Bait is plentiful and tuna, wahoo and billfish have been hungry. The high pressure has turned gamefish on and the bite has been full speed right through the full moon. Tuna have been biting the heavy gear on porpoise schools off shore while a better grade of fish have been line shy drifting on high spots. One day the fish are on live sardines and the next will only go on chuck squid. Halco Laser pro 190's has been the ticket for wahoo. The blues, stripers and sailfish have been after lures, ballyhoo and live bait.
I want to talk about the what it takes to land a tuna that has your gear over matched. This goes for cows on 100# down to 30 - 40 lb fish on 20# or even smaller gear. First thing to remember, if reel drag is set properly and line is peeling off the spool the fish WILL stop. Why, maybe not because it gets tired but because as the reel arbor gets smaller as the line comes off and drag pressure increases. An engineer could explain it better but I can assure that because of the laws of physics it will happen. I see more fish lost because anglers panic and put pressure with their thumb on the spool or tighten the drag. When line is coming off the spool the drag is tightening itself without the anglers help.
Another important thing to remember is time is the anglers enemy. Time works in the fishes favor. The longer period of time a fish is fought the odds increase that the fish will get away.
Keeping maximum constant pressure that is appropriate for the gear being used is key. An angler should be pulling on the fish, the fish shouldn't be pulling on the angler. This is a little hard to explain but when a fish wants to run and take line the angler should hang on, try to relax and let 'em go. When the fish stops it is time for the angler to go to work. Keeping the rod loaded (bent) at a horizontal angle is the proper way. When a rod goes to a vertical angle it takes pressure off the anglers hurting back but the rod tip turns to a noodle and also takes pressure off the fish.
Short strokes are the correct method. With that technique an angler can keep the fish coming at them. If it can't turn around it can't swim away. With long strokes when the rod tip is lowered the fish can get it's head. That turns into a tough war or Mexican stand off. The angler gets some then the fish gets some. Remember, time turns odds into the fishes favor and there is more chance for it to end badly for the angler.
That is enough food for thought today. I feel bad sometimes screaming at anglers "take your thumb off the spool!" It is about having fun and I don't mean to sound hard but losing a fish because of a foolish mistake is not fun. That is what has inspired me to share these few important tips.
Right now our fishing is like spring snow skiing. We only have about a month left in our season and it is the best.