Two long time fishing enthusiast joined ranks to organize a revolutionary fishing event. Don Ashley, from Pierpont Landing in Long Beach California, and Tom Raftican, from the Sportfishing Conservancy, created “Toss Back Tuesday”.
This maiden voyage would test the feasability and general acceptance of a salt water catch-and-release fishing charter. The aim of this experiment was to sustain sport fishing while aiding the recovery of fish stock.
Scattered showers did not dampen the spirits of the 15 recreational anglers that stepped aboard the 75-foot charter boat “Toronado”. Joining the crew, to document this ground breaking experiment, was Louis Sahagun, staff writer for the L.A. Times, and photographer Ali Seib. Also in attendance was Craig Shuman, a marine consultant to the California Fish & Game Commission.
The days catch consisted of a variety of rockfish, sculpin, and mackerel. Once brought to the surface the fish were promptly photographed and released. The onboard printer supplied each angler with high resolution photographs of their catch rather than fillets.
Admittedly there was a great deal of speculation, amongst those of us fishing, of what a photograph of a 40 pound Halibut might taste like. On this day no Halibut was caught and our resolve was not put to the test!
Thanks to both Tom Raftican and Don Ashley for their efforts in organizing this extraordinary event.
Santa Barbara, Ca.