Too many people and too many droughts

Tesoro

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Sep 5, 2015
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Brookings, Southern Oregon
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WE ARE FUCKED IN THE PNW. With all this free time getting paid to not work, our reefs are getting hammered by the pukers and sports boats alike. We are killing 3-25 year old rock fish like never before and we slaughtered the male lings this nesting season in our area. 'Oh' release the big female lings so they can lay eggs but kill the males guarding the eggs. When you boat a male his nest of 1000's of eggs are gobbled up in no time. Who the hell wants to eat a big chewy female anyhow? We will probably be cut off from rockfishing in August this year. The oregon coast 'summer is from august-mid oct'.

Today there were 17 boats at the minimum halibut fishing out of my port. Thats like the most we get in the height of the summer and its still spring. Guides and facebook pics just fuel the stampede!

And then we got the drought and the Klamath river issue. Those salmon will never have a chance. Forest fires up high country ruining spawning creeks, dope growers illegally diverting the creek waters and indians gillnetting at the mouth and back dooring fish to the San Fran market. And then this year the Klamath lake is too low to flush water for the sprats to make it to the sea. They are saying 90% mortality. So there goes salmon season in 3 years. And the rumor is next year we probably wont have one anyhow.

We still have albacore..yippee! gotta run 20-50 miles out and find out if they are there. Its usually a month of decent fishing but how many Albacore you you realistically catch and can for tuna fish??!! And its not a cheap day of fishing. And they are not a sport fish.

The ocean world around here is getting as fucked as our land/hunting anymore. I watched the Belize barrier reef get decimated over a 20 yr period by over fishing with no management when fish were aggregating to spawn and was so happy to come back home to Oregon. Now it is turning into the same scenario.

For ocean fish, not including wild salmon, we would not have such a problem if the charter boats were put on quotas, like the commercial nearshores, but thats not gonna happen. In my port they do most of the damage to the fish populations: reason they know how to catch fish, and in many cases having 6 to 20 lines in the water attracts fish. And they go out when it's nasty enough that us locals say not good.

I've had my fun and life goes on but I really feel sorry for the youths who grew up hearing the stories but might not get to experience them in the future.

This year I am gonna catch all the chinooks I can and can them up. And I will probably buy off some commercial guys too.
 

curtisD

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Well. Interesting. ODFW wants us to kill more Lings. We just may be able to keep a yelloweye if we do.
I fish every single day. It’s not slowing down. The rockfish population is super healthy. I limited 12 people today in less than 30 minutes. I’ve been lingcod fishing since mid-March. They come up non stop.
Been doing this for years.
People have slow days. It’s not lack of fish. They just don’t chew all the time. I can fish 10 schools of rockfish that stretch for hundreds of yards. Zero fish. Get that 11th school. Game on!!

Yes, I’m an evil Charter captain. The biomass would blow most peoples mind. The amount of fish is staggering. Absolutely insane.

Every port has “easy, everyone knows, let’s go drift reefs”

I fish places that don’t get hammered, and refuse to share numbers. The fish numbers are absolutely incredible. Don’t blame us. Our clients buy licenses and are fishermen. Maybe only once or twice a year.
 
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curtisD

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Just wait till the tourists get here .
Tourists come every year. Most my clients are tourists. Nothing has changed.
Actually, COVID has helped fish.
Pre bullshit pandemic I fished 20 people everyday.
Now I’m limited to 12 a day. In theory I’m catching 40-50 less a day due to COVID
 
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Tesoro

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Well for 2021 they already dropped the rock fish limit from 6 to 5 and that is pre-season. So yeah wait till the tourists come!
What port do you fish out of Curtis?
I am in Brookings which is one of the safest ports to fish in Oregon, if not the safest. heck I see driftboats out there salmon fishing! So we also have a healthy sport fishery for this reason. Our charter boat fleet has doubled in size/rods in the last 3 years. And we have a waiting list for slips for more charters. They used to just fish out close but now have to run 12-18 miles to get into enough fish to limit everyone out. We dont have offshore reefs in our area so all is rocky shore line fishing. Now the new thing is to fish in Cali waters with permits where there used to be little pressure.
I do appreciate charter owner operators who make a living taking people out to catch fish. I used to do that. But if we keep up the direction we are going to, we will wind up like Cali for bottom fish where seasons will be curtailed to give the fish a chance to complete breeding before they can be fished.

ie Cant fish lings in norcal from Jan-May. So the whole bottom fish fishery is cutoff.
 
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curtisD

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Well for 2021 they already dropped the rock fish limit from 6 to 5 and that is pre-season. So yeah wait till the tourists come!
What port do you fish out of Curtis?
I am in Brookings which is one of the safest ports to fish in Oregon, if not the safest. heck I see driftboats out there salmon fishing! So we also have a healthy sport fishery for this reason. Our charter boat fleet has doubled in size/rods in the last 3 years. And we have a waiting list for slips for more charters. They used to just fish out close but now have to run 12-18 miles to get into enough fish to limit everyone out. We dont have offshore reefs in our area so all is rocky shore line fishing. Now the new thing is to fish in Cali waters with permits where there used to be little pressure.
I do appreciate charter owner operators who make a living taking people out to catch fish. I used to do that. But if we keep up the direction we are going to, we will wind up like Cali for bottom fish where seasons will be curtailed to give the fish a chance to complete breeding before they can be fished.

ie Cant fish lings in norcal from Jan-May. So the whole bottom fish fishery is cutoff.
Remember it was 5 fish limit this time last year. Then I think we went to 7 fish, then dropped to 6. I want to say it was 4 at the end of 2018?? Actually good management by ODFW to ensure we can go fish.
We have so much offshore (outside 40 fathoms) structure it’s insane from Florence north. The rockfish limits are pretty much based on one fish. Blacks.
We did get our long leader fishery established a few years ago. 10 fish limit there. Very very few people in the grand scheme of things take advantage of that. Something about going due west 7-10 miles For 10 fish Makes people not want to do it? But going 7-10 miles north or south is acceptable distance for 5 fish. I can find schools of widow and yellowtail that stretch from 30 to 50 fathoms and go on for 200 yards.
I understand your concern about over fishing. I used to think how hard the blacks get beat up day in and day out. But, I see zero evidence that numbers are dropping.
I can go to our #1 accessible reef and see 40 boats fishing. Pressure is insane. No one is catching. You’d think there isn’t a fish anywhere. Electronics don’t lie. Piles of fish.
A lot of recreational fisherman(few times a month) forget that fish don’t always bite or their favorite 3 or 4 waypoints aren’t holding fish that day. They move.
Out of the 2800 waypoints on my machine, there are probably 10 that hold fish every single time I’ve been to them. Those fish only bite 50% of the time.
Yes Brookings is the safest bar pretty much in the entire PacNW. No doubt. With that you get more days on the water.
 
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Tesoro

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Yeah you are right in that it is a regional issue more than a coast wide one. Brookings is unique cause we have our shoreline fishery but I think the fish there are more permanent than roving deep water schools like you describe. We notice this because by the end of the summer the avg fish size goes way down. We have no deep reefs until get north of gold beach a few miles.

I am lucky as a sport guy now cause I dont mind running to get away from the crowds as I have an economical 21ft Arima. I will run from brookings all the way up to Gold beach 30 mi to fish for the day. Its like going to 'virgin' waters compared to local and a scenic drive on the way up and back. Or to go to the St George lighthouse reef on the cali side which is only 12 miles sw from us, but an uphill battle back if the winds pick up.

I couldnt imagine sport fishing up north. A friend used to fish out of Newport and told me there would be 2 hr waits for the ramp! screw that. I'd hop on a charter boat for sure!
 
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Puffin 1

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Feb 26, 2018
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Jon w arndorfer
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Edwing Ocean 21
WE ARE FUCKED IN THE PNW. With all this free time getting paid to not work, our reefs are getting hammered by the pukers and sports boats alike. We are killing 3-25 year old rock fish like never before and we slaughtered the male lings this nesting season in our area. 'Oh' release the big female lings so they can lay eggs but kill the males guarding the eggs. When you boat a male his nest of 1000's of eggs are gobbled up in no time. Who the hell wants to eat a big chewy female anyhow? We will probably be cut off from rockfishing in August this year. The oregon coast 'summer is from august-mid oct'.

Today there were 17 boats at the minimum halibut fishing out of my port. Thats like the most we get in the height of the summer and its still spring. Guides and facebook pics just fuel the stampede!

And then we got the drought and the Klamath river issue. Those salmon will never have a chance. Forest fires up high country ruining spawning creeks, dope growers illegally diverting the creek waters and indians gillnetting at the mouth and back dooring fish to the San Fran market. And then this year the Klamath lake is too low to flush water for the sprats to make it to the sea. They are saying 90% mortality. So there goes salmon season in 3 years. And the rumor is next year we probably wont have one anyhow.

We still have albacore..yippee! gotta run 20-50 miles out and find out if they are there. Its usually a month of decent fishing but how many Albacore you you realistically catch and can for tuna fish??!! And its not a cheap day of fishing. And they are not a sport fish.

The ocean world around here is getting as fucked as our land/hunting anymore. I watched the Belize barrier reef get decimated over a 20 yr period by over fishing with no management when fish were aggregating to spawn and was so happy to come back home to Oregon. Now it is turning into the same scenario.

For ocean fish, not including wild salmon, we would not have such a problem if the charter boats were put on quotas, like the commercial nearshores, but thats not gonna happen. In my port they do most of the damage to the fish populations: reason they know how to catch fish, and in many cases having 6 to 20 lines in the water attracts fish. And they go out when it's nasty enough that us locals say not good.

I've had my fun and life goes on but I really feel sorry for the youths who grew up hearing the stories but might not get to experience them in the future.

This year I am gonna catch all the chinooks I can and can them up. And I will probably buy off some commercial guys too.
It sounds like you’re the problem
 
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ProteusTails

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What he is writtin about is the way things are going compared to what he has seen in the past.

Especially the Salmon. I just caught a Coastal Estuary Spring Chinook last week and it had Surf Perch in its belly. It was a very aggressive Hen Hatchery Chinook.

That was a first for me.
 
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Tunahead

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    OH ALBACORE ARE TRULY SPORTFISH ALRIGHT....WE HAD YEARS CATCHING ALL THE BIGGER ONES IN SOCAL-CENCAL. LOL LOL Most caught standup
    RON-03.jpg
     
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    Tunahead

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    Well, GL up North. Now 75 I doubt Pacific Coast Fishing will ever be the same as the last 100 years. Over/under regulated to hell
     
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    Tesoro

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    When I said albacore arent 'sport fish' I was eluding to the fight aspect of them. I consider sportfish to be primarily fun/challenging to catch and secondary as tablefare ie: billfish, wahoo, dorado, tarpon, big ocean salmon, steelhead etc. Fish that strip line, jump, do multiple dives and freak when they get close to the boat.
    I have never caught big tuna but they look challenging. In the PNW most albie fishers go after bulk, like in the pic, and use overly heavy gear for the size of fish. So its winch 'em in or skip 'em in. Maybe using tackle matched to the fish size might make it more fun. I am going to try it this year as I dont like to catch in bulk anyhow. I dont have the facilites on my 21ft boat to properly cool and ice dozens of fish.
     
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    Tunahead

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    When I said albacore arent 'sport fish' I was eluding to the fight aspect of them. I consider sportfish to be primarily fun/challenging to catch and secondary as tablefare ie: billfish, wahoo, dorado, tarpon, big ocean salmon, steelhead etc. Fish that strip line, jump, do multiple dives and freak when they get close to the boat.
    I have never caught big tuna but they look challenging. In the PNW most albie fishers go after bulk, like in the pic, and use overly heavy gear for the size of fish. So its winch 'em in or skip 'em in. Maybe using tackle matched to the fish size might make it more fun. I am going to try it this year as I dont like to catch in bulk anyhow. I dont have the facilites on my 21ft boat to properly cool and ice dozens of fish.
     
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    Tunahead

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    YES I know most Albacore fishing off Oregon is Trolling and far offshore usually. Down off Baja and Socal in summers past on seamounts SW of SD,
    1000's of 25-30lb Albacore were tough fighters and 40-60lb Albacore off Morro Bay, etc in late fall were common.
     
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    Tesoro

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    That sounds more like it for albie fishing. Up here everyone gets all excited when they get into 30lb class fish.
     
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    Tunahead

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    That sounds more like it for albie fishing. Up here everyone gets all excited when they get into 30lb class fish.
    YEP trust me...HUNGRY TUNA all fight like hell for baited hooks . I started on them in 1960 at age 13.
    Albacore even bare hooks sometimes....LOL.
    GL fishing up North

    albacore.jpg
     
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    curtisD

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    There is definitely 2 mind sets for albacore fishing. Blue cord whacking and stacking or Let’s have some serious fun today and get sore and tired!
    I’m a firm believer in both. Pound for pound an albacore will make a chinook look like a weakling.
    I’ve landed over 50 salmon over 30#’s on an abu Garcia 6500 spooled with 20# test.
    Ocean, bays, rivers.
    I tried once to land a 20# tuna on the same gear. That didn’t work out so good.
    Left port to salmon fish solo. Get out about 2 miles and tuna were blowing up bait.
    My lure consisted of a large hoochie over a mooching rig. I tied a 4oz banana weight about 3’ in front, deployed rig. Hit about 7 knots and immediately my salmon rod doubles up and I’d guess it took about 8 seconds for 200yards of line to sound like a gunshot when it ran out and snapped.
    Of course I had zero line in the boat and only one rod. Shortest fishing trip of my life.
     
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    Tunahead

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    There is definitely 2 mind sets for albacore fishing. Blue cord whacking and stacking or Let’s have some serious fun today and get sore and tired!
    I’m a firm believer in both. Pound for pound an albacore will make a chinook look like a weakling.
    I’ve landed over 50 salmon over 30#’s on an abu Garcia 6500 spooled with 20# test.
    Ocean, bays, rivers.
    I tried once to land a 20# tuna on the same gear. That didn’t work out so good.
    Left port to salmon fish solo. Get out about 2 miles and tuna were blowing up bait.
    My lure consisted of a large hoochie over a mooching rig. I tied a 4oz banana weight about 3’ in front, deployed rig. Hit about 7 knots and immediately my salmon rod doubles up and I’d guess it took about 8 seconds for 200yards of line to sound like a gunshot when it ran out and snapped.
    Of course I had zero line in the boat and only one rod. Shortest fishing trip of my life.
    Anyone who states Albacore fishing isn't Sportfishing, had NEVER been in a Baja/Socal wide open Albacore bite for hours. LOL. This Searcher trip filled both holds, slammer, and home LOL

    RON-03.jpg
     
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