Fish Sniffer Digital Edition Issue 3624 Nov 10-24 2017 - Page 7

VOL.36 • ISS. 24 Nov. 10 - 24, 2017 5 Hardware Tips For Salmon And Metalheads < A massive chrome bright king salmon taken while wading. No boat, no launching, no stress, just you, your rod and the fish! A question you’ve got to ask yourself is whether you are going to hook those salmon and steelhead ethically or are you going to snag them? presents Spinners And Spoons For River Salmon and Steelhead H ere in the north state we are en- joying a very good salmon season on the Feather, American and Sacramen- to Rivers. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the existence of these fishing opportunities has ignited an old contentious debate. I’m speaking about the bank fishing method known as beading, flossing or lining. For the uninitiated beading works like this, your main line is passed through a slinky or pencil lead weight and tipped with a swivel. To the swivel a 6 to 12 foot leader is attached. A single small bead is slipped onto the leader and the leader is tipped with a hook. This rig is casted into a riffle or run in a salmon river. The weight and hook/bead are swept downstream by the current and the leader stretched between them forms a belly on the upstream side of the weight and hook/bead. Salmon face up current when holding in a river and constantly open and close their mouths to allow water to flow over their gills. As the bead rig drifts down- stream, the leader lodges in the mouth of the salmon as the weight continues drift- ing downstream. This causes the leader to be drawn through the salmon’s mouth until the hook eventually lodges inside or outside the salmon’s jaws. When the fish feels the hook, it bolts or moves and it’s fish on! Beading is a method for snagging fish, since the fish don’t take the offering voluntarily. Based on the observations of most anglers the DFW is apparently willing to overlook this snagging if the fish is hooked in the mouth or head, but I wouldn’t try keeping one hooked in the fins, back or elsewhere. Beading tends to ruffle the feathers of boaters that pull plugs and fish roe for their salmon and many of them would like to see the method go away. The beaders often argue that they don’t have a boat and therefore beading is the only method they can employ to hook salmon. Most discussions of bead- ing come down to a discus- sion of legality, but for me the issue comes down to personal ethics. Putting what is legal aside, ethics are a narrower criteria that each and every angler has to apply to his or her self. An example of ethics con- cerns catch limits. It is legal to keep five trout or for that matter bass in most California waters, but many anglers can’t utilize five trout, so they make an ethical decision and keep fewer fish than the law allows. And most anglers make the personal decision to keep few if any bass. In my younger days, I spent a fair amount of time drifting beads for kings. A long time ago I realized that the fish were almost never taking the beads voluntarily and that left me at a personal ethical cross- roads. Ultimately, I decided to quit using beads and long leaders for salmon. Lucky for folks that feel the way I do but lack a boat there is another method of bank fishing for river salmon and steel- head that targets biters and it can become very addictive once you experience suc- cess. I’m talking about fishing with hard- ware in the form of spinners and spoons. Spinners and spoons will take river salmon wherever salmon are found from the bountiful rivers of Alaska all the way down the Pacific Coast to the Feather and American Rivers. It takes patience and FISH SNIFFER HOW – TO by Cal Kellogg ^ Look close…A lot of bank anglers would put this king salmon on a rope and photo bomb Facebook with hero shots displaying the fish, but in reality, this fish isn’t legally hooked. It was flossed or “beaded” if you will. Yes, it is hooked in the head near the mouth, but not in the mouth. The fish didn’t take the fly voluntarily. By the letter of the law any fish hooked like this should be immediately released. > This beautiful steelhead jumped all over a copper wobbling spoon. Spoons are an outstanding, often overlooked offering for river anglers pursuing both salmon and steelhead. Spoons cast well and run deep along the bottom, right in the strike zone of the fish. ^ For ethical bank anglers both spinners and spoons are outstanding tools for hooking salmon and steelhead. A variety of spinners work great for this work. Here we see a pair of Panther Martin’s new Two-Tone Roe Spinners which promise to be deadly medicine for both steelhead and kings CONTINUED ON PAGE 20