COMMUNITY SUPPORTED FISHERY
We are a family owned/operated business: Alex Spencer and his nephew Will Holdridge. Since 2010, we have been selling fish to top Seattle restaurants (Canlis, Sitka + Spruce and others) through our sister outfit Northwest Bounty Wild Foods. And now for the first time you can have this fish delivered to your neighborhood with our community supported fish-share: Bestcatch Seattle.
How it Works:
It works just like a community supported farm - you and others in your neighborhood invest in a certain amount of fish "shares" for the season (they average around 1 lb and are $22.50 each) from a centrally located pickup spot every Wednesday. We currently have nine pickup spots available around the city, you can see the locations if you click "Join BestCatch" at the top of the page. The spring-fall season starts in March and lasts 34 weeks, while the winter season starts in November and lasts 17 weeks. You are welcome to sign up at any time during the year. For the spring season, we have two plans available: The PNW Classic membership (King/coho/sockeye Salmon, halibut, black cod, and petrale sole) and the bycatch/groundfish membership (rockfish, ling cod, dover and petrale sole. Because of the scarcity of fish available in the wintertime, we just have the PNW Classic membership available.
Feel free to put your account on hold at any given week if you can't make it to pick up your fish share, or if you'd rather opt out of a certain species at any given week. You can redeem your shares at any point during the BestCatch season.
We have some of the best fish in the world and more and more of our Washington-caught fish is being frozen and shipped out. We believe that this local treasure should be honored by keeping it fresh and selling it locally. To this end, we get fish only from small boat Washington fishermen who use sustainable methods. We then whisk the fresh catch into Seattle, usually a day after it was caught!
The Fishing Seasons:
March-May: Early March is an exciting time as it's the start of the local fishing season! We will have Neah Bay black cod and beautiful Salish Sea halibut during this time period. We might get some blackmouth king salmon here and there as well.
June-July: Along with black cod and halibut, we will start seeing some line caught king salmon coming out of Neah Bay and La Push. We will be using red and white king for our shares. Also, starting in early July we will be buying some beautiful Baker River sockeye from Swinomish fishermen in La Connor (red fish pictured below).
August-September: The king salmon run peaks in early August and winds down (halibut as well) down in September, but every season is different and hard to predict! We will also have lots of Quillayute river/troll caught coho available during this time. Black cod will still be consistent.
October-November: We usually run coho and black cod for BestCatch in October. In November, fish will be hard to come by but we usually get our hands on some black cod, rockfish and petrale sole to wind up the season.
December-March: We will have petrale sole, ling cod, sturgeon, blackmouth kings, and black cod for the winter season. Occasionally, when we can't find any fresh fish, we will run frozen at sea salmon for our weekly fish shares.
Our fish are caught from a small boat somewhere in Washington, Monday or Tuesday of each week. Usually this will be in the waters off of the Olympic Peninsula
We hand pick the best looking fish and fillet them to your portion sizes (averaging 1 lb). We then bag them for a Wednesday delivery
The portions are then sorted into our BestCatch coolers and distributed into all of our locations around Seattle, ready for pickup!!
On many occasions our day-boat fisherman will have caught your fish less than 24 hours prior to when you get it! Of course it’s best to eat it promptly but because of the uber-fresh nature of our fish, it will still taste amazing even if you have to wait several days before cooking it. We are the only CSF in the Seattle area that offers fresh fish. You will see and taste the difference of super fresh wild line-caught fish from the cool clean Washington waters.
We support small scale family fishermen using line-caught techniques. Our fishermen are under tight supervision and quotas to ensure fish stock sustainability. While we also follow the Monterey Bay Aquarium seafood watch program, local fisheries have their own intricacies and nuances, so we take it one step further and thoroughly investigate the sustainability of each species we will bring you. The day before each delivery we will tell you where the fish was caught, when it was caught, with what method and the sustainability profile of that particular species.
All of our fish comes from less than 150 miles away from icy, pristine waters in the Salish Sea and the Washington coast. Not a portion, or some, but ALL! This means the money stays in Washington and is re-spent at Washington businesses. It means that your fish is packed in ice until you pick it up – Never put in a fridge or stored in a warehouse or blasted off on a carbon spewing jet. This means you are supporting small-scale sustainable fishing practices and fishermen as well as the towns that support them. You are keeping and showing a connection to the place your food is coming from.