I tell people is to figure out what you want to do, and then book a trip for that.
You can take a trip pretty much 10 months out of the year.'
- Jim Tate,
Dockside Charters in Depoe Bay
Coast charters offer fresh fish and a fresh experience
of the most exciting things you can do while visiting the Oregon Coast is see
it from the ocean.
From whale-watching tours to 3-day tuna fishing excursions, there are many trips,
companies and times to take a charter from one of the ports on the coast.
The trick is finding the charter that is right for you.
I tell people is to figure out what you want to do, and then book a trip for that,"
says Jim Tate, one of the owners of Dockside Charters in Depoe Bay. "You can take
a trip pretty much 10 months out of the year."
Trips can range
from smaller boats with fishing guides that stay in the bay to taking a high-performance
boat over the bar in a wetsuit and into the Pacific Ocean. Your only limitation
is weather - as many charters will cancel trips if the weather makes entering
the ocean a dangerous situation.
Most of the charter services offer trips at a flat-rate - and provide safety equipment
and fishing gear. Many of the charter services have Web sites where they outline
when each type of trip is available.
would say that people coming from out of state should search for different charters
in Oregon and then check on what's in season when they are here," says Crystal
Dana, office manager of Linda Sue III Charters. "The seasons for different fish
change every year depending on the state (fishing rules), so looking up the charter
services are the best way to go if you want to take a trip."
Overall, these are the types of trips offered:
Whale-watching trips: On these trips you go just off the Oregon Coast and
see migrating whales. Prices are generally lower for these types of trips than
fishing trips, and most of the time you can still see land.
Half-day trip: These are anywhere from four to five hours and can include
whatever fish is in season when you visit - from salmon, to bottom fishing for
sea bass and ling cod.
Whole day trip: These trips can be extended salmon fishing trips, bottom
fishing and crabbing trips, or voyages with bigger game in mind. The cost is higher,
but they increase both your time on the water and fishing time. Also, many charter
services include crabbing as well, if you request it or take on a package that
includes crabbing. These trips can go farther out into the ocean and give you
a taste of what it's like on a longer charter trip.
Halibut and tuna trips: These are typically what you think of when you
hear the term "deep sea fishing." They often require a longer trip - some up to
three days - but can yield catches of bigger, more exciting fish.
Crabbing: Many charter services include crabbing as well, if you request
it or take on a package that includes crabbing. These trips can go farther out
into the ocean and give you a taste of what it's like on a longer charter trip.
are some tips:
Many people get together with friends to help defer some of the costs. Yes, you
can walk in and get on a boat by yourself, but many times group rates are cheaper
per person for the same trip.
- While charter companies offer the boat ride, safety equipment and fishing gear,
there are some things you need to bring to enjoy your expedition no matter the
length of your charter trip - sun screen, water and a camera. You'll also want
to dress in layers.
- The weather on the Oregon Coast can change quickly - your day can start as a
cloudy 45 degrees and quickly transform into a sunny 80 degree day.
- If you are fishing, an Oregon fishing license is also an additional expense
that can be purchased from many of the charter companies.
- Longer trips can require that you bring any food you want to eat. Make sure
to ask your charter company what you need to bring.
- Make sure to ask any charter service you are thinking of using about their safety
record. Crossing from the bay into the ocean can be dangerous, and asking about
their safety record is a question they are used to answering.
- As far as cleaning and packaging your fish, most, if not all, the charter companies
do this either for free or for a small fee. Yes, you can buy fresh Oregon fish
on the dock for cheaper, but the memory of the accomplishment of landing one of
Oregon's 25-pound ocean salmon really is priceless.
Story by Patrick
Johnson, a freelance writer based in Canby.