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Thread: Snagging

  1. #1

    Default Snagging

    A friend and I have this ongoing discussion about snagging (legally) in Alaska. He thinks it is unsportsmanlike. I think it takes some skill to be a quality snagger and, darn it, I like to come home with fish for the freezer.
    I'd like to know what other Alaskan fishermen (and women) think about it.

  2. #2
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    Smile "Sport" versus "Harvest". . .

    Sportsman, schportsman. . . Snagging is not "sport," snagging is "harvest" pure and simple as is dip-netting, flossing, drift-netting, set-netting, and other means of reaping the yield of our fish resources.

    "Sport," to my mind, is enticing a fish to bite.

  3. #3
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    Default Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trailer Girl View Post
    A friend and I have this ongoing discussion about snagging (legally) in Alaska. He thinks it is unsportsmanlike. I think it takes some skill to be a quality snagger and, darn it, I like to come home with fish for the freezer.
    I'd like to know what other Alaskan fishermen (and women) think about it.
    Debating whether you can classify something as "sport" makes about as much sense as asking "Why does Mickey Mouse have a pet named Pluto, but Goofy is his friend? They're both dogs".

    If you enjoy snagging, obey the law, and use your fish, then who really cares? If you feel so strongly that it is immoral and wrong, then work to change the law.

  4. #4

    Default Snaggin' skills

    Hey, lots of snobby elite finess fisherman talk bad about snagging, but it takes finess AND biceps to accurately rip a 30 pound king in the gut and drag it sideways onto the rocks. Most of those "elite" limp-wristed fly fisherman could barely fight their way out of a wet paper bag, so keep gut-hookin', draggin', filletin' and barbequing I say.
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

  5. #5

    Default snagging

    OK in my book, but only when legal. Otherwise (i.e. when not legal), my opinion of snaggers is lowest of the low.

  6. #6

    Default

    No problem with it where legal. I won't get in your way, so have a ball.

    But if you do it where it's illegal, you're in my way. I'll be the first to video tape you, record your license number and go looking for Da Man. Happy to appear in court on behalf of the bust, too.

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    Default perspective

    Is snagging sportsman like is the question Trailer Girl asked. While she went on to then reduce the question to technique - it takes skill - that is not how one defines a sportsman like. In hunting sportsman is defined as fair chase, quick clean kills, and proper care of the meat or trophy among other things. It is defined by the combination of variables that go into the chasing of the game and the obtaining of it. It can even go so far as to ensure that the probability of getting game is very low - reduced techniques.

    Marcus has the right track. Snagging is the harvest of fish. It is not sportsman like when measured against the above variables. It is hardly fair chase - a snagging rig is not designed to give the fish a chance, it is hardly a humane method - ripped flesh and probably high mortality to those fish that escape- it certainly is not a reduction in efficiency to make the contest fairer - it would be like hunting moose from the air with a machine gun.

    Therefore, while snagging is legal in the State the people who do it should not consider is sportsman like. However, that does not make it unethical. The harvesting of fish in this manner can be ethical since it is legal under state law and one could argue that it makes a valid use out of resources that could go to waste (hatchery returns where harvest rates can be close to 100%). It is outlawed in some areas not only because of the public view it is not sportsman like but because harvest rates could exceed sustainable levels.

    So at this point I tend to go with Marcus - do it where it is legal, realize that is really violates certain definitions of sportsman like, and enjoy the fish you harvest as you did nothing ethically wrong.

  8. #8
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    Default

    well i tried it once this year. and honestly its not that fun. it really doesn't take much skill to yank on the rod, and hope your huge hooks meet up with any thing. All i can say is tried it and will never do it again

  9. #9

    Default Whoa

    I reflect on what I have observed on numerous ocassions. I am firmly convinced that 100% of the Red Salmon I have seen "Sport Caught" were snagged. Some were snagged in the mouth, and kept by the "Sportsmen". Lining, snagging, however you want to define it, it cannot be justified as being "FISHING". The State Of Alaska beauracrats simply will not publicly admit the take of Reds is unethical. It is a big draw for the crowds and that means a lot of money for the cottage industries it has created.
    For some of the fishermen to say they legally hooked the Red in the mouth, that helps them justify their actions. In my opinion, it does not. Because if you consider the numbers of Reds that these same individuals foul hooked, and released far exceeds the common sense test applied to ethical fishing.
    That said, I would much prefer the State Of Alaska to acknowledge the facts of the Red Salmon Fishery, allow all the fish caught to be retained, and used on the fishermen's dinner plates.
    Crowds would be fewer, less harm would be inflicted on fish and we as a society could feel better about our actions. No longer would the debates such as this one be fostered and festering ill will toward one another. Others justify the status quo, saying if Reds were allowed to be snagged, other species might be snagged in the process. Yeah, so what is their point? Have you seen all the wounded, scarred up, one eyed Rainbow Trout, that you typically catch time and again, in the catch and release waters. Hmmm, I wonder how the next generations of "Sportsmen" will view our actions and define "Sports Fishing"?
    It is all good, as long as you are properly consuming the resource, and doing what the current regs allow. These regs are reflections of our collective reasoning and perceptions. They will change as our attitudes and knowledge advance.

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    Wink Goofy or Pluto. . . ?

    From Wikipedia:
    Fishing for Paddlefish
    In some states, paddlefish are abundant enough to allow for sport fishing. Fishing for paddlefish is done exclusively by snagging--because paddlefish are filter feeders, they cannot be caught with conventional lures. Typically, anglers use a large treble hook (8/0 tp 12/0 in size), weighted heavily to pull the hook to the bottom. Heavy duty rods, 7' to 15' in length with a heavy duty reel and line, complete the rig, which the angler moves in a sweeping motion to hook the fish in the fins or tail.

    From a lower-48 fishing forum:
    Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 8:37 pm: **
    *** Very interesting Joe. One of my favorite big blue cat spots is loaded with spoonbills that we snag when the catfishing is slow to pass the time.

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    Smile Changing times, changing regs. . . ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    Hmmm, I wonder how the next generations of "Sportsmen" will view our actions and define "Sports Fishing"?
    Here's one man's answer:

    "If I were strolling through the annals of incorrectness—up past the invertible heroism of General Custer and on through the safaris of Dennis Finch-Hatton—I would expect to discern, out there in the future, catch-and-release fishing," —John McPhee, The Founding Fish

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    Default "Sportsman"?

    Two years ago I watched a guy in Kodiak ease down a concrete rivetment under a bridge and toss egg-baited hooks to silvers. There were boulders lining the edge of the seawall that dropped into the hole under the bridge, and it made pulling anything out from that location impossible with conventional tackle.

    Not so this angler. I estimate he was using 80 lb. test and with each strike of the eggs he was able to stick his silver and literally sail it out of the water over the boulders, and then up onto the concrete. He then wailed the fish in the head with a rock and stuck it headfirst in a 5 gallon paint bucket.

    I watched this happen 3 times in about 8 minutes and then he drove off.

    Is he a sportsman? Unknown. All I recognize is that he conformed to the law, wanted meat on the table, and possessed the skill and technique to do it...

    http://www.alaskanauthor.com

  13. #13

    Default Statewide BOF proposal

    Check out the ADF&G boards web page for the BOF proposal book.
    Proposal #234, page 177 seeks to allow sockeye salmon unintentionally hooked other than in the mouth to be retained.

    http://www.boards.adfg.state.ak.us/f...-prop06-07.pdf

  14. #14
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    Default

    Now that's an interesting proposal. I would have to agree with it as I also beleive all reds are snagged in one fashion or another. I suppose the point here is that why not allow snagged reds to be retained. Really if we wanted to we could venture just a couple miles further downriver and throw a net in. Nobody ever complains about that. It can be fun but is definetly not sport fishing. Its harvesting. Does a couple miles on the river really make a difference how you get them?

  15. #15

    Default Great Idea for the Russian

    It would make good sense on the Russian, get people in and out out quicker, (kind of like McDonalds for reds), maybe make the crowds smaller, reduce combat zones. I have only been there once for reds and I spent lots of time releasing poor false-hooked reds that had to swim around with a gash in them. It would have been better to keep those legally and go home than keep ripping into more before finally hooking one in the mouth. Plus that would have been a spot for someone else to fish. It would also face the reality that 99 percent of those fish are snagged anyway, mouth, lips, somewhere.
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

  16. #16

    Default Flipping vs snagging

    When I first moved up here, what was described to me as "fishing" sure seemed a lot like stylized snagging especially for reds... and to be honest reds seem the only ones that don't bite (I'm a vibrax man for kings, and flys/bait for silvers) so I can understand why people "fish" the way they do.

    That being said, there is a technique to it and if you get the "feel" of it down, you rarely foul hook a red. The following is just my opinion, if you fish different and works for you - please share it. I think the first mistake is that people weight the line too heavy, the second is that obvious "pop" upwards at the end of the downstream float. If your line is too heavy and you pop upwards you will rip right into the belly or tail of the fish. If you are too light, pop away because you are over top of the fish, but you won't catch anything. Weight the line, so you just barely feel the bottom, give yourself plenty of leader (18" is the min I believe at the Russian but I go like 30") and let the current due the work, presenting the fly across the face of the fish. At the end of your downstream float, don't "pop" upwards, rather keep your rod tip down and then simultaneously pull your line with free hand and flip/cast with the other. Don't pop, you should pull only hard enough to generate the needed momentum to flip your fly back upstream. You get into a nice rhythm and I'm always pleasantly surprised when I start my pull to find a fish at the other end and hooked legally inside the mouth. This may seem like common sense to most of you, but a surprisinig number of people never learn/get taught correctly so they teach themselves. Me, I had someone teach me.

    How do know you are too heavy. If you keep hanging up on the bottom, and you can rule out snags/foul bottom, you are too heavy. Can't feel the bottom, too light. Best way I can describe the correct feeling is like the what "tic-tac" would feel like if it bounced across your kitchen floor.

    I've heard what I've just described referred to as "flipping", "flossing", "lining" and of course "fishing"

    I don't think it's snagging - snagging while flipping is the guy (Ship creek in particular is full of these guys) who have a 1 oz plus weight on the end, 8 feet of line out and just dip and pop their fly in the pockets all day long - and foul hook about 3 out of 4 fish.

  17. #17
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Default

    What you just described as a technic for fishing for reds pretty much to the T is how I have fished for them for years. I don't like an 18" leader though. I prefer somewhere between 24-36" depending on where the fish are or how the fishing is. I however have in my own way still thought of this as snagging simply because you really aren't inviting a strike as you would with the rest of the salmon species. Hence the term flossing. On the flipside I never ever thought about putting an ounce or more of lead and slinging it around. I guess I didn't think about the more blatant acts of snagging that some prefer to do. Even though you may do your best at trying to legitimately fish for reds and not snag them as some do, you will enivitably still snag fish here and there outside of the mouth. It just happens when there are 80k+ fish swimming up the river in one day.

  18. #18
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    Default

    Rippers suck! They damage far too many fish, and the prolonged battles put undue stress on fish that can't be kept. Release mortalities are higher tha with a fair-hooked fish. If a hen salmon's belly is ripped open, freshwater entering the peritoneal cavity renders the eggs non-viable even if she makes it to the spawning grounds. WASTE WASTE WASTE!

    Rippers make it virtually impossible for legitimate fishermen to share the same water, because ripping puts biters in the hole off the bite. The fish are so skittish trying to dodge the crossfire to even think about biting. This is not an issue for sockeye ( which are non-biters anyway) but it is a HUGE problem with kings and silvers.

    But the one thing I despise about the flip-N-rip technique more than anything else is the non-selective nature of the method.

    The hook being ripped thru the water can't discriminate between a sockeye, a silver, a pink, a king , a dolly or a rainbow. If the hapless critter is in the wrong place at the right time, it's gonna get skewered, regardless of species. Reminds me a lot of gillnetting.... far too much non-target by-catch. Legitimizing ripping places too many other wild fish populations at risk. If all the fish are fake, put-and-take, and harvestable, no big deal... rip away to maximize harvest of a resource created purely for the sake of whacking and stacking. The method has no legitimate place on the Kenai where mixed-stock wild fisheries rule the day.

    Many of those trout missing an eye in the lower river lost it to a ripper. I have seen far too many dollies and rainbows get dragged in sideways, backwards, upside down, impaled thru the brain, gashed thru the belly, etc by guys ripping with anywhere from 3/0 to 8/0 hooks. Usually the beefy hooks are barbed, making the release of the trout extremely cumbersome. Most are released with large gaping wounds, many of which result in certain disfigurement, or worse yet, mortality.

    The letter of the law should be enforced. Ripping is snagging pure and simple. When a guy sets the hook on ever GD cast, he is by definition intentionally hooking fish elsewhere than in the mouth. The rule is in the books.... enforce it! Moreover, the definition of hooking a fish "in" the mouth is just that... the hook penetrates flesh inside or within the mouth. Everyone knows what the intent of the law is.... to harvest only those fish that willfully took the bait/lure. It's part of that whole fair-chase ethic.

    ucohokie hit the nail on the head when he differentiates between the guys bombing the holes with oversized weights and hooks, ripping with every cast and foulhooking 75% or more of their encounters. A gentle flip/drift/swing cadence will result in nearly 100% "fair" hook-ups... set the hook only when you feel the weight and headshake of the fish on the other end.

    Ripping is willful snagging, plain and simple. Describing willful snagging is difficult to put into words that are enforceable, but it's pretty GD easy to recognize when you see it with your own eyes. If my 6 yr old can tell the difference, why can't the gamies on patrol?
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone."
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  19. #19
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Sportsman, schportsman. . . Snagging is not "sport," snagging is "harvest" pure and simple as is dip-netting, flossing, drift-netting, set-netting, and other means of reaping the yield of our fish resources.

    "Sport," to my mind, is enticing a fish to bite.
    What Marcus said. When harvesting for the freezer, any method that's legal.
    "Sportsmen" trying to lay in a supply of fish for the winter using "sport" methods would starve.

    If you're catching and releasing for fun, by all means use barbless hooks, don't handle the fish out of water and cut your line if the fish is going to be compromised.
    Now what ?

  20. #20

    Default The gut hook

    Obviously this hit a nerve for some people (eye doctor, brown bear, skydiver). Hey, Trailer Girl didn't even say where she was talking about snagging. It's perfectly legal in salt water, and not that I am a snagger, but she says it takes skill to become a good snagger and I agree. It takes practice to snag a red in the mouth, and that proposal doesn't say it would be ok to intentionally snag a fish, just ok to keep unintentionally snagged ones, it would still be illegal to intentionally snag. It would just cut down on fish damage. Those flip - n - rip guys will always be there, that's what they do, they are going to get their 3 a day, it just depends on how many fish they are going to rip open in the process, better to get them off the water with their three early. There are so many inexperienced and just bad technique fishermen gut-hooking reds by accident, what are you going to do?
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

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