TIPS SALTWATER By: Lynn Burkhead, WorldFishingNetwork.com Avoid These Two Mistakes to Win More Saltwater Fishing Fights Heed the advice from a 'salty' fishing guide to make hard-to-come-by hookups count This youngster won the battle with a nice common snook by listening to some simple coaching from her fishing guide. (Jeff Phillips photo) It's a spot we've all been in, the moment when the fishing fight of a lifetime is lost and the line at the end of our rod goes slack. While that's disappointing enough even when battling a tiny bluegill on a farm pond, it's especially disheartening when an angler is on the saltwater trip of a lifetime, battling a nice bucket-list briny. How can you go about winning more fishing fights fair and square? By taking the advice of Florida saltwater guide Captain George Gozdz in regards to eliminating two common mistakes made by fishermen. What's the first mistake to avoid? "I (guide) a lot of novice anglers (every year) and the biggest mistake I see a lot of them making is not keeping their line tight all the way through the fight," said Gozdz, owner and operator of Flatlined Charters (www.flatlinedcharters.com; (772) 284-5922). "You want to keep (the line tight by keeping) the same bend in the rod whether you're reeling down or pulling back," he added. If not keeping the line tight is one mistake, then so too is having the rod in the wrong position during the battle between an angler on a boat and a piscatorial predator sounding deep for the bottom. "Another mistake is what I call high sticking," said Gozdz. "More rods are broken on my boats each year from this than anything else." What exactly is high-sticking a saltwater fish? "Anglers will get that rod back behind them and it's just the tip working versus the whole rod itself," said the longtime Florida saltwater captain and guide. "Keep that rod out in front of you and keep a nice steady pressure (on the fish) throughout the battle."