Don Hansen, 87, the legendary sportfishing patriarch and founder of Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching, died on Wednesday, January 5, 2022. The news of his death ricocheted throughout the California sportfishing and fisheries management communities and beyond.

Don Hansen served as Vice President of SAC, Chairman of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council, Chairman of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, and served on the Boards of many other organizations, including his local hospital.

“The phrase ” served” does not do justice to the decades he spent in each position nor the effort that he put forth to better our lives and our fleet!”

Ken Franke, President, Sportfishing Association of California (SAC).

Survived by his six children, three sons and three daughters, and 15 grandchildren, the sad news of his passing was announced on Facebook by his daughter, Donna Kalez, chief operating officer of Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching.

“Words cannot express the sadness we feel – we will miss him every single day,” Kalez wrote in the post. “We are so thankful that we were able to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2021 with him. He made it to the New Year and celebrated by watching his team, the Rams, win!”

Hansen’s sportfishing industry career stretched over more than eight decades. During that time, he touched the lives of thousands of anglers and members of the sportfishing community worldwide!

“Don Hansen was an icon – a legend to the west coast fisheries. He was a mentor to many, the Godfather of fisheries management, but even more significant, Don was a loving father, grandfather, and friend to so many. Please join us as we send our prayers and most heartfelt love to the Hansen family and all who grieve for him during this time of loss.

“I will never forget the words of wisdom and encouragement Don shared with me over the years!”

Jaime Diamond, Stardust Sportfishing

Don Hansen’s son, Dave, and the president of SAC, Ken Franke, will be on the “Let’s Talk Hookup Show” on Sunday, January 23, 2022, from 7 – 9 a.m. on Mighty 690.

Call in line – 213-432-1090

The date and place of the Memorial Service will be posted when available.

That Baja Guy-Gary Graham, the BD Outdoors Baja Editor, has more than five decades fishing experience off of Southern California and the Baja Peninsula. From light tackle and fly up to offshore marlin fishing, Gary has experienced all facets of this fishery. He's set several fly-fishing world record...