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Tips for fighting/landing big trout

Joined:
2012/12/9 15:03
From Lewistown, PA
Posts: 379
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I don't have much experience with larger fish in general- most of the trout I catch are in the six to ten inch range. Last week I had an encounter with a very large stocked rainbow in a local stream. Anyway, I was fishing 6x for my dropper because I didn't want to change the 5x I had tied my dry fly to. This huge trout (I'd at least 18 or 20 inches) took my nymph, and ran upstream. Then he ran downstream past me, and eventually ended up getting wrapped around a branch near the bank. I walked over to get him loose, but when I got there he broke ny tippet and was gone.

Just last night I went back there, and caught a 16 inch brown. I only managed to land him because I had my dad hold my rod while I netted him. Anyway, do you guys have any tips on landing larger fish?

Posted on: 2013/4/26 15:34


Re: Tips for fighting/landing big trout

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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1. Don't use 6x.
2. Don't use 6x.

:)

Seriously, though. Soft rods help some. As does stretchy tippet. Both absorb the shock of a head shake or a quick run. But as far as how you handle it, rather than the equipment, side pressure. Pull parallel to the water, in the upstream direction. Keep steady pressure, and change angles on him.

MOVE to the fish to shorten the line. Have your drag set correctly and, if he runs, don't pull harder or try to stop the spool, just hold steady and let the drag do the work. If he runs at you, pick up line as fast as you can, don't let it go slack. If he jumps or goes into violent headshakes, take a little pressure off by pointing the rod more at him, but not to the point of being slack.

Eventually, it'll calm down and instead of running, it'll just try to hold like a log. That's when he's starting to tire. Just keep pressure, and after a while, you'll find yourself starting to gain line. The next danger point is when you get him close to a net or to shore to beach him, be ready for a run. i.e. make sure you're hand isn't on the line, or any knots through the tip of the rod when you do this.

In the end, you can only put as much pressure as your tippet will allow. Which, with 6x, ain't much. Which means you can't stop him from running. All you can do is try to keep up with him to keep a short line and hope he doesn't wrap you on something.

Posted on: 2013/4/26 15:52


Re: Tips for fighting/landing big trout

Joined:
2013/2/16 0:51
From State College
Posts: 333
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Good advice above, I will add that if you are ever fishing without a net, try to guide the fish into calm water to land it. Sometimes this is not possible, and good luck landing a big fish by hand in that situation.

Posted on: 2013/4/26 16:51
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Re: Tips for fighting/landing big trout

Joined:
2007/5/11 21:03
From Media, PA
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I'm guilty of using 6X more than I should when big fish are present; but it will increase your strikes in most cases. Some good tips already but the first thing I always do is clear my line and get him on the reel; a smooth drag is a big asset here. A bout a week ago I was lucky enough to land several large fish even if they were just stockers. A 20'' rain bow followed by a 22'' brown. Later a 16'' brown and a 17'' rainbow. Only the large brown presented any real problems as he wanted out pf the pool, but I was using 5X. So a couple more; don't panic! The more big fish you land the easier this becomes, although if a 20'' plus fish doesn't get your heart pumping a little you might want to try another sport. If you can, move the fish away from the lie where you hooked him. A large fish that has been in hole for any length of time knows every snag and stick in his domain. Of course letting him run down into super fast water isn't prudent, either. Try to keep his head up when netting and get your net in front of the head. Also a good size net is a help. Mine has a 15'' bow, but a shallow bag so it is great for releasing, but some times before the actual catching is accomplished. This fish was caught on 6X BTW:
 photo 100_0056.jpg

Posted on: 2013/4/26 16:53


Re: Tips for fighting/landing big trout

Joined:
2012/12/9 15:03
From Lewistown, PA
Posts: 379
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Ha ha yea 6x was my first mistake. Lol. Wasn't expecting such a big fish! Also that thing's a hog!

I guess next time I'll try to keep the fish a little closer to me. Oh well.

Posted on: 2013/4/26 18:51


Re: Tips for fighting/landing big trout

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2006/9/11 13:33
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 3290
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Quote:

pcray1231 wrote:
In the end, you can only put as much pressure as your tippet will allow. Which, with 6x, ain't much. Which means you can't stop him from running.


This I don't agree with. Good 6X tippet is like 4lb test. That's a lot of pressure you can put on the fish. You also have a long rod to help cushion shock. Plus, if you have the fish on the reel, and have the drag set properly, it'll also help cushion shock.

Too many fishermen don't know the limits of the pressure they can actually apply to fish. Take your 6X tippet and tie it to the tab of an unopened cold beer can. Try to lift that 12oz can off the ground - be careful you don't break your rod! It takes more pressure than you'd think to lift that 12 oz can.

Yeah, I know it's static weight, but with your 4lb 6X tippet, you've got a greater than 3 times lb test "safety margine" for shock absorption, plus the shock absorbing long rod, and drag of the reel. Put the lumber to that fish!

Now that you've got a better idea of your gear's capability, pop the tab on that cold one and celebrate your knowledge.

Posted on: 2013/4/26 19:16
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Re: Tips for fighting/landing big trout

Joined:
2010/2/15 19:09
From Ohio
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Pcray's advise is spot on, especially the part about side pressure

Posted on: 2013/4/26 19:17


Re: Tips for fighting/landing big trout

Joined:
2012/2/15 16:35
From Butler, Pa
Posts: 566
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I think tippet doesn't matter as long as you don't horse, ive landed plenty of fish on 6x tippet.

Posted on: 2013/4/26 19:23


Re: Tips for fighting/landing big trout

Joined:
2010/2/18 8:57
From SW PA
Posts: 732
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I'd say #1 don't freak out because its a BIG FISH. Freaking out almost NEVER helps anything. #2 Side pressure is key. Even to the point that the butt of the rod is higher than the tip. #3 When the fish pulls, you do not. Let 'em run. #4 IMO 6X tippet is for flies smaller than 20. And honestly, I've fished 20s on 4X. The better drift you get on 6X, might be possible with a longer 5X tippet. Good Luck. Go get him again. Even big fish can be very forgetful!

Posted on: 2013/4/26 21:32
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Re: Tips for fighting/landing big trout

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2007/3/3 1:06
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Because I do a lot of great lake trib fishing I have had the pleasure of doing battle with many large trout and salmon.Getting that line on the reel and letting a good smooth drag do it's thing is paramount to tirung the fish.Lifting your rod tip is a no,no instead lay it as parallel to the stream as possible and point your reel upstream,this will keep the fish off balance and tire it quicker.Don't horse the fish in and keep your hands on the cork :)If you have a net always scoop it head on,don't chase it tailfirst.

Posted on: 2013/4/26 21:41


Re: Tips for fighting/landing big trout

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2011/5/26 10:12
From Dauphin PA
Posts: 2765
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You will start to learn the limits of your equipment the more often you get into that situation. You can put a lot of pressure on 6x if it's done right. Changing direction on the fish, moving after him and getting the line on the reel will all help. There's no magic bullet. You need to get back out there and hook another couple of big boys. You'll notice you improve in technique after every one you hook. I'm pretty sure I've taken fish over 5 pounds on 6x without fighting them to death. I don't think I've gone below 5x in a couple of years. No need to except when trico / midge fishing.

That is a rather stout lightning trout!

Posted on: 2013/4/26 22:00
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Re: Tips for fighting/landing big trout
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
Posts: 9008
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Always have a landing net.

When fighting the fish, as he gets closer and tries to run, fight him with your rod low and to the side - swing you rod so you are pulling him the opposite direction that he's trying swim. As he turns, then swing your rod to the opposite side. This is how tarpon guys "break" a big fish - by constantly turning his head. It works on small stream fish like trout and bass as well.

And don't forget the net.

Posted on: 2013/4/26 22:00


Re: Tips for fighting/landing big trout

Joined:
2013/3/1 8:29
From West Chester
Posts: 103
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Good advice so far. Your tippet is only as strong as the knots you tie with it, so do some research then use which knots are strongest. After every fish you catch run your fingers over the tippet and visually inspect it for nicks or abrasions. Admittedly I often get lazy and don't inspect the tippet often enough, but if you find any weak spots you need to replace your tippet before fishing again, unless you want to lose the next fish you hook.

Posted on: 2013/4/26 22:22


Re: Tips for fighting/landing big trout

Joined:
2007/5/11 21:03
From Media, PA
Posts: 434
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Knot testing is a good tip for sure. In my defense, (re 6x) I fish heavily pressured waters as a matter of course, and often fish 5X to a weighted fly followed by 6x to a dropper. If your knots are good you can put a surprising amount of force on a fish. If a big fish runs you pretty much have to go with it and just be patient. As stated above, the more big fish you play the better feel you get for it. Practice as often as possible, and don't let my wife see this!

Posted on: 2013/4/27 1:38


Re: Tips for fighting/landing big trout

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2009/4/1 21:52
From Johnstown, PA
Posts: 4460
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Boga Grip.

Posted on: 2013/4/27 6:05



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