The strike! Get it right. Too hard on a short line and you break the line or rip the lips off the fish! I recall a wonderful story about James, a lawyer from London England. We were fishing the 50 fathom edge off of Kyuquot and on each bite he gave it an ever so gentle nudge of a strike. But, we were fishing 200 feet and the fish barely felt the strike let alone got hooked! Zero for 6. Then the demo from me on how to power into a strike by first reeling up the slack and giving it everything you’ve got. James being a great student of angling took it all in. In retrospect,

I was quite neglectful of not informing my guest and student of a change in striking technique when fishing shallower. I was even more remiss in not informing James that I had decided to fish for the shallow swimming tanks (big chinooks) 25 feet under the boat, even though we were in 300 feet of water and had been fishing 200 feet.

Well the inevitable happened. A big one ripped it out if the clip and buried the rod, 90 degree off the corks. Huuummm pulling so hard it would take an Olympian weight lifter to get it out if the holder. James, the perfect student, took my advice, grabbed hold, seized the reel (at this point no rod was visible as it was bent clear under the boat as the giant headed for the bottom) and James turned into the Incredible Hulk and gave it everything he had.

Well I’ve never witnessed a line break with a double rod break. We just had to laugh. I learned that it is always best to let others know what is going on (and if you don’t know, don’t be afraid to ask!)

Let’s go fishing,

-Mike Barker