Best of 2000: Best Half-Day Saltwater Fishing Boat

Half-Day on Fisherman III
H&M Landing,
2803 Emerson Street,
Point Loma
(619) 222-1144

Sport fishing companies rank pretty much the same. Their prices are much the same ($29 seems to be the going rate). Their boats look the same. They all take off on their half-day fishing trips at 6:30 in the morning, and 1:00 in the afternoon. H&M gets the nod here because of two things: they're the oldest in San Diego and, they claim, on the West Coast (they've been doing this since 1935). Two, well, there's something about their at-sea breakfasts. You're breathing the early-morning salt air, chugging out toward the open sea, watching the pelicans, white egrets, herons, cormorants, sea lions breaking the glassy blue surface, when a waft of bacon crosses your nostrils. Now fresh-brewed coffee. It's like few morning experiences. You pay a dollar for the coffee (and all-morning refills). The sandwich is just the regular egg, bacon, sausage, cheese, mayo, and toast combo, but it tastes like heaven out on the water. Warning: Get this breakfast bliss over before you hit the full oceanic swells at Point Loma. Also: $29 doesn't include $7 to rent a rod, $6.80 for a fishing license, $2 to $5 for each fish cleaned, money for the jackpot -- passenger with most fish wins -- cash for food and drink from the galley, and $10 to $15 tip.

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