- Easy Access to Clamming Beds With Large Population of Purple Varnish Clams.
- Popular Spot by Mo’s in Taft to Shore Crab and Fish on a Nice Sandy Beach.
- Three Additional Boat Ramps up Siletz River With Salmon, Sturgeon and Perch.
- One of Oregon’s Better Known Places For Chinook Salmon.
- Mussels on Lincoln City Beaches, Agate Hunting, Birding, Kayaking, Wildlife.
- Located South End of Lincoln City, Great place for Adults, Family and Kids!
Siletz Bay Map
Siletz Bay and the historic Taft District has been a popular spot for years. Just check out Snug Harbor in Taft, one of the Oregon Coasts oldest bars (open 1930 two years after they paved Hwy 101). I know this bay and area very well because I live just down the street from Siletz Bay in Taft (I see the bay from my window every day). I clam, crab and fish here year round. So the information below is from my recent experiences.
Clamming Siletz Bay
This bays clam beds are about as easy to access as you get on the Oregon Coast. Just past the Taft bridge on Hwy 101, about half way before you get to the Bay House Restaurant. You can’t miss the ODFW clamming sign so you will know your in the right spot. Just look for the easiest path onto the beds.
Purple Varnish Clams
Most people go for Purple Varnish Clams here. They are super easy to harvest. You don’t need a very low tide (even a + 0.4 works). They are less then 8″ deep, and easy to dig with a shovel of any kind. Best part for new clammers is even if you get confused by the larger Ghost and Blue Shrimp holes (which are larger then Purple Varnish Clam holes) it doesn’t matter. In other words, because there are so many clams here you almost can dig anywhere and find them. Look for a number of really small holes. If you do get one clam, keep spreading out your dig to find more. I see people all the time not look close enough in the sand they dig up; so, make sure you look close to find the little prizes. You can keep 72, which makes it a blast for kids
Don’t try to eat these like steamer clams. I’ve let them purge up to five days in salt water with oxygen pumped in. They still don’t purge well. Clean them by cutting them open and saving the good meat. I like them in Clams Casino and White Wine Spaghetti Sauce the best (easily find the Spaghetti Factories recipe online). They are great in any chowder or any clam sauce you want to make; in any case, even though their size looks great for steamers, they are hard to purge (if you know of a way to do that, please contact me here by my email).
To sum up, this is a great spot for beginners; so, next time your going in Lincoln City give this a try.
Many people ask me about Razor Clamming here. There are none in the bay and I’ve heard stories about the other side of Salishan Spit but I don’t believe them. I go to either Agate Beach or South Beach, you can find more information in the Yaquina Bay, City of Newport section of this site.
Crabbing The Siletz
Boat crabbing here can be fair but I go to Yaquina Bay where it is better. In comparison, it takes about the same time to start crabbing from my house in Taft (depending on the time of year it is and what boat ramps are open). Consequently, it can be a long ride to get to the crabbing holes on Siletz Bay. Find more information on crabbing Yaquina Bay here!
Shore Crabbing is what I do whenever I get hungry for Dungeness Crab. It’s easy to do and just down the street from my house past Mo’s Restaurant. There is a nice little beach and although crabbing is pretty easy here, if you want to get consistent results, here are a few tips.
Shore Crabbing by Mo’s Restaurant in Taft.
- The amount of water coming in and out of the bay is important (3 ft exchange compared to 9 ft exchange), crabs don’t like being pushed around.
- Heavy rains push both the salt and crabs back out to sea.
- The spot you pick on the shore must get your trap out far enough to fall over the underwater ravine to reach where the crabs are.
- Crabbing all day is fine but here there is a 30 minute window of high activity just before slack tide. Sometimes, I’ll pull five carbs in this short window. Know your tide times!
- 2 hours before any slack tide is more important here then high or low slack tide. To crowded on the beach to get a good spot at 12 noon, go at 6 am when no one is there and get that perfect spot.
- Above all, use good bait! I save my broken razor clams and guts, freeze them in a women’s nylon stocking, tie the sock in my Crab Max (crabs love razor clams). Next to that I use chicken legs, fresh is best.
- I like my crab max because of the size, but any type of shore crab trap or snare will work fine.
Shore Fishing by Mo’s Restaurant at the Mouth of Siletz Bay
One old timer once told me, “Back in the 50’s you could walk across the salmon to the other side of the bay entrance.” Today a number of things have changed. First, the depth of the bay; secondly, seals eat as many salmon as we produce in all hatcheries combined every year (as stated in the Oregonian); and third, with the depth change currents have become more powerful. Consequently, the fish move quick through this area. However, there generally is a lot of room to cast out to the salmon here and I do see a few people catch salmon every year.
Information provided is a result of personal experience at each bay or beach location. In addition, local residences providing input and advice, and ongoing information from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife websites. Information will change as incoming seas tend to shift and move sand. After that it makes it harder for clams to reproduce. So always check for current beach closures and advisories related to biotoxins, pollution or other human health concerns the same day you plan to harvest. Razorclamming.com is not responsible for the accuracy of this data and the outcome or results of your personal efforts, or safe consumption of shellfish.
Shellfish Safety Hotline
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Salem, OR 97301
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