Meet the fishermen

 Mike McCorkle

 

Boat Name: Pieface & Theresa Ann

 

Boat Length: 36 feet & 30 feet

 

Catch: Halibut, Ridgeback Shrimp, Sea Cucumber, Salmon, Barracuda, Bonito, Mackerel

 

Method: Light touch trawl net and hook-line troll

 

Location: Santa Barbara Channel

 

How did you get into fishing?
Mike grew up in Hermosa Beach and started fishing at the age of 5. As he grew he started going out on the fishing barges at Redondo, and by age 12 he was working on sport fishing boats during summers and weekends. By the time he was 16, Mike worked exclusively on commercial boats, and bought his own boat when he turned 18. A proud boat owner of 62 years, Mike used to fish from Mexico to Monterey, but relocated to Santa Barbara in 1964 because he felt it was a better place for fishing.

 

How have you connected with the community?
Having fished his whole life, Mike feels connected to his fishing community through the many people he has met up and down the California coast, fishermen and fish enthusiasts alike.

 

What is your favorite part about your fishing?
Mike sincerely enjoys catching fish and seeing the people who eat his fish enjoy them. “Every day on the ocean is different,” he says, “and one learns how to read it.” Mike appreciates the unpredictability and novelty in his work and notes, “it’s not like sitting in a cubicle and looking at a screen all day.”

 

What are your hobbies outside of fishing?
Mike enjoys traveling along the coasts and learning about the many different ways that people eat fish.

 

Mike’s advice:
Mike calls attention to the regulations and struggles that fishermen face today. “[Fishing] is not what people think it is,” he says, “It used to be good 20+ years ago, but now it’s a continual political fight just to be able to go ourside the harbor to fish.”

 

How do you cook what you catch?
“Good fresh fish is good cooked many different ways,” Mike tells us, “just don’t over cook it.”

 

Are there any distinct stories/experiences that you would like to share?
Mike has many stories to tell from his years on the ocean. His friend, the late Ed Ries, has written three books on the history of fishing, the last of which Mike wrote the final third of the book. You can find more information on his book “Looking Astern” at Montereypubs.com.

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