Where Surfers Buy Seafood in Orange County

New Years Eve 2011-055

Itching for a little surf and turf for upcoming foootball game playoffs? Need to know where to buy live crab and lobster at a reasonable price? Well, look no further, straight from the surfers who surf our Pacific waters, here are two favorite fresh fish places. Here is Where Surfers Buy Seafood in Orange County.


Dory Fishing Fleet Market

110 McFadden Pl
Newport Beach, CA 92663
(949) 632-5939

Hours: Sat-Sun 6 am – 10 am


 If you have grown up in Orange County and have a love of the ocean, there is a good chance you already know about the first favorite. The Dory Fishing Fleet is a beachside fishing cooperative in Newport Beach. It was founded in 1891 at the base of Newport Pier.  Locals have passed down the tradition of watching the day’s fresh catch being hauled onto shore each morning for generations. If you ask someone in line how they heard about Dory’s the answer is usually, my dad brought me here when I was a kid. Locals, surfers and even restaurants, buy the daily bounties. Most everything is sold by by 10am. The trick to buying seafood here is the early bird gets the worm.

Next up –

Pearson's Port Newport Beach-058

Pearson’s Port

300 E Coast Hwy
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 675-6771

Hours: Mon, Wed-Fri 10 am – 5:30 pm.  Sat-Sun 9 am – 5:30 pm

This one is a little trickier to find.  It’s located off PCH and Bayside Drive (on the East side of the highway) tucked away next to a trailer park. It’s sandwiched between the Dunes (Back Bay) and a launching site for a local kayak rental facility. A small Pearson's Port Newport Beach-053walkway over the water leads you to a 20′ x 15′ floating shanty with tanks pumping chilled oxygenated water into what looks like oversized kitchen sinks. Inside you’ll find mostly fresh seasonal catches as well as one or two imported fish. Most of what is on hand is caught locally in waters between Dana Point and Santa Barbara.

At Pearson’s Port, the year is divided into two seasons: fall and winter are Spiny lobster, while in the spring and summer are spot prawns.  On holidays I recommend pre-ordering or getting there very early as they will run out.

spotted prawnScreeching halt – did you just say SPOT PRAWNS?

Why yes, yes I did.

Have you ever had spot prawns?  Few things excite Southern California seafood lovers like spot prawns. Their bodies are orange and their meat is as sweet as lobster. Maybe even a bit better.

They’re not really prawns; they’re shrimp and they’re rare.  Their rarity comes from these little buggers are tough to trap. Terese Person, the nicest woman ever, shared with me how her husband Tom hunts for them. You see, they live in the canyons and cracks of the continental shelf, generally between 1,000 and 1,200 feet below the surface of the sea, a couple of miles off the coast. Pearson uses traps to collect them, 12 strung together on 3,600-foot-long ropes.  Visions from the movie Nemo run through my head, just keep swimming – just keep swimming. The Pearson Family begins to hunt for spot prawns in April and usually brings them to market in May.

When they do have spot prawn for sale – run, do not walk to their Bay Side Marina shop because these prawns are exceptional.

Here is a list of  other Pearson Ports finds year round.

Winter – Fall Spring – Summer Year Round
Mexican Shrimp
Mahi – Mahi – Mexico
Spot Prawn
Mahi Mahi Local
White Sea Bass
Sea bass
Variety of Local fish
Salmon from Tasmania {sushi grade}


See you in line,


psst…need helping cooking live crab. Here is a Ksugar how to, thanks to Chef Jon. Click HERE



  1. What a great find. I had no idea about either of these places. They sound delicious year round.

  2. My parents buy those spot prawns and they are always a huge hit!
    Mama Bub recent posted..J.R. Watkins Naturals Giveaway

    • They use to have Ridgeback Shrimp from Santa Barbara, those are even BETTER. I have a standing order at Pearson’s if Terese gets her hands on any. I’ll give you a shout when she does!

  3. I’ve never been to Orange County, but its becoming more and more important that I need to come. I grew up on the beach in the East surfing and eating seafood, and I think it’s definitely time to see what the left coast has to offer in both regards. What are the things that a first time visitor definitely should not miss?

  4. Dorothy Williams says

    Any idea where I can find Eastern oysters?


  1. […] answer was Chef Jon. He brought over the crab bounty, purchased from a local Newport Beach Fresh Seafood Market. Yes, the bag was moving when he asked “where shall we put these?”.  Knowing cold […]

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