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.
The last weekend in July in the coastal town of Garibaldi is for the annual Garibaldi Days weekend celebration. There is a parade on Saturday through the main stretch of town starting at 11AM. The park area will be filled with vendors selling local crafts, wares, and foods. There will be live music playing at the food court area at S. Sixth Street and Garibaldi Avenue.
There is always tons of family fun activities, this year is no exception. There will be a fishing tank, gokarts, a Gyro ride, and other shows for the kids near the Lumbermen’s park. There is also a Fireworks display on Saturday night over the harbor. The train rides go back and forth between Garibaldi and the Rockaway Beach wayside, this is a fun way to see the scenic bay as you pass by the Three Graces and the barview jetty. Stop in Rockaway to check out the fun shops or walk on the sand and ride the train back later in the day.
Come enjoy this local festival for a good Oregon coast time. Stop and buy a crab or tuna from some of the local fisherman for a seafood dinner.
Here is a link to more information and outline of the events: Garibaldi Days 2014
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.
If you are looking for a great local guide in Garibaldi Oregon to fish the bay or ocean than you need to give Johnny Bowles a call and see if there is availability during the time you are looking to go fishing. I had the pleasure of fishing with him for Spring Chinook this past spring and it was an excellent day on the water. He makes the day fun and will teach you a lot about how to catch fish from this awesome fishery. We started off by tossing a few crab pots in the ocean and then got to fishing, using herring to target Spring Chinook salmon. The fishing was a little tough the day I went, but we did still get into a few fish and I lucked out with one of the biters landing on my rod, which resulted in a nice Spring chinook. He worked hard all day to give us the best opportunities to catch fish as possible, which is what you want in a guide, one that doesn’t give up and start just going through the motions when it is a tough day. Johnny fishes for salmon in the bay and ocean and also does halibut, bottom fish, and tuna trips depending on the seasons, his website also states he fishes some of the local coastal rivers for salmon and steelhead. He runs a beautiful Proline boat that can accommodate several people and takes the bar crossings well.
Tillamook bay is a wonderful fishery and with the Pacific ocean close by the options are pretty wide open for anglers looking to have a good time any time of the year and JB is defiantly one of the guys that has this place dialed. I look forward to getting out and fishing with him again in the future.
For more information check out the website here: JB & Water Sportfishing
Here is a video of Johnny in action fishing the Pacific Ocean and Tillamook Bay out of Garibaldi marina.
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.
If you are going through the town of Garibaldi on a nice day and want to stretch your legs walking the long Piers End pier is a great way to enjoy some fresh air and get a unique view of the Tillamook Bay. Located right across the street from the Historical Coast Guard Headquarters on Garibaldi which was constructed in 1911 and is listed on the National Register of historical locations in the US.
The pier while having a large building at the end that used to be the former Coast Guard Rescue station which is now closer to the Marina areas is currently closed. It used to be open a long time ago with a small shop however there is no going past the gated fence as it is locked.
The pier is equipped for a place to spend an afternoon crabbing for Dungeness Crab with several turn out locations that are designed for setting up with a couple of chairs to hang out while soaking a few crab pots. Crabbing tends to be good during the fall and into the winter. You will have to bring your own bait from home or buy at the local stores before you arrive to the pier. There is a handful of turn out locations and depending on the water level any of them can be good to try and crab from. The Port of Garibaldi has recently set up some new rules for crabbing at Piers End which include the pier only open from dawn to dusk, no cutting bait on the pier, no crabbing from the fence only from the turn out locations, and no leaving a pot unattended, so you can not place a crab trap and come back in a few hours to pull in your catch.
During a low tide there is also clams available in the sandy areas below the stairs down to the water.
Location of Garibaldi Piers End – Take 12th st from the 101 and then make a left on Bay Lane. There is some parking area near the entrance for the pier. There is plenty of parking available.
A Few Pictures of Piers End in Garibaldi, Oregon