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ifish sponser fishing report
Did anyone see us [ TBC ] in the thursday
Hillsboro Argus newspaper?

Under the sports section?

» More From The Hillsboro Argus

Sports Headlines

Bait shop casts its line into cyberspace


By Luke Zehner

The Argus

It looks like you can get more than just cheese in Tillamook these days.

On the outskirts of town, just a quarter mile off Highway 101, the Tillamook Bait Company has been supplying fisherman since 1989.

Marie and Dennis Will run the business, selling everything from bait to baseball caps.

Anglers trying their luck on the northern Oregon coast or on the surrounding rivers, come to Marie and Dennis to stock up on fresh bait so the next big one won't get away.

Thanks to the internet, the sought-after bait is available throughout the country. Now when a fisherman in Idaho needs cured sand shrimp for his next fishing excursion, he need look no further than www.Tillamookbait.com.

"The internet has been a great-big stepping stone," Marie said. "Our sales are about fifty-fifty wholesale and retail, all depending on the time of year."

As Marie talks about her 14-year-old company, you can detect a real sense of pride. "We look small, but we think big."

Indeed, the store is small and stripped down. The inside is decorate with dozens of pictures showing happy fisherman clutching gigantic fish, all obviously happy with the bait they purchased.

What "Captain" Dennis says separates the Tillamook Bait Company from the competition is the freshness of their bait.

They harvest their own shrimp and salmon eggs and have the freshest herring around. There list of products includes cured sand and mud shrimp, night crawlers, sardines and squid. Marie and Will can also cater to almost any special bait request.

Since the Wills run the shop on their own, and live their as well, they have to step out from time to time. In their absents business keeps rolling thanks to a live-bait vending machine that sits in front of the store. The vending machine looks like your average pop dispenser but instead of Pepsi, it stores fresh bait. Its the only one of its kind in Oregon and accepts single dollar bills and quarters.

Along with live bait, the machine sells Marie's Scents. Marie's Scents are the Tillamook Bait Company's trade mark product. There are 20 varieties , ranging from shrimp and salmon to garlic and smelt. Inside the store you can even buy a syringe-like device to inject the product into herring, otherwise you just add a dab to your bait to add more aroma.

The scents used for bait are oil base but a new product, Marie's New Sticky Scents, can be applied to tackle and spinners.

Other than selling bait, the store is a hub of information.

"Being that we are right here in this area, located between the Wilson, the Trask and the Kiltchese and the bay, we get all our customers coming in here, day to day, telling us what's going on," Marie said.

According to Captain Dennis everything depends on the weather and they always have their eye on the conditions.

Things have been busy for Marie and Dennis as of late. The fall Chinook season just picked up again with the recent rains and steelhead are just around the corner.

No matter what the season or conditions, Marie and Dennis will tell you where to go and sell you what you need when you get there.

Fishing report


The Tillamook Bait Company reported that over a half-an-inch of rain fell on Monday night, raising area rivers nearly a foot in some place. This had area fisherman taking full advantage of Veteran's Day or calling in sick later in the week. The Chinook fishing should stay hot throughout the weekend for those who played by the rules.

From Our Advertiser
Here are some good spots according to "Captain" Dennis from the Tillamook Bait Company.

1. Three Rivers Area -- Fish have a moved up the Nestucca. Try the boat ramp just past the church in the small town of Hebo.

2. The Trask River -- Should be good from the tide water to the hatchery, check out the Hospital Hole if you don't mind paying the $5 entry fee.

3. The Wilson River -- Really hot this weekend from tide water to the Mills Bridge.

4. The Kilchis River -- Try the lower two miles.

5. The Miami River -- Good from the lower tide water to the 101 bridge, could be good for chum as well. Ends 11/15/03

Let me know if you did okay?

Thanks a million!


[ 11-15-2003, 05:26 PM: Message edited by: Captain and Marie ]
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