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  1. #1
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    "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 tried it and hated it, mostly because we release a lot of fish. In virtually every hookup we had, the trailer was back in the gills and the fish was bleeding like a stuck pig. If not in the gills, hooking outside the mouth was common, often in the eye. Even lost one fish and brought up the hook with an eyeball nicely impaled.

    A fine idea whose time most certainly HAS NOT come for me.
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    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Default The laws of physics must operate differently on your boat....

    Curious how you are rigging your hangback? And what size hooks you are using?

    Sample size of nearly 3600 fish in my vessel and the rate of mortal bleeders is just under 1%.... virtually all of them in the base of the tongue or the first gill arch.


    Trailing hook almost always planted around the maxillary plate, the mandible, or in the crotch of the scissors... outside in.







    Less than 4% hooked inside the mouth... which IS the whole point of rigging this way.

    One eyeball taken out in 15 years.

    One hook thru the isthmus that resulted in a mortal bleeder.
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    My big question is that if it doesn't result in fewer missed strikes, why do it? I've seen zero improvement in hookup rates, mostly because my hookups with conventional rigging are plenty high.

    I can't cite theory and internet prowess in evaluating them cuzz I just haven't been inspired to look further by time on the water with fish. I'm only reporting on my own firsthand experience, and that's plenty good enough for me.

    Theorists and web surfers are welcome to ride in their own boats and fish the way they want. But the same goes for me. I've tried it, didn't like the results, and won't do it again.

    End of discussion for me. Have a merry old time doing things your own way, but make room for others to make decisions based on their own experience. Good or bad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    Trailing hook almost always planted around the maxillary plate, the mandible, or in the crotch of the scissors...outside in.
    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    Less than 4% hooked inside the mouth...which IS the whole point of rigging this way.
    Not sure about Washington, but here in Alaska any fish hooked like that in freshwater (and major areas of our saltwater) are illegal. A fish has to be hooked IN the mouth - and we have clarified with ADFG that means inside out (Southcentral Regulations page 6). Trailing hooks are like the worst way to do that.

    The trailing hook method is old as dirt. Those of us who've used it know that it increases the chance of making contact with a short biter, but at the same time, and as both you and others elude to, it also increases the chance of hooking fish elsewhere than in the mouth.

    Aside from the vanity, I'm not sure what the point of the post was. Yes, of course a trailing hook set-up can be effective. But if the point was about conservation methods for weak stocks, like the article eludes to, then I might suggest simply restraining from fishing the weak stock altogether. Personally I find that a fish hooked by a trailing hook generally endures more stress during the fight because of the drag, resistance, and drowning effect. Not so good for release - the fish might swim away, but who knows if it lives to spawn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Funstastic View Post
    A fish has to be hooked IN the mouth - and we have clarified with ADFG that means inside out (Southcentral Regulations page 6).
    I believe this is incorrect.

    This has been discussed numerous times and verdict on the whole mouth inside out vs mouth outside in has been deemed unenforceable... and therefor is NOT.

    The hangback method promotes fishing on willful biters in active pursuit of the gear and is clearly NOT snagging (gear in willful pursuit of the fish that wants nothing to do with it). Nerka can chime in for clarification.
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    Sure reminds me of staking beads in front of the hook. Not a new idea. I won't do that either.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    I believe this is incorrect.

    This has been discussed numerous times and verdict on the whole mouth inside out vs mouth outside in has been deemed unenforceable... and therefor is NOT.
    Says you. Since when does unenforceable = not illegal?

    As per our last discussion about this with you, once again here is the response to the question concerning 5 AAC 75.022 by Director Jame Corkrell, Alaska State Troopers, Department of Public Safety (our F&G enforcement in AK)...

    "To answer your question, in essence the regulation intent is that the fish must be hooked inside the mouth, meaning the fish must bite or take the hook. If the hook is inside the gill plate or stomach that implies the fish took the hook. I hope this answers your question. Thanks j"

    "Bite or take the hook" can't possibly happen from the outside in. "Inside the gill plate or stomach" can't possibly happen from the outside in.


    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    The hangback method promotes fishing on willful biters in active pursuit of the gear and is clearly NOT snagging (gear in willful pursuit of the fish that wants nothing to do with it). Nerka can chime in for clarification.
    First, the trailing hook does nothing to promote fishing on willful biters. The lure or bait does that. The trailing hook just makes hook-ups easier in some cases because it snags the fish, usually somewhere on the head/face/mouth. "Willful biters" is simply a term you have inserted into the terminology of the law to justify it. It doesn't really matter how you want to define snagging. In Alaska regulations "snag" means to hook a fish elsewhere than in its mouth (page 6 of regulations).

    Second, fish frequently pursue gear without biting - sometimes following, nudging, bumping, or even slapping the lure/bait. You have no idea if it's a "willful biter" or not. Add in the erratic action of the plug, lure, bait, or flasher, and the trailering hook is a good way to make contact without the fish actually biting. And that's exactly why, as you've clearly admitted, the trailing hook method very seldom ends up IN the mouth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    Curious how you are rigging your hangback? And what size hooks you are using?

    Sample size of nearly 3600 fish in my vessel and the rate of mortal bleeders is just under 1%.... virtually all of them in the base of the tongue or the first gill arch.

    Trailing hook almost always planted around the maxillary plate, the mandible, or in the crotch of the scissors... outside in.

    Less than 4% hooked inside the mouth... which IS the whole point of rigging this way.

    One eyeball taken out in 15 years.

    One hook thru the isthmus that resulted in a mortal bleeder.
    So if I read this correctly you've had about 36 kings that were suppose to be caught and released die on your boat in 15 years using this method of snagging. If we use the 8% mortality rate of C&R then we are talking about 288 dead kings in 15 years from one boat that were killed in the name of "a more enlightened approach" as a way "to tread lighter on the resource."

    I don't think your enlightened approach is working very well, nor is it enlightened.
    “I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” Physicist ― Richard Feynman


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    I snagged a 34” laker with a tube jig in the tail. I am sure it Tried to knock the bait out with its tail and that’s what I felt before I set the hook. Was that a willful bitter


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    Quote Originally Posted by kwackkillncrew View Post
    I snagged a 34” laker with a tube jig in the tail. I am sure it Tried to knock the bait out with its tail and that’s what I felt before I set the hook. Was that a willful bitter


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    Obviously NOT a willful biter. Can you come up with something more ridiculous?
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    Obviously NOT a willful biter. Can you come up with something more ridiculous?
    Speaking of ridiculous...

    "Willful biter" might be a term you use in Washington, but it is not a term Alaska uses in regards to determining a legally hooked fish. It is simply a term you've injected here - to justify your idea that a fish hooked elsewhere than IN the mouth is legal. And really, unless you're a self-proclaimed fish whisperer, you have no idea what the "will" of a fish is.

    Again, fish often bump, nudge, slap, or closely follow a lure/bait - without biting. The trailing hook method presents a higher likelihood of making contact with these fish - commonly NOT IN the mouth, but rather on the side of the face/head/mouth from the outside in, as your pictures clearly show. Exactly why some of your trailing hooks are over 6-7" from the lure (per the pics in your article).

    In Alaska, 5 AAC 75.022 makes it clear that a fish hooked elsewhere than IN the mouth, is a snagged fish. That is the law that ethical fishermen must follow. This has been confirmed by the director of enforcement (per my post above), not three anonymous guys on the internet discussing enforcement specific to the crazy Kenai sockeye floss fishery.

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    Old school ways die hard... change is often difficult to embrace. Feel free to carry on. The hangback concept is presented to provide food for thought for open minds willing to consider a more enlightened approach to tread lighter on the resource.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    Old school ways die hard... change is often difficult to embrace. Feel free to carry on. The hangback concept is presented to provide food for thought for open minds willing to consider a more enlightened approach to tread lighter on the resource.
    The BS is so thick my waders just took a dump.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    The hangback concept is presented to provide food for thought for open minds willing to consider a more enlightened approach to tread lighter on the resource.
    If you are looking for "a more enlightened approach to tread lighter on the resource", as you claim, you WOULD NOT be suggesting that snagging more fish for catch and release as a serious method to do so...you would be doing the exact opposite.
    “I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” Physicist ― Richard Feynman


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    Quote Originally Posted by Funstastic View Post
    Speaking of ridiculous...
    Gotta face the facts. Some guys come up here 2 weeks a year, then spend the other 50 weeks telling us what we're doing wrong, what we don't understand, and why their way is better.

    It's always been like that, ridiculous or not. Guy's gotta get used to it and learn to ignore them or you'll give himself an ulcer.

    Just remember the real reason they're coming up here and so full of themselves- They've so scrawed up their own fisheries, they have dang near nothing left.
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    Not sure what the present enforcement officers are doing on this. A few years ago this blew up when enforcement and legal said that the hook must be from the inside to outside. That was enforced for a number of years and I believe Fun is correct that the legal requirement is inside to outside. However, the problem is that some enforcement officers, staff, and public will not accept that and so we can get various public comments. However, they do not carry the rule of law so unless the Board of Fish changed the law it stands. Enforcement officers have lots of leeway whether they write a violation notice so some may not be enforcing it and others may be enforcing it. I would not take a chance on keeping a fish hooked from outside to inside without a legal opinion from Law in my pocket.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    Obviously NOT a willful biter. Can you come up with something more ridiculous?
    Ask and you shall receive.





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    Yep, you guys must be right, Fun.... because JFC, this WAY better for the fish. :facepalm:

    Gee... mebbe I shoulda hadda V-8?



    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    Yep, you guys must be right, Fun.... because JFC, this WAY better for the fish. :facepalm:

    Gee... mebbe I shoulda hadda V-8?
    You don't have to swear at me in the name of Jesus. I'm just not a fan of fishing weak runs with long hangbacks that snag fish. I've explained why. Yeah, I could write an egotistical, narcissistic article in a magazine promoting my methods like you have, and surf the internet trying to convince people it's the greatest latest thing since sliced bread, but I don't need to. I'm satisfied that I don't need to use that method, or feel the need to exploit weak runs as efficiently as possible with it. I prefer to get good legal hookup on good biters, and eat them for dinner. Not a big fan of playing with fish, especially on weak runs.

    Again, just my .02. You don't need to throw a fowl-mouthed tantrum because you don't like it.

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