The Journal of San Diego History
Summer 1991, Volume 37, Number 3
Richard W. Crawford, Editor

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Cover image

Cover image: Three-pole fishing for yellow fin tuna aboard the bait-boat Queen Mary. The scene is in the Galapagos Islands in the 1930s. Fisherman on the right is Serafim Codina with Joe Rodriques behind him. Photo identification is courtesy of Claire Alves, Portuguese Historical Center.

Radioman Edward Soltesz

Page 160. Radioman Edward Soltesz, 1938.

Page 162. Operating area of the United States tuna fleet in the pacific.

Chicken of the Sea

Page 168. Tuna boat Chicken of the Sea, c. 1938.

Crewmembers of the Chicken of the Sea

Page 169. Crewmembers of the Chicken of the Sea at Cocos Island off the coast of Costa Rica, 1938. The metal shed, of unknown origin, was used by visiting ships to store emergency supplies for possible shipwrecked seamen. Second from left is Harold Morgan, Jr., and sitting, Pop Morgan.

radio room on the MV Northwestern

Page 170. The radio room on the MV Northwestern.

MV Northwestern

Page 176. The MV Northwestern, 1940

Soltesz taking a scoop of bait

Page 177. Ed Soltesz taking a scoop of bait to dump into the bait tank.

Netting bait

Page 178. A power launch (far left) has just towed the work boat with net into a circle around a school of bait. The small skiff was used to “anchor” one end of the net until the circle was completed, then would take up position on the far side of the circle to support the cork line.

Netting bait

Page 178. The net is almost completely drawn up into the work boat.

Netting bait

Page 178. The baiting process is completed and the power launch is slowly towing boats to the tuna vessel.

crew prepares to scoop bait out of the net

Page 179. The net is attached to the tuna boat as the crew prepares to scoop bait out of the net.

Passing the bait.

Page 179. Passing the bait.

Page 180. Fishing from the racks, 1937-38.

Page 180. Chicken of the Sea was a rare “left-handed” vessel. The owners were left-handed, hence, racks on the starboard side.

Page 182.

Page 183.

Decks full of tuna

Page 185. Decks full of tuna. The fishermen would fish until the decks were filled to the rail. They would then stop and pass the fish forward to be iced down (ice boats) or slid down the deck’s manholes into cold brine.

Tuna canneries along Harbor Drive

Page 187. Tuna canneries along Harbor Drive and Crosby Street, looking east, c. 1928. Van Camp Seafood Company is in center.

Van Camp Seafood

Page 188. The scale house and fish plant at Van Camp Seafood

Three pole fitting

Page 190. Three pole fitting (left) and line with swivel and quick-disconnect fitting. The quick-disconnect fitting facilitated changing damaged hooks while in the racks.

Bare hook for three-pole

Page 190. Bare hook for three-pole (left) and three feathered jigs (squid). The smallest jig was for Skipjack tuna, the medium size for one-pole, and the large size for two-pole.

Sketch by Ed Soltesz

Page 191. Sketch by Ed Soltesz illustrates assembled tuna fishing gear.

Van Camp Sea Food Company

Back cover: A publicity photo from Van Camp Sea Food Company, April 30, 1931.