Hobie Fishing Top Gun Shawn Barham traveled a long way from his New England home for a taste of Pacific saltwater. Here’s his story:

I was fortunate to have a chance of a lifetime to fish in California with the legendary “Sea Samurai” Kevin Nakada. I have been a fan of his for a long time after finding him through social media. He was catching rather large sheepshead very similar to our local tautog. I was always interested to see how similar these fish really are.

The experience was a lot more than I expected. The weather was absolutely perfect and the fishing was awesome. The sheepshead fishing was exactly like I thought it would be. It’s truly a west coast tog. I also got to hook up with a yellowtail and that was insane! Yellowtail are very hard fighters and such a beautiful fish.

I also enjoyed all the marine wildlife I saw while on the ‘yak. I was amazed at the number of seals and sea lions that were around. On the east coast I fish in Long Island Sound. We have a small number of seals. Seeing one is very rare. They also are very wary and don’t let you get too close. That was not the case in California. I thought it was cool that they were so curious and would swim right under me and check me out. I also had a sea lion steal my bait. We also encountered a few pods of dolphins swimming by. It was a unforgettable experience!

After our awesome day of fishing Kevin invited me and my wife over to his place for a fresh seafood dinner. So not only did I get to go on a amazing fishing trip I also got the chance to see how these west side fish taste. Kevin is a five-star cook and the fish was delicious.

We had baked sheepshead and yellowtail sushi and it was amazing. I also got a full tour of the Hobie facility and had a chance to meet everyone behind the scenes that makes it possible for us to have such an amazing product to fish from. I have been a Hobie Fishing Team Member for five seasons now and I’m honored to represent such an amazing brand. While visiting the facility I felt like I was part of the family and that means a lot to me. I hope I’ll be able to visit again someday soon. I had a lot of fun on my west coast adventure.

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