Fighting Big Fish In Salt Water (10 of 12)
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.