In Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, offshore fishing put anglers to the test. The Atlantic ocean saltwater fish are strong and require anglers to utilize upper and lower body strength. One of the most effective methods for fighting offshore fish is to remain seated and place the rod in a gimbal. Here are 4 things to know about fighting chairs mounted on sportfishing vessels. 

What Is The Fighting Chair On A Boat

When tussling with offshore saltwater fish, experienced and inexperienced anglers must be prepared for the fish’s strength and stamina while on an unstable base. 

Rather than remaining unstable, fighting chairs were put into place to reduce the likelihood of anglers dropping rods, falling over, or succumbing to the strength of fish. 

Fighting chairs allow the angler to remain seated while fighting a fish. In addition to remaining seated, the rod is placed in a holder compared to resting against the body. Additionally, the chair rotates from left to right, right to the left, and leans backward, increasing the leverage. 

In addition to the backrest, rod holder, and maneuverability, footrests keep the angler comfortable while applying pressure with the feet to lift the fish up and towards the boat while retrieving line. 

The chair is useful for mates, friends, or family, who assist the angler during the battle. Here the helper stores gear, including fishing pliers, a gaff, gloves, and more. 

What Does A Fighting Chair Consist Of

The chair positioned in the cockpit of a sportfishing vessel consists of many components that are beneficial to the angler and supporting staff.

When it comes to size and accessories, it is highly dependent on the size of the vessel and the design of the chair. 

Rod Storage

The gimbal is designed to hold a rod, this is only when an angler is seated and fighting a fish. 

In addition to the gimbal, rod storage extends from beneath the seat at an outward angle towards the port and starboard side in addition to behind the backrest.

Behind the backrest, rod holders are ideal when trolling as the angler can monitor and adjust fishing lines extended out behind via outriggers. It is not uncommon for chairs to contain up to eight rod holders.

Sliding Drawer

Beneath the rear rod holders is a sliding drawer. Despite the small size, it holds critical fishing components, including rigging needles for live bait fishing, gloves for leadering fish, and pliers for removing hooks.

Arm Rests

The armrests on a chair are vital in assisting the angler in landing the fish comfortably. Padded armrests provide support when handling the rod and reel. Without the soft cushions, the arms would be left in pain from constant pressure applied. 

Back Support

Offshore fish require the efforts of the entire body and not just the hands and arms. Anglers rock to a forward position while reeling and rock back against the back support while dragging the fish closer to the boat. 

Gimbal & Foot Rest

Like the backrest, the gimbal and footrest assist the angler in holding the rod and reel while applying pressure with the feet to drag the fish. 

How Do You Fight A Fish In A Fighting Chair

Fighting a fish in a chair is complex at requires numerous steps. Incorrectly utilizing the chair results in more prolonged battles or losing fish from pulled hooks. 

When a fish is hooked, the angler moves the rod from a holder to the gimbal. The process in combination with becoming seated.

Once the rod is stabilized in the gimbal, the angler begins the process of fighting the fish.

The rod is held above the reel with one hand and the reel crank in the other. With this hand positioin angler works towards the goal of landing the fish. 

Consider the motion to be a forward and backward rocking. The angler pulls the fish towards the boat by pushing the footrest with the legs, drawing the reel towards the body, and leaning back in the chair. 

Opposite of the backward motion is leaning forward while reeling the line pulled closer to the stern of the boat. Once the slack is on the reel’s spool, the angler repeats the process until the fish is alongside the boat. 

Once the fish is alongside the boat, it is released to fight another day or gaffed. After it is gaffed, the fish placed in the fish box for dinner. 

We have used Aftco Gaffs for countless years and attest to their quality. We recommend the Aftco Taper Tip Aluminum Floating Gaff. 

Fighting Chairs Are An Important Tool When Offshore Fishing

Some of the best fishing grounds off the east coast of the United States are off of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Fighting chairs play an instrumental role in battling blue water fish. Use the resource to your advantage as compared to standing and attempting to maintain balance in rolling seas.