How dark is "too dark"?

C

chunk_style

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Jul 23, 2008
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Corvallis, Oregon
Hey all!
I was fishing Five Rivers this weekend, and pulled in a nice nook that was a chromy, all-over pink with a dark back, and a slightly hooked jaw and nose. Left the camera in the truck though:wall:. I let him go, but it made me wonder, how dark is too dark to eat? Anyone have pics of fish that they would say are right on the borderline? Or of fish that are just bright enough, or maybe ones that someone kept and then regretted it? I'm just looking for a guideline to use if it comes up again.
I also pulled in a jack that was very bright, and delicious!
Thanks!
 
C

carl hungis

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Nov 11, 2008
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gales Creek
Hey all!
I was fishing Five Rivers this weekend, and pulled in a nice nook that was a chromy, all-over pink with a dark back, and a slightly hooked jaw and nose. Left the camera in the truck though:wall:. I let him go, but it made me wonder, how dark is too dark to eat? Anyone have pics of fish that they would say are right on the borderline? Or of fish that are just bright enough, or maybe ones that someone kept and then regretted it? I'm just looking for a guideline to use if it comes up again.
I also pulled in a jack that was very bright, and delicious!
Thanks!

I don't have any pictures.. Sorry. A good rule of thumb is the belly. If it is gray/smoky let it go. Hens will stay chrome way past their prime, eggs will be falling out. I always look around the anal vent to see if there is sea lice present. If it is, it is a good sign. Bucks color quickly but are usually better table fair.

I have made the mistake in the past of bonking a questionable fish only to watch it turn to crap before my eyes after it was dead. If in doubt throw it back! sounds like you did the right thing:clap:
 
C

chunk_style

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Corvallis, Oregon
That's a good idea with the belly, I don't really recall the look of it on that fish. Yeah, I would have felt bad about whacking that one. The jack darkened up a LOT after I bonked him, but he felt firm the next day, so we ate him and he was good!
 
C

carl hungis

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gales Creek
That's a good idea with the belly, I don't really recall the look of it on that fish. Yeah, I would have felt bad about whacking that one. The jack darkened up a LOT after I bonked him, but he felt firm the next day, so we ate him and he was good!


Nice work!!
 
K

Kodiak

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Mill City, Oregon
too dark?

too dark?

If I catch a fish thats on the border I will usually put it back. There are some tricks though because some fish "color up" faster than others, some as quick as 48 hours.

1. Scale size...Salmon "ingest" thier scales through the skin for energy and protien. Generally salmon with larger scales are better table fair.

2. Look inside the mouth. Inside the mouth near the back you can see a small patch on the side just above the throught. If its pink or orange its a good indicator.

3. Hens with a big bloated stomach indicates a hen getting close to spawning. Hens meat around the belly becomes thinner due to developing eggs, they also take a tole on the rest as they stretch.

4. How did they fight? Was the fish full of energy or did it fight like a boot with a tail? Usually fish that are in better shape will fight harder than those that are spent.

All fish will turn darker upon death. A dark fish will become almost black when dead. We have caught nickle bright fish in the lower tidewater that loose that brighness and look like they have been in the river a couple of weeks. I hope this helps!
Good Luck
 
C

carl hungis

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Nov 11, 2008
Messages
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Location
gales Creek
If I catch a fish thats on the border I will usually put it back. There are some tricks though because some fish "color up" faster than others, some as quick as 48 hours.

1. Scale size...Salmon "ingest" thier scales through the skin for energy and protien. Generally salmon with larger scales are better table fair.

2. Look inside the mouth. Inside the mouth near the back you can see a small patch on the side just above the throught. If its pink or orange its a good indicator.

3. Hens with a big bloated stomach indicates a hen getting close to spawning. Hens meat around the belly becomes thinner due to developing eggs, they also take a tole on the rest as they stretch.

4. How did they fight? Was the fish full of energy or did it fight like a boot with a tail? Usually fish that are in better shape will fight harder than those that are spent.

All fish will turn darker upon death. A dark fish will become almost black when dead. We have caught nickle bright fish in the lower tidewater that loose that brighness and look like they have been in the river a couple of weeks. I hope this helps!
Good Luck


A real fresh salmon or steelhead should maintain its chrome ours after it has been bonked
 
R

rainbowfisherman

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Sep 15, 2008
Messages
406
Hey all!
I was fishing Five Rivers this weekend, and pulled in a nice nook that was a chromy, all-over pink with a dark back, and a slightly hooked jaw and nose. Left the camera in the truck though:wall:. I let him go, but it made me wonder, how dark is too dark to eat? Anyone have pics of fish that they would say are right on the borderline? Or of fish that are just bright enough, or maybe ones that someone kept and then regretted it? I'm just looking for a guideline to use if it comes up again.
I also pulled in a jack that was very bright, and delicious!
Thanks!


You said five rivers is that on the Alsea i have tried twice at mile post 12 with corkys and bobber and salmon eggs any tips.
 
F

FishFinger

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You know it's just wrong....... To post pictures of fish you regretted catchin'.

So here you go... If she looks like this.... Turn her loose... lol

DCP_3080.jpg

DCP_3085.jpg

Ok ok... my bad, BUT.... She slammed that spinner so hard my heart skipped a beat and then the fight was on! This was early in the coho season on the Sandy. My buddies Andy and Todd were pitching #4Slayers with brass blades nailing bucks and I'd taken two hens with the red dot on white . I believe we had seven fish in 2 days, gender specific.

Crazyness.....

We'd see her milling around the pool @ Landslide and commented "there's a monster in here" I went alone the next morning and Wammo she crushed my spinner on the flutter. The battle was epic and....... I kept her

How dark is too dark to give to your mother in-law salmon for the holidays?

Maybe that dark....
 
B

bigdog

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Hell I smoked a couple red ones and they still turned out good at least for the smoker not to sure about a bake or BBQ though
 
K

Kodiak

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Not always

Not always

A real fresh salmon or steelhead should maintain its chrome ours after it has been bonked

Ever seen what happens to tuna when they pass? I fish the lower tide water of the Siletz a lot. We (my family and I) put lots of fish in the boat. I have seen fish in August (thats when the hog bucks start to show up;))with sealice all over them turn darker the moment they are bled out. Most fish will retain thier brightness, but it does happen, and it is rare and depends on the individual fish.
 
C

carl hungis

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Nov 11, 2008
Messages
51
Location
gales Creek
You know it's just wrong....... To post pictures of fish you regretted catchin'.

So here you go... If she looks like this.... Turn her loose... lol

DCP_3080.jpg

DCP_3085.jpg

Ok ok... my bad, BUT.... She slammed that spinner so hard my heart skipped a beat and then the fight was on! This was early in the coho season on the Sandy. My buddies Andy and Todd were pitching #4Slayers with brass blades nailing bucks and I'd taken two hens with the red dot on white . I believe we had seven fish in 2 days, gender specific.

Crazyness.....

We'd see her milling around the pool @ Landslide and commented "there's a monster in here" I went alone the next morning and Wammo she crushed my spinner on the flutter. The battle was epic and....... I kept her

How dark is too dark to give to your mother in-law salmon for the holidays?

Maybe that dark....

No need to apologize brother, that fish looked good! Plus a hatchery fish even better. Hey, this isn't Ifish, I won't flame you :lol: I just like to see fish caught. I'm leaving after the first of the year for Idaho for who knows how long. :( I'll miss good fish pics.
 
C

carl hungis

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Joined
Nov 11, 2008
Messages
51
Location
gales Creek
Ever seen what happens to tuna when they pass? I fish the lower tide water of the Siletz a lot. We (my family and I) put lots of fish in the boat. I have seen fish in August (thats when the hog bucks start to show up;))with sealice all over them turn darker the moment they are bled out. Most fish will retain thier brightness, but it does happen, and it is rare and depends on the individual fish.

Good point!! Depends on where you catch them!
 
Troutski

Troutski

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Funny stuff....

Funny stuff....

"Hey, this isn't Ifish, I won't flame you " Quote""

Very funny stuff, I forget sometimes what those other sites are like...I use to be a member of ifish; this site suites my goals much better.

Chuck
 
F

Fishtopher

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Who knows?! Not me!
Ha...I kept one 'ho this year that was borderline...and I got it home and hit it with the filet knife, the meat just kinda oozed outta the fish like toothpaste...woopsie...:doh: And for the record I am an I****.n** member...with 0 posts. I find their archives quite useful. But I will not participate in ANY thread posted. Ill never forget the first post I read on there..."stupid bank maggots, should get a life, and ditch the meth, quit buyin lead sinkers and buy some teeth"...That my friend, is too dark...:rolleyes: Sorry, I got sidetracked....:mad:
 
C

chunk_style

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Corvallis, Oregon
You said five rivers is that on the Alsea i have tried twice at mile post 12 with corkys and bobber and salmon eggs any tips.

Yeah, it's on the Alsea. I don't remember the milepost for the road, but it's well signed. I drive down the road to a sharp left turn with those yellow and black chevron signs on it, and there's an access road right in that curve that goes into some timber land. I know the owner of that land, he told me to check it out. There are a few spots along the road to park and walk down, and the bank is large and easy to travel.
Anyway, there are a few holes right in that stretch of river, about three or four miles from the Alsea. This is the first season I've been able to hit that stretch while there are still chinook in it, and they were willing biters. Hooked four landed two in only an hour and a half.
I usually use spinners, I hooked all four of them on a mepps agila size 3 red and white. I've also caught a ton of resident fish and searun cutts with small chartreuse roostertails from that same area. It can be snaggy, drifting can be a pain, and I use light weight spinners.
 
F

fish_4_all

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Dec 1, 2008
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Aberdeen, WA
Wow, I have never seen a Coho look quite like that one. I would have thought I had a Chinook for sure.

One way I can tell an older fish is the color of the gills. If they are still blood red then they are really fresh, bright pink to bright red is a seasoned fish but should be firm, especially bucks. If there is any white in the gills at all then it is gone bad, especially hens.

If the scales fall off when you touch them the fish is as fresh as they come.

The worst one I have ever "tried" to land was a Coho in a backwater spot. I reached down to grab the gills and got a handfull of gill leeches for my effort. Bout had a heart attack. Should have kept the leeches for trout bait but they flew all the bank in my screech of panic and painful efforts to not fall in.
 
F

Fishtopher

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Who knows?! Not me!
Wow, I have never seen a Coho look quite like that one. I would have thought I had a Chinook for sure.

Your first thought would be correct...:lol:...He just said it was "early in the Coho season"...So spot on on the 'nook call!:clap:

Edit: Right?!
 
F

FishFinger

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There are fish in Idaho.... Just palmer a brown saddle hackle around a new potato add a splash of crystal flash.....

edit..right
 
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