ON THE LINE: Fighting fish

At the end of our pike fishing, I had the chance to talk with Garrett about playing the fish. It was a very interesting conversation that I had with him. Now, I had the basic idea about fighting the fish, but I wanted to know more. In my research on the Internet, I learned that you want to set the breaking strength at 25 per cent of the tested poundage of the line. So, if you have eight-pound line, you want to set it at two pounds. This is easy enough to do – tie your line to a scale and play around with the drag until it pulls at two pounds. The reason for this is so that your drag will kick in before you line breaks.

I was talking to Garrett about this and the problem with that is setting the hook. You don’t want the drag to be too loose so when you set the hook it gives a little bit and you don’t get a proper hook set. He said he keeps his tight and then loosens it when the fish is on.

The second thing he talked about, and I notice it a lot on television since he mentioned it, is over playing of the fish. A fish that should take two minutes to get in takes 20 minutes, to add to the excitement of television. He informed me that if you over play a fish, they may swim away from your hand and seem fine, but a majority of the time they just swim to the bottom of the lake and are too tired to move so they die.

After this talk, I make sure to get the fish in as fast as I can, but not too fast if they are deep as this causes gases to escape and can damage the fish as well, but fast enough that they aren’t too tired to swim away strongly. Also, when I release them, I hold on until it is strong enough move away from me.

Until next time, keep your rod tip up!

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