Jim Peterson of San Pedro was only 10 when he started ocean sportfishing.
Peterson, now 41, said he scrubbed decks and did any work required to go out fishing with one of the local captains.
In 1959, he became a full-time deck hand under Captain Don McLean aboard the Pierpoint Landing boat Sea Angler.
According to McLean, Peterson’s fishing savvy and expert boat handling was evident at a young age.
Peterson said he knew at age 16 that he wanted to some day own and operate his own sportfishing boat.
In 1968 Peterson got his captains license and was hired as a relief captain at Pierpoint Landing to run the half-day boat Matt Walsh.
That winter he was given the first nighttime sand dab run to Catalina Island on the boat Pierpoint.
He said the nightly sand dab trips were excellent throughout the 1970s.
Peterson continued to work relief on all the Pierpoint boats until he took a job aboard the boat Freedom. He ran it for six years, fishing Catalina and San Clemente islands until Pierpoint Landing in Long Beach closed down.
Again being without a boat to run, he became a relief captain working out of San Pedro. The boats went to Morro Bay to fish for albacore.
In 1975, Peterson bought the 65-foot Sportking that he runs out of Ports O’ Call Landing.
In 1982 Peterson obtained the lease on the L.A. Harbor Sportfishing Landing.
In 1985 he had one of largest one-day catches aboard the Sportking when anglers decked 85 albacore and a 130-pound marlin on a special albacore trip.
Peterson trained two of his deck hands, Marc Pisano and Paul Strasser of San Pedro, who are now professional sportfishing skippers and own the half-day boat Monte Carlo that operates out of 22nd Street Landing.
The Sportking is a three-quarter day boat that Peterson runs Monday through Friday.
South Bay Catches: Charles Phlugh of Long Beach, fishing aboard the Toronado off of Catalina, caught the whopper of the week, a 27-pound yellowtail.
Scott McLeavy of Palos Verdes, fishing at Cherry Bank aboard the Blackjack, caught a 26-pound cow cod.
Tami Sawa of Culver City, fishing at the deep hole aboard the Sumo, caught a 21-pound white sea bass.
Frank Crowin of Palos Verdes, fishing off of Catalina aboard the Outerlimits, caught a 21-pound yellowtail.
Fish Reports: Several days of unsettled weather slowed the action.
Boats that did get out landed a variety of species.
At Marina del Rey Sportfishing: The Spitfire fished the bay and anglers caught 150 sculpin and four halibut. The Betty O fished the shallow rocks and anglers sacked 101 rock cod and a lingcod.
At Redondo Sportfishing: The City of Redondo, on a half-day trip, returned with 110 rockfish and 18 sand bass.
At 22nd St. Landing: The New Image trip to Santa Barbara Island resulted in a catch of 117 whitefish, 57 calico bass and 41 sculpin.
At L.A. Harbor Spotfishing: The Matt Walsh, on a half-day trip, returned with 33 calico bass, 21 sculpin and three sheephead.