Summer Of 99--fishing The Bay
Experience Monterey County's fishing heritage out on the open sea.
Thursday, May 27, 1999
"Last Friday morning...the beach around the bay for more than two miles was covered with herring, some alive, some dead," reads a local''s journal entry dated Jan. 18, 1863. "All were apparently fresh, and very fat. Nearly everybody in town has eaten of those that were taken from the water alive, and I have heard of no sickness from it."
While fishing hasn''t always been so easy and techniques have changed a bit over the years, the fishing industry itself has always been important on the Peninsula. Be it herring, cod, albacore, salmon, anchovies, sardines or the ever-popular squid, Monterey and fish are synonymous in history and modern times.
But you don''t have to be a commercial fisherman to experience the thrill of the catch. Several local companies offer deep sea fishing trips for any skill level and many of the tour guides have been commercial fishermen themselves. Area fishing tours offer sport fishermen professional excursions into the bay and beyond in pursuit of cod, salmon and albacore tuna. Local outfits supply bait and tackle if you need it, and deck hands to help the less experienced. Be sure to call in advance for reservations, especially at the height of salmon season. Expect to pay $35-65 per person for an all-day trip. Bring along your own food and beer--and motion sickness tablets--and enjoy the party.
But, even if just the thought of open water makes your stomach roll, you can still get into the act. Monterey''s aromatic Wharf 2 is still a working pier where commercial fishermen bring their catch; you can watch as the piles of silvery fish are unloaded. Or, in Moss Landing, you can find a perch and watch the almost never-ending activity as the commercial boats leave with high hopes and return with their holds filled with silver gold.
Fisherman''s Wharf, Monterey: Benji''s Fish-N-Cruzin, 372-7154; Chris'' Fishing Trips, 375-5951; Monterey Sport Fishing, 372-2203; Randy''s Fishing Trips, 372-7440; Sam''s Fishing Fleet, 372-0577. Moss Landing: Tom''s Sportfishing, 633-2564.