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Stupid Question

RynoSharkRynoShark Posts: 7 Greenhorn
Hell, I'm new to the site. Found some interesting topics and threads. I'm from the snowbird state of Indiana and I have whats probably a stupid question but i'm not afraid to ask. Honestly I just wanna know the reasoning behind it. I have fished in FL before but never caught anything, but I have seen people fish and videos of guys using a gaff. My question(s) is this... What is the point of a gaff? (why can't you just grab the fish by your hands in a safe manner) Also why do people use a gaff if they are catching and releasing? Doesnt that kill the fish or make them food for other fish? I'm all for being be a good sportsman. Grew up "Kill what you are going to eat". I'm not judging anyone, i'm just curious on this matter. I am making a trip there next month to fish and research to move there. Thanks in advance for any respectful comments!

Replies

  • spydermonkeyspydermonkey Posts: 765 Officer
    People shouldn't use a gaff for catch and release. Unfortunately some people don't care if the fish survives or not they just wanted to catch it. I fish inshore and use only a net but if you have a huge grouper or cobia on your line that you want to keep its a lot easier to gaff it then to try to fit it into a net. Big nets are hard to maneuver in the water and scare the fish especially if you have a boat with high sides. If you want to fully experience the florida fisheries then next time you come hire a guide. You will catch some fish.
    "Insert intelligent sounding quote here"
  • jimmy77jimmy77 Posts: 1,690 Captain
    I guess you could try and lip a kingfish like a bass? Seriously though most saltwater fish worth gaffing have teeth or sharp gill plates that will slice you open like no bodies business. Not to mention sharp dorsal spines. You could try and tail grab the fish, but a last second burst can mean a pulled hook or snapped leader. Nets take up too much room. If I'm putting meat in the boat and have a large fish that I don't want to risk slinging over the side by the leader, I'm going to stick it in the face with a gaff. If you're doing catch and release the gaff shouldn't be used.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • RynoSharkRynoShark Posts: 7 Greenhorn
    Well that makes sense. Thanks guys for the input.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,037 Captain
    Ryno.. it's pretty good to remember that there are many different skill levels on the water... how a long time experienced guy handles a fish (even a really big fish) and how a relative beginner handles one will be a lot different. Add to that the different boat sizes (a big sportfisherman isn't easy to reach the water from.... where a small skiff puts you almost at eye level with your target) and different intentions (I handle a fish a lot differently if I know my angler wants to take it home than I do if I'm intent on getting the fish back in the water un-harmed) that will have you doing things differently from fish to fish...

    Back when I was a mate on charterboats (more than forty years ago now...) I would both wire and gaff most fish single handed... that changed with really big fish when I'd wire and the captain would gaff... These days working out of a small skiff I rarely ever gaff any fish (and I don't even keep a traditional gaff aboard) using a net instead (but even the net remains mostly stowed away since I can handle most fish -even big sharks nearing 300lbs) with only a pair of gloves and my hands. Those sharks are very carefully released by the way, years and years ago they were all killed for the taxidermist.... Glad we've gotten away from that sort of stuff. Every now and then the fish gets you - but that's all part of the game....
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • sparse greysparse grey Posts: 1,751 Captain
    Good answers, good question, welcome to the forum & pay attention to what Capt. Bob ^^^ says. Where will you be when you come down?
    Ron Conner Release the fish, keep the memories. Once a Knight is enough.
  • RynoSharkRynoShark Posts: 7 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the feedback. Its something i never really understood it. Its different from Indiana of course. Lol. I'll be in North Port area visiting grandparents and checking Tampa and Ft Myers out. Hoping i land a job at the new BPS! As far as fishing, 3 day $17 license is all i can handle for the time being. Ive been youtubing these fellas on kayaks in the ocean, and im really intrigued by the way they are catching fish. Of course i hear that ocean being calm in the late winter is rare? Last yr i was trying to learn the tide changes and how it relates to fishing. I ended up fishing in what i guess people call the jetties? I love it cause its something new and different type of fishing. Learning the ins n outs. I hear that kayaking and beach shark fishing is growing popular, something im interested in trying out. But thanks again for the comments. Enjoy learning new things and reasoning behind things.
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