I have only seen a couple of Steelies up close, I’m pretty much a rookie here. I am kind of embarrassed that I didn’t see that it was a Cut, It really fought hard for a Cut. Anyway, I emailed the picture to my fish biologist son-in-law. He thinks it looks more like a large Cut. He asked me if it had the slashes under the jaw. I didn’t get a good look. After I took the picture he got a little feisty and I went ahead and released him. I does look like slashes in the picture below.
When I think about it, would a small Steelie (20 inches) have anything like the bit of a hooked jaw that this thing has?
That's an awesome fish, Rev- particularly so for a Cutt. But it's an easy enough mistake without having seen the throat slashes. Here's a eastside steel caught a couple weeks ago that looks amazingly like your fish, save for the pink lateral stripe.