Landing Fish When You’re Fishing Alone

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fishing Forum' started by Stizzla, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. Stizzla

    Stizzla Crew Member

    I was wondering how you handle having a good fish on the line when you’re solo?
    I don’t like to leave a fish unattended for any amount of time, so I’m thinking would it be smart to hold your active rod on one hand while it’s making a run and reel through the downrigger clip while in the holder on the other rod and hit the auto up button. The tackle will float to the surface and it would be much more out of the way. Also, if there aren’t many boats around, a slow turn to the inside seems to make sense too.

    As of now I’ve battled fish with the other rod still working, and have yet to have a Chinook cross over it. I just really don’t want it to happen.

    Any other tips like netting solo etc? Do you tire them out more than you would if you had a partner netting?


  2. JuandeOne

    JuandeOne Well-Known Member

    Another option for the inactive rod is to drop the downrigger and the line will pop off. When the fish is running or holding steady, reel in the other line with one hand as the rod sits in the holder.
    MikeM, mustard tiger and Stizzla like this.
  3. Stizzla

    Stizzla Crew Member

    Good tip!
  4. mustard tiger

    mustard tiger New Member

    Get the Scotty net clip. Holds bag tight to pole. So you don’t worry about net floating around and touching the fish. And as soon as fish is in net opening it pops off.
    I also fish 9 foot rods. It helps.
    BCRingo, kingspring and Stizzla like this.
  5. Stizzla

    Stizzla Crew Member

    Will do. Thanks!
    Edit:just looked it up. For those interested, it’s part # is Scotty 210 “net minder”
  6. Sam7

    Sam7 Active Member

    I've always been afraid, but I have now taken the risk, & the last four times where I've had a good fish on, (after I know the hook has been set) I keep the engine engaged, set the rod in the rod holder, race to the other rod, pop it off the clip, hit the switch on the downrigger to bring it up, and reel like there is no tomorrow to bring that line in. (do a panic test run, you'd be surprised on how little time it actually takes. ) Mind you, this time of year, I'm no deeper than around 80', but usually around the 60' mark.

    Four for four I am.
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  7. Aces

    Aces Well-Known Member

    Yes that works well.

    Play the fish until exhaustion, put the rod, in the holder, hand line it in and gaff it. That works for me
    trophywife, casper5280 and Stizzla like this.
  8. scott craven

    scott craven Well-Known Member

    Leave the other side alone and play your fish,get out of the pack and circle slowly to keep the fish
    on the right side of the boat. when the fight is near done, go into neutral
    rod tip high, lead the fish head first into the net.
  9. Ryan A

    Ryan A Active Member

    I fish solo all the time and the Scotty Netminder is the way to go. Had a double header on solo last week, one rod @ 180’ and the other @ 220’, both popped off the clip at the same time, loosened the drag on the lighter fish and played the other which ended up being a fat 21lber, brought the other one in after and since its only 1 Chinook per day in Parksville within certain boundaries released a nice 12 or so pounder. Kept her in gear the whole time as it was a little choppy out.
    Stizzla likes this.
  10. Stizzla

    Stizzla Crew Member

    Can’t argue with the guy who caught the fish you did last week!
  11. Fish Camp

    Fish Camp Well-Known Member

    I have rod holders that have the reels facing upwards when rod is in holder this helps with having not to reach out of boat to remove rod from holder .The rod is left or replaced in the starboard side holder so reel dose not bind as fish pulls.Get the manual penns and other rod in fast (balls and clips out of the water),with boat in gear while turning around and keeping tight line on fish. Pick up rod out of starboard holder ,and once you and fish are calm take the boat out of gear and decide wether you may want to retain the fish .Too net or to have the fish remain in the water? is a good question to ask yourself at this time.
  12. casper5280

    casper5280 Well-Known Member

    I'm with Craven on this one. I find that popping the other rod off just leads to trouble. I have the net minder on my net, but also have a couple long gaffs the usually get the job done better. I also have 6 rod holders on the boat so if a rod is in the way I just move it to a different rod holder, but never pop it off the clip.
    chipstealer likes this.
  13. scott craven

    scott craven Well-Known Member

    Most Chinook tend to come to the surface after the initial run, keeping the other line down deep and out of the way is usually better than having your fish tangle up with another set of gear at the surface.
    of course we all know $hit happens .... ;)
  14. JuandeOne

    JuandeOne Well-Known Member

    Sorry my advise was based on 20 to 40 pound fish that may circle the boat 3 or 4 times. Now a days just leave the other side down and keep it simple.
    lgmesz likes this.
  15. Tips Up

    Tips Up Well-Known Member

    Depending on situation I’ll mostly leave second rod down as it’s generally out of the way and I know where that line is.
    Or if necessary I’ll bring the other side up a bit at a time while fighting fish.
    Hit the button on rigger then reel slack while in holder and repeat.

    When I’ll playing a fish solo I’m in no hurry so play it by situation.
    casper5280 likes this.
  16. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    In the winter months it's hard enough to keep up with them as they swim straight at the boat and into the net. Good time to practice your reeling speed!

    The rest of the time I just make right turns to keep the fish "inside". I have to net through the door though when fishing alone because I'm too high out of the water. If I have time I clear the starboard (door) side. Port side always keeps fishing.
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  17. triplenickel

    triplenickel Well-Known Member

    I had an extra release clip at home so it got zip tied to the net handle. They work great.
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  18. J-GLOBAL

    J-GLOBAL Well-Known Member

    Just running 2 rods? Leave the other side down, keep the boat in gear, circle in, maybe hit neutral just before netting.

    Running stacked rods makes it more challenging...

    I leave all the other rods down, move the rod still fishing on the same size of the boat either forward or back to rod holder, depending if its on the kicker side.

    On the kicker side I move the working rod back and turn the down rigger back towards the kicker. Keep the boat in gear (slow but moving) and turn towards fish, play the fish up to the side of the boat which happens to be right beside my kicker control and net the fish at the side. All other 3 rods keep working and stay down out of the way. Often double up in this time, finish netting fish and then play the next if it happens.

    On the non kicker side I move the working rod forward, turn the down rigger forward. Keep the boat in gear (slow but moving) and turn towards the fish, play the fish to the back corner and net the fish off the back corner. Other rods keep working and stay down out of the way.

    I almost always fish 4 rods. Last week fishing alone I did lose one fish (not related to the other rods) but was able to bring in a 40# spring, Hali, ling, and Coho and a sockeye without issues.

    I do lose the odd fish due to crossovers but very unusual.

    I have way more crossovers, interference, etc, when fishing 4 and having more than one other person on the boat.
  19. Tom Mac

    Tom Mac Member

    Almost the same as my self but I never put it in neutral, back in the days of barbed hooks I did. Something else I do is bump the down rigger ball up and out of the water so the fish can't wrap it self a round the ball.
  20. tyeegalore

    tyeegalore Member

    No matter how big or small the fish is I leave the other rod alone, slow the boat speed to 1 to 1.5 mph and make sure the fish on the line is exhausted before netting it. works for me on fish to 34 lbs so far.
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