Sometimes fishing is more than bent rods and screaming reels. Sometimes it’s the people behind the curtain … the people who keep the sport alive.
The Port of San Diego’s recent Day at the Docks was highlighted by the honoring of Tommy Gomes of Catalina Offshore Products and Tom Gruber of the San Diego Rod & Reel Club by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA). They were cited for their lifetime commitment to sport fishing and youth activities in the San Diego area.
The citations were presented by Michael Farrior, IGFA Trustee and Historian, along with the 17 IGFA Representatives from throughout California.
“Volunteering his time year-in and year-out to introduce young people to fishing, Gruber has organized and coordinated club volunteers at the Shelter Island IGFA Youth Fishing Tournament since it began and for over 20 years here at the Kids Fishing Adventure. If it has to do with kids fishing, Tom has always said ‘yes’,” Farrior proudly noted.
As the IGFA officer introduced Gomes, he said, “His contributions to sportfishing are huge, as Catalina Offshore Products, Director of Marketing, he has led the company and San Diego into the international spotlight. “He started Collaboration Kitchen at Catalina by partnering with Specialty Produce. The once-a-month program brings together the best chefs in the area for seafood cooking demonstrations and a five- to seven-course tasting meal that raises money for the Monarch School for homeless and at-risk kids, as well as organizing a team to serve his popular fish tacos to both raise funds and feed the young anglers and their parents at IGFA and other events throughout the year.”
“Gomes has worked tirelessly as one of the stakeholders on the controversial Marine Life Protection Act process for the South Coast Region promoting the concept of sustainable fisheries,” Farrior concluded.
Farrior observed that
“both men were representative of the true spirit of encouraging sportfishing and introducing young anglers to the great sport.”