When moving a rod with a fish on it from a rod holder to the chair, there’s a right and a wrong way to do it. During the heat of the moment, with a fish taking drag, the boat rocking and someone yelling something in your ear, even experienced anglers can make the mistake of placing the wrong hand on the rod’s fore grip to transfer it to the chair.
With a fish on a rod that’s on the left side of the cockpit or chair, the starboard side of the boat, the correct hand to place on the fore grip would be the left hand, with the right hand grabbing the butt just behind the reel. If he does it this way, when the angler removes the rod and turns toward the chair, the rod is in between the chair and angler. This allows the angler to move to the chair, stab the butt into the gimbal in one smooth motion, swing his right leg over the rod and sit into the chair – without ever having to let go of the rod or switch hands.
If the angler removes the rod from a holder on the left side of the cockpit with the right hand on the fore grip and the left hand on the rod butt, the body is put in between the rod and the chair. This makes for a difficult and awkward transition to the chair with medium tackle – and an almost impossible one with heavy tackle.
Naturally, when removing a rod from a holder on the right side of the cockpit, the angler should place the right hand on the rod’s fore grip and grasp the rod butt with the left. Just remember this simple technique and your next trip to the chair should go smoothly.
_Capt. Randy Baker