Growing up in San Francisco, California, I had access to an entire coastline. Honing my skill through trial and error, I slowly began to figure out subtle nuances on how ocean conditions and bites were interconnected. Before any of these insights were revealed to me, it was my father, Lee, who introduced my sister and I to camping, fishing, and the love of the outdoors. My father was born in Plentywood, Montana with a population currently less than 2,000. Hunting, fishing, football, and swimming were the activities for a young country boy like my dad. Early into adolescence, Lee, his brothers and parents migrated East to rural New York. A farming town called Smithville Flats (current population of 350) was where they settled. A river ran through the property, and being in the country there was not much else to do but go fishing or swimming in the naturals pools. For years, my father and his family kept up the farm and country lifestyle before making their way to the west coast, more specifically, the Sunset District of San Francisco.
When my parents met, they spent a lot of time in Pacifica, CA. A shared interest between them was fishing, and when I was born it did not take long for a fishing rod to be placed in my hand. As far back as I can remember, about the age of 5 or 6, we would drive down Highway 1, past Devil’s Slide, past Half Moon Bay where we would stop at the old golf course, now home to the Ritz Carlton Hotel. My sister and I had to stay 10 feet away from the cliff at all times while my mom and dad hoisted their catch up a 100 foot sheer drop. Pacifica Pier and Hyde St. Pier were other training grounds that we would spend our weekends at catching three or four 12 inch Jack Smelt at a time on a sabiki rig with our trout rods. Getting older, I had taken an interest in going out on my own, and it was fun finding friends who enjoyed fishing as much as I did.
It was not that long ago that I first discovered crab snares. A YouTuber by the name of RudyAkaHalibu77 was my inspiration for first making my own crabs snares and trying to catch them from shore with rod and reel. I published my first video on YouTube in December of 2014 titled Quick DIY Crab Snare. I was embarrassed of starting my own channel. None of my friends knew about what I was uploading and I wanted to keep it that way. Talking to a camera is awkward, and that awkwardness seems magnified once it is played back. The plan was to film myself in secret, upload the video, and see who would watch it organically. The anticipation of going viral was great. To my disappointment, I received roughly five views a day for several months, counting my own.
Within a couple months of originally uploading, I had accumulated over 200 views! *sarcasm* Having reality set in, I slowly cranked out several more videos that finally began to gain some traction. 10 views a day, then 50, and my biggest early hit Two Huge Dungeness Crabs began to get 200 views a day! By this point only two people knew about my channel, but I was soon recognized at the beach for one of my videos. I thought, “There might be something to this YouTube thing,” and pressed forward.
Slowly, and I mean slowly, I purchased better camera equipment eventually leading to the tools I use today: GoPro Hero 4 Silver, VideoMic Pro, Panasonic GH5, DJI Phantom 4, plus a few other little gadgets. All in all, nothing so special that the average person cannot afford. Especially if a vision is there to pursue a dream. If I were to re-do the process in growing to the success I have today, I would not change a thing. For example, I filmed using a $150 Canon Elph 360HS until I reached 2,000 subscribers. Once that milestone was reached, I purchased a Canon HF r600 for $199 and VideoMic Pro and used that until 25,000 subscribers. The point being, I am happy how the progression of my channel evolved and would suggest to anyone interested in starting a YouTube channel to take it slow and see how your content is received before investing a great deal of time and money into making videos.
Thank you for your support, and I wish all your lines stay tight and get bites!