Meet Mark Tognazzini,
local Morro Bay Fisherman
article written by: www.facesofcaliforniafishing.com
Commercial fisherman Mark Tognazzini, or "Captain Mark," as he's known around town, got his start in fishing at the age of 16, when he accepted a job as a dishwasher in Morro Bay and wound up working in the restaurant's fish market. This particular operation also included a sport fishing landing and before long the Morro Bay native was first "dead heading" on the charter boats in his spare time, and then working as a crewman.
The ocean seemed to fit him, and during the 1970s Tognazzini worked first as a clerk and deckhand for various charter boat landings and in the latter part of the decade as skipper and operations manager. After captaining party boats for several years, in 1981 he had the F/V Bonnie Marietta built, naming his boat for his wife, Bonnie, and his mother and sister, Mary and Henrietta.
The Bonnie Marietta allowed Captain Tognazzini to roam from the Mexican border to Sitka, Alaska, fishing with hook and line for halibut and rockfish; using gillnets for shark, halibut, rockfish, and herring; trolling for salmon and albacore; fishing with traps for crabs, prawns, rockfish, hagfish, and black cod; and using a lampara for mackerel and sardines. Today he concentrates on salmon, albacore, and black cod (sablefish). In addition, Captain Tognazzini holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-Ton Master's License, which allows him to provide charter services for researchers and others.
Captain Tognazzini and Bonnie have been married for over thirty years and have two grown children, Marc and Leah. Tired of receiving what they felt were unfair dock prices for salmon, in 1997 the Tognazzini family began marketing directly to the public (www.bonniemarietta.com), and built a successful direct marketing consumer base not equaled anywhere in California. Their wild California king salmon and recipes proved so popular with the public that in 2004 they opened Tognazzini's Dockside Restaurant, a family restaurant located on the Morro Bay waterfront which features locally-caught seafood. A few years later, they expanded on that success, opening a combination seafood market and cafe right behind their restaurant, known as "Dockside Too."
Captain Tognazzini is an active member of the Morro Bay commercial fishing community and vice president of the Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen's Organization. In addition, he represents Central California commercial salmon fishermen on the California Salmon Council, working to help promote wild California King Salmon.
When not fishing, Captain Tognazzini can usually be found behind the counter at Dockside Too - just ask for "Captain Mark."
You can find this fisherman at:
Types of fish caught: