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Making his living off the water

Brian White of Mobjack has been a waterman just about all of his 46 years. He tried working construction for a while a few years back, but decided he’d rather go back to working on the water. He said he’ll continue doing it as long as he can pay the bills.

White spends eight hours a day, seven days a week working alone in his 25-foot Seahawk to support his family—his wife Jenny and their three sons, Anthony, 2; Grant, 5; and Jeffrey Croxton, 16. He sets his gill nets in the Mobjack Bay from early spring until early fall, catching menhaden, croakers and spot. During the winter, he fishes for oysters.

On Thursday, White was at the East River Boat Yard in Bohannon offloading baskets of menhaden, also known as bunkers. The boat yard is a convenient place to land his catch, said White. It has a small dock and a hard, flat surface for dragging the baskets to his truck.

The menhaden are used as bait fish by recreational and commercial fishermen, and White said his catch w...

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