The Fishing Corner: Coastal fishing full of surprises

The Fishing Corner

By Larry Dublanko

When you think there is not too much more to learn about west coast fishing, surprises loom up and new discoveries come forth. This was my experience this past summer.

I have been around every kind of sport fishing approach one can imagine for more than 40 years of wetting a line. There has been the likes of marine fishing, both charter and private. I have floated rivers, bank fished them and fished lakes in many different ways. Fishing from the jetty or beach is unique and exposes one to a host of new opportunities. Yet, I discovered a fishery that I never knew existed. Perhaps, many of you have had experience with this approach which seems to be unique to the Oregon Coast.

Dory fishing caught my fancy and opened up a whole new realm to fishing off the beaches of the Pacific Ocean. For those who are not familiar with this technique let me explain.

Dory boats are sizeable vessels driven by an outboard engine. The operators launch these boats in the surf and pull away with their trailers. Two fit guys turn the boat oceanward and push off. Once they make it past the crashing waves they fire up the engine in the upward position and drop them in the water when safe to do so. The boat is off to where salmon, perch, cod or crab lodge. When they return these boats, they come into the shore at full speed with the engine coming up at the right time. The flat bottom allows the dory boat to glide onto the beach. The boat is now attached and towed further up shore. The process is completed by loading the boat on a trailer and hauled away for the next outing.

Dory fishing on the Oregon Coast is a guided service which allows anglers to catch lots of fresh fish. The cost, I learned, was in the two hundred dollar range which includes a license. Fish limits were caught and the outing takes the morning into the early afternoon depending on the bite and number of fishers. For me, this fishery opened up an entirely new approach to ocean fishing.

The Westport Marine fishery in our area is progressing quite well. Large vessels passing through Aberdeen attest to the interest in this sport.

The latest, in the off and on again Chehalis River for fishing, is that as of Aug. 1 the river is now open. Anglers will need to read the closures listed on sections of the upper Chehalis River and tributaries. These will reopen under the permanent rules as described in the 2019-20 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.

Currently anglers are awaiting the inland salmon season. In the meantime, Marine Area 2-1 and 2-2 will receive much attention. These areas are currently open to salmon fishing according to the rules pamphlet.