This is an awesome video that shares a perspective of the Oregon Coast most people do not see. Exploring the tide pool zones of the rocky shores are an excellent family fun activity. There is always so much life to observe, however once the water rises up and the waves start crashing all kinds of life start to pop out from their hiding places. Crabs, starfish, sea anemone’s sculpins and other little fishes all make the tidal zone their homes.
Public Crabbing Locations on the Oregon Coast
You don’t need to have a boat in order to catch dungeness crab on the Oregon coast, you will need crab traps or rings and some bait, but that is all that is required to get a few for dinner. There are several piers, docks, and bridges that provide excellent places to try your luck at crabbing. The best times of year to give it a go are generally from the middle of summer until the heaviest of winter rains are upon us in mid to late December. The areas that are most accessible for people bound to shore also tend to be in the bays which get inundated with fresh water which the crab naturally move away from as the rains get more intense. Going 2 hours before the high tide and staying until 1-2 hours after generally is the best time of day to give it a go, but some places you can leave your traps in overnight and be surprised with a loaded pot first thing in the morning. If you do not own your own crab rings there are a few places that will rent them for a nominal fee as well so even if you are just heading to the beach for the weekend you can still get out and relax at the pier and go crabbing.
1. Crab Pots – Most people will use crab rings which are best pulled every 15 – 20 minutes, however you can also use the square or circle pots that can be soaked for 45 minutes to overnight in between checks.
2. Crab Bait – Almost anything will work, the most common types of bait though are fish carcasses which can be purchased from some of the marinas and chicken is a popular alternative.
3. Measuring Stick – You can only keep male crabs that are at least 5 3/4 inch in size, the measure will have a picture of how to tell the difference between male and females and where to place the measure device to make sure you only keep legal sized ones.
4. A Bucket – You need to have something to keep your catch in so they do not walk away on you.
The following are a few of the most popular shore crabbing locations. There are others, but this should get you started.
Seaside, Oregon – 12th Street Bridge
An alternative location on Nehalem Bay that also has all of the carbbing supplies available to rent is Kelly’s Brighton Marina
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Both of the locations in Nehalem bay also offer boat rentals if you want to give it a try from the water for a half or full day.
Garibaldi, Oregon Tillamook Bay – Old Coast Guard Pier
The Garibaldi Marina rents boats for getting out into the bay and there is also a dock at the south end of the port area that is great for tossing a pot in the water.
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Newport, Oregon – The Newport Pier
If you have never participated in harvesting enough crab for a delicious sustainable Oregon Coast dinner than make sure and give this fun activity a try the next time you are vacationing at the beach. It is always rewarding to catch your dinner. If you are unfamiliar with cooking your catch ask around at the marinas as they often a crab cooker with boiling water and for a nominal charge they will cook your fresh crab for you. Otherwise a pot of boiling water and some sea salt does the trick, bring it to a boil and drop in the crab for 10 – 15 minutes. Cooking them whole is very acceptable way to process the crab. Like any delicacy there is a 101 ways to do it and if you enjoy the time crabbing and get out and do it more you can vary the way you cook and eat the crab, but a simple boil in salt water and melted butter for dipping is always a winner.
Fishing and crabbing along the Oregon Coast during the fall season has been a favorite activity for generations. The large runs of Chinook Salmon begin to get moving into the coastal estuaries in August and are in the prime during the months of October and November. Whether you are out fishing in the ocean, inside the bays or up a coastal river the fishing can be fantastic this time of year. One of the other special treats is the Dungenness crab that are available in the Ocean and the bays in really good numbers and quality from September to December. This combination of big salmon and crabs makes the fall season a favorite of most Oregonians that like to engage fishing these sustainable fisheries. Most of the streams and rivers along the coasts have relatively healthy numbers of wild Chinook and coho as well as hatchery supported fish to increase the numbers of available fish for people to catch and keep for dinner. The crab fishery is also very healthy with a large population and it is possible for each person to keep up to 12 of the Male Dungeness Crab per day over the size of 5 and 3/4 inches.
Whether you own your own boat or just fish from shore there are places up and down the Oregon coast to get on the action. If you do not have a boat there are several public access areas on the major rivers that have healthy populations of fish that are catch able as well as some public piers that are easy to crab from.
The primary methods of catching fall Chinook include trolling a mooching rig with a cut plug herring, trolling a big spinner or from the bank in the river system using a bobber and egg. All three of these methods will catch salmon. For crabbing it is good to have a few crab traps or crab rings and bait them with either fish carcasses or chicken from the discount section at the local market. Let the traps soak for an hour or longer and pull up a bounty of crabs for a seafood feast.
Get out and enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery this fall and catch a salmon or a few crab before the storms and rain of winter are upon us.
The Jetty Fishery Marina is an RV Park with boat launch facilities right near the mouth of the Nehalem Bay into the Pacific Ocean. An excellent place to rent a boat and crab pots and go crabbing during the crabbing season. If you do not want to venture out into the bay to crab for yourself you can buy fresh crab right at the Marina and have them boil, clean, and pack it so you can enjoy a crab dinner at home without pulling a single crab pot. Regardless if you do the crabbing or just purchase from the tanks the crab you will get at the Jetty Fishery are full of meat and delicious, make a crab louie salad, fry up crab cakes, or just get a cracker and crab picker and your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy. There were also oysters available for purchase when we visited the Jetty Fishery Marina last. If the weather is cooperating then you can stay outside by the outdoor fire pit area with large handmade wooden chairs to sit at around the fire to stay warm if it is cool. The store at the Marina has all of the basics for a day out on the water and a soda and candy if you need something little. They will get you all set to have fun on the water and tell you areas to be watch out and be careful around. If you are looking for a fun place to stop and see some wildlife for younger ones to see then the Jetty Fishery Marina is perfect since there is often many seals that live in the bay and ocean hanging out on the beaches nearby. Of course there will always be the seagulls flying in the wind to keep them busy, but with the location of the marina near the mouth of the pacific ocean there is often interesting wildlife to observer.
There are rental cabins and a new luxury bed and breakfast so check out the website at http://www.jettyfishery.com/ to find out more information about the Jett Fishery Marina and RV Park and for contact information to call ahead about making a trip.
Stop at the yellow boats by the water north of Rockaway Beach near the Nehalem Jetty.
The Nehalem Landing County boat launch facility is located just off the Oregon Coast Highway of 101 just South of the city of Nehalem, Oregon and a luittle North of HWY 53 a popular route to the North Coast from the Portland. It is located right near the entrance of the Nehalem river into Nehalem bay estuary. This is an excellent location to launch a boat if you are fishing or crabbing in the Nehalem bay or heading upstream to fish in the river for the Salmon and Steelhead that run through the river system to spawn at various times of the year. Depending on the time of the year the ramp facilities will either be filled with trucks and trailers or empty as a ghost town if there is no fishing or crabbing going on. This is also a great place to launch car top boats such as Kayaks and Canoes to explore the river and bay. The launch facility is unmanned but does still require a fee through a paybox that is checked on by the local park officials from Tillamook County so dont try and park and launch for free or you will be cited with a parking violation. The facilities do include flush bathroom facilities that are regularly maintained.