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Thread: Tips on how to fight hooked fish?

  1. #1

    Default Tips on how to fight hooked fish?

    I've been a snag fisher in Seward for the majority of my life in Alaska and I recently got into fly fishing at the Kenai. What I found out was that the Kenai Salmon were much harder to control with the limited amount of space between fishers and the current of the river.

    Can anyone give specific tips on how to keep fish under control in the Kenai? I have a bait caster and i literally burned the flesh off on my thumb when i hooked into a fish and tried to control with my thumb (could have been a king... or a sockeye rocketing a long down current). Plus I feel really bad when i have to jump across other people's poles when I try to follow it down the current to keep it hooked =/

  2. #2
    Member TYNMON's Avatar
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    Default Consider this...

    Fighting a fish is like weight lifting with dental floss.

  3. #3
    Member matjpow's Avatar
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    The fish will panic when you get them close to the shore. The most important thing is plan ahead. If you are fishing near a fast current try to keep the fish out of the current. They like to turn into the current when caught.
    That's what she said...

  4. #4

    Default stronger line and drag

    If you are fishing where there are a lot of others around, you should really go on the heavy side as far as line-weight is concerned. Pick something that you can comfotably apply a bit more drag to to keep the fish in check. Don't go out to a crowded place and figure on going for some light tackle record by fishing with your trout gear or anything (not saying you are, but you get the picture). Sometimes there isn't a lot you can do if they make those long hard runs, but most of the time, you can go a little tighter on the drag and not worry about them coming unhooked. If they are hooked properly, the only time you have to worry about it coming loose is if there is slack in the line. Keep good, constant pressure with the tip up and you shouldn't have too many problems. If you are hooked in the mouth, solid pressure will turn the fish back toward you. If you have it snagged in the tail or dorsal (as you are surely aware from saltwater snagging experience) they can really run hard away without your pulling having any effect on their path.

    Personally, I don't like the practice of walking the fish downstream. Yes, you get clear of being in the way of those few people immediately downstream of where you started, but you just move into the way of others further down. All it really does is give the fish more slack and lets them get further down. Anything you gain by walking downstream can be gained by working the pole and drag as well.

    In the end, you can learn a lot by watching others.

    Good luck.

  5. #5

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    well, the part of following downstream is the apply pressure while reeling in the slack as you walk down so you can bank the fish. i was using 25 lb test line at the russian and they were still breaking the line on the hook when they got into the current. i guess setting the drag high is better than letting it fly downstream. thanks for the tips.

  6. #6

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    Are you tying your fly directly on your main line or are you using a leader? If you aren't using a leader you might think about adding a heavier test line to limit the hook knot break offs. You can use barrel swivels or a double surgeon knot to connect the two lines. To control the fish I use the down and dirty method. That is to turn the rod sideways and applying pressure using the water current against the fish. Tight lines.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by akriverman View Post
    Are you tying your fly directly on your main line or are you using a leader? If you aren't using a leader you might think about adding a heavier test line to limit the hook knot break offs. You can use barrel swivels or a double surgeon knot to connect the two lines. To control the fish I use the down and dirty method. That is to turn the rod sideways and applying pressure using the water current against the fish. Tight lines.
    i'm a pretty big noob when it comes to new methods, care to explain further by what you mean limiting the hook knot break offs by using barrel swivels or double surgeon knot? also do you recommend using a leader? are you tieing the barrel swivel to the line and then just putting the flie onto the swivel snap?

    also explain a little bit on applying pressure against the fish using the current. are you turning the rod up toward the current or down?

  8. #8
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    a good drag is very important, give line when the fish wants it and take it in when you can, it takes time to learn, you'll get it eventually, just go fishing a ****load
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  9. #9
    Member matjpow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    a good drag is very important, give line when the fish wants it and take it in when you can, it takes time to learn, you'll get it eventually, just go fishing a ****load
    You're drag should be slightly under you line strength. The way you can do this is grab your fish scale and tie your line to it. Tie the other end to something solid. Then set your drag under the weight of you line. ie. I set a 25 lb test to a drag of about 15-20 lbs. There is supposed to be a percentage but I just set it under that. After you get that set, put fingernail polish on the drag adjuster. If you change line you can remove the fingernail polish easily.
    That's what she said...

  10. #10

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    After you hook your fish, fight the fish with your rod held low and parallel to the ground, with the rod bent towards the shore, not the open river.

    Low and towards the shore. That forces the fish to come in to the beach.

    If you put low pressure out towards the river, the fish will react to the line pressure and move OUT in the river. That's bad.

    Lastly, run at least 20 pound test on your main and leader. Run a very tight drag. The socks shouldn't be taking any line from you. If so, tighten your drag. If that's not working use heavier gear.

    As a Washingtonian who has literally caught thousands of salmon, I use gear for the sockeye up there that I'd normally use for kings down here. Stuff that is way overkill for steelhead and coho down here.

    A flossed Kenai Red fights as hard as any salmon of that size, if not harder. Use light gear in close proximity to other fishermen and all you are going to do is cause problems.

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    Member nategr's Avatar
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  12. #12

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    That's putting a new spin to the term "It's a shooter!"


  13. #13
    Member slimm's Avatar
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    Once you get the fish half way under control hand have it turned,, Start walking backwards toward the bank, Get on dry ground keep your tip up and the presure on and just keep walking back till the fish is on shore..
    NEVER!! forget your saftey glasses or hat..And ALWAYS!! wear em..

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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    The other thing to consider is this. While fishing you reds you will snag some of them. When they are snagged away from the head area, there is no way that you can turn a fish upstream and get it back to you! Don't sit there trying to land the thing. Clamp down on you spool and break off your line so everyone can keep fishing. That is where setting up your gear correctly comes into play. Always use a lighter leader than your main line so that when you do break off a fish, all you loose is your 25 cent fly and a foot or two of leader. You won't even loose your sinker...

  15. #15
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by parker View Post
    After you hook your fish, fight the fish with your rod held low and parallel to the ground, with the rod bent towards the shore, not the open river.

    Low and towards the shore. That forces the fish to come in to the beach.

    MONEY!

    During the fight, keep that rod tip as low as possible on your downstream side. Lift the rod only to steer around visible or known submerged structure (tree, rock, root wad).

    If you're gonna beach 'em... same rule.... low and to the side off your downstream arm/shoulder as you slide the fish up the bank. If someone is going to net it for you DO NOT LIFT until the very last instant immediately before the netshot. Netter should aim for the head first! Once the head and pectorals clear the hoop, immediately drop the rod tip taking all tension off the line, and have the netter close the bag by drawing straight back on axis with the net handle.... DO NOT SCOOP!
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
    The KeenEye MD

  16. #16

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    so your trying to keep your handle low to the water also? so the arch comes around and the tip of the pole is nearly touching the water? for some reason i imagine someone just keeping their pole straight... and a guy told me never to keep your pole straight when a fish is on since it puts all the tension on the string and it will snap.

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    MONEY!

    During the fight, keep that rod tip as low as possible on your downstream side. Lift the rod only to steer around visible or known submerged structure (tree, rock, root wad).

    If you're gonna beach 'em... same rule.... low and to the side off your downstream arm/shoulder as you slide the fish up the bank. If someone is going to net it for you DO NOT LIFT until the very last instant immediately before the netshot. Netter should aim for the head first! Once the head and pectorals clear the hoop, immediately drop the rod tip taking all tension off the line, and have the netter close the bag by drawing straight back on axis with the net handle.... DO NOT SCOOP!

  17. #17
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    You keep the handle of the rod at about waist height. Then like Doc said on your downstream (usually left hand on the confluence) you pull the rod tip towards shore, with arc of the rod going from waist towards water but not in. Always keep the line tight until netting just like you think.

    All in all it's the gear you use though. Good drag and stop the fish. I've broken a rod there once..........it's just the way it is. Kind of exciting in it's own way. I always plan to have enough umph w/line at 20lb and a good enough drag to stop a snagged red, so I can get it in fast and take the hook out. I usually don't get many snagged fish, but that allows me to easily beach a sockeye hooked right. Saves me on those days when a hookup is few and far between!! Also 20lb lets me break off when I have a hopeless snag on some rock. (use a stick, wrap the loose line around that and break off.......might save your rod on really bad snags when you just tug on it.)

  18. #18
    Member rrjfish8's Avatar
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    Default let them calm down

    if you go yanking on the fish as soon as you hook them they will go nuts. As soon as you hook them keep the line good and tight until they hold in one spot then stat working them to shore. If you are just having fun try it some time and then start yanking on them a little they don't like it and will run like he!!

  19. #19
    Member matjpow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    ...Netter should aim for the head first!
    I think what he ment was: "nategr should aim for the head first!"

    And always remember firearm safety!
    That's what she said...

  20. #20
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chayo234 View Post
    so your trying to keep your handle low to the water also?
    Not at all. Keep the reel where it is ergonomically most advantageous to you, usually between waist and chest level for most.

    As for rod position...

    Imagine the hands of an upright clock in the plane of the riverbank with the reel in the middle of the face. 12:00 is where the rod held vertical. 3:00 is parallel to the bank to your right, and 9:00 is parallel to the bank to your left, and 6:00 is at your feet.

    During the bulk of the battle, the rod should be pointed somewhere between 7:30 and 9:00 if the river is flowing to your left. The rod should be pointed somewhere between 3:00 and 4:30 if the river is flowing to your right.

    Does that make sense?
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
    The KeenEye MD

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