Up Close and Personal With Bruce Vogt of Big Island Aquaculture Oysters

When Bruce and Cathy Vogt bought their home in Hayes, Virginia, they were looking for a waterfront spot with room for their horses. What they didn't realize was just how perfect their geography was to growing oysters in a region known for its seafood.

Today, the Vogts are some of the most prolific oyster growers in rural coastal Virginia and their Big Island Aquaculture Oysters are enjoyed by seafood lovers from Nashville to Richmond and many points in between.

We sat down with Bruce recently to get to know his love of the coastal life better with the Marker Nine Questionnaire.

What is your favorite music that must be on your beach or boat playlist?

It’s gonna be Jimmy Buffet, for sure, and I like a variety of the Jimmy Buffet songs.

What is your favorite seafood?

My favorite seafood is oysters. Not only because they’re so good, but also for the nutritional value. Oysters have so much nutritional value to them that a lot of people don’t even know about or understand. For example, there’s more protein in an oyster than in a large egg. Not to mention Omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the heart and good for the brain. Not only do I love the flavor, I like all the great nutrition I get, too.

What is your drink of choice on the beach or boat?

I have a couple, but it’s hard to beat a good margarita. I also like a good martini. And, of course, depending on the temperature of the day, could be beer. Believe it or not, on the boat I also enjoy good wine.

If you could only bring one person out on your boat with you (or to spend the day on the beach), who would it be? Living or dead. Celebrity or not. You pick.

I’d definitely want to bring my wife. I think someone like Will Rogers would be fun to have on the boat, too.

Blow boat or power boat?

I’m gonna go with power boat.

Creek crawl or full throttle?

I’m gonna say creek crawling. I like the full throttle, but I like the sightseeing, too. The casual float.

Snack attack. What are the must have snacks for a day on the boat or beach?

Gotta have some chips, but my number one would be (and don’t laugh at this) I like fried chicken on the boat. I’ll have the tray with the vegetables, the carrots, that stuff, but I love fried chicken on a boat. Especially if I’ve been out waterskiing and worked up a good appetite.

What is your earliest water memory?

Living in western Massachusetts where we had just bought a new, beautiful boat.

Describe your perfect day (preferably on the water).

First of all, you’ve gotta have family and friends who you love, great weather, catching fish, and just great company. Great music, great company, no weather issues.

What's the biggest fish tale that you told?

One time we were deep-sea fishing off of the Outer Banks in North Carolina. There was a group of us, but this good friend of mine, at that time, had caught a citation marlin which he fought for two and a half hours. That was quite an experience.

Another time I was going out with my three sons. We chartered a deep-sea fishing boat in North Carolina and the weather had turned bad and one captain cancelled but then said that this other guy might go out. So, we called him and, sure enough, he took us out and we just had a great day of catching tuna. It was a great day with family, with my sons.


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