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Image of Capt. Mark M. Tognazzini smiling

Captain Mark Tognazzini

Captain Mark M. Tognazzini was born in San Luis Obispo, CA. He was 7th born of Wilmar and Henrietta Tognazzini’s ten children and has been a resident of Morro Bay, CA his entire life. He has been working in the fishing industry for over 50 years, including more than 40 years as skipper of his own commercial fishing vessel, the Bonnie Marietta.


Mark attended school in San Luis Obispo County, and also participated as an American Field Service Exchange Student in Corrientes, Argentina. He attended Cuesta Community College in San Luis Obispo, CA, and Crawford’s Nautical Academy, in San Francisco, CA.  

Experience, 1968-1980


Mark’s earliest jobs in Morro Bay (starting in 1968) were as a retail clerk and fish cutter at Port Morro Fish Market, as a retail clerk at Brebes Sportfishing, and as a retail clerk and deck hand at Virg’s Landing. He later was a deckhand for the Sea Venture I. Starting in 1977 he served as skipper of the Shirlee (Bob’s Sportfishing), as well as for the Diablo, the Cheyenne, and the Marauder (Port San Luis Sportfishing). In 1978, he supervised the construction of the Big Mama I (Hittle’s Landing), as well as the final outfitting of the Big Mama II. He was also operations manager of the landing and skippered both vessels. 


Mark’s experience includes sea time on a number of other vessels between 1968 and 1980. He often worked weekends while attending school, and did coastal deliveries, as well as provided relief for other crews. Time on the following vessels could have been as little as several days to as much as several weeks or months. (Boat owners follow each boat name.) 


Sea Lure, Brebes Sportfishing; Flyer, James Spencer; Lota Fun, Virg’s Fishing; Rainbow, Virg’s Fishing; Bonanza, Virg’s Fishing; Cabrilla, Robert Pullen; Captain Midnight, Virg’s Fishing; Linguria, Steve Clark; Wetback, Mike St. John; My Yen, Ed Ewing; Raelinda K.D., Leon Collins; Tracer, Randy Pullen; Blue Skies, John Rowley; Wild Wave, Ed Ewing; Florence, Ed Ewing.


Experience, 1981 to present 


Mark has been the self-employed owner/operator of the Bonnie Marietta since her construction in 1981. He also supervised her construction and did the final outfitting. Together they have fished commercially from the Mexican border to Sitka, Alaska, in pursuit of hook and line rockfish and halibut; gillnet rockfish, halibut, shark, and herring; troll-caught salmon and albacore; trap-caught hagfish, prawns, crabs, rockfish, and black cod; and lampara-caught sardines and mackerel. He has also provided a wide variety of charter services with the Bonnie Marietta, including but not limited to, diver support, side scan, multi beam, sub-bottom profiling, core sampling, water sampling, oil recovery, marine mammal observation, and ROV support, etc. 


Certification and Special Training


  • United States Coast Guard, 100-TON MASTER’S LICENSE #1065681

  • Clean Seas Hazwoper post certified 

  • Marine Spill Response Corporation, VOSS-Hazwoper certified

  • American Heart Association, CPR certified

  • United States Coast Guard Sea Survival Training


Fun facts


Captain Mark and the Bonnie Marietta have also taken part in television commercials for Sizzler Restaurants, America’s Choice Supermarkets, and Schlitz beer.

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