Tenkara and Big fish

So there seems to be a trend in discussing big fish and tenkara.

This morning I hooked a 28-30" class rainbow trout on a 380 trout tenkara rod, 5x tippet, and a #12 barbless kebari. When I saw it I laughed. I played it for about 60 seconds ± 15 seconds. Then the hook came out and I laughed again with a big grin on my face and then continued to cast. Not for the monster, but for the other 12 -16" trout I was catching in the run. The size and color were magnificent on this fish.

I just wanted to share some of my thoughts on targeting big fish with tenkara and why I dont do it.

  • Big fish hunting requires discipline and a change in tactics

  • Taking a large fish on tenkara has a higher probability of killing that fish

  • To do it right you may need to use stout tackle

I am not a big fish hunter but have friends who are. I have caught my share of big fish, but have friends who target and catch 40-50# striped bass on a regular basis. To do this it requires discipline. You need to fish forms that cull the smalls. To do it right you have to fish heavy tackle. You have to be prepared to catch very few fish and loose a lot of fish. If it is trout you are after, you should fish at night. With striped bass it is a given. Big fish have a tendency to expire, so be prepared to kill a significant breeder and apex genetic specimen.

Incidental fish like the one I had this morning and the many others I have hooked do not make a me a big fish hunter. The below is the biggest fish I have landed. I was conservative and said the fish was over 20" but if you consider the size of my hand in the foreground…with perspective is bigger…the length of that fish is absolutely huge. The fish I hooked today and last fall made this one look like a toy. Nuts. It appears they are dumping some broodstock into my local

In general, the investment to return in big fish hunting is not worth it for my enjoyment. I posted the pic of the hook set on the brown I landed a few years back. Amazing I was able to land this fish. Big fish have tougher mouths and the gape of a tiny hook really is not enough for a mouth corner hookset. Big fish typically do not turn on a fly take like smalls. Just getting a shot at a large is fantastic. Landing one is a miracle on normal tackle. I dont like heavy rods for tenkara as I feel they rob some casting and fly control.

The trophy for me is fish markings and color so even the smallest fish can really bring a smile to my face.

Anyway. Just thought I would share.


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