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Thread: How to land the big butts?

  1. #1
    Member Grizzly Man's Avatar
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    Default How to land the big butts?

    Lets assume you got a 50lb+ Halibut on the line. What's the safest way to land the sucker? I can't imagine netting it, so.... harpoon, gaff, gun, etc?? I want to make sure I have to right tools for the job to protect people, boat AND meat!

  2. #2
    Member Alaskanmutt's Avatar
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    Default Me personally

    If they are big enough to do damage it is a round through the head, harpooned, then left tied to the side till they bleed out. then a short gaff to get them onboard.
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  3. #3

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    I used to shoot them, but got tired of having to maintain a firearm that is out in a saltwater environment.

    Now I harpoon them, with the line attached to a small buoy. I then beat them with a gaff or bat till they are dead.

  4. #4

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    Same here. I use one of those longish buoys that's just bigger than a 5 gallon bucket. If it's a real big fish, just chuck the buoy over the side and let it fight that till it's really tired. Then go grab the buoy, lift the fish and bap it with a billy. Done. I went to the buoy after a couple of really big fish pulled off the harpoon when the line was tied to a cleat.

    Wanna see something funny? Watch the angler's eyes when that big buoy dives completely out of sight on the first lunge or two after you stick the butt. No sweat. It will pop back up in seconds, even with 300+ pounders.

  5. #5
    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Default

    410 snake charmer
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  6. #6
    Member Grizzly Man's Avatar
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    Default Anger issues?

    270,
    You have any anger issues? just kidding, but what caliber do you use on the fish?

  7. #7

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    Do you harpoon through the belly or through the gills? I've done both, but when I get a good harpoon through the gills, the fish will be nice and bled out by the time I get it on board. Tames them down a bit. Seems the gills are a little riskier though.

    I once had a big hali come straight up, and it wouldn't lay on its side. So I harpooned it down through the mouth and it came out trough the belly..

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly Man View Post
    270,
    You have any anger issues? just kidding, but what caliber do you use on the fish?
    It was a 410 snake charmer that I used. I get the "anger issue" question a lot!

  9. #9
    Member Larsenvega's Avatar
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    Default

    I also harpoon mine and let them work off any remaining energy fighting the buoy. Once they are pretty much spent, I'll club it and then slit the gills and hang from a dock cleat. The only ones I'll shoot are 100+ pounders due to the fact that they can rip themselves from the harpoon tip.

    If you're going to shoot a halibut, shoot them about an inch behind their top eye for an instant brain shot. I dispatch all my big butts with a dual-purpose 10mm Glock 29SF that I carry on board. It's absolutely hilarious to see the looks on people's faces when they find out that the fish on the end of their line is about to get blasted. My mom had a 120 pounder that we had to do this to while she was visiting last summer, and her reaction was priceless!


  10. #10
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Default

    Snake charmer. Cools them right down. You get them in the sweet spot and they're done.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    I used to shoot them, but got tired of having to maintain a firearm that is out in a saltwater environment.
    I would still advocate shooting them, in my mind its just the easiest way.

    It's not like you need to leave firearms on the boat all the time, and it is pretty easy to keep it locked up in a water proof case until its needed. How much time does it actually spend exposed to the elements... a minute or two?

    Just my 2c.
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  12. #12
    Member Larsenvega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    Do you harpoon through the belly or through the gills? I've done both, but when I get a good harpoon through the gills, the fish will be nice and bled out by the time I get it on board. Tames them down a bit. Seems the gills are a little riskier though.

    I once had a big hali come straight up, and it wouldn't lay on its side. So I harpooned it down through the mouth and it came out trough the belly..
    I always harpoon mine right behind the middle fin. The harpoon tip goes through very easily, yet it is a very strong spot that is harder to rip out if the fish happens to go nuts! Check my photo and you'll see exactly where I'm talking about. I would be afraid of not getting the harpoon all the way through trying the gill area. Too much cartilige and bone there.

    You harpooned one through the mouth?!? That is just messed up (but hilarious)!


  13. #13
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    Under 100 or so, gaff and a quick drop into the fish well. Bigger than that, harpoon and pop a cap into it.

    Few years ago we hit close to a 200 pounder with my visiting brother on board. After all the excitement calmed and the fish was on board my brother said "Only in Alaska are the fish bigger than the deer I shoot and they have to be shot as well".
    Priceless

    Besides we never leave the docks without a firearm or two anyhow. Might as well put em to good use.
    Tennessee

  14. #14
    Member Stanly's Avatar
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    Default Those with firearms

    and worry about exposure to salt. Check out blackicecoatings.com. I have all of my guns done with this and it is great. I carry my Beretta 9mm on the boat. Last year after getting back from Valdez, I forgot to take it out of my waterproof bag for about a week. It had started to rust. So I sent it to Lee and it's a problem no more.
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  15. #15
    Member ocnfish's Avatar
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    Default My weapon of choice

    I keep a stainless Marlin Papoose with about a brick of ammo in its case and it wanders betrween the Cessna 180 and the boat. Good survival weapon somewhat protected from the salt and I have shot a few big butt's, a shot placed one inch behind the top eye puts them to sleep for good. If the 22 lr accidently discharged in the glass boat I have I do not think the bullit would make it to the salt water, 12 layers of glass in the bottom.

  16. #16
    Member Alaskanmutt's Avatar
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    Default Last one over 100 I had

    I shot it in the brain, went to harpoon him, missed and it stuck half way in its head, It was in the process of straightening out the corkscrew swivel so I slipped the spare harpoon tip on and crammed it in the bullet hole. Thats when I found that I still had my .45 Golden Sabres in my gun and not the usual ball ammo. The hole literally only went half way through its thick skull.


    Oh yea, the halibut really didn't like having a harpoon crammed in it's bullet hole.
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    Under 100 or so, gaff and a quick drop into the fish well. Bigger than that, harpoon and pop a cap into it.
    What kind of gaff hook are you using? I've straightened out a few gaff hooks pulling 50lb+ halibut aboard while they were still moving. It seems to happen when they give a big flop right when I've got them halfway out of the water.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larsenvega View Post
    I would be afraid of not getting the harpoon all the way through trying the gill area. Too much cartilige and bone there.

    You harpooned one through the mouth?!? That is just messed up (but hilarious)!
    I found the best way to get the tip through both gill plates is to place the harpoon tip up against the halibut and then give it hell. It'll go through nicely. In my early years, I'd want to give a good jab without the tip already in place. Well, that didn't work and I'd usually miss and hit some hard part of the head. Back to the bottom...

    One of the funniest was a local made some flying gaffs and gave one to me to try out. I got a big 'but up, and I hooked him in the mouth with the flying gaff. Well, the shark hook didn't exactly release from the gaff handle like it was supposed to.. You can imaging the trashing I took holding on to that handle until it finally released!

  19. #19
    Member polardds's Avatar
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    Default Make both shots count

    Make sure whoever is harpooning or shooting knows what they are doing. Don't want to shoot the line or the boat. Don't want to hit the halibut between the eyes with the poon, may not penetrate and just piss her off. Then your buddy is real happy as she goes all the way back to the bottom. All stories I have heard about happening on other boats of course.

  20. #20
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default .44 Mag.

    Hit a 100+ pounder one day with the .44 magnum and 300 grain Spears. It was a little overkill and loud to say the least. Once we could hear each other talking we decided to use the .22. I have some reloads now that are about like a .38 Special. The .22 with hollow points works too. But don't expect them to go all the way through.

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