Ilwaco Landing Fishermen
Partners Mike Shirley and Scott Kastengren met as neighbors in the mid 90’s after relocating to Oregon from other parts of the Country, Mike from Southern California and Scott by way of Ohio. As their friendship developed they realized they shared a common passion for sport fishing and at that moment in time the seed was planted for what is today, Ilwaco Landing Fishermen.
Eventually Mike and Scott partnered up and started a successful Construction Company in Portland Oregon. As the Company grew so did the flexibility of their schedules allowing them to get back to their real passion of fishing. The before work, early morning Spring Chinook trips on the Columbia quickly became weekend trips to Newport and that is where the addiction to Salt Water Fishing set in. Like any addiction it gained momentum until meeting resistance, for Mike and Scott that came in the form of their lovely wives. They will all tell you it was not the time away from home that was the issue; it was the escalating financial cost.
Since minimizing their fishing efforts was never an option the only thing that could be done is to start selling the fish they caught. Starting with a 26′ sport boat they obtained commercial Salmon and Albacore permits and began selling their catch at the dock. Limited by boat size it was obvious they could not compete on the large volume markets so they needed to capitalize on what they were already doing for their family and friends, providing the highest quality, local, fresh and sustainable seafood possible.
Mike and Scott’s commercial fishing adventure continued to grow with the purchase of a larger boat, more gear and additional permits. Everything was working out as planned, the wives were happy and the fishing was good. That is until a hired Skipper missed the bar entrance coming into Newport and destroyed the boat. In true Mike and Scott fashion this did nothing but help catapult their commercial fishing interests to the next level. Scott purchased a 60′ steel boat, F/V Sunset Charge and got right back to what he does best, catching fish. Mike on the other hand opened a small neighborhood fish market in Portland that specializes in fresh, local, wild seafood that he sources straight from the boat by utilizing his existing fleet relationships.
Although following slightly different paths Mike and Scott shared common frustrations that seemed to always lead back to the offloading facilities. Scott struggled to make sense of how an industry that revolves around the Fishermen could treat the Fishermen themselves so poorly, offering only low prices for their catch and little to no support. Mike’s frustrations came from the lack of quality in the products offered to him, especially when he knew a superior product was sitting in a boat in the bay waiting to offload, only to be co-mingled with fish of inferior quality before being offered for purchase.
Something had to be done… The Fishermen were not being compensated properly for their efforts and the consumers were losing access to top shelf seafood. Recognizing that the Ocean is full of the fresh fish and there are still brave men and women willing to go fish for them, Mike and Scott knew they must find a way to control the offloading in order to truly connect the pole and the plate. When Mike and Scott got word that the Ilwaco Landing was for sale they diligently worked every angle to make purchasing it a reality.
In May of 2015 Mike and Scott took ownership of the Ilwaco Landing and operate it under the basic principal that quality starts with the Fishermen so must everything else. They solidified their commitment by adding “Fishermen” to the name and now are doing business proudly as Ilwaco Landing Fishermen.
Meet the Team
ILF Partner / Operating General Manager
Direct (360) 244-2175
Office (360) 642-3608
ILF Partner / Owner-Captain F/V Sunset Charge
Direct (503) 330-3846
Office (360) 642-3608