Boat Name: Nick’s boat, the J.C. Star, was one of the first of its kind on the West Coast in 1982. The ‘J.C.’ in its name was abbreviated from Jason Cobb, but never changed because it is said that changing a boat’s name is bad luck! The J.C. Star has been Nick’s livelihood for 33 years, and he even took it all the way to Fort Bragg this year!
Boat Length: 32 feet.
Catch: King Salmon, Lobster
Location: Santa Rosa Island
How did you get into fishing?
In 1976, Nick’s brother in law hooked him up with a job on a boat fishing for anchovies, mackerel, and squid. He started fishing from the bottom of the workforce as crewmember for a year and a half and was very successful. At age twenty-two he bought a small 24 ft boat to fish crab off of San Miguel Island, and has since worked his way up!
How have you connected with the community?
Nick feels he has a strong connection with his community, especially through the restaurants he supplies for. Over the years he has sold to many restaurants in the local area and supplied for many different markets. He also loves being down at the harbour with all the fishermen and being a part of producing seafood for his community.
What is your favorite part about your fishing?
Nick says he has a love/hate relationship with fishing. He recognizes that fishing is a very difficult profession, but when it’s not difficult, “oh my god it’s the best way to make a living there is!” Nick loves working for himself, not having a boss to report to, and recommends fishing to a select few that can do it. “For me,” he tells us, “it’s been an absolutely great way to make a living.”
What are your hobbies outside of fishing?
In his free time, Nick likes to surf and play golf. He’s played most of the golf courses in town!
The advice that Nick offers, especially to his son, is that “You’ve got to get good grades in school because fishing is very hard and it’s only getting harder and more competitive. Get good grades because if you don’t, you’ll have to be a fisherman.”
How do you cook what you catch?
If he’s eating salmon Nick likes it smoked. For crab and lobster he likes to cook it up and put it in salads. He says that whatever fish they have on the boat, it doesn’t really matter how you cook it, it’s just that fresh!