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Thread: Want to Stop Ripping But Can't - Read This (Toast to FishinPhysician)

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    Talking Want to Stop Ripping But Can't - Read This (Toast to FishinPhysician)

    I am writing this post in the hopes that it will help some current rippers switch to completely legal harvest next year, avoid mutilating the resource, and still catch "legally-hooked" sockeyes as quickly as they do now. Although I have not posted much, I have been very closely following all of the threads related to fishing the Kenai Peninsula for several years. My wife and I just returned from our annual fishing expedition to the Kenai Peninsula. This year we only fished sockeye on the lower Kenai River. Using information I learned here, we hooked and landed 43 sockeyes with ZERO foul hooks. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE HOOK. Last year we mostly fished various Mustad and Eagle Claw "Octopus Circle Hooks" with egg loop drop knots. I was not real pleased with the numbers of hookups we were getting or the rate of foul hooks, although we almost always limited on days with decent numbers of fish moving upstream. I had read FishinPhysician's thread about circle hooks last year but didn't realize then how much different the Gamakatsu Nautilus Circle is from the other styles and brands. It is the only hook like it in existence. This year we fished exclusively with 3/0 Nautilus Circles using the regular Kenai-flip slightly upstream, let it bounce downstream along the gravel, and a SLOW and gradually accelerating sweep at the end to gain momentum for the next flip. I know it is hard to believe, but EVERY FISH WAS LEGAL, and we were catching our limits as fast as nearly anyone around us. I will admit that most fish were caught with the hook entering from the outside of the jaw on the river-side of the fish, but the points and barbs of the hooks were IN THE MOUTH in every case - 43 straight times! You WILL NOT get nearly as many bumps and "Fish-On" moments. If you love yelling fish-on and fighting snagged fish and don't want to stop, you should just stop reading here. As for hook-up to landing ratio, some days we landed 1 fish for every 2-3 hooked, but other days it was more like 1 landed for every 4-5 hooked. Still better ratio than other hooks we have used. We fished 1/4 to 3/8 ounce bank sinkers on a 2-inch monofilament drop from 3-way drop swivels, 6-foot 30 pound fluorocarbon leaders, and only a small tuft of yarn to get the hooks down fast. I compared the 2/0 and 3/0 hooks very, very carefully. FishinPhysician recommends the 2/0. They are virtually identical in size, but the 3/0 is made with a heavier wire. Either size should work fine, but I figured the 3/0 would sink a bit faster. Neither of them fits the 3/8 maximum gap for the upper Kenai. Maybe somebody can measure a 1/0 or smaller if the make them to see if the gap is 3/8 or less. I have nothing to gain except the satisfaction of thinking that I prevented the waste of such a beautiful resource due to having their guts, eggs, skin, etc ripped apart only to be kicked back into the river like a trash fish. They deserve more respect. These hooks are not stocked by Trustworthy, Fred's or Sportsman's Warehouse (at least I could not find them there). They are available from Cabelas online. Oh, please don't jump me too bad for the 43 fish. I know that is a lot but they will not be wasted, sold, or bartered. They were all caught legally between July 14 and 24. I shared some with the owners of the B&B where we stay who missed-out on getting any dipnet fish. I even "spooned" the backbones on most of them (learned that here too!) and boiled and picked some bellies since I hate to waste anything, especially not something as treasured as a fine fish. Good luck to all who appreciate the resource.

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    Member Kenner21's Avatar
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    We tried the circle hooks but it seems like we missed the biggest pushes of fish by a day or two and we didn't do that well. Do you mind me asking where you stayed? We are already looking at places for next year. I would have pm'd but I lack the access to do so.

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    I would like to try these circle hooks you speak of

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    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iyouktug View Post
    I would like to try these circle hooks you speak of
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...es-for-sockeye

    Thanks for the kind words of affirmation, R.E.B. LA
    "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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    I used circle octopus hooks too. Got them at sportsmans, thought they were great. Not a single foul hooked fish. I switch between a 2/0 and 3/0. This is now my reccommended hook.

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    Good post, thank you for sharing your observations and explanation.

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    Been using Owner octopus circle hooks size 6 for two years since reading Doc's thread and have snagged two fish in two years. The first was because I didn't resist the urge to set the hook and the other was the line went through the mouth and caught on the gill plate. A slow side sweep at the end of the drift and just tighten up on the resistance, fish on. Once you get used to it you can feel it slide over the fish (don't set the hook). Sockeye fight better when hooked in the front mouth not the rear....

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    I hate to be a nay-sayer here, but this was discussed in the original thread. A fish hooked anywhere but "in" the mouth is snagged, period. This includes fish hooked from outside the mouth.

    The problem is that lining reds has become firmly entrenched on the Kenai and the practice is not going to stop. Second issue is that snagging them in the way Doc suggested is an almost unenforceable violation.

    My issue here is the intent of the law, against a clever method of snagging that's passed off as perfectly legal. It's a form of gradualism that leaves us wondering why snagging is prohibited at all.

    But until the law is changed, a fish hooked anywhere but "inside" the mouth is snagged.

    Mike
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    Another added bonus to using circle hooks is you'll never dull the point of the hook dragging it across gravel all day.

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    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    So the hook needs to penetrate from the inside to the outside, with the point of the hook on the outside, otherwise this is a snagged fish, correct?
    "Grin and Bear It"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    I hate to be a nay-sayer here, but this was discussed in the original thread. A fish hooked anywhere but "in" the mouth is snagged, period. This includes fish hooked from outside the mouth.

    The problem is that lining reds has become firmly entrenched on the Kenai and the practice is not going to stop. Second issue is that snagging them in the way Doc suggested is an almost unenforceable violation.

    My issue here is the intent of the law, against a clever method of snagging that's passed off as perfectly legal. It's a form of gradualism that leaves us wondering why snagging is prohibited at all.

    But until the law is changed, a fish hooked anywhere but "inside" the mouth is snagged.

    Mike
    I see your point. But the regulation, 7 AAC 75.022(c) defines "snag" as "hook a fish elsewhere than in the mouth." It doesn't say "from inside the mouth." As long as part of the hook is in the fish's mouth, and given the entrenched practice of most red-fishers, I don't think a citation under the regulation for a flossed salmon would stick in court.

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Just curious, you said you landed one fish for every 3-5 fish hooked, and that zero fish were foul hooked. How can you be sure that a portion of the 100-150 fish you didn't land weren't foul hooked?

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tearbear View Post
    So the hook needs to penetrate from the inside to the outside, with the point of the hook on the outside, otherwise this is a snagged fish, correct?
    That's the way I read it.

    snag means to hook a fish elsewhere than in its mouth (see "Prohibited Acts").
    (taken from THIS LINK).

    The question we need to answer is whether a fish hooked from outside the mouth is hooked "in" the mouth, or "elsewhere". Seems clear to me.

    Mike
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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    all can be eliminated by using a sockeye fly. Sparsely tied, no ripping. I have a few that I love the only problem with them is the hook is soft so you have to be really careful and not horse em around. I may see if there is someway I can get them with a better hook since I don't make em myself.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

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    I could be wrong but my understanding is that if the hook is within 1 inch of the mouth it is a legal catch. As Sockeye do not bite there is no way to catch them but to snag them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tearbear View Post
    So the hook needs to penetrate from the inside to the outside, with the point of the hook on the outside, otherwise this is a snagged fish, correct?
    h

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daddygonehuntin View Post
    I could be wrong but my understanding is that if the hook is within 1 inch of the mouth it is a legal catch. As Sockeye do not bite there is no way to catch them but to snag them.


    h
    Where is that in the regs? Good luck trying to convince LEO that 1 inch is close enough!!!!!

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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daddygonehuntin View Post
    I could be wrong but my understanding is that if the hook is within 1 inch of the mouth it is a legal catch. As Sockeye do not bite there is no way to catch them but to snag them.


    h
    I hope this is a joke. There is nothing anywhere in the regs book even close to saying that. Ive seen tickets issued for being hooked under the bottom jaw with the hook going into the mouth. The mouth is just that. Not an inch or six from it. What next, if its in the head its good?
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daddygonehuntin View Post
    I could be wrong but my understanding is that if the hook is within 1 inch of the mouth it is a legal catch. As Sockeye do not bite there is no way to catch them but to snag them.


    h
    They do bite if the fly is drifting very close to them. I have seen it multiple times in the clear water of Russian river. My fly drifted very close his face and he followed it for about a food and held it in his mouth. I do not pull my line at all while fishing for them. I just let my fly naturally dead drift and almost all of my fish have hooks going from inside their mouth and coming out either sideways or above the upper jaw. That definitely tells me that they do bite my flies.

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    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daddygonehuntin View Post
    I could be wrong but my understanding is that if the hook is within 1 inch of the mouth it is a legal catch. As Sockeye do not bite there is no way to catch them but to snag them.
    Not only 'could be'...'you are' wrong...Heard some guy say anything above the gill plate is good, maybe that's where you got the idea that it was legal...from a snagger.
    "Grin and Bear It"

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    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    snag means to hook a fish elsewhere than in its mouth (see "Prohibited Acts").
    The simple fix would be to just remove the word "in" from that clause....

    snag means to hook a fish elsewhere than its mouth (see "Prohibited Acts").

    That's still proper English, still rolls off the tongue just fine, and makes it CRYSTAL clear what constitutes a legal hookup, removing all ambiguity about outside-in versus inside out.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
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