Joe Rosa did not have to invent a tall fish tale when he came home from his deep-sea fishing adventure last weekend.
The proof was piled up in his fishing boat named after his beloved wife – The Ocean Rose: 1,500 pounds of Humboldt squid he caught at Monterey Bay. He did not even have to say anything to show how excited he was at his personal record marine haul in all the years he has been pursuing his hobby. His ear-to-ear grin said it all.
He wasn’t the only one excited about the sight of 29 five-foot squid neatly arranged in rows on the cement pad behind the boat parked next to the house.
“I never saw so much fish! That was the most they ever got. They were lucky. Sometimes they’d go (fishing) and not even bring one, so that was a special deal,” said Rosa’s excited wife, Rose.
In fact, the last time her husband went deep-sea fishing recently, they only caught two of the Humboldts.
“Then they went one other time and they did not even bring home any,” she said with a laugh.
Joe Rosa said he goes squid fishing only about twice a year. But that’s not the extent of his angling adventures during any given year. He also goes after the fresh-water kind from time to time.
“He likes to go to the river for sturgeon once in a while,” Rose said.
“But his favorite is deep-sea fishing. He likes to get sanddab and rock cod. He likes to go for salmon, too. And he loves to go for tuna – albacore – in Monterey. But this year, they could never get any albacore because they were like 50 miles away into the ocean and he didn’t want to go out that much” in the water, she said.
While her husband usually goes fishing in Monterey, he also likes to go to Half Moon Bay “because we have relatives there,” Rose said.
Joe Rosa is a born angler. It’s in his blood. It’s his hobby, his passion.
“He fishes for anything he could get,” Rose said laughing.
And he obviously passed on the angler gene to his son, Dave, and grandson David, 22, who is called DJ by his family and friends. The three-generation Rosas often go deep-sea fishing together. Last weekend, though, when he had his record haul, Joe brought along two fishing rookies with him: George “Georgie” Perry III, the grandson of close family friend George Perry of George Perry & Sons in Manteca, and Kristopher Risso who works at Rosa’s Welding, the business founded by Joe Rosa and is now owned and operated by his son, David. Joe retired after 28 years in the business. Throughout that time, his son David worked for him at the shop as a welder.
The Rosas did not start their welding business the year they moved to Manteca. That was in the early 1960s. Both natives of the Azores in Portugal – Joe is from Faial, Rose was born in Terceira – the two met in Tracy. They were married at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, and will celebrate their 48th wedding anniversary in June. Two years after they got married, they moved to Manteca.
Joe first worked in a cabinet shop as a cabinet maker. After that, he went to work for Tuff Boy Trailer. After 10 years at Tuff Boy, he started his own business, Rosa’s Welding, which is still at the same location on West Yosemite Avenue just west of McKinley Avenue. The business property straddles West Yosemite and the old Vierra Road which has since been closed to thru traffic after the extension of D’Arcy Parkway where the road now dead-ends.
“He always wanted to work for himself,” Rose said, recalling the reason her husband struck out on his own.
Their son, David, “worked for his dad” all that time, Rose said. “He has been welding since he was nine years old!”
The Rosas have eight grandkids all together from their three children. David and wife Gena have three – son DJ and daughters, Amanda, 18, and Alexia, 16. Oldest daughter Lucy and husband John Machado of Manteca have three children – Marissa, a freshman cheerleader, and her two brothers aged 13 and 7. Daughter Marianne Rosa who works for the city of Modesto has a 12-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son.
Ironically, as much as her husband loves to fish, all the scrumptious seafood that he brings home is off limits to Rose Rosa.
“I’m allergic to fish!” she firmly stated.