1.SOFT CRABS ARE ON!!! ALL THE FLOATS ARE FULL OF PEELER CRABS!! The soft crab shedding operations on the Outer Banks of North Carolina will be working overtime this week carefully shepherding the peelers as they come out of their shells. It is not uncommon for a large shedding operation to have as many as 100,000 peelers in their tanks at any given time!! That is 9,000 DOZEN SOFT CRABS that can easily shed in 24 hours!! I estimate today there are 3 million peelers in tanks in along the Pamlico Sound. Prices are falling as we speak, with today’s pricing starting out at less than $4 EACH. There will be lots of affordable soft crabs of all sizes available for this Mother’s Day weekend. SELL SELL SELL!!! Another big price drop will be Friday for Saturday delivery (the NY market is closed on Saturday) and prices will fall again for Monday (5/13) delivery. It is now looking like from May 13 through Memorial Day, sell prices on jumbo soft crabs will be at or under $3 apiece, and could spend some time (a few days) under $2.50 each.
2. LOCAL JUMBO WILD ROCKFISH RACING UP THE COAST – After finishing spawning in their Chesapeake Bay tributaries, these jumbo migratory rockfish, turn tail and head for Massachusetts waters as quickly as possible. Most exit the Chesapeake at the southern end, Cape Charles Virginia, and swim right up the coast literally yards off the beach behind the breakers. We have several fishermen, risking flipping their small boats over in the surf, to catch these beauties. Should be plenty around for Mother’s Day menus.
3. LOCAL DOMESTIC MAHI STARTING – Beginning May 1, a large area of the ocean east of Charleston South Carolina, called the “Charleston Bump” opens to longlining. Short trip mahi boats will get on the school there and follow them as they move past Cape Hatteras North Carolina on their way to the Flemish Cap off Nova Scotia! I guess that’s why they call them “highly migratory” fish. Boats will pack out in Hatteras Tuesday and we will have the first local mahi in house by Thursday. Prices are coming down. Don’t miss out on these high-flying fish!!
4. LOCAL OCEAN CITY 13 COUNT SCALLOPS SELLING LIKE HOT CAKES! As the weather gets prettier, Capt Derek Hoy is able to get out of Ocean City Inlet more frequently and catch this local delicacy which has no equal in the scallop world. Your wait staff and your guests will rave about these scallops.
5. 1500-2000 GRAM (3-4lb) ROYAL BASS!! Looking for a delicious, white meat fish that is affordable with stable long-term pricing? Then Mediterranean Royal Bass is your answer. Royal bass or Meagre, as they are called in Europe, grow in the wild to as big as 50 kilos!! They are farmed alongside our bronzino in the Mediterranean and grow very quickly to 3-4 lbs. each. This fish is diverse and can be prepared in a wide variety of ways (crudo, grilled or sauté). Talk to your sales rep about putting it on the menu or as a catch of the day. Scaled skin on fillets are less then $12
6. COPPER RIVER OPENS MAY 12 – Are you in the market for some really expensive, over-priced KINGS & SOCKEYE wild salmon? Hey, well you are in luck. “First opener” pricing is usually reserved for people with more money than sense. You must give the people of Cordova Alaska credit for being able to market these fish for exorbitant prices for the first week or two of the season. Copper River King salmon fillet prices will be north of $30 and sockeye fillets north of $20 for the first week. FYI – the Copper River King salmon population (each river system has their own separate King Salmon population that are born and die in their “natal” river) is in really bad shape and fishery managers will time their openers to try and have the least amount of king salmon caught.
7. FRESH COLOSSAL HPP CRABMEAT – Wanna make a fresh crabmeat cocktail that will knock your customer’s socks off? We get limited amounts of this exceptional crabmeat from time to time so let your sales rep know if you are interested in some next time it comes in.
8. CALIFORNIA TROLL KING SEASON HAS STARTED – In California, commercial trollers target king salmon in the ocean swimming back to their natal rivers, including the Sacremento, Klamath, Eeel, Matthole, Mad, and Swath River systems. Pricing will start out high (whole fish $14-$15) but it is anticipated that the market will soften after Mother’s Day.
9. 8-12 EZ PEELS -THE BEST SHRIMP COCKTAIL ON THE PLANET!! Would you like to really “WOW” Mom for Mother’s Day? Our 8-12 EZ Peel Tiger Shrimp will turn all heads going across the dining room. They are not JUST another big shrimp. These shrimp TASTE better than any other shrimp cocktail and have a crisp snap when you bite into them. At $1.45 per shrimp, they are very affordable too. 20 lb. cases – item code # 991600
10. BIGEYE TUNA — The next best thing to Bluefin tuna is a Bigeye tuna, (Thunnus Obeseus). It is often sold interchangeably with Yellowfin tuna because of its similar size and appearance. Yes, this one is called Ahi also. But what sets it apart is the richer flavor and tender flesh. More supple, sometimes called soft, Bigeye tuna offers a greater reward to your palette. It is richer in oil than Yellowfin tuna. This fish can dwell deep. Bigeye are known to swim in waters up to 500 meters below the surface of the ocean! We will feature North Carolina Bigeye tuna this week. The first of the season. Number one sushi grade. Get it while supplies last.
11. FRESH CRABMEAT SITUATION THIS WEEK – We have plenty of HPP fresh Venezuelan jumbo & lump to get through this week. The situation is bad in country but a few flights managed to make it to the US. LOTS OF LOCAL fresh crabmeat from Maryland houses. Jumbo is selling under $30 and lump under $16