i think what bothers most of us about this is that the technique is so blatingly obvious due to still water fishing with a bobber, that it it is an intentional facade of a time honored bait fishing method. And, as its presented in front of everyone to see in broad daylight, it properely invites serious debate. Finally, the conventional bait method can work effectively, so why not try that?
My thoughts: If you want to practice a "russian river" force feed ripping technique-which has been implemented with predictable results in fisheries such as Ship Creek at low tide-then go for it, I guess. But this pretense of fishing with a bobber is akin to putting out a float with your lead line full of hooks-you are hoping for the fish to run into the hook through no effort on your part, plain and simple. I have considered it myself after seeing it's effectiveness but just didn't feel right about it and never have tried it. Conversely, I somehow would rather put in the effort of intentionally and legally trying to snag in salt water with a grappling hook that actually requires some sweat and effort, than to sit there waiting for as fish to run into my line. It is called "lining" for a reason and most certainly borders on snagging. According to a trooper I spoke with a couple of years ago, if you were using this set up and physically ripping the line to shore each cast, you could be ticketed for attempting to snag.
Finally, rest assured that this technique will likely be banned in the future. So, if you feel OK doing it, go ahead and get "yours" while it's still legal. And be sure to fill your proxies for those less fortunate while you're at it-I'm sure all those fish are given away in the true spirit of the law......yeah, right!
I for one hope they do not outlaw the lining technique at the Spit. I do hope they crack down on the people that do rip their hooks through the water and take more then their share. I have seen people taking more than their limit by immeditially running the fish to the car and put it in a cooler and come back to catch more than two. I know they could be proxy fishing, but on more than one occasion I have seen folks take 5+ fish down there. Next time you are there, also watch and see how many folks write their catch on there harvest card or liscense - Not many.
Now for what I enjoy about it. It cannot be compared to the combat harvest that happens at low tide on Ship or in the Russian river. You have to figure the correct depth to place the hook below the bobber as well as line depth in the water. And those fish are smart, this technique really only works with line less than 10lb test and must be green. I personnally use 6lb test. You must let the fish line himself and let him bring the hook to his mouth. This is where the guys pulling the hook to fish are making the biggest appearance of snagging. Also, the hook must be baited, folks fishing with just plain hooks are snagging. Just putting a piece of yarn on the hook will cover you legally as a lure and not a bare hook that is snagging. The thrill of fighting a 20-30lb fish on 6lb test is great. I avoid fishing between 9-5 because forget landing one with all the people. Fish early and fish late, early is better. With the daylight we enjoy this time of the year, fishing at 5 AM provides you plenty of room to enjoy a fight of a lifetime. I may harvest one or two a year from there, but will catch and release dozens. You should see the looks you get when you release a dime bright 25 lb King.
Just my .02