Edible Monterey Bay

Finding Your Whole Fish

John Cox with a Monterey Bay salmon
John Cox with a Monterey Bay salmon

As Chef John Cox says in his story in our Winter 2013 issue about cooking whole fish, “Ichthyophobia,” your best bet for obtaining fresh whole fish is to get to know a fisherman.

The next best way is to get it is to get to know a good fish market.

In Santa Cruz, the Fish Lady, H&H Fresh Fish’s new Fish House and Stagnaro Brothers all carry whole fish. The Fish Lady recommends calling ahead to preorder and H&H also needs advance notice if the fish is being purchased for pickup through it’s Community Supported Seafood weekly share program or a farmers’ market.

In Monterey, Carmel and Moss Landing, Sea Harvest provides whole fish if ordered in advance. Monterey Fish Co. carries whole fish that can be purchased on a walk-in basis or pre-ordered.

In San Juan Bautista, Pacific Harvest Seafood offers whole fish.

Local Catch Monterey Bay does not operate a market, but offers a “whole fish” option in its Community Supported Fishery program in both Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. If you’re a member, when the species of the week isn’t too large—petrale sole is an example—you’ll receive a whole fish rather than fillets.

Local Catch also allows members to special-order whole large fish, like salmon.