Oregon Tuna Fishing!!
The Oregon Tuna fishery has been in existence for many years, but until the last decade, was primarily fished only by commercial boats, with an occasional charter taking clients out to fish tuna with hand lines. The rod and reel fishery didn’t really begin to blossom until the early 2000’s.
Since that time, Oregon has grown in recognition as one of the best Albacore tuna fisheries in the country, and possibly the world. There aren’t many locations where private boats and charters regularly see 15 to 40 fish days, and quite often, considerably more! Come see what this fishery is all about, but be warned, it’s amazingly addictive!
The Oregon tuna season starts around the beginning of July when the first fish begin to arrive from the mid-pacific, and continues well into October. There have been many years where the commercial fleet still lands fish into November, but the ocean has generally become to rough to target these silver speedsters.
When the Albacore first show up in July they are primarily feeding on squid. This is when our troll fishery really shines. We generally run 5 to 8 lines at a time, trolling tuna jigs (7 Strand Tuna Clones, Zukers, Eat Me Lures Lolo’s, etc..), cedar plugs, and large diving plugs like Rapala X-Rap Magnums. The troll fishery is often consistent till somewhere around the middle of August when we begin to see the fish switch their preference to baitfish.
As this transition occurs, we find our troll bite begining to dwindle, while the use of swim baits (both trolled and cast), vertical jigging, and live bait become a much bigger part of our game plan. During this transition period, the troll bite can still be good at times, but you have to be ready to change up your fishing technique based on the fish’s mood. As the end of August arrives, the traditional troll bite (trolling tuna jigs) is all but over for the year, and our days become centered around fishing live bait and baitfish imitations.
September can often be the most exciting fishing of the year. This is when our run and gun fishery blossoms!
Run and gun fishing is an exciting way to pursue these fish, combining hunting and fishing into one action packed past time. The boat cruises along offshore in areas showing signs of fish, actively looking for groups of albacore crashing bait up top. No troll spreads needed! Once fish are spotted, the boat eases up to the action, and swim baits or iron (different types of lead jigs)are cast into the melee trying to get a couple fish hooked up.
Once a couple tuna are hooked, the transition is attempted, where we chum live and dead baits at the back of the boat to lure the entire school to the transom of the boat. When a tuna school commits, and boils up at the back of the boat, true pandemonium breaks out on deck. It’s something you have to experience at least once in your life, but again be warned, this is a super addictive type of fishing!
Of course these basic seasons can change year to year. There have been many instances, where we find tuna schools up on top in July and are able to make great catches casting swim baits and fishing live bait, and we’ve had some years where the tuna clone troll fishery lasts well into September. For this reason we carry a fully rigged arsenal of rods on each trip so we can be sure to employ the necessary techniques to be successful no matter what the tuna show a preference for.
We fish from of our 26’ Norvelle, The Ice Lady
We have a cabin for your comfort when we’re running that seats 4. The cabin is a nice place to be when running out on those frigid mornings!
We also have all the safety gear, including a single side band radio, hi power vhf radio, GPS Chartplotter, 48 mile radar, 8 man life raft, flares, first aid kits, and life jackets. Both the captain and the first mate hold coast guard licenses, insurance, and have been participating in this sport for many years. We take your safety seriously!
Ice Lady also has a full compliment of fishing features! We have a Raymarine 15” fish finder, with a high power Airmar through hull transducer. We can actually see tuna under our boat when we are crusing!! She also features enough rod storage for all the rods we carried rigged and ready to fish, as well as in gunnel rod holders all the way around her sleek 26’ of rail space. She also sports live well, where we can carry several scoops of bait when its available.
We also pride ourselves on taking extra good care of your catch. Each fish is bled as soon as it’s brought on board, and then stored in ice in our hold or in kill bags to ensure you bring back high quality table fare.
What’s included in our trips
We provide all bait, tackle, rods, ice, lunch and cold water.
What you need to bring
– Layered clothing (it can be cool out on the ocean most days, close to 10-15 degrees cooler than on land, so plan for cooler weather!)Rain gear (even when it’s not raining the deck gets wet from both ocean spray, as well as our deck hoses. We will be constantly washing the blood from our decks, so if you don’t have raingear, you’re likely to get wet!)
– Deck boots
– Camera (to document the amazing day you’re going to experience)
– Any personal items you’d like to have with you.
Our fishing days typically start early and run long, so plan on staying overnight to recover from your exceptional fish catching day!
Processing of your catch is not included in our charter fees, but there is a filleting service in our port that will fillet and bag your fish for and additional $4 per fish.
Tuna are actually warm-blooded fish, and will typically be 4-5 degrees warmer than the water they are swimming in. For this reason it’s imperative they are cooled down once caught, and they don’t cut well until they reach a core temperature of 35 degrees or so. For this reason the fillet service typically won’t cut the fish until the following day, so make sure to plan accordingly for picking up your fish.
Oregon Tuna Rates
Our trips are private, we don’t mix groups. We fish out of an exceptional boat using high caliber gear, with no expense spared, and no detail overlooked.
These are first class trips where it is just your group on the boat and the day is all about you!
Our boat rate is $1200 per day for the boat and it can fish four anglers. (The boat rate applies to all groups from one to four anglers. We can take 6, but it’s crowded and this would run $1,800)
Contact Us Now
Come fish with us and see what this great fishery is all about.
We cater to both the new tuna fisherman who just wants to spend a great day on the ocean catching some of these tasty fish, as well as experienced fisherman who want to learn new techniques, or who want to learn how to successfully and consistently find the fish.
We pride ourselves on not holding anything back. If you want to learn about this amazing fishery, just ask! We are more than happy to share our methods and techniques for finding and catching these fantastic game fish.