TIPS ON FIGHTING FISH FROM A BOAT
Okay, so maybe it is your first time out on a boat or you are going out on a boat charter for the first time. You are hoping to catch Moby Dick, right? When the fish does strike the hook, what are you going to do?
Here is a look at some important points to think about and prepare for when fighting fish from a boat. When that reel screams you’ve got a fish on the line, the idea is not to panic, which most beginners will do. These tips are designed for you to read in advance and hopefully you can slow down and remember what you’ve picked up here.
SLOW DOWN AND TAKE IT EASY
It’s always good to relax when you are fishing. That might be harder to do than it is to say but it is a fact of successful fishing. Newbie anglers generally panic when a fish starts taking out their fishing line. For example, if you are all stiff, you will be sending out a twist in the line for each time you crank. The key is to let your fishing reel’s drag and the fishing rod do the work for you. As a general rule, it’s best to set your drag at 1/4 of your fishing line’s break strength. If the fish doesn’t look like it is about to stop, the best thing to do is take it slow and point your rod towards where your line enters the water at 45 degrees.
AS THE FISH SLOWS
It’s time to go to work once the fish has slowed down and has stopped taking out your fishing line. The classic method is to gently pull on your fishing rod and crank your reel as you lower it again and again. You can do this in a pumping motion. I’ve found doing this in small strokes is more effective than trying to do it in the biggest pulls you can muster. The idea is to keep the line tight. Sometimes, if a fish starts to run, it is best to let it run and watch how long the fish runs for. If the fish runs for a shorter period, then you know the fish is starting to tire. Fighting a fish is not a race to the finish, it is a battle of attrition.
TURN THE FISH TOWARDS ITS TAIL
As you get your fish to the boat, another great way to tire fish is to turn their head. That is to say, stop it from going under the boat by using side pressure to try and turn its head by smoothly pulling the rod towards the tail. This is a great technique to use on a fish that is near the end of the fight. Getting the fish close to the boat is a critical time because fish often find an extra reserve of fighting power as they panic after seeing your boat.
GO WITH A LANDING NET
A landing net is simply the best way to get your fish on the boat. A wet net is less abrasive on the fish. Always try to scoop a fish from the head into the landing net instead of scooping the net forwards because fish can’t swim backwards. If you are keeping the fish for dinner, I always say, put it on ice right away.
Do you have some boat fishing tips you can add? Share your experience through the comments section below.