How to Land a Fish

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How to Land a Fish

I recommend keeping your rod high and bent as much as possible. You want to reel the fish in fast, but you want the rod to do most of the work. By keeping your rod bent all the time, if the fish jumps you have a bent rod to keep the line from getting slack. When you get slack in your line is when the fish will likely get off. Additionally, by keeping your rod high and bent, when you get the fish to the boat you are not as likely to reel the fish to the end of the rod. Most amateurs do this without thinking about it. They reel and reel and the next thing you know, the end of the rod is touching the fish. It's a lot harder to take off a fish when there's a handful of sharp hooks and a rod hanging out of his mouth. Keeping the rod high will avoid this. I recommend trying to leave an entire rod length of line between the fish and the rod. Once the fish is close to the boat, stop reeling and simply grab the fish by the mouth (or steer it into the net) and bring it in the boat. If the fish is only a pound or so, you can swing the fish into the boat with your rod. Always make sure your drag is set so it won't break your line.
Some good (even professional) fishermen try to keep the fish from jumping by putting the rod tip down near or even under the water. That may help keep the fish from jumping as much, but if the fish does jump, it is much more likely to get off since you don't have anywhere to go with your rod. Once you have more experience, you may be able to keep your rod bent while at the same time keeping it low to prevent it from jumping. But you will likely have obstacles that you wouldn't have if you're rod is overhead. So, I don't recommend this until you are fairly experienced with landing fish. It is very rare that you will lose a big fish while your rod is bent.

 
 
Lake Fork Guide Richie White

Thomas Maxwell and his son Kyle showing off another big bass caught while fishing with guide Richie White


Lake Fork Fishing Guide