Oregon Surf fishing – the hidden sport!
When I went fishing in the Pacific Ocean of Oregon the first time, I was lost, it looked nothing like those beautiful waters of Southern California where I grew up. The waters of Oregon were mean, cold and unforgiving. Huge rollers came bursting over the sand, kicking up rocks, dragging logs and just being flat out mean. No kelp beds showing themselves to me, no schools of fish fluttering through the waters edge to show me where they were.
I was 13 years old and totally lost on how to fish these waters… but learn and adapt I did. Here are some of the secrets of fishing Oregon Ocean shores on sand, rocks and jetty.
My personal preference is a Spinning outfit set up on a 12′ rod and flipping Berkley Powerbaits on the end of Fishfinder, Carolina or Texas style rigging…. think Bass, then put that thought to work in the Salt. Or you can fling lures all day long, be it spinners, plugs or jigs, and yes they will take all of them with a vengeance!
Fishing these waters, you always need to be prepared for conditions and fish encountered in the surf. Successful surf anglers target the species of fish available, and while we would enjoy tying into a 30 or 40 pound Salmon or a 50 pound Striped Bass, we seldom see them, let alone hook up with one. Your normals will be Surf Perch, Flounder, Rockfish, Greenling, Lingcod, Halibut, and occasionally a Shark.
- The rope wrapping helps keep your grip on the rod.
- The high visibility line allows you to see where your cast is going and allows line mending as your bait drifts through the surf.
- A PVC rod holder with a adjustable stainless steel bolt through it.
- The bucket provides excellent place to place everything in and makes it easy to lug around.
- Replace the original handle with a rope one like mine, this allows you to place it over you shoulder, lock down the lid, and provides a superior grip for you to hold onto.
- Design is really simple – a clean paint bucket – a gardeners bucket cover – a seat down cover for the lid – some rope – and a little bit of ingenuity and thought.
- The ‘green bag’ is just that, take one with you, leave nothing behind, pick up what you see and leave the beach cleaner than when you got there!
- Make all of your gear work for you… design should be simple, yet usable and efficient for the purpose you designed it for.
- Lures, hooks, baits and things… oh my!
Nice thing is that Oregon fishing is not limited to any one season. It isn’t a June to August fishery. All of the fish I listed and more are prevalent throughout the surf the majority of summer and fall.
Nothing is more fun than climbing out onto the Rocky outcroppings or walking your way along one of the many Jetties. Or walking the beach looking for ‘that’ spot, the one where the water is just a little deeper. Where the sand drops off forming a little valley, a place for the bait to gather and leave a open dinner invitation for the fish to wait to be fed. This is the place where you want to be, right where you want to place your bait. Look at my photo’s and learn how to fish from them. Enjoy what you learn from it and maybe I’ll see you down there!
Redtail water…. see the break in the middle of all of the waves, the dark area, that’s fish water. It’s not long cast, it’s Bass fishing 101 mixed with a little Rap music… fish the foam, not the deep blue!
- All decked out to fish the Oregon Surf, notice that water… MEAN WATER AND COLD!
- Beach friends, don’t leave your bait or fish alone and uncovered, these guys believe in sharing your catch and will invite themselves to lunch!
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