snagging for salmon

So yesterday our visitors got back on their ship, that

leaves today, Sunday, to me. I headed down the

street to Fish Creek pond to do some snagging. For

those who don't know what snagging is, here is an

Snagging  is a method of fishing that entails catching

a fish using hooks without the fish having to take the

bait with their mouth.

This time of year we have king salmon, pink salmon

and chum salmon coming up fish creek out of the

ocean and into the pond. They come upstream to spawn. King salmon (Chinook) are the largest species of salmon and adult king salmon are typically 25 to 50 pounds with 60 to 80-pound king salmon not uncommon among sport fishermen and commercial catches. They typically range between 2 to 4 feet in length. Because of their size, they're well recognized for their power and endurance. So the hook I will be using is a large weighted treble


It is about a 1/4-mile hike from the fish creek parking lot to the pond. I

meandered down the trail and went out to the point where the creek comes

into the pond. I noticed when the pond came into view that there was an extra

critter swimming around, we had a harbor seal that made his way from the

channel. up the creek and into the pond where I assume he thought it would

be easy fishing.

To snag a fish, the idea is to cast out and then retrieve the hook at a fast pace.

While retrieving you then whip the pole back every 4 counts like you were

setting the hook. Hopefully when you whip the pole, the hook will run into a

fish swimming by. If it does, you'll know it, the fish will try to get away and the

fight is on.

I hooked one very large king right after I got there. I fought it for about 10

minutes when it finally jumped right at the shoreline and the hook came out.

This can be common when fishing like this, there is no guarantee how good the

fish is hooked. 

A short time later I hooked into another monster. I fought this one for about

the same time and when it got to the waters edge I decided to start backing up

and not give the fish a chance to jump or run. In doing so, the fish put on one

last burst to swim to deeper water, when it did, it broke my pole in half. I quickly started grabbing line and making my way back to the waters edge. While I was fighting with the fish at the bank, I noticed the struggle had caught the attention of the                                                                                       harbor seal and now it was making a bee line for us. There I was, a broken                                                                                         pole, a fish on the line, me standing in the water trying to land the fish by                                                                                           hand and the same time, trying to shoo off a harbor seal that thought it                                                                                              would get that fish. In all the commotion, my cell phone flew out of my pocket                                                                                    and landed in the pond, now I was having to retrieve it too.

                                                                                   Finally, I had the fish, I fought off the seal and had my phone back in my                                                                                              pocket. The fish weighed in around 40 pounds. I made a mistake when I left                                                                                        the house that morning by not loading up a backup rod, just in case one                                                                                              malfunctioned. I normally take two with me. So I gutted the fish, gathered my                                                                                    gear and what was left of the rod and headed back to the house. Got home,                                                                                      cleaned the fish and loaded two more rods in the car and back to fish creek I                                                                                      went.

                                                                                   I ended up landing two more fish that day, both were over 25 pounds. Two of                                                                                    the three that day were females that had not dropped their eggs yet, so along                                                                                    with the fillets we ended up with almost 2 gallons of salmon eggs. Some we'll                                                                                    eat, some I'll freeze and use for bait when I go fishing for Dolley Varden. All in                                                                                    all... not a bad day of fishing.

mixed breed media

middle aged in the last frontier