Make sure you use barbless hooks and are very careful with these delicate beauties.
Cutts take jigs and you can find great ones through either First Cast Jigs or Silent Approach Jigs
Put a little sandshrimp tail on, or crawdad tail. CANDY!
It's a heck of a lot of fun with light gear. Look for them in the same places you would find steelies in the winter, or summer.
On a fly, I find them in the shallower riffles too, with a Bordens special or a Spruce fly.
High School Fisherman
Searun cutthroats will take jigs either fished by themselves or tipped with bait. As Jenny mentioned, it's a good idea to crimp the barb too. Searuns will inhale any bait you put in front of them so be careful not to feed the fish. The cutts are plentiful right now and will continue to be right up until the heavy rains in the fall.
Absolutely catch & release on the Wilson river for searuns. One of the best moves the ODFW has made in my opinion. In the last two years I've seen the numbers and size of the cutts increase dramaticly.
Although I agree that ODFW did good making non-finclipped trout on coastal streams C&R only, I was dismayed over their decision to allow a harvest of two per day from the Salmon River south this year. I was also less than happy that the harvest size was set at six inches and better. This small of size could allow the inadvertent harvest of some of the larger Steelhead and Chinook smolts.
I think that using barbless hooks for any C&R fishing is a great idea. Too bad ODFW bumper their collective heads and concluded that barbless hooks did not improve the hook mortality rate for released fish. That’s one of the reasons why barbless hook restrictions were relaxed in inland Oregon waters.
I don't understand the reasoning behind their decision to allow retention of trout from the Salmon river south. There are so many hatchery raised trout to be caught that it doesn't make sense (IMHO) to keep native searuns. When the Wilson river was open for retention of searun trout I'd see people taking juvenile steelhead and salmon smolts all the time.
I could never understand that either, the barbed hook thing... Why in the WORLD would someone do catch and release with a barb?
Seems abs STUPID to me! And the ODFW chooses to ignore it? ARGH! What study proved this theory?
"Yeah, go ahead and fish for them, use barbs that deeply embed in their flesh and then try and get it out with the fish alive". DUH!
I have seen some of the craziest stuff. People hearing that it is open in the South, so they think it is open all over the place now.
People catching a large searun and yelling, "It's a keeper"!
The boys have found worm hooks and bobbers that float down from the park upriver, signalling that people are using bait in the upper river right now. YIKES! NO BAIT till Sept 1.
People mistaking the larger ones for small steelhead...
Man, you know, fish identification is not something the average weekend fishermen is good at.
I have come across fishermen at the lower rivers plunking with bait, which is OK, but then they ask me, "what is in here?" with a stringer clanging off their belt straps, I am sure... readying for the bbq.
For instance, telling a searun from a resident, a chinook from a silver, a jack salmon from a cutt, smolts or small cutts?
How many on the board can tell these differences?
In the anglers education class that I took, (so that I can teach kids angling), we had a fish ID segment that was awesome! I encourage all of you to take this course.
I'm thinking of borrowing the equipment for that for the ifish party just for kicks. It's fun to test your skills.
Does anyone know of a web page that goes deeply into this subject? Shows pictures and differences?
For all these reasons, I cringe when I read about cutthroat fishing in any form. I worry about my babies!
It is a very enjoyable fishery, but I am so careful about fishing for them, and I worry that others won't be as careful.
If the fish has swallowed the hook, don't even try to dislodge it, cut the leader! The hook will absorb, most likely.
How long do they take to absorb? I don't know. What kind of hook is best for absorbtion? I don't know, but Bill uses the right ones when we go.
Fly fishing is safest, because they are almost always hooked in the lip. Easy to take off.
Wet your hands before you touch them...
What else can I say, except please... be careful!
I am so impressed with the comeback of this species and the size!
They are mystical, magical, spiritual fishies, and I love em!! This is a wonderful fishery for kids, IF you can also teach them the importance of preserving the species by observing all the rules. It will give them respect for you, if they see you handle their future fish with care.
There are fish for the dinner table, and then there are sport fish.