Catalina Fishing School with Captain Dave Hansen

My Bro (Scott) and I have nearly finished outfitting a new 28′ Farallon Whaleback (time to sell my good old skipjack, sweet sorrow) and needed some help learning the new electronics so we hooked up with Capt Dave Hansen to show us how to get the most from our Sonar and Fish Finder . My two nephews (Chris 13 & Jack 9) joined the team to fish and hoop our hearts out.

Short Story:
Fishing: Slow but steady pick on calicos, sand bass, and sheephead (released). One nice size of each going 6#, 5#, & 5#
Lobster: Zero, not even a short. They must have been stuffed on all of the squid ?!?!
Squid: Floats of plague proportion everywhere. All the bait we could tank and freezer is stuffed for future trips

Long Story:
Saturday afternoon we picked up Captain Dave outside of Avalon from his prior client along with a tank full of squid they had made the previous night. After playing with the fish finder and sonar a while we set up to fish until hoop time. Jack gets a couple of sheepshead leaving the rest of us wondering what we are doing wrong.

After sun down we get down to setting hoops and before we can get the nets set we have a float of squid working up to the boat. We changed gears and netted all of the squid we wanted for the bait tank and freezer. Got back to hooping and had squid popping up everywhere; deep, shallow, in the kelp… ridiculous. The kids had a great time checking out the bycatch (an octupus, decorator crabs, and swell sharks) but no lobster.

After a good night of rest we toured the island for a first rate download of fishing spots and info from Capt Dave and ended up on a spot that we fished most of the day for fun with calicos, sandbass, and goats (released).

Chris got big fish for the trip with a 6# calico.
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Jack follows it up with a 5# sandbass
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And Scott with a 5# Goat
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We finished the day drifting for sand dabs while Capt Dave cleaned the fish.

Fishing with Capt Dave was an absolute blast for all of us. We called him to get help learning how to use our electronics, but that ended up being a small part of what he taught us on this trip. I have been private boat fishing, mostly Catalina, for over 10 years and probably learned as much from this trip as all of the books, videos, and seminars I have gone through. The entire time we were fishing, Dave was thinking out loud to share what he was doing and why, and fielding tons of questions. He was also fantastic with the kids (which freed Scott and I up to fish, bonus!!!) and a great guy to hang with.

A Big Thanks to Captain Dave from all of us.

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Captain Dave Hansen

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