5. Watch the Tip!
The tip tells you everything, so learning to distinguish real strikes from errant motions is key. Remember that the fish is biting the bait almost 2,000 feet away from you - a slightly irregular bob of the tip could be a 40-pounder slashing at the bait with its bill, or it could mean a 500-pounder has just engulfed your bait. Quick reactions make the difference, and you need to come tight quickly to hook one in the mouth and not the gut. When you wind down on a suspected bite, you'll soon know whether there's a fish on the other end of the line. Only practice will provide you with keen eyes like those already developed by daytime swordfish aces like John Bassett and Bill Dobbelaer.