The Bite Area - Steelhead & Salmon Drift Fishing

Posted by Nick Amato on

The Bite Area

Not many people discuss this crucial topic because not many people even know how important it is. When talking about drift­ing the corkie, you'll want to consider the size of the hook versus the size of the corkie. If you use a size-ten corkie you want to use a size-two hook, for a couple of reasons. The most obvious is the "bite area". By using the proper combination of hook and corkie the bite area is free for hooking fish. That is, when the fish goes after the offering it will not only get the corkie, but the hook as well. To demon­strate my point, I found a leader that was left by some other fisherman in the field ( see photo above). The size of the corkie on the right does not match the size of the hook. I am sure that he was looking for a large profile, but in doing so he interfered with the bite area. See how the corkie is too big for the hook when I place the two side by side? Because of this interference he would have never been able to hook a fish reliably: that translates into a fish that may have bitten into his offering, but was never hooked.

Now look at the hook with the pink corkie. See how the corkie fits nicely into the belly of the hook? This is a good rule to follow. If the corkie does not fit into the hook without interfering with the bite area, then the corkie is too big.

The next issue is buoyancy. If the corkie is too small, the weight of the hook could cause it to descend to the bottom of the river and never be seen by any fish, not to mention that it could easily get snagged on something. If you are going to use a size-two hook, then use the appro­priate-sized corkie. A size-two hook will sink a size-fourteen corkie. If you still want to use a larger hook, but a smaller corkie, you could opt to double up ( use two corkies) and counter the buoyancy issue. For presentation purposes, I recom­mend that you only double up for small­er setups, unless the water is muddy. 



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