5 Techniques to Hook and Catch Big Game Fish

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Hooking and catching big game fish is no easy task. There are many factors that come into play in order to be successful. Some people might think the only thing you need is skill, but there are other things you have to take into consideration as well.

One of these factors may be your bait or lure, which plays a key role in hooking and catching big game fish.

You can use many different types of lures for fishing – some work better than others depending on where you’re fishing, what type of fish you’re trying to catch, and even what time of day it is!

Then there are rod and reel combos to consider. It all depends on what you’re after. Here we give you 5 tips on how to hook and catch the big game fish you’re after.

Choosing the Right Lure and Setting the Hook Correctly

Big Shark Fishing on Hilton Head
Photo via Aaron Schultz/Premier Angler

First, you have to choose which type of lure is right for the type of fish you’re after. This may be a pretty obvious tip already, but it’s important to take into consideration different factors such as color, in-water action, and size when choosing a lure that works best for big game fish.


Different types of lures feature a different range of colors. These colors can vary even within a single lure type. It’s crucial to be aware of the color that you’re using, because some fish may just not be attracted to that specific shade or hue.

For example, if you’re after striped bass – they are typically really attracted to bright orange-colored lures.

In Water Action

You’ll want to use the lure that most closely mimics the prey of your intended catch. For instance, something like the Shimano HD-Orca FB acts just like an injured baitfish on the surface and flashes to attract larger fish.

This could be a great attractor for bluefin who target larger baitfish like sardines and herring.


Then there’s size to take into consideration as well. On one hand, smaller-sized lures will more easily appeal to game fish than big and bulky ones would – but on the other hand, since small-sized lures aren’t very noticeable in the water column, they won’t put up much of a fight either!  

So it’s important to find that balance between both factors (size and color) so you can successfully hook the fish.

If you’re using an enticing lure it will be much easier to feel the weight of the fish on the rod and know when to hook into them. You’ll be much more effective at getting every fish hooked when using the right lure configuration for the species you’re after.

Adjusting Your Equipment Based on Water Temperature

Water temperature can have a pretty big impact on whether or not a big game fish will even take a bite at your lure. It’s usually relatively easy to figure out if a certain type of fish is attracted to lures in cold water (in the range of 48-65 degrees Fahrenheit), moderate (65-78 degrees Fahrenheit), or warm (78+ degrees Fahrenheit). 

But what exactly does this mean for you? If water temperature is too low, using lighter lures will be better since fish won’t be as active at that point – but warmer temperatures may require heavier and more noticeable lures because game fish will become more active and aggressive during these periods.

Matching Your Gear and Location Based on Estimated Fish Size

Another useful tip when it comes to hooking and catching big game fish is knowing the estimated size of the fish you’re after. This can be helpful in deciding which type of lure would work best for you. 

You’ll also be able to have the equipment on hand to handle the weight you’re planning on bringing in. 

Mastering Hook Placement to Win the Fight

Big game fish are known for their endurance when it comes to fighting back, so they can put up quite a fight at times (and even cause some damage). It’s therefore important to consider where exactly you need your lure to be placed on during the catch-and-release process You don’t want to place it too close to the dorsal or tail fin, since sharp lures may cause damage. On the other hand, you don’t want it to be placed too near its mouth either because it can scare away fish when they get a taste of your lure.

Getting a feel for the species you’re wanting to catch is the best way to understand more about where to land the hook.  

Fishing at the Right Time of Day

Fishing Boat Big Game
Photo via Aaron Schultz/Premier Angler

Lastly, to hook and catch big game fish there’s timing that comes into play as well – in fact, this is a really important factor! This is something many people might not think about, but it’s essential knowledge. 

Timing your trip for the fish you want to catch is imperative to your success.

For example: Going out to catch a striped marlin at night will have completely different results than during the day! The same goes for going after tuna during the morning or evening hours. This will affect whether or not they’re lured in by your baits.

The only way to find out what time of day you should go fishing is to do research beforehand plus some good ol’ trial and error.

Keep these helpful tips in mind the next time you go big game fishing! Getting to haul in that trophy fish can be very rewarding – but it won’t come easily if you don’t use the right methods for catching them.

Looking for more on how to hook that next big bass? Check out more articles here.

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