Stacks Image 4
Stacks Image 6
Stacks Image 344
Total Species as of December 23, 2014:

84

What is a fishing big year?

A "big year" is a term adopted from the birdwatching community wherein a birder or a team of birders attempt to observe or hear as many bird species as possible in one year. Similarly, in a fishing big year I will attempt to catch as many game or sport fish/invertebrate species as possible in the states of Oregon and Washington.

Goals of the Cascadia Big Fishing Year

1. Catch or harvest as many species of game fish and invertebrates from Oregon and Washington waters. With a minimum target of 50 species.

2. Create a greater awareness of the diversity of fisheries opportunities in the Pacific Northwest.

3. To provide information to the general public on how and where to target game fish and invertebrate species.

4. To catch as many species as possible from a kayak. I set this goal for two reasons. First, the environmental impacts of fossil fuels on our fisheries, especially salmon, are real. By using a human powered vessel I hope to reduce the carbon impacts of my big year. Secondly, there is a real health crisis in America and I want to encourage an active healthy lifestyle for all fisherman. I have always believed the best way to catch more fish is to live longer.

5. To return home safely from every fishing adventure.
Rules for the Cascadia Big Fishing Year

1. All fish and invertebrates must be caught or harvested in Oregon and Washington waters.

2. All fish and invertebrates must be caught or harvested between January 1 and December 31, 2014.

3. All fish and invertebrates must be caught or harvested in accordance with regulations as determined by the Washington and Oregon Departments of Fish and Wildlife.

4. All fish and invertebrates caught or harvested must be photographed.

5. Fish cannot be caught with the assistance of a paid fishing guide. However, knowledgeable buddies are okay.

Top 10 Most Wanted

I've identified 10 species that are at the top of the target list. These species were chosen either for their iconic status, their rarity, difficulty, or size. I am going to make a concentrated effort to boat or bank at least one of each of these species in 2014.
1. Striped Bass - Restricted seasonally to a few rivers in coastal southern Oregon. This species may prove to be my greatest challenge.

2.
Chinook Salmon (caught 3/27/14) - The King…need I say more.

3.
Pacific Halibut (caught 8/16/14) - A bottom feeding behemoth with legendary white meat. The goal is to boat one of these from a kayak this year.

4.
Lake Trout (caught 5/15/14) - This deep water "Mack-daddy" of a trout may prove difficult from a kayak. I predict cold days ahead.

5.
Albacore Tuna (caught 7/22/14) - One of the few fish that can shred your arms. For speed and power few fish in the Cascadia region compare.
6. Steelhead (caught 2/25/14) - The fish of my dreams. Beautiful, stealthy, acrobatic, and explosive once hooked. An iconic fish if there ever was one.

7.
Tiger Muskie - The fish of 10,000 casts. We'll see about that.

8.
Walleye (caught 7/18/14) - The other white meat. An under appreciated fishery for this toothy predator thrives in the region.

9.
Arctic Grayling - Found only in one lake 11 miles in the backcountry. An adventure awaits.

10.
Geoduck (caught 7/13/14) - What is not to love about a giant phallic shaped clam that resides 6 foot down in disgusting muck?

A BIG THANK YOU TO MY SPONSORS

Stacks Image 346
Stacks Image 348

Want to support my big fishing year?

There are many ways you can support my big fishing year. At a minimum words of encouragement on my blog, Facebook page, or YouTube videos is much appreciated. Advice on where and how to target species is also much appreciated. If you have space on your boat and want some company I am also happy to join you.

I am also looking to borrow a few select items to target fisheries I've not participated in before and cannot justify the expenses in purchasing my own equipment. I will replace any lost, stolen, or broken equipment. If you would be willing to loan the following equipment please contact me (spiltmilt@gmail.com).

  1. Shrimp pots with rope & buoys (1 or 2 for Puget Sound shrimp)
  2. Buoys for setting octopus trap lines
  3. Abalone gauge
  4. Abalone pry bar

Additionally if you would like to sponsor my big year or would like to donate any equipment or tackle that might be helpful please contact me.