View Poll Results: Do reds bite?

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  • reds never bite

    12 8.33%
  • reds rarely bite

    80 55.56%
  • reds bite good if you know what your doing fishing the right water

    48 33.33%
  • I have never snagged a red in my life they feed like piranhas

    4 2.78%
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Thread: poll about reds biting

  1. #1
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Default poll about reds biting

    We all know that salmon dont eat once they enter freshwater. But they will bite a hook from time to time.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  2. #2
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    As far as reds eating plankton in the ocean, so do chums. I dont think reds are any harder to get to bite a hook than chums are.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  3. #3
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    reds won't chase a fly but unpressured fish will hit small nymphs.. Heres one I caught while grayling fishing

    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  4. #4
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Biting, forcefeeding, snagging them in the mouth. Call it what you will. Bright flys in clearwater in the mouth most of the time. Just like making a kid eat his peas. Just gotta get the dang things in thier mouth
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  5. #5
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    I have had them take a fly, but that is with the fly passing them several times. I conclude the bite was due to the fish getting PO with the fly passing him.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  6. #6

    Default

    Having caught (read: "snagged", some legally in the mouth) a few Reds, I am very much of the opinion that they NEVER BITE. They will however RARELY STRIKE at objects moving close to them. That includes flys, spinners, other fish and even other Reds. They do have the instinct to protect their surrounding territory when in Spawning Phase. But NO, they do not BITE. Stiking as opposed to Biting is what they do on rare occasion. Ask your local fish biologist, if you have any doubt. Lots of professional studies on the matter.

  7. #7
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Default

    for this poll; biting = striking

    Not biting= forcefeeding, snagging them in the mouth, drift in mouth technique



    There are many books on getting reds to strike,bite.

    Fishing reds is harder. If I have a bunch of reds in front of me I may only get 3 to bite in an hour even though I'll get 10 fish to shore with the fly in thier head. The same senario for silvers, which will undoubtably be a much smaller school of fish, i'll have 3 in 20 minutes .

    Most Reds I have got to bite in an hour is 4 or 5.

    Most reds I have got drifting the fly through the mouth is 25 in an hour. Done this a couple times.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  8. #8

    Default biting reds

    The vast majority of reds that I have caught have been "force fed",or "lined" while river fishing. That is the most effective way to catch them in most instances. That being said, I have caught some that definitely bit the lure/fly/bead. Some were in spawning stages and some weren't. Now. saltwater is another story. In the salt, krill are a natural foodsource. In BC, there is a huge power troll fishery. Also, a friend of mine has excellent luck in PWS using small pink and white hoochies for reds. Once they enter freshwater though, you will definitely have your work cut out for you. Just get your drift right and have fun. If you want to be a purist you will most likely be eating a filet-o-fish sandwich at McD's!

  9. #9
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Guys all salmon hit in freshwater for the same reasons
    1) Agresion whether it's defending the redd or snapping at something that got too close. I've had the "that fly was right in front of him but he didn't strike till the 5 time I drifted it past him" experience with all our salmon! Why because I hadn't PO'd them enough yet.
    2) Curiosity/instinct fish experience the world in part by mouthing things, that's why sharks will bite inedible objects and salmon will hit lures that don't even come close to representing a food item.
    3) Preservation of genetics this is why all our salmon will hit egg patterns but don't eat the eggs from there own redd. Ie if I eat all of Sam's kids mine will survive to breed but his won't.

    In the case of reds I have found them too be the most difficult salmon to PO and they don't seem very curious. However I frequently land them on nymphs and streamers, especially in waters with lower fishing pressure. I am firmly convinced that the folks who voted "they never bite" have never fished for them anywhere but the mouth of the Russian (Rarely fair hook a red there) and have no more fly fishing skill than pulling off the Kenai two step. BTW AKPM that's not a nymph it's a streamer and an egg patern at that.
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  10. #10

    Talking The bet I won

    My first year guiding here in Alaska I bet another guide I could catch sockeye trolling ($50)
    Fiest day out I put 2 in the boat using a combonation of pink eyed hooks and Dick Nite spoons (a small 3/8" long spoon). This is the same tackle we us for them in Lake Washington. Now as for the river, I have seen them taken while backbonceing eggs. So maybe they bite rarely in freshwater.
    My .02 worth.
    Frank
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  11. #11

    Default

    I've fished for reds in areas that see more fishing pressure from bears than people, and I've fished in areas that are shoulder to shoulder with people in search of sockeyes. I've gone on record to say they don't bite, but I have to revise that statement. I believe reds are the most docile of salmon and rarely bite, but they still attack lures, flies, and other tackle from time to time.

    I used to fish a clear and pristine section of water which was dammed up by beavers 100 yards before it touched the undisclosed river. This stretch of water resembled a pond, and I caught the largest king, silver, chum, and dolley I have ever seen at this very spot. During late July, early August, this small pond would literally boil with reds and chums. I'll be ****ed but those reds never bit whatever tackle we through at them.

    I've had people tell me they have seen red's bite their hook on the Russian and Kenai. I'd suspect it's much easier for a fly to slip in a red's mouth when there's literally hundreds, if not thousands, of salmon passing by in a single sitting. If you've watched salmon in a clear flowing body of water what will you see? There mouths will open, close, open, close, and so on and so forth. Then it's just a matter of making your fly sink to the level the red's are traveling. The last time I fished on the Russian I limited out in no time, but my friend couldn't catch a snag. The fishing was so hot anyone with a kenai twitch was landing reds, but my friend went home empty handed. If it was mid August on my silver hole we both would have limited out while using yarn and without a twitch.

    So, in conclusion, they bite....... maybe %2 of the time in my experience. That's not factual data but just my observations.

  12. #12
    Member LungShot's Avatar
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    Default yes

    So, in conclusion, they bite....... maybe %2 of the time in my experience. That's not factual data but just my observations. [/quote]

    Couldn't agree with you more except with me it's probably leass than 1% of the time.

    I think allot of people THINK a Red bit there fly but actually it's like you said : with hundreds of mouths opening, and closing your fly is bound to make it's way in a mouth eventually.

  13. #13
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by profishguide View Post
    I have seen them taken while backbonceing eggs. So maybe they bite rarely in freshwater.
    My .02 worth.
    We got one in my boat last July backbouncing a Magnum Thin Twin with a king-sized glob of eggs. Never personally seen that in the prior 33 seasons!

    We have had the RARE sockeye bite a more appropriately sized diver/egg combo while fishing silvers and pinks in August.
    "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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  14. #14
    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Default

    I couldn't tell ya. I've never fished reds with sport fish gear. All the reds I've caught were in gill or dip nets.
    Now what ?

  15. #15
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    Default on the Tal...

    I had a male with a green head and body just starting to blush reach up and gobble my Pixee spoon in 1990. I was standing at a glory hole stuffed with fish and can still remember him coming up face-up from below and wailing that spoon right in front of my very eyes...

    http://www.alaskanatuhro.com

  16. #16

    Default Reds do bite

    Given the large numbers of reds your going to get a small percentage of biters. I think a lot depends on the conditions, and the amount of angler pressure. On the Ayakulik R. in Kodiak you can catch reds on almost every cast with flys because fishing pressure is light. On the other hand it's probably toughter to get reds to actually take a fly on the Russian River. Two summers ago I landed a 11 lb Red when it hit my #5 Red Vibrax spinner at Cunningham park on the lower Kenai.
    Last edited by Steelieguy; 03-03-2008 at 12:57. Reason: spelling

  17. #17

    Smile sometimes they bite

    I witnessed on caught on the kenia back trolling a k-16 sardine wrap, I thought i would never see that, had i not been there i might have called bullsh** on it.

  18. #18
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    Had one hit my eggs & spin-n-glo while back bouncing on the Kasilof last summer. A little later we had a boat next to us catch one on the same setup except on anchor and with planers. A guide on the other side of us said they picked up two the same way the day before. We've also had them hit kwikfish. Buddys mom even caught one on a Mepps spinner. So yeah, they'll bite....just not very frequently. In my experience, it seems to happen more frequently on the Kasilof than on the Kenai.

  19. #19
    Member Sapper 2-6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Gremlin View Post
    The fishing was so hot anyone with a kenai twitch was landing reds, but my friend went home empty handed. If it was mid August on my silver hole we both would have limited out while using yarn and without a twitch.
    What is this Kenai twitch you speak of? Thank you.


    2-6

  20. #20
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Kenai twitch is when at the end of your drift you swiftly pull the fly out of the water and simultaneously make your next cast.

    This is done while using enough line to fish a drift but not have to cast using the reel. Using enough weight to bounce on the bottom but as little as is needed to get a fast swing.

    Holding the line in one hand and the rod in the other. Much like a fly fisher would do.

    The drift starts quartering upstream. The drift ends while the fly is still swinging in the 1 to 2 o'clock position. A normal drift would end closer towards the 3 o'clock position when the lure or fly comes to shallower water but that is too late for a twitch.

    The reds will be caught two ways either the drift will be interrupted on its way down by a fish with the line in its mouth. Or on the twitch a salmon will suddenly be hooked out of nowhere on the twitch. It is almost like setting the hook on a fish you dont even know is there yet. But the hookset is done to the side as part of the next cast. The fly will swing on the downstream arc and will hook many fish in the mouth. It also snags many fish.

    Many twitchers will just keep on snagging away until they finally get their limit of fish in the mouth and go to the cleaning table.
    ------------------------------------

    After I grew up a little and learned that if I had the right fly and a little more weight for a slower drift. I could let the fly swing through its entire course and even bring it up slow to let fish hit the fly before it is plucked out of the water.

    The reds that bite/strike the fly will generally hit the fly at the end of the drift when the fly is swinging the slowest and will be felt as a tug on the rod as I will have my rod pointed somewhat towards the fly.

    Trout and other fish may hit it anytime during the drift and race for it as it is just to come out of the water.

    If I get a red anywhere else during the drift like if it is interrupted mid drift it will most certainly be hooked out side the mouth. The tell tale sign is when the sinkers can be felt going through the fishes mouth before the hook gets to the mouth.

    This technique may slow catch rates down a little as it almost entirely eliminates snagged fish and those that would be caught by the fly zipping by their nose. Not counting the snagged fish I this think this technique just replaces the reds caught in the mouth on the twitch, with rainbows, dollies and white fish.

    Since I fish a slower drift I guess I would get a few less reds caught in the middle of the drift as the twitcher with casting at 2-3 times the speed that I will.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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