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  #1  
Old 09-11-2010, 02:35 PM
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ifellin ifellin is offline
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Default gaffing fish

sometimes i'll fish a pier in brooklyn where a gaff may be necessary to haul up a big fish. there's people with homemade ones out of old poles, and i was considering making one out of a rope and weighted treble. the question is, once i gaff the fish that's pretty much end of story for it huh? i'm not entirely sure how to resolve this issue since i usually release my fish for the most part. is there a better way to catch/release from piers aside from the gaff/toss back into the water?
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  #2  
Old 09-11-2010, 03:51 PM
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Default Re: gaffing fish

I have never pier fished and release all my catches so I would like to see you get those fish back in the water. So how about a big non pointed hook instead of a treble and get under the gill plate. Then use a rope through the gill plate to lower it back and slide the rope out. Just a thought...unless they make a real long net
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Old 09-11-2010, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: gaffing fish

I've seen a lot of people fishing off of the piers here in Cali use nets, but that's mainly for smaller fish and it looks kinda tricky and usually involves a couple of people helping out. Weighted treble hooks made for piers are used a lot too and I see a lot of fish being released afterwards and I'm sure death is the final outcome for the poor fish, sharks and skate. Double runner has a good idea but there's gotta be a better way out there. I'm interested to see what other pier fisherman say on this cause I hate watching fish die for no reason.
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  #4  
Old 09-11-2010, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: gaffing fish

hmm... seems like there's not really much one can do other than not fish off a pier maybe? one particular pier i fish is about to fall in the water and has a slanted concrete ramp that's just low enough (depending on tide) to reach down and revive the fish before releasing it.

but does gaffing in general seal the fish's fate? i'm guessing it's a little difficult to control where you actually get the fish... if you're aiming for the gill plate and hit the gill they're pretty much in the same area...
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Old 09-11-2010, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: gaffing fish

Yeah you have to be really careful. Nick one of those gills and they will bleed to death. Guess a long net is the best way
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:45 PM
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Default Re: gaffing fish

I would think the safest way is to walk it to the shoreline for easy release if the fish is that large. A longer thicker leader can be used so you can wrap it around your arm and pull the fish up. How high is the pier? How big are the fish? You could also take an old net, cut the handle off and tie some rope @ 3 o'clock and @ 9 o'clock and lower that in the drink to bring your fish up.
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:56 PM
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Default Re: gaffing fish

there's been bass up to 42" at this pier. i don't assume all fish will be that big this fall, but any fish caught at this pier will have to be lifted 6-10 feet depending on the tide and the only way to do it to a fish of any size is a gaff or net. my concern really is catching any fish and then how to release it... most guys on the pier (if the fish is short) just toss it over the opposite side of where they're fishing. i actually haven't caught a bass there yet... the places i've caught fish i've been able to access a spot to revive/release.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:15 AM
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Default Re: gaffing fish

Most piers have a ladder attached to them somewhere, i would check for that. Gaffing the fish is a death sentence even if major organs are not punctured, infection sets in. Worst case scenario i would cut the leader as short as possible and let the hook rust out, although i don't like doing that. Landing the fish is part of the game!
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Old 09-12-2010, 02:08 AM
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Default Re: gaffing fish

i agree. i may just avoid fishing this pier... there is definitely no ladder to access here but actually most piers on the brooklyn side of the east river are like this, but i know of a few spots where catching and releasing fish safely is not a problem.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:11 PM
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Default Re: gaffing fish

HarrytheKid and I spend a lot of time fishing from a bridge. That is where he got his 35 inch striper last year. There are very good bridge nets available that can handle very large fish. After making use of these nets at the bridge by borrowing from others, Santa brought us one last year. Our net has a top flexible ring about 42-48 inches in diameter, and with a heavy fish in it, is probably about 2 feet deep. It has a heavy nylon rope about 50' long. I have seen/helped people haul up fish with these nets easily in excess of 40 lbs. Unfortunitely, none of those fish was mine!
These nets fold up into a plastic carrying case that is about 16 inches in diameter, by about 8 inches deep. The case has a shoulder strap and the whole shebang weighs about 2 lbs. I think Santa paid the elves about $40.00 for our net.
The key to these nets is to be arrogant enough to take the net out of the case and unferrel the rope BEFORE YOU CATCH A FISH! It is time consuming, hectic, stressfull, etc...to do it while a fish is on.
You merely lower the net into the water, get it submerged about6 inches to a foot, and steer the fish headfirst into it. When you start pulling up the net, as long as the fish starts pointing head down in it, you will have no problem. If the fish doesn't seem secure when you first try to bring it up, just lower it back to just under water level, and use your line to redirect the fish.
If you are going to do it as a one man operation, lower the net down below your fishing spot and tie the rope to something, letting it stay in the water BEFORE YOU START FISHING!"
It is much easier with two people. I find that if I lay my net out when I arrive, and let the people fishing around me know they are welcome to use the net, they are more than willing to help me land my fish. Make no mistake...I have FAR More experience landing other people's fish than my own! But nonetheless, have had great success with Santa's bridge net.
I believe that you have a slightly better chance of landing the fish with the gaff hook than with the bridge net, but don't believe the odds are that much greater.
Two weeks ago I offered my bridge net to a guy who had a nice striper on the line at a pier, and he refused the offer sending his friend up the pier for his gaff hook. When attempting to gaff the fish, the friend cut the line with the gaff hook, releasing the fish. HarrytheKid announced to all in attendance "That wouldn't have happened if he just used our bridge net!" The frustrated fisherman grumbled and I just shook my head and chuckled under my breath.
HarrytheKid's Dad
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  #11  
Old 02-23-2011, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: gaffing fish

In most coastal states the gaffing of a striped bass is illegal.
Check your regs.
You can properly use a gaff to lip the fish without killing it
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