Two new opportunities to get your hands on fresh, local seafood have recently popped up in Crescent City. A fresh fish market on Front Street opened Monday, offering live and fresh local seafood, and a charter boat has started sport crab fishing trips going out for close-to-home Dungeness crab.
Catch your own crabs
With a sport fishing license in hand and equipped with sea legs, you can hit the sea and fill a cooler with an almost guaranteed catch of Dungeness crab by taking a charter trip with Tally Ho Sportfishing. Recreational crabbers are allowed ten crabs per day. Tally Ho charges $70 per head.
Tally Ho's crab traps are set only a short ride away from Crescent City Harbor by the Tally Ho crew one or two days before going out. Clients help re-bait the traps with chicken and chopped squid, but Tally Ho's crew actually pulls the pots, making for more of an ocean boat ride with the bonus of taking home 10 Dungeness crab.
The whole operation takes less than two hours - much less time than it will take to cook, clean and consume the 10 crabs you're bound to bring home.
Tally Ho might wait awhile for their next trip due to the thin-quality crabs seen so far, but they are booking trips. Call Tally Ho Sportfishing at 707-464-1236.
Fish Market offers fresh and local
Top Blue Marine has opened their long awaited fish market in the towering blue building at 400 Front Street, offering a mostly locally caught selection of fresh fish and shellfish, including live options. With a net in hand, David Kim of Top Blue showed off live redtail perch available for $4 a pound.
"We'll try to have live fish whenever possible," Kim said.
Several curious customers stopped in on Friday to glimpse the market catch.
"We need a fresh fish place in town," said Chris Burdg of Smith River, who along with his wife, Cathy, has been looking forward to the fish market since the plan was first announced last year. "It's one thing we've been sorely lacking around here."
The market currently has salmon, halibut, lingcod, rockfish, oysters, lobster tail, prawns, and clams in addition to live and/or market-ready redtail perch. Kim said he plans to have locally caught crab when the commercial season opens.
"We're willing to pay a little more for local and fresh. We like to keep it in the community," said Cathy Burdg, who also buys local produce and meat from local farmers and gets eggs from her neighbor.
"You can't beat the fresh taste," Chris Burdg said.
The market's employees know their fish too. Since she was a young girl, Jazmyn Johnson has been fishing since she was a kid. She would get free tours at Ocean World in exchange for rainbow perch she caught in the harbor. As she grew older, she helped her father, a commercial fishermen.
Top Blue is buying from local commercial fishermen and looking for more fishermen to contribute to the market's aquariums of live seafood and glass-cased offerings.
The market is still working out the kinks and plans for a grand opening on Nov. 30.
The fish market has been anticipated for months ever since the Crescent City Planning Commission made the opening of a market one of the conditions for granting a temporary permit for Top Blue to open shop. The company's primary business is exporting fish to Asia.
Top Blue Marine was granted another extension to their temporary use permit by the Crescent City Planning Commission Thursday night and specified a minimum amount of hours per week that the market should be open. The commission decided on another six month temporary permit because the fish market just opened on Monday.
"We haven't had the opportunity to evaluate your business because you just opened," said planning commission chairman Rick Nolan to a representative of Top Blue Marine during Thursday's meeting.
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