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Fighting Big Fish

Some of our FishVault team recently spent a few days with professional bass angler David Dudley on the water. While it was fun to see a master doing his craft, some of the most enjoyable conversations came around the lunch and dinner tables while we swapped stories of our trophy catches and “the ones that got away”. One topic that came up that peaked everyone’s interest was battling large fish. Bass fishing doesn’t require much “battle”. Once you hook the fish, they are typically in the boat in 6-10 seconds. What we talked about are the larger game fish that require time and finesse to get them into the net. Before you hook into the “big one”, there are a few things that you need to know in order to be successful. 

Listed below are 4 tips to battle big fish:

  1. Setting the drag

If your drag is too tight on your fishing reel, the fish may take a run out and break off. If it’s too loose, your line can shoot backwards into the reel and get knotted up, also causing you to lose the fish.

It’s important to set the drag using the knob on the reel. When you pull out the line to check the drag, there should be slight pressure from the drag on the line.

  1. Fighting the fish

Big fish got to be the size they are because they are smart. They have become well versed in getting away from the average angler. Common tactics they use include diving below shelter such as a log, leaping into the air, head thrashing aggressively, and running quickly downstream or into fast water.

Whenever possible, you want to stay downstream of the fish. When a fish is able to get downstream of you, there is an increased likelihood of the hook popping out of its’ mouth. If a fish makes a downstream run, follow it down with pace.

  1. Side pressure

A crucial tip we have learned in fighting big fish is to provide side pressure, which means to lower the rod so that it is parallel to the surface of the water. This gives you more power over the directionality of the fish because you are able to turn its head. When it’s close enough to net, then return to upward positioning and lift your rod up high.

  1. Trust the process

Part of the learning process is losing a few heartbreakers. Stay motivated and your persistence and ability to learn will be rewarded!

We hope some of these tips help you land the big one next time. If it does, please send us some photos of your catch! We would love to see it.