Sometimes during the fishing season, I find myself performing unofficial "charter" duties with inexperienced guests aboard.
Today we lost a couple King salmon by the boat that we shouldn't have with inexperienced fisherman manning the rods. They couldn't get the fish close enough to the boat. The closest they could draw the fish in was 4ft from the flasher. I tried coaching them to sweep the rod horizontally. I also tried explaining the pump-and-reel technique to draw it in, but they didn't get it. Also tried to get them to step back to get the fish closer to the side of the boat. We had both fish close to the boat several times, so it was heart breaking.
One thing I've noticed is that novice fisherman are afraid to bend the rod and put a load on it, often times pointing the rod straight at the fish! Those rods are designed to carry a load and I try to explain that, but people don't seem to get what I'm saying. Or when fighting they fish, they are too excited and scared to process what I'm saying. Not putting some bend in the rod keeps the fish further from the boat.
When I land a fish, I normally keep the drag loose and thumb the spool tight to smoothly ease the fish to the side of the boat during the home stretch. Then if the fish runs, I simply lift my thumb off the spool and let them run. I think this might be too complex of a technique to teach a fishing newbie though?
Does anyone have some clear concise tips or tricks they've found to help new fisherman land salmon on a boat? I know you charter guys deal with this situation on a daily basis, so perhaps one of you could chime in with your two cents.
I apparently suck at coaching newbies.