Landing the Fish

April 25, 2015 by  
Filed under Fishing for Beginners

Landing the fish is not about reeling the fish in and landing it. The reel is not from dragging fish, but for taking up the slack or playing out line while you fight the fish and eventually bring it in.

A fish is never caught until it is in the boat or on the wharf. A last flurry of energy at any time close to retrieval may well dislodge a hook that is not fully set.

landing the fishJetty anglers are at peril of losing the fish if the pier platform is a long way above the water. It is best if the fish is exhausted so that it remains passive at the critical point when it leaves the water and its full weight comes into the line as you bring it in. It is likely to make a list run under the jetty, so you have to be prepared to play out line and begin the process of bringing it back to the point of retrieval.

Fish should not be lifted from the water on the line if it can be avoided. For boat anglers a net or a short gaff can be employed to secure the fish. On a jetty a long gift, flying gaff or grapnel can be used.

If you use a gaff, align the hook with the side of the fish and insert it into the flesh, bringing it in at an angle that easily penetrates the protective scales. Aim for the bulkiest part of the fish but avoid touching the belly.

If your fish is too small, a species that you would prefer to release or one more than you need for the day, slip it back into the water as gently as possible. There are usually pier steps that will get you closer to the water level for this.

Remember that our fisheries are a precious resource. The only reason for killing a fish is for air, for the table or if it is a pest species.

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