Shop Orvis Today!

Fighting Big Fish In Salt Water (10 of 12)

Watch Next Video

Video Transcript:

Drags should be set and tested before you start fishing. Because trying to adjust a drag setting when a fish is running can often result in a lost fish when you suddenly put too much pressure on the fish. Once a fish reaches the end of its run, begin to apply as much pressure as you dare to turn it. The bigger the fish, the more pressure you should apply and the pressure should be constant as long as the fish is not running. If a fish gets a chance to rest, it will only prolong the fight and risk not being able to revive the fish.

When a fish is right below the boat like this you want to try to keep that rod from going above your waist. You want to give it a quick lift, and then reel, and then another quick lift and reel. Never bring that rod up too high. A fly rod just isn't meant, when a fish is right under the boat, to be brought up over your head. Another thing you shouldn't do when fighting a decent size fish like this that we all do and we shouldn't, is to put your hand on the rod here to get extra leverage, because a fly rod isn't meant to be flexed from here - it's meant to be flexed all the way down into the handle. We all do it, but you shouldn't, because you can break a rod that way.

Once a fish gets close to the boat, use side pressure to turn it. The fish will go wherever you point its head. Keep the fish off balance and you will tire it quicker. When you switch the rod from side to side, do it slowly and smoothly, otherwise you might introduce slack in the line and loose the fish. For fish that frequently jump like Tarpon, Barracuda, or Maco Sharks, always bow to the fish when it jumps. Lower the rod tip quickly and point it at the fish to introduce slack into the line. If a big fish lands on a tight line or leader, there is a good chance the leader will break.

I caught this fish on a very small baitfish. Talk about big fish big fly, but sometimes just a little, that's the kind of baitfish he's eating.