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#132880 - 12/30/01 03:30 AM What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?
RICH G Offline
PP Resident Nostradamus

Registered: 11/05/00
Posts: 2910
Loc: Land of the Lost
What do you do when you hook into one of those hog steelies? Do you start shakeing and loose your fish fighting skill or do you take the meat to him and push your gear to the limit.

Ive gotten over the priror, found that you never land em if you try to baby em. I put the meat to him and if I loose him it wasnt meant to be. Ive lost many big fish when I was younger because I just lost it when I see or feel how big it was. And on those bigger fish you cant play the waiting game, you have to be more agressive than the fish if you whant to land him. You make him react to you not you to him.

I Lost a pig, biggest one I have ever had on the end of my line, last year, because I was under matched but I had knowone to blame but my gear. No real regrets accept I wish I had had heavier line. A week earlier I landed a 22+# fish with the same set up. The one I lost was considerably bigger and not at all as fresh as the one I landed. Some battles you just cant win.

#132881 - 12/30/01 08:14 AM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?

Rich, I think every situation is different - line test, river currents, snags, obstacles to a following pursuit, etc. In general I lean toward putting the most pressure possible that fit the conditions; despite the consensus fish fight harder when fought harder. But sometimes a little finess can be a better way to go. One example is when a fish wants to take a long run, allow it to do so without trying to stop or even significantly impead it because letting it run further with just moderate drag on it will tire it out faster, unless the conditions demand stopping it (such as keeping it away from a fight ending snag or heading right for a swift tailout/rapids when you can't follow it). Sometimes keeping the rod tip very low to the water or evening down into the water can help turn a fish around when heading toward trouble. So can a sudden free spool of slack line to get a line belly drag from below the fish to make it run back into the hole away from the downstream drag (a last resort - and hope the hook is set deeply). Also during the fight keep trying to turn it's head toward you. One way I do both that and tire them faster is to put a quick but smooth harder line tug with your rod when the head shake is coming toward you, while just holding the rod steady when the headshake is going away from you. This seems to often turn the fish your way to help keep the fight in closer where you can play it more aggressively. And know your line's limits well! Then just keep after it without making any serious mistakes. The rest is usually up to the luck factor when playing a trophy fish in a tough place.


#132882 - 12/30/01 01:13 PM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?
silver hilton Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 10/08/01
Posts: 1155
Loc: Out there, somewhere
I put the steel to them and fight them hard. I try to get them to run as far and as fast as I can in the first few minutes. Actually, I do that to every fish. If you're planning to let them go, they'll be healthier if you fight them fast.

If you want an interesting lesson on how hard you can really pressure a fish, tie up an 8 lb Maxima leader onto your favorite rod, hook it around a door knob or somthing, and try to break it by rearing back on your rod as if you're fighting a fish. Undamaged mono is a lot stronger than you think it is. It's very difficult to break the line if your rod is bent.

#132883 - 12/30/01 01:14 PM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?
Osprey Offline

Registered: 05/09/00
Posts: 956
Loc: Osprey Acres /Olympja
Good Post Rich,I've landed a few steelies over 20 plus,but I've lost a lot more than I've landed wink
I beleive you can only turn him if He wants to. rolleyes
These BIG Fish are a total breed apart,their endurance is unmatched,since I don't fish braided lines or 20 plus lb rated rods,I tend to be at the mercy of Ike(aren't we all).
I say just hang on and hope for the best.....above all Release Him....Os
[/b]The less I give a [Bleeeeep!] the happier I am[/b]

#132884 - 12/30/01 01:27 PM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?
River Rat Offline
Juvenille at Sea

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 183
Loc: Tacoma Wa. Perice
Treat them like any other fish if you land cool if not it wasn't ment to be

#132885 - 12/30/01 06:35 PM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?
Thumper Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 04/08/01
Posts: 340
Loc: Vancouver, WA
All of the really big (20 poundish) Ikes I have seen have been dogs at the end of the line....just kinda swam around like they owned the place....nothing flashy. The real heart-stoppers are the 15 pound hens - now that's a fish!!!

Please join CCA. After only 18 months total Pacific Northwest membership is over 7,000. We need you!

The walls of death have got to go!

#132886 - 12/30/01 06:47 PM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?
cooter Offline

Registered: 11/26/01
Posts: 55
Loc: Woodland Washington
Keep there head turned and pray. Alot of whooping and hollering helps too!

#132887 - 12/30/01 07:01 PM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?
Dan S. Offline
It all boils down to this - I'm right, everyone else is wrong, and anyone who disputes this is clearly a dumbfuck.

Registered: 03/07/99
Posts: 15591
Loc: SE Olympia, WA
I smile. laugh laugh
She was standin' alone over by the juke box, like she'd something to sell.
I said "baby, what's the goin' price?" She told me to go to hell.

Bon Scott - Shot Down in Flames

#132888 - 12/30/01 08:15 PM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?
Skywalker Offline

Registered: 03/10/01
Posts: 578
Loc: Snohomish, WA, USA
Clearly this is dependent upon the number of opportunities you've had. The more opportunites you've had, the better you respond.

Me, I usually come up with something like "Holy sh!t", then "Awwwwww cr@p". Then I inspect my hook to see if it's bent, then go change my shorts.

#132889 - 12/30/01 10:07 PM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?

Registered: 04/05/01
Posts: 33
Loc: kent
Smile. Be happy.

#132890 - 12/30/01 10:13 PM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?
Fish Jesus Offline

Registered: 09/25/01
Posts: 768
Loc: Tacoma
Try not to let any negative MOJO flow it's way into my head! mad


#132891 - 12/31/01 12:26 AM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?
Salmo g. Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 12699

I relax. The hard part was fishing for however long it took before hooking the pig. What I mean is that I relax mentally, not physically. On the physical side, I try to sink the steel and then maintain a severe bend in my rod and let it do its work to tire out the beast. As Silver Hilton mentioned, it's hard, if not impossible, to break 8# Maxima with a bend in most common steelhead rods. For that reason, 8# Max has been my tippet of choice, except on the Thompson River, for over 25 years. With a deep bend in my rod, that fish will eventually tire out or pull free. And putting a lot of stick to him tires him out sooner rather than later. Works for me.


Salmo g.

#132892 - 12/31/01 02:12 AM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?
Chromeo Offline

Registered: 10/29/01
Posts: 561
Loc: Kenmore, WA
mabye thats why i've been losing most of the irons i hook into. i think i try to baby them too much. i give them just a little more hell the next time i get out(dosent look like any time soon though. frown )
All Americans believe that they are born Fishermen. For a man to admit a distaste for fishing would be like denouncing mother-love and hating moonlight. -John Steinbeck

#132893 - 12/31/01 02:33 AM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?
Fuzzybutt Offline

Registered: 08/20/00
Posts: 74
Loc: Gold Bar, W.A
Rich I agree with Salmo G. I try to relax, and think, so many people get a twiterred when they see how big the fish really is. if you have to bail, and follow the fish downstream, do it before its too late, and keep your rod turned into the bank your standing on, alot of guys just hold the rod up and hope...bad ju-ju, you need to always be changing the line angle. I have landed 8 Steelhead over 20, and one over 25, try to keep a clear head and think, push the gear to the limit, my parnter got a nice nate in the mid teens today, and it was the fight from hell, he did a great job in some cramped quarters, and eventualy we got the photo and released the fish, all of this on 8lb. the rod you choose to go with the light line is key.


Silent Approach Jigs Giving You The Edge You Need!

#132894 - 12/31/01 02:33 AM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?
Nebb Offline
Juvenille at Sea

Registered: 02/26/00
Posts: 147
Loc: Forks
I like the ones where you set the hook, it turns and heads up stream. You reel like hell to catch up to it, you finally do and ** SNAP **. I just sit there and think, I was gonna have to release it anyways..... :p :p

#132895 - 12/31/01 06:48 PM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?
Returning Adult

Registered: 03/09/99
Posts: 460
I'll have to let you know at a later date. Of all the Steelies I have hooked, nothing over about 16-17 lbs...
always wear a Miami Dolphins hat
never horse a fish on a losing streak
Diet Coke Pro Staff

#132896 - 12/31/01 06:57 PM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?
Fish Jesus Offline

Registered: 09/25/01
Posts: 768
Loc: Tacoma
Then you are due.....have pink worm will travel!!!!


#132897 - 12/31/01 07:14 PM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?
desertdrifter Offline

Registered: 03/25/01
Posts: 78
Loc: richland
same with me,Id love the chance to loose a 20 plus LB. steely.I think that fish in that range are almost unheard of in central Oregon and Washington I've caught a good sampling of them too. let me know when you want to go!!!!

#132898 - 12/31/01 07:25 PM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?
Fish Jesus Offline

Registered: 09/25/01
Posts: 768
Loc: Tacoma
DD, what do you have going on over in Richland? It must either be good or your forced to live that far inland :p
Just my .02....sounds like a long way to go for prime time, nasty, large bodied OP howgs!


#132899 - 12/31/01 10:08 PM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?
desertdrifter Offline

Registered: 03/25/01
Posts: 78
Loc: richland
IT'S BEEN A GREAT YEAR!!!! I cant complain most of the rivers over here have been awsome. The rivers I fish have had record runs I have had several 15 20 fish days but most of the fish average 6-8lbs. you guys on the other side of the moutains get a a few more hogs or it might just be talk(ha ha)

#132900 - 12/31/01 10:38 PM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?
Coot Offline
Juvenille at Sea

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 143
Loc: Kelowna British Columbia
Hi :The fastest way to tire a fish is by turning him.Every time he turns to the side pressure of your rod you immediately turn him the opposite way. The only way this can be done is with a low rod and side pressure. If the fish gets some distance from you you can`t exert meaningful side pressure so its important to keep him as close as possible.
With babless hooks if the fish gets upstream of you and moves to the far bank he can more easily shake the hook .Keep him below you if possible.
When he starts to head shake I like to ease the pressure but if he starts to swim in a straight line try to turn him with side pressure.
If a fish gets too far below you, try to walk him upstream with steady pressure. They tow easier than they can be pulled with reeling. As soon as he has been towed 20 yards you can start to pump and retrieve line.
The steadier you can keep pressure on the fish the more easy he is to handle.
Occasionally a fish will try to get behind a rock and bury his head.I always carry several loose leaf binder rings .Snap a ring onto your line ,lift your rod tip and slide the ring down it will bang on the rock or on his nose and get him out of that hole.
Oh yes pray a little while your at it I wont help get the fish but it may help to reduce your anziety.
A friend of mine has a neat trick; he has a good sense of sound pitch, so he guages the breaking point of his line by the pitch of the sound emitted by the vibrating line. The higher the pitch the closer to the breaking point. It works for him. It should work for anyone with a good ear.

#132901 - 12/31/01 10:52 PM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?

First of all if you hook one of big nates that hits the "burners" immediately....well learn to appreciate the moment(typically about a 5 count plus or minus a bit)as these fish rarely stop for anything living especially the two legged kind. Only thing that will stop them is structural restrictions in the hole. Only advice I have is a repeat of FuzzyButts...constantly change angles to the sides of the fish. Just holding on for "dear life"....well it'll be short. The memories of these fish are still some of the best even without catching them.


#132902 - 12/31/01 11:28 PM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?
R Ridgeway Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 12/04/99
Posts: 288
Loc: Seattle
If you're in a boat your options are are greater and your chances for success much better. On the bank a different story. A few years back I landed a big hen about 18lbs fishing from the beach after a 15 min. fight and upon resuming fishing immediately hit an even bigger fish that was thrashing downstream on the surface and had all my 12lb line in less than 10 seconds. I ran down stream and tried to apply pressure but there was no stopping it...popped my leader....and yes that 10 seconds is one of my most vivid steelheading memories even though I've landed a couple 20+ pounders. It's all about the mystery of not knowing how big it really was combined with the power that fish exhibited. I had no chance. Maybe this spring I'll get a good trash'n again.

#132903 - 12/31/01 11:41 PM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?

That was probably a comparable or larger buck layin in the same slot as that big ol'hen. My last experience like that was on the Hump. Landed a nice hen also around 16 pds....retied and cast to the same slot. Couple of casts and a hook set and it was all over in less than 5 sec's. Didn't even have the time to think the thought "holy sheaT!" Memory is still clear as day. Hope to do it again asap.

Gooose laugh

#132904 - 01/01/02 04:25 AM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?
CedarR Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 08/04/99
Posts: 1326
Loc: Olympia, WA
I bank fish alot, and am willing to give luck most of the credit anytime I land a big fish. When you fish the little honey-holes, it seems like you're always dealing with brush, log jams, pilings, and chutes. However, I'll take the blame for losing two of the biggest steelies I've ever hooked. One was hooked on a Super Bowl Sunday and my partner on the net was dying to get home to see the game, which had already started. That lengthy battle ended when the hook pulled out after I followed his suggestion to "tighten the drag a little and bring him in." The second fish was hooked just before dark. It took off downriver and through a chute. Soon, I was looking at an empty spool and a knot. You're pretty much out of options at that point. I gave the rod and 165 yards of McCoy line everything I had, and the fish turned. I can still remember the relief I felt when I had about five wraps on the spool. It took quite awhile to work the fish back up through the fastwater, and it was now dark. When I'd recovered about half of the line, I relaxed for a second. In the dark, I'd made the decision to rest while the fish was alongside a rootwad. The next time I pumped the rod, my line was anchored in it, and the fish was gone. One fish horsed and lost; another fish lost when I stopped horsing it. Fish fighting must be art, not science!

Gooose-- You're right about lost fish leaving vivid memories. My most vivid steelheading memory is the spring evening I hooked three fish on three casts. Burned my thumb each time trying to stop their downriver runs. Never saw the fish, but I'll never forget the experience. Pain helps intensify a memory , also wink

ROEBOAT-- There's a run of big fish in the Snoqualmie that locals call "Raging River Grinners". Story goes that when you hook one, all you can do is hold on and grin laugh

[ 01-01-2002: Message edited by: CedarR ]

#132905 - 01/01/02 01:13 PM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?
LittleZoZo Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 430
Loc: Rochester, WA USA
I've yet hook a really BIG nate..... My biggest nate is about 17-18 Lbs. Not huge, but still plenty big. I hear a lot of guys saying to "pour the steel to him" And thre is definately a time and place to do that...... That time and place is when you've run out of options. I also dont believe in babying a fish too much, fighting them too long increases your chances oflosing and itsalso a good way to kill a fish that you'd otherwise release. I just keep steady, even pressure on all of my fish, regardless of if they're big or small, I let my drag do it's job and I use the rod to get some leverage on the fish. If I cant hold the fish and he takes off downstream like crazy, I chase him.... I think it's crazy how guys will have 100 yards of bank to fight a fish in and when the fish takes off peeling line downstream 1000 miles per hour, these guys will just stand there and let the fish run, then when/if the fish slows down, these guys will try to crank the fish back up to them. Why would anyone just stand flat footed and try to pump a big hog back up against all of that current? Get off your @ss and chase that fish down! The time to Start horsing and praying is when you've hooked a fish in a bad spot and there's nowhere to play him. when letting him run would mean losing him in a log jam, or watching him disappear down a slot of rapids that you couldnt follow him down. When that happens, I say a little "Please God, let me get this fish" and start horsing.
If you get home and I'm not there, don't eat it.

#132906 - 01/01/02 11:18 PM Re: What do you do when you hook in to a hog steelie?
Diana Offline
Juvenille at Sea

Registered: 12/24/01
Posts: 146
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
I hate big fish. If you get them close, you get nervous. If they run too far, you get nervous. If they jump, you get nervous.
I got a 38 pound king once and never realized how big it was because of the fog. Once it hit the boat, it looked reaaaaally big in the bottom of a 16 foot boat.
Big fish aren't fun. They're nerve-wracking.
And yes, pour the coals to them or they head for the far side of the globe. Medium hard set to the drag, and when they run, point the rod butt at them to turn every time.

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