Posted: Apr 30, 2012 11:44 PM by Hope Hanselman
Updated: May 1, 2012 8:10 AM
Fresh rockfish will soon be available in stores on the Central Coast. Tuesday marks the start of the season for commercial and recreational rockfishing.
The California Department of Fish and Game calls it an "overfished species." In fact, they closed off some fisheries in 2007 because fishers exceeded annual harvests.
But, fish counts have been up recently. In 2011, the season for rockfish was extended through December 31st. The season will stay the same this year.
Fishermen at Virg's Sportfishing and Whale Watching, in Morro Bay, say they can't wait for the season to start and to get back to work.
"Most of us probably won't be able to sleep tonight," said James Ottens, deck hand on Virg's boat, the Princess.
They spent all day, Monday, preparing for the customers they'll be taking out on the water this season.
"We are stocking the boats up with all our galley's supply and getting our baits ready, getting all the rods services and fresh line and stuff on them," he said.
The fishermen at Virg's offer tours of the harbor and teach customers to fish. But the start of the season also means getting back to what they love.
"You know fishermen are they're own breed," Kelly Lewis, Manager at Virg's, said.
They'll put in a 14-hour day tomorrow, but they say they can't wait to start.
"It puts an end to our big lay off because we don't get to do much in the off season," James said.
For them, it's a simple philosophy.
"I mean I like to have fresh fish and I like to eat fresh fish. I'm excited about going out and getting some," Kelly said.
Fish and Game says they expect to see crowds in Morro Bay and Port San Luis tomorrow.
They remind anyone heading out to the waters to check their regulations and weather conditions.
The waters may be even more crowded, too, with the start of salmon fishing season also tomorrow.
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