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Thread: Playing a fish

  1. #1

    Default Playing a fish

    I often think the term 'playing with a fish' gets confused for 'playing a fish' and even less often do I see people 'fighting a fish'.

    It amazes me the number of anglers I see rooted to the spot when playing a salmon. The thought of getting below or level with them or applying side strain/changing the angle of pressure seems to often be forgotten. I even here some anglers/gillies shouting keep the rod tip high at all times. Of course a high rod is a rod with little power in it with only the tip kicking away, this push next to no pressure on the fish.

    There is the minute per pound rule which suggests it should take around 20 minutes to land a 20lber, 10 minutes to land a 10lber etc. This was of course written in the days when chapping most fish you landed was the norm, long before C&R was so prevalent.

    We talk here for hours about rods, lines, etc but how often do we discuss playing the fish?

    I will start the ball rolling by saying that by and large I think anglers are often so afraid to lose a fish that they play them badly. Whether they end up landing them is as much down to good fortune as it is skill.

    What are you own experiences and what have you learned over the years?

  2. #2
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    One these points I would agree 100%, especially about being rooted in place with the rod faffing about up in the air with little or no bend in it.
    There are alot of anglers that have no idea how much pressure they can safely apply and err way too much on the side of caution.

    I would always suggest to set up the rod line & leader and attach it to something solid and see how much pressure can be applied at various angles and different drag settings

    K.
    Last edited by K-Spey; 15-02-2011 at 09:13 AM.

  3. #3
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    Alan
    I find myself moving quite a bit whilst playing a fish, unless I am in a situation which makes it too difficult. I also rarely play a fish without using side strain, I find this method very effective and have used it for years now.
    I have seen some anglers playing a fish so lightly that there is little or no tension in the line and years ago I even saw someone play his fish with a 'sag' in the line between him and the fish - 'tight lines' no pun intended...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by K-Spey View Post
    I would always suggest to set up the rod line & leader and attach it to something solid and see how much pressure can be applied at various angles and different drag settings

    K.
    I do this myself................. usually when I get snagged up tho



    At times I feel I play my fish with a heavy hand whether I'm going to keep it or release it. I'm a bit like a kid really.............. Got to get it in quick so I can see it
    That attitude has lost me fish but I think along the lines.......... If the hook hold isn't good then I'd most likely end up losing the fish anyway

    So I say ....... Fight them hard and enjoy it.
    "A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer."

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Springer View Post
    I think anglers are often so afraid to lose a fish that they play them badly. Whether they end up landing them is as much down to good fortune as it is skill.
    on opening day i played a fish, or the fish played me? i was upstream of the fish the rod was high the drag was tight enough the hook was sharp 20gm zebra toby , lost the fish after 2 minutes, was all this because i was upstream and the rod was high? or is it just down to how well its hooked??

    p.s. i think yous think into it too much and if the fish is well hooked you'l get it in one way or the other
    Last edited by KingFish1987; 15-02-2011 at 10:04 AM. Reason: adding p.s.
    Hit And Hope Merchant! =D

  6. #6
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    The most common mistake novices make when they hook a fish is not applying enough pressure.

  7. #7

    Default Playing a fish

    A couple of years ago as I was getting into fishing I looked into this and you willl be surprised how little has been written or presented in fishing DVDs about actually playing a fish.

    Page after page are dedicated to tackle, set up, casting, fishing and hooking but I could find precious little by way of what to do once the fish is on the end of the line.

    Faulkus does cover it in some detail in Salmon Fishing, and I think offers some invaluable tips including getting level or slightly below the fish where possible as well as advice of how to bring a fish to the net.

    However, many other writers and presenters offer little commentary from hook up onwards.

    Experience has taught me that whenever I have not been able to move with a hooked fish, my chances of landing the fish become greatly reduced.

    I hooked a 22lb fish on the Orkla last season, only my third fish on the fly, and had I NOT got out of the water and moved down to where the fish was as early as I did, I would not have been able/lucky enough to unwrap the line from around an unseen, submerged rock when the fish decided to run upriver.

    If anyone has come across books that cover this aspect of salmon fishing in any detail I would be very grateful to have more details.

    PAC

  8. #8
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    Play them hard and keep level or just below them to make them tire quicker. This way I'll loose a fish earlier rather than later. Better for both parties IMHO
    If I hook a fish directly below me I generally accept that it will come off at some point.

  9. #9
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    I tend to play the first few of the season lightly and as the season gets on hold harder for some reason. As soon as i feel a take i hold hard for a few seconds and then get on with it.
    There are some pools that i know were as soon as you get below the fish it drops back to accross from you.
    If possible as soon as things have settled down i like to get out of the water and several yards up the bank and often get the fish in before it has woken up.

  10. #10
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    I am also amazed that many anglers (on DVD's etc also) play a fish from the point at which they hook the fish. I tend to get level or just below as Eminem said.
    Also the side strainthing is usually:

    a) to get then fish to go upstream or

    b) whenthe fish nears the edge sidestrain takes away the direct contact of rod > line > hook > hook hold thus prevents a "ping" as the hook pulls. Thats the way I see it any way.

    I have on occasion when playing a fish on the spinning reel flipped open my bale arm and let coils of line out to drift downstream and mimic to the fish the pull is coming from that direction so that the fish will swim back into the pool. An auld Tay angler showed me that one.

    On the fly there is that much drowned line creating resistance at times that the current (particularly with sunk fly lines as opposed to thin shooting head running line), does a lot of the work for you!!!! . . . particularly with sunk line sin the spring. And indeed one can see your line going in the water 5 yards below where the fish actually is ijn some deeper fast flowing points.

    BTW I dont agree with the keel hauling approach some go for. It become some sort of splashing, panicky mess at the net. It also resembles the dragging in of some sort of mackerel from the rocks in Loch Fyne just not cricket that far less salmon fishing

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