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Thread: What do you do with a 200lber?

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    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    Default What do you do with a 200lber?

    Father and son join us for some halibut and king salmon fishing in August. Dad landed this 75 lber and asked the perfect question.http://youtu.be/wVBJiEeh-tc
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    Honestly? The first time I get a 200+lb halibut it's coming back to TX with me in 50# boxes. Of course, with my track record I might be lucky to get something over 50# for the first time this year ...

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    Supporting Member Hoyt-Hunter's Avatar
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    Cut you line and let it go! Good job.


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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Absolutely... Release it. Take a quick picture if you like, but send Mama back down to make more kids. People shouldn't be keeping any halibut over about 60# or so.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    Absolutely... Release it. Take a quick picture if you like, but send Mama back down to make more kids. People shouldn't be keeping any halibut over about 60# or so.
    Agreed, we were blessed in the juneau area this year with absolute GOBS of 15-30 lb halibut. Some days it was hours of catching and releasing and then picking a few the right size to go home. I was out alone one day and hooked an 80 lber at anchor in a good rip on my lighter jigging rod. Once I got a look at it I was praying it would fall off but it didn't (soon thereafter started pinching barbs on my jig hooks). Was my first big one of the year but was trying to figure out how to release it without losing the rod or getting hurt. I ended up harpooning it and keeping it. It tasted fine but not as good as those 25 lbers and I feel bad that I got cheap and decided to retrieve my 7 dollar jig instead of cutting it loose. A week later I bought a mold and now pour my own for about $1.75 so anything over 50 got the snip and release. That is except for if dad hooked it, but he's eating and loving it back in WI as we speak.

    The fact that halibut suffer little hooking mortality or barotrauma make them the perfect release fish. Once that big puppy is next to the boat all the fun has been had....and almost like a moose it's all work from there on.

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    Member agp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoyt-Hunter View Post
    Cut you line and let it go! Good job.


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    +1

    Not much room for one like that anyway in my 16ft skiff!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeek the Greek View Post
    Honestly? The first time I get a 200+lb halibut it's coming back to TX with me in 50# boxes. Of course, with my track record I might be lucky to get something over 50# for the first time this year ...
    My guess is it will be your first and last. That has been the case with all my friends. The first time they hear me say "we are going to let this one go - its too big" they look at me like I am out of my mind. They stop looking me like that after they have taken a big one home. The bigger the fish, the tougher/drier the meat is. I try to let everything go over 100#. The ideal size for me is around 50#.

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    If I had access to fresh halibut all year around, I would toss back anything over about 60lbs. However, if I can only get fresh halibut once every several years (e.g., a trip to Alaska), my standards change. Anything over about 100lbs would go back (not that I've ever caught one that big....).

    But the point remains. Smaller halibut are better tasting, but they don't have as much meat (obviously). Larger halibut have more volume, but aren't as good on the plate. Somewhere there is a balance between those endpoints. For me, that balance is in the 70-80lb range. I've caught several in this range, and I'm okay with the results. I've also caught several in the 40lb range, which were better eating but I was disappointed I didn't come home with more fillets.

  9. #9
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    My clients would throw it back and look for a bigger one........Its my fault tho.. I have created monsters... My self, I would box it and be done halibut fishing for the year, and so would all my family members as every body's freezer would be full from that one fish, and i could get back to trolling and put the halibut gear away.. but thats just me.

  10. #10
    Member cod's Avatar
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    What do you do with a 200lber?

    Definitely throw him back. Almost all of our fisheries are having problems. Why exacerbate the problem of halibut decline by taking the most fertile egg laying mamas? This is no different than the deliberate mistake of targeting large female spawning kings in the Kenai. It's pretty clear where this foolishness gets us. Please put em back to keep our halibut fishery productive.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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    Quote Originally Posted by vaaler View Post
    My guess is it will be your first and last.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    If I had access to fresh halibut all year around, I would toss back anything over about 60lbs.
    Yes to both. I really do believe that my first 'barndoor' will be kept, period. After that, probably not ... unless its the only halibut we've caught on our trip to AK that year. If I lived up there, or at least spent a couple months a year up there where I was able to pick & choose what I kept, I'd be keeping more smaller halibut and would be inclined to let big fish loose ... down here in Texas, I'll let really big fish go in part because I know I'll have plenty of opportunity throughout the year to catch more smaller ones. Now if by some miracle, we landed a big halibut - say 100-150# - and then brought an even bigger one to boatside, it would get let loose. It all depends on the situation, and after all, one of the objectives for our trips to your beautiful state is to bring home plenty of halibut & salmon.

    One's outlook is different when you only have a few fishing days a year in a given place.

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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    Cut her loose, end of story.
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    Member Alaskanmutt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeek the Greek View Post
    Honestly? The first time I get a 200+lb halibut it's coming back to TX with me in 50# boxes. Of course, with my track record I might be lucky to get something over 50# for the first time this year ...
    Glad you want to waste a bunch of meat. 200 pounder half the meat is garbage.
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I would most likely let it go. I haven't run into anything bigger than 100 though.
    The 100 pounder was a bit too much. Filletts were too thick.
    The 80 pounder a friend caught on my boat was fine though and I would keep another in that size range.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskanmutt View Post
    Glad you want to waste a bunch of meat. 200 pounder half the meat is garbage.
    Who said anything about waste? The meat on a 200# fish isn't great, but if cared for and cooked properly, it is still better than most of what you get in a restaurant.

    Mash the barbs down or get a de-hooker. A jig left in a fish is probably going to kill it. A de-hooker works well with most jigs; safe for you and the fish. Get one with a decent sized handle so you can keep the fish's head under water.

    Big_E

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    Quote Originally Posted by vaaler View Post
    A jig left in a fish is probably going to kill it.

    Big_E
    This is just 100% incorrect. There have been plenty of studies in fresh and saltwater as to what happens to fish if the line is cut and the hook is left in. Between rusting, and the fish working it out of their own mouth on their own, survival is extremely high and the hook is gone much sooner than one would think.

    The rest of this thread is opinion and choice, but the above was in need of correction.

  17. #17
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Cut her loose.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch It View Post
    This is just 100% incorrect. There have been plenty of studies in fresh and saltwater as to what happens to fish if the line is cut and the hook is left in. Between rusting, and the fish working it out of their own mouth on their own, survival is extremely high and the hook is gone much sooner than one would think.

    The rest of this thread is opinion and choice, but the above was in need of correction.
    I agree. Just the understanding of how important it is when trying to reel in a fish to keep tension on the line or else you will lose it would indicate just how easily a hook would free itself if left loose such as when cut off.

  19. #19
    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    Step #1 - Fight fish forever to get it up to the boat

    Step #2 - Subdue/Stun fish. Shooting thru head with a reduced .357 or .44 revolver load is good medicine.

    Step#3 - Lash off to the side of boat





    Step #4 - Putt-putt over to nearby Island w/ a nice beach

    Step #5 - Take some photos and fillet it.







    Step #6 - DON'T KEEP FISH THIS BIG EVER AGAIN. Kept this mostly because it was the first big butt I'd ever caught with my son. I've let quite a few go in the 100-175# range since. 70-80# is about tops now. Smaller fish are MUCH better eating.

  20. #20
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    What the hell do you do with a 200 pounder?
    Cut her loose!
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