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,
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.
lower the rod to get a side pull and make the fish move away to a safer
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.
both from tubes
Del Canty with the 26lbs Rainbow
Canty with a 23lbs Brown Trout