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Where to get the Best Fish in Santa Barbara?

Catch it yourself! Ok! I know, not a new thought - for some - but for me it was a revelation. I am not a “hey lets go fish!” kinda gal. But last Saturday when the fish lady at farmer’s market didn't show, someone offhandedly suggested I go catch my own and the wheels started turning. Why not? Lots more fun than sitting on a whale watching boat, you get to go all the way out to the islands so there’s plenty of whale & dolphin sightings and best of all the take away - the freshest fish possible - I’m in! I rang up the SEA Landing at the harbor,   805-963-3564 and booked a ¾ day fishing trip on the Stardust for the next day. 

We took a couple sea sickness pills, they were non drowsy & worked like a charm the whole day. You get there early & the galley fellow makes amazing hot breakfast sandwiches & burritos - he says they’re good luck too. You can pack a picnic lunch if you want or the fine fellow will cook you lunch as well. It’s a great trip out there with lots of whales stopping by to wave a tail and dolphins will often escort the front of the boat at a rapid clip, popping up & putting on a great welcome to the big beautiful sea show. Best of all the view - I swear, its like sailing into heaven. The people aboard & the crew were so friendly and helpful. I hear they nearly always catch “limit” - that’s 10 fish per license, they hook you up with that too & of course the poles and fishing tackle. They set you up for success giving a quick lesson before you drop hook & start reeling in Delicious Ling cod & Rockfish, it’s great fun. On the way back in the guys will even clean or filet your sack of catch for you for just a dollar a fish, but do tip them at the end they make it such a great day with all their help and expertise. 

Great take away; the fish stayed super fresh & delicious for three days and I froze the rest. Ceviche, fish tacos, oven “fried” with panko or deep fried - its all great. I opted for a quick saute in hot pan with a bit of olive oil, flip it over & top with capers, olives & market tomatoes or fresh peaches & nacho type jalapenos and voila! The freshest fish in town and boy is it delicious!

Lynette La Mere, Pure Joy Catering, Executive Chef

Photos, Jeffrey Kincade (also the darling love of my life who helps me at every Farmer’s Market & joins me on many explorations and escapades)


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