Captain Stephen D. Grossberg was an extraordinary individual and "lifetime" fisherman who passed in April of this year. Known as the master of the "Deep Drop," Steve's expertise at fishing in depths greater than 1,200 feet on manual gear was unmatched by anyone on the west coast.
Fishing since childhood, mentored by Ron the "Rock" and raised on the bait docks in Marina del Rey Harbor, California, Steve spent his early years as a deckhand or "pinhead" on the local Marina-based sportfishing boats. These included the Spitfire, Betty-O and the Del Mar where he affectionately became known as "Pee Wee." He spent 10 years in service with the U.S. Navy, participating in a long tour of duty during the Gulf War, and was known for catching amberjacks on jigs off anchored U.S. Naval battleships. He left the Navy as an expert engineer in gas turbine motors while securing his 100-ton captain's license and settled in San Diego.
During the nineties and thereafter, Steve skippered or decked for well-known Point Loma-based sportfishing vessels such as the Holiday with Captain Rick Podolak and the Ranger 85 with Captain Frank Ursitti. Steve's reputation for finding bluefin tuna and albacore grew in San Diego and he graduated to skippering private vessels such as the 43-foot Hatteras My Celeste and the 55-foot Hatteras convertible Reel Inspiration anchored in Mission Bay. Steve's greatest love, however, was fishing the deep stuff for north Pacific rockfish. Steve was invited to locate and capture rockfish for Dr. Milton Love, who was instrumental in establishing the MPA’s (Marine Protected Areas) for the California coastline.
Steve managed to attain 21 world records, many of the 13 all-tackle deep water rockcod records still remaining in the IGFA World Record book today credited to Stephen will most likely be difficult for the best of anglers to ever match or better. Steve will be remembered by many of us as the "codfather," for his amazing knowledge and talent in catching "Sebastes" species in the Pacific Ocean deep water.
Captain Grossberg was only 46 years old, survived by his ex-wife Laurie and aunt Susan. He will truly be missed, but his fishing wisdom and innovation will forever be remembered. Private services will be held on Aug.25 in San Diego.
CAPTAIN STEPHEN GROSSBERG standing on the bow of the San Diego based sportfishing boat Indian skippered by Chris Randel holding up the All-Tackle world record Cow Cod caught in 1999 in the "deep water."