Yellowfin Tuna off San Clemente Island

Last Wednesday I took my second trip with Dave Hansen. My first was boiler rocks for Calicos.
The plan was to find some big halibut. When we met Wednesday, Dave said lets go offshore and fish kelp paddies. I am a recently converted largemouth bass fisherman and I spent about ten trips last fall and caught one dorado, so I was all for learning how to do this. We covered the 279 and 209 and found lots of empty paddies with a ton of bait on them. Dave suggested that we go to the 14 mile bank. When we got there we found four paddies with dorado on them. I hooked one on the first paddie, but it broke off. We never could get the others to bite. Dave took that opportunity to show me all the different ways to fish a kelp paddy. Dave had to leave early for another commitment that we knew about, so we had to leave the paddies after a short period of time. Dave then offered to take me out again on Tuesday as part of the same trip.

Today we went out lookiing at paddies and did not find any fish on them. While near the 14 mile bank we did mess with a marlin but never got him to the boat. We continued looking for paddies going south. We ran into a large pod of dolphins. Dave got excited and we started working on them. We got a few tuna to boil on some baits, but did not hook any. As we continued south,we came across more dolphins and Dave yelled out. These are the right kind. We started chasing them and I finally got one to eat, but my inexperience caused it to come off. By then it was time to go in.

Dave’s guide service is money well spent. Two days of fishing with no fish in the boat and I am still thrilled with the trip. The knowledge I have gained from Dave is immeasurable. I am now confident I will put fish in the boat soon. Even off South Orange cCounty where it seems everyone but Dave thought there were no tuna.

Two examples of his knowledge and intuition

We were at the 14 mile bank and Dave says Be ready we may run into a marlin around here. He describes what to look for and five minutes later I spot the marlin.

While looking for paddies, Dave makes a big point of letting a tuna go on its first run. Don’t thumb the spool. He must of said this to me a dozen times. Of course when I got my first tuna bite, I thumbed the spool (From thirty years of bass fishing habit). and the fish came off. But Dave knew I was going to anyway and he was right beside me saying no thumb. He even tried to move my thumb off the spool.

If you use Dave’s guide service ( highly recommended ), bring a lot of questions to ask him. I wrote mine down. He will answer them all with great patience.

– Steve

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Captain Dave Hansen

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