Upping his game in Oregon - John & Julie Files
“She strode straight over to Mike Carr at YMarina and told him she wanted that red boat! I’m still pinching myself,” laughed John!
If you been following Stabicraft in 2018, it’s likely you’ll be familiar with one of the heroes of this season’s Stabicraft family, the big red Stabicraft 2750 Centercab.
Well, John Files of Oregon recently purchased its sister ship via YMarina in Coos Bay, so we figured it was only polite to touch base with Mr Files to see how life as a Stabicraft owner has been.
We spoke with John during a week of full fishing immersion out of Tillamook Bay, Garibaldi, Oregon. He had plenty to say…
JOHN, WE'RE ARE GONNA GET THE BIGGER BOAT
“I had my 21’ Willie Predator in for service at YMarina with the additional task of installing a fuel flow meter,” offered Mr Files.
“While at the yard, my wife noticed the three five-gallon gas cans I had strapped in the front and asked what I was planning to do.
“I told her it was in case the tuna ever came in closer and the ocean was calm.”
“She strode straight over to Mike Carr at YMarina and told him she wanted that red boat!
“Of all the boats on the lot (and they have a lot of beautiful boats) this was my dream vessel so when Mike came up and asked if I was really interested in buying I looked at Julie and she nodded, yes!
“She told me after that she wanted the safest boat possible, so she could enjoy fishing as much as I do for a long time,” laughed John. “I’m still pinching myself!”
A FISHERMAN'S RIG
Mr Files describes Tillamook Bay as one of the rougher locations to fish from on the Oregon coast so selecting a sturdy, stable platform like the Stabicraft 2750 Centercab was a high priority. It’s generous of John to say so, but we were interested in the fishing, so we pushed him on this point.
His first thoughts were again on the boat and how the 2750 Centercab offered so much versatility for the dedicated angler.
In the last week, John and his wife have caught five halibut plus a couple of fat Spring Chinook salmon. Ordinarily, John would opt to use a smaller vessel for targeting the salmon inside the harbor, but since he picked up the 2750, the 21-footer hasn’t seen the water. If he loves the boat this much, who are we to stop him talking about it?
The walk-around cabin configuration provides unusually generous fishing space in the bow. John describes it as game-changing when approaching fast moving albacore tuna. The opportunity to put a cast in the right place is often fleeting and vessels without this option can be severely compromised.
John even utilizes this bow space when bottom fishing for sea bass and lingcod. On top of these well-known table fish, Mr Files family and crew often target Cabezon and multiple species of rockfish, so he’s gearing up for a new technique called long-leader fishing.
To quote the Oregon Dept. of Fish & Game, “Long-leader fishing is used to target midwater species like yellowtail, canary and widow rockfish while avoiding bottom-dwelling species like yelloweye rockfish.”
While most Oregon fishers will be aware of the technique, it is essential to understand that its use is mandatory outside the 40-fathom regulatory line and has a 10-fish bag limit for select mid-water species. Many charter operators are reporting excellent catches using the technique. Read more at Myodfw.com/articles/recreational-longleader-gear
SO MUCH TO LIKE
Mr Files is full of praise for the Stabicraft’s stability, flat-out speed and soft riding characteristics. He also loves the visibility it offers from almost any point on the vessel. The Stabicraft’s higher floor by design really helps with the skipper’s view of the world; a benefit augmented by the curved glass front windscreen and a generous allocation of windows.
PERSONALIZING A FEW THINGS
While impressed with the many features the Stabicraft 2750 Centercab has built into its DNA, he is working through a few improvements specific to his personal fishing needs.
The first of these is a 20hp trolling motor (additional to the twin 200hp Yamahas) which he’s rigged up with an autopilot to allow direction and speed control while out the back attending the fishing gear.
While this setup is ideal for salmon fishing, John feels the system needs fine tuning as the hydraulic motor controlling the autopilot seems under-gunned for the 20hp auxiliary at higher revs. If larger hydraulic is not option, he will govern the 20hp Yamaha back through the TR-1 throttle linkage, while still having full manual throttle available if needed. Ideally, John likes to access to the trolling motor without the need for an extension handle, as it would be in the way during autopilot mode.
The 2750 Centercab comes with plenty of heavy rod holders ideally configured for tuna fishing, but John has opted to add a few more bolt-on-and-adjust pole holders to suit his salmon requirements. These after-market additions from companies like Canon and Scotty offer extended versatility to a hard-core platform like the Stabicraft.
Finally, John has a crab pot puller set up on the boat, perfect for Oregon’s famous Dungeness crab fishery.
SEASON STILL BUILDING
In John Files opinion the tuna fishing still has some way to go before it peaks.
In his words, “It’s warmer this year, and the water’s already at 60-degrees straight off the coast. It should get even better.
“The halibut fishing seems to be improving, and the salmon run is still to come.
“By August, we’ll be right into Coho and chinook salmon, tuna and halibut – providing the quota’s not already caught – plus all the rockfish and Dungeness crab options. There’s plenty to look forward to in the coming months for Oregon fishermen, that’s for sure.”
A MISSION WITH STABICRAFT
It was warming to hear how enthusiastic John Files is for a visit by the Stabicraft crew. The company has plans to put a film crew on the boat to experience first-hand all this exciting and diverse coast has to offer Pacific North-West boaters.
The tentative expedition is recommended for September when John say’s the weather is at its most settled and the fishings at its peak. We sure look forward to it. Perhaps we’ll catch one of those 40-pound Chinook!
CONTACT YMARINA INC
1307 Newmark Avenue
Coos Bay, Oregon 97420
Ph: 001 541 888 5501
Mob: 001 541 888 6036
LAST WORD - CROSSING THE BAR
Mr Files reminds us that regardless of the capability of the vessel all bars need to be approached with extreme caution. Pay attention to the restrictions in place at any given time, which are usually issued by the length of the vessel.
For example, the day we spoke to John, his local bar was closed to vessels under the length of 26-feet. Technically, he could have departed, but it is important to allow for a deterioration in conditions while at sea, which may prove excessively dangerous on return. Caution is always the best yardstick.
Information on conditions and restrictions is available by request on a vessel’s radio – channels 16 to 22. Alternatively, bar reports for your local area are available on the web at wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/marine/BarObs.php.
Regardless of the bar report, John highly advises making a thorough visual of the situation before attempting a crossing. Conditions change fast with the tide, and a wise boater never departs if the crossing looks challenging.