Ran into something today worth passing along.
Had trouble the last three days with "tail biters" while trolling for kings with herring. Lots of hits on whole herring, but just nipping the tails off behind the trailing hook. Managed to hook a few, but always just by a flap of skin at the edge of the mouth. Most of those either popped free in the net or alongside the boat before you could get the net to them.
The ultimate reason to learn how to cut and fish cutplugs is something to try when you're overrun with tail biters. I finally smarted up after a full day of the tail biting nonsense on whole herring (no matter what size herring- we tried purple, blue and green tray). I went to cutplugs with the point of the trailing hook back just past the end of the tail on the herring. Bam! We quit missing fish, and not only that, we quit losing fish. Yet all the fish were hooked way forward in the mouth saying they were still tail biting, but making it easy to release them unharmed as we wanted.
Yesterday was great with cutplug, but this morning was EPIC. On two lines we hooked and landed seven kings in two hours, while missing only one strike and not losing any. We released three smaller ones, but tapped out with two nice limits. My wife's reputation continues to grow. I got my two fish right away and quit, and she got her first one quickly too. But her next three were "too small" and released before she finished the day with our biggest. Clearly it pays to be patient and release smaller fish while waiting for the bigger ones when the bite is on!