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Old 10-16-2013, 11:06 PM   #1
Hookachinook
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Default crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

Anyone willing to give a report on crabbing Baker Bay? Any part better than other? I'm new to the area and don't expect anything too specific. Thanks for anyone willing to provide info.

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Old 10-17-2013, 05:35 AM   #2
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

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Anyone willing to give a report on crabbing Baker Bay? Any part better than other? I'm new to the area and don't expect anything too specific. Thanks for anyone willing to provide info.
Not sure but that may be considered WA water and may not be legal to crab with OR license. I would check first to make sure
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Old 10-17-2013, 05:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

It is actually Oregon water. The state line is between Sand Island and Ilwaco. Columbia River fishing and crabbing opportunities are jointly shared by licensees from both Oregon and Washington.

It shouldn't be hard to spot where to crab (lots of crab buoys). There is plenty of water to choose with depths ranging from 20-30'. It can be really good especially during strong tides. My experience has been that the crabs move into the bay to avoid strong currents. Good luck. Hope to see your successful report.
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Old 10-17-2013, 07:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

As stated above its oregon/washington water.

Don't have a current report, but I usually slaughter em this time of year.
I have too small of a boat for the mainstem. But if you have a larger boat you might consider below the light house as well as baker and go bottom fishing along the jetty.
Had some great trips that way on other boats.

Good luck!
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Old 10-17-2013, 07:51 AM   #5
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

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Originally Posted by fishnbus View Post
It is actually Oregon water. The state line is between Sand Island and Ilwaco. Columbia River fishing and crabbing opportunities are jointly shared by licensees from both Oregon and Washington.

It shouldn't be hard to spot where to crab (lots of crab buoys). There is plenty of water to choose with depths ranging from 20-30'. It can be really good especially during strong tides. My experience has been that the crabs move into the bay to avoid strong currents. Good luck. Hope to see your successful report.
While the Columbia is "shared" by WA/OR and either license works (one limit per day) the real concern here is that of gear restrictions. If you have an Oregon license you may crab on the WA side of the river (what little there is of it on the LCR) but if you do so you must be compliant with WA gear requirements which are far more detailed than those for Oregon.
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

no report, but be advised baker bay at low tide is very shallow, look at river map if you have one if your coming from Chinook its only 2, 3, 5, feet at high tide on the wash entrance, good luck,
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

Thanks to all
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Old 10-21-2013, 11:13 AM   #8
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

went saturday worked 3 rods off the north jetty landed 9 keepers. big crab this year all hard shells.
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:00 PM   #9
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

Visited Astoria Hammond boat ramp Friday and Saturday crabbing was excellent there were 125 boats crabbing on Saturday folks out there with no shirts on. The crab that were 5 3/4 to 6 inch were full when we got into the bigger ocean crab they were not as full. I used Shad along with Razor Clam we had no trouble getting are limits it took the full tide we were gulling near the end. I was quite pleased considering the big tides we had this weekend
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Old 10-21-2013, 07:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

24 crab in 2.5 hours in front of lighthouse by north jetty,wasnt phenomenal,best pull was 6 in 1 pot,lots of people and bait,best crab was pretty close to 7 3/4 used shad for bait,wife sure liked the new davit
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:40 PM   #11
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

I have always done well by the light house or both sides of the jetty that extend out to the green can that is just west of ilwaco entrance. Buoy 22 on the Oregon side is my other favorite.

Better stay close to your pots due to alot of other people like to help check pots for you. Some don't like to put them back which is even worse.
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:47 PM   #12
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

First time crabbing the CR last Sat out of Hammond. Maybe it was using chicken as bait (works in Yaquina Bay), but we started with 6 traps and had many empty pulls, ending about 5 hrs with only 5 keepers! I want to try it again if I have reason to think we'll do better. I was told that I should add weight to the Danielson traps to keep them from getting pushed around, so we zip-tied 10lb barbell weights to the top of them. What a pain! We finally took them off at about noon. We caught 4 of the 5 after that. I wondered if there,was any connection? Any helpful tips will be appreciated.
Bumbling around.
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:59 PM   #13
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

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First time crabbing the CR last Sat out of Hammond. Maybe it was using chicken as bait (works in Yaquina Bay), but we started with 6 traps and had many empty pulls, ending about 5 hrs with only 5 keepers! I want to try it again if I have reason to think we'll do better. I was told that I should add weight to the Danielson traps to keep them from getting pushed around, so we zip-tied 10lb barbell weights to the top of them. What a pain! We finally took them off at about noon. We caught 4 of the 5 after that. I wondered if there,was any connection? Any helpful tips will be appreciated.
Bumbling around.
We have done well with chicken down there. 10lbs is a lot of weight I just put a 2-3' length of chain in bottom around bait container. If the pots are coming up empty I relo them up river or down, shallower or deeper. I prefer 25' of water but if the crabs are in 45'+ then that's where I set most of the pots.
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:56 AM   #14
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

Sunday we got 84 large crab off two soaks using 9 pots. Some pots had tuna heads and the others had shad, both baits performed great. I was using the heavy Protoco pots and Danielsons weighted with 5lbs. Family had a great time as the weather and crabbing was fantastic.

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Originally Posted by davidc3 View Post
First time crabbing the CR last Sat out of Hammond. Maybe it was using chicken as bait (works in Yaquina Bay), but we started with 6 traps and had many empty pulls, ending about 5 hrs with only 5 keepers! I want to try it again if I have reason to think we'll do better. I was told that I should add weight to the Danielson traps to keep them from getting pushed around, so we zip-tied 10lb barbell weights to the top of them. What a pain! We finally took them off at about noon. We caught 4 of the 5 after that. I wondered if there,was any connection? Any helpful tips will be appreciated.
Bumbling around.
Make sure you weigh down the Danielson pots. Without weights they'll just move around and crab won't be able to enter. Chicken should work also.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:48 AM   #15
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

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Originally Posted by davidc3 View Post
First time crabbing the CR last Sat out of Hammond. Maybe it was using chicken as bait (works in Yaquina Bay), but we started with 6 traps and had many empty pulls, ending about 5 hrs with only 5 keepers! I want to try it again if I have reason to think we'll do better. I was told that I should add weight to the Danielson traps to keep them from getting pushed around, so we zip-tied 10lb barbell weights to the top of them. What a pain! We finally took them off at about noon. We caught 4 of the 5 after that. I wondered if there,was any connection? Any helpful tips will be appreciated.
Bumbling around.
put the weight on the bottom of the trap yours with the weight on top may have landed upside down
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:29 PM   #16
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

Any good spot for a smaller boat like mine?
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Old 10-22-2013, 03:14 PM   #17
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

What out for the "Baker Bay Boys" if you do not stay with your pots they will steal them and you can buy them back on the way back out of town. They have been reported to the police but they are still in business
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Old 10-22-2013, 03:56 PM   #18
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

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put the weight on the bottom of the trap yours with the weight on top may have landed upside down
yep, your pots were soaking upside down with the gates open.
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:34 PM   #19
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

I'll be out there in my kayak Thursday and Friday watching my pot carefully and casting for crab. Hopefully putting the hurt on them. Don't run me over! Probably going to stick behind Jetty A.
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:32 PM   #20
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

I have an 17.5 ft alumaweld stryker... If the water is lumpy by the light house/north jetty, how is the crabbing upstream of A jetty? and how far upstream can you expect to get good crabbing... Chinook? Megler? I am used to Netarts but I think I need More options than that. I would like to launch at cape dissappointment.
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Old 10-24-2013, 08:47 PM   #21
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

Thanks for the tips on the weights, etc. I definitely will give it another try. I like the idea of crabbing in the CR because it can be a day trip from Vancouver. Where is Baker Bay and jetty A? Thx!
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Old 10-25-2013, 06:17 PM   #22
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

Look on the map at Ilwaco.

Best area is behind sand island on incoming. Go inside between the two islands and look for the buoys.
Large and full is the report I got recently.
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:57 PM   #23
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

I fished from the kayak behind Jetty A the past couple days and did very well. I was using castable crab traps from the kayak since I didn't like how unstable the kayak was with the pot on top. I felt pretty safe out there in a 9.5' boat until the winds whipped up in the afternoon so someone in a small power boat should be okay.

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Old 10-25-2013, 10:18 PM   #24
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I'll be out there in my kayak Thursday and Friday watching my pot carefully and casting for crab. Hopefully putting the hurt on them. Don't run me over! Probably going to stick behind Jetty A.
So you were kayaking?? well done

So are you launching from cape park? might have to load up the 12.5 and give it go myself
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:42 PM   #25
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

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I fished from the kayak behind Jetty A the past couple days and did very well. I was using castable crab traps from the kayak since I didn't like how unstable the kayak was with the pot on top. I felt pretty safe out there in a 9.5' boat until the winds whipped up in the afternoon so someone in a small power boat should be okay.


Tyler, was that you that waved at me Thursday?
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Old 10-26-2013, 07:49 AM   #26
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

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So you were kayaking?? well done

So are you launching from cape park? might have to load up the 12.5 and give it go myself

Yes I was kayaking. I did launch from the Cape D boat launch. It is about a 1.5-2 mile paddle to the crabbing grounds just east of the tip Jetty A. It is no secret spot and you will find lots of crab pots stacked up there. Move around until you find the big crab. On Thursday they were shallow in 20-25' of water and on Friday they had moved out deeper.

A couple things to consider. Once you moved beyond the protection of Jetty A the swells really picky up but weren't too bad this past couple days. This would not be a fun place to be in a kayak with any significant south wind. A north wind sucks for the paddle back but isn't all that dangerous. Make sure you have a flag on your kayak. Guys don't pay attention when they pulling pots and sorting crab and you can get run over easy. The best comment I got from a boat was, "I thought you were a crab buoy from a distance." Which speaks volumes to how easily a kayak disappears in chop and swells. As always wear a pfd, carry smoke and flares, file a float plan, and kill some crab!
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Old 10-26-2013, 07:51 AM   #27
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

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Tyler, was that you that waved at me Thursday?
Yup that was me. You must have one of the most recognizable boats in the Ilwaco fleet. I could tell it was you from a long way away. Hope you had a good day out on the water.
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:57 AM   #28
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

To those that don't know the area make sure to go all the way out before turning as at low tide there is a sand bar that I have seen boats stuck on, and when the wind does come up all this area gets nasty enough we have had difficulty retrieving pots in a large deep v trophy.
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:00 PM   #29
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To those that don't know the area make sure to go all the way out before turning as at low tide there is a sand bar that I have seen boats stuck on, and when the wind does come up all this area gets nasty enough we have had difficulty retrieving pots in a large deep v trophy.
of course if you are in kayak no worries just watch out for the breakers on the beach just east of the Cape D Coast Guard station.
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Old 10-27-2013, 01:13 PM   #30
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

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Originally Posted by Pipe Dream View Post
While the Columbia is "shared" by WA/OR and either license works (one limit per day) the real concern here is that of gear restrictions. If you have an Oregon license you may crab on the WA side of the river (what little there is of it on the LCR) but if you do so you must be compliant with WA gear requirements which are far more detailed than those for Oregon.
There really isn't much WA water. If you fish Oregon waters you may fish under Oregon rules and land in wa, with a license from either state. That's per page 133 of the way regs.

No reason really to crab the little bit of water WA has....
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:42 PM   #31
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

Please don't set your gear upriver of A Jetty in line with the entrance to Ilwaco they will likely get clipped by larger boats or lines intentionally cut to avoid getting rope wrapped into boat screws. Last week someone did set a string of pots just outside of the entrance in a heavily used boat lane. If you lost a pot or two I can't feel sorry for you. Its like setting your duck decoys in the hammer lane of I-5 the outcome is predicable.
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:25 PM   #32
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

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Please don't set your gear upriver of A Jetty in line with the entrance to Ilwaco they will likely get clipped by larger boats or lines intentionally cut to avoid getting rope wrapped into boat screws. Last week someone did set a string of pots just outside of the entrance in a heavily used boat lane. If you lost a pot or two I can't feel sorry for you. Its like setting your duck decoys in the hammer lane of I-5 the outcome is predicable.
Coast guard will remove/relocate the pots if they are dropped in the entrance ways.
Weight on ropes is a necessity also never seen so many pots on top of each other as I did in nehalem over the weekend then some guys have what looks like 100' floating rope in 20' water. With the wind blowing sideways the ropes were a hazard floating on top of the water, top it off pots were thick.
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:53 AM   #33
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

I just recently learned who set a line of pots going out of Ilwaco and understand they were removed and a ticket issued. I can't confirm this only that I heard it from a source that talked to the individual who was complaining someone had stole his gear except for one pot. He's one of those guys that think rules don't apply to him as he is local.
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Old 06-01-2014, 10:30 PM   #34
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Default Re: crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

A lot of talking about crabbing out of a boat. Are there any piers that you can drop a hoop from and is there any chance of getting anything this way? We are going to be staying at the KOA near Baker Bay later this month and would love to get a couple crab to cook up for dinner one night.

Also any recommendations for fishing in the area? Any luck catching any sturgeon or salmon in from the shore in the area?
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Old 06-02-2014, 05:57 AM   #35
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Default crabbing the Columbia-Baker Bay

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There really isn't much WA water. If you fish Oregon waters you may fish under Oregon rules and land in wa, with a license from either state. That's per page 133 of the way regs.



No reason really to crab the little bit of water WA has....

All of Washington in Marine Area 1 uses the same rules as Oregon. No need to worry about what state you're in because it is the same as the fishing regs for salmon/sturgeon.


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