BY PAT McDONELL
DANA POINT – There’s always a need for speed, especially with sportfishers these days targeting island yellows and offshore bluefin. Speed means more fishing time and the ability to get offshore when the bite is on out there.
With this in mind, the addition of the slick 50-foot Delta Marine-built Ms. Magoo from Westport, Wash. to the Dana Wharf Sportfishing fleet this past week is a logical step for the popular landing. It will soon be the New San Mateo.
“This vessel has the distinction of being one of the fastest boats in the Southern California fleet, which will decrease travel time for customers, and of course, that means it maximizes fishing time,” said Donna Kalez, who operates the landing with her brother Michael Hansen. “We can also use the boat for private whale and dolphin watching as well as pelagic bird watching. It’s got a lot of room, and while the Coast Guard limit is 28 passengers, we’ll keep it to 18 max.”
In all, 18 boats operate out of the landing. Eight boats are currently owned by the landing, while the other 10 in the fleet are managed by Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching. Among those sportfishers is the similarly named 42-foot San Mateo. Thus the Ms Magoo was dubbed the New San Mateo.
Mike Hansen addressed some key elements of the boat that will please customers of the landing that the late Capt. Don Hansen built into one of the premier sportfishing destinations and the largest whale watching and nature tour operations in the state. Hansen left quite an impressive legacy on Jan. 5, when he passed away. The landing and tackle shop and marina at Dana Point now serve more than 50,000 fishermen and whale watchers a year.
In fact, Capt. Don invented the concept of whale watching in the mid ‘60s when San Clemente Sportfishing was run out of the San Clemente Pier to keep the boats running in the offseason. Hansen moved his four boats to Dana Point Harbor in 1971 as the first tenant at the marina.
The New San Mateo is a logical move for the landing. Said Mike Hansen, “It’s the only Dana Wharf vessel to have a RSW (refrigerated saltwater) spray brine fish hold to keep your catch exceptionally cold until your day is over,” said Hansen. “Our customers will experience yacht-style fishing on this new 50-foot by 16-foot platform. Dana Wharf anglers are going to love this boat. Fast, big, wide, the bait capacity it has and the RSW. We are thrilled to add this to our fleet.”
Delta has been building fiberglass factor boats for 50 years. The New San Mateo has been beautifully well-maintained, Kalez said, constructed in 1977 and has had only one owner. It features twin Cummins 430 HP diesel engines rebuilt in 2017, and the side scanning sonar and fish finders and other high-end fish finding and GPS electronics from Furuno and Wesmar.
For more information about the upcoming schedules for the New San Mateo, contact www.danawharf.com or call (949) 496-5794.