The First Ten Seconds

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Hot in pursuit after a big fish – Photo By: Louis Cahill

Chaos and panic are good words to describe what goes through many anglers heads during the first ten seconds following a big fish hookup.

The decisions you make during those first seconds of the fight will often determine whether you or the fish wins the battle. There’s lots of ways to lose a big fish and sometimes it’s completely out of your control. But one of the worst decisions you can make, specifically when a fish is making a screaming run upstream or downstream of you, is deciding to stay put and not follow. When this happens you better be ready to kick it into high gear and move your ass fast in pursuit. Otherwise, you’ll quickly find yourself with no leverage to apply adequate power to fight and steer the fish. It’s like trying to drive a car on a curvy road without a steering wheel, it’s just not going to work.

Big trout usually only have a couple really long hard runs. If you can stick with them during the blitzing runs and keep good tension, you’ll often find the hardest part of the fight is over with. After that it’s all about being patient and smart until you can bring the fish into the net. Most big fish are lost within the first ten seconds of the fight. Be smart and make the right decisions during those critical moments. That way you can claim victorious in the end.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline


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4 thoughts on “The First Ten Seconds

  1. Alex I had the same Fear and Loathing thought in my head. Good post KK. I’ll be the first to admit that I get a little to excited with a big fish hookup. Especially when I see the fish eat. I love streamer fishing, especially when I can keep an eye on the fly. I have a bad bad habbit of getting a little to excited at the first sign of a possible strike that I will actually loose the fish before it’s tasted a little steel (or whatever metallic mineral I have on). I was a mess the first two days last month in those crystal clear waters throwing the meat whistle.

  2. If Rick James gets excited all the time. He has short striked as long as I have known him. Thats why I rein supreme over him!

    Killer info!

    Your Daddy, Ryan

  3. The permit I’ve seen have always fooled me at a distance, more tarpon-like in profile and linear, without the deep-body appearance. But also more sinuous in their progress.

    Best clue to whether or not it’s a permit is the guide shouting “IT’S A Permit!”

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