First Time Fishermen and Women
During your fishing trip you will be fishing for Chinook or King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Rainbow (Steelhead) Trout and Brown Trout. The trout will average about 5 to 10 pounds with occasional 10 to 15 and the rare 15+ pounder.
Provided 9 and 10 foot medium action boat rod and reels have long handles for leverage when fighting fish. The left hand is placed behind the rod with the reel facing you. The reel handle is turned with the right hand.
The rods will be set up with lures at certain depths depending on the temperature of the water below. Once the rod is set it will be bent over in an arch. Watching the tip will let you know when a fish hits. the rod will pop up for a second then the fish will pull it in a more erratic fashion. When this happens, the closest person to the rod will grab it, reel tight on the line if it isn’t, and then make a sharp jerking motion with the rod in the opposite direction of the fish to set the hook deeply in their hard mouths. Rods on out riggers are more difficult to set the hook with, you should allow the captain or first mate to set these for you and hand you the rod.
When fighting the fish you must always keep the rod tip high in the air to keep tension on the line between you and the fish. If the fish is swimming away from the boat you will just hold on to the rod and let them run. The drag will slow the fish down gradually. You should not try to interfere with the reel by applying pressure to the spool. Allow the fish to run freely. When the fish relaxes for a moment, you will begin to reel as you let the tip of the rod go down to create slack to reel up. Then stop reeling and pull the rod back to an upright position and repeat the process. Steelhead will tend to leap out of the water and put on a spectacular show in an attempt to dislodge the hook from their mouth. Always keep your line tight by reeling quickly and keeping the rod tip high in the air. If the line goes slack they will throw the hook out by thrashing violently.
Netting is a two person job. Once the fish is tired out and has gotten near the boat and you have reeled in all the line you can, lift the rod tip once again and the netter will move in front of you as you walk backwards toward the front of the boat. This will pull the fishes head directly into the net as the netter dips the net in. Once the fish is in the net the netter tips the handle straight up in the air to “close the bag”. The fish is then lifted by the netting and not the net frame.
Pictures quickly follow and the decision to return the fish to the water or keep it for filleting later is then made.