As we drift into the 2008 fishing season on the Lower Columbia River, the time is now to make those all important decisions about who you are going to book with for sturgeon, halibut, salmon, bottom fish and tuna.
While most of the charter boats remain the same, a switch in ownership has been made in two of the booking houses.
The Schenk family, long-time fishermen with Sea Breeze Charters, have taken over the ownership and will continue to operate with most of same crew.
David and Esse Wolf are the new owners of Sea Sport Fishing Charters and the charter boat Big Dipper. David and Esse reside in Chinook most of the time but also have a home in Kirkland.
Some charter trip prices have edged up slightly, due to increased fuel and bait costs, but are still the most reasonable on the West Coast.
The Port of Ilwaco will have live bait this year, which will be a big boon to the tuna charters. For those of you who have been fishing salmon out of Westport in the past, think Ilwaco. Westport salmon charter boats have had to spend many hours travel time on the water to reach the same areas that we reach in a fraction of the time.
Captains on all Ilwaco charter boats have Merchant Marine licenses and are under U.S. Coast Guard supervision.
Listed below is the Ilwaco charter lineup for the 2008 season:
Boat Passengers Captain Length
Sea Sport Fishing Charters (1-866-211-6611, 360-665-3573)
Owner: David Wolf (Lodge accommodations are available)
Big Dipper 7-16 Ron Malast 52'
Net Prophet Charters (360-642-2150)
Owner & Operator: Paul Knowles
Net Prophet 6 Paul Knowles 32'
Coho Charters (1-800-339-2646, 360-642-3333)
"The Boss": Terri Smith (Lodge accommodations are available)
Coho King 6-14 Butch Smith 40'
Leigh High 12-18 Kenny Herman 48'
Mar B III 12-18 Scott Munsel 42'
Coho Mooch 6-16 Dwight Wallace 42'
Pacific Salmon Charters (1-800-831-2695, 360-642-3466)
Manager: Sarah Gudgell
Sarah Kay 6-10 Milt Gudgell 36'
Katie Marie 6-15 Rob Gudgell 43'
Sea Venture 6-15 Jon Hanson 40'
Star Dust 6-12 Erik Ervest 40'
Westward 6-12 David Gudgell 40'
Kingfish 6-16 Mike Coe 42'
Northern 6-16 Ed Green 43'
Minaki 6 Tom Mirriman 36'
Sea Breeze Charters (1-800-204-9125, 360-642-2300)
Managers: Pat & Max Gentry
Sea Breeze 6-16 Perry VanOver 42'
Four Sea'sons 6-16 Pat Schenk 50'
Salty Dog 6-16 Loyal Homes 43'
Nauti Lady 6-16 Dan Schenk 43'
Mariner 6 Steve Sohistrom 42'
Sea Quest 6 Tim Harrel 32'
Ankeny Street 6-16 PM Schenk 42'
Comanche 6 Tom Prozizleck 42'
Beacon Charters (360-642-2138)
Managers: Tom & Sandy
Coho Sally 6-12 Mike Cassinelli 42'
Hobo 6-12 Joe Cook 43'