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After going 0 for 5 in steelhead trips this winter on a spincasting rod I finally broke down and bought a bait casting setup.

Today I finally got to fight a large steelhead and after about 10 minutes I got it to my feet where it prompty broke the hook off.

About 15 minutes later I hooked into a 10-12 pounder and when I finally got it in I realized I have no idea how to safely release teh fish. I was alone and with an 11' rod found it difficult to even get ahold of the fish. After what seemed like forever it began to tire and I brought it a bit closer to shore, rested the rod on my shoulder and tried to get a handle on things. Though I did eventually manage to get the hook out and release him, he did flop around in the shallows a lot and this is something I'd like to avoid in the future.

Is this just something you have to deal with when steelhead fishing by yourself?

Any tips on landing large fish in a river when you're fishing alone?
 

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When I used to use Centerpin and this can be done with a level wind as well, I always tried the get the fish close enough to grab onto the leader and keep presure on the fish with the leader in your hand, quickly after the leader is in your hand i would tail the fish for a quick release.. also If you can get the fish into soft shallow water just quickly drop the rod tip down and quickly grab the tail fo the fish as well, but have to be quick, the fish will usually lay there for a second long enough to grab onto it !!
 

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He'll show you when it's ready! No need to drag any fish on the rocks unless you intend to kill it! I always wait for the fish to show unless I'm with someone who can assist then you can get it back much sooner!


Hotrod
 

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One thing that will help you know when a Steelhead is tired....
All rainbow trout roll onto their sides when they have no energy left, at this time you can even lay down your rod, grab your float and walk up to the fish. The fish remains in the water the whole time and it normally wont flop around at all, just slide the hook out, and hold the fish in the water (while swishing it back and forth, or put its gills into the current) until the fish tries to swim away and then let go. Try to never drag them onto the shore unless killing them. Side pools or calmer water makes the landing much easier also, I always look to see where I can land the fish if I were to hook one before I start fishing, as soon as I hook the fish I try to direct it into that spot.
 

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dont forget to use the belly technique which will allow you "most" of the time to tail the fish the first time you get your hands on them. its bery simple and works on all types of fish :thumbup: just run your WET hand along the belly of the fish (i personally only use a couple fingers) and when i get near the tail i grab on ;D reach up and get the hook out, face the fish upstream until it can kick out of my hand (this ensures its strong enough to survive) I have seen 2or3 fish so far this year dead or floating downstream from not being revived properly, I did manage to grab one of them and revive it myself but not sure if helped but i didnt see it again myself. And that being downstream technique to get it into yourself where you can grab it is a great way with a long rod OR always fish with a buddy if you can :thumbup: i personally dont go for steelies alone for the fact they are quite squirelly and hard to tail alone.
 

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HOOK said:
just run your WET hand along the belly of the fish (i personally only use a couple fingers) and when i get near the tail i grab on
unless the fish is belly up (not a good sign), I find it pretty hard to run my DRY hand along the belly. ;) ;) :peace:
 

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the reason i stated wet hand was that i wet my hand before i stick it anywhere near ANY fish even if i may keep it because sometimes you change your mind and release it. even if your reaching in the water its good to pre-wet your hand that will be touching the fish right? i think so :thumbup: and if your wearing gloves take them off if your able to.
 

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HOOK said:
even if your reaching in the water its good to pre-wet your hand that will be touching the fish right?
No! :happy: :happy: :happy: Read what you wrote. If my hand is in the water, it's about as wet as it is ever going to get. Just having some fun here. :beerchug: :beerchug:
 

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hey guys, i may have raised him but he does his own thinking now. guess maybe he was thinking there is a "dry" river just like DRY lake on hwy #5A. which last time i fished it i still got "wet' hands LOL :thumbup:
 

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wagonmaster said:
hey guys, i may have raised him but he does his own thinking now. guess maybe he was thinking there is a "dry" river just like DRY lake on hwy #5A. which last time i fished it i still got "wet' hands LOL :thumbup:
Just think Rob he's allllllllllllll yours!!!! hahahahaha

CK
 

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the upside down thing works great on trout especially if your going to tummy pump them you have to do it while they are upside down. ive never even tried to flip a salmon upside down :confused:
 
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