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Float Tube Fishing in Ireland

Having a really great time fishing from the world's best floating fishing platform

Playing Big  Fish from a Tube
When you hook into a good one, it can get pretty exciting ... good fish tow you about during play.

 There is a problem to be avoided if a fish dives right under you. That's a bad idea because a tangle in your fins can happen if you allow it. 
It happens when a tubing novice hooks a good fish and pulls. The fish comes towards the angler, and the tube drifts towards the fish, until both are close together. Now the angler pulls upwards, and the still strong fish pulls against the high rod tip, and dives away from the angler to the bottom. The rest of the fight is boring, over the unseen fish, rod bent, short line, and easy to lose the fish.
So here is a bit of information about how best to play a big fish from a float tube.
1  Try to keep the fish at medium distance.
2  A short line, vertical direct down fight can cause line breakage (not enough line to stretch and shock absorb) or sometimes a hang-up in fins or fin straps, followed by a break.
3  If you find yourself directly over the fish, try moving a short distance away, and the side strain will encourage the fighting fish to make a (safer) run away safely in mid-water, with fewer lost fish over a season's fishing.
4  The direct down dive can be avoided in the first place if you move away a little distance on a parallel course, and when he feels side strain he will pull away, running, rather than diving down.
5  Just fin away a bit to counter the "two of us drawing closer" effect.
6  Also ... don't raise the rod much when a fish is very close, the upwards vertical pull makes it want to dive down under your feet to get away from the upwards pull.
7  A lower rod tip will make the fish run away without diving. Unfortunately the sideways rod will accentuate the rotation effect of the tube, So you should not only backpedal, but also counter the tendency to turn caused by the sideways rod's pull. This is difficult to get used to, but well worthwhile.
8  These tube control manoeuvres  for a fight with a big fish are very similar to the boat control techniques of an experienced marlin fishing boat skipper... a correct positioning of the rod's pull and boat can avoid excessively long runs, or excessively deep dives, and keeps a fish moving and tiring, rather than sulking and saving energy.

Author with a 25 from his Bullet

Avoid pulling from right behind a freshly hooked fish too early in the fight. This causes a long fast shallow run with a dangerous jump at the end when the line is submerged, causing a break.
Instead cruise the tube in a parallel course 20 metres to the side of the fish, then the runs are slower, shorter, and change direction often, preventing excessive loss of line.

Don't bring it too close too soon - a greater length of line acts as a shock buffer for when head shaking begins. That head shaking could cause the hook's hold to tear and open up a little hole, causing a loss on a later headshake or jump.

When far away raise the rod to free line of the water's grip. When close lower the rod to get a side pull and make the fish move away to a safer distance.

You will find that doing all this will make the fight of a big tube caught fish into quite an energetic affair for your legs!  Up till now your arms did it all.  But it's worth the care, because it will result in a very, low number of lost fish.

Simultaneous "Twenties" both from tubes

Del Canty with the 26lbs Rainbow

Canty with a 23lbs Brown Trout