Phil’s Fish Market is located in Moss Landing. We headed there for lunch after our birding excursion at Elkhorn Slough. Moss Landing is about dead center in Monterey Bay, which extends from the Monterey Peninsula in the south to Santa Cruz in the north. The land around Moss Landing is low, flat and sandy. It is the working heart of the bay. The fishing fleet is based there. Monterey Bay has been fished so much and for so long that many of the better species have been depleted. Much has changed since John Steinbeck wrote Cannery Row. First went the mackerel, then the sardines. All of the old fish canneries of Monterey closed. Now what remains of the original structures are part of a thriving tourist trade. Now all that remains of Monterey’s once thriving fishing industry resides at Moss Landing. I haven’t seen them yet on this trip, but I have in past years. From my Dad’s house, the view looks down upon the bay and on a clear night you can see the entire fishing fleet working together as a team. They line up in two parallel rows, almost like two football teams waiting for the snap and then they shine bright lights onto the water in-between them. The lights attract squid. When enough squid are there the fisherman scoop them up with their nets. Phil’s is more restaurant than market, but it is still an excellent place to eat. Phil himself is a man with a past. He was most famously pardoned by Bill Clinton for drug crimes. His pardon was one of those that the Republicans complained about, citing a quid pro quo.