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Thread: Dispatching a halibut

  1. #1

    Default Dispatching a halibut

    I've never been halibut fishing but want to try it next spring. I will be taking the family out and I was wondering...
    I have heard that some folks shoot the halibut before bring the fish aboard. What size gun do you use? Is a .22 pistol enough? I've never shot fish before (there's a joke in there someplace I know it!) but I don't want to do too much damage to it. And I don't want to scare the neighbors too badly either!

    If all I am after are "turkey" or "chicken" halibut is a gun even necessary? I have seen websites where people use harpoons to kill the fish as well as hold it while bleeding it out. Is this a common practice?

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FbksFishinFool View Post
    I've never been halibut fishing but want to try it next spring. I will be taking the family out and I was wondering...
    I have heard that some folks shoot the halibut before bring the fish aboard. What size gun do you use? Is a .22 pistol enough? I've never shot fish before (there's a joke in there someplace I know it!) but I don't want to do too much damage to it. And I don't want to scare the neighbors too badly either!

    If all I am after are "turkey" or "chicken" halibut is a gun even necessary? I have seen websites where people use harpoons to kill the fish as well as hold it while bleeding it out. Is this a common practice?

    I have never shot one under about 60 pounds. Over that, I shoot them all. I personally like the 410 nake charmer shotgun that is sold at Sportsman's and Walmart. It is stainless, nice and short, and kills them dead with a head shot. They also are pretty cheap - less then a couple hundred bucks. But, your 22 pistol will kill them just as dead.

  3. #3
    Member ACBMAN's Avatar
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    Default

    I never shoot halibut anymore,only harpoon and bleed outside the boat. Another point is your not telling others where you get the big fish.

  4. #4
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    Default harpoon

    I will harpoon the bigger fish, let them run on a large buoy with about 15 feet of rope and the line on free spool. When they slow down and before the sharks come in, I will bring the fish to boatside and dispatch with a 410 snake charmer to assure I don`t get a broken leg. One shot behind eyes(into the brain) will do the trick.

  5. #5
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    Default

    A harpoon and a short aluminium baseball bat seems to do the trick on all but the 100+. You do not need to shoot a chicken halibut.

  6. #6
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default drag the big ones

    Make a loop slip knot with double up parachute cord and slip it over the tail of the fish when you get it near the boat, tighten the noose and leave the hook in the mouth of the fish still on the fishing rod.( I do this for two reasons. one, its hard to unhook a circle hook on a live fish leaning over the side of the boat, and two, if for some reason the parachute cord fails, you still have the fish on the hook) Drop the weights off the fishing line. unclip off the anchor bouy and start your engine. let about 20 feet of the parachute cord out and tie it off to the boat. start moving about 5 mph and make a half mile loop draging the fish backwards.this will drown the fish .. then hook back to your bouy.
    It takes about 10 minutes to do it all once you get the technique down.
    The fish will be as dead as a door nail and easy to pull aboard.
    then unhook your fishing setup and rebait and back at it..
    no one gets hurt, no accidental shooting of people or boats, ( yes this happens ) no chance of getting beat up by a flopping fish and little effort to kill the fish.. fish will drown when water is forced thru the gills backwards...
    just anouther way if you don't want to shoot the fish, and less chance of an accident.
    we had a guy shoot a hole in an inflatable once. he was about 3 miles out of deep creek and the fish was fighting and was pulled up near the boat. the fish was a bout 150 lbs,,he was trying to shoot the Halibut, but as he pulled the trigger he was knocked of balance by the moving boat or a person ,,what ever, he shot the boat.. because inflatables have several chambers, they made it back ok, but the day was over and the cost of repairs could be expensive. What if he would have missed the boat and shot someone in the boat?
    just a thought..
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  7. #7
    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    Default .44 Spcl Loads work good!

    Here's a few pix I took quite a while back.

    I back able to pop this one while fishing solo. I used a very light load of Unique with a 240 gr lead SWC. Kind of ruined the cheeks . . .


  8. #8
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    LOL you guys crack me up. Why shoot a fish? I have harpooned and pulled over the rail several (close to a hundred) fish from 100 to just over 300lbs on board and never had to shoot one. I worked as a deckhand out of seward. maybe it was just experience or what not but i would never shoot a fish.

  9. #9
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gokorn1 View Post
    LOL you guys crack me up. Why shoot a fish
    I kind of agree with gokorn1, but I still shoot the big ones if we are going to keep them because I can. Is it necessary? No, but people from the lesser 48 that I take out talk about it for ages. "Up there in Alaska they have to shoo the fish they are so large!" An aluminum bat hit behind the top eye works well, too. Just not as dramatic. I always hit them with the harpoon first, though. I would hate to knock one off the hook.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  10. #10
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Default

    Don't shoot halibut anymore. That is just a dinner bell for other boaters to know you got a big one. Harpon, and hit the rascal in the head a couple of times. When he gets the point and calms down I cut the gills.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  11. #11
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    I've never understood the need to shoot buts. A harpoon, and or flying gaff, lousiville slugger attitude adjustment, hog tied and cut gills will do the trick.

    Somehow excited folks on deck, a big excited fish in the water and a gun being bandied about has much more potential for a bad outcome than a good one.

    A 357 bang stick would be my choice, one of these days I'll have to make one.

  12. #12

    Default

    Thanks everyone for the replies to this thread. Looks like the gun is now obsolete so I have found a site that has the harpoon I want. It even has a pic of it being used on a 'but.
    I have to agree that a gun is not only overkill (pardon the pun) but as Paul H. said, it is an open invitation to a lot more trouble.

  13. #13

    Wink Electrocution

    Somewhere I read (maybe on this forum) of someone who made a cattle prod from an insulated golf club handle and hooked it up to the positive leg of an inverter and zapped his halibut. He swore it worked, however, I would have serious doubt regarding the safety us such a setup.
    We never really grow up, we only learn
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  14. #14
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Default

    There was a thread early this summer about shooting halibut.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskacanoe View Post
    Make a loop slip knot with double up parachute cord and slip it over the tail of the fish when you get it near the boat, tighten the noose and leave the hook in the mouth of the fish still on the fishing rod.( I do this for two reasons. one, its hard to unhook a circle hook on a live fish leaning over the side of the boat, and two, if for some reason the parachute cord fails, you still have the fish on the hook) Drop the weights off the fishing line. unclip off the anchor bouy and start your engine. let about 20 feet of the parachute cord out and tie it off to the boat. start moving about 5 mph and make a half mile loop draging the fish backwards.this will drown the fish .. then hook back to your bouy.
    It takes about 10 minutes to do it all once you get the technique down.
    The fish will be as dead as a door nail and easy to pull aboard.
    then unhook your fishing setup and rebait and back at it..
    no one gets hurt, no accidental shooting of people or boats, ( yes this happens ) no chance of getting beat up by a flopping fish and little effort to kill the fish.. fish will drown when water is forced thru the gills backwards...
    just anouther way if you don't want to shoot the fish, and less chance of an accident.
    we had a guy shoot a hole in an inflatable once. he was about 3 miles out of deep creek and the fish was fighting and was pulled up near the boat. the fish was a bout 150 lbs,,he was trying to shoot the Halibut, but as he pulled the trigger he was knocked of balance by the moving boat or a person ,,what ever, he shot the boat.. because inflatables have several chambers, they made it back ok, but the day was over and the cost of repairs could be expensive. What if he would have missed the boat and shot someone in the boat?
    just a thought..
    Max
    Man, that seems like a lot trouble to go to, but I've never had the occasion to tangle with a large halibut.
    Down here swordfish are the big targets. 100#-400# fish are hit with the harpoon when they come up. Shortly after that they are hit with the gaff (flying or regular).
    Nobody generally shoots any fish with the exception of some who will shoot a large mako (can't say as I blame them) before they bring it on board.

  16. #16
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    It's not so much the size of the halibut, its that large power flapping machine that has broken bones and boats when brought on board before it was well and goodly dead.

  17. #17

    Default

    I remember and old thread about this, someone said they used etoh on the gills and it worked well.
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

  18. #18

    Default

    What's etoh?

    Paul, we also have to worry about that sword swinging around. It's not round like a marlin or a sailfish, it's more flat with remarkably sharp edges. I see why they were named swordfish.

  19. #19
    Member Queen of Kings's Avatar
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    Default I have been carrying

    a 410 snake charmer for a 2 years and haven't been lucky enough to have any thing over 60# to use it on. when I do though I will shoot it because I CAN
    2003 220 Hewescraft Sea Runner 115 Yam'y, Soft Top "Schmidt Happens"

  20. #20

    Default

    What's etoh?

    QUOTE]
    JD, EVERCLEAR, SMIRNOFF, ETC.
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

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