By Rebecca Gardon
John Hall began fishing in 1948 at the tender age of four. His mother still has a photo of him with his first catch: a nine-pound white seabass. With that catch, he was hooked. However, it wasn’t until 1976 that he began fishing commercially.
Prior to hitting the high seas full time, Captain John earned two masters and a Ph.D. in marine biology, and dreamt of becoming a professor. His teaching dream came true; however, after a few years at UC San Diego, he learned that the politically-charged academic world wasn’t a fit for him.
He left UCSD for work in Alaska, fitting satellite radio harnesses on marine mammals and helping his neighbor, a gill netter, fish for salmon. In the years to come he would consult on a myriad of other marine projects, serving as chief scientist for SeaWorld, a scientist for the Navy’s war porpoise program, and a researcher for a study on underwater sound in the Arctic.
His underwater sound research branched into additional assignments, which allowed him to acquire his first tuna boat in 1995. In 2000, he purchased the F/V Zephyr. The days of salmon fishing behind him, today John’s boat long-lines and trolls for bigeye tuna, swordfish, wahoo, opah, mahi-mahi, pomfret and escolar in the pelagic waters offshore California and Baja.