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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, today I took on the high seas after some Kings. 5 foot waves in a 15 foot bass boat was interesting to say the least but the fish were hungry! I was trolling a ballyhoo near alabama point and it didn't take long before my Penn was screaming!

After about five minutes of fighting, I brought the biggest king mackerel I have ever seen up next to my boat. I had two of my best deckhands- my sons Asher and Ethan with me but since the oldest is only 7 I decided to try to hold the pole and gaff the fish at the same time.....well it didn't work and as soon as the fish jumped against the boat, the 65lb power pro popped with a crack!

Now I will admit I've never gaffed a fish but I have seen it done several times. Would I be better off getting a larger net and trying to net a fish like that?

With as low as my boat sits, I probably could have just pulled him over the side and into the boat!

I lost 2 kings next to the boat today, out of 4 hits. Never got one into the boat :(


Any suggestions?
 

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I think it would be cool to be able to hand the rod to your son and say "hold on tight boy!" while you gaff it. Otherwise, try loosening up on the drag, set the rod in a rod holder and then gaff it. Remember that the line could be pulled in the opposite direction the rod is pointed. Then try gaffing again......

I bet the boys loved it!!!
 

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OSOK
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I fish by myself a good bit and have a good system down. I usually will make sure I wear the fish down as much as possible, don't want a green one coming in the boat. Once he is beaten, I will bring him in to the swivel and then put the rod in the holder while maintaining control of the leader. I'll take one or two wraps and then grab the gaffe and stick em and yank them on in.

Oh yea and always keep the boat in gear to keep tension on the fish

I also do catch and release on kings with circle hooks, all you need is a hook removal tool and they pop off quick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah the kids loved it! So did I! I was so excited, it was frustrating to lose both fish next to the boat.

Sniper, I think your system sounds good. I should have worn the fish down more for sure. I brought him in pretty quickly for his size I think and he had a lot of fight left in him.

Thanks for the replies! I know I will find more out there soon. Sunday and Monday I got hits by kings but the crappy Walmart kingfish rigs only have two J hooks. I kept bringing in half a ballyhoo. Yesterday I bought some wire leader and treble hooks and added a hook behind the two. That was the key I guess!
 

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Sniper's dead on. My biggest fault until several months ago was not keeping the boat in gear to bring them along side the boat, tired and ready to give it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You guys are giving me some confidence now! I guess I get really impatient, thinking "I better get this fish in the boat before he comes off" but I think the big one was hooked good so rushing the situation caused me to lose the fish.
 

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Some of my best memories was learning to saltwater fish from our Bass boat in Destin. You'll get your chance for another gaff job. Just be patient. We chased a sail fish for about 2 hrs in our bass boat and when we finished we were out of sight of land. Make sure you have a compass, GPS, plenty of gas, and a radio on that puddle jumper.
 

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Out the pass in 5 footers in a 15 foot bass boat??
Did you take any over the bow?
Had to be an exciting ride!
 

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gaff down over the fish and towards the boat. keep it in gear, and make sure one of your boys can operate the boat if you happen to fall overboard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I may try grabbing the tail. I did take a few over the bow, not too bad though. I have a new bilge pump and she works well!
 

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I may try grabbing the tail. I did take a few over the bow, not too bad though. I have a new bilge pump and she works well!
Five footers in a bass boat! That is too close to the edge of the capability of the boat to handle the conditions for me. And with small children? I'd never do it. Anyways, the rod holder method works well. Just remember to put the gaff in a safe place if you have to pick up your rod to bring the fish back to the boat. Safe means you can't step on it or sit on it or gaff yourself while moving around in your boat. Don't ask me how I learned that. :whistling:
 

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Bearded Brotula
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+1 on grabbing the tail. That way you can release if you want. I've had plenty of times of getting the fish boat side and realizing the gaff and/or net is on another boat or in a garage. Just wear them out and get them next to the boat and grab the non toothy end and bring 'em over.
 

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I just grab them by the tail also, if you want keep a pair of the orange rubber mesh gloves handy, they make grabbing fish easy.
 
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