Regulations for Battle
How Not to Lose Fish Due to Gross Stupidity!
This article is about the art form of proper "rodsmanship" plain and simple. Correct handling of you rod and reel will help prevent unnecessary lose of your quarry, Mr. Fish. Style points are not awarded for the "big C" and violent Roland Martin hook-sets, which are completely ineffectual in our Great Lakes Sport Trolling Fishery.
To earn a masters degree in rodsmanship, sharp hooks
are a absolute prerequisite.
Before you get on the highway of an accomplished
Salmon Slayer a very simple thing called, correct rod handling comes into
play. In my many seasons as a charter operator I'm amazed at the
fact many don't know squat about how to properly operate a fishing rod.
The right hand of course goes on the reel handle,
turning or spinning the handle fast enough to keep constant tension on
the fish. Now, when I say fast enough ...I mean not all fish react
the same and some on them will actually charge towards the boat.
When this happens take the handle cranking speed to the next level by
entering the turbo winding zone.
Don't be a "Jerk" with rod in hand. Jolting
the fishing rod does nothing, but help loosen and tear the hook
out. Boating the marginally hooked fish can be realized,
if you don't play the game called, ripped lips. Potentially good
fishermen have been ruined by exposure to the multitude of Bass fishing
television shows, which have absolutely nothing to do with our Great
Proper Drag Settings
Essential to reaping the rewards of a heavy fish box
is; synchronizing that marvelous piece of modern
technology called, the drag. All savvy big water fisherman use an
American invention. That being the level wind reel. Level wind signifies
the line is automatically rolled on across the spool in a fairly flat
fashion. Most big game saltwater reels do not have this option
and the line has to be manually fed across the reel spool to lay flat. I guess
the point I'm trying to make here is that, the style of reel we use
at least conceived in the US. Enough though foreign imports have
completely devastated the American reel manufacturing business.
Now, here's where the drag slows that bad-boy down after his first terror stricken run. The constant pull against the fish, will soon exhaust the energy from him. Summer's warmer water can help wear that tuna out too! All species will sooner, or later succumb and reach the surface. 70 some degree summer bath water is a strength sapper.
A correctly adjusted drag is the attrition dynamic that aids in using lighter sporting tackle. Under most circumstances the drag should be able to slip line and not be cranked down super snug. Reason? ...the drag can't react as fast ...as a fish can. A thumbnail parameter to use is about 20 to 30 per cent break range of the line pound test. The lighter setting will enable line to flow off the spool at smooth flow. The only time a stout locked up drag is on harbor patrol. When 20 to 30 pound Kings are migrating through. Harbor Kings can not be allowed to take a bunch of line. That's time when a direct drive, locked up, and non-slipping drag is used. It's a stop 'em, turn 'em, or break them off mentality that comes into play on harbor patrol.
The Arc Of Doom
The arc of doom works in both directions, get it right
and you're writing out your victim's epitaph. Get it wrong? ...and you're doomed to a lot of effort for zilch! Constant, even pressure
applied is the winning ingredient. If you let up on the fish, the
battle will begin anew from the fish getting it's second wind.
Meaning, doing battle with a revitalized adversary, rather than a tired out
semi-dead fish flesh.
Now, if your boat is large enough, slowly take a step or two backwards, then walk towards the transom, turning the handle and while keeping constant tension on the rod.
Treating a fishing rod in the right manner honors the foe you're out the vanquish. Remember he's fighting for survival and sometimes more than deserves to win. Please never take more than your limit and leave some for seed.
Arm Cranking or Wrist Winding?
Raw recruits to Great Lakes sport fishing tend to do what they've watched on TV. Which in all authenticity has very little to do with battling a huge, tuna-sized King Salmon. Most TV shows portray Bass tournament scenarios, where a 5 pound bucket mouth is a "big deal." Not so with our inland fresh water oceans known as the Great Lakes of Ontario, Huron, Superior and Michigan. The fish that inhabit these lakes have a stamina level many times that of the sporting Bass.
Arm cranking is akin to a rock and roll
tune done by Little Eva in the early 60's called, "The Locomotion."
That tune was about lame
dance came along with the song where the dancers would move their arms
like the tie-bar on the drive wheels of a steam locomotive. Maybe a
better analogy would be a 3 year old imitating a choo-choo train with his
Never over match a fish to a person.
Many times I had dads taking their younger sons aboard my boat so their son
can experience the thrill of landing a 20 some pound King. In most
cases the father does not even have the conception of what a job pulling
in a 25 pounder. Let alone a "much too" young angler. Kids are a lot
smarter than given credit for. The business of someone else holding
the rod for them? ...while they struggle to turn the reel handle, doesn't give them the
feeling of personal accomplishment. I'd rather see them whip a 10
their own hands, mostly unassisted.
When your quarry enters into view
behind the back of your boat ...watch that rascal closely! The tip off
that he's ready to be netted, is a belly-up slow spin. This indicates
an extremely tired out spent fish. The slow spiral of death is
caused by the fish being whipped. His system has lost complete orientation to his
environment and don't know which way is up.
Book of Regulations
(1.) Have extra rod holders and be ready to move the entire spread
to the other side of the boat.
(4.) Common sense doesn't cost you a dime. Please use it!
(5.) Use appropriate tackle, light line testing below 20 pound test while
sporting, will cost you both trophy fish and lots of money spent on
expensive tackle in the long run.
(7.) Maintain constant pressure on the fish, if you let up? ...this allows your victim to regain strength and the fight begins anew
(8.) Well into the fight and close to the boat? ...snug up the drag a bit
(9.) When tournament fishing always have two persons stationed at close proximity to the port and starboard downrigger rods at the rear of the vessel
(10.) A non-functioning
angler suffering from a major brain fart needs coaching.
Especially, if you're dealing with a reel-greenhorn ...he's relying on you for assistance.
So, give it!
(12.) Never turn the reel handle if
the fish is taking line.
(14.) Taint thought of this one yet.........