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I was always thought and learned through experience to not grab the line in those last moments of landing a fish.  However on TV in tournaments, I see a lot of pros grabbing the line, etc.  

What is the deal with this?  I’ve lost more than a few grabbing the line like they do..

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What's wrong with grabbing the line? I never lose fish because of that.

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Saw that a lot on the recent MLF streams and cringed every time they did it. Like anything else, it’s a trade off - the longer that fish is swimming around in the water, the more time he has to try and get off. In their case, I think the pressure of needing to land the fish quickly overrode the time to play a fish down and lip it. It’s a gamble because you’ll lose fish doing it (grabbing the line), but it’s also the quickest way to control the situation and get your hands on the fish for a chance. I’d rather net or swing, or after that, play them down and lip ‘em myself. I never grab the line unless it’s a last option kind of thing.

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MLF is a new concept in tournament bass fishing; catch, weigh and release. What pros are apparently trying to do is aviod getting treble hooks in the hand by controlling the fish in the water and using the boat to trap the bass against while holding the line to control the bass. Lipping and landing a treble hooked bass without a net is risky, especially smallnouth bass. MLF the bass can't be held agianst your body or touch the inside of the boat this leaves 2 other options, lift the bass into the air with the rod and trying grabbing the fish or the line or take a 2 minute penalty by bouncing it into boat.

Tom

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When not swinging, I'll almost always grab the line to maneuver the fish closer when lipping or scooping a fish from a sitting or kneeling position. 

 

I don't pull the line up to land. 

 

Never lost a fish doing it. 

 

 

 

 

Mike

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26 minutes ago, Mike L said:

When not swinging, I'll almost always grab the line to maneuver the fish closer when lipping or scooping a fish from a sitting or kneeling position. 

 

I don't pull the line up to land. 

 

Never lost a fish doing it. 

 

 

 

 

Mike

This is what I wonder about...is the whole don’t grab the line thing a farce and the fish I lost before, prob would have lost them anyway?

One I’ll never forget is my them, 9 yr old daughter had fought an easy 6 pounder all the way to the boat when I grabbed the line at the last moment and it flipped off.  She didn’t know what she had...I was extremely disappointed.

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Hand lining fish takes some practice to learn to keep only enough pressure, like a properly set drag, on the line. 

Using your rod as a shock absorber while sliding your hand down the line to shorten the distance between you and the fish is different then pulling on the fish hand over hand using line. What may seem as a solid pulling on the line is actually letting line slip between finger pressure, practiced skill is involved. 

Anytime your hand is near a treble hook lure in a fishes mouth there is a risk of getting hooked! I had a DD size bass hook my hand between the thumb and index finger when the bass shook free of my grip, now I always use a net with crankbaits.

Tom

 

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I'll grab  the line because I'm in control and can let go in a millisecond .I  never grab the line  trying to land/net someone else's fish .  

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3 minutes ago, WRB said:

Hand lining fish takes some practice to learn to keep only enough pressure, like a properly set drag, on the line. 

Using your rod as a shock absorber while sliding your hand down the line to shorten the distance between you and the fish is different then pulling on the fish hand over hand using line. What may seem as a solid pulling on the line is actually letting line slip between finger pressure, practiced skill is involved. 

 

Was gonna answer almost the same way but Tom beat me to it. 

Understand, I'm not pulling on the fish to yank it in. 

Im use the line very carefully to maneuver the fish in a position to land. 

The rod position and reel setting are such that only a light movement of the line is necessary. 

 

It it takes a lot of practice to get it right. 

Its so I don't even think about it anymore. 

 

 

 

 

Mike

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Don't you guys remember Schooled by Denny Brauer??

Man would he chastise his "students" when they grabbed the line! lol  loved that show; learned a lot from it

 

Like said above, I'll steer/guide the fish with my hand sliding on the line but I typically don't like to grab the line. I always hear Denny in my head yelling at me.

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46 minutes ago, mheichelbech said:

This is what I wonder about...is the whole don’t grab the line thing a farce and the fish I lost before, prob would have lost them anyway?

One I’ll never forget is my them, 9 yr old daughter had fought an easy 6 pounder all the way to the boat when I grabbed the line at the last moment and it flipped off.  She didn’t know what she had...I was extremely disappointed.

Not a farce - if done wrong, you’re more likely to lose fish.

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Over the years I have lost a lot of fish by grabbing the line.  Now the only time I grab the line is if the fish is tired out and just basically floating there in the water. 

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Apparently, this is the best kept secret out there; especially for the casual, recreational and tournament angler (where their use is not restricted.)

When done correctly one Never has to worry about a hook in the hand or touching the line ever again.

:vrolijk_26:

A-Jay

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When I was a teen my buddy hooked what is still one of the biggest bass Ive ever seen. The fish came out from under the boat and we both got real excited when we saw it. He was trying to pull it up and it dove back under the boat . He hollered " Grab the line and pull it up " I did, right as the fish surged away, and the line broke.

I cant remember ever doing that again in 40 + years of fishing.

If they are small, I swing em. The rest I lip. Cant recall the last fish I lost by lipping them.

I dont grab the body of the fish  and lift at boatside very often but when I do its with fish a little too big too swing, but not big fish.

I dont use nets because My boat is fairly small, and its amazing how it is a magnet for hooks and reel handles.

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I never grab the line. I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen people snap the line this way. Either use the rod or if it’s too big and it’ll break the rod or shake itself off, use a net or gaff. For bass, they are easy to grab by the mouth. IMO more PB’s are lost to line grabbing than anything else.

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7 hours ago, WRB said:

MLF is a new concept in tournament bass fishing; catch, weigh and release. What pros are apparently trying to do is aviod getting treble hooks in the hand by controlling the fish in the water and using the boat to trap the bass against while holding the line to control the bass. Lipping and landing a treble hooked bass without a net is risky, especially smallnouth bass. MLF the bass can't be held agianst your body or touch the inside of the boat this leaves 2 other options, lift the bass into the air with the rod and trying grabbing the fish or the line or take a 2 minute penalty by bouncing it into boat.

Tom

I had a smallmouth put both sets of trebles on a whopper plopper into my hand. Worst experience ever. 

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I'm pretty new to fishing. I can remember two instances where I dropped fish after grabbing the line - one I lost at shore but retrieved, the other that fell on the dock. Didn't actually lose either.

 

I have both of these on video and I think thats what happened. I will look at them and see.

 

Interesting.

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I dont want to get hooks stuck in me , again .  If I have a decent bass with a mouth full of trebels . I'll grab the line after its tuckered out , about a foot away and lip it with a fish grip .  I dont grab the line on a hard fighting fish . 

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The one thing I can’t figure out is why, when I was fishing tournaments that it was so easy to lose a fish but fishing for fun, can’t hardly shake ‘me off!  Loss rate may be the same and I only notice it in tournaments...I dunno, sure is heartbreaking though!

Its funny how I’ve had days in tournaments when, no matter what I did we landed the fish and other days, no matter what I didn’t they got off!

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I either swing them or net them. I've been hooked in the hand by struggling fish, don't want to do it again. I've also watched a lot of fish get broke off at boatside by guys grabbing the line, it's not a great move if you don't know what you're doing. 

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I’ve never been much for netting fish up until the last few years. Bought a decent Frabill for muskies. I don’t fish for muskies but manage a few or so each year. It just makes it easier on some bass as well. The right net materials are easy on the bass as well. I don’t let my bass flip and flop all over my deck like BASS and MLF guys. Not sure if that is good for them. I have the ability to treat my live well also. 

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As an outsider coming in to bass fishing from the catfishing world I wonder why more people don’t use the fish grippers.  I have a set of the while Rapala ones and I’ve picked up 33lb catfish with it.  Works great, especially if the fish flops some more. One other thing they’re great for is weighing a fish.  

 

I did watch a video where Gene Jenson used a smaller set to clip into a bass then place it in the water to revive it some while he got set to take come pictures.  Looked like a great use.  He was on a kayak and had the grippers tied to the kayak.  

 

I would think, especially for dealing with treble hooks that it would make it a lot safer and easier to get them unhooked and back in the water or in the livewell.  

 

Just thinking through this.  

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5 hours ago, Spankey said:

I’ve never been much for netting fish up until the last few years. Bought a decent Frabill for muskies. I don’t fish for muskies but manage a few or so each year. It just makes it easier on some bass as well. The right net materials are easy on the bass as well. I don’t let my bass flip and flop all over my deck like BASS and MLF guys. Not sure if that is good for them. I have the ability to treat my live well also. 

Trying to land a muskie with a undersized net is not an enjoyable experience.  After the 2nd unsuccessful muskie landing while targeting bass the Jaw's quote was change to "You are going to need a bigger net".

 

I net any bass that is questionable to be swung,  and if it wasn't hooked with trebles 95% it is out of the net and unhooked without touching the deck.

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1 hour ago, WVU-SCPA said:

Trying to land a muskie with a undersized net is not an enjoyable experience.  After the 2nd unsuccessful muskie landing while targeting bass the Jaw's quote was change to "You are going to need a bigger net".

 

I net any bass that is questionable to be swung,  and if it wasn't hooked with trebles 95% it is out of the net and unhooked without touching the deck.

I'm not proud to admit this but back a few years ago I hooked up this musky while smallie fishing. It's natural to think the fight was great. And it was. This is being taken place on 8 lb. test to boot. It was the largest fish I had ever gotten. Hey, I wanted to land the fish and I wanted my lure back. It was in August and was under warm conditions. This type of weather didn't help. I played the fish to exhaustion. The fish didn't make it, I felt like Heck over it. It bothered me for a long time because I never had anything like that happen before. I'm smarter than that. I fish smarter than that. It was sort of a black cloud day for me. If I had it to do all over again I would have cut my line. It was not my first muskie but certainly the largest. I had a muskie net the next day. I know if I had a net that day those series of events would not have happened. He was legal and didn't go to waste. I'm not proud of what happened that day. Put a real damper on the rest of that day. 

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Maybe it's not the best thing you do, but i often loosely hold the line to guide me down to grab the actual lure and pick the fish up by the lure. I do this with jerkbaits and spooks a lot. I don't want to lip it with those trebles in its mouth, and I don't want to lose that lure. Once I have a good grip on that lure, I pick it right out. I have had the fish shake off a few times but I'm fishing for fun so it's not the end of the world. I should use the net more. I usually only go for the net if it's really big. Or it's a pike!

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