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Thread: Responsible sockeye fishing

  1. #1
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Default Responsible sockeye fishing

    Glad to see the tremendous interest in trying circles for flossin' reds this year as a means to reduce the incidence of foul-hooking fish.

    As virtually all of the in-river effort targeting salmon shifts almost exclusively to targeting sockeye, another area where we as anglers can make a HUGE difference is in our choice of fishing spots. Flipping for sockeye is exclusively a bank-based affair involving shallow wading. As the masses take to the banks, their/our collective ability to trample the banks and nearshore vegetation with thousands upon thousands of boots cannot be understated. Think buffalo stampede and you've got a pretty good idea.

    Remember that most of the juvenile rearing habitat for coho and chinook resides within 6-8 ft of vegetated banks, areas that provide shade and cover for young salmon. PLEASE respect the posted "NO BANK FISHING" zones that were specifically chosen to protect nearshore vegetation from trample impact. This includes those of you wading from an anchored boat... an option which is totally legal if one actually remains 10 ft or more from the bank. The problem is most folks exercising this option DON'T stay at least 10 ft from the shore once they have a fish on. The instinctive tendency is to back up with a hooked red to facilitate landing that fish in the shallows.... right up onto the vegetation that needs protection!

    Choose your fishing areas accordingly... armored banks and bottoms lined with cobble and gravel that can withstand heavy foot traffic.

    If you are going to opt to fish closed banks by exercising the 10 ft loop hole, make the pledge to land that fish in deeper water (challenging as that may be) and avoid backing up onto sensitive nearshore vegetation. That means fishing with a capable partner with a landing net. Beaching fish is neither a legal nor ethical option.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    The KeenEye MD

  2. #2
    Member Sockeye Scott's Avatar
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    What is the 10 ft loop hole on bank fishing? I see a lot of areas along the shore line with signs that say water closed to fishing within 10 feet of water line and people fishing right in front of the signs. Sometimes they have a jacket hanging on the sign. I always wondered how people were allowed to fish these areas.

    Good job on getting information out there. Hopefully by educating the uneducated it will help to conserve the fishery and keep it from vanishing.

    Thanks,

  3. #3

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    Agree on the bank and must say the park services etc have done a great job of improving the banks over the last few years

    In regards to the foul-hooking of fish I say proper setup and technique does more than the type of hook you use. Sitting at 8 reds for the year (haven't had much time to fish) and zero foul hooks. Typically I get maybe 1 in 15 that are foul hooked whereas those that pulls their line straight in will have multiple foul hookups for every fish they catch

  4. #4
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    Hey Francis,

    I've heard you are an expert on released Kenai Kings. On the last day of King fishing on the Kenai before they shut it down one of my clients landed a large King that I believe was over 55 in. in length. The yardstick I normally carry with me broke earlier in the week and so I didn't have it with me. Being the last day of the season and that we were only going to do a couple hrs. of King fishing I thought the chances of getting a 55 in. plus King was slim to none with so few of those fish left so I wasn't too worried about it. All I had was a 3 ft. tape with me. The 3ft. mark left off right below the dorsal fin. I tried to measure the rest of the fish from there but with the current and waves from other boaters as you know it's hard to get a correct measurement without stressing the fish and bringing it out of the water. From what I could measure it was over 55 in. I didn't want to stress the fish any more that it had already been as we fought the fish for close to 40 minutes (lactic acid build up) so I released it with out getting a correct measurement. I push all my clients in the direction of catch and release on all big Kenai Kings and with the lack of big fish left in the Kenai I would have released this fish no matter how big it was especially with the current state of the fishery. I have landed a few fish over 70 lbs. over the 18 years I have been guiding and one that weighed in at 85 lbs. so I know what those fish look like. This fish looked bigger in girth and length than the 85 lb. fish. My client will be sending me a close up photo of the fish in the water. Is there any way I can figure out the approximate length of that fish from the photo? Is there any program out there that can do that? It was taken with a digital camera. I would imagine you could get a good estimate by knowing the approximate length of some characteristic on the fish and then using that ratio to measure the length of the fish in the photo. I would be happy to send you the photo when I get it. You can e-mail me at kenai72@hotmail.com Any help or info you could give me would be appreciated. Thanks.

  5. #5

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    I had a taxidermist one time calculate the length of a released stealhead by taking the picture I brought him and measuring my actual hand then use calipers and scale to measure my hand on the fish in the picture. With some pretty simple caculations he was able to use my hand measurements to get the fishes full length. I swear it was spot on! You might try something like that. If you had 3 foot of it measured with a tape and got a photo of that is should be pretty easy to get the full length. Hope this helps.
    Tight Lines...

  6. #6
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan Fly Guy View Post
    I had a taxidermist one time calculate the length of a released stealhead by taking the picture I brought him and measuring my actual hand then use calipers and scale to measure my hand on the fish in the picture. With some pretty simple caculations he was able to use my hand measurements to get the fishes full length. I swear it was spot on! You might try something like that. If you had 3 foot of it measured with a tape and got a photo of that is should be pretty easy to get the full length. Hope this helps.
    Tight Lines...
    We did the same thing with a big rainbow I caught and released years ago. Measured the distance of my 3 fingers together and worked it out. Ended up being 34".
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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