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Thread: Advice on landing 200+ halibut from canoe??

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    Default Advice on landing 200+ halibut from canoe??

    This last weekend my brother and I went out to try fishing out of our canoe close to shore for some halibut. I don’t fish too far out and I have stabilization bars for added stability. Also, I keep the drag light right off the bat. In the past I have been able to take home some smaller halibut with good success. But this time took me by surprise. My brother hooked into a huge halibut that ended up taking 1.5 hours to bring up. When we finally got it to the surface we both were in shock to see that this thing was easily over 200 pounds (I honestly think it could have been way more…. but I don’t want to be that fisherman that exaggerates his catch without proof). Problem was all I had was a net and a bat. So the plan was to hit the thing on the head and try to put a rope through its gills and tow it to shore.

    Well, we didn’t get that far. It seemed to happen real fast, but my brother tried to bring the thing to the surface so I could bat it on the head and because the thing was so huge the halibut rod snapped right in half. I yelled, “we still have him on the line”. But by then he was thrashing in the water. The hook quickly got off and the thing just sank out of vision, never to be seen again. I almost wanted to dive in after it! We about cried after that. Finally, I had a story of “the big one that got away”.

    SO, here is my question:

    How could have I successfully landed a halibut that large in a canoe? Is it even possible? My brother said if you are in a boat that is smaller than the fish you’re catching, you are out of your league. Thought that was funny.

  2. #2
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Harpoon it with a 50# bouy on a 15' line, but it would be tough to throw a harpoon in a canoe. After getting it back after it thrashes away, I'd shoot it, look at the eye in the center of the upside of a but, figure the distance between the eyes and aim that distance back from the middle eye. Then when I was good and sure it was dead, I'd tie it on the side of the canoe.

    People have had bones broken, boats broken and at least one guy died from getting beat by a good sized halibut.

    As a general rule, never lift a halibut out of the water with a rod (no matter how small or big), once the but feels air it'll make all effort to head straight to the bottom. That and rods simply can't handle the weight, as you found out.

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    motor to a beach and fight it there
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    44 Magnum? Sorry, but the first thing that jumped into my head was blast a hole in it.

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    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Cut your line.
    Now what ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Western View Post
    44 Magnum? Sorry, but the first thing that jumped into my head was blast a hole in it.
    I was thinking the same thing LOL!!!!!

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    Member Ripface's Avatar
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    I've caught some large fish from a kayak, though never close to that big, and I always tried to get to shore ASAP and land the big ones. You can just play down the drag a bit and make your way to the closest shore. I can't see anyone pulling a 200 lb'er into a canoe without going for a swim, so the shore seems like the only option to me...so either slay it out on the water, or head to land.
    "Wine can of their wits the wise beguile, Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile." - Homer, Odyssey

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    Member akprideinvegas's Avatar
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    if you dont mind, where do you find haliut close to shore. icant seem to find them out of deep creek? thank s

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    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevelyn View Post
    Cut your line.
    LOL! This was my first thought too!

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    Default Whale of a tale...

    The whale hunters of the 18th and 19th Centuries had an expression for hooking up with something large in a small boat. I think it was called an Eskimo Sleigh Ride. That's what happens when the haul exceeds the vessel.

    If you ever watcheded the motion picture "Moby Dick", you'll see the application. The harponed whale took the crew and their entire whale boat completely under.

    I've never had this happen to me in a small boat, but in my years gone by as a diver/shooter, I put the spear into several big fish that took me for a ride...

    http://www.alaskanauthor.com

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    Do not take your personal safety lightly if you do this again. Lots of bad things can happen very quickly when trying to take out sized fish from canoes and kayaks. I fish for tarpon here in Florida from a kayak and although our waters are far warmer than Alaska's, there are still a lot of things that can go wrong and kill you! Rule #1 Never go alone, always have a companion boat. Rule #2 Always have a good PFD ON. #3 Either wear a divers knife on your leg or keep one handy #4 Pick your days carefully and don't challenge weather, currents, and tides. #5 Keep the canoe/kayak free of anything that is not absolutely necessary #6 Stay very alert, there are things in the sea other than big fish that can and will cause you problems. #7 Be willing to call it quits at the first sign of conditions that could get out of hand. #8 Have a game plan well thought out for landing your fish (shoot the fish, harpoon it, are good suggestions as is paddling for shore to finish landing it.....Don't ask how I know these things, it is a sad story that involved a funeral! .....all that being said there are few rushes in the world of angling that can match looking up at an airborne hundred pound tarpon twenty feet from your kayak, then takes you on a ride that you will never forget! One last tip...be sure and keep your rod pointed toward the bow, if you get it perpendicular to your canoe or kayak you will probably be going for an unwanted swim!

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    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskanAuthor View Post
    The whale hunters of the 18th and 19th Centuries had an expression for hooking up with something large in a small boat. I think it was called an Eskimo Sleigh Ride. That's what happens when the haul exceeds the vessel.
    Actually the term was a Nantucket Sleigh Ride. And it was seldom a case of the haul exceeding the vessel as it was a common (and intentional) tactic for the small whale boats to either sink multiple harpoons into the whale, or, tie off to each other with the lead boat being the one with a harpoon in the whale. The idea being to wear out the whale (the more boats along for the sleigh ride, the harder on the whale), and have enough strong arms on the oars to combine with their sails to tow said whale back to the Ship once it had expired.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskanAuthor
    If you ever watcheded the motion picture "Moby Dick", you'll see the application. The harponed whale took the crew and their entire whale boat completely under.

    Skip Moby Dick. Instead try "In the Heart of the Sea" by Nathaniel Philbrick. It's a true story which Herman Mellville based Moby Dick upon. Much more enthralling, the truth always is, it seems.


    Back to the question at hand. Several years ago a dude in a Sea Kayak off of Lowell Point hooked into a 200+ lb. halibut. In his own words he "Felt like he was the bobber". He paddled to shore and beached it, seems to be the prudent thing to do.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    Member BigBrown767's Avatar
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    I have a buddy who fishes for sharks down in Florida, here's how he does it:

    First he puts a huge chunk of bloody fish on his hook, then he paddles his kayak out a few hundred yards from shore. Then he drops his bait overboard and paddles like he11 back to shore with the bail open. When he gets out he pops a beer and waits. (redneck shark fishing?) The first time he told me about it I though he was nuts! He has taken some huge sharks though. I'm not sure how far from shore you're fishing but it might be fun to try .

  14. #14
    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    Big flats have been caught from canoes and kayaks in Southeast. After being towed around for awhile, the fishermen typically work their way to shore, or seek assistance from another boat if there is one near.

    A .22, or snake charmer wouldn't hurt to have along.

  15. #15
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Maybe

    I hit a 140 pound halibut with three .22 Thunderbolts on Sunday. One penetrated, one I found under the cheek and the other I could not find. No expansion at all. BUT, it did the job. He still flopped around in the boat a bit, so tying him off to a canoe afterwards would be questionable.

    A .44 mag. does work better. Use hollow points and down-load the rounds to 44. Russian or .44 Special vel. and it is fine. Or, just shoot .44 Special Silver Tips if still available. EAR PROTECTION is optional, but a good option.

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    Member DMan's Avatar
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    I have found that a 410 does the trick nicely. We shot a 140lbs last summer with the 410 and it never moved again (which is normally the case, just shoot it in the right spot.)
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emu View Post
    …. but I don’t want to be that fisherman that exaggerates his catch without proof...
    Too late....you already did! HA!

    You are darn lucky you didn't tip that thing and go in the water -- even with those stab bars. You should realize that in water that cold you only have minutes until your limbs stop working and you can no longer swim. Don't take safety lightly dude. You're lucky we all aren't reading about you in the paper.

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    Default 22 / 38 Gaff & Hog Tie W/noose

    EMU,
    We go out in an inflatable so I am a bit leary of a harpoon or flying gaff. However last year we brought in a couple this way. When close to surface shoot with .22 or .38. Found out the hard way don't stop with one shot, put two or three in them in the head right away. Then get a good gaff hold on them, run your line through the gills & NOOSE THE TAIL with the other end of rope. This will keep the thrashing down if the shots have only stunned them & not killed them. Also helps when its time to carry or pickup. Finally cut the kills & head for shore.
    I will post a pic if possilbe later tonight.

    PS keep a wine cork or two in your box & if you loose the cap to you gaff stick the cork on the end till you get another cap.

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    Question

    A few years ago wasn't there a little old lady that caught a huge butt off of deep creek from a zodiac?

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