For many years, the F/V Mr. Morgan, out of Pillar Point Harbor, had the distinction of being the only vessel on the Pacific Coast to fish with Scottish seines. Today it is believed to be the only vessel left in the United States using this method to harvest high-quality sand dabs and other flat fish for the local markets.
And, for many years the Mr. Morgan has been under the control of Captain Steve Fitz – as a matter of fact, by two different captains named Steve Fitz. Faces found the current Captain Steve Fitz at work on the Mr. Morgan’s winches. A native of Massachusetts, he comes from a fishing family. In Massachusetts, Fitz fished several different methods for cod, including trawling, gillnetting and Scottish seining.
In 1993, “Stevie” Fitz came to California and began fishing on the Mr. Morgan with his uncle. Eight years later, he began taking turns as alternate skipper, allowing the elder Steve Fitz to spend more time on the beach. Last year, his uncle retired and moved to Oregon, leaving the boat in his nephew’s capable hands.
The Mr. Morgan is a 66-foot steel boat built in 1979. Although it started life as a Louisiana shrimper, in California, it has been used exclusively to seine for sand dabs, sole, halibut and rockfish.
Captain Fitz keeps the Mr. Morgan berthed towards the end of “H” Dock at Pillar Point Harbor on Half Moon Bay. If you’d like to try a true California delicacy, stop by on the weekends and get some of his fresh-caught sand dabs – weather permitting he’ll be there, selling them directly off the boat.