We are all going to lose a trophy fish at some point in our careers. Many times, though, cockpit mishaps can be avoided. It amazes me to see how cluttered most boats' cockpits are at any given point, especially while fighting a fish. After hooking up and clearing the lines, I make sure all the extra rods are placed well out of the way, either in the rocket launcher or in the rod holders on the flying bridge. They should not be placed in the port or starboard gunwales because they will prevent a leader man from walking a fish up the side of the boat.