The recent thread on "Dispatching a Halibut" mentioned something that I consider an Alaska legend - something I've heard but never believed.
Ever since I can remember, I've heard warnings about not bringing a halibut onboard a boat because "they'll break your leg!", or some other similar claim.
I chuckle every time I hear this. Yeah, for obvious reasons you don't want a big halibut thrashing around on deck, but can anyone point to a first-hand, specific, verifiable incident where a halibut literally broke someone's leg? Or broke any bone on a person for that matter?
In all my years of commercial fishing, I never heard of it - never once heard of a halibut whacking someone hard enough to break their bones. Sure, plenty of times I heard of guys taking a hook from a thrashing fish - but breaking bones? C'mon...I'm calling b.s. on that one. Prove me wrong, and please no comments how they *could* or *might* break your bones - lemme hear of a case where they actually did.
p.s. Loved Spoiledone's comments on dispatching halibut. I admit that a couple times I've shot halibut for precisely the same reasons:
"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."