August 22nd & 23rd, 2009
The weather reports early in the week had said the wind and waves were going to be big…. they were right this time.
The weather at the coast is usually very difficult to predict so we generally wait to see for ourselves before we finalize plans for the weekend trips. Because two different sources were both predicting about the same nasty weather, we gave our guests for the weekend a heads up that there was at least a 50/50 chance we would need to cancel. The Saturday crew of Amanda, Cory, Greg and Darlene said they were READY TO GO FISHING, and would come on down to the coast and take a chance on the weather anyway!
The day dawned a little better than predicted, but the wind had blown fairly steady all night long, so after our usual safety orientation, we headed out of the bay to take a look. The tide was at near low, so the waves rolling into the bay made quite an impressive sight breaking on the north and south reefs as we motored out the buoy line. We moved along slowly, waiting for the sun to come up over the mountains so we could see any obstructions that might be in our way. It shortly became obvious to us that with the current conditions, a long range Tuna trip was out of the question, but we heard on the radio that three charter boats were headed out of Depoe Bay to give the run to the Tuna grounds a try.
We decided to move a few miles off shore to give Salmon fishing a go for awhile and keep an eye on the weather. The reports we had received regarding previous catches the last few days were again not very encouraging. The charter and sport boats on Friday had only managed to bring in one or two fish per boat, but with our options limited we went ahead and put out our gear anyway. Almost immediately someone yelled “FISH ON!” and we had a salmon on and zipping around behind the boat. Amanda grabbed the rod, and Darlene grabbed Amanda, and the battle was on. After a frantic couple of minutes into the net it went, and after verifying that is was a hatchery fish, pictures were taken, then it was cleaned and put into the box. Wow what a start! We trolled around for awhile and Darlene was next to grab a rod when the yell went out. She did a great job in bringing the fish to the boat, but because of an “equipment failure”, the fish escaped and swam off. Next up was Cory, who made short work of the next Salmon that grabbed the lure, and managed to pull it cleanly into the net for the second keeper of the day!
While we were fishing, the conditions just continued to get worse. We heard on the radio that two of the three Tuna boats turned around and were headed back into port. Although we have seen rougher conditions, it was becoming more difficult to move around the boat with out being tossed about, and with the Coastguard reporting deteriorating conditions, and a new bar restriction of 30′ and under; at around 9:30 we called it a day and headed in.
On the way back to port, we spotted and stopped to look at a large Mola Mola. He was a pretty impressive specimen, and gave us a good show for a few minutes as he bounced around in the waves. We continued on and stopped for a few close up photos of the Sea Lions lounging on the outer buoy. As we were making our final approach to the harbor entrance, a Gray Whale surfaced and dove less than a hundred yards directly in front of us, close enough that we had to slow the boat to make sure we would not collide with him! Wow what a sight that was….
Retuning to the calm inner harbor was kind of like leaving a washing machine. Whew…. what a wild and exciting morning it was!
Once the boat was tied to the slip, the fish were hauled up to the cleaning station to be cut and packed up (nice work Greg!), then the snacks were eaten, the mornings stories were told and retold, until soon it was time for the crew to head off to finish out the rest of a beautiful (and windy) summer day at the Oregon Coast.
Thank you all for your great company (and tasty treats!), we had a lot of laughs and a great (though too short) time with you!
The Sunday trip was unfortunately called off due to the high winds and waves.