Ahhhh, summer is in full swing and fishing season is finally here….wait a second. It’s ALWAYS fishing season on Oregon’s Adventure Coast: Coos Bay, North Bend, Charleston - it’s what we’re known for! Between the calm waters on the bay, the bountiful ocean, multiple rivers and 30+ freshwater lakes in Coos County alone, fishing opportunities are in no short supply here! No matter your fishing style or skill level, we have something for everyone here.
Last month, we highlighted a variety of fishing styles to suit your preferences, lifestyle, skill level and time of the year you will be traveling. We’re following up on that piece with some smart and practical fishing tips to get the most out of your fishing trip. Be sure to request or download a free visitors guide for inspiration and to help you discover the lay of the land!
#1 FIND OUT WHAT IS IN SEASON. Print out our Fishing Information Rack Card (PDF) to keep this information handy on your trip. Here are some local fishing spots recommended by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) .
#2 GET A FISHING LICENSE. A fishing license is required for those aged 12 years or older. Daily licenses are available. Most fishing charters, bait shops and sporting goods stores can supply these for you. You can purchase a fishing license locally in stores like Bi-Mart, Big 5 Sporting Goods, Fred Myer, the ODFW Office (licenses only) in Charleston and Walmart. Click here to see the fishing license requirement.
#3 RESERVE LODGING AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE. Oregon’s Adventure Coast is full of wide open spaces but summer can be a bit busy when it comes to hotel accommodations, RV parks, and campgrounds. The earlier you can book, the better. Click here to get started!
#4 CHECK TIDES & LOCAL FORECASTS BEFORE YOU GO. We don’t have to tell you how important it is to pay attention to the weather forecast when you are planning an outdoor recreational activity on Oregon’s Adventure Coast. Local news stations like KCBY , The World Newspaper , and K-DOCK 92.9 FM are just a few of the local media organizations you can turn to for up-to-date reports. Check the tide times at tides-forecast.com .
#5 DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR ADVICE. The local bait and tackle shops offer all the gear, plus pro tips for both novice and experienced anglers. Visitors will also find excellent tips and recommendations by calling local businesses like Basin Tackle Shop and Bite’s On Bait & Tackle . Here’s a list of other local businesses that may be a valuable resource to you.
#6 BE SMART & STAY SAFE. Our quiet, peaceful, undeveloped beaches are ideal for recreational fishing, but if you ignore these potentially lifesaving safety guidelines , a relaxing fishing excursion could suddenly become unsafe without warning. Read Safe Ways to Explore the Beach for more information.
#7 IF YOU DON’T OWN IT, RENT IT. Not sure where to get a fishing rod, tackle, or bait? No problem. With so many options for adventure, you might need a little equipment to help you along the way. Here is a list of resources to help you get the most out of your time here: Equipment Rent & Buy .
#8 BE OPEN TO NEW EXPERIENCES. We know you’re here for the premier fishing, crabbing and clamming; but there’s so much more to do while visiting Oregon’s Adventure Coast! Click here to see a sample of some of the other trip ideas like visiting the Oregon Dunes, amazing state parks, casino fun and more!
#9 PACK SMART. Here’s a list to get you started:
✔ Layered Clothing. It’s best to assume there will be fluctuating weather on Oregon’s Adventure Coast, and layered clothing allows you to adjust for changes in temperature accordingly. Anticipate cooler weather when making an early morning departure, but be prepared for things to warm up quickly once the sun comes out. It’s also important to remember that even the warmest of days can experience a big drop in temperature when offshore.
✔ A waterproof jacket and boots (especially if you are clamming).
✔ Gloves to protect you from line cuts. It will also make it easier to handle your catch and protect your hands from potentially pinchy Dungeness crabs.
✔ A Hat. A hat comes in handy when sitting out on the water in the direct sunlight. Be sure to bring a wide brimmed hat, a baseball hat, or anything else that will provide some shade. Additionally, a hat can help keep you warm on cooler mornings.
✔ Sunscreen. Be sure to have sunscreen on hand and apply generously every few hours. Even on overcast days, you can get a sunburn!
✔ Polarized Sunglasses.There are many good reasons to have a pair of polarized sunglasses: they give relief from direct sunlight; they can protect your eyes from sharp hooks; they allow you better visibility of fish and your line. A good pair of sunglasses is worth the investment.
✔ Rubber Soled Shoes. You’ll want to bring rubber soled shoes to prevent skidding; it can get slippery out on the boat!
✔ Reusable Water Bottle. Fishing can be a strenuous activity—more so on a hot sunny day. Stay hydrated with a drink on hand. A good quality reusable water bottle will prevent leaks or damage should it bounce around on the boat.
✔ First Aid Kit with Seasickness Medication. As cuts and scrapes are a possibility whenever fishing, a good first aid kit is essential. The kit should include band aids, antiseptic cream, hand sanitizer, and seasickness medication.
✔ Life Jacket. It’s the law to have a life jacket (that fits) for each person on board of any boat.
✔ Waterproof Bag. Bring a waterproof ziplock and/or other sealable bag to hold your electronics and valuables.
✔ Cooler. If you’re bringing drinks or snacks with you, a cooler will be invaluable. Fill it with some ice and you’re good to go!
#10 VISIT THE COOS BAY VISITOR INFORMATION CENTER . Once you’ve checked into your hotel or campsite, put the following address into your GPS and head straight here: 50 Central Avenue Coos Bay, OR 97420. Our friendly staff and volunteers are eager to help you with any questions you might have, along with insider information that only the locals would know. Hours of operation Monday-Friday 9am-5pm & Sat 10am-2pm, Sun 10am-2pm Memorial Day to Mid-October.
Be sure to visit the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife for the latest recreation reports and regulation updates for our region.
ADDITIONAL OREGON’S ADVENTURE COAST FISHING RESOURCES
OREGON’S ADVENTURE COAST CRABBING AND CLAMMING RESOURCES:
Learn more about vacation ideas on our site, or contact us for help planning your next trip or family getaway. Click here for directions and other important travel tips, or contact one of our friendly volunteers at the Coos Bay Visitor Information Center on Oregon’s Adventure Coast and start planning your trip today!