6/15 Point Loma with Captain Dave Hansen

After about six months of talk, my buddy and I finally pulled the trigger and hired Captain Dave to take our saltwater game to the next level and, hopefully, put some nice fish on board around Point Loma. 24’ Pursuit, btw.

It seems like the guys who have fished with him had a great time, but there were always seemed to be some negative comments here and there from the crowd. Those ones stuck in the back of my head.

I should have listened to that part of my brain…this was one of the worst experiences of my life. I can go on and on about what went wrong or what didn’t meet our expectation, but I don’t think it’s worth the effort, so I’ll summarize a few details that made the day so awful.

1. Captain Dave showed up almost three hours late to Harbor Island. We expected he would cut the price to at least a proportional rate, but the exact opposite happened. After filling up on monster sardines, Dave took the opportunity to raid my open wallet by charging us $100 more than we agreed.

2. He wouldn’t stop telling us that he was a captain, that he’s had his license for decades, and that the only thing he loved more than sea lions was the MLPA. Even more bizarre is that he made us answer all of his orders by saying, “aye aye, captain.” Kind of demeaning for the two of us.

3. He wouldn’t touch our bait, our fish, or clean our catch. He seemed really disgusted by the squid and damn near passed out when our first rockfish came up with its stomach protruding.

4. We weren’t able to enjoy our catches (maybe 6 or 7) because every time one of us would compliment the other for a nice catch, he’d mutter from the front of the boat, “for a girl.”
Here’s the only pic worthy of being posted. He insisted we blur out the details before we posted it.

We were off the water by 2, back at the slip at 3, and I’m pretty sure he was driving away by 3:02.
Again; terrible day, bad fishing, no laughs and the only thing we learned from his was to never hire him again.

Okay…that’s a lie.
The day was epic! Dave gave us a lesson on bait, programmed my buddy’s fish finder, explained some of the ecology of the kelp, taught us how to effectively anchor, and put us on an absurd number of quality fish.

Dave brought with him a couple freezer bags of fresh dead and we literally ran out of bait on a wide open calico bite.

I think my buddy and I combined for around 70-80 calicos. Tops was a 4# but there were plenty in the 2-3# class.

We left the hot bite to get his guidance on fishing lings. We new we only had one day with him and we wanted to learn about the various areas in the PL region and how to best fish them.

We scored some quality reds on the pipe, nailed the shallow water rockfish, then returned to the kelp line. This was the best calico bite I’ve been a part of. Every cast was a calico but then Dave says he’s on. He immediately hands me the rod and then the fun began.

Just to be clear; I didn’t hook the fish. I just fought it.

Dave really showed me how to fight a big fish in shallower waters and to steer them way from the nearby kelp forest and navigate the anchor line. After a little more than 10 minutes, this fella shows up. Dave sticks it with the gaff and this is what comes over the rail.

44 inches and thick…we were guessing about 30#.

After the high-fives, we went back to nailing the calicos. We stayed way longer than the 10 hours we paid for. How cool is that?

The next day my buddy and I went out alone and put Dave’s lessons in play. Another quality day on the water, topped off by a 7# ling (which spit up the little rockfish from the pic above), some more reds and calicos, and a bat ray that fooled us both into thinking we were on another yellow or WSB.

For the amount of money and time we’ve put into fishing, I feel stupid for not having done this earlier. His website talks about shortening the learning curve and that’s absolutely what happened.
We’re already looking forward to a Catalina trip with him sometime later this summer. He’s worth every penny.

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  • 6/15 Point Loma with Captain Dave Hansen-clay calico.jpg
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Captain Dave Hansen

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