Do you let them just nibble and hook themselves, free spool when they start biting, or slowly set the hook?
The first time I went halibut fishing a few years ago, it was out of Seward. We were fishing pretty far out, and I was the first on the boat to get a bite. The fish took the bait and the reel started screaming, the captain muttered something about "nice fish, gotta be 150 lbs". Well, my adrenalin shot through the roof. Being a long time salmon fisherman, I reefed up on the rod for all I was worth, and of course pulled the hook right away from the fish. I thought he was gonna make me "walk the plank" Since I've learned to let them chew on it a bit, but I've seen quite a few fish nibble a while, steal the bait, and never hook themselves. So I'm of the (very ametuerish) opinion that it's best to let them bite for a few seconds then slowly raise the rod, but what do the "Experts" here think?
Also, I noticed that when using octopus for bait, they aren't able to steal it off the hook. Is octupus as good as herring for producing big fish? We slammed them out of Homer using this, the whole boat limited out in no time at all, but we only caught fish up to about 30 lbs this way.