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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have noticed that last few trips that the fish are biting very light. I troll cut-plug on the Willamette, and the fish I have been catching just barely tap the herring, just like a trout bite. I've been "feeding" my herring to them, just like you do with prawns. I got one yesterday, and I had to feed it to him for atleast 20 seconds, which is an eternity when you know mr. spring chinook is at the other end. I troll with my drag extremely light, so when the fish grabs ahold of the herring I can give him line, then when I think that herring is deep inside, I put my thumb on the spool and set the hook.
So, I would say if you can't help from jerking the rod when the fish starts biting, then you better use the rod holder. I've seen lots of lost fish by not feeding it to them long enough.
Anybody else noticing them biting this way???
 

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I've always been of the opinion that if they're not pulling line off the reel you're setting too soon.
 

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10%, when I troll herring in deep water (Portland harbor) I have a tight drag and leave it in the rod holder. Hard to imagine trolling for hours with my pole in my hands and my thumb on the spool. Is that what you are doing? Are you constantly sounding the bottom with your lead like I might do at Sellwood? :whazzup:
 

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10%,

I agree. Caught one saturday in the channel after making a turn. My rod was in the holder, but my tip acted as if I had picked up a small piece of debris. I picked up the rod to check it out and it felt like a trout was nibling it. The boat had 4 or 5 similiar strikes during the day. We ended up catching the one and losing one at the net :depressed: :depressed:
 

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hey rich h what you know about springers... all you catch are metalheads.. how have ya been.. what is dman's extension at work? bubba
 

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I can't help but be a ranchero, and give it the onion when I feel that bad turkey hit.
 

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My son caught one Sat. in the Willamette on a kwikfish that he didn't know he had until part way up, he was just going to check his wrap and had a fish on, lost it just before getting it to the boat. I caught one Sat. by the mouth of the channel that I swear I thought I was snagged, then when I backed the boat up it started coming up like a small log. I didn't know I had a fish until it broke the water! :shocked:
I was pulling and yanking on it trying to get it to come off. When we got it in the net it did come off and the hooks then landed in it's back. I didn't notice until later that I had bent the hook part way open.
I probably had 75 boats around me watching and thinking "what an idiot".
Light bite on the first one, no fight on the second.

myles
 

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Bubba, I know absolutely nothing bout dem spring tuna.


I think 7514 should get him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Up-4-air,
I usually fish for springers in areas where the depth is 14-22 feet, so I'm always bouncing the bottom. I think there is time's when the fish will mouth the bait and not really "take it", so only by holding the rod will I know I have a fish working on my bait. However, I will fish in the same area you fish, where the depth may be 30, 40, or 50 feet deep, and you go out X number of pulls, which certainly catches ALOT of fish. I guess it depends on who I am fishing with and their skill.
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I love the feeling of holding my rod when the fish first bites, having the patience to feed it to them, then really set the hook to them!!! :grin:
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My favorite fishery my far is Nehalem Bay, bouncing a cut-plug with 12 ounces on the bottom along the Jetty. When those pigs really take the herring, it's FISH ON!!! But man does my arm ache after bouncing 12 ounces for a few hours!!!
 

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Spring Chinook are quite prone to following a herring and mouthing it a bit before they really 'grab hold'. What you want to wait for is when you can feel the fish actively wrestling your bait not just 'grabbing and letting go' .
Another trait they have is picking up a herring and swimming along with it. You'll notice a wobble in your pole tip, but no sign of a definite take. Then you look at your line and you see it's moving off sideways. Time to reel down till you feel the fish, make sure it's there and sock 'em.
I had one, two seasons ago, follow and just barely mouth a herring off and on, on a downhill troll, for almost a minute. This fish was driving me nuts. Finally, he gave me two of the faintest tugs (I was in 9ft of water using 8 oz's of lead, so I had pretty good sensitivity on the take, the fish was basically a few feet away from my pole tip the entire time) and thinking I was gonna lose my bait to him sooner or later I softly set the hook on the next little nudge. It worked. Knowing I probably barely had him hooked I loosened the drag and babied that fish up into the net. When we got it in, the rear hook on my rig had just pierced the skin on the inside of that salmons mouth. I had landed a 13# Springer Chinook with my rig holding on to him by nothing more than a 1/8 inch flap of skin. So during the entire strike the fish never got more than half the herring in it's mouth. It's just a behavior that these fish some times show. Makes you grateful for those 'no-brainer' take downs.
 

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10% and Brushpuppy, interesting discussion. I'll be more aware of what's going on when I'm fishing shallower water. Thanks. :wink:
 

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The most fun I've had king fishing was back bouncing eggs on the Nushagak River in Alaska a couple of summers ago. We were fishing in 8-10 feet of fairly fast water. It was a 20 plus fish day for me and I had a blast letting them mouth the bait until they took it hard. Even then, most of the fish were not hooked deep and I missed quite a few. With herring I always have let them take it down and then put a hook set on. I think they miss the bait sometimes when it's rolling so the first bump or two is often not a hard takedown.
 

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Very interesting brushpuppy and 10%. first of all I am not doubting what you said at all. If that's fact then it makes me wonder. When out in the ocean salmon will hit a school of herring thrashing and banging around as much as possible, then they double back and pick up the stunned fish. You know...the ones that got whacked by the tail and are seein stars. Easy meal as long as the salmon schools em' up.
So why are they peck peck pecking at the herring in the rivers (it's happened to me also). If they were activly feeding it'd be a violent strike like ocean silvers or the nehalem pigs out at the jetty. What gives. Are they feeding still of just defending territory. If either was the case the take would not be as stated. So is this just a case of "curiosity killed the salmon"????? And let's not even get into why they hit a kfish.

MH

[ 04-18-2003, 07:48 PM: Message edited by: Bankbound ]
 

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Bank bound, It's just a behavior the spring run of fish tends to display. I've experimented with my herring technique on the fall fish in the Troutdale area and learned there is a reason nobody else out there fishes that way. That's a tendency of that run of fish once they get away from the influence of salt water. This spring I've been fortunate. All my fish, while not 'taking it down hard' have not been 'finicky nibblers' and I've made every strike count. The folks I learned to fish from have had a harder time, only sticking about 2/3rds of their strikes, (most of them nibblers). Also, I have never used prawns and rarely use hardware in the Willamette, M/C system so I have no idea if the Springers are as playful with those offerings as they are with the herring. Do the salmon need to feed? Of course not, but if we weren't throwing all this stuff at them there really wouldn't be much out there for them to eat, or lash out at irrationally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Steelie,
I've found that alot of time you use a 3rd hook, the bottom hook will hook into the side of the fish, while the other hook(s) will be in the mouth. I mostly use a 2 hook set up, always a solid tie!!!
Even when i fish this set-up, sometimes my lower hook with hook into the side of the fish, which is just fine with me. :grin:
A buddy of mine uses red label herring with 3 solid tie hooks and has an awesome "hook to land ratio."
 
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