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Thread: harpoon vs. shark hook?

  1. #1

    Default harpoon vs. shark hook?

    What method do you prefer for landing the bigger halibut. What would be more user freindly for the novices?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elhewman View Post
    What method do you prefer for landing the bigger halibut. What would be more user freindly for the novices?
    Thanks
    I have and use both on big butts over 200 pounds. On the big ones I use the shark hook first to control the fish for a good harpoon hit or for a shot if neccessary. Most times I use the Harpoon thru the gills to help bleed out before bringing onboard for smaller fish (50 +). Most times it is me, my wife and daughter so I am on the swim deck by myself while they are manning the rod or many times when you have the ladies onboard RODS!!!!!

  3. #3

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    Harpoon. If you get the butt to lay flat for just a second and you are ready (make sure you are ready) just hit it home and you're good to go.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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  4. #4

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    Any harpoon recomendations? Spring loaded or regular?

  5. #5

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    For me (on big fish), it's shoot and then quickly harpoon while the fish is still stunned. Then cut the gills and tie it off on a cleat while it bleeds out. Never heard of spring loaded harpoons or seen any. The regular old kind has worked well for me.

  6. #6

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    I have a lot of experience with flying gaffs on tuna and other bluewater fish, and a little with using one on halibut. The "right" size to work for halibut is about 9" because it takes a big bite while also penetrating both sides like a harpoon. That would be my preference overall if I could afford one of the bloomin things for myself. Even so, it points out the shortcomings of a shark hook- the gape is waaaaay too small for a big bite on big fish and the point is too short. Shark hooks tear out and it's too easy not to get them buried right, especially for a novice. Since I can't afford a really good flying gaff, I go with the harpoon. Never felt the need for spring loaded.

    BTW- For really big halibut I prefer not to tie the harpoon line off to the side of the boat. I've seen them rip off the harpoon on a marginal hit when they come up hard against the line tied off to the boat. I use a buoy about the size of a 5-gallon bucket. You can hang onto the line with smaller fish, or toss the buoy overboard and let the fish fight that with big fish or especially hot fish. They can sink that size buoy, but not for long.

  7. #7

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    harpoon for sure. Easier, proven, simple, and helps you control the fish. I agree as well with letting them fight a buoy.

    On a funny note, I remember the first time I had a friend from the lower 48 on the boat and he caught his first halibut, a rather larger fish. We harpooned it and put a smaller buoy on it. The fish did sink the buoy and he about died thinking that we had lost his fish and the fish was just going to swim away with the buoy like it was nothing. A couple seconds later the buoy was back up, and his heart could start beating again HAHA.
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  8. #8
    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    Forget the shark hook and get the biggest owner Super Mutu spliced to a line, thought harpooning voided WRs? I harpooned, used shark hooks and circle hooks the circle is best on a hand held flying gaff.(use your hand to place hook in mouth)
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  9. #9
    Member Swissy's Avatar
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    Harpoon... a good shot thru both sides of gills and it takes the fight right out of them FAST. I use a 50' line with a buoy tied at 25'. It's fun to watch the buoy bob under the water a couple of times! After it stops trying to go under they are *****cats and can be brought right on board. I'm starting to do this with anything over 40 pounds or so... just makes like easier on me (and my back these days...)

    But then I cut loose anything over 70-80lbs anymore...
    '04 Hewescraft 24' Searunner
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by elhewman View Post
    Any harpoon recomendations? Spring loaded or regular?
    I've never even heard of a spring loaded one and I'd rather rely on my own strength anyways. A big butt will usually come right to the surface pretty easily if you just lift it slowly and then it's just a matter of driving it home right through the gill plates and out the other side.

    I tie one rope to a BIG buoy (the "five gallon bucket" size) and then another one to hang onto. On smaller ones you can usually hang onto the buoy line, but if the fish pulls that out of your hand you've got a backup. And if you can't hold onto that one then just let it go and fight the buoy for a while.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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  11. #11
    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    A big butt will usually come right to the surface pretty easily if you just lift it slowly and then it's just a matter of driving it home.
    What Mutt no kiss? Not even a reach around

  12. #12
    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    Hehehehehe!!!!!
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  13. #13
    Member JR2's Avatar
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    The only reason for a flying gaff is if you are after a world line class record. The rules state that you can not harpoon the fish. My Dad made a "poor boy" flying gaff with large shark hook, some braided line (3/8's I think), a 8 inch piece of garden hose and a 4 foot mop handle. The hose goes on the end of the mop handle and the hook with rope attached slides into the hose. If you ever get a big enough halibut you can "just" shove the hook into the butts mouth and then give the rope a jerk and set the hook. We have never used it and now we would never consider keeping a butt that would need it.

  14. #14
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    Flying gaff is only way to go in my opinion. I rig up some braided rope, like gold line about 10 feet long or so with stainless clips or snaps on both ends. You can clip the tip on one end, and the other around a cleat or rail in a few seconds, or a bouy if its a monster. Just have 2 or 3 tips and ropes rigged up, just incase it gets hot and heavy and have mutiple keepers on. I also use a shark hook too for larger ones, after being being nailed with flying gaff, you can reach down with rope on shark hook and hook them right through bottom of mouth and pull rope through and tie it off on boat, cut gills and its a done deal with no halibut flipping around on deck, blood all over deck, or nasty halibut slime to wash off. I rarely even bring them aboard until its time to head in, figure nothing better than letting them bleed out and keep them nice and cool than to leave them in the water. Just watch out for sea lions in certain areas, they like to come up and grab them off the side of your boat! As for shooting them, I have done that in the past, but dont really suggest it, lot more risk and possible accidents waiting to happen, adding a firearm to the equation, plus if you hit the sweet spot with firearm, they can drop like a rock, plus with the cost of ammo these days, lol. My personal choice, is to let the big dads go if possible, the smaller ones are much better to eat and easier to handle and all of your larger ones are females.

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