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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I wanted to say hello. Thanks for the forums and everyone's contributions.

It seems everyone wants a fish story. My best day of fishing was on my trip to Juneau this year. Fishing in 150ft of water out past Elfin Cove I caught this guy (hope the link works :smile: ).



Then could not get my bait down because of the ling cod. Some were over 4 feet long. They were striking smaller fish on the way up. Wore me out for sure.

I used to fish all the time after I moved up here in '82, but stopped about ten years ago. I had a drift boat but I just used it less and less. It seemed easier to bank fish. Oh yeah, and work got in the way. Oh yeah, we built that house....

Anyway, I'm thinking of buying a boat for the Columbia or Willamette if I can find a fun fishery with a little elbow room. I've been lurking the forums for the last week or so. You guys seem pretty helpful and constructive.

To start out, I'll probably be trying to take the boat out alone. I will need to learn to launch and take the boat out by myself. I'll also find some classes to take.

First, is this practical? Did any of you guys take your boat out alone when you got your first boat and were learning how to use it.? I don't want to take others out until I get more practice with the boat. And I don't want to be in the way while I'm learning.

I don't think I'll tear anything up. I'll just be slow at everything.

I thought winter might be a good time to get used to launching and trailering the boat and getting my feet wet :smile: .

Any suggestions?

Thanks again
 

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Welcome aboard, TopWater! :cheers:

As for learning to boat by the school of hard knocks, I did it a couple of years ago, but it sure would have helped to have someone teach me. I don't know what you plan to buy, but even a small boat takes some skill and practice to handle safely. There are a ton of people on ifish with boating experience but who are currently boatless, and who would be happy to go with you in exchange for a chance to fish the Willamette or Columbia (Just post an "open seat" topic specifying that you want someone experienced, and then interview them over the phone or by email to make sure they know what they're doing before going out. Maybe a private message to FM2? He's always ready to fish!).

As I said, I bought my first boat a couple of years ago and learned mostly by trial and error. So if you decide to do the same, here are a few things that can help:

Make sure that you have the proper equipment before you go. I started out with too small of an anchor and too little rope, and I learned quickly that I needed to spend a few bucks. Look at prior posts on anchoring, look for anchoring information on safety websites (boatus.com?), and talk to a local boat shop like Fisherman's Marine to see what you need for the depth, current, and weight of your boat. My main setup is a big 30# rocker anchor with 6' chain and 300' of rope, and I still get drug around sometimes when the current is strong in the Columbia. Also, make sure you understand how to pull the anchor (bouy & ez puller; tie off to a front cleat; drive upstream slowly while making sure not to let the anchor rope get under your boat!).

Also, I would pick one section of river to learn (less than 5 miles), and ask the locals at the boat ramp about obstacles. The water is still pretty low, and it is amazing how many pilings are just below the surface in the Multnomah Channel, for instance, or how many rock outcroppings there are between Willamette Park and Elk Rock. In the big rivers, there are many places that offer good salmon fishing and sturgeon fishing within a stones throw of each other.

Fishing by yourself poses some interesting challenges. For instance, the first time I had to net a salmon by myself while controlling the boat motor took me about 10 stabs! Also, while pulling up the anchor, you still need to watch where your boat is drifting. Heck, the most fun part is getting it off the trailer (I use a long bow line and hip waders. I have tried everything from driving it off to releasing the winch on the ramp and tying a long bow line to the trailer, then backing up until it floats off, but I feel in better control if I'm standing in the water).

Well, good luck. And welcome to Ifish :grin:
 

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nice fish beautiful scenery.When I got my new boat I wanted to go it alone also. But I got help and advice from my friends with boats. There is no substitute for experience. It was and still is the best thing I ever did.Except buying my North River. Welcome to I-Fish SK50
 

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Welcome and good luck :grin: I also taught myself to boat on the columbia with no experience and before I had ifish as a resource I would not recomend it unless you just want to spend extra money on repair costs :hoboy:

there are plenty of us looking for an excuse to go fishing and answer questions
 

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Thanks for the cool pics. Takes me there!
Now, off to fish! :smile:

Welcome!
Jen
 

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Welcome to the friendly waters of ifish. :cheers:
As for going at it alone. I say why not. But it is more fun when you have friends around. Don't worry about how others think. The main thing is to learn things the SAFE and right way to do them. I have found that it is easier to learn from someone who knows what they are doing. When you are out look at what others do. After a short time it becomes obvious to see what is good and what is bad. As you will read about on this board from time to time, even the most experinced people run in to trouble every now and then. The importan thing is to learn from that and then laugh about it later. Hope to see you on the river. Tight Lines

Cartman
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the responses. I will keep coming back to this link as I move forward.

I have a feelin' this is going to provide a few stories all by itself.

[ 10-19-2003, 08:10 AM: Message edited by: TopWater ]
 
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