We’ve discussed how to be a great boatmate before but this article is tailored for those who need more pointers in minimizing the chance of losing fish. Let’s look at how to you can improve your catch rate when angling.
1Setting the Hooks
When that GT or Dogtooth Tuna hits your lure, you need to set the hooks.
When you’re setting that hook, you want to set or yank the rod in a smooth and solid motion with as much tension as you can manage about 3-4 times as GT and Dogtooth have extremely hard mouths. Big trebles require a lot of tension in order to penetrate the target fish’s mouths.
Remember to keep the line tight. It is one small but important thing that gets forgotten when the adrenaline is pumping, and the excitement is at peak high. After your initial hookset, make sure that you wind in the line you just gained, keep the line tight with as much tension as you can manage otherwise you’ll lose the fish through slack line.
The transition from under the arm to the gimbal is where most people lose their fish. During the initial strike and hit, the fish will still have no clue as to what is going on and will swim unpredictably. This will result in a multitude of different results like slack line, too much tension, fish running towards the boat, etc.
During this phase of the fight, the angler should keep the rod under their arm and focus on keeping tension with the line tight by retrieving continuously in a smooth and steady manner. The only time you should transition to the gimbal is when the fish is running or taking line smoothly, so it is impossible to lose tension on the line. Remember, slack line = no fish.
I recommend glide or mc works gimbals as when you do decide to put the rod butt in the gimbal, you won’t need to look down to get it in. These gimbals allow you to guide the rods butt in without looking.
3 Landing the Fish
It’s been a crazy 5-15 minute fight and the fish is finally boat side. Now what you want to do is walk back so the guide can leader the fish but be prepared for anything so make sure you don’t freespool as soon as the guide touches the leader. Once the fish stops thrashing about and the guide(s) are in full control of the fish, wait for them to tell you to flip your bail to freespool, this will give the guide a chance to simply lift the fish out of the water into the boat in a single movement.
4 Secure your Lure
Once the hooks have been pulled out, I generally throw the lure over the side so there is no chance of anyone getting hooked in the heat of the moment, but if your guide doesn’t do this, please grab your lure and secure it and put it in a safe place away from all the action.
If you want the lure in the fishes’ mouth for the photo, firstly take the lure out and just hang it there, there is nothing worst then being connected to a fish via lure. Trust me, I know.
These steps have been discussed in fine details in previous articles, but I just want to punch the points through to ensure that all guests planning to come arrive prepared for maximum chances of success. If you have any further questions on technique and tackle preparation, check out the other said articles in our web magazine.