Meet the Merchant 
Clark Von Essen, Long Beach Adventures

“My life it is about getting people on fish and seeing them get fired up about my passion — Fishing,” said Clark Von Essen, owner of Long Beach Adventures, a surf fishing and clamming guide service.

“The thing I love most about fishing is the experience of being on the water. Even after 35 years of living my passion, the next time on the water is just exciting as the first time I became passionate about fishing. Nothing is better than spending time on the water chasing your objective. And finally succeeding. Patience is a virtue, fishing teaches one this.”

“My fondest memory of fishing was taking my kids fishing and seeings them get excited about my passion. To this day they have a passion for the water. My primary job is as a deck boss on a tuna charter here based on the peninsula beach in Southwest Washington. We have been taking people fishing for 12 years down south. Now in my life it is about getting people on fish and seeing them get fired up about my passion — Fishing.”

“The most bizarre thing while fishing I can recall is hooking a mermaid. Unfortunately, she broke the line. So the hunt is on to prove mermaids. The Loch Ness Monster and the Kraken are still out there. More to come.”

“The biggest fish I have ever caught in salt water was a 350-plus pound mako shark off Mexico. In freshwater, my biggest was a 15-foot sturgeon weighing over 400 pounds caught in the Willamette River in Oregon city. The biggest on the Long beach Peninsula was a 4-pound surf perch, 15-pound skate and 20-pound lingcod off the jetty.”

“The most common mistake clamming is not looking or understanding what to look for, also spooking the clams. With surf perch, people make the mistake of fishing the wrong area and tides.”

“The way to improve success in fishing for surf perch is to research the area, talk to locals, and do reconnaissance of the area you plan to fish — or hire a guide to show you. With razor clamming, again talk to locals, do research, and clam with people that understand the area and clamming, and if visiting hire a guide to show you how to do it. It’s a small investment to have a future of success in endeavors on the water.”

“Understanding the area you are fishing or clamming is the key to success, local knowledge is key. Talk to people that fish an area. Some locals are territorial and won’t give advice, so hire a guide or spend the time to figure the area out. We all have to learn new areas, but the basics works most areas.”

“Razor clams are simple to clean. Most people pay to have it done as they don’t understand what to do and waste parts of the clam. YouTube has videos that show you how, if you decide to do it yourself.”

“I fillet the surf perch and cook them as I would any other fish, with garlic, lime, cilantro, and butter. For razor clams, I bread them with bread crumbs and spice of choice, then cook them in a pan with olive oil. But do not overcook them. Chowder made with razor clams is amazing!”

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