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OR Rockfish Classic with Jeff Anderson
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OR Rockfish Classic with Jeff Anderson

OR Rockfish Classic with Jeff Anderson

Ron and I made it to the launch shortly after 5am.  Ron sounded the horn as we approached the Depoe Bay Harbor channel and with that, the ORC was ON!!

We slipped out through the hole with two other kayak fishermen, Isaac and Brian, to a beautifully calm ocean that turned sloppy fairly quick. On my way out I stopped at a couple of points between the harbor entrance and the red buoy that had given me fish in previous trips, but no takers were found. 
 

Ron Sauber Hobie Kayak Fishing

I was poking around somewhere south of the red buoy around 6am and hooked into something that easily felt over ten pounds.  It played around with me for about 20 seconds and threw the hook.  Loosing a big fish is tough to swallow, but on a tournament day, it's really tough.   I worked the spot I lost that fish for another half-hour or so then got anxious and headed out and south. 

I hunted around with Anthony, another kayak fishing buddy nearby.  The next few hours were pretty boring.  I found a few small lingcod, a 5-ish pound cabby that went back and a few small, weird looking sculpins.  By late morning the rain was pretty constant and so was the wind.  The Hobie mirage drive worked wonders as it always does, which allowed me to hold my position over the spots the fish were biting.

I started heading back north and met back up with Ron who had come out from the bay.  We found a nice reef and the bite was on!  I picked up a couple smaller fish and he picked up a nice lingcod pretty quickly. After working that reef a little while longer, I picked up my personal best cabezon!  It ended up at 26 inches and I felt pretty good now that I had a fish that would possibly be heavy enough to make the top ten.  

Shortly after that, Ron hooked into something big.  I pulled out my camcorder and started shooting, hoping to get some good footage of him fighting the fish even though the rain and wind would likely not allow it.  It ended up being a big lingcod about 3 ft in length, a fish which would probably land him in the top three.  The bite died down somewhere between noon and 1pm but I picked up a keeper-sized lingcod and a few more smaller cabezon.   Ron's fish ended up giving him second place and a brand new Werner Paddle.  First place was a freakishly large cabezon that weighed in at over 19 lbs. caught by a Next Adventure customer.  No one participating in the tournament had ever seen one that big.  Even the ODFW fish checker said she had never seen one that big.  My cabezon ended up weighing 11 lbs. 3 oz. which put me in 6th place.  

I was amazed by how many very large fish were caught in this tournament.   Afterwards we all met back at Chinook Bend Resort for a fish fry/potluck dinner and awards ceremony.  

Next Adventure was incredibly generous and donated several of the prizes for the top ten placeholders, so big thanks to the Paddle Sports Center!  Can't wait until next year!

Tight Lines! Jeff Anderson

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