How to Land Large Fish

How to Land Large Fish
When an angler hooks a large fish, the excitement soon gives way to the fear of how to land it. The majority of one-that-got-away stories include a blow-by-blow of how an angler played the fish for a long time before it finally broke the line or shed the hook. Knowing how to land a large fish can prevent you from having to tell a similar sad tale.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

How to Land Large Fish

Step 1
Take the fight out of the fish before attempting to land it. Carp, salmon and bass will give you all you can handle, making several runs in the water in a bid to escape. Trying to land a large fish too quickly, before it has tired itself out, is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Allow the fish to swim around awhile, but keep the line taut, reeling it in a bit when the fish lets you. The constant pressure of fighting a tight line will eventually tire the fish
Step 2
Use a fishing net. Guide the fish head-first into your net once it has lost its fight. Be aware the fish will see the net and make one last attempt to escape. By bringing the fish to the net head-first, even if it throws the hook or the line suddenly snaps it likely will swim into the net and be caught. Heavier fish, such as carp and pike, will thrash about violently when they see the net. Try to get the net into the water and under the fish before scooping it up.
Step 3
When fishing from shore without a net, bring a large fish slowly onto shore and beach it. Trying to bring a fish out of the water and onto dry ground, though, often will cause your line to break. Try to get the fish into shallower water, where you can reel it in on its side. Reel in steadily, keeping the line tight. Once it is within 5 to 6 six feet, walk slowly backward until you can beach the fish.
Step 4
When fishing from a bridge or high bank, also reel in a large fish slowly. When you are ready to land it, hoist it out of the water as carefully as you can. Continue reeling it in at a slow speed until it's high enough to swing it up and onto dry land. Be careful not to use herky-jerky movements that will snap the line.
Step 5
Grab a large fish by the lip when landing it through the ice. Guide a heavy fish head-first up through the hole before grabbing it. Largemouth bass are easy to grab because their mouths are wide open as they come through the hole. Pike and pickerel have too many teeth to make this a safe practice. Using a tool designed specifically for the purpose--one that clamps the fish by the lip--is the best way to land pike. If no tool is available, bring the fish out at a constant speed and let it flop onto the ice the second its entire body has cleared the top of the hole.

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