Walter Deyerle, Sea Harvest IV

Fisherman

Commercial fisherman Walter Deyerle, captain of the F/V Sea Harvest IV, talks to the Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust about local seafood and a life at sea.

Walter Deyerle is the quintessential waterman. When the 30-year-old is not making a living catching halibut, rockfish, sablefish and Dungeness crab on the Monterey Bay, he’s surfing, diving, boating and sport fishing. He’s even paddled out and caught waves at Mavericks, a monstrous break just north of Half Moon Bay

“It’s full-throttle ocean lifestyle for me,” Deyerle says while sitting on his boat, the F/V Sea Harvest IV, tied up in the Moss Landing harbor on a day the weather kept him from running Dungeness crab gear. “The ocean lifestyle around here is awesome.”

For Deyerle commercial fishing is in his blood and he started running his own boat at the young age of 19. His earliest memories include being on the dad’s boat with his brother and fellow fisherman Calder, helping out with the family trade.

“I’ve been fishing since I was a baby,” he notes. “I can’t remember a time I wasn’t on boats.”

Deyerle’s family not only operates a six-boat fleet of fishing vessels in Moss Landing, they bring fresh caught seafood to consumers at Sea Harvest restaurants and markets in Monterey and Carmel.

And while he grew up on fish and continues to eat fish nearly every day, he’s reluctant to say which is his favorite—outside wild California king salmon.

“I like anything with an interesting texture,” he says. “I eat so much seafood that I have to mix it up or I’d lose my mind blac cod all day every day.”

Through his time on the Monterey Bay since those early memories of crawling around boats in diapers much has changed on the waterfront. There’re a lot less fishermen and a lot more regulations to deal with, but he’s undeterred and optimistic.

“The fishing is excellent here. It’s easy to go out and catch fish almost every day unless the conditions and the weather aren’t working with you,” he says. “The fish are there and the management is solid.”

Sherry Flumerfelt