On The Line With Nearshore Fishing

Category: General Article

Back to Youth Activities: Fishing

The Oregon Coast is a perfect place for nearshore fishing, sometimes called “shore angling.” This particular sport requires the angler to cast a line into the ocean from some adjacent landform. The vast number of ocean beaches, headlands, jetties and piers means there’s plenty of space and opportunity to catch fish without actually being on the water. But there’s also some inherent risk. Wave action and weather conditions can change quickly in any marine environment, and areas like jetties are rocky, slippery and regularly washed by waves or sea spray.

Myles, a nineteen-year-old Oceanscape Network volunteer, had been fishing before, but never next to the ocean. In order to do it right, he decided to attend a class on nearshore fishing provided by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“All my previous fishing experiences have been on lakes and rivers,” he told us. “The ocean’s a little more intimidating just because of its size and power. I can’t say I’m scared of nearshore fishing, but I also don’t want to be washed away by a sneaker wave or anything…”

Fortunately, the class provided plenty of safety tips for novice anglers, along with information on how to gauge tides, handle equipment, bait a hook and identify fish species.

Brandon Ford, the Public information Officer with the ODFW Marine Resources Office had some additional advice: “The rocky areas of the coast are generally good areas for rockfish and lingcod. It can be fun and exciting, but you need to make sure you have the right footwear so you don’t slip. If you’re by the ocean it’s always a good idea to be wearing a life jacket and have it on and have it on right… If you just have it with you that’s not good enough. It’s really difficult to put a life jacket on while you’re in the water – that just doesn’t work at all!”

Brandon said the ODFW has similar classes on a variety of topics, including fly-tying, fly-fishing, archery, clam-digging and crabbing.

So how did Myles fare during his first nearshore fishing adventure? Watch the video and find out!

Related Information: Fishing | Fishing: Then and Now

Common Oregon Nearshore Fish

A huge variety of fish may congregate around beaches, docks, jetties and other platforms from which you can nearshore fish. Listed below are some of the most common types of nearshore fish. Learn each type so you can be prepared to identify what you might catch. These species are collectively referred to as “groundfish” or “bottomfish” because they prefer to live close to the ocean bottom around rocky formations.

Cabezon | Kelp Greenling | Lingcod | Northern Anchovy | Rockfish | Speckled Sanddab | Starry Flounder



Cast Away: Nearshore Fishing on the Oregon Coast

You don't need a boat to enjoy some ocean fishing. In this video, a nineteen-year-old Oceanscape Network volunteer learns all the ins and outs of this recreational activity.