How to Reel in a Fish

How to Reel in a Fish

Once you successfully set the hook, the fish instinctively struggles to get free. This might involve jumping, making a long run, swimming back against the line or swimming around obstacles. Each species of fish reacts differently. Fish hooked in shallow water are more likely to jump and behave more frantically than those hooked in deep water. Deep-water fish often seek the bottom. Reeling in smaller fish like bluegill and crappy might be very simple. But you’ll have a lot more trouble if you catch a bigger fish and don’t know how to reel in properly.

Know the Size of Fish before Reeling it in

As we noted earlier, reeling in a small fish can be quite simple. The problem only starts when it’s a big catch. So how can you know the size of the fish before you start reeling? Well, it all depends on how the fish pulls off the line once it’s hooked. Simply put, you’ll know that it’s a big catch if you feel a heavy pull off on your line when you’re holding it tight.

Again, you’ll hear the sound of the reel letting off by speeding into reverse. It’s important not to start reeling immediately. Chances are the hook is not properly set on the fish’s mouth and you may let it off the hook if you start reeling too early. In other words, just stay calm and be patient.

How to Reel in a Large Fish

Reeling in a large fish can be very hard. Large fish include carp,catfish,and bass in fresh water and is salt water they are wahoo, dolphin, tuna, and marlin. However, fighting a five pound fish with ultralight tackle is also fun. It is all relative.

Let the rod do the work once you know you have solidly hooked the fish.

  • Let the guides, water resistance of the line, line elasticity and drag work together to tire the fish.
  • Fight the fish with smooth, nonstop pressure, assuming that your reel drag was set correctly.
  • Then start to reel the fish in. Be careful because, depending on the size of the fish, it could snap your line. That’s how you reel in a large fish.
  • The drag if your reel should be set as a percentage of the breaking strength of your main line. For example, if your main line is 50lb test, your drag could be set with a 12lb weight.

Work the fish closer and closer to you by pulling the rod tip up, then reeling rapidly as you drop the tip down.

Do not pump the rod too far back, which can cause your rod to break. Avoid creating slack in the line at any time – this can enable the fish to spit out the hook or break your line.

Use the space around you if you are fishing from shore.

  • When fighting big fish from shore, an alternate technique if the ground is flat, is to walk backwards and to quick reel in the slack when walking forward.
  • Additionally, you can use this walking method when the fish is big and your rod will break if you pump it back with just your arms.
  • Generally, when fishing from shore you want to reel the fish in as quickly as possible because there are many objects that can break your line such as rocks, reefs, pilings, drop-offs, caves etc.

Wear out big fish before landing them on the boat.

  • Big game fish can be dangerous; it’s better to tire the fish out and avoid bringing it to the boat “green”.
  • Do not “horse” a big fish in; it will be dangerous to gaff. A marlin is a bit flexible and a green marlin thrashing about when gaffing it is dangerous because of the marlin’s bill and the double hook set up that marlin lures have.

Use the boat to your advantage.

  • With many big fish, it is best to keep the boat moving forward to keep the fish from heading down. Keep big fish close to the surface.
  • Marlin will practically die down at the depths and bringing a marlin up from the depths is a terrible experience. Sharks are also a problem when it takes too long to bring in a marlin. A half dead marlin is dead weight, with 300 yards (274.3 m) of line out of the reel, the line elasticity even with a braided line, is enormous. Hauling in a half dead marlin from the depths is like carrying an unconscious person up a ladder; avoid letting marlins go deep at all costs.
  • Tuna when caught trolling, should also be fought with the boat going forward to avoid having the tuna head for the bottom. A tuna is much stronger than a marlin and fighting a tuna down in the depths, will be exceedingly difficult. Big sharks may also eat the tuna if the fight is too long.

Let the fish run when it is to your advantage.

  • Inshore, when you have a big fish on, if the inside has many obstacles to cut the line, let the fish run outside in deep water, before bringing it in for landing.
  • With the fish exhausted, when you bring it to the landing, crank the reel continuously whether the rod is in the upstroke or down stroke.
  • The additional advantage of continuous maximum pressure, just before a hairy landing, is to not allow the fish to breathe with its gill flaps.

Bottom Line

Reeling in a fish will be more fun if you know exactly what to do. You shouldn’t, however, go hard on yourself if you lose a big catch. Take it up on the chin and consider it a learning experience. With practice, you’ll be a pro and reeling in fish will be your second nature!

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