With a grandfather in the Navy and a scuba diving father who took on epic sailing ventures, it’s an understatement to say that Sam Shragge grew up in a nautical family. But it wasn’t until an undergraduate degree in business, a master’s degree in international logistics and marine transportation, a series of maritime jobs and the death of his mother that he made his way to fishing and the F/V Cordelia.

“My mother had just retired after working her entire life and preparing for retirement, only to have that taken away from her,” said Shragge. “It was a big wake-up call for me to find something fulfilling to do with my life, something I would enjoy every day.”

After a handful of bad starts to a fishing career in southern Oregon in less than ideal fishing operations, Shragge, a lifelong entrepreneur, decided to run his own boat. He searched for a good deal on a salmon troller and other large boats, but was turned off by cost, repair and maintenance fees of older boats. He wasn’t looking to strike it rich fishing, but he wanted to make a living on his own.

Instead of investing in a large fishing operation with a boat older than himself, Shragge decided to opt for speed with a 30-foot Seahawk series aluminum boat from North River Boats in Roseburg, Ore.

“It’s 35 miles from Florence to the Heceta Banks — it’s rich fishing grounds and I can get out there in two hours, where it would take a troller over a day to get out there,” he said.

With a small cast of rotating fishermen, Shragge jigs for bottomfish (and recently started experimenting with a dingle bar) and has a setup for salmon trolling. After a day-trip, the fish are processed back at Shragge’s property, where he’s set up a 40-foot container as a seafood processing facility. Those fish wind up at local farmer’s markets. 

Boat Specifications

HOME PORT: Florence, Ore. OWNER: Samuel A. Shragge Builder: North River Boats YEAR BUILT: 2020 FISHERIES: King salmon, Pacific halibut, lingcod, rockfish, albacore tuna HULL MATERIAL: Aluminum LENGTH: 30' 4" BEAM: 8' 6" DRAFT: 2 feet TONNAGE: 5 tons gross CREW CAPACITY: 3 MAIN PROPULSION: Twin 200-hp outboards SPEED: 20-23 knots FUEL CONSUMPTION: 10-12 gallons per hour  FUEL CAPACITY: 120 gallons  FRESHWATER CAPACITY: 5 gallons  HOLD CAPACITY: 1,000 pounds fish ELECTRONICS: Raymarine radar and GPS; two Airmar 1-kw through-hull transducers; Raymarine EV-200 autopilot; IC-M59 VHF marine radio


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Samuel Hill is the former associate editor for National Fisherman. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine where he got his start in journalism at the campus’ newspaper, the Free Press. He has also written for the Bangor Daily News, the Outline, Motherboard and other publications about technology and culture.

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