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Cutthroat snagging

1040 Views 20 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Preston
While cutthroat fishing on Sunday I hooked into what felt like a huge cutt. It worked its way toward the boat eventually and as I was pulling it up from the depths I looked into the water and saw what was probably an 18" cutt sitting there. To my suprise there was another smaller cuttroat next to it which was actually the one I had on my line :CONFUSED . Now here comes the really wierd part. The large one quickly swam off after it got close to the boat and as the one I had on came to the surface I noticed that it was hooked in the ass, right in front of the anal fin :BLUSH .
Anyone have any idea what happened? The only think I could come up with was that the fish swatted at the fly with it's tail and got hooked. Was the large fish just currious? When I first saw it I thought it was the fish I had on my line, then the other fish bumped into it. When this happened I thought mabey the fly switched fish when they were together, but the first scenerio probably makes more sense.
All day long I would see cutts darting at my fly, and often I wouldn't feel anything. Makes you wonder though. Some days I will get tons of action on the fly, but will only get a couple hookups. They're just playing cutthroat mind games with me.
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I don't think it's necessary to go THAT far to look for an explanation. Sea-run cutthroat will not be spawning until early spring (usually February to May, with the peak spawning month being March). Since, unlike steelhead and salmon, they continue to feed while in fresh water, they remain extremely aggressive. Like most other predatory fish they are attracted by any sort of commotion that might indicate injured, and therefore vulnerable, prey. It's not at all uncommon to have a sea-run cutthroat (or sometimes a Dolly Varden) take a crack at a smaller fish that has been hooked and is struggling.

I remember hooking a small (probably salmon) parr, no more than three inches long; I threw him some slack hoping he would be able to spit the fly out. He wasn't able to, so I started stripping him in rapidly to release him. About ten feet from the boat, the rod tip slammed down when a good-sized cutthroat grabbed the poor little tyke right across the middle. He wouldn't let go until I had him right up next to the boat, and he swam off looking rather confused about the whole incident. I released the parr, who was so cut up and mashed about the middle that he undoubtedly succumbed to his injuries.
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