Fishing Pressured Water - by Timothy Kusherets (Author) Steelhead & Salmon Drift-Fishing Secrets
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Fishing Pressured Water

Fishermen teach fish what "not" to bite

Timothy Kusherets (Author) Steelhead & Salmon Drift-Fishing Secrets

Lots and lots of fishermen love to fish in buckets and to do that means combat fishing. Anglers that have been around carry a negative association with the term combat fishing but I don't. I love it, especially when there's a lot of fish in the area. Look, there's nothing you can do to stop fish from feeling the pressure of fishermen but you can use the other fishermen to your advantage when the bite goes off. It's called "fishing pressured water", and it works.
The edification fish receive during any season where many fishermen are involved teach fish what "not" to bite. It doesn't matter what angler's use when there are a lot of them. Fish will go off the bite when they see the same things over and over again. It doesn't even matter if it's the same offering or a similar scent, pressure will put fish off the bite; but for the very reason that puts fish off the bite is the same thing that can put them back on.
Not every fish is going to get caught that gets hooked. Anglers lose fish all the time, but once a fish has been stung it has learned what not to bite. Not many fishermen know it but salmon and steelhead communicate with auditory (sound) and olfaction (scent) triggers. When an alarm from a hooked fish has been sent out fish will scatter and they "will remember" and stay off the bite. It is the motion of the hooked fish and the scent secreted through the skin, fish slime, which alarm fish; this is where the really important stuff comes into play. New offerings and scents introduced the water will trigger those same panicked fish into biting. I've seen it happen thousands of times over the course of the last two decades. In the presence of anglers fishing from the crack of dawn until noon when someone heads to the bank and almost immediately hooks into fish. I do it all the time; especially when I want to fish in those buckets too. All you have to do is watch the other fishermen and make sure not to use whatever they're using. I don't mean to use a different color corkie when corkies are used or different kinds of spoons when spoons are used. I mean something different entirely. If corkies are being used put on some bait. If bobber-jigs are being used try a spinner. Make sure to adjust casting tactics as well. Watch combat fishermen, more often than not, they tend to fish the same slots, seams, and tail-outs. Fish further out or closer in towards the bank. If the fish have been pressured enough it is reasonable to assume that getting a strike within a few casts will happen. Knowing how fish behave given certain stimuli has aided me in catching, and releasing, many fish.
Fish pressured water and get fish hand-over-fist by observing two things. Make sure that there are plenty of fish in the bucket you're trying to fish and be willing to adjust your fishing tactics. One of the greatest things about fishing pressured water is that you can actually fish banker's hours…now that's fishing.

Timothy Kusherets (Author) Steelhead & Salmon Drift-Fishing Secrets
These anglers know there's fish in the slot directly in front of them, hundreds of them. When fish are pressured they will move to the deepest and farthest recesses of a river to get away from fishermen. When you see a situation like this fish above or below the glut of fishermen and you're sure to garner strikes from fish; the foremost fisherman in the photograph is in a great position for getting those strikes.
Here's a very bright salmon I hooked into while fishing this last fall run. I happened to be out on recon when I saw this river being pounded by fishermen. From the bank I stood and watched what was being thrown out, heavy test and large offerings, and decided to fish with an extra light test, a long leader, and a "tiny" size ten corkie. I hooked into this honey in four casts. I put it back into the water and continued to fish for some time. By nightfall I had hooked and landed 9 fish, releasing them all. I didn't get to that river until 4:30 pm! That's a whole bunch of fish in a very short period of time! It's interesting to note that I was the only angler to get fish while I was there. I didn't horde any information from the others that were there but they refused to change their tackle and I prospered from it and you can too.
The day I caught this fish I landed 19 salmon within a five-hour period. The significance of the event was that it was done in the presence of about a thousand fishermen. Many of them came to me to find out how I was hooking into fish when the vast majority weren't.