You've had a successful San Diego long range trip. Good times, good weather, and some good fishing to go along with the experience. However, the trip has now come to an end and as the piles of fish are sorted out at the top of the dock you come to the realization that you have a LOT of fish!
Oh man. I knew I had 10...or was that 12 tuna, plus the yellows during that one crazy stop when they were biting everything that hit the water. It sure is easy to get caught up in the moment of a hot bite.
At least you made sure you didn't go over your legal limit. But even after processing you're still looking at hundreds of pounds of filets.
Fortunately, the days of "he who has the largest pile of fish at the end of the trip, wins" are over. Still, many of us end up with more than we can personally use or distribute amongst friends and we sure don't want perfectly good fish to go to waste!
That's where Fish. Food. Feel Good. comes in. Todd Bluechel started this San Diego 501(c)3 non-profit more than 5 years ago because he saw two needs in the community that weren't being met: A legitimate and legal place fishermen could donate their unwanted fish and a way to convert unwanted fish into meals that could feed San Diegans in need.
"I've been fishing these waters for over 30 years and there comes a time when you have to stop complaining and take action." said Bluechel. "I've created an easy way for fishermen and boat crews to convert sport caught fish into nutritious meals for Americans in need."
So, how easy is it? Do you just drop fish off on the doorstep of F3G? No! It's actually much easier than that.
"Five Star Fish Processing welcomes any pelagic fish," said Five Star owner Sarah Saraspe. "It is a really good feeling to know that we can help these organizations donating our time and processing for these charities."
Now, I never encourage anyone to take more than a legal limit, or even more than they plan to personally consume or give away to family and friends (remember, it is illegal to sell sport-caught fish in California) and I eat plenty of the tuna and yellowtail I catch on my "once-a-year" trip and never let it go to waste.
But being human, we sometimes misjudge the amount of room we have in the freezer at home...or the amount of cooler space available to transport the processed fish back home.
I have personally made a donation of yellowfin tuna to F3G through Five Star and can say it was both easy and good to know that the fish I was donating was going to a good cause.
"Customers of Five Star feel good realizing that their unwanted fish is used to help and support the community," said Saraspe, "and Todd told me that’s why he put “Feel Good” into the name of the charity."
Bluechel started F3G in 2010, collecting donated fish including: Albacore, Yellowfin, Bluefin, Wahoo, Dorado, and Yellowtail. Once collected and processed, these fish are distributed for free to local charities.
Bluechel does this in the spirit of giving and giving back to the community. "Seeing as how I don’t take a salary, watching San Diegans in need enjoy a fish meal for dinner or receiving grateful emails is my only form of payment and they really make me “feel good”.
Your fish going to feed others. Now that's something we can all feel good about...
Don't forget to "LIKE" their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fish-Food-Feel-Good/273574754598