Costa Mesa resident Rob Breneman loads up the back of his pick-up truck with a tub of set lines. Each one of these containers weighs around 30 pounds, is baited with salted anchovies and has about 800 hooks to catch fish on. On average, they take around 10-12 set lines per trip.
Outside his father, Rob Breneman’s Costa Mesa home, Scott Breneman hooks up a trailer to the back of his truck before heading out to the Newport Beach Dunes. His father has lived in the home since Scott was 1-year-old and it’s where he keeps their two boats, the Isla Rose and the Wescott.
At a gas station in Newport Beach, Scott Breneman fills up his 25-foot, custom built Anderson boat by topping off it’s two fuel tanks which hold around 300 gallons of diesel fuel. Although he spent around $500 to top both gallons off, each has a capacity of 300 gallons, which equals to around $1,400-$1,500, depending on fuel prices.
At the boat launch in the Newport Beach Dunes, Scott and Rob Breneman load up the set lines on their boat, Isla Rosa, before heading out. Typically, they wake up around 1am and they are heading out to begin fishing anytime between 3:00am to 3:30am.
After finishing a 24-hour trip fishingScott and Rob Breneman unload a barrel full of recently caught rock cods into a cooler on their truck. Each barrel weighs around 150 pounds; during this trip, they had around one ton of rock cod and black cod.
Rock cods are transported in barrels from the boat to the truck, the truck then makes its way to the Dory Fleet early in the morning, just in time for the opening of the market. The cost of rock cod at the Dory Fleet is $6 per pound, rock cods usually average around 2-3lbs, while black cods usually weigh around 5-10lbs.
Rob Breneman weighs and ices down the rock cod; when fish are weighed down, they are placed in a cooler and they are layered with ice so they fish are neatly stacked, helping preserve their color and freshness.
Once they finish loading off the boat, Rob Breneman cleans up by rinsing down the surface of the boat using a hose that pumps water from the sea through it.
Rob Breneman begins unloading the fish from the truck and placing them in their locker at the Dory Fleet; they begin selling them at around 5:30-6:00am.
Dozens of long spine thornyheads on display at the Dory Fleet market, early on Saturday morning. The small thornyheads are usually the prey for the larger black cods. Rob Breneman describes how usually as they pull up the line filled with thornyheads to the boat, a black cod will jump out of the water and try to eat the hooked fish, this usually results in a 2 fish catch.
Customers gather around Steve Escobar's crabs early on Saturday morning; the crabs on display are a combination of Southern California rock crab and stone crab.
At around 6:00am, the sun begins to rise on the Dory Fleet, where previously there was a long line of sometimes 100 people anxiously waiting for the market to open to check out the day’s catch. Rob Breneman estimates seeing around 500 customers come through on Saturday mornings.
Rob Breneman, left, and Scott Breneman, right, are a father-son fishing team working in the Dory Fleet in Newport Beach. The two have been working together at West Caught Fish Company, Scott's company, for the last 5 years.