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Sockeye
Posted by Water_Gremlin on Apr 27 2006
Out of all the salmon the red salmon is by far the least aggressive when it comes to stricking any type of hook. Reds are just down right tough to catch legally! Now thats an understatment.

I mainly fish the Knik/Matanuska Rivers for silvers and reds. These reds have one thing in mind and its not feeding. Also its almost unheard of to hear about a red chasing a hook, lure, or egg cluster any length of distance in this area. On occasion I have fished the Russian and Kenai Rivers with some luck. Still nothing has led me to believe these red salmon are feeding on the way to their spawning grounds. From my experience and watching others a snagged red is HIGHLY more likely than a red that struck the hook.

I believe the key to catching red salmon is your position on the bank or in a boat relatvie to the channel's water movement and most importantly your hook placement. Hook placement depends on the depth the fish are running. Knowing where to be and where to place your hook is the toughest concept to grasp for beginers. I dont know how many times I have taken notice fisherfriends on fishing trips for reds only for them to stand beside me and watch me catch fish the whole trip while they were stunked. Thats even after I lend a helping hand trying to explain some techniques. Once someone obtains this knowledge its a matter of getting lucky. "Getting lucky" means the hook flowing into the fishs mouth or pulling the hook into its mouth.

Snagging reds in the mouth isnt that difficult with much practice. It takes a lot of testing with different weights and how far you place it up your leader. But you have to remember even when hook placement is perfect theres a higher chance of snagging a fish somewhere else than the mouth. I see more kept reds snagged than caught in the mouth. Thats from a standpoint of view, not from personal experience.

AlaskanAuthor I am not trying to write this in a disrespectful way I am just to state my thoughts stemming from experience. Its a great debate and its interesting to read the responses, but it would take a miracle to convince me reds bite hooks to feed. To this date I cannot recall a time I was positive a red chased me hook to bite it. BUT I will let you know if it ever happens. :-)        

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