Anyone who fishes (or clams or collects anything from the California coast) will love this book. In fact, anyone on the west coast of the USA, from Baja California up to BC, will learn how to catch, gather, clean, and cook fish, clams, mussels, eels, crabs, and seaweed from this witty and complete fishing compendium. Kirk Lombard worked for 7 years as an observer for The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission before becoming “The Sea Forager” in the San Francisco Bay Area. He conducts fishing classes, does demonstrations, and sells sustainable seafood. IYou can get info on all his coastal activities and buy the book at: https://www.seaforager.com/
Full disclosure: I’ve been to one of Kirk’s fishing demos, attended a seminar on making pickled herring, and went fishing with him for night smelt (caught 15 lbs. that night, netting them in the surf).) I’ve gotten a ton of useful info from him, including tonight, when I used his technique for getting the skin off horseneck clam siphons (slit lengthwise, soak in warm water for 10 min.) before making clam fritters (below, left).
He tells you how to catch salmon, halibut, rockfish, striped bass, and 8-10 other kinds of fish, how to gather 15 different types of shellfish, how to pickle seaweed (I’ve got a jar of pickled kelp in the frig right now, and I put ground-up dried seaweed on omelets, potatoes, anything hot). He’s big on the small fish in the area — herring, anchovies, smelt, grunion, and mackerel — because they’re low on the food chain, super healthy, and take pressure off the popular fish.
He’s got a sense of humor, plays in a band (his oldest kid is named Django), and has fun with his work and teaching.
The book is very nicely illustrated by Leighton Kelly.