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Thread: Halbut and salmon heads

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    Default Halbut and salmon heads

    Just a question. I want to fish salmon heads this year and am wondering how you place the hook in the salmon head. What size hooks?

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    Default How to hook Salmon Head for Halibut Fishing

    We always hook them through the the center of the bottom jaw with the hook coming out the top of their nose. This keeps the head from twisting your line as much as a neck hook and seems to stay on the hook well. We use smaller salmon heads and large (12/0 or 14/0) hooks. You really have to have patience fishing with heads as usually they will chew and chew before taking it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrookTrout View Post
    We always hook them through the the center of the bottom jaw with the hook coming out the top of their nose. This keeps the head from twisting your line as much as a neck hook and seems to stay on the hook well. We use smaller salmon heads and large (12/0 or 14/0) hooks. You really have to have patience fishing with heads as usually they will chew and chew before taking it.
    I hook the heads the same way, I set my drag really loose and turn the clicker on so I can hear the fish taking the head, I give the fish a long time to get the hook in its mouth, then I tighten the drag down and reel the line tight

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    Ditto on both posts. But I like a 16/0 hook.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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  5. #5

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    Im gonna shore fish for some halibut in the next few days and was wondering about legalities.

    Can I use strips of salmon belly that I caught? Or is it only the head that is legal?

    These were sport caught.

    thanks
    Random guy in Fly shop: "Where did this happen???? In real life or in Alaska?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by sodabiscuit12345 View Post
    Im gonna shore fish for some halibut in the next few days and was wondering about legalities.

    Can I use strips of salmon belly that I caught? Or is it only the head that is legal?

    These were sport caught.

    thanks
    I am not a fish and game officer, but I dont see anything wrong with using the belly strips, I use them, and I have heard of others doing the same, never heard of anyone getting busted for it. I mean, 99.999% of people don't eat this part of the fish.

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    I like salmon tails and bellies better.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    Default careful

    Better check the regs, used to have to have a fish ticket ( receipt) from a commercial boat to use any part of a salmon for bait.
    And the belly strips are the best part of a salmon to eat anyway, especially smoked.
    Even a jackass won't stumble on the same stone twice.

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    Here you right out of the book

    Use of sport-caught fish as bait: (1) Whitefish, herring, and other species for which no seasonal or harvest limits are specified in 5 AAC 47 - 5 AAC 75, as well as the head, tail, fins, and viscera of legally taken sport fish, may be used for bait or other purposes. (2) Herring and other species of fish for which no seasonal or harvest limits are specified in 5 AAC 47 - 5 AAC 75 may be used as live bait, except that live fish may not be used as bait for sport fishing in fresh water. (3) Live bait may be possessed, transported, or released only in the salt waters or the regulatory area in which it was taken.

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    It's illegal to use bellies but nobody is really ever busted for it... It's one of those borderline rules... My buddy got busted for it and since he never knew the law they let him off easy... But I think he said it's up to a 10k fine and up to 10yrs in jail. Luckily he only got a $500 fine.

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    2010 South Central Regs is on middle of page 4.

    Sport caught Pinks and Chums are legal in Prince William Sound. Also a few other details

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    I use a 16/O hook too. I used to use 20/O for heads, but found there was no benefits with the larger hook. I really like to use the full carcass over the head, because with a good current it gives a nice swim action.
    Boatless

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    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milo View Post
    2010 South Central Regs is on middle of page 4.

    Sport caught Pinks and Chums are legal in Prince William Sound. Also a few other details
    Legit in Southeast also.

    Use of sport-caught fish as bait: (a) Unless provided for in this section, fish taken under sport fishing regulations may not be used as bait. Except as permitted in Southeast Alaska where it is legal to use pink and chum salmon as bait. (b) Whitefish, herring, and species for which bag limits, seasons, or other regulatory methods and means are not provided in sport fishing regulations, as well as the head, tail, fins, and viscera of legally taken sport fish, may be used as bait. (c) Herring and other species for which no seasonal or harvest limits are specified in sport fishing . . .

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    So, does that mean that an angler cannot use coho heads/guts for halibut bait?

    The reason I ask is because I'm planning on fishing in Ketchikan later this summer. We plan on trolling for coho on the incoming tide, and then switching to jigging for halibut in deep water on the slack tide. So if we catch some coho, I was planning on using the fresh heads/guts on a 14/0 circle hook for the halibut. But if that's not allowed, we won't do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by L. G. View Post
    Legit in Southeast also.

    Use of sport-caught fish as bait: (a) Unless provided for in this section, fish taken under sport fishing regulations may not be used as bait. Except as permitted in Southeast Alaska where it is legal to use pink and chum salmon as bait. (b) Whitefish, herring, and species for which bag limits, seasons, or other regulatory methods and means are not provided in sport fishing regulations, as well as the head, tail, fins, and viscera of legally taken sport fish, may be used as bait. (c) Herring and other species for which no seasonal or harvest limits are specified in sport fishing . . .
    you can use heads
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

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    The belly meat as bait thing is a BS ticket. If you read in the big book, or look it up online, you are able to use the whole salmon caught in a personal use fishery. So if someone wants to use the belly fat and fin meat, so be it. As long as you don't cut half way up the rib meat, why is it even looked at. Go to any fish cleaning table in Seward or Homer and see what is kept as food and what is kept for bait and what is thrown away.
    OK, off the soap box. I prefer a smaller pink salmon head. I think you miss good bites from really decent fish if the salmon head is too big. I always try to leave the guts attached as an added attraction.

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    Question used heads last weekend

    Used a medium size salmon head with some belly meat on a 16/0 circle hook this last weekend. I've always used herring. We hooked something big but it ran and ran. Ended up spooling a 114 Senator with 130lb spider wire. We couldn't tighten the drag tight enough without the pole ripping from hands. Heck of a pull. We joked about hooking a Navy sub. I've had halibut on and felt the head shake etc. This was different. This spot I've lost three rigs last year and now this one. I'm wondering what I'm hooking. It's a secluded bay and same spot. I thought shark at first but same spot two years running and on the bottom. Any ideas? Could it be a big ling I've heard they can run good? I'm definitely gonna try the heads again next week.

  18. #18
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    Default Salmon Head choking on a herring

    When using sockeye heads we just do as others have posted and run the hook through the bottom jaw up through the snout and drop it down. Loosen the drag and give the fish time to chew on it.

    When using coho heads, we will cut the head in half between the eyes, thread a herring on then the half salmon head. This allows the 30lb range fish to engulf the bait.

    Full coho heads and whole sockeye carcasses are pretty much limiting your catching to something with a BIG mouth. That being said, I did catch my 240lb fish on a full sockeye carcass.
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Tealer View Post
    Used a medium size salmon head with some belly meat on a 16/0 circle hook this last weekend. I've always used herring. We hooked something big but it ran and ran. Ended up spooling a 114 Senator with 130lb spider wire. We couldn't tighten the drag tight enough without the pole ripping from hands. Heck of a pull. We joked about hooking a Navy sub. I've had halibut on and felt the head shake etc. This was different. This spot I've lost three rigs last year and now this one. I'm wondering what I'm hooking. It's a secluded bay and same spot. I thought shark at first but same spot two years running and on the bottom. Any ideas? Could it be a big ling I've heard they can run good? I'm definitely gonna try the heads again next week.
    Sleeper Shark...

    If you didn't have a head shake, and you weren't able to hit the breaks on it, kind of rules out halibut and lings. If you didn't have porpoises surfacing then I would definitely say sleeper shark.

    How deep is this area?
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


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    fished some salmon heads today, I caught a 20lb halibut on a whole head, it swallowed the hole thing and I think it choked itself because it did not fight on the way up.

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