This past September the Cellar Ridge crew had their company team build. It was a fishing trip. Last year the Coho season was roaring and the team filled their quota (2 per person) by 10AM. This year we were determined to beat that. Getting closer to the date of the trip, we learned the season had been slow but what folks were catching were good-sized Chinook. This idea excited us. We understood that this year we’d have to work for our victory – work as a team.
We left the shop premises at 5AM and headed to Depoe Bay. We were tired but didn’t care; we would be coming home with more fresh Salmon than we’d know what to do with! We decided to do some crabbing as well because what could be better than fresh Salmon and Dungeness Crabs? At 4AM the weather prediction was for a dreary, rainy day at Depoe Bay. It was pouring when we left but by the time we got to the coast the skies were clearing up and the sun starting to peak out right on queue.
We loaded up the boat and left the Bay at 7AM, heading out to sea (or, I guess, the ocean technically). We saw some friendly seals on the shores and even caught a glimpse of the blow of a whale. We dropped 6 crab pots on the way out and were anticipating the magnitude of the low-effort haul upon our return, after our triumphant day of reeling in the Salmon. We came prepared with tasty snacks and refreshing drinks and were in good spirits.
Our first put-in was a bust. There was no activity, not even a strike. We trolled a bit but still nothing…On to the next site. We moved around a bit and it wasn’t until our 3rd put-in, and hour and a half in, that we had a bite immediately followed by another. Things seemed active for sure. Reeling in 2 at once was exhilarating for the team. We were on a roll…until both got away. I’m pretty sure the big Chinook we had right at the net laughed at us as he jetted away. How rude.
We sat and waited and trolled some more. A couple strikes later we had our 3rd bite, at 9AM. We got this. Or not. Another lost dinner, another happy Salmon. They’re more clever this year perhaps? We moved around a bit but still nothing. Maybe the next spot would prove a winner. By this time there wasn’t too much activity and our stomachs were starting to churn from the not-so-sweet smell of Diesel in the air. Snacks and drinks didn’t exactly sound appealing to anyone. Finally, several strikes later, the team decided to head in. It was only 10:30AM but we were done.
We had one last stop before we could hit land – Our crab pots! First pot looked promising. Then the second, and the third. All but one was a huge successes, yielding a whopping 34 keepers, which was a great haul overall. Dungeness on the menu tonight for sure! Now we can get back to land.
As we waited for our crabs to be cleaned and cooked, out came the beer and snacks. We bonded over the experience of not getting our way and catching hoards of fish; that and bowling with Oreos and taunting Seagulls. We had fun, got a little silly, and came together as a team. Then for lunch, it was off to the Sea Hag to celebrate the day some more. Clam Chowder, Fish and Chips and, most importantly, the spiciest Bloody Marys I’ve ever had. We were happy to be on land and to be together, not thinking about work.
It was a long, fun, adventure-filled day, but maybe next year we’ll just hit the river and fish from the dry, solid shore. That or Skydiving. We’ll see what 2016 brings.