To a bass angler there is nothing more important than landing a bass and being able to put one in the boat. Taking your time and using a well practiced technique is key to landing your bass.
Always remember it isn’t a race to land that lunker. If you rush the process you run the risk of the fish taking a strong run when it sees the boat and snapping your line or even worse your rod. Play out the fish and let it tire out a little bit and you will have more successful catches
While you are playing your bass you want to keep the line tight at all times. Allowing slack in the line can leave room for the bass to dislodge the hooks and throw your lure. You also run the risk of your line breaking if your bass makes that final run for freedom as it approaches the boat. Your rod and reel will do a lot of the work for you if you have things set up right. Make sure that your drag is set so that it can help absorb the energy that the fish is putting out when it takes off. You will want to be able to pull the line from your reel with your hand. It should be tight but you shouldn’t have to struggle to take line out. This should allow the fish to pull drag but not be able to take all of the line at once.
Something else that you might want to be aware of is not to allow your rod to rest against anything while you are fishing the fish. If the fish runs under the boat, don’t try to fight it from your original spot on the deck, follow the bass to the other side of the boat. If you don’t follow the bass and your rod is being pulled against the boat it is very likely that if the bass makes a run it could snap your rod.
Once you get the bass to the boat you will want to make sure you keep enough line out so that if it tries to make that last run it doesn’t break your rod tip. When you are ready to boat your bass put your net in the water slowly. You will want to scoop the head in first by placing the net in the water and drawing your bass into it with your rod and one fail swoop of the net all at the same time. Depending on your arm length you will want to keep between 4 and 5 feet of line between your rod tip and the bass. This should allow you enough room to guide your bass into the net (keep that line tight) without working to hard.
Laurie Cork "AKA" Mother Nature