41-footer expands Brookings charter fleet
A beautiful 41-foot fiberglass charter boat that has been an active part of the fishing scene at the mouth of the Columbia River has been added to the Brookings Fishing Charters fleet. Last week, the Nauti-Lady made the 300-mile voyage from Ilwaco, Wash., to Brookings, where she joins the Miss Brooke, Papa B, The Dash and Bout Time, the charter boats working out of the Brookings Fishing Charters office.
The Nauti-Lady was operated by the Schenk family, owner of Sea Breeze Charters in Ilwaco. The boat was part of the famed “Charter Row” in Ilwaco, a busy sportfishing charter boat town at the mouth of the Columbia River. Four generations of the Schenks operated charter boats in Ilwaco, but with the recent retirement of one of the owners and skippers, the family had more charter boats than captains. This summer, the family agreed to sell the Nauti-Lady to Brookings Fishing Charters.
In Ilwaco, the Nauti-Lady was a prolific member of the charter fleet, running salmon, halibut, albacore tuna and bottom fishing charters in the ocean, and sturgeon and salmon trips in the lower Columbia River. Most recently, the boat was a workhorse, making frequent trips to Tillamook Head for rockfish and lingcod.
Last week, the Nauti-Lady was delivered from Ilwaco to Newport, where Capt. Andy took possession and then made the 200-mile voyage to Brookings, with an overnight stay in Charleston/Coos Bay. Capt. Dan and his sons and few friends made the initial run, giving them a final trip aboard a boat that had been in their family for decades. A brief weather window allowed for the trip after stormy seas and high winds in the weeks leading up to the trip south. Just before the trip south, the boat was hauled out so the bottom could be painted and the Coast Guard could perform its annual inspection.
As part of the Brookings Fishing Charters fleet, the Nauti-Lady will primarily run half-day bottom fishing trips, but also will be used for Pacific halibut, tuna, salmon and lighthouse trips. With a U.S. Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection (COI) for 28 people, the Nauti-Lady has one of the largest capacities on the Southern Oregon coast. Most days, however, smaller groups, less than 14, will fish during the half-day charters.
The Nauti-Lady is equipped with the latest in marine electronics and safety equipment. She has more than 30 life jackets, two 15-person life rafts, an EPIRB (emergency radio beacon), five marine radios, Simard radar, Garmin chartplotters and sonars, and Lowrance chartplotters. The boat also has inside and deck seating, two marine toilets and enclosed restrooms, a freshwater sink, and full-perimeter fishing with 20 rod holders spaced around the charter boat.
Capt. Andy is no stranger to the larger inspected party boats. He spent 10 years running charters in Alaska, including the larger party boats in Seward, where he operated salmon, halibut and bottom fishing charters. Hundreds of trips in the Gulf of Alaska gave Andy experience running in rough water and operating charter boats in almost every condition and scenario possible. Fortunately, Brookings has some of the calmest ocean conditions on the Oregon Coast.
The Nauti-Lady will compliment the Brookings charter fleet. There were plenty of days this past summer when the six-packs of Brookings Fishing Charters were booked and there wasn’t enough room for anglers wanting to fish. There also were numerous days when most of the seats booked were for half-day bottom fishing trips, and boats weren’t available for salmon, halibut or lighthouse trips.
The Nauti-Lady features the same light tackle that makes the Brookings Fishing Charters fleet a favorite, and provides a larger fishing platform during those days with bigger swells or chop.
Trips aboard the Nauti-Lady will soon be available.