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Thread: HOW TO for releasing large halibut

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    Default HOW TO for releasing large halibut

    I'm sure this has been discussed many times on the forum, but I could not find anything in my searches.

    I've never had the occasion to hook into anything over about 80 pounds; but if I get a fish much over 100 lbs I would want to release it. What's the best way to do that without killing yourself. I'll be on a 32' boat that has a large swim step, so I can get close to the fish; but it will only be my wife and me and I'm not thrilled about the prospect of trying to remove a hook from a large angry halibut. If worse comes to worse, is it a big problem for the fish if you cut the leader and leave the hook; assuming it's hooked somewhere around the mouth? Suggestions welcome. Thanks.

    Jeff

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    We just cut the line or leader down close to the fish.

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    Just curious, what comes of the hook? Does it eventually work its way out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ninja View Post
    Just curious, what comes of the hook? Does it eventually work its way out?
    The hook should rust away...lower the grade the faster it goes. J-hooks in the lip obviously have a better chance of falling away but not so much with a circle. If you know you are going to be releasing fish do use smaller wire diameter hooks and refrain from using bait or leave the rod unattended.


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    This thread has me wondering about the wisdom in using a long-handled set of bolt cutters to reach down & cut the hook in such a situation. Anyone on here ever do this or seen it done with big halibut?

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    Member idakfisher's Avatar
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    Last year someone on here described putting a small wire loop on the end of a long handle so that if you have a circle hook sticking point end out of the side of a halibut's mouth, you might be able to catch to hook point on the outside of the fish's mouth, pull the hook through the fish's mouth from the outside, and then cut the line. If this works, you save your hook and the fish swims free.

    I made one with a wire loop drilled through the end of my long deck brush handle. I just have not had the pleasure of catching a big halibut since then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by idakfisher View Post
    Last year someone on here described putting a small wire loop on the end of a long handle so that if you have a circle hook sticking point end out of the side of a halibut's mouth, you might be able to catch to hook point on the outside of the fish's mouth, pull the hook through the fish's mouth from the outside, and then cut the line. If this works, you save your hook and the fish swims free.

    I made one with a wire loop drilled through the end of my long deck brush handle. I just have not had the pleasure of catching a big halibut since then.
    We use a salmon gaff to pull the hook through. Nearly all of the fish we have released have had the hook in a spot where we could do this easily.

    Big_E

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    We use bolt cutters. Have a big old rusty pair on board just for that. Just **** can the hook and tie another one on. That way you don't tare her face all ta hell or leave her with a lip piercing that she will just go get hung up some ware and die any way, we don't release many.... but when we do that's how we do it..

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    You need one of these tuna dehookers, come with a 6' handle.
    prod_de-hooker.jpg

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    That was more what I had in mind.....looking for the same thing here in SE....been a good year so far and I would rather release than bonk and distribute when it comes to the 50 plus fish.

    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    You need one of these tuna dehookers, come with a 6' handle.
    prod_de-hooker.jpg

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    Member ACNDHO's Avatar
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    Ol charter captain used blued hooks for this reason. Not just for cutting a leader for releasing but also for loosing fish with a broken leader. Blued hooks rust away much quicker.
    Even a jackass won't stumble on the same stone twice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch It View Post
    That was more what I had in mind.....looking for the same thing here in SE....been a good year so far and I would rather release than bonk and distribute when it comes to the 50 plus fish.
    I'd say it would be pretty easy to make one, steel rod heated up with a torch and twist it around a pipe. Make a steel prototype to see how it works and then fine tune with a nice stainless model.

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    That metal pole won't work for circle hooks

    Check out the article about the device I made

    http://content.yudu.com/A20bav/TideM...sources/39.htm

    It is simple and works every time, unless the fish is worth 10,000 dollars and then we put that thing away and take out the shotgun.

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    AKCAPT, I read your entry here last year about the halibut release tool. I made one and now I am just waiting for the chance to use it.

    Thanks for the tip.

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    Unfortunately I learned an effective technique for releasing a large halibut last week. I finally hooked a decent sized fish 80-90#'s and had brought it up to the boat. I asked someone to grab the gaff and he said he didn't know what to do. I said ok, just hold the rod and I'll gaff it. Unfortunately he forgot the golden rule of halibut fishing, never lift the fish's head out of the water. In the split second he'd grabbed the rod and pulled the fish's head out of the water it went nuts and snapped the line before I could swing the gaff. On the up side the rod didn't break or go overboard.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Unfortunately I learned an effective technique for releasing a large halibut last week. I finally hooked a decent sized fish 80-90#'s and had brought it up to the boat. I asked someone to grab the gaff and he said he didn't know what to do. I said ok, just hold the rod and I'll gaff it. Unfortunately he forgot the golden rule of halibut fishing, never lift the fish's head out of the water. In the split second he'd grabbed the rod and pulled the fish's head out of the water it went nuts and snapped the line before I could swing the gaff. On the up side the rod didn't break or go overboard.
    Had to laugh reading this one. Exact same thing happened last year with my brother on the boat. Halibut's head got yarded out of the water and it was like World War Z. Hence my original post looking for ways to de-hook without killing myself.

    Thanks for all the great tips!

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    Ak Capt has some great advice.. The bolt cutters would be next on my list of tackle to get, however, should the situation arise and you haven't gotten around to making your self one of these, or buy a set of bolt cutters, my advice would be to simply get as close to the hook as possible and cut the leader. But I'd caution you to put on a PFD before you get out there on the swim platform by yourself with only your wife as backup... I've seen fish come up with more than one hook in their face and some of the hooks looked about ready to fall apart..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old John View Post
    Ak Capt has some great advice.. The bolt cutters would be next on my list of tackle to get, however, should the situation arise and you haven't gotten around to making your self one of these, or buy a set of bolt cutters, my advice would be to simply get as close to the hook as possible and cut the leader. But I'd caution you to put on a PFD before you get out there on the swim platform by yourself with only your wife as backup... I've seen fish come up with more than one hook in their face and some of the hooks looked about ready to fall apart..
    Agree on the PFD. If you are anchored, being attached to the boat with a rope is a good idea too. You can chase somebody down that is drifting away in the current, but who wants to loose the scent trail they spent so long setting up? Having the person on the swim platform attached to a rope lets you keep fishing right through a MOB situation

    Big_E

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