It was reported by the Los Angeles Times today that Bill Poole, sportfishing legend and father of San Diego's world-class long-range fishing fleet, has passed away after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 87.
On a day when many Southern Californians are closely watching the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) proceedings in Long Beach to find out just how much fishing access anglers are likely to lose to coastal and island Marine Protected Areas, this news came as a particularly bitter pill to swallow.
To a generation of anglers, Poole has been known as a captain, boat builder and co-owner of Fisherman's Landing in San Diego. Poole built or had a role in the construction of a series of long-range fishing vessels that set new standards for comfort, fishability and range, and took anglers further and further into Mexico's fish-rich waters. Among these boats that still see regular duty taking fishermen from around the world in search of giant yellowfin tuna, wahoo, dorado and yellowtail are the Royal Polaris, Polaris Supreme, Searcher, Royal Star, Holiday and American Angler.
Poole had remained involved in the industry and was actively fishing up until his illness last year. His life story was the subject of a recently published book Fish or Cut Bait -The Remarkable Life and Sport Fishing Legacy of Captain Bill Poole, authored by outdoor writer by Chuck Garrison.
A memorial service for Poole is tentatively scheduled for November 25.