Saying Goodbye to Jimmy

Saying Goodbye to Jimmy

                We’ll be taking off to go fishing in the morning for a Friday delivery.  When we throw the lines off and get underway Jimmy will be staying dockside.  He didn’t get fired, didn’t quit, he’s just going back to school in less than a week and wanted  to be a thirteen year old for the rest of the summer, his Mom and I were fully supportive.  It’s been nice having him onboard for the last six weeks and I’m going to miss him. 

                Jimmy aka. Little James (he’s named after my brother, so Big James, Little James) made his first trip with me when he was six, I was fishing Whiting out of the Columbia River on a boat called the ‘George Allen’.  Making five to six deliveries a week I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to show him what the old man does for a living; if he didn’t like it we were only gone for a day at a time, two days tops.  He came out but we ended up snagging the net on the remains of a sunken charter boat that had rolled over on the Garibaldi, OR bar.  I remember the eerie feeling pulling pieces of rail, a stainless ladder, antennae & mounts, etc. out of my net when we finally got it free from the bottom.  That charter boat wreck was one of the worst ever with something like eleven casualties, it was a harsh reminder of what could happen; when I went to town to grab our spare net I left Jimmy in town with his Mom.

                The next time he came out with me I was fishing Dungeness crab on a boat named the ‘Ballad’.  Probably the most competitive fishery on the West Coast, but it was getting close to the end of the season, many guys had already packed it in and so we were just scratchin’ to get a few more pounds in before we did the same.  The weather was supposed to be good and he’d been begging to go, so I took him.  He made a four day trip that first one, unloaded and went out for another.  On those trips I could see that wonder in his eyes that comes from seeing all those things that cause normal people to decide to make their living on the ocean, which scared me a little.  I must admit I was proud to see the way he handled himself on the boat, pitching in baiting jars, sorting crab, joking with the crew, keeping me company.

                On April of 2011, when the deal on the South Bay presented itself was a very exciting, stressful time.  After so many years of running other people’s boats the opportunity for me to get ownership had finally presented itself.  The catch was I’d have to fish the boat out of Morro Bay, a place I had never fished, didn’t know the grounds, didn’t know anything about the area except that they were doing some pretty groundbreaking work on fishing sustainability, community sustainability, and programs to get the people working in the industry ownership in it.  The topic of many passionate discussions between Tiffani and me, we decided to take a risk, move to Morro Bay and buy the South Bay.  Because a big part of the reason we took the risk was about the next generation, preserving stocks and protecting habitat as well as combating the ‘share-cropper’ side effect of the ‘catch share’ management scheme that had just been implemented, I took Jimmy on the first three trips.

                Since that time Jimmy’s older brother Jentry came to work on the boat, two years in October.  When Sergio quit, going back to work at Cal-Poly, the timing was perfect for Jimmy to work part of the summer until his replacement showed up, and he went back to school.  This was his first time actually having a place on the crew albeit half-share, until now he’s been a ride along.  Jimmy grew         


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Fish, Fisherpoets and Farmers Markets

     You may have noticed we have two blogs on our website, this isn't because I'm so proud of my typing skills that I think I can fill two spaces with words instead of just one.  Nope, in fact the opposite is true, I have those 'fat fingered fisherman hands' that usually hit at least two letters around the one I'm aiming for, requiring a lot of backspacing!  I do however realize the importance of being able to express oneself and I wanted to offer something a little different, so here's how I've decided to organize our blogs-  This one, the one titled 'News' will be to inform you of what's going on with SBW, how to get our fish, stuff about the fishing trips, how our blogs will be organized, etc.  The other one titled 'Fair Weather and Good Fishin' will be like a poets corner where I will post original works of poetry or prose by myself or others.  Please read more about the featured author and the Fisherpoets gathering below. 


This is a photo of Chris Battle the dock manager at Morro Bay Fish Dock, where South Bay unloads holding up two of the biggest Petrale Sole either of us have ever seen. 

This is a photo of Chris Battle the dock manager at Morro Bay Fish Dock, where South Bay unloads holding up two of the biggest Petrale Sole either of us have ever seen. 

Fisherpoets-Patrick Dixon

I worked for Pat Dixon during the 97' Salmon season in Cook Inlet, AK.  That ended up being Pats last season fishing, but the beginning of a long friendship.  Pat dragged me to my first Fisherpoets Gathering, which happened to be the second one of all time, this year was the 17th.  I refused to go to the first one because I figured if there was ever a sign of being in a dying industry poetry festivals are it.  Pat was persistent though and practically forced me to go and I am forever grateful to him for that.  Fisherpoets gave me a creative release that I didn't even know I needed, but became increasingly important while my fishery made drastic, but necessary changes that were often painful as we moved towards sustainability.  Pat and Fisherpoets have played a huge role in my life, fishing career and sanity, so I wanted to feature him first.  I hope you enjoy Pat's- The Connection-

 The connection was first published by The Journal of Family Life online, July, 2009, and most recently in Anchored in Deep Water: The FisherPoets Anthology - Family  Dynamic.  Pat has written two books Fat City and Swimming With Fish and Other Animals and did a huge amount of work as well as contributing to The Fisherpoets Anthology.  He's an awesome photographer who's work has been featured in National Fisherman and The Smithsonian.  It's impossible for me to think of Fisherpoets without thinking of Pat.  

The Fisherpoets Gathering is always held on the last weekend in February in Astoria, OR.  Last year it had 78 presenters from 14 different states, provinces, or countries.  We had a lady come from the UK last year as well as a guy from Scotland.  Events took place in 6 different bars micro-breweries and art galleries.  Always a fun time with musical and prose works being performed in addition to poetry.  Hope to see you there.

Farmers Markets

Petrale, Ling Cod, Rockfish, Dover Sole and Black Cod will all be available this week from my offload on Wednesday the 13th.  The weather for fishing next week is looking poor through Tuesday though, so next week you will have an opportunity to try our frozen products.  Weather is one of the inconveniences of harvesting WILD fish, we knew this day was coming, in preparation we've been vac sealing and freezing fillet's while they are at the peak of freshness to help us provide a consistent supply of high quality WILD fish, I hope you enjoy.


That's it for this week, thanks for reading all the way to the end-

Remember-You are what you eat, wouldn't you rather be WILD?


2nd Week of Farmers Markets

Our second week of farmers markets is moving along fine.  It's been nice for me to meet and interact with the people who are eating my fish, until now they were just a faceless person usually in a foreign country.  The fact that most of the feedback about our fish has been positive is just icing on the cake.  I think its good for the boys to come down and help once in a while too, nothing makes them go the extra mile for quality like the knowledge that they might be handing that fish to the person who's eating it!

Last week we had a lot of requests for skin on fillets for the BBQ, in response we've left the skin on some of the Ling Cod.  If you have any special requests like this, or if you would like whole fish, please send us an email we would like to fine tune our products to meet our customers needs.

Also, we would like to start a hybrid CSF (community supported fishery) and a pre-order off the boat sales option.  If either or both of these sound interesting please contact us and let us know any thoughts on how we should set them up to be most convenient for you. 

Thanks again for your support, I look forward to meeting all of you in the days to come.  I'll be heading out fishing tomorrow morning, back Tuesday night, so I'll miss the Paso market, but Tiffani and Isabelle will be there.

Remember you are what you eat...wouldn't you rather be wild?

Rob Seitz