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  • Circles for sockeye





    Seeing as how we are potentially on the verge of an unprecedented in-river return of Kenai sockeye, I thought I'd resurrect this topic to encourage folks to give circle hooks a try for flossing reds this year.

    In my party's inaugural trial last year, every fish caught with the circle was hooked squarely in the jaw or around the maxillary plate as shown.

    No foul-hooking of other body parts. No hens belly-ripped only to have their eggs water-hardened and rendered worthless to the escapement. No unnecessary prolonged exhaustive battles with fish foul-hooked in the arse or belly. No wasted time/effort battling snagged fish that ultimately have to be released anyway. Bottom line, you'll limit out faster, cycle thru, and let the next guy get in there to do the same. Just might come in handy when the limit goes to 6 or perhaps even 12 daily.

    CLEARLY a better and more efficient way to floss reds. Lord only knows the sport contingent will need every available advantage to help ADFG crop this run down to BEG. Wouldn't want to over-escape the river with all those surplus sockeye, would we?

    Another bonus is that the hook point does not dull against the rocks

    Deadly effective
    ... with or without the infamous Kenai "rip".

    What more need I say?
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    sigpic
    The KeenEye MD

  • #2
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    sigpic
    The KeenEye MD

    Comment


    • #3
      Cool video and pictures, thanks for sharing.

      Interesting to note that when I was fishing in Washingtion their regulations specifically adressed a fish which was hooked from the outside of the mouth to the inside as a "snagged fish". Thus each of those in your photos would be considered illegal to retain. I just checked the South Central AK regs and they state a snagged fish as "to hook a fish elsewhere than in its mouth." Indicating those are indeed legal fish (to me).

      I'm going to have to give this a try!

      Comment


      • #4
        I'll entertain the digression, but only for the sake of precision.

        For the record, the method I am advocating would be illegal in BOTH Oregon AND Washington, but for different reasons.

        In WA, snagging is defined as attempting to hook fish that do NOT willfully take your offering. A willful take can be legally hooked outside in or inside out, anywhere on the head. The key is willful take on the part of the fish... WA could care less which way the poky piece of metal goes thru.

        In OR, snagging is defined as hooking a fish elsewhere than INSIDE its mouth. Outside in is considered a snag regardless of whether or not there was willful take.

        In AK, sockeye flossing involves ZERO willful take on the part of the fish.... they are literally "force-fed" by the masses. The fish does NOT voluntarily chase the gear, but rather it's a matter of the gear chasing the fish. In this case a single strand "snare" intentionally threaded between the fish's breathing jaws. By the very mechanics of the flossing technique, the overwhelming majority of the harvested sockeye are hooked from the outside in.

        I advocate the circle hook technique in AK as a more fish-friendly method to efficiently get the job done with as little harm as possible and to drastically reduce the handling of body-snagged fish that cannot be legally retained.
        "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
        sigpic
        The KeenEye MD

        Comment


        • #5
          Just one problem. If the hook, as shown in the demo with the fly above the hook, penetrates from the outside of the jaw it is by definition a "foul hook", the regulations state that a fish must be hooked inthe mouth and that means the hook point must penetrate from inside of the mouth. Yes, I have had this discussion with ADFG.

          Now, how things go on the riverbank are another story.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by .338WM View Post
            Just one problem. If the hook, as shown in the demo with the fly above the hook, penetrates from the outside of the jaw it is by definition a "foul hook", the regulations state that a fish must be hooked inthe mouth and that means the hook point must penetrate from inside of the mouth. Yes, I have had this discussion with ADFG.

            Now, how things go on the riverbank are another story.
            Not gonna argue that's what the law says in black and white, but what's actually enforced afield is a VERY different animal altogether.

            5-6 yrs ago, Lt Bear pledged he and his boys would enforce the literal interpretation of "inside" = hooked from within the mouth. Outside-in hookups would be cited.

            Did NOT happen.

            95+ percent of "legal" fish harvested by the flippers are hooked outside in. If only literal law-abiding anglers were allowed to retain fish, there would be exceedingly few fish harvested with rod/reel. That's the ugly truth.

            Hooking sockeye "outside in" thru the lower jaw or around the maxillary plate with a circle hook as shown virtually eliminates the risk of mortal hooking wounds and the possibility of body-snagging a fish.... even if one chooses to employ the deplorably ubiquitous "rip" at the end of every drift.
            "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
            sigpic
            The KeenEye MD

            Comment


            • #7
              Here's a littany of violations I picked out of the Trooper's dispatch in the last few days of July 2011. Interesting that all of the citations for snagging reds never use the language "in" or "inside" the mouth. The recurring language is...


              failing to release Sockeye Salmon which were hooked in a location other than the mouth


              Location: Soldotna Case Number: unassigned Type: Fail to Release Text: On 7/30/11, Gregg Shay 49 YOA of Lemmox, SD was cited by the Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Soldotna Post for failure to release a snagged salmon in the Kenai River. Bail is set at $130.00 in Kenai District Court. Author: GTT0 Received Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:31 PM and posted Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:25 PM -------------------------------------------------

              Location: Soldotna Case number: To be assigned Type: Take over limit of Sockeye Salmon Text: On 7/28/11, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Soldotna Post, cited Jan Balerian, 62 YOA, of Flower Mound, TX, for retaining an over limit of Sockeye Salmon on the Kenai River. Bail is set a $130.00 in the Kenai District Court. Author: JCB2 Received Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:31 PM and posted Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:18 PM -------------------------------------------------

              Location: Soldotna Case number: To be assigned Type: Fail to release snagged fish Text: On 7/28/11, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Soldotna Post, cited Bryan Johnson, 52 YOA, of Soldotna, AK for failing to release a Sockeye Salmon which were hooked in a location other than the mouth, while sport fishing on the Kenai River. Bail is set a $130.00 in the Kenai District Court. Author: JCB2 Received Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:31 PM and posted Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:20 PM -------------------------------------------------

              Location: Soldotna Case number: To be assigned Type: Fail to release snagged fish Text: On 7/27/11, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Soldotna Post, cited Sam Gee, 61 YOA, of Brooklyn, NY for failing to release a Sockeye Salmon which were hooked in a location other than the mouth, while sport fishing on the Kenai River. The bail is set at $130.00 in the Kenai District Court. Author: JCB2 Received Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:31 PM and posted Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:21 PM -------------------------------------------------

              Location: Kenai River Case Number: Unassigned Type: Sport Fish Closed Waters Text: On 7/30/11, Daren Sena 47 YOA of Wasilla, was cited by the Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Soldotna Post for sport fishing from a boat in closed waters on the Kenai River near the Killey River confluence. Bail is set at $110.00 in Kenai District Court. Author: GTT0 Received Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:31 PM and posted Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:25 PM -------------------------------------------------

              Location: Soldotna Case number: To be assigned Type: Fail to release snagged fish Text: On 7/28/11, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Soldotna Post, cited Welten Max, 69 YOA, of Meggan, Checklasavakia for failing to release a Sockeye Salmon which were hooked in a location other than the mouth, while sport fishing on the Kenai River. Bail is set a $130.00 in the Kenai District Court. Author: JCB2 Received Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:31 PM and posted Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:19 PM -------------------------------------------------

              Location: Soldotna Case number: To be assigned Type: Fail to release snagged fish Text: On 7/25/11, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Soldotna Post, cited Ronald McCormick, 43 YOA, of Anchorage, AK for failing to release a Sockeye Salmon which were hooked in a location other than the mouth, while sport fishing on the Kenai River. The bail is set at $130.00 in the Kenai District Court. Author: JCB2 Received Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:31 PM and posted Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:23 PM -------------------------------------------------

              Location: Soldotna Case number: To be assigned Type: Fail to release snagged fish Text: On 7/28/11, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Soldotna Post, cited Michael Johnson, 60 YOA, of Chugiak, AK for failing to release a Sockeye Salmon which were hooked in a location other than the mouth, while sport fishing on the Kenai River. Bail is set a $130.00 in the Kenai District Court. Author: JCB2 Received Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:31 PM and posted Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:19 PM -------------------------------------------------

              Location: Soldotna Case number: To be assigned Type: Fail to record the landing of a King Salmon. Text: On 7/26/11, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Soldotna Post, cited Christopher Hallock, 35 YOA, of Friday Harbor, WA for failing to log the landing of a King Salmon on his non resident sport fishing license. Hallock was contacted at the dock after he had returned from fishing the Kenai River. The bail is set at $110.00 in the Kenai District Court. Author: JCB2 Received Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:31 PM and posted Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:22 PM -------------------------------------------------

              Location: Soldotna Case number: To be assigned Type: Fail to release snagged fish Text: On 7/26/11, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Soldotna Post, cited Abel Romero, 36 YOA, of San Bernardino, CA for failing to release a Sockeye Salmon which were hooked in a location other than the mouth, while sport fishing on the Kenai River. The bail is set at $130.00 in the Kenai District Court. Author: JCB2 Received Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:31 PM and posted Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:21 PM -------------------------------------------------

              Location: Soldotna Case number: To be assigned Type: Aid sport fishing client in the commission of a violation. Text: On 7/28/11, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Soldotna Post, cited Monte Roberts, 44 YOA, of Soldotna, AK, a registered Kenai River Sport Fish Guide, for assisting his clients in illegally retaining a Sockeye Salmon which was hooked in the pectoral fin, and for instructing, and allowing his client to take an over limit of Sockeye Salmon. These violations occurred while Roberts was guiding three sport fish clients on a Sockeye Salmon fishing trip on the Kenai River. A mandatory court date was set for September 2nd, 2011 in the Kenai District Court. Author: JCB2 Received Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:31 PM and posted Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:17 PM -------------------------------------------------

              Location: Soldotna Case number: To be assigned Type: Fail to release snagged fish Text: On 7/28/11, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Soldotna Post, cited Marty Griffis, 40 YOA, of Bluff Dale, UT for failing to release a Sockeye Salmon which were hooked in a location other than the mouth, while sport fishing on the Kenai River. Bail is set a $130.00 in the Kenai District Court. Author: JCB2 Received Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:31 PM and posted Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:20 PM -------------------------------------------------

              Location: Soldotna Case number: To be assigned Type: Fail to release snagged fish Text: On 7/27/11, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Soldotna Post, cited Robert Forgey, 73 YOA, of Soldotna, AK for failing to release three Sockeye Salmon which were hooked in a location other than the mouth, and for retaining a over limit of Sockeye Salmon while sport fishing on the Kenai River. The total bail for both violations was set at $300.00 in the Kenai District Court. Author: JCB2 Received Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:31 PM and posted Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:20 PM -------------------------------------------------

              Location: Soldotna Case Number: unassigned Type: Fail to Release Text: On 7/30/11, Montaque Derousseau 40 YOA of Sioux Falls, SD was cited by the Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Soldotna Post for failure to release a snagged salmon in the Kenai River. Bail is set at $130.00 in Kenai District Court. Author: GTT0 Received Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:31 PM and posted Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:25 PM -------------------------------------------------

              Location: Soldotna Case number: To be assigned Type: Sport fish in closed waters Text: On 7/30/11, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Soldotna Post, cited Stacy Gross, 38 YOA, of Wasilla, AK for sport fishing from a vessel in the closed waters of the Kenai River, near mouth of the Killey River. The bail is set at $110.00 in the Kenai District Court. Author: JCB2 Received Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:31 PM and posted Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:17 PM -------------------------------------------------

              Location: Soldotna Case number: To be assigned Type: Fail to release snagged fish Text: On 7/30/11, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Soldotna Post, cited Dennis Mundt, 67 YOA, of Lincoln, NE, for failing to release a Sockeye Salmon which were hooked in a location other than the mouth, while sport fishing on the Kenai River. The bail is set at $130.00 in the Kenai District Court. Author: JCB2 Received Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:31 PM and posted Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:15 PM -------------------------------------------------

              Location: Soldotna Case number: To be assigned Type: Fail to release snagged fish Text: On 7/25/11, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Soldotna Post, cited Duanne McCormick, 41 YOA, of Anchorage, AK for failing to release a Sockeye Salmon which were hooked in a location other than the mouth, while sport fishing on the Kenai River. The bail is set at $130.00 in the Kenai District Court. Author: JCB2 Received Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:31 PM and posted Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:23 PM -------------------------------------------------

              Location: Soldotna Case number: To be assigned Type: Fail to release snagged fish Text: On 7/26/11, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Soldotna Post, cited Larry Meier, 54 YOA, of Pueblo, CO for failing to release a Sockeye Salmon which were hooked in a location other than the mouth, while sport fishing on the Kenai River. The bail is set at $130.00 in the Kenai District Court. Author: JCB2 Received Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:31 PM and posted Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:22 PM -------------------------------------------------

              Location: Soldotna Case number: To be assigned Type: Fail to release snagged fish Text: On 7/28/11, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Soldotna Post, cited Louise Harry, 51 YOA, of Horse Fly, BC for failing to release a Sockeye Salmon which were hooked in a location other than the mouth, while sport fishing on the Kenai River. Bail is set a $130.00 in the Kenai District Court. Author: JCB2 Received Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:31 PM and posted Sunday, July 31, 2011 1:19 PM
              "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
              sigpic
              The KeenEye MD

              Comment


              • #8
                that list is awsome, that makes me very happy that some people didn't get away with snagging fish.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have tied up #1 & 1/0 circles on 4ft leaders and will be there on the 17th. Always go that way in the saltwater and have been successful on silver drifting eggs. I'll let you know how it goes.
                  Anything to keep a backwards mouth hook out, don't need to break another fly rod.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    They work good for protecting fish from being foul hooked, but many times they are illegal in the most popular snagging locales!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Col. F Rodder View Post
                      don't need to break another fly rod.
                      Shouldn't have to....Pretty much from the getgo you can tell when a red is foul hooked....invariably most the time it will head downstream. Quickly when I notice this I just point the tip of my fly rod straight at the fish, palm the real tight, and either break the leader or the hook will come out. Haven't broke my 8wt yet and I've hooked a lot of kings too. You just gotta be quick to see that the fish is foul hooked. Beats drowning, or messin' around with them and/or taking a chance at breaking your rod, when you could be fishing......
                      Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by .338WM View Post
                        Just one problem. If the hook, as shown in the demo with the fly above the hook, penetrates from the outside of the jaw it is by definition a "foul hook", the regulations state that a fish must be hooked inthe mouth and that means the hook point must penetrate from inside of the mouth. Yes, I have had this discussion with ADFG.

                        Now, how things go on the riverbank are another story.
                        Did you actually find that in the regulations? All I could find is the definition of snagging which states "to hook a fish elsewhere than in its mouth."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hey Doc. Does a certain type of knot have to be tied to the circle hook in order for it to work properly. The video links didn't give me a very clear look at how it's done with the yarn tied into the knot. Please give us more specifics or pics on how you tie them. Thanks!!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by limon32 View Post
                            Did you actually find that in the regulations? All I could find is the definition of snagging which states "to hook a fish elsewhere than in its mouth."
                            "Elsewhere than IN it's mouth" , says it all. If the point of the hook penetrates from outside the mouth, the fish is hooked "elsewhere than IN the mouth" that is the definition. I know of no other way to explain it.

                            People are going to catch and retain fish as they see fit or can get away with unless someone is there to discourage or enforce illegal practices and retention. I understand the benefits of the circle hook as explained, my intent is to make people aware of the regulation so as to avoid an unintentional violation/citation due to misinterpretation of the regulation. I am not out to play "cop".

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Doc, site rules don't allow us to post full cuts from the troopers dispatches that name people. Don't. E surprised if your post is edited.

                              On the topic - I tied up some circle hook flies a couple years ago, but have yet to use them due to work keeping me well away from decent water with reds. Maybe soon if the paycheck lets me.

                              Comment

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