40shades-of-blue

Big Condtions + big fish = cannot land?

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After seeing JerseyPrides catch and fishing the surf this morning with the pounding waves I started thinking about this.  Anyone been in a situation that you just can't get the fish in?  Figure you hook into a fish like that add in some big waves that don't allow you get close to the water to grab it or pull it up in the waves. 

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I'm my experience landing fish in big surf isn't as bad as it sounds. You have to time the waves and can let the surge push the fish up. Safely releasing a fish in big surf is a bit more difficult. 

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I've lost a big +30# inlet fishing a big storm..was way too dangerous to go down to while the waves were crashing...so i had to time it and wait but a rogue wave came and took it deep down the jetty, at that point it was braid on rocks...SNAP! In the spur of the moment i thought there was nothing i could of done. But afterwards when my adrenaline stopped pumping, i thought to myself i should of opened my bail when the wave came, I was still in a safe enough spot. If i opened the bail the line wouldn't of been so tight against the rocks and MAYBE the fish would of been on the line still. I watched that fish give one good kick and swim off with a SS popper on its face....That moment will forever be etched in my brain, taught me alot. 

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Depends on the surf, sweep and lip

I remember a long time ago I got into some rays in a big sweep with  a big lip and some rollers.   Man that was great practice working angles and "pivot" points.  And seeing how different angles helped get the fish in without applying more pressure.

 

 

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I had a scary experience fishing the rocks during a post storm heavy swell. I had a 40# bass up on the rocks and I went down to grab it but things went wrong and the waves were tossing me around on the rocks like a rag down and eventually sucked me into a big hole in the jetty. i had the bass on my boga but it was too big to be able to get my grip on the rocks with my center of gravity. I saw the fish and felt the fish, I was fighting to bring the fish up the rocks so that i could safely release her. I lost the fish, the CCW jetty swimmer (my mojo plug), and walked away scraped up and probably a minor concussion. A lesson was learned that morning.

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In my experience big fish in the surf is not that hard. Bring them in with the wave give them some controlled slack by lowering the rod tip when the wave recedes. The fish should be tired out by then having already made its parallel to the beach runs. However, fishing ledges and boulders is much more difficult with a biggin on.  Still have wave action to contend with, with structure, poor footing and elevation added in. I have had fish on ready to be landed from the ocean side that I miss grab and now the fish is behind me and the fight is on again from the shore side. 

 

 

 

Edited by Livliner

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I had this experience a couple of weeks ago on the OBX with a 43" drum. Steep beach, with a lip at the bottom, and huge ground break. I just couldnt get that fish up on a wave. Everytime I thought it was coming over, it took off again. The temptation to tighten the drag can be overwhelming, particularly when this goes on for an extended period of time and you have followed the fish a considerable distance down the beach. This fish made at least 10 final runs before finally landing.  I also agree that releasing a fish in those conditions can, in many cases, be more difficult than landing it. On the Drum mentioned above, I really got smacked by a rogue wave causing me to drop the fish during the release. I almost went down with it.  The fish was rolling up and down in the wash before I could get back to it and properly revive it so that it swam off.

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2 hours ago, 40shades-of-blue said:

Anyone been in a situation that you just can't get the fish in? 

My brother and I were fishing Quabbin back when we were in high school. We forgot our net that day. 

 

My brother hooked a massive smallie that he was able to get to the side of the boat. It probably would have been a lifetime personal best.

 

He didn't want to lift the fish up with the rod in fear of it twitching & fighting then breaking the line.

 

He then reached over the side of the boat to lip grip it.

 

The fish twitched it's head sideways, snapping the line, then proceeded to swim away with the lure in its mouth. If fish had eyelids it probably would have winked at him as it swam away. My brother cursed so loudly it seemed to echo across the water and the mountains for minutes.

 

Wasn't stormy conditions like you asked but because we forgot the net we couldn't get it in the boat. 

 

Decades later he's still mad about losing that fish.

Edited by zak-striper

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5 hours ago, Catch This said:

I had this experience a couple of weeks ago on the OBX with a 43" drum. Steep beach, with a lip at the bottom, and huge ground break. I just couldnt get that fish up on a wave. Everytime I thought it was coming over, it took off again. The temptation to tighten the drag can be overwhelming, particularly when this goes on for an extended period of time and you have followed the fish a considerable distance down the beach. This fish made at least 10 final runs before finally landing.  I also agree that releasing a fish in those conditions can, in many cases, be more difficult than landing it. On the Drum mentioned above, I really got smacked by a rogue wave causing me to drop the fish during the release. I almost went down with it.  The fish was rolling up and down in the wash before I could get back to it and properly revive it so that it swam off.

I had the battle of my life with a big red on assateague this fall. Fish went 46 it was rough a lot of current and quick drop off . Unbelievable how hard these fish can fight you even when you get them close they don’t give up.49697562-56EA-45F8-8650-D29B18C12EDA.jpeg.84c8bb1c41265f7cfab176e7b111067b.jpeg

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9 hours ago, 40shades-of-blue said:

After seeing JerseyPrides catch and fishing the surf this morning with the pounding waves I started thinking about this.  Anyone been in a situation that you just can't get the fish in?  Figure you hook into a fish like that add in some big waves that don't allow you get close to the water to grab it or pull it up in the waves. 

This why I always say the tackle should match the fish and the conditions. Big rough water deserves big tackle heavier than normal leaders and line especially on the rocks. On the sand you can get away with a bit less but don’t let the sand fool you. Under sweeping conditions i have had large fish drag me down the beach a half mile. I dont want to play a large fish for 30 minutes when heavier tackle can whip her in 10 minutes. 

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When conditions are on the heavy side, with bait fish and predators around, this is the time when you can go thick on leader and main line, once the big culprit hooked, you can exert good pressure with drag due to the heavy line, keeping the hooked fish in the rollers is like putting it in a washing machine; this will tire the fish much faster than in calm conditions where the fish can engage in deeper / steady current and make the most of it pulling drag.

 

The releasing as mentioned by coldclam is more delicate, more so when big sharks are in the mix.

 

A good feeling about the waves when they come and go is detrimental, some are naturally gifted in dealing with the wash and others will only learn the pattern by spending time on the water.

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