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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."