December’s History Mystery featured a talented fisherman holding two large striped bass, and Parkins believes renowned fisherman Schaadt (1924-1995) is the man in the photo. Compare the images on the left and decide for yourself.
Born in San Francisco, Schaadt developed his lifelong passion for fishing along the San Francisco piers. He was known up and down the California coast for his legendary fishing exploits, and his fishing prowess was the focus of a 1974 Sports Illustrated article “The World’s Best.” He was also featured in the short stories recounted in both the book and video “The Angler’s Coast” by Russell Chatham.
While Schaadt is holding striped bass in the Bethel Island photo, these fish are not native to the California Delta. They were introduced into the San Francisco Bay in 1879, after surviving a long train ride across the United States from New Jersey. By 1889, striped bass were being caught in sufficient numbers that a commercial fishery began in Antioch. Commercial fishing was stopped in 1935 when the striped bass was declared a game fish. The life cycle of the fish suggests this postcard image was taken in the spring of 1954. Stripers swim upstream to the Sacramento River to spawn, and linger in the saline Delta as they transition from the ocean to fresh water.
For his participation in last month’s History Mystery feature, Parkins will receive a membership in the San Francisco Bay Post Card Club