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Thread: Finally!

  1. #1
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    Default Finally!

    My first day on Alaska saltwater for 2019 started with alot of activity - was catching small kings one after the other, to the point where I lost count. But no big fish. Finally got "the strike", and when I picked the rod up the fish was on a non-stop smooth run that took over 100 yards of line (line counter reels do come in handy!). When the fish slowed, I tried to gain a bit of it back, but the fish decided to run again.

    The boat was headed into the wind, so I reached back and put the kicker in neutral, thinking that I could retrieve line as I drifted back towards the fish. Apparently the fish had a similar idea, because it charged the boat at the same time ... I was reeling like a madman trying not to let the line go slack. The flasher came up next to me and I saw a huge bronzed back, grabbed the gaff, and pfft ... fish spit the hook. I'm not going to guess how big it was, but it was bigger than any I've caught before.

    Went back out the next day and didn't have a single bite for almost three hours. But when the strike came it was worthwhile!!

    Resized_20190616_122146.jpg

  2. #2

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    Now we're talking!

    Big kamikaze kings (as we call them when they run straight back at the boat) are tough. We've developed some pretty fair strategies for dealing with them, but we still lose one now and then. Sometimes there's just nothing you can do about how they're hooked.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

  3. #3
    Member carolinaboy's Avatar
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    Yeah....it's those ones that get away that give you the most adrenaline filled moments and then a fish story.

    My first trip to Alaska, year 2000, which totally hooked me into coming back every year since...and we go out on the salt and I hook into a "baby barn door" ( a 6 footer) halibut in 300' of water off Prince of Wales, Noyes island. The guide's gear was semi-junky...my reel seat flopped around the rod and the reel was an old Penn Senator that had seen better days.

    J-hooks, too.

    I get the fish to the surface and it unhooks itself and just lays there enjoying the view...two feet away from the boat. For what felt like plenty of time to gaff or harpoon that fish...we just stared at it. The guide said I can't get that fish. A bit later it submerged.

    yeah I remember that one real well.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Now we're talking!

    Big kamikaze kings (as we call them when they run straight back at the boat) are tough. We've developed some pretty fair strategies for dealing with them, but we still lose one now and then. Sometimes there's just nothing you can do about how they're hooked.
    I'm all ears for such strategies. And yes, when they're hooked well, it seems like there's no way for them to come loose. But you never know how solid the hook is set until the fish is in the boat.

    Fortunately this one was hooked very well - if you look closely at the photo, you can see the hook jammed perfectly in the corner of the mouth.

  5. #5

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    First part of our strategy is the sharpest hooks possible, and Gami's don't cut it. We use nothing now but Owner Cutting Points. They're so sharp you can hardly touch them without grabbing flesh. Yeah, I like my Gami's for other things, but they don't go near my king trolling gear.

    Next up is setting the hook with the throttle even after it pops a downrigger, rather than trying to get a rod out of the holder without creating slack. Guys miss a whole lot of hits and lose a lot of fish in the first few seconds because of that slack and flinging the rod around.

    Next up is what happens when we hook a fish. It's all lines up and the boat out of gear while the fish makes it's first run, but keeping the stern to the fish. If the run stretches even a little like a big fish, I start backing the boat down on the fish, just like we do with billfish and tuna in warm water, all to try keeping from getting too much line out.

    The very moment the fish starts running toward the boat, throw it in F and scoot away from it to help the angler get back on tight line as quick as possible. That's the biggest help of all because the king just never gets the chance to go back under the boat.

    In the later stages of the fight. Keep the boat broadside to the fish and downwind/downcurrent. If it still tries to go under the boat, hit it hard in reverse and circle around it's line of charge if needed. Then back to downwind and downcurrent. Being in that spot is critical for the last few seconds to the net. The fish isn't dragged under the drifting boat, rather it's kept out way from it and in sight. Time to net it, get it sliding toward you on the surface, and have the angler step well back at the last second to continue the slide toward the boat while not lifting it's head or breaking a rod.

    Have the net hoop as flat to the water as you can and just under the surface, bag in hand, then let the king slide over the net rather than lifting the net. When its nose is getting close to the narrow part of the hoop close to the handle, tell the angler to drop his rod tip. The king's head will drop into the net as you simultaneously release the bag and lift the hoop. That leaves it nose down and pointed at the bottom of the net. Likely it will make a dive when the pressure is off the line, poking its nose right down into the bottom of the net. Never raise the net if the bottom of the hoop is anywhere close to the dorsal fin. They can flex at that point and throw themselves out of the net, so the big deal is to get them pointed nose down and dorsal well past the hoop before you ever lift. Kings (and most other fish) have lousy reverse gears, so as much as possible you want their momentum going forward and down as you lift the net.

    Sounds like a whole lot of riggamarole and folderol as I describe it, but it's hard to argue with results. Long as you've got that king coming toward you on top while not lifting its head, there's little chance the hook will pull free or it will escape the net. We land kings over 40 most years and a fair number over 30 every year. Sometimes we even get lucky and get them over 50, and once in a while over 60. Sure don't want to make a snarl out of landing them, but if you don't make them work with you, it's easy to do.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

  6. #6
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    BB, that's gold. Thank you.

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    Great post B.B. its post like this that keep me around. True words of wisdom.

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    Nice fish and great story, nice boat too

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    It seems to me that the bigger they are the smarter they are at finding ways to get away. And it's not just the advantage of size and speed that the larger fish seem to have. Burning back at the boat, finding the downrigger that's still hanging in the water or wrapping the kicker motor; these fish just seem to know. Still, I like matching up with these fish WAY better than the big king that fights like an over-sized pollock.

    Not to pile on, but BrownBear wins my vote for the most useful information commenter on this forum. In the last few years I have incorporated more of his advice into my fishing, with the best results, than any other source. Thank you.

  10. #10

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    Thanks for the comps Norskman. Lotta good fishermen on here worth listening to. I just happen to be a little more long winded and a little less secretive. Always look forward to what others have to say, cuzz I've sure learned a lot on here myself.

    Speaking of which, I've been getting my hiney kicked by kings on bright sunny days. Sure they go deep and scatter, but that's not my usual way of fishing. Advice?
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

  11. #11
    Member kodiakbound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by norskman View Post
    Not to pile on, but BrownBear wins my vote for the most useful information commenter on this forum. In the last few years I have incorporated more of his advice into my fishing, with the best results, than any other source. Thank you.
    Couldn't agree more with this. A couple of the nicest, most genuine people I've had the privilege to meet and fish with. When I first moved to Kodiak he gave me more help than I could have ever asked for and I'm still learning from him every time I read his posts!!!

    Kevin
    Experience is a hard teacher because you get the test first and the lesson afterwards.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iwanttofish View Post
    nice boat too
    Yes it is! Have a couple more trips planned for the year and will get more sea days in with it. Got caught on the third day in moderately sloppy weather that blew up, and it was really nice to have a smoother ride with it, rather than feeling my teeth rattle on the big waves.

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