See Client Testimonials below


Client Testimonals

July 2, 2017

I have been on a few boats out of Berkley and they all worked hard to give us the best opportunity to catch fish that day. First time on the Califorina Dawn and it was great! Capt James was right on and when things were not working he was quick to adjust. The deck hand Mark was everwhere at once. The chef was quick to get your order to you and what i had was the best food ever at that moment. And yes we caught some great fish and did not have to go to Alaska to do it!

R. Baratta

July 28, 2015

First time on the California Dawn and I will be going back soon! I had fished a different boat the week before and it was not a good experience at all-no fish, my reel kept jamming up and crew was not really friendly. Now on to the real deal of boats. Nice rods and reels and Greg and Joey were awesome as deck hands, they were helpful and knowledgeable about everything. Captain Chris had us on the fish and working the rods constantly, some real off the hook fishing. Tammy made great breakfast burritos and burgers for lunch, killer stuff. I caught 3 striper, 17 rock cod but 4 werent big enough to keep. The guys did a great job filleting them out also. Awesome boat and will be a repeat customer. Can not wait to go back! These guys are the real deal!


July 6, 2015

I had the best of times on this trip. I have my own small boat that I take out in the ocean all the time but wanted to do nothing but fish for once. We had limits of striped bass for 35 people by about 9:30. Then went outside for ling cod. The food on the boat was about the best, better than most resturants, the crew were fantastic. Greg and Joey were always there with help or bait. The entire crew worked their butts off. I would recomend this boat for anyone who wants to have fun and catch fish.


June 9, 2015

This was my first trip on the California Dawn, and what a GREAT EXPERIENCE!! Greg the deckhand/mate wast by far the best I have seen in a long time. He was always there to lend a hand keeping fresh live bait on hand, and to help with any tackle problems that occured. Just a great Mate. The Galley was one of the best I have seen! Tammy the chef made the best Breakfast burittos'. Her burgers were great and the steaksandwich was to die for, and a great selection of soda, chips and other items for your enjoyment. Whether you are an experienced fisherman or a new fisherman you have to take a trip on this boat. You will have a fantastic experience...I know I did.


Nov. 28, 2014

We had my mom and dad (in their 70s) and their (86 year old legally blind) friend and myself in our party. We all caught limits and had a great time with the help of a great captain (Joe) and one of the best deckhands ever (Greg). I am already recruiting people for the next trip.


July 18, 2014

Let me be the first review for 2014.  This is my 5th trip on the California Dawn and I have never been disappointed. When my nephews from Reno (age 25-30) said they had a blast I know it was a good thing! This was the first trip for my grandson (13) and he was grinning from ear to ear. We were catching so many stripers underneath the Golden Gate Bridge it was ridiculous!  Forty-two on the boat! It is always fun to have a galley and cook in case you just don't feel like packing meals.  Such a wonderful trip from about 6 am to 3 pm. Now my Nephew's wife wants to make it a yearly trip, I say sooner!  Thanks to Mary (the chef), Darin (the deck Hand), and Captain James! We WILL see you again!

E. Rohrich

Sept. 17, 2013

Folks... California Dawn, may I say first I have been on many charterted trips in the past 40 years. My past trip on the Dawn just took first place. I've payed less and far more, we were 25 people and everyone left with fish to include the Captain showing us how to grab a big Cod as well as nice halibut, which he donated. You want to talk food, $20.00 gets you breakfast, appetizers, lunch, drinks for that price and the taste of the food... don't know where you can get it any better. Deck hand... haven't seen better, seen many try. Finally the Captain, he knows his boat and loves the sport. When you add all the above, that's how customers leave happy and wanting to return soon.

R. Wilkerson

Sept. 16, 2013

California Dawn Is tops in my book and I have been on many sport fishing boats.  No hassle, no worry.. Great galley for your meals if you desire and no need to bring on a bulky cooler. Hot breakfast and lunch, resonable prices.  James always does his best to get you your fish.
Best trip ever.. We took an old friend who had never had a chance to fish the bay because of his wheel chair. Went to the Islands. What a thrill.. Perry was bringing in the cod 2 at a time... made tears come to my eyes seeing him so happy. Had an article wrote in the WON paper and picture. He still has this on his wheel chair and shows everyone.  Thanks to James and crew for making this possible. No words can express the kindness and help shown to Perry.

G. Baker

August 29, 2013

Thanks for the great fishing trip! Having dusted off my old fishing gear and enjoyed the ling cod and some of the other fish I caught, I can't wait to go out again. I've been on many charters in the past but you and Darren are by far the best - knowledgable, friendly, helpful and working hard all day to put us right over the fish! I'll be back to fish with you folks again!


August 12, 2013

My son and I had an absolutely amazing time yesterday.  We weren't fishing we were......"cathching"!  Entire boat limited on rock fish and the boat was one Ling Cod short of everyone limiting.  Captain and his brother were fantastic hosts......we will go out on the California Dawn from now on. 


August, 11, 2013

We were able to go out on one of the most beautiful days.  The crew was excellent and other anglers were great.  Danielle got the Fisherman of the Day Pot.  She helped other fishermen pull in their Ling Cod. Captain James makes sure everyone has a good time.

Danielle & Patti

September 17, 2012

Awesome trip, they run a great service here.  Capt. James made you feel right at home and brought a good vibe over the boat. Chris was another great attribute to the trip, he was friendly and worked his a$$ off to keep you fishing!  I would recommend these guys to any of my friends or family.  Oh and the 9 foot, 300 pound shark we brought to the boat was the icing on the cake...see ya soon!


September 2, 2012

We had an absolutely fantastic day fishing on California Dawn. This big girl was 8’2” and estimated to weigh 200+lbs. We enjoyed our day fishing in the bay. We can’t wait until the next trip.

Jarrett & Kristin

August 18, 2012

We went on another of our many fishing trips with the California Dawn.  The crew was wonderful and made sure that we all had a great trip and caught our limit. Tawny's cooking is the best!! 

Patricia & Danielle Dombo

June 17, 2012

Had a blast! Friendly, knowledgable crew. They even made adjustments to our planned trip when neccessary to assure everyone onboard caught fish. Great Trip.

The Stone Family

June 14, 2012

WE had a BLAST !! Come join us next time! We WON a rod AND reel...caught the BIGGEST fish for a girl!  The guys won this year but next year the girls will dominate!

Jade & Tammy

Nov. 21, 2011

Great day fishing, caught 5 ling cod, our groug had 6 Lings, limit of black cod and limit of crab. Capt Chris and Steve were great help. Will be booking our next trip with them again.


Nov. 6, 2011

Had a great trip with my teenage boys on opening day of Crab season. Sea was a little rough that day and a few folks didn't do so well, but we caught our limits of crab and cod by mid day. Had crab legs and cod chowder for Thanksgiving this year. Can't wait to do it again next year. Cal Dawn crew was amazing. All the guys were helpful with bait and hooks and Shelby and Candy was there help make everyone feel good. Plus the galley food is awesome.


Jan. 28, 2011

I'm the Company liason for our Rc-Club, And have been chartering fishing trips with the Smith Family for the past 18 years. We have never been disappointed with the service, and quality of our trips, Tawny the Cook serves an outstanding variety of foods from the galley, the deck hands have always been informative and helpful teaching the newbies all the techniques, for a succesful day on the water. I can't say enough about Captain James, Our group has known him since he was a deck hand on his dads boat the Happy Hooker. His knowledge of the bay and ocean is legend among his peers. And he'll pull every trick in the book to make your experiance on the Califonia Dawn a memorable one. We booked again this year, and look forward to another great day on the Bay.


Oct. 28, 2010

I have been fishing since the day I was like born! I have been coming on the Cal Dawn since I was like 12 or 13, and today I just spent my 17th birthday out shark fishing! It was the best birthday I could ever imagine! If you ever want to go fishing on a charter boat this is the boat to pick! the environment on this boat is always fun! You'll make great memories with your friends & family on this boat! Going fishing on the Cal Dawn is always my favorite thing to do! And Captain James is the best capt I know! (: he'll always do his best to make sure you have a great time! Thank you James and everyone on this trip for helping me have one of the best days of my life! It was literally unforgetable (:


Oct. 20, 2010

If your reading this your still wishing, get on board the CalDawns crew so you start fishing. These kids know the Bay. Most of all they know how to locate the hot spots in the bay.

Sept. 13, 2010

Another stand up trip with the California Dawn. You can't find a better run boat in the fleet. Clean, fast and fun. Limits of lings and rock fish. Thanks to Captain James, deckhand Darren and the famous Chef Tawney. If it wasn't for all the reeling, I would have gained 10 lbs.

Kurt Dittig

Sept. 4, 2010

Wow what a great weekend. Many Thanks to the Dawn and crew. I was able to land my first Ling Cod followed by some really healthy looking Rock Cods. If you love fishing and you're up to the challenge, give these guys a try! I was so excided I washed my cell phone... no pictures.

Michael (VooDooMan)

August 11, 2010

I took my son in law and my self to a trip on the 'Dawn' and had a great time. The crew and Tawny we're the best. I can't say enough about this boat. Thank you to everyone. It was one of the best Birthday trips I could go on.

Cecil Taylor

July 13, 2010

We  have chartered the California Dawn several times to do various kinds of fishing.  On our trips for Rock Fish everyone caught their limit and more. During sturgeon season in the bay we have always has alway caught sturgeon and stripped bass.  For a great fishing experience, excellent service from the captain and his crew and a very good time, call Captain James and book a trip.  We guarantee you will have a great time.

Curtis & Kitty D.

February 26, 2010

The California Dawn left the dock about 7 a.m. and I caught my 59" sturgeon about 2:15 p.m. using eel, grass shrimp combo. The deck hand was good and professional and the Captain netted the fish.  If you want a good trip, try a trip on the California Dawn. The food was good too!

Ed M.


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Captain James Smith, Jr.

Berkeley Marina
Martinez Marina

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