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Check out the latest discussion on who's the best fish processor in San Diego:
From Julia H.
There is nothing like a women run business, the five star girls do the best job in town. The same day service can't be beat. You can tell this place is run by fisherman for fishermen. The prices are great for the services you get. The smoked fish is excellent and the vacuum packed fish equals that just caught freshness.
From David C.
I have been long range fishing for quite some time, and have tried all the other options of fish processing. Eventually I tried using Five Star Fish Processing, and I have no need to look any further.
I try to keep Sarah and her staff aware of when I'm going fishing, and give them an idea about how much fish I will be processing, but from there it's straight great service.
From Tony E.
I've been using 5 Star for several years now. Having worked in the seafood industry I know their work is top notch! Whenever taking any fishing trip that's the place to go. They always go above and beyond and do it with a smile.
Do not look any further for your fish processing needs!! Long range fishing is not a cheap hobby and I wouldn't trust my catch to anyone but 5 Star. The product I received back from them after my 8 day last year was second to none, wahoo and yellowfin that was delicious months after I returned home. I've been using their service for 5 years now and have never had a problem. In fact, I have personally witnessed Sarah and her crew go above and beyond to accommodate customers with special requests regarding their catch. They have a immaculate facility which is conveniently located next to the landings and right off the freeway. Don't make a choice you will regret latter, use 5 Star!!!
As a long range fisherman for many years, I've tried all the fish processing operations and have found Five Star Fish Processing to be heads and shoulders above the others in terms of quality of their finished product and especially, their customer service. I would highly recommend them to anybody in the San Diego area who needs their fish cleaned, fileted, vacuum sealed and even shipped elsewhere. You will be most happy with the results and enjoy eating your fish year round after Five Star has done their magic to your catch!!!
Five Star are simply the best fish processors around. I have been fishing Long Range for many years and have been using Five Star since 2003. Before Five Star, people had to settle for sub-par fish processing. Sarah and Melanie always make sure that everything is perfect. With Five Star I can count on an excellent product. I know there will be no waste, quality packaging and excellent smoked fish.
Five Star gets five stars... for being a proud sponsor of our non-profit senior center. For the last five years, they have donated fish (that we would not normally be able to afford) so that we can throw the most amazing fish taco parties. The fish is fresh, put on ice, and packaged professionally. It's still frozen when we receive it. They do an excellent job of processing & packaging fish for delivery. It's nice to know that big companies care about little companies. We'll send pictures of this upcoming taco party.
five stars for five star!
5 Star Fish Processing is hand down the best quality and service.
From Tom Y.
As a Long Ranger for OVER 10 YEARS, I have used many different
HOWEVER! in 2003 or 2004, I came across Five Star Processing and oh
Shortly after that, I moved back to Missouri, and went on another long
I asked them to hold my fish for 2 weeks as I was burying my Dad the
So, if you are looking for a FANTASTIC processor, I strongly suggest
From Samantha C.
"I heard you on the radio and I didn't get a chance to call but I just wanted to tell you that the smoked wahoo I got is the best I ever had. Your recipe is the perfect blend of smoke,salt and sweet and the meat is moist without being mushy. Most others make theirs too salty or too smokey and dry. Yours is just right so I hope you never change the recipe. I'll be back for more next time I go Long Range. Cheers... Craig" Feb. 15, 2009
"Thanks again for all of your help with this, you are the first person to really give me good information on this whole process. Hopefully we will be able to go on a long range trip one day, and we will be able to use your services! My boyfriend and his family have chartered with H&M Landing multiple times in the past, but his family lives in Bakersfield, CA so they have never had to fly with their fish before. I will pass on your excellent customer service to them so maybe they can use your services in the future also. "
From Mike, Carol and Mark T.
"Dear Sarah and Melanie,
"Sarah, just want too thank you for the fantastic service I received from you and your great crew. Not enough words to discribe the condition of my fish. Thanks for being there for us"
"Just picked up my fish at the airfreight office everything was like clock work.....wahoo, tuna and yellowtail all perfectly cut and sealed still frozen solid....Sarah and her crew are just the best. Life is good.... finding a great fish processor is like finding a great mechanic or great plumber...LOL"
From Danny H.
"Once again 5 Star has met and exceeded my expectations. You said you could not get to my order until after noon. Only to find that I was on my way home, fish processed and safely sealed on ice/dry ice for my trip to northern Nevada. Yes, we all arrived in Dayton, Nevada safe and sound fish now in the freezer. Thank you again for your fast, efficient work ethic. Keep up the good work."
From George B.
From Anthony F.
"I just wanted to give Kudos's to you about 5 Star. When we returned from our Tiburon trip, it was of course just before the Christmas Holiday's. Due to a crazy work schedule for me at Disney I would not be able to pick up my fish until after the first of the year. Which Sarah at 5 Star said would not be a problem, just call when I knew of the actual pick up date. My wife and I went down on January 14th to get my fish, and while they loaded up my coolers, I stayed at the car with my wife, (she didn't care for the fish odor from the plant, go figure). When we got home, I discovered only my yellow fin had been loaded, but no yellowtail! I e-mailed 5 Star and that evening I received a reply from Sarah and she said they would investigate and get back to me. Well, later that same evening, she replied back, found my missing fish and before she realized that I live in Long Beach had actually volunteered to drive my fish over to me. So, instead she sent it UPS Tuesday for a Wednesday delivery. Because of the mix-up, Sarah also said she would include some smoked Albacore and smoked yellowtail for me to try. The package arrived on Wednesday and as promised included the extra smoked fish!!! Now that is what I call customer service!!! So the next time I fish with the American Angler I will of course choose 5 Star for my fish processing needs. As a side note, all of my fish was packaged in convenient sizes and the packaging appears to be of the highest quality."
From Anthony G.
I wanted to write a short note thanking everyone from
Again, thank you for the excellent job you all did,
From Mike Nichols
I was told about Five Star about five years ago by one of the boat
I would like to thank Melanie personally for her assistance to me after
My thanks to Andy and the girls for putting in that extra effort for
If you need a reference, ask anyone to call me at my business #
I received a fish order earlier this week at IAD airport and wanted to
I've grilled Tuna and Wahoo for my neighbors and family this week. It's
You provide a great quality product, great service, and skilled
Refrigerated Salt-Water Storage Serving Up Fresher Fish; New Process Benefits Anglers
FAMILY TRADITION - Three generations of Seraspes can be found at Five-Star Processing: Grandad Lauro, son Andy, and six-year-old grandson Charlie.
Fresh-caught tuna, yellowtail, dorado, and other species can now stay that way for as long as a week instead of being frozen hard as a nail in a brine-spray tank. For most of us, fresh equals better. Added to the fresh equation is a new fish processor, specializing in fresh fish.
“This is huge,” sportboat skipper Tim Ekstrom said. “This is a far better grade of fish to take home. This will make a difference. We learned how to do it [on the Royal Star] when we were in Panama.”
What’s huge is RSW, or refrigerated salt water fish holds. RSW has already changed the way the long- range fleet goes about keeping fish and will likely affect the day and charter fleets as well. It isn’t new, but it’s an idea whose time has come. RSW is almost as old as California commercial fishing.
Here’s how the whole approach to RSW works on the Royal Star, which has been employing the method longest.
After the “fresh tank” has been readied (it usually serves as a live-bait container on the way to the fishing grounds), rubber mats are placed over the stern deck, where most fishing takes place. The mats cushion the fall of the fish, preventing bruising. The rubber also cushions the feet of the anglers, who say they like the improved comfort and footing.
Fishing begins, and tuna or other species are gaffed aboard on the mat and humanely dispatched with a brain spike to prevent thrashing. Then they’re gilled, gutted, and put down gently into the fresh tank. The chilled seawater in there keeps them at 29-to-32 degrees.
Back at port, the fish are unloaded (again, gently) into slush ice bins that the new Five Star Fish Processing team brings to the dock. The bins are rolled up to the truck, and they go to the nearby plant at 2836 Sherman.
Anglers can accompany their fish to the plant, where a lounge with TV and a stereo system, creature comforts, and a viewing window into the cutting room await.
Anglers relax; the fish go from bin to cutting table, then the vacuum-packer in a few hours at most. Then the processed fish is claimed, stowed, and packed off on ice by the anglers who caught the fish. They take it home and eat, can, or freeze it.
RSW is also changing the way fish are processed. A local family of commercial fishermen and their state-of-the-art packing plant is changing the way sportfishermen and long-range anglers keep and eat their fresh tuna, wahoo, and yellowtail.
Three generations of fishing Seraspes can be found almost any day at Five-Star Fish Processing, on the corner of Sherman and Pickett, near Rosecrans Boulevard and I-5. Granddad Lauro Seraspe put in some 50 years as a commercial fisherman and now works a little for his son Andy Seraspe, one of the company’s two owners.
Andy Seraspe also had a career as a commercial fisherman, specializing in crab, shrimp, and lobster. Andy’s boy Charlie is only six, but he likes working with his dad and can already do some chores, like pack and rack the smoked fish. He likes fishing too.
The three Seraspes were all in the plant recently, after putting in a morning at Fisherman’s Landing, taking on tuna and yellowtail for processing.
With Andy’s partner David Fosbinder, an ex-roadie who now runs the office, the plant was fully staffed, except for a couple of professional fish cutters.
Processing is what the business is all about. Working with never-frozen fish from chilled seawater holds on sportfishing boats isn’t new. It’s been around for years on the East Coast and on some Southern California day boats. But the application is, um, fresh.
Anglers who don’t want to wait for processing can have their fish shipped, said Andy Saraspe. “We can cut and wrap,” he said, “and pack and ship fresh or smoked fish by air or ground.
“We don’t sell fish,” he emphasized. “We only do processing. If it needs to be frozen, we have a freezer room at 15 degrees. We have a refer room that keeps fish at 32 degrees. Our smoker handles up to 300 pounds of finished product, after we put in 600 pounds of fresh.
“It’s a state-of-the-art smoker, a Koch. We have over 5,000 square feet of space here, with the truck bay and the cutting room and upstairs storage,” he said.
Andy Saraspe may be a lucky fisherman. He not only has a clean, nicely and cleverly appointed processing plant and a loving family, but also he has a great notion.
The idea to put better fish on the plates of long-range fishermen seems likely to find a permanent place in the hearts of the same anglers. After all, they enjoy the best fishing the world has to offer. Why wouldn’t they want the best fish to eat?
It should be pointed out that the other fish-packing services permitted to operate at the sportfishing landings are also offering same-day services.
Anglers and sportboat owner-operators alike are giving RSW fish high endorsement.
“I ate some bluefin from the fresh tank, and it was unbelievable,” said Royal Star angler Jim Barber Aug. 23 at Fisherman’s Landing. He was just off a six-day trip with skipper Tim Ekstrom.
“My wife said, ‘Don’t give away any more bluefin.’ And boy, is it easier to process at home! It even freezes better.”
Writing aboard his Royal Polaris on a five-day trip skipper Frank LoPreste made recently noted, “The day started off on the slow side; however, we did have some very good fishing in the afternoon. Our passengers caught plenty of albacore in the 25- to 40-pound class. We hooked a couple of the larger bluefin tuna but managed to catch only a 40-pounder.
“This is also our first trip doing the refrigerated salt-water fish, for those who want to take some fresh fish home,” he said. “Some of you might have noticed that we now have a carpeted deck so that your fish don't get beat up and will stay in beautiful condition. We are planning on having our RSW system working perfectly next season. Meanwhile, we have the highest praise for Randy and Tim of the Royal Star for innovating a system which is the best thing that has happened to this industry in many years.”
Red Rooster III skipper Andy Cates said, “We just ran the fresh [RSW] tank. The fish comes out so nice we’ll run all of our short trips for fresh fish exclusively from now on.”
Judging by the speed of the “fresh” concept’s acceptance, next summer season may see as much as half the long-range fleet’s catch come dockside in pristine culinary condition: no thawing; just cook and eat.
Five Star Fish Processing
3826 Sherman Street * San Diego, CA 92110 * 619-299-9996
Five Star Fish Processing