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Thread: How to release big halibut without getting hurt....

  1. #1
    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    Default How to release big halibut without getting hurt....

    Just finished a long range trip where we released a number of big halibut - 9 over 100 pounds and a couple right at 150. The group wanted to take some fish home for the freezer 40 - 80 pounders - but didn't want to kill a big fish unless it was a derby winner. I recalled trip to Puerta Vallarta where a friend of mine was releasing cow yellowfin tuna. He didn't want to lose the expensive and hard to come by Owner Super Muta hooks so he took a piece of wire and made a loop and hooked it on the exposed point of the circle hook that was usually sticking our of the corner of the mouth of the tuna. He would hook the point and then cut the leader and pull the hook out the oppose way it went in. Pretty slick but not quite right for being five feet off the water like I am. So I took a piece of heavy stainless wire and wrapped it around a thru bolted boom stick and tried the same thing. It worked like a charm and we used it to release some smaller fish too. For fish caught on jigs, we filed off the barbs and then were able to grab the jig head and with a quick push, get every jig out without any drama or danger..... Here are the photos:
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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Nice job. I'll have to rig up something like that too. I've now caught my 100+ halibut and I'm ready to start releasing them to the deep. I'll give it a try this weekend.
    P.S. I have some sounder questions for ya. Can ya PM me a way to contact ya?

    Rob
    27' Wooldridge Super Sport Offshore Pilothouse PRIME TIME!
    Kodiak Custom Fishing Tackle Pro Staff
    Heavy Hitter Fishing Crew
    MMSI# 338232859

  3. #3

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    That's about the coolest thing I've seen in a long time. Circle hooks are a hassle for releases. Thanks! Friends who love to catch big fish but don't want to kill them have taken to using bolt cutters on the hook right behind the eye, then keeping the eye along with a photo of the fish in the water as their trophy. They have even put marks on the side of the boat so they can get an approx length. But first you have to buy the bolt cutters, then remember to put in on board, then keep from dropping it if the fish kicks. You beat all that.

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Nice job! I bet you'd have some buyers if you made some of those in your off time, if you ever have any. Simple and ingenious at the same time.

  5. #5
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    Nice, the best part is there are folks out there that are letting those big ones go back.
    Thanks

    Sweepint
    Wasilla, (when not overseas)
    '' Livn' The Dream ''
    26' Hewescraft Cuddy, twin 115 Yam

  6. #6
    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    great for boats sitting higher in the water, I'll have to make a couple. We normally just lean over the swim step and use a salmon wooden gaff and do the pull down with one hand and lift with the gaff in the other, but were are leaning way over and laying on the swim step.
    Providing trips for multilpe species for over 20 yrs
    www.kodiakcombos.com

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    Member Jack in Alaska's Avatar
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    An obvious alternative is too cut the leader at the hook eye and leave the hook in the fish. I believe the hook in time will corrode and fall out. I have caught halibut with corroded hooks still in them. Fish were healthy.
    The above total removal is best but not everyone is set up to do that.
    Letting big "mama" halibut go is an admirable thing to do.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Alaska View Post
    An obvious alternative is too cut the leader at the hook eye and leave the hook in the fish. I believe the hook in time will corrode and fall out. I have caught halibut with corroded hooks still in them. Fish were healthy.
    The above total removal is best but not everyone is set up to do that.
    Letting big "mama" halibut go is an admirable thing to do.
    HA HA,, kinda like half the girls today and there lip rings!!!!! A little piercing cant hurt, right
    Andy, love the idea, but i hope you got someone holding onto you while you are hanging out over the swim step like that!!
    nice job, actually had to kill a 150 the other day, couldn't talk the client out of it, but a tail mount is in the works, and all the m eat processed.
    thanks for the tip.

  9. #9
    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
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    Now that we're finally starting to figure out the halibut catching, I've been wondering how we would let the big ones go...
    We have no desire to keep anything over about 75#.
    Thanks for the info and pics. Much smoother than my wife's technique ~ she had a large "runner" get tangled in the anchor rode and got off. this past Sunday.
    Really glad to hear of some breeders going back to the bottom.

  10. #10
    Member redleader's Avatar
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    Good job on the releases and thanks for the info I just cut the line, releasing large halibut is possible even from ak capt. Now where were you fishing? You can pm me I will also release.

  11. #11

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    Wow - that is exactly the type of innovation I love to see: simple, cheap, effective. I'll use it not only for halibut, but big skates and dogfish also.

    Thanks for sharing.

  12. #12
    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    I had been using it to release big lingcod prior to the opening....Big lings are a wrestling match when they come out of the water, but in the water they are calm.

  13. #13
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    Great invention Andy! Hopefully your actions start a trend to save the breeders.

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