Meet the fishermen

  Paul Teall

Paul Teall and his son August aboard the Sal-C.


Boat Name: Sal-C


Boat Length: 41 feet


Catch: Rockfish, Rock Crab


Method: Hook and line


How long have you been fishing?
Paul been a fisherman for 35 years, and catching rockfish using the hook and line method for the past 25 years.


How did you get into fishing?
Paul started out as a deck hand crabbing at San Miguel Island. In 1983 he arrived in Kodiak, Alaska with $8 in his pocket, and after 18 days of halibut fishing halibut he’d earned $35,000. His personal landing record for halibut is 85,000 in just two days. Over the course of 8 years he worked as a deck hand and crew member on 33 different boats, fishing for salmon, halibut, and King crab, in Kodiak, spiny lobster and crab on the West Coast, and tuna, mahi mahi, and wahoo in Nicaragua. Paul says he feels like he has earned an honorary doctorate in fishing “from the School of Hard Knocks.” In 1987 he bought his own boat, a 12-foot Boston whaler, which he used to hand pull traps for crab, lobster, and whelk. His next boat, the Vintage, was a 35-foot wooden hull east coast style lobster boat he bought in 1988, had previously been used for plankton survey research at UCSB. Paul bought his current boat, the 41-foot Sal-C, in 1995. He fished continuously from this boat without missing a week until 65 knot winds from the northwest finally forced him to stay in port, ending his record of six years of consecutive weeks fishing without a break.


How have you connected with the community?
You can meet Paul on Saturdays at the Fisherman’s Market down at the harbor. Paul sells his catch with help from his sons Parker (19) and August (9). Paul has sold at the market for 12 years but his younger son August appears to be taking over market operations!


What is your favorite part about fishing?
Paul’s favorite part about his job is undoubtedly the adventure. Out at sea for four days at a time, there is always risk and danger involved, but often countered with the satisfaction and rewards of a job well done. Eric especially appreciates the “beauty, peacefulness, and violence of the sea,” and enjoys the isolation opportunity to interact with the animals of the sea. In his own words, “Every week is an adventure; sometimes you feel like you really cheated death.”


Your advice:
“Don’t do stupid things.” Paul’s advice (which he first afforded to his oldest son, Parker), can apply to anything, but is especially relevant in his and his son’s work on boats. He notes that doing the type of work he does is dangerous enough in its own right, and that it isn’t worth it to take any extra or careless risks.


How do you cook what you catch?
Paul’s number one way to cook Rock fish is to fillet and Louisiana fish fry them in a cornmeal breading and then “burn it and turn it.” Paul cycles through plating his fillet on top of spaghetti, in a salad, or over rice, beans, and veggies. At the Teall household, one of these plates can always be looked forward to.
*For a simpler, 10-minute recipe option, Eric suggests filleting the fish and combining it with instant brown rice and some pre-cut mixed veggies in water all at once. He says the steamed fish take on an almost crab-like texture, and the whole dish tastes great on a tortilla with some cheese (if you’re feeling extra fancy).


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