Tillamook Bay help

Hooked Up

Active member
I've never fished Tillamook Bay but am thinking of giving it a try. Looking at the charts I've found online it appears to be pretty shallow except at Garibaldi with channels between mud flats the farther in you go. I've got the option of two boats to fish out of, a 20' Hewes and my DB with kicker. Assuming high slack is the best/safest time to fish especially in the bigger boat. My question(s) is where to put in and troll, what tide levels are getting too low for the big boat. I've found found several areas I'm considering, Coast Guard, Ghost Hole, Picket Fence. The last two I'm concerned about running aground and should use the DB? Wanting to try it out in a lower traffic area, if putting DB in at Memaloose if the Ghost hole area a long troll away? I don't have a chart function on my FF in the DB, is that a deal breaker for that boat? Any and all help is appreciated.
 

DrTheopolis

Well-known member
I was there last Saturday, and it was a very low (maybe minus) tide. It was a small boat that doesn't draw much. We put in at Carnahan (end of 5th Street in Tillamook). There's skinny spots at low tide, you just have to be careful and watchful (having a partner to watch out the bow doesn't hurt). The Hewes wouldn't work up in the river, DB would be fine. There were bigger boats that launched at Memaloose -- I think they had to stick to that area (which includes the Picket Fence) until the tide came up a bit (again, very low tide). At low tide, it's a fairly shallow run out to Bay City and the Ghost Hole, but your DB would have no problem. You can troll all the way, but it's a shallow run. From the end of the Fence, I'd reel up and head east to Bay City (you'll see where people arer fishing). From there, you can troll all the way through the Ghost Hole, up to the point. Actually, you can troll all the way up to Garibaldi. Anything lower in the bay than that can get rough, so probably not the best place for the DB, fine for the Hewes. The Hewes can fish along the insides of the jetties if it's not too rough (or outside along the South Jetty, if you've got cajones). It's not a horribly long run from Memaloose to Bay City/GH.

So, if it's not a super-low tide, you can launch the Hewes at Memaloose or Garibaldi (I hate that launch. And the lack of ramps on the bay sucks). The DB you can launch at Carnahan and motor out (say hi to the 200 guys anchored in the Hospital Hole, since the bank is closed -- dropping an anchor there used to get you shot), or launch it at Memaloose, and follow the crowd along Picket Fence. The trolling lanes will be pretty obvious, since it's not exactly a secret fishery.

I'm thinking maybe first time out, use the DB, and get the feel of the layout, then the Hewes once you're comfortable.

Hoping I can get out there this week, myself. Been pretty slow out there.
 

Hooked Up

Active member
Thanks Doc. Were you fishing slack low tide, incoming tide? I think I'm going to take your advice launching the DB 1st. Earliest I can get out is 10/22, low tide of 1.55ft at 9:41am, high tide at 3:11pm. Thinking of putting in a Memaloose around 7:30am and troll the tide out through the ghost hole, does this make sense? Spinners, PGH, Kwiks, super bait? Your favorites, ProTrolls?:) I read to always troll with the tide at Tilly, no back and forth even at slack? Feel free to PM me if you like. Thanks for the help!
 

DrTheopolis

Well-known member
I just drag a spinner. Weight varies a bunch depending on depth and tide -- as little as 2 along Picket Fence, up to about 8/10 at the Ghost Hole. People troll every which way out there, up, down, across. Just keep your eyes forward and don't be a jerk, and nobody cares -- there's plenty of room for everyone.

People are sure jumping all over a ProTroll with a 3.5 spinner these days -- most seem to prefer a yellow/green setup for Tilly, but red/white/brass/whatever has caught plenty of fish.

And you might want to get there early -- sometimes parking can get scarce at Memaloose on weekends. You can hit Carnahan in the DB and head downriver (and no, you can't have my "secret" spot in that area), just watch for snags/deadheads. If you're slow and careful downriver, give yourself an extra 20-30 minutes to motor down to Memaloose (mostly just staying left down the river -- it's fairly self-explanatory where to go). When you get past the point where the Tillamook and Trask come together, watch for it to deepen a bit, then drop your stuff, and game on. Head for the pack, and get in line. The run along the fence is fairly shallow, but a ton of fish move through there. Right before the base of the Fence is a hole where people anchor and throw bobbers.

I usually don't go into great detail about fishing spots on the interwebs, but it's Tillamook Bay, the worst kept fishing secret in Oregon.
 

Hooked Up

Active member
Thank you again Doc! Good advice, maybe I'll see you Sunday. White F350 with OFF sticker in the back window.
 

Casting Call

Active member
H U If ur gonna be that close to the Nestucca give it a try. Lower end upper end (very high up X Three rivers), the bite has heated up this last week. For the fam. P.C. has a lot to offer. Crabbing has also on the up swing. Call the bait shop FMI. Tony
 
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