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Bell Buoy Crabs - A Tasty Seaside Landmark
Seaside - Gearhart

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SEASIDE -- Want fresh seafood on the Oregon Coast?  Look for red neon.

 

That’s the Bell Buoy sign on Hwy. 101, signaling that the catch is in.

 

It’s been a beacon in this resort town since 1946.

 

The current owners -- only the third in 65 years -- are brothers, Terry and Jon Hartill.

 

Terry’s life sounds like the original “World’s Deadliest Catch”:  He fished out of Bristol Bay, Alaska, for 15 years, so knows the rough end of the business.

 

He also spent five years in Russia, teaching fish processing.

 

The Hartills are about to celebrate their 10th anniversary as partners in Bell Buoy of Seaside, and they’re optimistic.

 

“It’s a better-than-average season all over,” Terry says.

 

Dungeness crab?  They sell 2,000 pounds on a Friday night.

 

Spring salmon?  “Better-than-average” from the Columbia River, he says.  “The numbers are better.  There are going to be more ocean salmon this year too.”

 

Oregon shrimp?  It’s a sustainable product for the Oregon Coast, so is popular from spring through fall, Terry emphasizes.

 

 

And smoked salmon?  The most popular of all, for highway customers, who eat the long strips of house-smoked fish like candy.

 

The roadside store sells fresh, smoked and canned seafood, from razor clams to that prize of the Pacific Northwest, sturgeon.

 

Fresh "steamers" were posted on the Hwy. 101 sign yesterday (April 30).

 

Everything is bought straight from the boats and sold fresh or smoked/prepared on site.

 

Bell Buoy has a new website:  www.bellbuoyofseaside.com.  For orders or more info, call toll-free, (800) 529-2722.

 

Photo Credit: Hadi Dadashian

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