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  • 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
    "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

      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
        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

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


          • #6
            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.
            "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
            Merle Haggard


            • #7

              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
                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

                  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.
                  "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
                  ~~Abraham Lincoln~~


                  • #10
                    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.


                    • #11
                      Changing times, changing regs. . . ?

                      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


                      • #12

                        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...

                        "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


                        • #13
                          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.



                          • #14
                            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
                              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.


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