Eric Haataja: Hi! I am Eric Haataja with Take Me Fishing. Today we are going to show you how to play a fish when you have got one hooked up on the end of your line.
Just because you have hooked a fish, doesnt mean your job if finished, it's just getting started. When a fish is hooked it may jump or make long run swimming back against the line or swimming around some obstacles. There is no real way to know how a fish is going to react when it bites or strikes your lure. A little fish typically you can reel them right into the boat, but when you get those big fish hooked up, a lot of times it takes 10-15 minutes to play them back to the boat.
Playing the fish is a combination of give-and-take. Use both the rod and reel to play the fish up to the boat. When the fish is running out, let it take the line. When it slows down, begin to reel the line in.
If the fish is large or aggressive, use the rod to bring the fish into the boat. Pull the rod towards you without reeling. Then as you lower your rod, begin to reel. Repeat this process until the fish is in the boat, keeping your line tight at all times.
Remember that if you are catch and release fishing, dont play the fish too long or it will die from exhaustion before or after you release it. The best advice I can give you is to be patient, when you are fighting that big fish, just take your time, bringing him right back to the boat.