Howdy everyone!

I hope you’ve had the chance to get out and catch a steelhead or two. The bite has been hot lately and if you haven’t done it yet get out NOW before it’s too late. Speaking of steelhead Basin Tackle and the ODFW will be conducting a late season steelhead clinic at the Millicoma hatchery Saturday, Feb. 11, at 9 a.m. Don’t worry about bringing anything other than warm clothes as we will supply all the gear. If however, you do want to bring your own gear feel free to and we can help you rig it up!

Crabbing in the bay and off the docks has been slow, possibly due to the rain which has subsided as of late. Hopefully that allows our favorite crustaceans to come back into the bay so we can catch and eat ‘em (just don’t let them know that’s the plan). The ocean has remained a mess and no one with a boat and common sense has ventured out lately but don’t despair, a big chunk of winter is already gone.

Perch fishing on the beaches remains hot when the swells subside enough for us get out there safely. Another thing to note is that there is a lot of debris on the beaches, particularly Horsfall Beach. Everything from bull kelp to giant logs weighing several tons are littered below the high water line. One good wave and one of these logs can crush anything in its path including people because, like, you know, we are made mostly of meat.

A few weeks ago when the ocean was well behaved we had a few customers snag a few strange creatures, others caught the same mysterious creatures in their crab pots. These mystery creatures are six to ten inches in length, an inch or two wide and made of jelly. I’ve chewed the arms off of sour-patch kids before and that’s sort of what these things look like, just bigger. I filed the pictures of these things away and intended to research them at a later date but the other day I was looking at the Facebook account of the Charleston Marine Life Center and low and behold there they were.

Turns out it’s not “a” creature at all but many creatures living together in a giant mass, much like the front several rows of a Justin Bieber concert. Is he still a thing? This mass of critters is a Pyrosoma atlanticum. I cannot find a common name for it anywhere so I am naming it “Richard.” Richard is made up of several colonies of Zooids which are individual animals with intake and output siphons to filter food out of the water. Each zooid can be up to 0.335 of an inch long and they are so tightly packed together as to make Richard seem like a single solid object. Each of these zooids is bioluminescent which means they give off light so you could probably stick Richard to your head and read with him. Richard is most common at depths below eight hundred and will rise and sink to different levels during the day which may explain some of our anglers catching them lately.

Whether you are using Richard as a nightlight or catching steelhead on the West Fork of the Millicoma 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 basin_tackle@yahoo.com. Robs fishing reports can be heard daily on several radio stations 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.

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