How To Take a Fish Off The Hook: A Guide For Beginners

In movies, we often see people fishing by sitting on either a boat or a chair near bodies of water, holding a fishing rod and patiently waiting. However, fishing is not at all that simple as there are many things to learn and consider. For one, a person who intends to go fishing must understand the equipment needed, the best place to fish as well as how to take a fish off the hook. If you are one of those looking forward to their first fishing expedition, then this article can be your ultimate guide.

The Fishing Gear

Arguably, many people are unfamiliar with the proper fishing gear. If you are among them, then let us enlighten you in this regard as one cannot fish without it.

The basic fishing equipment includes:

  • Seven-inch spinning rod and reel combination
  • 10-pound main line
  • 15-pound trace
  • Ten pieces of swivel or clips
  • six single hooks of different sizes
  • four drop sinkers
  • a packet of soft plastics that are either squid- or fish-shaped bait
  • two flasher rigs
  • a tackle box
  • a bait knife
  • polarized sunglass
  • a packet of dead bait like pilchards or squid

Many fishing experts recommend the rod and reel combinations for first-timers as they are easy to use and also affordable.

Beginners are also often advised to choose the spinning reels since they are the easiest to control among all kinds of reels. Plus, the reel is lightweight and reasonably priced. This type of reel has the most versatile design and can even be used to catch fish from the boat, wharf or shore.

The beginner’s reels are often pre-spooled with a line, so beginners do not have to do it on their own. There are two kinds of the line used, the monofilament and the braid.

When it comes to the fishing rods, beginners must choose one that is lightweight and has a flexible tip. These fishing rods are suitable for spinning and are tapered to provide enough power at the rod’s butt yet allows the user to either bait at a good distance or lure fish.

After choosing the rod, reel and line then it’s time to choose the tackle. A tackle would include sinkers, hooks, clips, and swivels as they are what one will tie to the rig to catch a fish.

How To Hook A Fish: Basic and Effective Tips

  • Set-up the Hook Properly

They say that one of the most difficult things to understand and do is how to hook a fish. The key to hooking a fish is to set the hook properly, which is about feeling and timing as many experts would say.

  • Be Patient

Sometimes, the excitement of pulling out the fish can set the fisher back. Many people often feel like pulling their gears at once when they see some splash on the water. On the contrary, in many cases, the fish yet has to take the bait. It is crucial then to be patient and minimize the excitement. Upon seeing a splash, the fisher has to wait for about a second before setting the hook. This way, the fish will already have the bait inside its mouth, which increases the chance of hooking the fish.

Arguably, the waiting period can be a bit difficult to determine because some fishes, like the walleye, take longer before taking the bait inside its mouth.

  • Always Be Ready to Set the Hook

In fishing, one of the best tips for both beginners and experts is to be always ready with the hook since nobody can predict when a fish will bite. However, sometimes anglers overlook this tip as they are lost in thoughts or busy talking to their companions. There are also cases where one tends to forget about being ready to set the hook when so much time has elapsed, and no fish seems to have taken the bait.

  • Reel In the Slackline

Many beginners also think that it is easy to yank the line when a fish bites. However, one must first reel in the slackline before attempting to set the hook. This is because excessive slack will make the hook set a lot less powerful. After reeling in the slack, one must point the rod tip near the fish and snap the tip backward. One must then snap the rod immediately after snapping the rod. Otherwise, the fish may not hook. There must also be constant pressure on the fish while reeling.

How To Take A Fish Off The Hook: Preventing Harm

Contrary to some popular beliefs, not all anglers want to catch the fish and keep them. There are those who do catch-and-release fishing because for some reason they intend to put back the fish into water afterward. Regardless, if you want to keep the fish alive and healthy, then you must know how to take a fish off the hook carefully, and bring it back to the water as quickly as possible.

Tip 1: One must keep the fish in the water until it can be grabbed by the hand.

Once you have grabbed the fish, hold it tightly so it cannot escape your hands. The best way to hold it is to grab it around the pectoral fins, or the fins found just below its gills. To refrain it from moving, place your index finger just below the chin of the fish.

Tip 2: Do not dangle the fish by its jaw.

Otherwise, it will attempt to go back to the water by moving around.

Tip 3: Catch the fish quickly.

If you reel slowly, then the fish would fight the reeling and would be so exhausted. Keep in mind that the quicker you catch and place the fish back in the water, the higher is its chances of recovering. If you want to do some catch-and-release fishing, then you must ensure that you will not cause damage or harm to the fish.

Tip 4: Pull the hook from the catch’s lips carefully so as not to tear them.

If the hook is located on the edge of the fish’s lips, then you can easily just slide it off. Do not be in a hurry though as you might hurt your catch. If the fish has already swallowed the hook, then grab a pair of pliers and immediately cut the hook. Remove the metal from the fish as carefully as possible as you might end up causing the fish more harm than good.

Whatever reason you have for going fishing, be it for food or as a sport or a hobby, it is always best to remember that catching a fish is just halfway through the whole thing. What finishes the job is to make sure that you get a live and healthy catch you can also be proud of.