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Fighting larger fish: Your Boating Technique of the Week

May 28, 2010
By ANN CONIDARIS, representative of Fish-Tale Marina

Hi folks! If a fish makes a run for it, don't panic and don't try to reel it in while the it's swimming away from your line. Relax and let the drag and rod do the work.

After you've set the hook, set your drag. If you're using 12-pound test, you should use about 4 pounds of drag. Just keep the rod at about a 45-degree angle to the water, aim it straight at the fish.

When the fish slows down and stops taking more line, it's time to go to work. The best technique for the catch is to gently pull the rod up and then reel down as you lower it, using a pumping motion. Do it in small, smooth strokes rather than large abrupt sweeps, because it will help keep both the line tight and the fish much calmer.

Article Photos

The Island Walk Fishing Club recently went offshore fishing with Capt. Phil Pica of Fish-Tale Marina. According to John Barliss of New Jersey, they hooked about 28 permit, boating 12 and keeping four. The club had great things to say about Capt. Pica and all enjoyed a very full day on the water. Pictured above are Bernie Mraz, Bill Davis, Dave Broska and John Barliss with their keeper catches. Photo courtesy FISH-TALE MARINA

If the fish runs again, let it go and you will probably notice that this run is shorter and slower. But don't let the fish rest. If you can't hear your drag working, you should be reeling.

And don't be anxious. Even if you get the fish close to the boat, that doesn't mean it's done fighting. If it turns and runs, let it go. Your line is pretty short at this point, and pump-and-reel action could break it.

If you have any questions or topics you'd like to discuss, please feel free to contact me. See you on da beach!

About Fish-Tale

Located at 7225 Estero Blvd., Fish Tale Marina has everything you need for your day on the water: boat charters and rentals, fishing rods and equipment, licenses, bait, tackle and more. Call 463-3600 or visit for more info.



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