I was reading that the crab traps are to have a rot cord on the escape hatch. Is that that a Oregon law or just a good idea? And if that is something that I have to do, how is that done? Is Newport a good spot go to go crabbing for the first time in a boat? Thanks everyone.
I don't believe it's a legal requirement to have a rot cord in Oregon -- Washington and California, I believe it is. I've never crabbed at Yaquina (which seems odd for me). But pretty much any of the coastal bays will have crabs with the lack of rain (although I'm guessing Astoria/Columbia sucks right now with the high water... just a guess).
Tip: Seals and sea lions generally leave poultry (bait) alone. Not always the case with fish bait. If you get poultry ahead of time, if you have a place you can put it outside without critters getting to it, do so. The stinky and nastier the better, in my experience (but less pleasant to handle). Don't drop traps in the channel, but often just to the sides can be a good spot.
Newport is a great place to crab. But right at this time crabbing has not been real hot. You mentioned boat. Are you talking about ocean crab or bay crab? Out west of the jetties and a bit north in 40 feet of water has been a good spot over the years. In the bay off the NOAA docks and just up the bay a bit has traditionally been good. As mentioned seals and sea lions can be pesky especially in the bay.
I'm in the same boat (So to speak) size wise with my 16 footer. But I took up bay crabbing last season and caught a good number of crab for the year. lost a couple of traps to current by not understanding tidal differentials well enough to avoid them so the rot cord, even if not required, is a good Idea.
I did crab Yaquina one trip as an experimental run and although I did fair, it's as far for me to drive there to launch as it is to drive to Coos Bay where I've done better than limits (culled smaller crabs) on most trips.