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Trollers - hook & line fishing

Ocean trolling is a type of hook and line fishing wherein several hooks are pulled slowly behind the boat. Trollers are often smaller boats (20-65 feet in length), and target some of summer’s favorite fish, like Chinook Salmon and Albacore tuna. In recent years there have been about 300 active trollers in Oregon. Since the fish are harvested by hook and line, one at a time, there is low to zero bycatch and habitat impact with these fisheries. Some trollers have powerful blast freezers that can flash freeze whole fish to -30 degrees. Local Ocean buys both fresh and blast Frozen at Sea (FAS) fish. We use mostly fresh in the summer and offer sashimi-grade flash frozen fish all year round.

Troller with tuna gear. Illustration courtesy of the Lincoln County Historical Society.


Below deck ice hold on the Jo El

Season: July to October

Crew Size: 2 to 5

Trip Length: 1 day to 2 months (FAS)

Distance: 10 to 100+ miles offshore

  • Tuna can travel up to 100 miles a day and will migrate over 5,000 miles each season. Traveling the Pacific rim, they can swim in short bursts at speeds up to 50 miles per hour.

  • Fishermen analyze real-time water temperature charts to find warm water edges, called thermoclines, where the fish congregate – sometimes hundreds of miles offshore.

  • During their migration they will be accessible to fishing fleets in at least 22 countries.

  • Oregon’s North Pacific albacore is one over 21 known species of tuna in the sea.

  • Oregon Albacore tuna and a good consumer choice by all seafood sustainability rating bodies.


Lowering the outriggers for salmon trolling on the Jo El

Season: April to October

Crew Size:1 to 2

Trip Length: 3 to 5 days

Distance: 1 to 25 miles offshore

  • All salmon are born in freshwater rivers and migrate to the ocean for most of their lives before returning to their natal river to spawn and die. While in the Pacific Ocean, some may migrate to Alaska or California.

Lead weights are used in salmon trolling to sink the lines to depth
  • A group of salmon that migrates together is called a run and is named by their home river (examples – Columbia, Klamath, Sacramento) and by season. Each population is genetically distinct from other runs.

  • Fisheries managers work to maintain genetic diversity and consider each run separately when setting harvest limits.

  • Usually within a few miles of shore, fishermen target undersea mounts, currents and food sources to determine where the salmon are located.

Want to know more? The Oregon Fisheries: 150 Years of Innovation exhibit is open at Newport’s Maritime Museum

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