When strip setting goes bad

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Nick Clayton, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,855
    Ratings: +1,126 / 4
    Snuck out for this mornings tide change before my doctors appointment. Had a pretty productive morning, but it was not all good. I started fishing just at daybreak, and got a solid take right away. I was really not really too focused at the time, and it was one of those strip, strip, strip "oh there is a solid weight" type of hits, so I never really got a good set on him. He immediately started jumping all over the place, and would have possibly been the fish of the year for me had it not spit the hook after the 4th jump. Dang! Ok.... now I'm focused!

    At this point the skys opened up and started pouring! I zipped up my wading jacket and threw my hood on, and kept casting. About 15 minutes later, I felt a light tug and gave a SOLID strip set. BAM- fish on. This fish went crazy all up and down the beach. I was laughing like a school girl the whole time. (I often wonder what I must look like when I'm on the beach in these situations all by myself. Must be quite a sight). After a way longer battle than the size of the fish would usually demand, I slid it to beach. Bonk!

    Took a few minutes to get my hook sharpened, and to go over my leader, then started casting again. At this point the wind picked up and was blowing right in my face, so I moved down around a point to where I could semi have the wind at my back. The current was moving nicely from my left to right, and there was baitfish swimming in large schools all around my feet, and dimpling at the surface just about every direction. I was booming out some LONG casts with the hero wind at my back, when about half way through my retrieve I felt another light tug... Again, my focus on strip setting paid off and I reared back and was quickly into another fish. Few minutes later, I slid the second to the beach. This fish was almost identical in size to the first, but was missing a big chunk of gill plate. It looked fresh, but was pretty well healed over when I looked closer. I was still wanting that big guy, so I let this fish go.

    Got back out and started casting again, and a short time later a repeat tug and ANOTHER solid strip set. Man, I'm on a roll! This fish turned out to be sub 20". After releasing that fish it started POURING. I mean it was hard to see it was raining so hard. I started to regret letting the second fish go when I felt a SOLID weight in the line during the middle of my strip. My finely tuned instincts took over and I gave a mighty strip set that would have ripped the jaw off an alligator, and SNAP my running line broke.

    It took me a minute to figure out what happened.... During my retrieve a loop of line somehow got wrapped between my stripping hand and the reel, which caused me to feel a solid resistance in my strip while retrieving. Well I have been so focused on strip sets that I set hard, and snapped the line. I damn sure didn't want to quit fishing, but I wasn't real sure what to do with the line. I decided to tie it back together, and keep fishing.

    A short time later I was BOMBING out some casts with a great hero wind at my back, so I had a ton of line out. I was about half way through my retrieve when I felt a curiou tug/weight. I gave another strip set and came up into another solid fish. This fish ran right at me, and I backed way up the beach to make up ground. I was trying to get it on the reel when I noticed a big knotted chunk of running line go screaming out my guides. It barely made it through the guides without totally hanging up, and the fish proceeded to take me into my backing. I ended up fighting that fish with that giant knot the whole time, as well as a spliced together running line. It wasn't the biggest fish I've ever caught, but it was one of the hotter ones and I was pretty nervous given the condition of my line.

    After sliding that fish up to the beach I figured I'd better not tempt the fish gods anymore, so I bonked it and called it a morning. (Anyone know at what point the 2+2 salmon retention no longer applies? I mean, could one keep fishing at this point in the year after 2 silvers? Just curious).

    Is there anything better than catching silvers on a beach in October, and being the only one around? I'm not sure there is.

    Oh, any tips for my running line?

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  2. Stonefish Triploid and Humpy Hater

    Posts: 3,862
    Pipers Creek
    Ratings: +1,262 / 1
    Nick,
    Great job on the coho. Might just be time to bite the bullet and score a new line. You'll tank me when you hook up on your first chum....:D

    One thing I've noticed a lot over the years about October salt coho is the light takes. A few of the fish will pound it, but the majority of the takes are very subtle as you described. You'll be stripping in and just feel weight on your line. It kind of catches you off guard at times and you don't get a great strip set on them.
    SF
  3. Jason Rolfe Wanderer

    Posts: 1,178
    the beach
    Ratings: +373 / 0
    Awesome Nick! Great report. I rarely read those all the way through, but I read yours and enjoyed it.

    J
  4. DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

    Posts: 868
    Marine Area 9
    Ratings: +335 / 0
    Nick,

    Start using the 2 handed retrieve on these guys to get a faster hook set, it helped me out recently. I was getting bites as soon as the clouser hit the water, very soft though. Definitely buy a new fly line! Great job hooking all those silvers.

    Tim
  5. mtskibum16 Active Member

    Posts: 938
    Puget Sound Beaches
    Ratings: +211 / 0
    I had strip set and running line problems this weekend too! One problem with October and strip sets is cold fingers!

    Yesterday morning I had a hit almost right away, went to strip set and the line slipped out of my fingers (cold and wet). The fish made one jump and shook the hook. Shortly after Josh landed one, then another small one he released. It died down for a bit then I got SLAMMED, solid hook set, game on! The fish came at me briefly and I backed up taking line in. It was way out so I figured it would get on the reel on it's own pretty quick. It did a big jump and was a NICE fish. It started running so I was letting line slip out of my (still wet and cold) fingers....the typical jerk jerk jerk then SNAP! F**K! A tangle in the running line either caught on my finger as it passed through or on the guides or something. The leader broke on a wind knot that I noticed the previous day and forgot to fix. Combination of bad luck and angler errors. 0-2 for me :(
  6. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,855
    Ratings: +1,126 / 4
    This line doesn't really get used for chums, so I'm not too worried about that. I figured it was on it's last legs anyway, just was hoping to stretch it out through the last little bit of season. Don't really want to buy a line now, use it a few times, then have it sit till next summer.
    I have the same line in a floater that I'll switch to for chums.

    I do need to just bite the bullet and start doing the two handed retrieve. I've tried it in the past, but not for very long. It has always just felt so goofy. Not having the rod in my hand goes against every bit of trout fisherman in me. Oh well, maybe thats something I need to really try out next year.
  7. dp ~El Pescador

    Posts: 708
    .Renton, Wa
    Ratings: +88 / 0
    nice work. Still bright fish. you convinced me to take my boat out this weekend for one last try on coho before I put it away for the season. I have a planned location in mind already, but would you mind at least sharing which area (9, 10, 8.1, etc) you were fishing in? PM me if you prefer

    thanks-dp
  8. Bagman Active Member

    Posts: 351
    Poulsbo WA
    Ratings: +79 / 0
    Nick if your not using Outbound you can weld a loop in both ends of the running line and run it loop to loop for the rest of this year. If you don't have the needed equipment, and live close to me I would gladly give you a helping hand as I have everything needed to weld most lines. It may not be the best but it should last for at least a few trips.
  9. dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    Posts: 4,097
    Near the Fjord
    Ratings: +563 / 0
    That's an awesome morning Nick! Hope to be on the water............really soon!!! ........ Very good!
  10. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,855
    Ratings: +1,126 / 4
    Thanks for the offer, Bag. I went ahead and did a quick patch job that I think will get me through. Definitely be buying a new line this off season.

    Dp I was in MA9
  11. Patrick Allen Active Member

    Posts: 397
    Bothell,WA
    Ratings: +174 / 0
    Nice work Nick you definitely put on a clinic
  12. Rodney Bryan Rodney Bryan

    Posts: 31
    Redmond, WA
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    Nick
    Congrats on the continued success with the silvers, all I can say is I have definitely improved my casting skills this season but I am still awaiting that elusive tug (soft or hard). I had success with Pinks but I still need to get that Silver under my belt. I pounded the hell out of a specific beach with no luck, I'll keep reading, scouting with the hope of making it happen this year or next.

    Keep on catching and posting the great reports
    Stonefish likes this.
  13. Jeff Dodd Active Member

    Posts: 1,576
    Langley, WA
    Ratings: +356 / 0
    Nick. That was an awesome fish report. You had me putting my hood up just reading about that hard October rain.

    I broke my running line this salmon season also. My plan is to join it with 30 pound braided mono, nail knot each end and aquaseal it. If you want some braided mono, I am your man.
    Oh, I've not done this repair yet myself, so not sure how it will work, but this is how I attach braided loops.
  14. Stonefish Triploid and Humpy Hater

    Posts: 3,862
    Pipers Creek
    Ratings: +1,262 / 1
    Rodney,
    Keep at it and it will happen either this year or next. If you hooked up on pinks, silvers can't be far behind.
    Drop me a PM next year and perhaps we can meet up on a Seattle beach to see if we can get into some silvers.
    SF
  15. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,855
    Ratings: +1,126 / 4
    Well my patch job on the running line seems to be holding.

    Another nice morning. Was wiiiiinnnnddddyyyy and cold!!! Sitting in my truck before heading out the weather site I monitoring showed wind to 32 MPH. It was all I could do to get out of the truck, but I knew I should be able to get this wind to my bank, and for the most part thats how it turned out.

    First fish hit right at my feet. The loop to loop connection from my leader was just out the tip of my rod when he took, very subtley. I wasn't able to get a good hook set on him, since he hit so damn close, and naturally he was a screamer...But I lucked out and landed it. Nothing for an hour or so then I got a hit right when my fly hit the water. Literally, if I didn't already know better I wouldn't have thought there was enough time for the fly to hit the water and a fish to hit it that quickly. I'm fairly certain he was yawning, and I got lucky and dropped the fly into his mouth. Is that flossing?

    Fought this fish HARD. I didn't get any sort of hook set since he hit it so quickly after the fly hitting the water, so I figured I had a better chance of really puttin the wood to him and getting him the beach rather than play it too safe and give him a chance to spit the hook. He fought hard, but I gave him nothing, and had him to the beach in short order. As I did the Herring Dan Drag up the beach, as soon as I released tension the hook slid out. I was right on that one.

    The fish aren't around in the numbers of a month ago, but the ones that have been around sure have been hungry for clousers!

    2013-10-09_09-59-36_736.jpg
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  16. Kcahill Active Member

    Posts: 894
    Renton, WA
    Ratings: +262 / 2
    Nice fish, I need to get out there sometime Friday or this weekend.
  17. mtskibum16 Active Member

    Posts: 938
    Puget Sound Beaches
    Ratings: +211 / 0
    Nice work again Nick! You have your timing dialled this year. Must be nice to have some private beach access! :cool:
    Nick Clayton likes this.
  18. Stonefish Triploid and Humpy Hater

    Posts: 3,862
    Pipers Creek
    Ratings: +1,262 / 1
    Herring Dan Drag up the beach....:D
    I think he has a patent on that move. Give no quarters!
    Nice work Nick.
    SF
    tonemike and Nick Clayton like this.
  19. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,855
    Ratings: +1,126 / 4
    All I can say is thanks for 15 lb Maxima! No silvers are safe from the HDD!!!
    tonemike and Stonefish like this.
  20. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,855
    Ratings: +1,126 / 4
    Had an early appointment today that gave me a window to fish early this morning. Decided to hit a beach closer to my doctors office. It was calm and cold when I geared up, but by the time I started fishing the wind was picking up.

    Beach fishing in October is cold!!! My hands/fingers were numb quickly. Luckily I didn't have to wait too long to get them warmed up, as this guy plucked my clouser near the end of my retrieve maybe 5 casts after arriving.

    Stonefish is right, these October fish for the most part are not slamming the fly. The hits are very subtle, very trouty. Most of them seem to come on the drop between strips, and it feels like they just pick it up and mouth it or something. I can honestly say that last year I would have missed most of the fish I've caught this week. I think my focus on strip setting is really paying off. This fish this morning hit real soft on the drop, and I managed to wait just a half second to feel him good before I strip set and then raised the rod. I am confident that I would have lifted immediately not that long ago, and missed such a fish.

    With each one I keep telling myself "Ok, now that was probably the last silver of the year...."

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