I just got home from a tuna fishing trip off the Oregon Coast, and if you love to fish, I highly recommend you give it a try. My brother and I have been talking about doing a tuna trip for years. This year we decided to pull the trigger. We gathered up some friends and booked a trip with Yaquina Charters out of Newport.
The boat cast off at 6:30 a.m. for a 12-hour trip. After a relatively uneventful two-hour ride, we were out to the warm water current and started trolling. We lucked into a beautiful day with relatively calm seas. It wasn’t long until we got a strike. I was amazed at just how hard it was to reel in a tuna. Talk about fun! The action wasn’t hot and heavy but more slow and steady. The captain and mate worked hard to make sure we had a good time.
Ten folks were on the boat fishing, and all took turns fighting the fish. It was a good thing too, because you wanted a break after hauling in your tuna. We fished for eight hours and landed 38 tuna and lost five. The biggest fish we caught was around 20 pounds, but most of them were around 10 pounds. We had a great time, and now I’m writing as I can my catch.
Tuna fishing can be done off the Oregon Coast between July and October. The fishing is dependent on the warm ocean currents that the tuna follow. Last year the currents didn’t come anywhere near the coast, and the fishing was nonexistent. This year it is only 25-40 miles out, and the fishing has been great. The weather plays a big role as well. If the seas are rough, they will cancel the trip and either refund your deposit or book you for another day.
Charters run $270 to over $400 depending on how long you are out and how many people are on the boat. Twelve hours is about as short as a trip can be because of the time it takes to get out to the fish. My brother wants me to begin planning for a 30-hour trip next year. I’m not sure my stomach can take that.
When you are looking to book, make sure you know how you will be fishing. Folks more interested in catching lots of fish lean toward hand lining. I wanted to fight some fish so we booked with a boat that relied mostly on traditional poles. The boat will provide all the fishing gear. You just need to bring a strong stomach and good attitude.
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