How to Keep Your Fish on The Hooks
This season, our team has been blessed with great weather, awesome customers and heaps of good fish. The operational side has been shaping up well and we can’t wait for more of the same conditions.
That said, there is one thing that never gets easier to swallow as a guide. It is when a customer loses a fish– especially their dream fish that we have been working so hard to get to bite! The guide and angler team can only do so much to prevent the hooks from coming off or the line to break, it sometimes comes down to some of the mysteries of the sea as to why we lose a fish. The past week has been great as we’ve landed a couple of nice Blue Marlin, Dinosaur Coral Trout, and a Geet from shore– a few steps away from the guests’ accommodations, but of course, we also lost some good fish. Not fun at all.
Albeit guests have done their homework and have brought years of experience to the game, here are some tips that might help you keep the fish on the hooks long enough to land them.
Rig Up a Balanced Outfit
Whatever specie we target, there are innumerable available tackle options that will allow us to successfully land the fish while enjoying the fight all at the same time. Keep in mind that a heavy rig for GT or Dogtooth Tuna consisting of big hooks, heavy line and a stiff rod will require a significant amount of force to get the hooks through the fish’s mouth, while a light outfit for smaller species require lighter gauge hooks which allows you to do less powerful hookset.
Set The Hooks Like You Mean It
Pulling hooks is quite common in big game fishing and if you have a properly set up outfit, the usual suspect is a badly set hook. A good solid hookset with the best-balanced outfit will increase your chances of hooking the fish well and decrease the chances of losing the fish. Your rigs will dictate how strong your hookset needs to be. If you are rigged with 7/0 GT treble hooks, expect to set hard and fast when you get a hit. You need to get that thick gauged hook through the fish’s thick lips.
No, not talking about you being tense. You need to be relaxed. When attached to a fish, and you have set the hooks well, it is crucial that you always maintain tension on the line and avoid giving slack. This may be the top culprit to lost fish. Slack line occurs when over-eager anglers drop the rod too quickly when pumping and retrieving during the fight. Make sure that your rod is still bent, maintaining enough tension when dropping the tip for line retrieval. Keep your lines tight!
Invest in Quality Hooks
Good hooks are essential, period. Even the best hooks in town get bent open occasionally, so don’t skimp on your next hook purchase. Most high-quality lures don’t come with hooks anyway so make sure that you pair them with the manufacturer’s recommended hooks.
Plan and Prepare
Last but definitely not the least, plan and prepare. Do your research. Plan with a reliable sport fishing company that will guide you throughout you fishing trip.
All the tips above are going to be useful not just for trips with Ocean Blue, but throughout your fishing career. Don’t hesitate to communicate with us so we can provide accurate information and recommendations regarding tackle, targeted species, and fishing trip options. All information will be provided at no cost. We are here to help you experience the best fishing trip ever.
Check out some of our available Vanuatu fishing trip dates or call us to customize a trip for you and your mates.