stumpy Point fish house keeps tradition alive


By Sandy Semans Ross for The Outer Banks Voices

The commercial fishing village of Stumpy Point begins coming alive about 4:30 each morning when captains and crew members head from their homes to the harbor to start another day. Within an hour, a parade of boats head from the docks out into the Pamlico Sound or even offshore.

Stumpy Point, first settled in the late 1700s, is 15 miles from the nearest gas station and mostly is confined to just one road that wraps around about a quarter of Stumpy Point Bay, which spills out into the Pamlico Sound.

The other three sides are hemmed in by Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, so a bear getting into the trash or a coyote trying to get to chickens is not an uncommon occurrence.

It is slow to change and has long been a fishing village whose importance has evolved from the days when it could only be accessed by drummers who came to the docks to buy seafood to be picked up by barges that moved it closer to the northern markets where it was headed.

Later, there were a number of very large fishing boats docked at wharfs dotting the length of the village and enough was shipped that it remains on the National Marine Fisheries Service’s list of seafood ports.

But since the closing of Roger Best’s Trinity Seafood in 1997, it has been without a fish house. This has forced fishermen to land in Wanchese or Engelhard — both 25 miles away — or dock in their own harbor, offload, then drive their catches to fish houses in one of those villages.

That changed recently when Luke Midgett bought and razed the old Trinity building and built a new facility with 2,400 square feet on first floor and about 1,200 on second. Named N-Seine Seafood, it is furnished with up-to-date equipment as well as new dockage.

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