Hi fellow AMFisHers! This weeks AMFisH(LEARN more here: http://www.amfish.ca) fishing vlog is some great footage I caught of a top water bass fight that I thought would use as a video to talk about how to land fish much easier with limited stress and issues arising.
I have always done my best to not handle any fish I catch too much, with the #1 rule being to always wet my hands really well before grabbing a fish to eliminate removing the protective slime.
As you will see in the video after the few good jumps this little chunky largemouth put up during the fight, I instantly slow things down drastically from all the excitement that was just taking place. I was battling some wind and current which is where I quickly realized I would not be able to land the fish immediately as I first thought.
I needed to back out of that shallower water to land this fish so keeping my line tight was a key part to being able to land this fish without it jumping off. With my rod secure I paddled backwards into a better position before I attempted to finally land the fish. By slowing things down when the fish fight is about to end, this calmer state allows us to be a lot more focused on the tasks at hand. There actually are a lot of things that need to fall into place before a fish can be landed safely and they range from landing the fish on the side of the boat of kayak that best works for you, avoiding clutter and any snags with the rod, having a wet glove ready to grab the fish, battling wind, battling current, having the net untangled/ready and even having your camera/phone ready for those pictures.
With any of the above out of sorts landing any fish can quickly take a turn for any angler, so being prepared before you land every fish is key. Make sure all the tools you will need are organized and easily accessible. By keeping all these items in the same place on each outing really makes things simple and your memory will be kicking in and reaching for those same areas, for what is needed at that moment.
In most cases using a small net or lip gripping the fish will do just fine for landing it safely, but that also depends on the species of the fish. I recommend using rubber coated fishing gloves as they will provide the best grip possible especially if you are not very confident in holding fish. When it comes to a landing net I use a small fold up trout net that works great for landing any size panfish, bass, walleye and even smaller pike.
Now when you finally land the fish one key thing to remember especially if you are grabbing it by the mouth is to let out some line, to avoid battling the fishing rod. When you have that firm grip on the fishes mouth, let out a little line to relieve the tension off the rod and hook. By doing this is will allow you to have some slack in the line and will make hook removal quite easy at that point. Also avoid placing the fish at the bottom of the kayak or boat, that will only lead to damaging the fish and you scrambling around trying to grab it. A good solid mouth hold on the fish will allow you to unhook it quite safely so there is no need to rest the fish anywhere in your water vessel.
When it comes to taking fishing pictures they #1 thing to have in mind here is how long the fish is out of the water. Fish can only hold their breath as long as the average person, so please keep this in mind as what we think has only been a few seconds can actually be a lot longer, so giving a fish a few breaths in the water between pictures is a must. Make sure your phone and camera are in a secure easy place to grab quickly and only take the fish out of the water just before you are going to take your pictures. By doing this it will be a lot let stress on yourself and the fish, with the result being much better fishing pictures!
Hope you found this post helpful…tight lines!
The AMFisH guy…
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