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Real Good Fish | Fishermen A-Z | | Fishermen | Bringing you the freshest sustainably caught LOCAL seafood!
“Perhaps I should not have been a fisherman, he thought. But that was the thing that I was born for.”
- Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
Kevin Butler

Kevin Butler grew up fishing and foraging up and down the California coast and ended up in Santa Cruz for the last 4 decades. He brought his fresh catches home and learned to prepare them. As a child, he preferred salmon roe and sea urchin to soda and candy, outdoors to the inside. His childhood...

Kevin Butler grew up fishing and foraging up and down the California coast and ended up in Santa Cruz for the last 4 decades. He brought his fresh catches home and learned to prepare them. As a child, he preferred salmon roe and sea urchin to soda and candy, outdoors to the inside. His childhood passions have developed into his current careers: a fisherman and chef.

He now fishes commercially for halibut, seabass, lingcod, rockfish, and sand dabs. He feels more comfortable on the water than on land. “When I go out fishing, I never have any idea how the day will work out," he said.  “But I’m away from cell phones, and land that can sometimes be claustrophobic.”

He not only sells seafood to Real Good Fish, but also works with Real Good Fish as our chef, preparing seafood for our events and doing our cooking demonstrations. He was the Executive Chef at Café Rio in Aptos, and enjoys showing people how really great local seafood can be.  “Instead of teaching or talking to people about how good fish can be, I got into showing them." If you've tried his chowder, anchovies or squid calamari at our events, you'll experience this for yourself. 

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Calder Deyerle

Calder has been a fishermen since day one. Learning to fish with his father, Richard, and uncle, Daniel, he was a deckhand until he was old enough to run his own boat. For many years while their company, Sea Harvest, was more involved with processing, Calder was running the crab and black cod...

Calder has been a fishermen since day one. Learning to fish with his father, Richard, and uncle, Daniel, he was a deckhand until he was old enough to run his own boat. For many years while their company, Sea Harvest, was more involved with processing, Calder was running the crab and black cod boats. Calder got his first boat in 2008 and has been fishing on his own ever since. Now he fishes nearshore rockfish, Dungeness crab, salmon, halibut, and albacore.

Miles is Calder's son, and he can be found wherever his father is, from the docks of Moss Landing to fishing out at sea, and even surfing the breaks off our coast - a little waterman in training. Calder's favorite fishery is Dungeness crab because it makes him a good living. For pure enjoyment, Calder prefers nearshore rockfish because the peace and quiet and beauty down the coast where he fishes can't be beat. For eating, it's all about the king salmon for him, thrown on the grill with a special mixture of mayonnaise, capers, dill, lemon, and a few other secret ingredients on top. No flipping the fish. The joys of fishing for Calder are in the freedom and life on the ocean, and the challenges are balancing time on the water with time with his family.

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Walter Deyerle

Walter has been fishing his whole life. As the son of Richard Deyerle, his first footsteps, along with his brother Calder, were probably on his father's boat. Walter started commercial fishing at the age of 19 and has continued full time through thick and thin. Walter and his deckhand, Marshall,...

Walter has been fishing his whole life. As the son of Richard Deyerle, his first footsteps, along with his brother Calder, were probably on his father's boat. Walter started commercial fishing at the age of 19 and has continued full time through thick and thin. Walter and his deckhand, Marshall, currently fish for rockfish, black cod, halibut, and Dungeness crab. Walter's favorite fish is hardheads (thornyhead, idiot fish, etc.) simply battered with italian seasoning and pan fried.

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Ron Farquhar

Ron Farquhar started fishing around 2002. Originally from San Francisco, a love of scuba diving brought him south to Monterey and he gradually eased his way into work as a commercial fisherman. In Ron’s case, a long “career” of personal spearfishing was his entry point. Next, he started working...

Ron Farquhar started fishing around 2002. Originally from San Francisco, a love of scuba diving brought him south to Monterey and he gradually eased his way into work as a commercial fisherman. In Ron’s case, a long “career” of personal spearfishing was his entry point. Next, he started working on charter fishing boats and then started his own business, Westwind Charter Sport Fishing & Excursions. The Westwind is a 31′ Island Hopper that calls Moss Landing its home port.

Ron now fishes commercially when salmon, halibut, albacore tuna, and white seabass are in season – generally from May to November. Throughout his work in fishing, the intimate knowledge of underwater “structure” (topography) he gained during his spearfishing and diving days has helped him to understand where to look for fish. Ron particularly enjoys fishing for white seabass and albacore since there’s so much excitement involved. The closure of the salmon seasons in 2008 and 2009 were tough, and adjusting to the rapid increase in area closures for MPAs has been difficult as well. Other challenges include occasional flooding of the market (leading to price drops) and fuel costs.

Ron tries to take advantage of fish closer to shore when possible to keep fuel costs down. Being able to sell to local buyers is a highlight of fishing for him, and he likes to know his local community is enjoying his catch. One of the most rewarding aspects of spending time on the ocean is seeing whales and dolphins, and being able to track schools of fish by watching birds feeding – it’s a way of witnessing the entire environmental cycle.

When not fishing, Ron works for the City of Monterey as a security worker for Monterey Harbor. In the course of patrolling the marina and wharf areas and checking on boats and moorings, Ron enjoys the people and hearing their stories from around the world. He also is able to keep a close eye on the types of fish being brought in by other fishermen on a daily basis. We’re glad to have started buying fish from Ron and wish him continued success!

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Tony Nguyen

Fifteen years ago when Tony moved to the Monterey Bay area, he had never set foot on a fishing boat. In fact, Tony's daughter bought him his boat, the Eagle, so that he could become a fisherman and leave his 17 year job as a welder for the Navy. For 3 years, Tony taught himself how to fish,...

Fifteen years ago when Tony moved to the Monterey Bay area, he had never set foot on a fishing boat. In fact, Tony's daughter bought him his boat, the Eagle, so that he could become a fisherman and leave his 17 year job as a welder for the Navy. For 3 years, Tony taught himself how to fish, making no money, until he says he finally learned how to catch fish and be a real commercial fisherman. Since then Tony has been following the tides, fish, bait, water temperature, wind, moon, weather, and seasons with eight years of data that help him predict where and when the fish will be found - a remarkable amount of information to be tracking!

Getting a tour of the F/V Eagle, Tony shared with us his simple but formidable galley: full range camping stove, high quality old steel knives like they used to make, worn out cutting board, well seasoned pots and pans, shelves and drawers stocked with an assortment of spices, sauces, and ingredients far beyond what most of us stock in our full sized kitchens at home. I asked him what his favorite fish was and he quickly responded "I love eating all fish," and with little encouragement, we spent 30 minutes discussing his favorite recipes.

When asked his favorite thing about fishing he said he likes working hard and problem-solving, and having to know everything: taking care of the boat, understanding regulations, taking care of the fish, and knowing how to fix all the problems on the boat himself.

Tony, 55, has one daughter and four sons. When he's not busy as a father, he is fishing, year-round. Depending on the season, he fishes sablefish (black cod), grenadier, salmon, rockfish, and Dungeness crab. At the time of the interview he was outfitting his boat to fish halibut. His message for our members: "Cold water fish are the best because they have firmer, more flavorful meat. Avoid most foreign fish because you don't know how long it's been traveling, and most farmed fish is not so good because the water is not clean."

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Brendan Pini

Brendan grew up in Santa Cruz, fishing with his grandfather, and his mother. “My mom is a great steelhead fisher,” he said. “She really knows how to read a river.” He’s 27 years, old, and believes that it’s important that younger people take up the mantle and fish commercially, but he approaches...

Brendan grew up in Santa Cruz, fishing with his grandfather, and his mother. “My mom is a great steelhead fisher,” he said. “She really knows how to read a river.” He’s 27 years, old, and believes that it’s important that younger people take up the mantle and fish commercially, but he approaches it with the perspective that fishermen are stewards of the ocean. It’s no surprise that he’s also a biology student at UC Santa Cruz, and believes that fishermen and marine resource managers can work together to create a sustainable system. 

He started off working as a deckhand on charter boats out of San Francisco and Santa Cruz, and now deckhands for commercial crabbing and salmon boats out of Moss Landing. He runs his own skiff, Mysealium, out of Santa Cruz and works the open access fisheries like white sea bass, halibut, sand dabs, and ling cod. His favorite fish to eat is Petrale sole, noting the light texture and mild flavor. But he likes to fish for California halibut the best. “It’s a nice long drift, not too crowded with other boats,” he explained. “When the tide shifts and the bite turns on, it gets exciting.”

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Dave Toriumi

Dave Toriumi has fished for fun most of his life, but is now running his own boat as a commercial fisherman off the coast of California. He owns the 22-foot Pioneer and uses hook-and-line gear to go after king salmon, halibut, seabass, lingcod and sand dabs. Some people in Watsonville may...

Dave Toriumi has fished for fun most of his life, but is now running his own boat as a commercial fisherman off the coast of California. He owns the 22-foot Pioneer and uses hook-and-line gear to go after king salmon, halibut, seabass, lingcod and sand dabs. Some people in Watsonville may recognize his name from Toriumi Auto Repair, a shop his dad owns where he has worked as a mechanic. He also has a mobile auto shop, but his passion is for being out on the ocean. “I like the lifestyle of a fisherman,” he said. “There’s no traffic, no boss, and a freedom out there that’s hard to find on land.” And this connection is being passed on to the next generation. His son, River Robert Toriumi's, first word was “boat.”

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Tuk Yi

Tuk caught his first rockfish with his dad when he was 8 years old. They fished together recreationally on their 15 ft. aluminum boat almost every weekend, and when Tuk turned 16, his father bought a bigger boat and they both began fishing commercially. Tuk is currently a part-time commercial...

Tuk caught his first rockfish with his dad when he was 8 years old. They fished together recreationally on their 15 ft. aluminum boat almost every weekend, and when Tuk turned 16, his father bought a bigger boat and they both began fishing commercially. Tuk is currently a part-time commercial fisherman who fishes three to seven days a week out of Monterey, Moss Landing, and Santa Cruz, depending on the season. His other part-time job is working as an auto mechanic, something he enjoys immensely and that allows him to pursue his hobby and passion racing cars.

Tuk loves being out on the water in the early morning and knowing that every day will be different. When asked about the challenges of commercial fishing, he mentions all the work involved with fishing beyond catching the fish: where to fish, weather, wind, currents and, ultimately, making the right decisions.

His favorite way to cook sand dabs is unusual: simply pan fry one side, then sprinkle bits of crispy bacon on the uncooked side and flip it and cook that side until done. Yum! 

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