Kirk L.

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My name is Kirk Lombard and I am many things: writer, teacher, musician…actor, inveterate blogger, raconteur…commercial fisherman, puppet master…tenor, baseball historian, and…champion eel fisherman.

In addition to all these, I am deeply passionate about our California marine resources. I worked for 7 years as a fisheries observer for the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. In that capacity it became my professional duty to find out what the local citizenry was fishing for. Onboard rockfish boats off the Farallones I counted rockfish; on the piers I checked herring, jacksmelt, stripers, pile perch; on the beaches I saw how surf and night smelt were captured; in the hidden coves I checked in on goose barnacle poachers, (not because I had to, because I wanted to); in downtown San Francisco I watched homeless, drop-line-wielding grandmothers, pull rockfish after rockfish out of storm drains. You want to get deep with this stuff? Talk to me.

I also spent 14 years as an art teacher and counselo... [More]

Reviews for Kirk L.
Rahman H.
Rahman H. for DIY Seafood With Sea Forager

If you’re really into retro, why not try foraging for your own seafood? Kirk will teach you how to "poke pole" for flavorful monkeyface eel, catch rock crabs, throw a Hawaiian casting net, locate the best local mussel beds, and embrace seasonal local fish. It’s the perfect activity for the foodie who’s not afraid to go a little caveman on his meal. Note: You will find and release. You will not be able to take any fish home with you, as this is an eco friendly tour! You will, however, gain the skills you need to do it on your own if you choose to. A two and a half hour presentation that combines history, ecology, gastronomy, and sustainability. Kids age 9 and older welcome. Dress for potential cold winds and/or rain, wear comfortable walking shoes. This walking tour starts at the stone light house on the St Francis Jetty, near 1 Yacht Road in the Marina District (about a hundred yards due west of the famous "wave organ") and ends about 1 mile away, near the Marina Green Wall, in the vicinity of Fort Mason.

Jon B.
Jon B. for DIY Seafood With Sea Forager

Highly recommended! Kirk SO loves what he does, and it shows. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of his subject and is extremely generous with his information! REALLY great tour. Thanks Kirk!!!

Stephanie L.
Stephanie L. for DIY Seafood With Sea Forager

Hanging out with Kirk was really educational and fun. A great experience even for locals (which all but one of us were).

Pete V.
Pete V. for DIY Seafood With Sea Forager


Kimmy D.
Kimmy D. for DIY Seafood With Sea Forager

My folks were visiting SF for a week. They totally love fishing and I totally love sustainability. Kirk is like an all knowing yoda man that sits an the center of marine biology ("its called the monkey faced eel, but it is not an eel, this shows you how names mean so little"), improvised fishing ("because I'm feeling crazy, let's try this with a line and hook, we don't need a rod, this is how I did it as a kid"), story telling ("the last time I caught a rock crab, I didn't throw it back far enough and the seagulls dove and we all gasped expecting to see him pulled apart, but he flipped over and brandished his claws and the seagulls knew to leave that guy alone or lose a beak, ahh, evolution") and sustainability ("the oil fish, used my Native Americans' as candles, just dry and light them, was once the largest biomass in the Bay, now it is found only in Alaska because of a little tiny bit of warming of the ocean"). Within a year or two, this guy is going to be on the Travel Channel with his own show. Also, bonus points for not actually killing any fish or crabs and for knowing every regulation known to man regarding the killing of fish and crabs. Double bonus points for helping my folks throw fishing nets.

Ben E.
Ben E. for DIY Seafood With Sea Forager

My Fiance and I had a great time on Kirk's tour. We had the chance to learn a lot about what's available in the bay (Crab/mussels/different types of fish/etc) and how to get to it. We especially enjoyed listening to Kirk, who's a fantastic source and great storyteller. His passion for the water (and especially the critter that live within it) really comes through. To top it off, Kirk landed an awesome Monkeyfaced Eel right as we were ending the tour. Super impressive!

Lorrayne L.
Lorrayne L. for DIY Seafood With Sea Forager

We journeyed to the Land of Lost Sunshine early in the morning to beat weekend traffic in, had a lovely breakfast out on the piers, then headed over to the jetty where the class took place. The fog was still thick at that hour, and the tops of the skyscrapers were shrouded in white. Even the tops of the Golden Gate were virtually invisible, and remained so as the day progressed. Kirk Lombard is a very famous man. He's known for making the State record for largest monkeyface prickleback ever caught. Kirk has also worked for California Fish and Game for 7+ years, and now consults with them. Highly knowledgeable and extremely enthusiastic, you feel the contagion spread while listening to him talk about the wildlife to be found along the coast in the intertidal zones. He shows you the best techniques to catching small fish, crabs, and harvesting mussels, seaweed and kelp. He also demonstrates first-hand how to catch the famous monkeyface prickleback, which was very entertaining to watch. In addition to all this, he shows you the easiest way to gut and debone a small fish, and how to properly cast nets to catch smelt along the water's surface. We had a grand old time with Kirk yesterday, and I highly recommend everyone to take at least one of his tours. Trust me - by the end of class, you'll be hankering to run down to Pacifica Pier to buy a crab trap, or to your favourite bait and tackle shop to stock up on fishing gear.

John G.
John G. for DIY Seafood With Sea Forager

This is a great tour. Kirk is very smart and very funny. He even brought us bagels. You'll learn a lot and you'll really enjoy yourself. This tour is for anyone interested in sustainable fishing and eating, biology, Bay Area fishing history, and cooking seafood. Kirk teaches a few basic techniques on how catch fish, crab, and shellfish with very inexpensive equipment. He used to work for the fish and game department so he can advise you on what's legal and not.

Jason for DIY Seafood With Sea Forager

Hi, well I actually thought we were gonna be caught in a deluge, but the sky held back its wrath, and we (me and the other 20 or so seafood tourists) were treated to a fun, super educational, passionate, fascinating and all around fantastic 3 hours of all things Nor-Cal seafood related. Kirk's passion obsessive seafood monomania and all around love of the oceanic environment make for the best class I have taken in years. If kids had teachers like this in school they would all be inspired to reach for the stars.. anyhow take and enjoy Kirk's class.. but watch out , he may have as many as 5 parallel thought processes going at once .. you better keep on your toes.. and ask questions. that makes him go off in all sorts of unexpected directions. Again the one of the best things I have done in a long time. I put good for kids.. but not if they are squeamish or afraid of a bit of "salty" language.