Back in the day, game fishing pioneers challenged themselves with big fish using rods as long as poles, cumbersome linen lines and even chairs! Nowadays, with the right gear and techniques, you can fight monster fish such as yellowfin and GT’s when you are standing up. Here are some useful tips on how to fight big fish using stand-up tackle.
Stretch Some Muscles
Just like any other strenuous activity, you have to prepare your body for action. Using stand-up tackle will push your limits so you will need to be physically ready for it. Exercise the following muscle groups: hamstrings, quads, hip flexors and calves. You’re going to fight while standing up so it’s wise to warm up prior, in order to obtain the maximum leg power you can.
Get the Right Gear
Though some would be put off with the idea of using a fighting belt and harnesses, there’s nothing wrong with using these gear. Go and find the right belt and pad for you or make necessary adjustments so you can be comfortable using it. As for the reels and baits, you can choose reels on boat rods that are designed for outriggers and flatlines, and most would recommend slow-trolling live baits for big fish (this one especially for yellowfin tuna).
Here are some things you need to take note of. First, with stand-up rods, you should choose the ones that are 5 1/2 to 6 feet long with a tip that is flexible and not flimsy. It is also recommended to have roller guides and the butt should be made of aluminium or slick-finished, so that it will be easier to slide out of the rod holders. For maximum comfort, use a wide gimbal leg for your upper legs.
Also remember to hook up everything – from the rod to the reel, harness and belt. Do this while shopping so you can be sure that everything fits before purchasing.
Fight Big Fish With Stand-Up Tackle
The thing about big fish is that you can easily determine if it’s a monster or not as soon as you get a hit. Big fish tend to run very deep. When you get hooked on a big fish, the first thing you have to do is clip the reel into the belt and wait for the run to stop – you will be needing all the energy you can. When the large fish is not pulling, don’t pull with your arms or back – instead, apply pressure by sitting back on the harness. This technique will put your weight against the fish, and at the same time will help reserve your energy.
Eventually, the big fish will lose its strength but it will still continue to fight – this is where the fun begins. Just keep the pressure on even though you won’t reel at this point. The fish will then get tired and turn to his right to keep water out of the gills. This is the right time for you to drop the rod tip and quickly reel down. Just make it slow and steady.
While keeping the pressure, you can get ready to gather your line. Have a fishing buddy to gaff it when it’s really near the surface. If you master this technique then you will have your prize in a while.
Once you get the right tools and master the techniques of fighting big fish with stand-up tackle, you will be able to take on the likes of yellowfin tuna, giant trevally and dogtooth tuna with confidence. We are not saying that it will be easy, but at the very least you will come prepared for battle. If you want to try these techniques, or perhaps you already have, why not join our Dogtooth and GT Adventure trips for the ultimate stand-up experience! Click here for more info.