On Thursday, October 25, five Santa Clara police officers took several high school students from Santa Clara, Wilcox, and New Valley High Schools on a deep-sea fishing trip to the San Francisco Bay.
Upon arriving at the Santa Clara Police Department at 4:15 a.m., the students were treated to fresh, warm donuts as they departed for Fisherman’s Wharf. Prior to their arrival, the officers and students drove past AT&T Park, Coit Tower and the Ferry Building–all awash in an orange glow of lights in support of the World Champion San Francisco Giants, who were in the midst of another successful pennant run. The America’s Cup sailboats were also in view.
At the dock in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf, the group met Captain Mike and deckhand Willie as they boarded the Lovely Martha fishing vessel.
The weather was ideal: a heavy fog with drizzle and calm seas. After a safety briefing by the captain, the crew departed and took in the impressive San Francisco skyline. The voyage headed toward the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. The Lovely Martha motored past the famed Alcatraz Penitentiary. Several students had never been on a boat, and many had never been fishing before.
After quick instructions on how to bait and cast the fishing poles, the students fished beyond the Golden Gate, along Muir Beach in Marin County. The captain had the group targeting salmon even though the season was near its end. Captain Mike had recent success and he wanted the students to make an attempt. After fishing hard for two hours with only one bite, it was time to make a move to a nearby reef, and a switch to rockfish instead of salmon. It was a great move because, within a few minutes of dropping lines, the bites started. Several students reeled up two rockfish at a time. Two rockfish caught on one line were dubbed “double-doubles.”
“The fishing was literally off the hook,” said Lieutenant Dan Moreno. “Everyone on the boat reeled in the maximum of 10 fish per person. The fishing was fast and furious, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. One lucky angler landed one 20 pound “monster” ling cod.”
In all, the students had a fantastic time catching fish alongside the officers. The fish were filleted and cleaned for the students. All of the kids were able to take fresh fish home to enjoy with their families and friends.
The Santa Clara Police Activities League fishing program gives students in the community an opportunity to interact with officers in a positive setting. These fishing trips are made possible thanks to year round fundraising events and community support sponsored by Santa Clara PAL. Special thanks go to the Santa Clara PAL Board Members for their continued support of the fishing program.
The next fishing trip is planned for the spring of 2013. Anyone interested in supporting the youth fishing program should call PAL Fishing Commissioner, Lieutenant Dan Moreno at (408) 615-4758.