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What to Do Once the Fish is Hooked and there’s a lot of Pressure
You’ve probably been told countless times to keep the line tight when the fish is hooked. This is the not best thing to do in most fishing situations and when the fish is hooked. Although you should keep the tension and keep the slack out, do not increase pressure on the hook as this can break your line.
As such, just maintain the pressure on the line in a very smooth manner. You should smoothly draw your line (together with the fish) in your direction so that you can neutralize the fish’s action. The idea here is to not forcefully pull the fish in your direction. If you do so, it will rebel and pull away in the opposite direction and this spells doom. All you have to do is reel in the fish smoothly and bring it towards the boat or to a place downstream where you can land it using the gloves.
Another important thing is to stay calm once the fish is hooked. You shouldn’t panic at all. Keep in mind that the rod, the line, and the reel are all designed to help you absorb the pressure when the fish is fighting you. Just stay calm, reel smoothly and steadily and the fish will tire.
Get Some Good Fishing Gloves
A crucial part of landing a fish without a net is getting some good gloves. There are various gloves out there including one that can help you land fish when not using a net. With some good gloves, you won’t worry about grabbing the fish by the gills. You should make sure that you have good footing and proper balance. This means that you should keep in mind the weight of the fish. For instance, using the gloves to grab a 20-pound fish will be a lot easier than using the same technique to grab a 150-pound fish.
Using gloves is also important, especially if you’re planning to release the fish after landing it. Under such a situation, your main concern should be to release the fish without harming it. You should, therefore, be careful not to forcefully grab and squeeze it as this can harm its vital organs.
Gaff the Fish
Knowing to gaff the fish is of great importance when you hook the largest and toughest to hook species like tuna, swordfish, and even shark! Having fixed gaffs, which are essentially strong poles with big hooks at the end, can be used to land fish weighing north of 100 pounds. You can also use flying gaffs by tying them to a heavy rope, which you should secure on a boat’s cleat.
Unfortunately, this technique can be quite messy and ineffective if you’re planning to release the fish afterward. You’ll be in for a blood galore thanks to the wounds that a gaff can create.
Swing the Fish Aboard
It’s important to note that swinging the fish aboard can be a risky affair. This is because chances are the fish might fly off the hook and you may end up losing your trophy catch. You can also break your line as a result of the sudden pressure applied on the line. With that in mind, you should only do it if the fish is not very big.
The process is very simple. All you have to do is reel in the fish close to the boat lean towards the water, grab the line, and quickly swing the fish into the boat! This method is advantageous in the sense that it’s simple, fast, and doesn’t require additional gear.
Beach the Fish
While most anglers consider beaching the fish as an outdated technique, it can be an appropriate way to land the fish, especially if you’re not planning on releasing it back to the water. As the name suggests, you can only use this method if you’re fishing from the shore.
To do it perfectly, you should take a few steps back from the water, ensure that you have the right foot balance and reel the fish while walking away from water. Do it steadily and slowly so that you do not snap your line or rod. Make sure that you reel the fish onto dry land where it can’t escape.
Use the Net
No matter which technique you decide to use to land a fish, it all comes back to one thing; using a net to land the fish is the safest and neatest way to get your catch onto the boat. It’s also very easy to master even for the newbies. You don’t have to struggle; it only requires a little timing to ensure that the fish gets into the net and you’ll be more than sure that it’s set to become a sumptuous meal.
The trick here is to try and make sure that the fish enters the net head first and you’ll be good to go. Remember, fish can’t swim backward. A major downside of using the net is that you’ll have to buy and carry it but that’s okay if it’s not inconveniencing.
When it’s all said and done, you should remember that learning how to land a fish is one of the most important aspects of fishing. Once it’s hooked, the fish will be fighting for its life so whatever trick you choose to use; don’t feel bad if it somehow gets away. Just use the above tips and landing fish could be a lot easier.
About THE AUTHOR
From a young age I was introduced to fishing, hiking, camping, snowboarding and more through family, friends, and scouting. After 20 years of learning and participating in these outdoor activities, I share what i've learned (and continue learning) with you.Read more about Scott Kimball