3 of 5
Plan B ... and plan C ...
Plan B ... and plan C ...

Pat Holliday
Charter fishing captain and lodge manager, Cocodrie Charters
Cocodrie, La.

Pat Holliday has been fishing out of Cocodrie, La., for more than 20 years. Running the waters off Timbalier and Last islands, he's seen all kinds of strange things in the Gulf, but nothing like this. While the oil patch has yet to move west of the Mississippi River, its path changes almost daily. Holliday watches its direction as he would a hurricane.

"I've already been recieving e-mails from customers, and got three this morning that have trips booked up asking what is going on," he says. "A lot of people are concerned."

Cocodrie Charters is just coming into its busy season. In Holliday's line of work, all of his annual revenue must be made in a window of seven to eight months, which began a couple of weeks ago. Holliday has five full-time boats and runs a lodge that can accommodate up to 20 customers. If oil moves into his fishing waters and shuts down his opertions for the year, his company would lose at least $100,000 from charters that are already booked for the summer.

"If I can't fish, the boats go on the trailer," Holliday says. "If it gets really bad, the boats are going for sale and I'm out of buisiness after 17 years as a captain."

Holliday has already sent out resumes to two friends who work in oilfield service companies. Should the waters be shut down, he hopes to use his credentials and boats to help in the recovery.

He also has a bachelor's degree in engineering, something he hopes will give him "another end" should the fishing industry be washed away with the oil. Like many entrepreneurs around New Orleans, Holliday has learned to be flexible. His lodge hosted FEMA workers for more than three months after Katrina, a move he could repeat if oil cleanup becomes a local cottage industry.

But he's crossing his fingers that won't be necessary. "Right now, we're just hoping the weather doesn't blow [the oil] our way," he says. "People are starting to freak out."

NEXT: A fishing season in limbo

Email | Print | Share
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
LAST UPDATE: May 12 2010 | 11:22 AM ET
More Galleries
6 designers shaking up fashion These designers are changing the way we dress, accessorize and shop, from custom made-to-fit dresses to smart jewelry that's actually stylish. More
8 must-have travel apps Whether you've got wanderlust or an airline grievance, here are some apps to pack onto your phone. More
Secrets to success from Smalltown USA Utah State professor Michael Glauser cycled 4,000 miles this summer, visiting 100 entrepreneurs across the country. Here's a snapshot of how they grew their businesses. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.