There have been a few small windows of opportunity weather wise to get out fishing on the ocean this past week but all that is coming to an end with giant waves and gale force winds predicted.
When folks were out they did good on rockfish and amazing on lingcod with lots of jumbo crab thrown in the mix. By the time y’all read this the commercial fleet should be out crabbing or close to it anyway. At the time of this writing they are still negotiating prices and waiting out the bad weather. Fishing in the bay remains good to very good but remember to use small, light tackle; think trout gear not halibut/lingcod gear. Crabbing in the bay remains very good and anywhere from just OK to great off the docks depending on time of day and a little element of being in the right place at the right time. Steelhead has kicked off in full force with a lot of our customers catching limits and with all the rain predicted in our immediate future I think it will only get better.
Last week I promised to share my duck hunting exploits with you and today I shall deliver.
Hunter called and asked if I wanted to go duck hunting with him and truthfully the answer is always yes when he asks. Hunter is a bird-dog when it comes to these critters and he can spot ‘em, identify ‘em, and shoot ‘em like no other. We set up to meet at the shop at 6 a.m. along with a member of our fishing pro-staff, Trenton Hunter. Yeah, one guy’s first name is Hunter and the other guys last name is Hunter, I promise it’s confusing at times. Trenton is one of, if not thee best fishermen I have had the honor of knowing but it turns out he’s really not that good at waterfowl hunting.
By 7:15 a.m., when Trenton showed up fashionably late he realized he didn’t yet have his 2018 license so we hung around until 8 when the local ODFW office opened. At 8:01 we realized they carry everything BUT the migratory waterfowl stamp. At 8:03 Hunter M. and T. Hunter were on their way to Bi-Mart to pick one up. At 8:25 they learned that Bi-Mart didn’t open until 9. Fast forward to 8:37 and T. Hunter is running into Walmart to pick up his stamp while Hunter M. waited in the truck; at this time I was sitting in the shop drinking coffee while this nonsense unfolded. At 8:44 we received a text from T. Hunter telling us there was an issue with the license machine or operator interface issue or something of the sort. By 9:05 I got the word that everything was finally in order and we were ready to roll. I loaded the last of the gear and headed to the rendezvous point ever so eager to shoot the ducks that were by now no doubt laughing at our plight (this sort of stuff gets around fast and eventually ends up in a newspaper somewhere). At 9:50 a.m., we had our kayaks on the water’s edge, pockets stuffed with ammo, life vests on, and were formulating our game plan, that is until T. Hunter said “so, do I have to have a plug or something in my shotgun?” Sigh… The short answer is yes. When hunting game birds your shotgun must have a device, a short rod or “plug” that prohibits you from placing more than two rounds in your magazine tube. He obviously didn’t have one so we proceeded to take apart his second hand garage sale shotgun, whittled a plug out of a nearby branch and made it legal, almost. His club masquerading as a shotgun was the most finicky thing I’ve ever seen and it took several attempts to make it right and functional. Finally, after hours of lost shooting time, countless waterfowl pointing and laughing at us, frustration and consternation, we were ready to go. As we got into our kayaks T. Hunter looks towards Hunter M. and I and actually says these words out loud; “I kind of suck at this, is this how you guys feel like when you come steelhead fishing with me?”
We weren’t sure whether to leave him on the bank or stage an “accident” but we ended up taking him out anyway. Hunter M. and I got limits of ducks; Trenton Hunter may have mildly frightened one but we can’t confirm it.
As fun as the hunt ended up being it’s the story and the laughs leading up to it that makes this day memorable.
On a side note we plan to take him out again but we’re going to tell him to show up three hours before we do. Oh, and Krista (Trenton’s wife) please let him buy a new shotgun, please.
Whether you are landing a steelhead or hunting ducks I hope to see you out there.
Rob Gensorek is the owner of Basin Tackle www.basintackle.com in the Charleston Marina and can be reached by phone at 541-888-FISH, by Facebook at Basin Tackle Charleston, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Robs fishing reports can be heard daily at 6:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. on KRSB Best Country 103 out of Roseburg and his Basin Tackle Outdoor Show can be heard Wednesdays at 3 p.m. and Saturdays at 6 a.m. at kwro.com. In addition to all this he sometimes actually gets out and catches a fish or two.