Memories- Fish Camps

I grew up in a small town outside of Charlotte that is known for its many fish camps. When I was in highschool, It was a popular place kids landed their first job. There was one on every corner. I remember six of them with in a two mile stretch. Twin Tops Fish camp was only a mile from my home. The day I turned sixteen the family went to eat there. My dad took me into the kitchen where he knew the owner. "My girl just turned sixteen, can you put her to work?" I left that night with a job. I was a bus boy and enjoyed it. I was paid 3.00 an hour plus a percentage of tips. It was gas and movie money and thats all I needed at the time.

I noticed that many people who are not from around here give me a strange look when I call it a fish camp. A lot of people only know them as fish houses. I picture a fish house being fancy and serving wine. Fish camps around here are anything but fancy. The intereiors are often made up of wooden tables, bench seats and fish photos hanging on the wall that would tell the story of the fishermen. Families would make it custom to go every week and meet friends. With a roll of paper towels, a setting of paper plates and a jug of sweet tea on the table, you were ready to eat.

 

Fish camps were usually owned by generations of families. There was always competition on which one was the best. The other towns around would have fish camp festivals with cook offs and cat fish races. Those were the fun days. 

Fish camps are still popular and you can still see a line hanging out the door on any givin friday night. 
They are just that good.


11 comments

  1. I run into the same problem away from GAston County (maybe NC & SC), say fish camp folks in Mississippi see a place to fish and camp. I had a friend who owned a fish camp close to Gulfport. I was impressed until I learned it was just a slice of land where they camped to fish. LOL

    But Gastonia and Belmont do have some great Fish Camps. The fish cooked are delicious and the slaw is great. I used to think I was in heaven with a big fried flounder. LOL Good one.

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  2. My Grandson Luke was a bus boy at Catfish Cove Fish Camp up until last year. He enjoyed it and the owner bragged on his work. They must instill a very good work ethic.

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  3. Being a city girl, I've never heard of fish camps!!

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  4. And on this side of the world we don't have either fish camps or fish houses. I don't think.

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  5. I never heard them called fish camps before but I know what you mean. There is a crab one we used to go to when we lived in southern MD that had newspapers on the table and a sink right in the dinning room so you could wash your hands every once in a while. : )

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  6. You would love Old English Fish and Chips here in SF.

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  7. Those fish camps sound like great places to eat. I wish we had some of those around here.

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  8. we don't have here such but wish we have as they seem great enjoyment and gathering place

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  9. Since we have always lived on the Plains of West Texas and not many places to even go fishing, much less have anything like a fish camp...oh, we have places to eat all kinds of sea foods and fish but they are flown or trucked in ...needless to say, I don't even LIKE fish....but hubby does.

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  10. Lisa, I don't often comment...but I have to say...you are such an inspiration to so many people and I am one of those people! It is so enjoyable to read your comments about the love you have for your husband and how you miss him during your trip. You are so supportive and I 'so' appreciate the posts on MFP. Have fun on your trip....and let us know how all went! So proud of you!

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  11. That was pretty good back then to have 3 plus tips. The min tipped wage has been stuck at 2.13 for forever now at least on the federal level.

    In Japan, it's considered rude to leave a tip. It's basically like saying they don't make enough money and you're giving them pity.

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