What do you do?

FishRock

Still trying to figure it all out
Mar 27, 2013
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JAM
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Thunnus - 22' Koffler BayBee (1990)
So you are on a good fish (180 - 200+) and end up in the bow with a 5’ - 7’ swell. The fish has settled down but every time the bow rises you lose 5’ of line and only mange to get it back as the bow drops off the swell. Every time you want to push the drag up a little more the patient crew member at your side tells you not to because you already have it pushed up pretty high. What do you do?

1. Keep grinding the handle and hoping that the fish will start moving before the hook pulls?
2. Ignore the helpful person next to you and pin the drag?
3. Try to get the fish moving to the stern corner to reduce the effect of the swell?
4. ?????
 

afraser

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 20, 2008
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aaron
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Use your left hand to apply extra pressure to the spool on the drops and try not to lose all 5-7 feet on the drop. A small swell can actually help as you don't have to move the rod and can be in winding position at all times. Make sure to use hooks that grab enough on big swell days. No 4/0 or 5/0 hooks. With 5-7 foot swells, you should be able to get away with a bigger hook anyway. Personally, I like the 9/0 eagle claw hooks, which are bigger, but no heavier than an owner 6/0, which I try to use only when more stealth is needed.
 

Joe Bal

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 9, 2010
532
253
Menifee, Ca
I would try and thumb the spool a little bit, wind harder on the down swell and try and move the fish back down the rail to the stern of the boat.
 

David Brewer

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 10, 2006
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Huntington Beach
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Dave Brewer
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As Aaron stated above, use palm pressure of left hand to apply more pressure. If the fish really wants to make another run, very easy to ease up on the added pressure that you are applying without pulling the hook.
 

screamingreel

Long Range Fanatic
Jan 14, 2006
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Jeff Burroughs
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Jam, it depends on many unique situational factors. In general, it is usually best listening to a crew member's guidance (if they are experienced with big fish hunting). I usually increase the drag until I stop losing line. (As you get to the end of the fight, the drag decreases as the line diameter increases) I usually feel comfortable increasing the drag a bit while palming the spool too. We are not going to break 100 lbs. line. A hook may pull, but better sooner than later. To me, less time fighting a fish is better than more time.

The more time goes by, the more things can go wrong.

- Jeff Burroughs
 
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Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
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18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
Tough situation. Maybe a combo of just a nudge of the drag lever, palming the spool. It's a learned skill, like Kenny Rogers, know when to hold 'em. Depending on the gearing of your reel, you might want to go back to high gear. Picking up 5-7 feet of line can be tough with a low gear, especially 1:1.
 

FishRock

Still trying to figure it all out
Mar 27, 2013
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JAM
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Thunnus - 22' Koffler BayBee (1990)
All,

Thanks. Kind of what I thought. No silver bullets here. That is why each big fish is a trophy when it hits the deck. I do palm the spool to get that extra bit of pressure but the couple of times I have been in the bow with a good fish and a swell running all I could do was grind and cuss the fact that I was in the bow and not the stern. I am running about 50/50 with regard to landing the fish under these conditions.


Jeff,

"I usually increase the drag until I stop losing line."

When I have tried moving the drag lever forward to halt the loss of line I get to a point where it feels like the rod will break when the swell lifts the bow so I back off. Would the rod bread or will the hook pull, line break or hook bend before the rod breaks? I am usually fishing 130 lb. spectra and flouro with a 6/0 Ringed Super Mutu.
 

okie man

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Oct 24, 2006
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kerry way
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18' javalin
Top of the swell, standing upright, rod under armpit, tip pointed down palm on spool. As the bow goes down turn the handle . bend your knees and raise rod tip keeping steady ,even pressure on fish, as bow rises stand back up and lower tip palm spool!
 
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BirdnestBill

Farmer
Jan 7, 2010
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La Guaira Bank, Los Roques, Eastern Pacific
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Bill
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Porque' No?
I have watched Fishybuzz several times in this situation and may try it next time. :frehya2:

1). Hand your rod to the crewman at your side
2). Go to the galley and grab a Coors Light :beerbang:

3). Return to your rod and grab it right as they gaff the fish

4). Smile big for the photo as "your" fish comes over the rail

:rofl:
 

Olddog8

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May 13, 2012
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As Aaron stated above, use palm pressure of left hand to apply more pressure. If the fish really wants to make another run, very easy to ease up on the added pressure that you are applying without pulling the hook.
There is some great advice from everyone. Listen to Dave. I saw Dave fish very high drag pressure and use lots of Palm pressure quite successfully. I never saw him loose a fish the trip I was on with him and he managed to get the only large tuna of the last day on the boat through brutally aggressive Sharks. I generally fish high drags but was afraid to on these bigger fish, Dave taught me to embrace the pressure. Use your palm...
 

johndtuttle

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Mar 20, 2008
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not crazy enough yet
One more reason Gloves are good on big fish. Gives you something to make a little extra drag with without getting torn up (palming the spool).

Depending on the situation (ie sharks) listen to the crew about drag. Sometimes you have to be patient and let the fish tire before moving them or bad things happen.
 

Bill W

tunaholic
Jan 12, 2006
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Chino Hills, Ca.
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Bill Walsh
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Red Rooster
Working the swells can be tricky. Start with a reel that is not granny low. I have two Makaira 20's One is the SEa version which works great in calm water, the other is a higher gear in low that I find easier to work the swells. (The gold Makaira 20)

Always try to keep the same pressure on the fish. When the swell goes up you may be almost pointing at the fish and when the swell goes down you are reeling while raising the rod. That is where those granny low reels do not help. You cannot do this with the rod locked up but constantly moving using the rail as a fulcrum. Some times the swells are so bad that you have to pick the rod off the rail to keep constant pressure on the fish.

The worst thing you can do is give slack in the line with swells. When the line comes tight on the next swell bump, that is when you can pull the hook.
 
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FishRock

Still trying to figure it all out
Mar 27, 2013
1,841
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Alaska
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JAM
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Thunnus - 22' Koffler BayBee (1990)
I will try a few of these suggestions next time. Picking the right gear certainly makes a differnece. Maybe the new Avet 3-speeds do have a place on the rack.

Thanks for all the input.
 

Fishybuzz

fishybuzz
Apr 4, 2003
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David Tang
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Intrepid
I have watched Fishybuzz several times in this situation and may try it next time. :frehya2:

1). Hand your rod to the crewman at your side
2). Go to the galley and grab a Coors Light :beerbang:

3). Return to your rod and grab it right as they gaff the fish

4). Smile big for the photo as "your" fish comes over the rail

:rofl:

Now that is perfect LMAO except I don't do Coors light Yellow Bellies is how I roll.

After my first 14 cows I decided there had to be a better way….LOL
 

Fishybuzz

fishybuzz
Apr 4, 2003
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Intrepid
All,

but the couple of times I have been in the bow with a good fish and a swell running all I could do was grind and cuss the fact that I was in the bow and not the stern. I am running about 50/50 with regard to landing the fish under these conditions.


I much prefer the bow to the stern…... less crowded, wider rail, no props or rudders to deal with, more lift.
 

jer dog

Fishing is life
Jun 22, 2006
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Gerry
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One that floats
Now that is perfect LMAO except I don't do Coors light Yellow Bellies is how I roll.

After my first 14 cows I decided there had to be a better way….LOL
what I learned on a 2 day trip, from Keith on the Maximus I hook a 40 LB B f T
on 30 LB , and the wind was blowing plus 20 and 6 to 9 foot Swells
he had me put the rod straight up and down, so I had no bend in the rod
and I fought it that way and boated that fish
he said they do in P V when the Weather is up.
 
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screamingreel

Long Range Fanatic
Jan 14, 2006
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Hayward CA
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Jeff Burroughs
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Long Range and Private
All,

Thanks. Kind of what I thought. No silver bullets here. That is why each big fish is a trophy when it hits the deck. I do palm the spool to get that extra bit of pressure but the couple of times I have been in the bow with a good fish and a swell running all I could do was grind and cuss the fact that I was in the bow and not the stern. I am running about 50/50 with regard to landing the fish under these conditions.


Jeff,

"I usually increase the drag until I stop losing line."

When I have tried moving the drag lever forward to halt the loss of line I get to a point where it feels like the rod will break when the swell lifts the bow so I back off. Would the rod bread or will the hook pull, line break or hook bend before the rod breaks? I am usually fishing 130 lb. spectra and flouro with a 6/0 Ringed Super Mutu.
JAM - Unlikely you will break the rod (or the line). You may pull a hook. If the rod breaks, you are using the wrong rod. If the line breaks, it was abrasion or a bad connection unless the drag was set too high. Set your drag to 30% at strike - 50% at max ABS and you should be okay.

It is all about the situation and how comfortable you are with increasing the drag. If swells are longer intervals, you should be fine increasing the drag a bit. If swell intervals are short, you will probably be more successful palming the reel to reduce line slippage off the reel. Depends on the fish.... and everything else!

I am usually impatient and want to bring in a fish as quickly as possible. Time is not your friend. All it takes is one new hook-up from another angler on the boat and zing pow; fish gone!

- Jeff Burroughs
 
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SemperFishing

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Apr 26, 2007
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Dave
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Prefer Long Range or skiffs (great if combined!)
Use your left hand to apply extra pressure to the spool on the drops and try not to lose all 5-7 feet on the drop. A small swell can actually help as you don't have to move the rod and can be in winding position at all times.

X2. Palm that spool.

Of course, if the opportunity arrives to move to the stern, capitalize on it.
 

dh515

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 18, 2004
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I lost a huge fish about two years ago in really crappy weather. I hooked the fish on a sardine about 50 feet from the stern in the late afternoon on a Mak 50 SEa set 30# at strike, 50' of 130 mono, 6463xxxh and a Mustad Demon 39943 6/0 offset ringed circle. For nearly two hours, this fish stayed up on top and was kind of swimming around, making it hard to put pressure on the fish. At times, switching back and forth between low and high gear, I felt I was moving and pressuring the fish but in retrospect, I now think it was pretty much doing whatever it wanted and was getting confused in the dark. At one point, the fish caught me in low gear and came towards the boat. I switched to high gear as soon as I realized what was going on but I'm sure there was a tiny bit of lag there. The fish finally went straight up and down but moved to the bow. We had over 20 knots of wind going at the time with 10-12' swells so this wasn't good. Once up in the bow, I handed the rod over to the second Captain to go around the anchor when the hook pulled.

This was one of those once in a lifetme fish that you think about for a long time. Was there anything different I could have done that would have made a difference in the outcome? Maybe not but here's what I learned from this:

1. Keep the reel in high until the fish is straight up and down. This would have kept me from being caught flat footed in low when the fish came to the boat. That little bit of lag could have allowed the hook to shift position and later pull.

2. I should have backed off the drag when the fish went to the bow to the point that the drag was barely releasing line when the boat rose on the swell. I could have easily added more drag by palming the spool as has been suggested by many others in this thread.

3. A bigger hook would have been better of course but the hook was sized for the bait and a bigger one might not have been bit in the first place so who knows on that.
 

dh515

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 18, 2004
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Double post..
 
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Normslanding

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Oct 13, 2010
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Blue Heaven
Some you guy that have done this, and been in this situation more than I have might say something about the low gear ratio. I know Jeff and I have talked about to low a gear ratio in this situation, any thoughts?????
 

reellady

I'd rather be catching TUNA
Aug 26, 2011
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reel lady
I fished in high for over 20 years, finally a few years ago Cal installed the bump button on my reels and life in my older age has become very nice. Thanks Cal, I love going into low gear.
 

screamingreel

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Jan 14, 2006
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Jeff Burroughs
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Some you guy that have done this, and been in this situation more than I have might say something about the low gear ratio. I know Jeff and I have talked about to low a gear ratio in this situation, any thoughts?????
Hello Dave,

Every fisherman, situation and fish are different so it is more effective to be flexible in your approach to fighting big fish. In general, I prefer to keep it in high gear as long as I can still gain line and/or the fish is acting squirrely. Line comes seems to come off the spool more easily against the drag in low gear. Doesn't make sense, but it does...

Gaining line is the primary objective. If not gaining line, the probability of losing a fish increases dramatically over time.

- Jeff Burroughs
 
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FishRock

Still trying to figure it all out
Mar 27, 2013
1,841
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Alaska
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JAM
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Thunnus - 22' Koffler BayBee (1990)
Pretty sure the line seems to come off the spool more easily against the drag in low gear because you can keep the rod loaded up and line tighter so you are always closer to the point that the drag will start slipping.
 
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