About Virg’s Landing

After more than a half-century in business, Virg’s Landing remains a local sport fishing institution here in Morro Bay, and a link from the past to our evolving future.

The Story Of Virg’s Landing

With his wife Freida, Virg left Newport Beach in 1954, to bring “live bait fishing” to the Central Coast. They had one boat, the Lady Jane and they founded Virg’s Fish’n in Morro Bay.

 

At the time, competition was fierce among several fishing landings on the Embarcadero. Virg’s ran the first albacore trip using live bait in September 1954. The resulting catch: five anglers reeled in 22 albacore weighing up to 45 pounds. During albacore season, the Morro Bay waterfront was transformed into an Old West-style boomtown. The foggy nights were filled with “electricity” and the smell of fresh fish.

 

The use of live bait lured fishermen from the Central Valley to hook albacore, salmon and the abundant rockfish that inhabit the waters around Morro Bay. Live bait had changed the face of fishing in Morro Bay and boats from Southern California began to come up just to fish the albacore season out of Virg’s.

 

The Morro Bay “tackle shack” was replaced by a store with offices in 1964 and to this day you can still see “Virg & Frieda ‘64” stamped in the concrete by the back door. In 1970, Virg opened a second location in San Simeon with his daughter Sharon and her family living in a trailer to help run the new operation.

 

The “Billy Boy” arrived in 1968 replacing “Uranus” as Virg’s live bait boat. Salmon fishing on the Central Coast thrived during this time. Often a boat would run 2 to 3 trips a day and catch salmon right outside the harbor entrance.

 

In 1973 Virg was joined by his daughter Sharon, and his other daughter Gail in 1976. Business was good.

 

By the 1980s the years of Virg’s hard work had begun to catch up with him. Around this time, he spent most of his days on his ranch with his family and working in his garden. Virg passed away in 1985 and left his daughter Sharon and her family at the helm of the business. Not only did he leave his family to carry on his legacy, but his friends and coworkers as well.

 

Virg’s grandson, Darby Neil, grew up following his grandfather around and learned the business at an early age. Darby is an avid sportsman and loves anything to do with the ocean. He is a skilled mechanic, boatwright and businessman, and like his grandfather, Darby managed every aspect of the business.

 

Darby retired in 2009 to hunt, fish and pursue his dreams.

 

Virg’s continues to catch large numbers of a variety of shallow and deepwater species. There is an abundance of fish in our area that has made sportfishing a great way to spend a day on the water!

Present Day
  • 12 Jun 2014

    Virg’s Continues to Catch Large Numbers of Shallow and Deepwater Fish

    Virg’s continues to catch large numbers of a variety of shallow and deepwater species. There is an abundance of fish in our area that has made sportfishing a great way to spend a day on the water! After more than a half-century in business, Virg’s...

  • 12 Jun 2009

    Darby Retires to Pursue his Dreams.

    Darby retired in 2009 to hunt, fish and pursue his dreams.

  • 12 Jun 2000

    Virg’s grandson, Darby Neil, Joins & Manages Business

    Virg’s grandson, Darby Neil, grew up following his grandfather around and learned the business at an early age. Darby is an avid sportsman and loves anything to do with the ocean. He is a skilled mechanic, boatwright and businessman, and like his grandfather, Darby managed every aspect...

  • 12 Jun 1985

    Virg Passes Away, Leaving Daughter Sharon at the Helm of Business

    By the 1980s the years of Virg’s hard work had begun to catch up with him. Around this time, he spent most of his days on his ranch with his family and working in his garden. Virg passed away in 1985 and left his daughter...

  • 12 Jun 1976

    Joined by Other Daughter Gail

    Business was good.

  • 12 Jun 1973

    Virg Joined by Daughter Sharon

    Business was good.

  • 12 Jun 1968

    The “Billy Boy” Arrived to Replace “Uranus” as Virg’s Live Bait Boat

    The “Billy Boy” arrived in 1968 replacing “Uranus” as Virg’s live bait boat. Salmon fishing on the Central Coast thrived during this time. Often a boat would run 2 to 3 trips a day and catch salmon right outside the harbor entrance.

  • 12 Jun 1964

    The Morro Bay “tackle shack” Replaced by a Store with Offices

    The Morro Bay “tackle shack” was replaced by a store with offices in 1964 and to this day you can still see “Virg & Frieda ‘64” stamped in the concrete by the back door. In 1970, Virg opened a second location in San Simeon with his...

  • 06 Sep 1954

    First Albacore Trip with Live Bait

    At the time, competition was fierce among several fishing landings on the Embarcadero. Virg’s ran the first albacore trip using live bait in September 1954. The resulting catch: five anglers reeled in 22 albacore weighing up to 45 pounds. During albacore season, the Morro Bay waterfront...

  • 06 Jun 1954

    Virg’s Fish’n Founded in Morro Bay

    With his wife Freida, Virg left Newport Beach in 1954, to bring “live bait fishing” to the Central Coast. They had one boat, the Lady Jane and they founded Virg’s Fish’n in Morro Bay.

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