Bighorn River Article: Fighting Fish

Bighorn River Article: Fighting Fish

October 18, 2010 11:58 am Published by
Fighting & Landing Fish


One of the most important issues in maintaining a healthy fishery is preserving the resource as long as possible, that resource being the fish. The mortality rate of fish is much higher than most people think and the primary reason for that mortality is stress on the fish by being over played.

Here are a few tips for landing fish as quickly as possible.

The classic trout fighting position of the rod being straight up puts the least amount of pressure on a fish. It feels like you are simply because you’ve increased the length of the lever the fish has and shortened yours. To change this, learn to lower the rod to either side. This shortens the distance to the fish, decreasing its lever and increasing yours, giving you the ability to apply more pressure. There are many times to keep the rod tip up, but also many times to adjust its position to give you better leverage. Just make sure that you don’t end up pointing your rod right at the fish.

While not always possible, move your feet. Once a fish gets downstream of you, it is often very difficult to get it back upstream. By moving downstream with it when you can, you are shortening your line, giving you the ability to control the fish better. Always be aware of what you are walking into though, so you don’t step off a ledge or into a deep pool or other objects in the water.

Stripping line, instead of reeling, takes up slack line considerably faster. If you have a lot of slack line out or a fish makes a big run at you, use your line hand to strip and take out the slack. Fly reels simply cannot take up enough line quickly enough and slack is introduced and it becomes easier for the fish to come off the hook. Go back to the reel once you have good pressure on the fish to reel up slack but always be ready to go back to stripping if the fish makes a sudden change.

The last tip is a way to land fish very quickly, even very large fish. When possible, put enough pressure on the fish to move its head towards the bank. Water starts to hit the side of the fish instead of flowing around it aerodynamically. The fish adjusts by moving its body to face back upstream. Every time you can move the fish’s head toward you, its body will follow. This is the best way to get the fish to work without fighting you directly because it has to fight the current also and just moves to the next position of least resistance. You will be amazed at how quickly you can get a big fish to the net with this technique.

– David Palmer



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This post was written by Bighornangler

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