Weak wrist position . . . and other common mistakes?

nicodemus

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Apr 10, 2012
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Regarding rod angle, I was very surprised to watch Captain Art on the Searcher basically point the rod directly at a big YF at the Lupe last year. The fish was well out from the boat. He just pointed it at the fish and cranked when he could get a turn or two, and walked from the stern up to the bow following the fish. I asked one of the deckhands about that, and he said "That's old -school." Anybody else seen this method?
 
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Bill W

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  • Jan 12, 2006
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    Regarding rod angle, I was very surprised to watch Captain Art on the Searcher basically point the rod directly at a big YF at the Lupe last year. The fish was well out from the boat. He just pointed it at the fish and cranked when he could get a turn or two, and walked from the stern up to the bow following the fish. I asked one of the deckhands about that, and he said "That's old -school." Anybody else seen this method?

    Here is the deal... tuna are always moving. What you see is a fish that is going somewhere. He is pointing the rod where the line enters the water but he is not pointing at the fish if the tuna is not taking line. The tuna is definitely going somewhere and this is the time to point and reel to get line on the fish.
     
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    Brad I

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    I occasionally see anglers raise the rod tip to lift the fish and as they start to drop it back, start winding too late, essentially giving back some hard earned line.

    This is probably the most common mistake I've witnessed too. I remember seeing a long time angler doing it and politely as possible suggesting that he try starting to turn the handle before he drops his rod, and his nearby son lit into me about how many years his dad had been fishing and how much he knew and how ridiculous I was for thinking that I could offer a useful suggestion. While I admired the son's paternal devotion, I just walked away with a remark of "just trying to help". Twenty minutes later the deckhand coaching the father sidled up to me at the rail and in a low voice offered "some people can't be helped." We both chuckled.

    Back to the original idea of what mistakes do we see made often when fighting a fish: another common mistake is losing an opportunity to gain line. Sometimes the angler isn't paying attention and doesn't gain line when the rod tip rises, or when a death circle fish is circling towards the boat, or I heard one angler say the rod tip hadn't risen enough to gain enough line to bother reeling. I learned a while ago to never give a sucker or a tuna an even break, and if you have a chance to snap off even a single crank on the reel to take it. Not only do you keep pressure on the fish, but a surprising amount of time that single crank turns into 3 or 4. As Wahoodad has coached, if a fish isn't taking line out, you should be working to bring line in.
     
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    Fincutter

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    FYI, I edited the OP by adding the following:

    What I have in mind is things that make the fish-fighting job harder than it should be. I've gotten some very helpful advice over the past few years re body mechanics and technique but I don't always remember it in the heat of the battle.
     
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    ZZZZZ

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    Dec 11, 2003
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    There is no exact degree of angle always. Each different rod blank has a different shut down max pressure lifting, hurting, sweet spot to stay within. Also the weight of the fish, # line, drag #, ect effects the rods sweet spot. Each day has a different wave swell, current, drift speed, ect. Also the angle of the fish determines the angle of shutting the rod down. Put the hurt on and the angle is good.

    When a fish is scoped out on the surface the rod angle is different then when the fish is up and down

    If the fish is being lifted and the rod goes soft that is high sticking

    As choate says. If the fish isn't taking line I am

    Allot of line can be gained while following and leading the fish up or down the rail. Time to pack it on.

    Thanks all. Good info blinders off
     
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    fshholc

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    Regarding rod angle, I was very surprised to watch Captain Art on the Searcher basically point the rod directly at a big YF at the Lupe last year. The fish was well out from the boat. He just pointed it at the fish and cranked when he could get a turn or two, and walked from the stern up to the bow following the fish. I asked one of the deckhands about that, and he said "That's old -school." Anybody else seen this method?
    I use this method on bigger Tuna but don't consider it "old school" though I'm 71 yrs. young. Basically it lets you keep the rod under your arm until the fish is under control and then put the rail into use. My bend in the rod is more lateral than vertical while the fish is out away from the boat. I don't come off the rail until I need to at color. I rarely if ever have my rod in a butt plate or holder.
     
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    Yellowtail Dan

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    If lines not going out it better be coming in. How you do it is up to you and what ever works best for you.

    Like Bill said, once that head is pointed back towards he boat things get easier
     
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    Fincutter

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    If lines not going out it better be coming in. How you do it is up to you and what ever works best for you.

    Like Bill said, once that head is pointed back towards he boat things get easier
    I've heard that advice and it makes perfect sense. However, I sometimes find myself at a dead-standoff with the fish, opposing forces equally balanced. When that happens, the thought has occurred to me to loosen the drag a little to let the fish run and then tighten it a bit past where it was before once the run tires the fish out. I especially thought about this last year at Guadalupe; with sharks lurking in a standoff, I wondered if I should let a fish run away and then be able to fast-pull a fish that had just exhausted itself. Is that the way to go, or is there some other way to avoid the standoff problem?
     
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    Brad I

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    I've heard that advice and it makes perfect sense. However, I sometimes find myself at a dead-standoff with the fish, opposing forces equally balanced. When that happens, the thought has occurred to me to loosen the drag a little to let the fish run and then tighten it a bit past where it was before once the run tires the fish out. I especially thought about this last year at Guadalupe; with sharks lurking in a standoff, I wondered if I should let a fish run away and then be able to fast-pull a fish that had just exhausted itself. Is that the way to go, or is there some other way to avoid the standoff problem?

    Good question, if you fish for tuna long enough you will eventually be in a stand-off. I haven't tried your idea, but it sounds like it could work in the right situation. What works best for me in a stand-off is the old "lift up, reel down". It might be the most tiring method of bringing a fish in, but when nothing else seems to help, it can work and can get the fish turned in the right direction. Remember to lift the rod slowly and begin reeling before you drop the rod tip to maximize the amount of line you can gain.

    Sometimes if there's a lot of swell, you can time it so that your rod tip is at its highest when the swell has lifted the boat, and reeling down lets you use both your own lift on the rod and the boat's lift on you to get another crank or two.
     
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    SCHeadhunter

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    The most common mistakes I see are guys :
    Lifting and not winding down soon/fast enough giving the fish it’s head back.

    Not fishing heavy enough drag, number one mistake in my opinion.particularly when fishing 40-60 lb.

    Not knowing when to dig in and when to let that fish run.

    It’s a feel thing. You know how much pressure can be applied and when.

    I like to “walk them in” too. Point the rod at the Fish with a decent bend in it and steadily gain line as you walk that Fish in.
    20 years ago I was on a trip with Dave Piefer/ Shimano On the Polaris Supreme and he suggested the method. Works awesome.

    Fishing yellows on structure is a totally different deal, high stick, max drag, pull like hell until safe.

    Techniques differ depending on the situation
     
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    screamingreel

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    I've heard that advice and it makes perfect sense. However, I sometimes find myself at a dead-standoff with the fish, opposing forces equally balanced. When that happens, the thought has occurred to me to loosen the drag a little to let the fish run and then tighten it a bit past where it was before once the run tires the fish out. I especially thought about this last year at Guadalupe; with sharks lurking in a standoff, I wondered if I should let a fish run away and then be able to fast-pull a fish that had just exhausted itself. Is that the way to go, or is there some other way to avoid the standoff problem?

    If you do not have a viable solution in the moment, maybe you ask a crew member for options. When I feel a stalemate is occurring, I usually increase the drag, palm the spool, short stroke it or start walking the fish around the boat (if possible). It all depends on the situation... Regarding sharks at Guadalupe, I pull on tuna as hard and fast as I can. If a shark gets it, good for them!

    - Jeff Burroughs
     
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    swami 805

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    Pretty sure the fish is using all the energy it can muster at the time. If you loosen the drag it's using the same amount of energy only your'e giving up line.
     
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    wahoodad

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    I have found I tire quicker with my shoulders all raised up. Now I notice it, and try and relax my shoulders back down, it's better for the long haul than being all tensed up.
    The other 2 mistakes I often see is getting all bent over, which is really tough on the back, and getting too far away from the rail. Stay close.
    There's a lot more actually, but we are at different levels and in different physical shape. What seems easy for a guy who carries wood all day might not be easy for a person who sits at a desk. So I'll refrain from judgement.
    Biggest thing:Have fun

    On a long trip many moons ago, I commented to my AA sponsor that it took another angler twice as long to bring in a fish than I took to land on similar sized fish. Dick told me that angler had twice as much fun.
     
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    Bill W

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    On a long trip many moons ago, I commented to my AA sponsor that it took another angler twice as long to bring in a fish than I took to land on similar sized fish. Dick told me that angler had twice as much fun.

    I guess a spinning rod for cows gotta be tons-o-fun...
     
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    surfgoose

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    The main change in my personal tactics on big fish is to finally, finally understand that it doesn't hurt a conventional reel at all to turn the handle even if you are not retrieving any noticeable line. I keep reeling just as steady as I can, and those quarter-inches add up. Keep the pressure on the fish, always.
     
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    Fincutter

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    I have found I tire quicker with my shoulders all raised up. Now I notice it, and try and relax my shoulders back down, it's better for the long haul than being all tensed up.
    I watched a youtube of a Kevin Osborn seminar on the Intrepid. He started by saying that the number one thing is to relax early in the fight. I sometimes forget this but it's so true. The simple fact of being tense or relaxed makes a huge difference in fatigue. Not to mention that being tense invites all sorts of mistakes, including stuff that could be dangerous. Easy to say, not always easy to remember.
     
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    zoner

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    the rod is the lever. The fish is moving(taking drag) pulling against the lever to try and pry loose the stationary object(you). The longer the rod or the higher you have the rod tip the more leverage the fish has to use against you. Your options to lessen that leverage are to keep the rod tip low or use a shorter rod.
     
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    Rossm

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    I keep the rod tip fairly low and do not take big huge lifts every time. One reason is that you can be surprised by a fish turning toward you and have no "lift" left to keep the line tight. I have seen many a heartbreak over that one.

    The main thing is to RELAX, breath, let the boat do as much for you as possible (rail) and make the rod bend and keep it bent. When pulling later in the fight I try to grab the rod high on the handle to gain leverage.

    When you first hookup just let the fish run until it stops and then short pump until you get it coming toward you. Then it is relentless pressure by the angler that gets it done.
     
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    Chuck Roast

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    Went out to bob sands tackle a few months ago to look at a few rods. Met Jamie there. He likes to look at your fishing posture before recommending suitable rods. Anyhow he took over an hour with me correcting my posture and style, and I learned a lot. Best investment of my time I could spend. He was really great at teaching and helping me. Posture is such a huge thing not only in fishing, but in life and I really appreciated his time and input, Super nice guy. He is usually there on Saturday mornings, unless on a fishing trip. If possible go see him or go on one of his charters, guarantee you will learn a lot!
     
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