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Kayak Fishing the Oregon Coast, pt 3: Pacific City

January 22nd, 2011 · 4 Comments


Well known for surfing and the charter and commercial Dory boat fleet, Pacific City is a hands down favorite for kayak anglers on the Oregon Coast. With summer swells normally from the north, Cape Kiwanda protects the launch site, making the surf quite manageable. Haystack Rock, just about a half mile from launch, gives you excellent fishing and exquisite scenery. Parking can be had right on the beach where you launch, or you can park in the main parking lot if you have concerns getting on and off the beach.

Pacific City is a very popular spot because it’s well protected, and the fishing area is quite broad. Crabbing is quite decent so long as you keep your gear in the sand. Again on the map the best crabbing areas are highlighted in the khaki colored areas. Prime areas for rockfish and lingcod are in green. Cautionary areas are colored yellow, and prohibited areas are in red.

The immediate area around Cape Kiwanda is a protected. You won’t likely be fishing the area anyways as the terrain is quite hazardous. The protected area is all rocky areas around the cape from extreme low tide mark, to high tide mark. So we’re not talking about a whole lot of water, and generally too shallow to worry much about.

Haystack rock is usually the first area anyone starts fishing. There are rock piles and kelp beds surrounding the rock offering a good amount of cover for the fish we’re targeting. Continuing behind the rock for nearly another half mile is a variety of rock piles and crevasses. Don’t over look this area, as there is more cover here than you can imaging, and could easily spend days exploring each hump with your jig.

Running north, past the buoy, is a great reef that runs northwest from the cape. You will undoubtedly see charter boats fishing this area pretty heavily. I like to start on one side of the reef and let the wind or current drift me back over it, working both sides as I go along. There are more rock piles in towards Tierra del Mar (shaded yellow) that will also prove worthwile of exploring.

I shaded the area along Terra del Mar beach yellow because it can be a fairly heavy surf area. If conditions allow, lure or bait fishing for surf perch can prove bountiful, but that’s a whole different topic. The same applies for the area at the bottom. Heavy conditions can apply here thanks to the Nestucca River. I’d imagine it a good area for salmon fishing when they’re running, but, again, that’s a different topic. Don’t overlook areas that I’ve not shaded either. This is fairly flat ground with plenty of flounder.

You probably notice the area I shaded about three miles off the coast. This can be a long haul for many people, but not an area to overlook for the experienced kayak angler. Many large monsters of the deep live here, and you’ll likely be fishing with the big boys. Because of the depth and currents, you’ll be needing bigger gear, running no less than 8oz on the most ideal day.

Hands down one of my favorite things about Pacific City is back in the parking lot when you day of fishing is complete. Pelican Brewing makes its home right here on the beach where you can stare out at Haystack Rock and relive the day’s fishing adventure while enjoying an excellent pint of cool adult beverage made on site. I don’t think I’ve ever passed it up.

If you missed out on earlier parts of this series, Here is Part 1: The Gear and Part 2: Depoe Bay

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4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rodney // Oct 13, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Good Information. I have lived on the coast for 27 years and worked on a fisher dragger for 4 years. I am really interested in kayak fishing and plan on getting a one soon hobie pro angler 14
    would like to know more and where maps are.

  • 2 The Nothing // Oct 13, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Thanks, Rodney! For maps, NOAA has made all their charts available online http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/PacificCoastViewerTable.shtml. That’s how I put the maps together here. I’m on my way out right now, feel free to shoot me an email at isaac@isaac-online.com for any questions you might have (or just post them here). I fished PC on Thursday and had an epic trip! The PA is a good boat, but it is a boat (not a kayak as per Hobie). There might be a better option for you.

  • 3 B Won // Jul 24, 2013 at 12:01 am

    Just wondering about my Kayak that I just bought can go fishing in the ocean ?
    I just bought my first Kayak which is Field and Stream Eagle Talon 12 sit on top kayak. I want to go bottom fishing so bad. Please let me know.
    thanks ahead

  • 4 The Nothing // Jul 24, 2013 at 7:59 am

    B- If you’ve had enough time to feel comfortable on the kayak and proper immersion and safety gear, then I say go for it. The only real limitation of the Talon is that at 12′ long, it doesn’t suit well for longer distance paddles. Fishing out by Haystack Rock, though, shouldn’t be an issue.

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