Interview with Dan Walsh

Vintage spearfishing equipment, advice and stories about spearfishing pioneers, and insights into hunting Halibut aka barn door. Dan Walsh has spent 50+ years on the water spearfishing, scuba diving, captaining boats, chasing abalone and making TV shows about the ocean, Dan has no shortage of awesome stories. To compliment the chat I have included a tonne of info about him below. Enjoy this episode of the Noob Spearo Podcast:)

About Dan Walsh

Dan was captain of the “Sand Dollar” dive boat along with Bill Johnston when Terry Maas shot his big Bluefin at Guadalupe Island off Baja. Although it weighed in officially at 399.4 lb it was well over 400lb when he shot it, was on deck several days and got some weight loss due to dehydration. He also loves diving for Abalone and Lobster (his biggest was over 13lb!).

In 1972 Dan became a Scuba Diving Instructor and 76 was the beginning of his boat Captaincy. Along the way he worked many well known dive shops including Scuba Sciences, San Diego Divers Supply, Aloha Dive Shop/Honolulu, Skin diving Hawaii, Kamehameha Divers/Kona. He also worked for AquaCraft/Bandito, Underwater Kinetics, Blue Water Wetsuits, Aleeda Wetsuits along with Captaining or crewing the Spirit of Adventure, Bottom Scratcher, Kona Princess, and Caribbean Explorer.  You may have seen some of his film well known film and television work such as ESPN Diving with Christopher Reeve, PBS Nature/Antartica, and Shark Week. He is still involved producing shows for CBS, NBC sports, and others.

Dan’s Old guys mask clearing technique: “Most of the Bottom Scratchers used tobacco and smeared a cigarette inside and rinsed it out to keep the mask from fogging.  I’ve never smoked and didn’t think that method was for me. I just used spit.”

Spearfishing Tips:

  1. Get comfortable in the water
  2. Learn to breathe—buy Breathology, The Flow book for mental calmness, yoga breathing etc
  3. Don’t rush things, take it easy as you learn and get more experienc.
  4. Get comfortable with your equipment + Get a really good mask!  A Low volume mask that fits well.
  5. Best advice ever from Jack Prodonovich:  you’re supposed to be having fun, you don’t need to try to prove anything.  Just have fun.
  6. Travel tip: Have some sort of dive/travel/accident insurance.  I have DAN Insurance which covers pretty much anything that I would need medically or emergency transit from an area.

Captain Dan Walsh Interview Time Stamps

06:00 Dan Walsh introduction and background. San Diego Bottom Scratchers stories and vintage spearfishing equipment.
12:25 Halibut hunting (Barn-door shooting)  in Dan’s local waters with his buddy George
22:00 How did you make the transition from shore diving to boats and eventually Captaining boats
32:00 What was one of your biggest obstacles starting out? Spearfishing equipment availability.
#mentioned Freediving Course with Mark Lozano and Ted Hartys Easy Frenzal Equalizing Course
35:00 What has been one of the best days out you’ve had? East Bonitas Island chasing White Sea Bass
41:30 What is your favorite species to hunt and how do you hunt them effectively? Halibut aka Barn Door
47:50 What is the toughest situation in the ocean you’ve been in and what did you learn from it?
#Mentioned Spearfishing with Sharks podcast
62:00 What is the funniest thing you’ve seen out spearfishing?
67:00 What is in your spearfishing divebag?
73:00 Spearo Q&A
Captain Dan Walsh Interview

Dan Walsh with Tuna and Dolphin Fish

These spearfishing retailers now have 99 Tips in stock!!

99 Tips to Get Better at Spearfishing Retail Outlets

Australian Spearfishing Retail Stores

  • Adreno – Brisbane. 56 Deshon St, Woolloongabba QLD 4102
  • Adreno – Melbourne. 1184 Nepean Hwy, Cheltenham VIC 3192
  • Adreno – Sydney. 1/678-682 Botany Rd, Alexandria NSW 2015
  • Adreno – Perth. 2C / 376 South St, O’Connor, WA, 6163
  • Spearfishing SuperstoreCairns. 303-305 Draper St, Parramatta Park QLD 4870
  • The Dive Shop – Port Lincoln. 4 S Quay Blvd, Port Lincoln SA 5606
  • Frogdive – Willoughby. 539 Willoughby Rd, NSW 2068
  • Spear and Fish Downunder – Newcastle.  990 Hunter street. Newcastle, NSW 2302
  • Spear West – 2/1 Baden Street, Osborne Park. Western Australia. 6017
  • Extreme Spearfishing – 1/539 Pitwater Road Brookevale, Sydney NSW 2100

USA Spearfishing Retail Stores

  • The Dive Source – Florida 16 #2, 3721, St Augustine, Florida
  • Oregon Freediving Company – Oregon City 919 7th St, Oregon

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