One of the most pivotal steps in the fishing process is reeling in the fish. Not only do you stand to lose the fish if you don’t do this right, but you could also lose your line if fighting a strong enough fish. Before you set out on your fishing adventure, it could pay to know the step by step process for reeling in a fish. Many new anglers find themselves struggling to bring in even the lightest fish, simply because they don’t have the technique down quite yet.
Reeling isn’t always about being stronger than the fish you’re bringing in. If you’re just fighting the fish, then you’re raising your chances of both losing the fish and breaking your equipment. Patience and technique are two of the most important parts of reeling in any fish and without them, you might never successfully bring in a catch. We present to you the five steps to optimize your reeling experience. These are used by anglers across the globe and can accommodate most fish.
Step By Step on Reeling in the Fish
This is the most generic method of reeling in a fish and will be effective in most instances. All reeling techniques are based off of this method with small variations based on necessity. If you’re bringing in a shark, the technique involved might call for more resting and waiting than the base method. If you’re doing any specialty fishing, we recommend looking into specifics that might be useful when reeling in those fish. Otherwise, these five steps will be your best bet at successfully reeling in a fish.
1. You have to let the fish tire itself out. Most of the work should come when reeling the fish in, but for the most part, you have to let the fish work itself into submission. Keep your rod up and your line facing the fish. Eventually, the drag and will stop and you can reel it in.
2. Once the drag quits, the fish has likely stopped pulling away from you and you can start reeling it in. You don’t have long before the fish kicks back into fight mode, so pull quick. You can usually feel when the fish stops dragging and so picking the right time to start reeling it in all comes down to when it tires out. As long as you keep the line tight, but let the fish have some breathing room, this shouldn’t take too long.
3. This next step is done to further the waning energy of the fish. Flick your rod up towards the sky while holding the line in place. Don’t reel it in, don’t let it loose, just hold it where it is. Large fish might bend your rod, but it likely won’t snap, so don’t worry too much. This is done to drag the fish closer to the surface so that water resistance is lessened for further reeling attempts.
4. After a couple of seconds pointing your line to the sky, lower your rod back to the even angle you were fishing at while reeling it in. This provides an even pressure on the fish so the line isn’t stressed, but the fish has to fight to resist the pull. Again, this is a fantastic way of tiring out the fish while dragging it closer to your net. Repeat the above four steps until the fish is within catching distance of your boat.
5. Once you get the fish near the boat, you can either pull it up with the line if the fish is small enough, grab it with your hands if it’s not too dangerous, or hook it with your net. The net is the safest and most effective method for dragging the fish out of the water, so we recommend that you always have one with you on your fishing adventures.
Finding the Best Fishing Spot
Even after you’ve mastered your technique, you still might notice that you’re not catching anything. This is likely due to you not being in the right fishing location. The best hint we can give for this is to do your research. If you know where the fish are most active, then you can turn your sights towards those spots. By coming in, knowing what fish you’re looking for or what fish are most active in a given area, you can raise your chances of getting a bite in the first place.
Do your research beforehand and come in prepared with the best equipment for the job so that you don’t find yourself in the wrong fishing spots. By knowing where to go and where the fish are most active, you’ll be able to practice your reeling technique again and again as the fish keep on biting. On top of knowing how to reel in the fish and where to go to find them, it also helps to bring the right equipment for the job.
Bring the Right Equipment For the Job
Most of the fishing is done before and after you set out on the boat. If you don’t bring along the right equipment for the day, you could find yourself struggling to even get a bit, no matter how active the fish in the area are. This will often come down to what you’re using as bait. Many fish prefer to stick with grub that’s found in the area so if you’re using worms to fish a salmon, you might not find too much in terms of success. The same can be said for your lures – use colorful lure when it makes sense.
It also pays to bring the right line and the right rod for your fish. Setting up your line with the properly weighted string, hooks, and lures will help you to avoid anything breaking when up against a heavy fish. By knowing what to expect in the area, you can properly prepare your line for whatever big fishes are around. Fishing is about the reeling process, but also the preparation process.