Influencer: Portsmouth’s Corey Wheeler Forrest is the Face of Trap Fishing

XTRATUF PRO TEAM member and documentary subject catches us up on what it means to be a “fishermom” in Rhode Island’s East Bay

As a third-gen fisher, you are a strong advocate for trap fishing – a method where fish are funneled into a large floating trap secured by anchors, everything is alive, and what can’t be used can simply swim away. What is it about trap fishing that makes it so special to you?

Aside from trap fishing being one of the cleanest and most sustainable ways to harvest fish, I love that the traditions, stories, knowledge, and culture of trap fishing have been passed down through multiple generations since the 1800s. That speaks volumes about how Rhode Island’s fisheries are managed and trap fishing’s long-term sustainability.


The documentary The Last Trap Family by NY-based producer/director Hudson Lines about you and your life as a “fishermom” was made and premiered in 2019. Has it inspired more trap fishing families?

My father likes to say, “If it were easy, everyone would do it,” which is probably why so few of us still fish this way. If anything, I hope the documentary sheds light on the amount of work it takes to harvest seafood, some of the issues we face, like rising costs to run a business, and the faces behind that effort. I hope it inspires people to be more thoughtful and supportive in choosing where their food comes from. 


You are one of the nine ambassadors of the Alaskan-based shoe and foot brand XTRATUF’s Pro Team! How did that come to be?

I showed up on XTRATUF radar after I wrote a blog post about growing up in a fishing family, and they contacted me. Authenticity and a connection are my top priority when working with a brand; I’m not someone who can “fake it,” so it’s refreshing to know that there are real people behind their company who support people like me who genuinely put their products to the test every day, and can stand by their brand. I’ve loved working with them over the years. There is a boot or shoe for everyone, and I wear them all, from cozy fleece-lined slippers to their new Riptide shoe coming out this spring.


What are the best parts of living and working in the East Bay?

I live in Portsmouth, but my commute to Sakonnet Point is something I look forward to every day: the sunrise, the open spaces of farms and stone walls with the sea as a backdrop sprinkled with farm stands and coffee shops. During my fishing season, I love to stop by Walker’s Farmstand in Little Compton for tomatoes and sweet corn on my way home. The Art Cafe for Coffee in Little Compton is one of my favorites, especially during the off-season – the wood stove is always burning, and I’m guaranteed to see other local fishermen there. I love Cory Farms Past & Presents in Portsmouth for unique gifts with nautical flair.


Where can Rhode Islanders go to enjoy your fish? 

I sell whole fish straight off our boat at Sakonnet Point during our season starting in May. Dune Brothers in Providence is another excellent choice; I love that they buy direct from us and other local fishermen and only use in-season fresh, local seafood. Follow at @fishandforrest



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