Salmon fisherman reels in customers

July 17, 2008 8:14:30 AM PDT
A local salmon fisherman was told he couldn't fish for salmon anymore, but still thought he could make a living fishing. What makes this story amazing is, it appears this fisherman, is right.

Sixteen-year old Tyler Rudash of Morgantown, West Virginia will never forget landing a bat ray in San Francisco bay.

Sport fishing may not be on the list of things to do for many tourists in San Francisco, but for those like the Rudash family, it's near the top of the list.

"We did all the sites and that was great, but when I see a body of water, all I think about is fishing," said Tyler Rudash, West Virginia resident.

"It's pretty much just leave the rod about like this and crank slowly," said Steve Talmadge, fisherman.

Steve Talmadge is the captain of the fishing boat. Mostly a salmon fishing boat until earlier this year when the season was cancelled, along with about half of captain Steve's income.

"It's like somebody telling you you're getting laid off or something - what are you going to do?" said Talmadge.

Captain Steve decided, in order to attract new customers, he needed to change bait - to let people know that within a few miles of the dock at Fisherman's Wharf, you have halibut, bass, rockfish, sand sharks, leopard sharks, tuna, and more.

"I'm trying to educate the world that we have great fishing in the San Francisco bay, just like in Cabo or Hawaii. And that can make up for the loss of business from the salmon season for me," said Talmadge.

Now Steve is talking up his plan at San Francisco hotels. At the Argonaut on Fisherman's Wharf, the concierge thinks Steve's plan will reel in tourists.

"Steve has a great idea - it goes back to the roots of what that area is all about - where people used to go out and fish for a living," said Leo Elaydo, Argonaut Hotel concierge.

Steve says it's not just about fishing - it's about where you get to go fishing.

"When you come out on the boat, and we go around the city, especially in the early morning sunlight, it's really nice to see the city from a whole different perspective from the water. You get to see all these different attractions; we go around Alcatraz, under the Golden Gate Bridge, but it is all close and personal from the water," said Talmadge.

Steve's also pushing his fishing experience on his new website www.flashfishing.net and to tourists who watch him filet the day's catch there in the harbor. His approach seems to be - the more lines you have in the water, the more chance you have of catching something.


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