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Fisherman Spotlight: Meet Captain Brett Montague of F/V Jo El

Great seafood comes from great relationships. Local Ocean has been serving tuna from the Jo El for 20 years!

If you order the ever-popular Tuna Mignon or Teriyaki Tuna Kabobs, your Albacore comes from F/V Jo El. Local Ocean has been serving tuna from the Jo El since 2003, back when founder Laura Anderson spent her days selling wholesale fish. This long-standing relationship began with former captain Chris Cameron, and has continued even after his retirement. Enthusiastic about keeping seafood local, when captain Brett Montague purchased the Jo El in 2018, he wanted to make sure the relationship persisted.

Captain Brett, deckhand Ethan, and boat dog Briar

A former history major from Philadelphia, Brett changed course to move out west. He worked as a deckhand for seven years before buying the Jo El, a 1967 wooden double-ender. She can hold about 12,000 pounds of sashimi-grade, frozen-at-sea Albacore tuna per load. Brett spends about half the year on the 40’ troller accompanied by deckhand Ethan Holt and boat dog Briar.

Briar isn’t the only mammal to be seen from the Jo El’s decks while at sea. Ethan once woke Brett to check out what he’d spotted during a nighttime “wheel watch” – a pod of whales that seemed to span for miles! “It never gets old,” Brett says, adding that he keeps a PNW bird and marine mammal identification guide next to the captain’s chair.

Brett and Ethan raising the boat's outriggers.

Tuna is a family affair for Brett and his wife Susie. She recently opened a food cart, the perfectly named JoElle's, in nearby Waldport, Oregon. Susie cooks and serves delicious meals like tuna sandwiches and Albacore poke to her patrons, providing another great place to find local catch.

In the fish business, relationships matter. We’re proud to support fishing families and work alongside them to keep local seafood close to home.

Boat dog Briar