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Thread: Catching Octopus

  1. #1
    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    Default Catching Octopus

    I have heard stories about sinking plastic bottles with fish in it to capture octopus. They make great fresh bait to halibut.

    Anyone have any expereince doing this? Where?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Could work

    Could work. I usually catch 4-5 just in the shrimp pots each summer. Not only do they make good bait, but they make a good meal too. Just clean out the insides, cube, blanch in boiling water and peal the red skin off. You can saute in butter or use in a red sauce with noodles.
    "Never again shall one generation of Veterans abandon another".
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  3. #3

    Default Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program.

    I read a book once on the subject from that i think was from the ASGMAP. It had to do with an octopus pot fishery being conducted in Kachemak bay. They used clay pots without bait and had a lot of interesting info. It was a Magazine sized publications with about 30 pages and a lot of practical info. I don't know where you are but if you are close to an Alaska Sea Grant Advisory program bookstore- I now there is one in Soldotna and I picked up the book at the one in Dillingham- so I imagine there are stores in most bigger towns and cities.

  4. #4
    Member Mort's Avatar
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    Default Handling?

    How do guys get these into the boat without getting them stuck to everything? How about killing them?

    We hauled up two while 'but fishing (same one twice?) but released because I didn't know how to handle them. Would have preferred to keep them, but didn't want to waste anything either.

  5. #5
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Talking Mort

    Mort: Handling octopus is a well kept secret because those of us that do, know that others should not have that much fun. Placed in a white cooler they will actually turn almost white. Take them out for pictures, hold them up and they turn bright red, as in mad. To get them out of a pot, I invert the pot over a bucket or cooler with the door open. They usually crawl out. Prying them out takes a little patience. What ever you place them in, cover it. If they crawl out, they can get down into the bottom of the boat under the floor and die. This is not a good thing. The stink keeps the wife out of the boat, which may be a good thing. Placed in a bucket of sea water they will remain live for quite a few hours. Which can be entertaining to friends, the dog and other unsuppecting people.

    Warning, they can and will bite. I have never been bitten but then again, haven't given one the chance.

    I was out near Dolphin Rocks one day and was pulled off anchor. I drifted for about half an hour until it got too deep. I pulled my Danforth and on one fluke was a piece of meat, about 2 - 2 1/2" in diameter, 6: long with a suction cup on one side. I should have saved it.
    "Never again shall one generation of Veterans abandon another".
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    Default

    interesting Dave, sounds like a biggun.


    I've also caught them on jigs, and in shrimp traps.

    Have found the beaks of more then a few along with one undigested hole one in a 100 pound flattie. Also found a HUGE squid last summer in one of the bellies. Kind of a habit of checking bellies of the larger fish to see what theya re eating on the marks I have. If nothing else the clients love seeing it in most cases.

  7. #7
    Member Mort's Avatar
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    Default Killing?

    Thanks Dave. How do you kill 'em? Just leave them out of water in the cooler? Or do you do anything analagous to cutting a fish's gills?

    Mort

  8. #8
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Leave them alone

    I just leave them alone to die. Their anatomony is unknown to me so I just let them die. Which can take a while.

    Be careful putting them in the freezer. I had one "leak his ink" in the freezer. It is now in the yard as my spring bear bait refrigerator.
    "Never again shall one generation of Veterans abandon another".
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    Default

    My buds down in southeast have a really slick way of cleaning them. Basically turning the head inside out. They are dead but still moving after you clean them out. I'll have to call one and get the specifics as I'm sure he can explain it 10fold better then I can.

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    Default Sushi!

    Sounds like a great snack while fishing! `
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

  11. #11
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default octopus regeneration

    there is no need to kill them. the tenticles regenerate. on the next one i will just take 4 legs and let it go. had a nice one this spring and just cut the legs off and through the rest away. no need to clean if just for bait or to eat. the one this past spring bit me. i was holding it around the head just abone the eyes i think. got my ring finger by the beek i guess. hurt like hell for a few days. didn't break it or anything, think it was partially infected or something. i think i remember hearing something about a chemical they have in their beek or mouth. so i finished cutting the legs off and tossed the rest. with a sharp knife it takes not time. even then the legs were moving all over the cutting board and boat deck. kinda cool. just a thought.

  12. #12
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    Default

    I think by cutting off 4 legs you just made that guy died a slow death! I believe if they lose a small part of a leg it will grow back but if you cut off a bunch they will just die.
    The infection you had was probably a case of "fish poison" and you are lucky it didn't get badly infected. I've had it many times when i lobster fished back east, mostly got it from fish spines or fish bones that were used for bait. Sent me to the ER a few times with blood poisoning, when it gets bad it ain't fun.

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  13. #13
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default

    I've heard just a clay jar with no bait, we caught 2 int he gillnet last summer

    hey potbuilder, you aren't Starfish by any chance?
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  14. #14

    Default

    I caught an octopus last year in my shrimp pot. My first thought for its use was bait or food. Ended up playing with it for a while and taking a couple of pictures, but let it go because I didn't know how to humanely kill it. I've never had a problem bleeding and throwing fish or shrimp in a cooler and letting them die, but can't see leaving an octopus out of the water to die a slow death. And cutting the arms off and throwing it back into the water? Geesh.

    I'd think the best way to kill it would be to grab it by the arms and whack the head against the gunwale. At least it would be quick.
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    Default Here's a nice one


  16. #16
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Anatomy

    Like I stated, knowing their anatomy would help. Like where the brain is or other vital organs. If anyone knows so that we can more humainly harvest the creatures please post it. I just figure that letting it die slowly avoids the ink issue if you miss with the knife.
    "Never again shall one generation of Veterans abandon another".
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    Default killing

    Sticking a large knife through one of their eyes and out the other, and then twisting the knife, usually does the job. That's the area where their skull (yes they have a skull) and brain are. No ink there. However, they will continue to "stick" to everything.

    I actually prefer to immediately put them in a plastic bag, tie it off, and throw them in a cooler. I don't have a problem with their slow death...not after they've just cleaned my pots and eaten 10 lbs of my Spot Prawns.

    BTW, if you're finding empty shells of shrimp in your pots...you've been visited by an octopus. Time to move. Also some studies show these octopus have a mentality equal to a housecat.

  18. #18
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Grampy

    Grampy: Thanks for the hint. Will have to try that. Yes they can eat a lot of shrimp. That is why I eat them, they taste like shrimp (kind of). Snapper love them too so where I catch snapper I will try shrimping.
    "Never again shall one generation of Veterans abandon another".
    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
    Cancer from Agent Orange - Aug. 25th 2012
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  19. #19

    Default Cooking one

    I kept one once to cook and eat (didn't do anything special to kill it). Anyways, it was like eating a chunk of rubber. Tast wasn't bad but you couldn't be in a hurry because you had to chew it quite a while.

    Any cooking tips?

  20. #20
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Default

    Don't cook long kinda like clams. She breads it and deepfries on high.
    Last edited by AKBighorn; 01-06-2007 at 12:02. Reason: She corrected me

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