PAMLICO COUNTY - Local and fresh oysters are an Eastern Carolina cuisine. One Pamlico County fisherman, Keith Bruno, got a call from his guys out on the water, and it's good news.
"I hear the product looks excellent. It has a good hard shell. It's a nice single oyster. They're tasting good and salty," said Bruno.
Monday, October 15th, starts hand tong oyster season.
"Hand tonging is hard work some would call it excruciating," said Bruno.
The tongs look similar to a post-hole digger. Except the heads are metal with sharp claws and the handles are, on average, ten feet long. Fisherman dip the tongs into the water, scrape the bottom for oysters and bring them on board the boat.
"They call them "man makers". If you're not a man before you go hand tonging, you'll definitely be one when you're finished," said Bruno.
According to the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, fishermen are only allowed ten bushels per boat per day. They will stay out on the water all day and into the night to reach that limit.
"The guys are excited about a good, long profitable season bringing in a premiere Carolina seafood product to the dock," said Bruno.
Oyster dredging season is next which starts mid-November.