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Thread: Frustrated and need some advice/help

  1. #1

    Default Frustrated and need some advice/help

    This is my first season up here and I have fished all my life in the lower 48. Never for Salmon though. Over the last two outing's I nailed 15 nice fish and promptly lost 15 nice fish! I can't get the things on the bank! I am so frustrated I could throw a stick of dynamite in the hole.

    I need some help. I know it has to have something to do with my equipment. I am using a medium action 7' rod, 30lb firewire and No 2 spinners with trebles.

    Some of the fish throw it right away, after say 30 seconds. Others I almost get on the bank and wham they throw the hook. I am keeping the pressure on so there is no slack in the line. I am not horsing them and my drag is set where if they take off hard it let's them run. I am trying to tire them out and can't even get that far.

    Am I using to light an action? Is a No.2 spinner to small to get good hook-up?

    Posting this is humiliating enough so take it easy on me. I just have no idea what I am doing wrong.

  2. #2
    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dvarmit View Post
    This is my first season up here and I have fished all my life in the lower 48. Never for Salmon though. Over the last two outing's I nailed 15 nice fish and promptly lost 15 nice fish! I can't get the things on the bank! I am so frustrated I could throw a stick of dynamite in the hole.

    I need some help. I know it has to have something to do with my equipment. I am using a medium action 7' rod, 30lb firewire and No 2 spinners with trebles.

    Some of the fish throw it right away, after say 30 seconds. Others I almost get on the bank and wham they throw the hook. I am keeping the pressure on so there is no slack in the line. I am not horsing them and my drag is set where if they take off hard it let's them run. I am trying to tire them out and can't even get that far.

    Am I using to light an action? Is a No.2 spinner to small to get good hook-up?

    Posting this is humiliating enough so take it easy on me. I just have no idea what I am doing wrong.
    Still not ready to do it solo yet eh? Have you forgot everything I showed you? You and Dawn ready go put some in the boat? Well looks like it is going to start backing down finally!

  3. #3
    Member akshrop's Avatar
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    Are your hooks sticky? I like mine so sharp that the weight of the bait will make the hook stick in my finger nail. If you are bouncing the bottom, I would sharpen every other cast. I might be OCD on that though. I have also found single hooks often provide a more secure and solid hook up then trebles. One other thought is that you might be foul hooking them just enough to get a bit of a fight, then it tears out. Have you seen any scales on your hooks? Have you seen an above water head shake with the hook in the mouth? I hope this might help a little. We can all relate to the frustration. You are not alone in this, trust me.

  4. #4
    Member anticipation's Avatar
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    what type of salmon and most likely i would try a larger hook

  5. #5

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    I would use a larger hook, a #3 or #4. Something with a larger treble will help stick them. Like akshrop said make darn sure that hook is razor sharp.

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    Default Fish lips

    Fish team up in pairs and when one gets hooked his buddy comes over and unhooks it as quik as posible. This all takes place underwater so you never see it. Only Alaska fish have this bread into them!!

    Seriously though, my guess is that your not setting the hook hard enough. Salmon do have pretty hard mouths and with a stiffer rod the energy you put into setting the hooks goes directly to the fish and not the bend of the fishing rod. I would also agree size of hook could be the problem as it never gets past the little burr in the hook so its like quik catch and release your getting.

    Sharp hooks also of course, and if all else fails use a halibut rod and after there hooked give one huge jerk and they will come out of the water like a flying fish. Seen it before when i was a kid fishing with a buddy that didnt like the fight, just the meat!!

  7. #7
    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    I'd swap out all treble hooks with 3/0 or 4/0 Gamakatsu single hooks (there are several styles, but you'd probably be safe with the standard octopus hook). Cut the trebles off with wire snippers if they don't have a split-ring. Buy some good split-rings(you can get 'em at most sporting goods shops). Put the split rings on the spinners, attach the Gamakatsu hooks, and set the hook with some strength. With 30lb Firewire, there is no reason you couldn't get enough of a hook set, even with a lighter action rod. You'll have few if any snags, and once that big single hook is in the jaw it'll stay better then any small treble hook.

    I also agree that you might want to go up a size or two in the spinners. Vibrax come with two hooks, a treble and a single which shows that I'm not just nuts for saying this. (although I never use their single hooks because they just aren't that sharp)

    Better luck to you, sir! I hope you get some to take home.


  8. #8
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 338MUZZLEBREAK View Post

    Seriously though, my guess is that your not setting the hook hard enough.

    !!

    This is my guess as well. I also like the single hooks better than treble as mentioned before me. Two great suggestions above.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by coho slayer View Post
    Gamakatsu single hooks
    I'll second that...a good sharp hook makes setting the hook on salmon so much easier on you and Gamakatsu are the best. When they start looking worn or lost their sharpness then chunk them. Technically you can sharpen them but I've never seen someone get them as sharp again. Good luck and keep that rod tip up!

  10. #10
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    try using mono, I lost a lot of fish when I used braid. Otherwise keep fishing it takes some time.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  11. #11

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    Use some mono leader...braid without tears hooks out. Once I sorted that out I started to enjoy braids.

  12. #12
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    Default I agree

    Quote Originally Posted by AK2AZ View Post
    Use some mono leader...braid without tears hooks out. Once I sorted that out I started to enjoy braids.
    I always use a mono leader on my gear, no matter what I am casting. It helps with a little "give" while playing the fish.

  13. #13

    Smile rivers/mono

    I would use 20 or 25 lb. mono for river bank fishing for reds and silvers. Set your drag right. I use 30 lb. braid when mooching deep for silvers in salt water from my boat because it sinks better. The stretch mono gives us comes in handy when were trying to keep fish on a "short leash" right after they are hooked. You only lost 15 fish? Me and a few others watched my youngest daughter loose close to 30 reds one day, she eventually got one to the net and quit fishing. Pretty darn funny, unless your the fish!

  14. #14
    Member dieNqvrs's Avatar
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    Default landing time

    Learning to land bigger fish is a skill as well. If you are really tiring them out to total exhaustion then chances are the hooks have worn a bigger hole in the mouth and the barb is no longer as effective. Landing fish in a timely fashion is a learned skill. When the fish's head is pointed towards you you can pull really hard and not break them off or pull the hook out usually. When the fish has his head pointed away from you then you are at its mercy and you need to give plenty of proper dragged line back to fish. This seems elementary but as to often this little rule is why more fish get away. When fishing smaller rivers you have between 2-5 seconds after initial hook set before fish explodes on initial run. They simply rock back and give a good slow motion head shake. In this small window simply rip them to the bank if possible. I have landed 15# silvers out of log jams and piles of sockeye this way. After the fish has had a good run and slows down but still has plenty of fight in it pull it over and try to land it. Quite often when the belly of the fish touches the rocks on the shore they regain life and this is where any line slack or too little drag and they get their head pointed away from you. They start whipping the tail and and you pull harder and that is where the old shot gun blast line snap occurs. If you have proper tension and keep their head rip them up on the bank if it is suitable to do so. Another common mistake is trying to pull a fish up stream through moderate to heavy current. This simply does not work as fish has mouth open and the drag of the water is pulling it down stream. You simply need to get even with it on the bank to apply proper pressure to coax fish over to the shore and attempt to land. This all seems like common sense but ALL the rivers I fish I see this not being used and lost fish, line breaks and pole breaks if hand up in middle of rod.

  15. #15
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    Lots of good advice here

    1. Sharp or new Gamasuka hooks, bigger, but check the regs on hooks size depending on species & location of fishery
    2. Make sure the fish is tired, worn down
    3.Proper technique while wearing the fish down & landing it onto banks

    Nobody mentioned using a net, something to try

    Plus ya just got to put in some hours to develop the skills

  16. #16
    Member CanCanCase's Avatar
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    I was just gonna say bigger hooks, sharper hooks, mono leader, better hook set, and one other thing... since they've already been mentioned, I'll leave them alone and point out the one other thing that might be worth trying... as you work the fish closer to you, keep the pressure on the fish (no slack), but the angle you hold the rod to the water has to decrease... don't point the tip AT the fish, but let it drop to the side to decrease the line angle. Depending on the terminal gear you're using, keeping the rod high as the line angle increases can and will rotate the hook right out of the fish's mouth... It was actually explained to me best by my son's t-ball coach... "think about pitching 'sidearm' late in the game instead of staying with the overhand toss the whole time..."

    -Case
    M/V CanCan - 34' SeaWolf - Bandon, OR
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  17. #17

    Default

    Wow guys, thanks for all the information. I had a feeling a large part of it was the hooks. I was thinking that the smaller hook wasn't enough and I was also thinking the rod action was to soft so it made the smaller hook even worse with a weak set.

    I have a heavy action Ugly Stick that I am going to try. I am also heading to the store for some new hooks. The wife is going back to work soon so I'll be hitting the water real soon and report back on what happens. Hopefully, I'll have some pinks for her to can..

  18. #18
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    Default Hmmmm....

    Nobody asked what salmon you were fishing for; that makes a difference. Are you nailing pinks, silvers, kings? There are the occassional sockeye that bite on spinners but it's rare to say the least.

    Your gear needs some tuning, that is obvious; but which part?

    I'll tell you what works for me;

    I use 20# braided on almost everything I have (sans my fly equipment), I will use a leader material to go up or down depending on what I'm chasing. A few folks have accused me of being mentally deficient but I've had success with my methods.

    Silvers (Spinning rod, ultralight); 20# braided with a 10# mono leader, lures direct to leader, usually #2 or #3 mepps spinners

    Silvers (Bait Caster, trolling); 20# braided with a 15# mono leader that is about 10' long to accomodate the diver, #3 and #4 vibrax in chartruse or orange tied directly to the leader

    Kings (Spinning) HERE'S THE EXCEPTION 30# braided, mono leader about 3' long, tie #4 & #5 vibrax direct to the line

    Kings (Bait caster, back troll) HERE'S THE EXCEPTION 30# braided with 35# fluorocarbon leader about 5' long, diver attached to leader and spin-n-glow rig connected with a snap swivel

    Sockeye (Spinning) 20# braided with 6' of mono, #2 split shot and russian river flies

    Sockeye (Bait Caster) same as above

    I won't get into my fly stuff because you can see the Fly Fishing forums for all the info there. The braided line is great for small diameter casting and avoiding debris collection, it's very strong and does not fall apart as easily as extruded lines. Another note; check your hooks after the first "loss", if the hook is slightly bent away from the shank (single or treble) your temper has been lost in the metal which soon follows by losing your own; you'll lose one fish after the next if you don't clip the lame hook from your treble setup or change your single to a new one. The rule with hooks is; once they bend, that is the end.

    Good luck man, I hope you found some help here.
    "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit is better than he who takes a city." ~ Proverbs 16:32

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Back Country Robb View Post
    Nobody asked what salmon you were fishing for; that makes a difference. Are you nailing pinks, silvers, kings? There are the occassional sockeye that bite on spinners but it's rare to say the least.

    Your gear needs some tuning, that is obvious; but which part?

    I'll tell you what works for me;

    I use 20# braided on almost everything I have (sans my fly equipment), I will use a leader material to go up or down depending on what I'm chasing. A few folks have accused me of being mentally deficient but I've had success with my methods.

    Silvers (Spinning rod, ultralight); 20# braided with a 10# mono leader, lures direct to leader, usually #2 or #3 mepps spinners

    Silvers (Bait Caster, trolling); 20# braided with a 15# mono leader that is about 10' long to accomodate the diver, #3 and #4 vibrax in chartruse or orange tied directly to the leader

    Kings (Spinning) HERE'S THE EXCEPTION 30# braided, mono leader about 3' long, tie #4 & #5 vibrax direct to the line

    Kings (Bait caster, back troll) HERE'S THE EXCEPTION 30# braided with 35# fluorocarbon leader about 5' long, diver attached to leader and spin-n-glow rig connected with a snap swivel

    Sockeye (Spinning) 20# braided with 6' of mono, #2 split shot and russian river flies

    Sockeye (Bait Caster) same as above

    I won't get into my fly stuff because you can see the Fly Fishing forums for all the info there. The braided line is great for small diameter casting and avoiding debris collection, it's very strong and does not fall apart as easily as extruded lines. Another note; check your hooks after the first "loss", if the hook is slightly bent away from the shank (single or treble) your temper has been lost in the metal which soon follows by losing your own; you'll lose one fish after the next if you don't clip the lame hook from your treble setup or change your single to a new one. The rule with hooks is; once they bend, that is the end.

    Good luck man, I hope you found some help here.
    I am fishing silvers and pinks and from reading your post your using lighter gear than I am. I hope it's not that I just truly suck at catching salmon and there is no hope for me here.

    I looked at my spinners again and I have been using #1's which I really think is to small of a hook to get in deep.

    So, I am going to take two setups next time out.. My medium action with #3's and a heavy action with #3's and see what happens.

    I am also going to switch out the hooks like others suggested.

    Worse case the dynamite will work.. If you read about a guy getting caught dynamiting fish on the river and getting thrown in the slammer you'll know it was me

  20. #20
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    You'll do great!! If you are hooking them, you'll get some. Heck I don't even HAVE a technique!! I get em on the bank FAST on a hook up. I still lose fish, but I generally strong arm them in. Works for me.
    I use medium action 8 foot graphite rod, spinning reel for 20lb test . I use Mono and tie straight to the lure. I do replace hooks with Gama's. Sharper is better.
    Keep us posted on your success!! Good luck.

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