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June 27, 2014

How to Catch Big Fish from an Open Boat

Defeating big fish from open boats requires special tactics and teamwork


Communication between the captain and the angler (and the deck mate, if you have one) proves critical throughout the fight, which might last hours, according to Secrest. “One of the most important things is the direction of the fishing line,” he says. “The other is to communicate to the captain whether the fish is taking line, holding or you’re gaining line.” All of these factors help the skipper determine how and where to maneuver the boat during the fight.

Teams that fish together often have honed their communication techniques to include hand signals, which become more effective when the angler is facing away from the helm (and the captain can’t hear him) or wind noise makes voice communications difficult. A raised fist, for instance, may signal that the fish is holding, while a rolling finger may indicate a fish is taking line.