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Gaffing fish in the belly?

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Old 12-02-2018, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Lone Ono View Post
No surprise Iíll go mostly against the grain here. For LARGE tuna I gaff in the throat-latch area bringing the gaff straight up from below. This gives me the advantage in getting the head pointed up and out of the water quickly. Nothing worse than a large tuna trying to sound on you while you have a gaff in them. It also aligns the gaff with the pointy end so itís much easier to get them up over the guníl. The throat-latch area can support the full weight of the fish whereas a gaff shot in the back can tear out on a 2+ tuna. Thereís not any particularly tasty meat in the throat-latch and you wonít puncture any yucky stuff.

Since I do it for large ones I do it for smaller ones like in the video too. Keep it simple.

I think you're with most of us. Throat latch is a good place to aim for.

I usually aim for just ahead of the pec fin or right at the gill plate. A sharp gaff will penetrate.
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Old 12-02-2018, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by luna sea II View Post
They don't bleed as much when you gaff them in the belly. Less blood on the boat means quicker clean up and more fishing. It's just one reason why charters catch a lot more than recs.
Negative.

We catch a lot of fish on our charter, but no fish leaves the gaff until it is bled.

It takes 5 seconds to bleed a fish before you get it off the gaff.

You clean the blood up when the bite dies or the boat is plugged.

Tuna fishing is a VERY bloody sport.

Watch Opportunaty on Battle Fish- they bleed and slurry EVERY fish, even when it is WFO and they are catching 60 fish an hour.

The guys in this video are amateurs when it comes to fish care, not bleeding all of their fish and putting the fish into the fish box with no ice on it (just below) and not slurrying the fish first is poor fish care.

The belly shots are 100% amateur- there is always time to gaff a fish right and if you can't, wait.
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Old 12-02-2018, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by N2theblue View Post
I think you're with most of us. Throat latch is a good place to aim for.

I usually aim for just ahead of the pec fin or right at the gill plate. A sharp gaff will penetrate.
Are we reading the same thread? 18 posts above me and nobody supports coming up from the bottom on a tuna.

Each species is different though, only tuna get it in the bottom. Wahoo get an inch behind the gill collar. Mahimahi get it at the eye spot. Marlin get it in the hump. Everything else gets it behind the gill collar.


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Old 12-02-2018, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Lone Ono View Post


Are we reading the same thread? 18 posts above me and nobody supports coming up from the bottom on a tuna.

Each species is different though only tuna get it in the bottom. Wahoo get an inch behind the gill collar. Mahimahi get it at the eye spot. Marlin get it in the hump. Everything else gets it behind the gill collar.


They don't support hitting the belly. You aren't aiming at the belly.
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Old 12-02-2018, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Shake N Bake Sportfishing (formerly Colbachlaw) View Post
Negative.

We catch a lot of fish on our charter, but no fish leaves the gaff until it is bled.

It takes 5 seconds to bleed a fish before you get it off the gaff.

You clean the blood up when the bite dies or the boat is plugged.

Tuna fishing is a VERY bloody sport.

Watch Opportunaty on Battle Fish- they bleed and slurry EVERY fish, even when it is WFO and they are catching 60 fish an hour.

The guys in this video are amateurs when it comes to fish care, not bleeding all of their fish and putting the fish into the fish box with no ice on it (just below) and not slurrying the fish first is poor fish care.

The belly shots are 100% amateur- there is always time to gaff a fish right and if you can't, wait.
100% right Capt. and thank you for commenting.

The photo below shows us with a small 70# fish off the side of the boat while we are getting ready to set back out. All the rods are to port as we land on starboard. The blood on the stern is where we gaffed and hung the fish and hit the lateral arteries. The fish is now bleeding out and heart still beating. Once set back out we haul the fish back and quickly dress, pack the cavity and bed down. At the dock we wrap our meat in butcher paper and leave overnight in the fridge as this draws more liquid out of the fish.

I didn't always do things this way. For years we brought the fish on deck and bled into the scuppers while we set back out then dressed the fish but a bud of mine just started adopting gbft tactics to smaller fish and makes life so much easier and streamlined. Fwiw the guy is a veterinarian so I trust he knows how to deal with an animal. Plus - according to him this is the most "humane" way to kill large pelagic fish. Pretty much the way we roll these days unless I have a crew of less experienced guys (then we go old school).


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Old 12-02-2018, 05:50 PM
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Last wahoo I gaffed I got him perfectly in the anus. No extra holes.
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Old 12-02-2018, 06:04 PM
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Fished Venice a few times. My take is that the place is such a great fishery that it can make subpar capts look good. But the creme always rises to the top and those capts you can count on one and a half hands.
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Old 12-02-2018, 07:21 PM
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I just go right into the brain. No fuss, no muss.
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Old 12-02-2018, 07:55 PM
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Belly shot and you risk puncturing bile sack and various rancid internals, which in return will promptly start spoiling your meat all the way back to the dock
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by cronced View Post
I just go right into the brain. No fuss, no muss.
That's what I'm going to do from now on, maybe just grab them by the tail.
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:28 AM
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We fish out of a center console boat and are limited as to how much Ice we can take. What are you using to "slurry" your fish in? We currently bleed them in the live well, then gut and pack them on ice trying to get as much ice as possible in the cavity. Open to suggestions if anyone has any!

Also gaff shots depend on the situation. Catch a wahoo on mono and you will stick it where you can get it. Lost some nice fish boat side waiting for the right shot. Tuna as long as there is no sharks you can take all the time you want they will give you an easy shot typically. In the Bahamas sometimes if you slow step you will be taxed. Ideally you get a nice shot in the head but not all days are the same, circumstances change and you do what you can to get the fish in the boat.
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:34 AM
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Bad advice.

First off, you gaff the fish wherever possible in order to get them in the boat. No one here is good enough to nail the head 100% of the time. Often if you wait long enough to get that perfect shot you're watching the fish swim away.

Best place, IMO, is the head/gills. Belly isn't the worst but the head/gills are better.

Tail is the worst place and resulted in a separated AC joint in my shoulder. Loins are bad just based on the virtue you destroy meat.
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by cronced View Post
I just go right into the brain. No fuss, no muss.
That's what I'm going to do from now on, maybe just grab them by the tail.
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:06 AM
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What is important is to get the fish in the boat I gaff most fish from underneath and always try to get as close to the head as possible control the head and you can control the fish better. My 2 cents
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Eaglemsi1 View Post
What is important is to get the fish in the boat I gaff most fish from underneath and always try to get as close to the head as possible control the head and you can control the fish better. My 2 cents
100% agree
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:50 AM
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You can hit tuna right in the gill plate 100% of the time.. Mahi and Cobia not so easy.

KenT don't gaff fish below the surface. Been there, done that. I felt your pain on that one. After gaffing 100's of tuna in the 40-90 lb range with out any fuss..I rushed a shot because the guy on the rod was fucking up. There were only two of us. I reached deep to gaff a 40 lber...felt like it was 300. Gaff ripped a 6 inch gash in the tuna's side... You have to be able to get part of the fish out of the water immediately. Head or tail...If done right "gaffing between 4-6 o'clock" a tuna and in the head and lifting uses the tail beat to propel the tuna out of the water into the boat...

Last edited by FishHarder; 12-03-2018 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:49 AM
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Check out this gaff shot, although not on purpose - not a bad spot to hit them.

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Old 12-03-2018, 03:51 PM
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I have gaffed thousands of tuna. If I hit the belly it’s a accident.
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Old 12-03-2018, 07:41 PM
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As stated above- a gut shot exposes meat to contamination from the digestive system .
Personally I like the throat/collar from tuna, snapper, etc, a lot . It's a very tasty, oily cut with few bones you can pick out easily.
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Old 12-03-2018, 08:19 PM
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We shoot for back of head
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