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Andy "Rocky" Rakocy and Hayden Reno
If a penchant for crabbing and fishing is passed down through bloodlines, Hayden Reno and Rocky Rakocy are living proof. Both men learned to work the waters of Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas from their fathers—and the larger community around them—while growing up in the fishing villages of Bucktown and Manchac.
Rocky was eight years old when he got his first boat. In fact, his family members made their own boats back then. Hayden and Rocky are among the few commercial fishermen still working out of Manchac, catfishing on trout lines during the cold winter months and crabbing the rest of the year. Rocky has about 500 crab pots, an amount he calls “small time.” In addition to fishing, Hayden is the maintenance man and captain for Southern University’s research station on Pass Manchac.
While neither man would encourage a young person to adopt their chosen livelihood—costs and dangers are too great—both say they wouldn’t be happy doing anything else.