It’s Girl Time: Down and Dirty

Capt. Vicky Wiegand getting down and dirty with a tarpon. Photo courtesy of Capt. Vicky Wiegand.
Capt. Vicky Wiegand getting down and dirty with a tarpon. Photo courtesy of Capt. Vicky Wiegand.

By: Capt. Vicky Wiegand

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]here is a real art to fighting a big fish, I have seen it many times and it never ceases to amaze me.

With a big fish there is just so much that can go wrong between the hook set and the landing. Whether you are the angler or not the same thoughts flow through your mind, was the knot perfect? Is the hook set right? Was there any wear in the line? Is the tackle strong enough for this?

All of these questions are things that you cannot control once the fight is on, so it’s all up to tactics once the hook is set.
And the most important one to know is getting down and dirty!

Down and dirty is exactly what it sounds like, don’t fight the fish with the rod tip high, put the rod tip down in the water, pull hard and make them work for every inch they try to take while keeping the absolute maximum amount of bend in the rod that it can withstand.

When getting dirty, angles are everything. Your goal is to keep pulling the fishes head toward its tail. Pull opposite to the direction the fish is going. If it is swimming left pull as hard as you can to the right, try to make its head come around to its tail. If you are doing it right the fish will eventually be pulled backwards, No matter what kind of fish, marlin to tarpon, none of them can handle going backwards.

One of the most important factors in this technique is rod length, it all breaks down to leverage. If you have a long rod you are able to put much more constant pressure when it is bent.

The more the rod bends the more pressure is actually being put to the hook, which is huge in a fight of power. This applies to fish in shallow and deep water. If you can’t get the angle right, reposition. You can keep control of the angles in any situation by using the boat. If the fish wants to sit under the boat then move it away and fight it with the right angle.

When you are fighting a big fish keep these things in mind because they will really change the game, you will find that it makes long fights exponentially shorter which is good for the angler and the fish.

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