Here’s how vertical hook and line fishing works. Image: Monterey Fish Company

Just as we look to our vegetable farmers to learn what’s in season, we also talk to our trusted fish monger, Tom Worthington of the Monterey Fish Company, to decide what seafood to put on our plates. We had a great chat with Tom this week about the state of our local fisheries.

In fact, we learned so much that there’s too much to dive into just yet (stay tuned for many more updates). But we can tell you that we’ve got some incredible black cod in the kitchen right now, and it’s being caught by an incredible fisherman named Josh Churchman.

This guy is a total craft fisherman. He takes his boat out 25 miles to the edge of our continental shelf near Bolinas. There, the sea floor completely drops off and that’s where he finds our black cod. He reels it in using vertical hook and line, a method that requires great skill and patience.

Just to give you an idea, here’s what Monterey Fish Company has to say about vertical hook and line:

A multi-hooked line weighted at the bottom is dropped into the waters adjacent to vertical outcroppings where fish congregate. The fisherman gently drifts into position and holds that position while slowly retracting the line, encouraging fish, then, in succession, other fish, to bite onto it.

This method of capture is used by small boat artisanal fishermen and demands a high level of skill and knowledge. Accepted by experts as one of the cleanest and most target-specific fishing methods, with no environmental damage, hook and line fishing is fast becoming a lost art. Newly legislated governmental permit and quota restrictions that allow commercial trawlers rights to waters, prohibit hook & line fishermen access to the areas that they’ve been stewarding and sustainably harvesting from for years.

Not just anyone can fish this way, and we’re lucky to be able to serve Churchman’s seafood.

Right now, we’re serving charcoal-grilled filets of this black cod atop Black Trumpet mushroom puree, broccoli di cicco, salt-roasted golden beets, and salmoriglio, an herbaceous sauce made from lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, and parsley.

Black cod will be on the menu through at least the end of the week.

Call 510-547-5356 or reserve online.