180 miles of Oregon coast travel: Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita,
Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City,
Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Waldport, Yachats & Florence.
Crabbing on Oregon Coast at its Prime Right
|Bay full of boats in Newport
(Newport, Oregon) – It’s the most wonderful
time of the year, and not just in a holiday kind of way. It’s a
season of great gifts for those who love crabbing on the Oregon coast.
Dungeness crab is at its best quality about now, according
to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). The commercial crabbing
season will kick off on December 1, which also means that private citizens
can head out for a bit of adventure by going crabbing on the ocean.
Catching the coveted crustaceans is open year round in
the numerous Oregon coast bays and estuaries, but only during commercial
crabbing season can members of the public snag them from the deep.
|One of Newport's many docks
“Right now is the prime time for crabbing,”
said Brandon Ford, an ODFW spokesman in Newport. “It’s the
best conditions throughout winter and into the spring. The pre-season
testing of ocean crab for the commercial fishery showed that crabs had
hard shells and were full of meat. And crabbing in the bays and estuaries
has improved in the last couple of weeks.”
Ford said that crabmeat is typically at its best this time
of year, as they are plump and full of meat after filling their new shells
with body mass since the molting season that happened earlier this year.
Newport alone has dozens of crabbing spots along the enormous
Yaquina Bay, where crabbing is allowed year round. It’s also known
as the “Dungeness Crab Capitol of the World,” partially because
the area’s fishing fleet has broken many records for crab hauls
in recent years.
|Nehalem Bay shows its love of the crab
Other Oregon coast bays provide plenty of crabbing opportunities,
such as Nehalem Bay, Tillamook Bay, Waldport’s Alsea Bay, the Siuslaw
River (at Florence), Netarts Bay, Nestucca Bay and Seaside’s Necanicum
River and bay. There, the 12 Ave. Bridge is a hotbed for fishermen, with
their lines looped over the railings. But crabbing is hot here as well.
"You can crab in Young's Bay or out of Hammond, but
you need a boat," said Keith Chandler, manager of Seaside Aquarium.
"The 12th Avenue Bridge is popular because you need a boat in the
Necanicum Bay, and restrooms and all sorts of other conveniences are nearby."
In some of these bays, red crab can be caught as well.
|Commercial boat on Newport's Yaquina Bay
Commercial crab season opens December 1, and this means
that the ocean will be open for crabbing to private citizens. There are,
of course, a limited number of nice, calm days for this endeavor, but
Ford said those hardy souls interested in this adventurous form of crabbing
are growing in numbers – and they are often rewarded.
“When ocean conditions permit, anglers can combine
crabbing and bottom fishing in one trip,” Ford said. “I believe
there are more people looking for those opportunities. The crabs are generally
bigger in the deep ocean, although it is often a matter of luck, like
any sport fishing.”
Ford stressed that the bay is still the best place to find
the Dungeness crab, especially for those new to the sport. He pointed
to one special spot in South Beach where crabbing is prime – the
long dock that stretches a couple hundred feet out into the bay.
|Docks at Nehalem Bay
“In South Beach, there’s that dock that goes
way into the water, and it’s mostly used for fishing,” Ford
said. “But you can crab from there. It’s excellent. I strongly
encourage anyone who hasn’t tried it before to come out here and
do a little crabbing. It’s really fun.”
Aside from numerous crabbing spots all along Yaquina Bay,
some bayside lodgings provide crab cookers for guests. These include the
Landing at Newport and Embarcadero Resort.
For the adventurer, however, there are about ten charter
boat services running out of Yaquina Bay, many of which provide deep-sea
fishing and crabbing opportunities.
In the Nehalem Bay, Jetty Fishery provides boats, docks
and crabbing rentals, on top of cooking opportunities. Some other hotels
along the coast provide crab-cooking spots for guests, as do several other
Cape Property Services.
Dozens of homes in that dreamy,
rugged stretch between Cannon Beach and Manzanita known as Arch
Cape. Oceanfront and ocean view , or just a short walk from the
All homes are immaculate and smoke free; some pet friendly (with
a fee). Some with broadband, indoor or outdoor hot tubs, fireplaces,
decks, and fire pits or barbecues. Call about tempting winter specials
that go until March (not valid holidays, however). www.archcaperentals.com
Other benefits for crabbers this time of year include what
is called the “value season” in Newport, which refers to the
lower lodging prices – sometimes close to 50 percent less than in
summer season. There are lower prices on just about everything in the
Newport area as well as the rest of the coast. Lodging prices are less
everywhere, with the higher end hotels dropping their prices more than
the less expensive lodgings.
This season bodes well for those who want to indulge in
the Dungeness at a myriad of Oregon coast restaurants, said Chandler.
excited the commercial crabbers are starting on time,” he said.
“It means there will be plenty of it available around Christmas
time. Usually, there’s some sort of price dispute between the catchers
and the processors. But not this year, so they’re actually starting
on December 1.”
You must have an annual shellfish license to go crabbing
– the cost of which is $6.50 per year. For more information on Oregon
coast crabbing, see www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/shellfish/crab/,
or call ODFW’s Newport office at 541-867-4741.
Beach Rentals, Lincoln City. Perfect for large family
vacations all the way down to a getaway lodging for two - with
over 25 vacation rental homes to choose from. A breathtaking collection
of craftsman or traditional beachfront homes, or oceanview houses
– from one to seven bedrooms. In various areas of Lincoln
City and overlooking the beach, with some in Depoe Bay. All kinds
of amenities are available, like hot tubs, decks, BBQ, rock fireplaces,
beamed ceilings and more. Some are new, some are historic charmers.
Lincoln City, Oregon. 1-(503)-232-5984. www.a1beachrentals.com.
Sands Condominium Motel, Lincoln City. Free, fresh baked
cookie upon check-in is just the start. All rooms beachfront and
up against Lincoln City's most famous stretch of beach: the D River.
Each room comes as a suite or mini-suite, and has a kitchen and
balcony or patio. Some w/ gas fireplaces, while all have a DVD Players;
movies to rent come with free popcorn. Heated indoor pool, a spa,
and this fabulous beach is lit at night. Rooms sleep from two, four
to six - including a deluxe fireplace suite. Gift certificates orspecial
occasion packages. www.dsandsmotel.com.
171 S.W. Highway 101. 800-527-3925.
Paradise Suites & Vacation Rentals - Seaside
Unique Luxury Accommodations in Seaside. 1BR Suites,
1BR & 2BR Duplex Units and 3BR Houses, units for 2-8 people.
Rent entire property for 20-26. Close to beach, river and Broadway
Suites are designed for two adults; vacation rental units for families.
All units have kitchen and many have fireplace, deck and jetted
tub. Comfy robes, slippers, luxury bath amenities, quality linens
and more. 741 S. Downing St., Seaside. 800-738-6691. www.SeasideSuites.com
City Vacation Homes
Something for everyone: smaller homes
with a view to a large house that sleeps 15. All are either oceanfront
or just a few steps away – all with a low bank access and
fantastic views. Most are in the Nelscott area; one is close to
the casino. You’ll find a variety of goodies: fireplaces,
multiple bedrooms, dishwashers, Jacuzzis, washer/dryers, hot tubs,
cable TV, VCR, barbecues; there’s a loft in one, and another
sprawling home has two apartments. Pets allowed in some homes
– ask first. Each comes with complete kitchens. Most have
seventh night free. Prices range from winter $85 to summer $230
per night. www.getaway2thecoast.com.
Rockaway Beach. All rooms are immaculate and have TV’s, VCR’s
and in-room phones w/ data ports. Oceanfronts have queen bed, a
double hide-a-bed, kitchen, cozy firelog fireplace and private deck.
Both types sleep up to four people. Others are appointed for a two-person
romantic getaway, yet still perfect for those on a budget. Elaborate
oceanfront Jacuzzi suite has two bedrooms, kitchen, double hide-a-bed,
fireplace and private deck, sleeping as many as six. For family
reunions or large gatherings such as weddings, some rooms can connect
to create two-room and three-room suites. Some rooms pet friendly.
523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway Beach. (503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938.
at Cannon Beach. Beautifully wooded natural setting at quiet south
end of Cannon Beach. Great during winter storms with a new book by
the fireplace – or when the sun is out for family fun and beach
strolling. Handsome beach cottage-style architecture. Lush flowering
gardens and naturalized courtyard pond. Warm, inviting guest rooms.
Continental buffet breakfast. Warm Cookies. Family and Pet Friendly.
Welcome gifts. Smoke-free. Complimentary Wireless Connectivity. Wine
and book signing events. 800-321-6304 or 503-436-9085. Hemlock At
Surfcrest, Cannon Beach, Oregon. www.atcannonbeach.com.
Ocean Lodge. There will not be another property built
like this in Cannon Beach in our lifetimes. Rare, premiere ocean
front location; handsome, dramatic architecture and tasteful, fun
(nostalgic) beach interiors. Overlooks Haystack Rock. 100 percent
smoke free. Imaginative special occasion packages. Massive wood
burning lobby fireplace. Library w/ fireplace, stocked with impressive
book collection. Pet and family friendly. Lavish continental buffet
breakfast. In-room fireplaces, mini-kitchens. Jacuzzi tubs in select
rooms. DVD players, complimentary movies. Morning paper. Warm cookies.
888-777-4047. 503-436-2241. 2864 Pacific Street. Cannon Beach, Oregon.
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Coast Travel Site Goes Wireless Provides Lodging Reports
- Oregon Coast Beach Connection now has mobile lodging and dining listings,
along with weekly lodging availability reports
weekly updated info on lodgings and accomodation reviews, see
the Travel News section