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Thread: Is a halibut harpoon necessary?

  1. #1
    Member Boreal's Avatar
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    Default Is a halibut harpoon necessary?

    Hi all, thanks for the great advice I've received on this form already.

    I am pondering whether I need to pick up a halibut harpoon. I have a 20' Harbercraft, so the gunwale isn't too far above the normal waterline. I've got a good gaffe with a 3' handle which I have used with good success on smaller fish. I've never tried to lug a 150# halibut over the side, but have successfully brought 100# fish aboard, albeit on a different boat. Realistically, I'm more likely to release a really big fish than bring her in (derby winning considerations aside) but I do hope for 60-120# fish in the freezer this year.

    Given the above, would y'all consider a halibut harpoon a necessary piece of equipment?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Prefer a 22lr to the brain pan
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  3. #3
    Member fishingyoda's Avatar
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    I've seen them used and they work awesome 180#fish no gun. I'd like to get one for my buddies boat but haven't checked on Cost yet. I'd reccomend it if you have the spare change. Also would like to put my own 60plus pounder in the freezer

  4. #4
    Member Mort's Avatar
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    Necessary, no. But when you get a big fish on that you want to put in the box, I think it's easier to control than on a gaff, regardless of the gunwhale height. We always break out the harpoon if we think we have a big fish on. Sometimes just wind up using the gaff, but I like the security.

    If you like, I think I have an old wood handled harpoon I'll lend you so you can try. Unless I gave it away already. PM if interested (anyone).

  5. #5
    Member tzieli22's Avatar
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    Not required but nice to have. Would also have a 22LR as mentioned or many folks (including me carry a 410 w/slugs.) Its always better to have and not need then need and not have.
    Tony

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    Just don't panic and blast a hole in the hull of your boat. Know a guy who in his adrenaline induced panic decided to shoot the halibut in the head... while it was in the boat...with a 45-70 Government. Neither the halibut nor the hull stopped the slug from reaching the ocean.

  7. #7

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    I don't want to have a gun on my boat for liability reasons, so I find a harpoon to be indispensable. I have come waaaay too close to losing fish when the gaff didn't get a good purchase on the fish and a harpoon pretty much seals the deal. No way you'll lose a fish with a good harpoon hit.
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    Member idakfisher's Avatar
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    Know a guy who in his adrenaline induced panic decided to shoot the halibut in the head... while it was in the boat...with a 45-70 Government. Neither the halibut nor the hull stopped the slug from reaching the ocean.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks for the good laugh.

    I have a big shark hook tied on to a rope that is cleated to the boat. When the fish comes up, I stick the shark hook in its mouth with my left hand then whack it with the club in my right hand, then pull it into the boat and into to fish hold.

  9. #9

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    I agree with everyone else that a harpoon seals the deal. I am not sure about most but we like to bleed keepers out overboard (more worried about the meat then the lbs) so process is catch, harpoon, cut gills, pass line through mouth/slit for added security, remove hooks and let bleed. Anyone out there using a flying gaff? Got one at a garage sale and looking forward to using it for the smaller eaters in place of the harpoon.

  10. #10
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    What's a flying gaff?

  11. #11
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    .410 snake charmer is the only way to go use #7 shot, just don't put the barrel in the water or you may have to trim off some

  12. #12
    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaFishTerminator View Post
    Just don't panic and blast a hole in the hull of your boat. Know a guy who in his adrenaline induced panic decided to shoot the halibut in the head... while it was in the boat...with a 45-70 Government. Neither the halibut nor the hull stopped the slug from reaching the ocean.
    I also know someone who shot a hole through their boat, so be careful and don't let the excitement of the moment rule out common sense. They found out the hard way that a 22 has no problem going through a fiberglass hull.

  13. #13
    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    What's a flying gaff?
    A short-handled gaff tied off to a rope, basically.


  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by coho slayer View Post
    A short-handled gaff tied off to a rope, basically.

    I will see how this works on flat fish. I know they are more popular on the east coast for big tuna, but I don't see why one of these through the head wouldn't work. Always looking for different ways to do the same thing. This may be the best combination of a gaff and a harpoon, or it may be akin to cutting towards your body instead of away. Any thoughts?

  15. #15

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    Basically to me it just seems that a flying gaff is the same thing as a harpoon with a "flying tip" on it and utilizes a barb instead of a pivoting tip. And I think I'd trust the "flying tip" to retain a halibut better than a barbed gaff. If you get the tip all the way through the fish there's no way it's coming out. But I've never tried a flying gaff, so can't speak from experience.
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  16. #16
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    Default You guys need one of these

    They use a electric dart on the harpoon for sticking giant tuna back east, stick the fish hit the switch and zapped dead fish!!
    stickboat.jpg

    Alaska Shrimp Pots

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    Basically to me it just seems that a flying gaff is the same thing as a harpoon with a "flying tip" on it and utilizes a barb instead of a pivoting tip. And I think I'd trust the "flying tip" to retain a halibut better than a barbed gaff. If you get the tip all the way through the fish there's no way it's coming out. But I've never tried a flying gaff, so can't speak from experience.
    The difference isn't obvious to me between harpoon and flying gaff but seems the IGFA thinks so. A fish taken with a harpoon doesn't count for the record book whereas one with a flying gaff does. Go figure.

    I used to shoot my big ones but got a harpoon and leave the gun at home now. Hit it through the stomach and you're not going to lose it. I like the stainless steel darts. They penetrate easier than the bronze ones.

  18. #18
    Member JR2's Avatar
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    I have used a harpoon many times and only ever lost one fish with it, but these days if it takes a harpoon I am letting it go. I have also used a 22 and 410 snake charmer... they work well. The usual routine was harpoon the fish, drag it back in and shoot it.

    Anyone else rig there harpoon line with a shock cord and a buoy? We started doing that when we had a big (200+) fish dive after getting hit with the harpoon and when it came to the end of the rope (25 ft) it did not stop the shock broke the stainless steel cable on the head of the harpoon and the line... With the shock cord and buoy it has to suck a small (12" round" buoy under and strect out the 2 foot shock cord before it can pull against the cleat the end of the rope is tied to.
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fish Witch View Post
    The difference isn't obvious to me between harpoon and flying gaff but seems the IGFA thinks so. A fish taken with a harpoon doesn't count for the record book whereas one with a flying gaff does. Go figure.

    I used to shoot my big ones but got a harpoon and leave the gun at home now. Hit it through the stomach and you're not going to lose it. I like the stainless steel darts. They penetrate easier than the bronze ones.
    Yeah, I use the stainless ones, too. I've never had any problem at all getting it all the way through. Of course that might have something to do with the surge of adrenaline pumping through my system when I do it.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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  20. #20
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    We hit it right last year and caught some big ones. Skipper used a harpoon to secure the fish and then a .38 bang stick to finish it off. Several fish in the party 100-150lbs. Seemed easier and more reliable than shooting to me.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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