INTERVIEW WITH COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN, PORTER MCHENRY
Porter McHenry has been fishing king salmon, dungeness crab, squid and anchovies since he was young and fishing along side his father.
First of all I wanted to know, what is a typical day like for a commercial fisherman? Is a fisherman’s life like the show, “Deadliest Catch?” (No, that’s just in the Bering Sea in Alaska where they go out for months on the boat). Off the Pacific coast, it’s a much more mellow affair. When they fish for salmon, it’s about a 3 day journey.
We met on Porter’s 35 foot boat named “Fishmor” parked in Pillar Point Harbor and he had along his faithful dog, Penny. We talked about the difference between fishing for salmon, crab, squid and anchovies. The cost of different fishing permits was significant—from a few thousand dollars, to around a million for squid (!)
Basically, salmon fishing is with several lines in the water on each side of the boat, baited with large hooks and fake squid. Squid fishing is done at night, with nets and lights to lure them. And crab fishing is any time of day, with mesh crab pots (like cages) baited with fish.