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Thread: Every Halibut Counts now...

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    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    Default Every Halibut Counts now...

    Being that the charter fleet is being charged for the number of halibut released each day, release mortality…. We need to be mindful of not sitting at the chicken patch and releasing 200 fish a day because we will get less fish next year. 'Here is a photo sequence of how I release larger halibut without taking them out of the water.

    First I take a long wooden down and thru bolt a piece of heavy stainless wire to form a loop.
    then I take the loop and grab the exposed barb of the circle hook.
    then disconnect the leader or cut it and pull the hook out backwards

    Easy!
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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Good on you for doing your part. Alaska could use a few more folks like you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKCAPT View Post
    First I take a long wooden down and thru bolt a piece of heavy stainless wire to form a loop.
    then I take the loop and grab the exposed barb of the circle hook.
    then disconnect the leader or cut it and pull the hook out backwards

    Easy!
    Very cool & innovative method. I imagine it takes some pre-planning in terms of how you rig your terminal tackle i.e. no spreader bars or other leader systems that could not easily follow the eye of the hook through the hole in the halibuts mouth.

    Do you have a comparable method for releasing a big fish hooked on a jig?

  4. #4

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    It works well with spreaders. I cut the snap off the long end of the spreader, and tie on a 12" 200lb leader. Just pop the hook through, cut, and you are gtg.

    Well said Akcapt. Most don't realize how critical it is to keep C&R halibut fishing to a minimum. It won't take much to knock our limits down even further, expecially given how booked up everybody is.

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    Sponsor offshore's Avatar
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    Great idea. I'm making one soon. Another thing to consider is the use of jigs. They have a time and place, but it isn't when you're on a bunch of little fish. I know a few guys who use nothing but jigs, some with wicked stinger hooks... I'd like to see that practice curbed before regulation outlaws them completely.

  6. #6

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    Jigs are a very rough way to fish, if fished the way most guys want to fish them. A properly used jig is a good tool, but I'm afraid that over time, they will be outlawed due to most people wanting to rip eyeballs out of every 9lb halibut they meet. Banning "J" hooks for halibut has been up to the BOF several times.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    What's the problem with jigs? I've yet to gut-hook a fish with a jig. Yes, the dual stingers can be a an issue with one of them hooking an eye. They are also a serious threat to fishermen and deck hands of the fish is flopping around with the second hook going this way and that. Solution, single stinger hook.

    The only issue I've seen with jigs is in a chicken patch. The chickens will sometimes lie on top of the jig to hide it from other fish and get snagged in the gut.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

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    #1: there should be no reason for any stringer hook. Quality halibut do not require a stinger. I used them once, and realized I was ripping apart small halibut.
    #2: there should be no reason for a hook set. A properly fished jig for quality halibut requires no hookset at all. It requires hanging on, and not having the rod ripped out of your hands. A jig should be worked with the reel, not the rod. Ever feel a 100lb halibut take a jig? They don't tap.

    If fished in the proper manner, they are great tools for sorting smaller halibut. But, most yank at every tap, and rip up a lot of small halibut with big j hooks. I won't let my clients set the hook. I tell them when they are getting pulled out of the boat, lean back and hold on.

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    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    #1:
    #2: there should be no reason for a hook set. A properly fished jig for quality halibut requires no hookset at all. It requires hanging on, and not having the rod ripped out of your hands. A jig should be worked with the reel, not the rod. Ever feel a 100lb halibut take a jig? They don't tap.

    If fished in the proper manner, they are great tools for sorting smaller halibut. But, most yank at every tap, and rip up a lot of small halibut with big j hooks. I won't let my clients set the hook. I tell them when they are getting pulled out of the boat, lean back and hold on.
    I think the mistake is in thinking that you need to drop your tip to the water and jerk the rod up like you are trying to snag a halibut. they prefer a slow presentation and a slow , from hook set. And I think dropping a jig in the chicken patch is asking to wound a lot of small ones.

    I not perfect, I kill plenty of big halibut but at this point I think considering releasing some of them instead of allowing a complete massacre might be a good idea for charters and private guys. It doesn't take a scientist to see the resource is not doing well and every little bit helps. We want halibut for our children and not just stories of the good old days.

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    I think that fishing with bait it should be mandatory to use circle hooks. After reading this thread I am going to cut the stingers off of my jigs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    It works well with spreaders. I cut the snap off the long end of the spreader, and tie on a 12" 200lb leader. Just pop the hook through, cut, and you are gtg.
    Huh. Y'know, re-rigging a spreader bar that way had never occurred to me. Thank you for the tackle tip!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    #1: there should be no reason for any stringer hook. Quality halibut do not require a stinger. I used them once, and realized I was ripping apart small halibut.
    #2: there should be no reason for a hook set. A properly fished jig for quality halibut requires no hookset at all. It requires hanging on, and not having the rod ripped out of your hands. A jig should be worked with the reel, not the rod. Ever feel a 100lb halibut take a jig? They don't tap.

    If fished in the proper manner, they are great tools for sorting smaller halibut. But, most yank at every tap, and rip up a lot of small halibut with big j hooks. I won't let my clients set the hook. I tell them when they are getting pulled out of the boat, lean back and hold on.

    Just curious -- how would you properly fish a jig? I don't fish jigs, I'm just curious...

  13. #13

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    Pretty much the same way you mooch. Hit bottom, reel up 10 or so cranks. Flip bail. Hit bottom. Repeat.

    You'll feel lil' halibut tapping the jig. Who cares, keep going up and down. Bigger halibut often eat it at the tenth or so crank from the bottom. Thus the "hang on!", as they go right back to the bottom. Sometimes they'll eat it on the fall. So when you stop falling, start cranking right away. You either hit bottom, or a halibut intercepted it. I've had several "I'm stuck".. nope, they weren't.

    This method keeps you out of the rocks too, and will save a lot of jigs. You have to click and reel as soon as you thump. Either bottom or a fish, but in a reef where the tide is moving you along, if you linger too long, your jig will find a nice rock to get caught on. You can fish some wicked tide rips that would otherwise claim a lot of jigs.

    I learned this method a few years ago from a very good fisherman. I had stopped using jigs, because of the high amount of halibut I was tearing up, using jigs the way I had learned 10 years ago. Now, I can't say I tear any up, and the jig has become a valuable tool again. It takes about a 20-25lb halibut IME to get a 16oz jig and a big grub in it's mouth. All the smaller ones just hit the jig on it's side or jighead, and if you are doing monster hooksets, that big hook will be slicing and dicing outside the mouth region.

    Jigs can also be very effective on anchor too. If I have 5 rods down, I'll often have a jig on 1 of them. I'll have the client hit bottom, reel up 10 cranks, drop, repeat. After 10 or so "repeats", the current pulls the jig far enough away you need to reel up and repeat. If you are hyperactive and you feel like you always need to be doing something, it's a great way to fish on anchor. The other rods will provide the scent to draw em in. The jig will get good bites though.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeek the Greek View Post
    Huh. Y'know, re-rigging a spreader bar that way had never occurred to me. Thank you for the tackle tip!



    That's pretty much the only way I like to do it. I've tried a lot of different methods, and this is the easiest I've found and it works as good as any set up, IMO. I use these: http://www.outdoorproshop.com/Daniel...ielson-hsb.htm The weak point is that snap at the end of the swivel on the longer side of the spreader. Cut it off. You need a stout wire cutter to do it. I then use 200lb Berkeley Big game leader, and a 16/0 mustad circle hook. I tie a egg loop knot http://www.animatedknots.com/eggloop to the hook (same as I use on my salmon leaders) and an improved clinch to the swivel on the spreader. Lick it to prevent friction on both knots. I keep plenty of leaders tied up in reserve, as when they start looking rough, it takes about 30 seconds to swap one out. I've never had a spreader bar or a leader fail, if I do my part and keep the leaders fresh.

    Good luck.

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    Member redleader's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip Captain, I've been just cutting the off, now to make a bunch of em and give them out to the charters.

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Ya, I love jigs anymore, the big tails especailly. I've all but quit anchoring, seems to have weeded out the smaller fish for me. if it's slow, I'll tip them with herring, but not usually.
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I don't put stingers on any of the jigs I make. They really don't need it at all. Most get a single assist hook if they don't have a fixed hook.
    I only make one jig with dual hooks and some people remove one of the hooks.
    I have been using the spreader bars that John Beath sells on his website www.Halibut.net with good results. I tie my own leader setups using Gaignon twine and a Gaignon knot on each side. They work really well and I have not had issues with them. I use 200# test blue tuna cord for the gaignons and either a circle hook or a J hook depending on what the fishermans preference is.
    I tie on a large corkscrew swivel and then add the spreader bar or jig to that. Swappimg from one to the other takes just a few seconds.
    I have yet to gut hook a Halibut with a jig. We have side hooked a few but I think that is more the fishes fault than mine.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKCAPT View Post
    Being that the charter fleet is being charged for the number of halibut released each day, release mortality…. We need to be mindful of not sitting at the chicken patch and releasing 200 fish a day because we will get less fish next year. 'Here is a photo sequence of how I release larger halibut without taking them out of the water.

    First I take a long wooden down and thru bolt a piece of heavy stainless wire to form a loop.
    then I take the loop and grab the exposed barb of the circle hook.
    then disconnect the leader or cut it and pull the hook out backwards

    Easy!
    This is the first I have heard of this .. law?

    What is the language of the law? Charter boats have only a certain limit of fish that can be released? Isn't that the purpose of the circle hook that the mortality rate is extremely low?

    If someone can explain this in depth I would be appreciative.

  19. #19

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    Quote: Isn't that the purpose of the circle hook that the mortality rate is extremely low?

    Might be a little off topic...but maybe some of the more experienced fishermen could give a brief tutorial on the correct way to remove a circle hook, I have difficulty doing it...but being a terrible fisherman, I don't get all that much practice. I was on a charter a couple years back and the deck hand basically did a body slam to the halibuts head. The circle hooks came right out after the halibut's head was rendered to mush. I doubt many survived the experience even though they went back over the rail.

  20. #20
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garyak View Post
    Quote: Isn't that the purpose of the circle hook that the mortality rate is extremely low?

    Might be a little off topic...but maybe some of the more experienced fishermen could give a brief tutorial on the correct way to remove a circle hook, I have difficulty doing it...but being a terrible fisherman, I don't get all that much practice. I was on a charter a couple years back and the deck hand basically did a body slam to the halibuts head. The circle hooks came right out after the halibut's head was rendered to mush. I doubt many survived the experience even though they went back over the rail.
    Lay the Halibut white side up if possible.
    Curl the fishes tail up toward the head with your non dominant hand as this will stop the fish from flopping.This works to calm the fish regardless of the purpose similiar to covering an animals eyes to calm it.
    Using the palm of your dominate hand quickly and swiftly pop the the shank of the circle hook aiming slightly backwards and it will pop right out and not harm the fish.
    Very quick and very easy.
    This is how my commercial fishing friends taught me to do it.
    Somebody Should make a video of this method. I'll check youtube for one.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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