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Aug-28-2009 02:20printcomments

Trolling Oregon's Coastline in the Post-Dramamine Era

There’s plenty of bounty off our coast, and my wife would love to have more fish in our freezer.

Newport, Oregon
Newport, Oregon
Salem-News.com photo by: Kevin Hays

(NEWPORT, Ore.) - Fishing on the ocean has never been my favorite thing. As a kid (and as a young adult) I can clearly remember spending ocean trips leaning over the rail feeding the fish. That exhausting queezy feeling just wasn’t something I looked forward to repeating. However, I also like fresh fish in my freezer, so a compromise had to be made.

My buddy Scott recently organized a tuna trip off the Oregon Coast. This caused me to face my fears head on. I learned that the days of Dramamine are now over, and the new anti-motion sickness drug of choice is called Meclazine. I also learned that ginger helps out (the stuff they give you in little slices in the bowl at the sushi place). After a little research, and many suggestions from salt fishing friends, I decided it was worth another try. Wouldn’t ya know it, after all of my preparations, our tuna trip got cancelled.

I must have had good karma though. A few weeks later another buddy proposed a silver salmon trip out of Newport.

Armed with my new weapons of stomach stability, I took Chad up on his offer and set my alarm clock. I started taking my Meclazine the day before, just to be safe. I popped another one before leaving the house in the dark, and headed out to the coast. We met his father on the dock at first light. I’d listened to Chad telling stories about fishing with his dad as a kid, and was pretty confident that we’d be in for a memorable event.

His dad was waiting for us at the boat, having spent the night on board. After some last minute preparations, we were soon headed out of the harbor. Our 33’ boat handled the ocean swells pretty well. I’d popped a second Meclazine just as we left the dock, more for nerves than anything else. I kept my eyes on the horizon, and we powered out into the deep blue.

Being stuck on anti-puking mode, I was of little help in setting up the gear. Chad apparently had the system down, as we were soon trolling with hoochies, flashers and chunks of Herring. After a few missed fish, which are apparently called “drive-by’s” in salmon fishing, my rod hooked the first solid fish. After a brief and spirited fight, I had a silver in the boat. As luck would have it (lucky for us, unlucky for the fish) it was fin-clipped, and so it was quickly dispatched by Chad’s son and tossed in the cooler.

The rest of the day was spent trolling along a current seam in the ocean that collected a line of ocean foam and debris. Chad’s dad called this a rip tide, and explained that the fish seem to like this for cover. We landed two more fat and healthy native’s which were quickly released, and lost at least that many to the ocean.

Later in the afternoon we called it a day, and headed back in. Only when we were inside the jetty wall’s did Chad tell me that we’d been fishing 13 miles out the whole time. My weak stomach is apparently not so weak after all! At the dock the ODFW guy checked our salmon for his records. He told us that ours was the first silver he’d seen at the Newport dock in almost a week. Apparently the fish have moved out of this area, and are most likely headed to their home rivers in preparation for the final run upstream.

I will now be ready for next year’s ocean adventures. Silver fishing will be on the list, as will another attempt at tuna. Maybe a halibut trip or two. There’s plenty of bounty off our coast, and my wife would love to have more fish in our freezer. Guess I have my work cut out for me. Gotta buy some more Meclazine…

When time allows, Gerrit and his family make the break to the Detroit Lake area and other parts of Oregon where hunting and fishing are the order of the day. Gerrit has a way with words that is drawn from both education and life experience. While Gerrit has a full time career in law enforcement and firefighting before that, he has also taken the time to polish his natural skills at delivering written and visual information. He used to have an outdoor column in the South Salem Post. He has also written regular articles for Oregon Fishing & Hunting News and ESPN.com. Gerrit's experience in life is both awe-inspiring and honorable. Gerrit is likable, uniquely qualified, energetic and down to earth. He helps fill the void when it comes to articles about all of the amazing things Oregon has to offer those who have a connection with nature; be it through hiking, fishing, photography, hunting, or so many other outdoor activities here.

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