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Thread: Removing Hooks for releasing Halibut

  1. #1
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    Default Removing Hooks for releasing Halibut

    I thought I'd see what tools, or tricks that are used to release Halibut. Not just to make it easier but to do less damage to the fish as well. Like what tool do you use to grab their Lips? lip grip, pliers, channel locks etc....

    How about when the hook is deep in the throat? Or dang near in thir belly.

    If its a barn door do you have a method to gain some control to remove a hook?

    Ive often had to take home as counting on my daily, a very small chicken because it swallowed my hook and the only way to remove the hook was to nearly remove the side of its head.

    Anything to make life simpler

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    Member redleader's Avatar
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    with circle hooks they normally get em in the corner of the mouth, for smaller ones I just grab em by the tail so they stop flopping and pop the hook out, for large ones I just cut the line.

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    I Found this last year for Hook Removal. I also use it to thread rope through the Gills when I am Hog tying larger Halibut. Its 20" long so you can get down to the hard to reach hooks.

    I use J Hooks and it works better than trying to cram pliers down their throat.

    DSC00784.jpg

    I used a Lip Grip for awhile but the Pivot pin kept coming loose so the jaws fell apart. I might just use a stainless bolt on them to fix. Otherwise i use large channel locks for holding lips while I work.

  4. #4

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    That's a good tool TYBSP. In my book, or in my boat at least, there's just no good reason to bring a halibut over the side before releasing it. Your tool has its roots in commercial fishermen using a standard hand gaff to hook the bend of the hook hook while the fish is still in the water, then lift so the fish is hanging from the hook, then shake the gaff. Best thing about that tool is the "hook" facing away from the handle. You can use that to push down on J hooks or jigs while keeping the leader tight in your hand, then give a sharp push on the tool. If it's a big fish or really active on a circle hook, I usually just cut the leader.

    I lost my tool like yours early last year and I miss it. I was back to making do with a hand gaff, and it didn't work nearly so well. Any idea where to get replacements?

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    I got mine at West Marine on Diamond

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    Member Gerberman's Avatar
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    Alaska Trout fitters in Cooper Landing has both sizes of these tools, nice guys too.

  7. #7

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    Good to know, and thanks! None available locally last year.

    BTW- I lost mine when the handle snapped inside the stainless ring when I was unhooking a 200+. It snapped it's head down as I lifted up, and the shaft was gone, even as the fish was still thrashing.

    Probably gonna buy two for a spare, but I'm going to rig a different handle too.

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    I assume you are talking about J hooks, since circle hooks almost never get anywhere besides the corner of the lip.

    I watched a guy on a fishing show release a 200+ halibut with a leadhead in its mouth. Just grabbed the lead and pointed it towards the fish and gave one quick hard pull and it came right out. Fish released with no problems.

    It is harder to do that with small fish. They tend to get mangled pretty easy with J hooks.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pike_palace View Post
    I assume you are talking about J hooks, since circle hooks almost never get anywhere besides the corner of the lip.
    Yes I use J Hooks however I've had Circles seriously buried also. I would think the tool would help at the very least with them as well.
    I havent used them for 20 years or so.
    Its just I have this inborn and very pronounced TWITCH upward that automatically happens after a few Tug, Tugs.

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    Member redleader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TYBSP View Post
    Yes I use J Hooks however I've had Circles seriously buried also. I would think the tool would help at the very least with them as well.
    I havent used them for 20 years or so.
    Its just I have this inborn and very pronounced TWITCH upward that automatically happens after a few Tug, Tugs.
    If you are deep hooking fish with j hooks your TWITCH is too slow, after using both and consistently losing halibut on j-hooks I prefer the circle hooks and have very few if any deep hooked or damaged fish with them, thanks for posting the hook removal tool, I normally just cut the leader on large halibut too avoid injury to them and me and grab the small ones by the tail as that immediately subdues them making hook removal easy and quick for faster release but will try the hook removal tool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by redleader View Post
    If you are deep hooking fish with j hooks your TWITCH is too slow
    Well when I have a wife and 4-5 kids on the boat I become two things.... The ... Master baiter ,.. And the hook remover hehe.
    no longer the TWITCHER hook setter. Alls good though. Always an adventure.

  12. #12
    Member hunt-fish-trap's Avatar
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    Master baiter

    I'm almost 40 and its still funny to me.
    only 2 more years and I get to spend 3 months in the best place on earth.....ALASKA!

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