How hard should you fight a fish? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: How hard should you fight a fish?


petevicar
10-06-2008, 08:11 AM
After many years of fighting larger fish, mainly tarpon, I think I may be fighting fish a little too hard.

I have learned that when fighting a big fish you must always put significant pressure on the fish or it will not tire. The difference is that my first big tarpon (100+) too me over an hour to land and now I can land a similar fish in 15-20 mins.
This is OK with big fish but I have been accused of being too rough with smaller fish. I tend to bring smaller tarpon (30 or so) in within a couple of minutes.
My technique is to let the fish run when they want to but if they don't then I bring them in as quickly as possible.

On a couple of occasions this summer when salmon fishing the guides have accused me of being too rough with the fish and that they can possibly be traumatized by being fought too hard.
I have always been under the impression that the quicker the fish is brought in and then released then the better is its chance of survival. I always revive the fish before releasing.

What does anyone else think.

Dble Haul
10-06-2008, 08:43 AM
I have always been under the impression that the quicker the fish is brought in and then released then the better is its chance of survival.


I share this opinion.

sean
10-06-2008, 02:17 PM
On a couple of occasions this summer when salmon fishing the guides have accused me of being too rough with the fish and that they can possibly be traumatized by being fought too hard.

Cause leading them around for a long time with a hook in their mouth while they fight for their lives is not traumatizing :)

Those guys should not be guides IMHO. As quick as possible is the rule if you plan on releasing them. Cannot imagine an argument that would ever make me think otherwise.

-sean

FredA
10-06-2008, 04:51 PM
With stripers, I try to break them off and frequently succeed.

Adrian
10-06-2008, 06:58 PM
What everyone else said.

Faster the better IMO.

juro
10-06-2008, 07:34 PM
Species, approach and conditions affect outcome as well as a speed.

Bluefin light gear / fly is a good case of over-exertion of a fish. I have no bones about those who do it in fact I want to try it as soon as I get the chance.

But a long fight causes anaerobic respiration thus buildup of lactic acid. BFT generate body heat during exertion. Combined with lactic acid, the fish's tissue is dramatically altered such that professional sushi buyers refer to this condition as "yaketeru" which means already roasted and will reject the fish.

Some BIW friends from Maine who chunked for BFT use an electrode on a wire run down the line when hooked to a tuna to shock and stun hooked fish to end the battle as soon as possible for a premium price per pound.

The buyer would core a plug out of the caudal peduncle and taste it, naming the price on the spot. I assume this is a good indication of the rate of exertion on the fish's muscle tissue.

A fish I have experience with is the steelhead, where a big fight in August may render the fish unable to recover despite much effort while the same fish in November would have no issues due to oxygen levels, temperature and low stress.

I don't like a large bonefish's chances after a long fight - cuda and sharks are just waiting for the opportunity.

Stripers are pretty hardy and with a single lip-hooked fly the damage is minimal other than gray seals in waiting.

Frogfish
10-22-2008, 10:08 PM
The faster you land the fish, the less stress it undergoes.

I can land a large tarpon (100+) in under 40 minutes....much less if it's on the flats. Even then, I think it is too long. Sometimes the hammerheads try to take a lunch break...