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Thread: Treating pinks with a bit of R-E-S-P-E-C-T

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    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Default Treating pinks with a bit of R-E-S-P-E-C-T

    Yes, they are the definitive Rodney Dangerfield of the salmon world, with most anglers sorting thru scads of them in search of more "glamorous" species.

    Having just spent the past week carefully releasing literally hundreds of these spunky little tidewater salmon on the lower Kenai, it was discouraging to see so many boats handling them with such apparent disgust and disregard.

    I witnessed many anglers, guides included, literally lifting entire fish out of the water with the lure as if suspended on a meat hook. Then shaking violently until the thrashing weight of the fish ripped the hook loose, tearing out half the fish's mouth in the process. Is this really the best folks can muster?

    With the river under single hook no bait regs, how difficult can it be to carefully remove ONE single pokey piece of metal from a lip-hooked fish?

    Regardless of whether it's been caught with a spoon, spinner, plug, or fly.... with a simple homemade de-hooking device.... ANY salmon can be brought alongside the boat and instantaneously released, usually without ever removing the fish from the water.

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    very nice piece of gear you have there more folks should have and know how to use one. Am i correct in thinking that a simple unhooker could be made with a bent finishing nail or a piece of stainless welding rod on the end of a wooden dowel ???

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    Please post pic of your dehooking device. The video is too grainy to tell. Is it just a circle loop at the end of a stick?
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    I don't know if I'd go to the mouth of the willow again after last year. Too much beaching and then I swift kick to get the salmon back to the water. I had video of one guy do it from a lawn chair.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    Please post pic of your dehooking device. The video is too grainy to tell. Is it just a circle loop at the end of a stick?
    Stainless or galvanized threaded hook screwed into the end of a dowel.

    http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/salmon/selective/
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    Stainless or galvanized threaded hook screwed into the end of a dowel.

    http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/salmon/selective/
    Thought I recognized that tool, standard on most Washington salmon boats. Also glad to see a few other folks treating the pinks proper! I got one tonight that had bright orange flesh, i was stoked!

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    The rough handling of fish isn't relegated just to pinks. Countless folks on the upper Kenai and Russian apparently feel that any fish that doesn't get put on the stringer can just be kicked back in the water, or even just left to flop around in an inch of water till the fish can find it's own way back to deeper water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    . . Having just spent the past week carefully releasing literally hundreds of these spunky little tidewater salmon on the lower Kenai, it was discouraging to see so many boats handling them with such apparent disgust and disregard.

    I witnessed many anglers, guides included, literally lifting entire fish out of the water with the lure as if suspended on a meat hook. Then shaking violently until the thrashing weight of the fish ripped the hook loose, tearing out half the fish's mouth in the process. Is this really the best folks can muster? . .
    Thanks, Doc . . +1 . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    T I got one tonight that had bright orange flesh, i was stoked!
    Second that...

    I was attempting to floss a few more reds on the lower and couldn't keep the pinks off. One took the hook in the gill (Via the mouth for all you about to jump on me for possibly snagging a fish) so I kept it... Amazed at the quality and quickly put the fillets on ice. Will smoke it up later this month.
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    While it didn't happen this year, we've often dip-netted pinks while dip-netting for reds. None of them go back . . they are filleted and canned, and the quality and taste are excellent. Have sometimes fished pinks with a rod and reel at Cunningham and below as well. Truth be told, I'd rather eat a salt-caught pink than a sockeye caught 20 miles upstream.

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    Four of 'em will be brining tonight once I get home from our local CCA meeting.
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    I agree. I wish people would treat these fish better. I haven't caught a salmon all season, and wouldn't mind getting into some pinks or chums.

    I remember years ago I went to a spot in willow to catch some fish and I ran into several piles of rotting pinks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    While it didn't happen this year, we've often dip-netted pinks while dip-netting for reds. None of them go back . . they are filleted and canned, and the quality and taste are excellent. Have sometimes fished pinks with a rod and reel at Cunningham and below as well. Truth be told, I'd rather eat a salt-caught pink than a sockeye caught 20 miles upstream.
    Cant agree more, they taste great out of the salt.

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    A guy I work with smokes them for 1 pan of smoke ONLY in a little cheif, at which point they are NOT cooked or dried. Then he cans (jars) them, they are AWESOME!

    I had smoked them as normal and then canned them, which made them WAY too dry... FYI...

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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    A guy I work with smokes them for 1 pan of smoke ONLY in a little cheif, at which point they are NOT cooked or dried. Then he cans (jars) them, they are AWESOME!

    I had smoked them as normal and then canned them, which made them WAY too dry... FYI...
    That's how I do my reds. I can say that it is awesome.

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    Awesome, we took home 18 dime bright pinks from river mile 8 or so last night, all had nice orange firm flesh. I started brining last night, smoking will start tonight!

    Interestingly i've always done best with #5 vibrax and this year we are catching way more on the bigger pixies, maybe its just the new boat, changed the approach angle...

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    I cooked pink next to silver with the same spices on Monday night. Caught them sunda - 26 miles from Seward in the salt. Couldn't tell the difference between the pink and the silver. I was surprised and impressed......

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    I just broiled a center cut fillet out of one of the prime platinum buck Kenai pinks I took home. Salt, pepper, minced fresh ginger, drizzled lightly with EVOO, and broiled exactly 5.5 minutes.

    HEAVEN.

    Reminded me of prime summer steel.

    "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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