Captain Joe Stoops
Captain Joe Stoops has fished the coastal waters of California since 1968. His offshore experience started in 1974 when he acquired his first boat and tried his hand at commercial fishing. While operating a commercial salmon troller he opted to convert it to a salmon mooching boat to save fuel and enjoy the sport aspect. In 1993, he acquired his captain’s license and this kicked off his first season in Alaska.
Captain Joe was based out of Elfin Cove, Alaska and fished the remote waters of the northernmost entrance to the fabled Inside Passage. This is where he fished the most consistent waters in the world for five species of salmon, Pacific halibut, and lingcod. He continued for five more seasons becoming Elfin Cove’s top guide.
It was important for Joe to promote the catch and release of 100 lb.+ halibut because of the fact that they are predominately spawning females. This included tagging and releasing halibut for research purposes. During Alaska’s winter season, Joe migrated south to the Florida Keys and Guatemala. Operating a charter boat, he fished for tuna and billfish. Joe learned the art of live bait sail fishing while using light tackle.
As a captain competing in Sailfish tournaments, Joe perfected his boat handling skills in tight, aggressive situations. While residing in Key Largo, he operated dive boats for charter and research work and during this time, Joe acquired his Diver Master certification. In the fall of 1995, he returned to his native Santa Cruz and began offering custom sport-fishing charters in the Monterey Bay. However, there were still a couple of years where he switched between home and Alaska. Once he met his wife Raina and they began to plan for a family there became enough justification to stay in one region.
Today, between the five Stoops, their interests are vast and at times contrasting but at the end of the day there is one common denominator that is shared, a familiar foundation, and that is the sea and all she has to offer.