|Interesting. And, congratulations!!|
For many decades, the question has always been where steelhead are in the ocean since, even when the salmon troll and net fishery was going strong...steelhead were notably completely absent. Yet they still magically appeared in the rivers WITH the salmon.
I have actually heard of more steelhead taken from the surf, up here, than offshore. And there are very few surf fishermen up here. And once you get north of about Long Beach, WA...there are near zero.
So, the assumption has been for awhile now that steelhead migrate in different water than salmon...specifically MUCH closer to shore and therefore are not caught in the saltwater salmon fisheries.
There are times when Coho are also caught in the surf here, about as commonly as steelhead..which is to say UNcommonly, but there are a LOT more Coho overall.
It seems steelhead tend to avoid, as much as possible, mixing with salmon. There are times, at least in a system such as the Columbia, when mixing is unavoidable, such as passage upriver through the fish ladders. But once past that funnel point, they tend to separate again into different water.
So, your fish is part of the trail of clues as to where and what these interesting fish are up to. As unusual as it is, if someone told me they caught a steelhead in saltwater, my GUESS would that it would be while surf fishing.