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What with all of the pictures with the guys holdind their fish with gaffs, They are supossed to be illegal on the bay. See a lot of pictures with fisherman holding rock with them. That is supposed to be a no no.
 

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It is not illegal to hold a rock with a gaff... It is illegal to gaff a rock to land it. I don't believe any pics of a rock being gaffed in the water have been posted.
 

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Francis - the way it was explained to me was when our Rock season reopened and the min. was 36 inches-DNR was fearful fishermen would gaff Rock that were a touch too small.The gaffed fish would then need to be thrown back - most likely to die.

This is also when big 8-16 lb Blues were around and alot of guys used gaffs for those.It was not uncommon to catch a 36 inch Rock and then a 12 lb Blue.On most boats-a net and gaff were both carried.Guys found out fast that 1-2 Blues would destroy a $$$$ net :eek:.

A net is much better for Rock anyway- I've seen some awful gaff shots on tuna that waste a nice chunk of meat.
 

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Fair enough.

I have a small CC without a hard top, and carrying a big net just aint gonna happen.

When a rock comes up after being caught trolling it normally doesn't move very much. It would be a prime candidate for a gaff. Oh well :rolleyes:

For what it's worth I do use a gaff while trolling all the time. It's great for reaching out and breaking rubber bands that don't break on planer boards. I also land big blues and flounder with it. I used to use it on trout when they were still in the bay. I use it to lift my trotline on the roller when crabbing. Frequently when I anchor up I tie a life jacket to my anchor rope in case I have to chasse a large fish. I get the life jacket back with a gaff. If you have a buddy on the boat who doesn't get out very much, catch a ray and let him gaff it and bring it aboard...while moving to the other side of the boat!

Gaffs are great fun.
 

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OOPS - but it's fun enough to mention twice :thumbup:.
 

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Since we are on it.

I remember once when I was mating for Greg on the Miss Susie a mortage company or something booked a half dozen boats or so and they all did a contest with all of their employees. Greg wasn't even supposed to be one of the boats but someone else's broke down so Greg ran his trip for him.

Anyway, there was a non-targeted species division and it just so happened we caught a ray. Greg really didn't want to keep it, but knowing it was probably going to win that division he knew he had to.

He took a gaff and a fillet knife and cleared everyone away towards the front of the boat. I gaffed the ray and handed it off to him. He held the ray up by the gaff and began stabbing and stabbing and stabbing the ray. There were a few women in the boat and they looked on in horror as Greg acted like a psycho killer with this thing. After stabbing it about 400 times horror movie style with blood everywhere, he finally brought it in the boat threw it in the cooler. He tossed me the scrub brush with a smile and told me to have fun.

It won, even with half of it's weight missing from stab wounds and lost blood.

I know it's sick, but it's one of my fondest memories from working on the Miss Susie.
 

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So I guess last year when we had the stupid slot, gaffing rockfish would have been a good idea right? gaffing those fish that we "thought" were under 35 or over 41 then having to release them after a proper measurement with a big hole or two in the side. What would be the mortality rate of them. I mean we already ***** at each other for using stinger hooks and the mortality rate when we release fish. I'm sure lots of you have been offshore. IMHO the fish offshore are alot more agressive then rockfish are. You pretty much have to gaff them or else they will tear you and you gear apart. And when you gaff them you know it's going in the box, not back in the water. Theres no reason to gave a rockfish, their slow enough to handle at the side of the boat, you may get the occasional big bad one in there that likes to shake it's head at the boat. I know i'll get bashed for this but I don't even use the net unless I have to. I just leader the fish and pull it over the side or if it's C&R I'll try to unhook it over the side and get it back in the water soon as I can. Just my two cents.
 

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I keep a gaff on my boat. I have never used it to land a fish. I will use a gaff to hold up a dead fish to show it to someone. It is only illegal to use a gaff to land a fish. It is not illegal to carry a gaff.

Timonium is coming. DNR has a good presence there. That would be a good time to continue this discussion and get the final ruling.
 

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I know this started as a troll, but it's interesting to me that there are even gaffs on bay boats. I've never even seen a gaff before.... seriously, never seen one.
 

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---Skip is Correct --While the 5 Year Morotorium was in full swing , We tried to cover ALL ANGLES of the Proposed Opening of our FIRST Fall Season --It was A STRONG CONCERN that many would Gaff Before Measure --A 32' fish to some could be mistaken , as Skip Says as a Keeper to only have to release a Body Gaffed fish --A Gaff is just that & Few use it as a MOUTH gaff --As to the Picture bit , Many are Squeemish when it comes to holding up a Fish , Slimy hands , etc. Esp. Kids --So I Do use my Hand Gaff as a Holding Handle , somewhat like a BOGA Grip --I also use my Long Gaff as a DE HOOKER for Cownose rays , to get my lures back , NEVER as a Killing Tool as these Pain in the A$$ fish , after all are one of Gods Creatures , Not to be Killed Needlessly --geo.
 

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Captain George- an honest question. Has DNR ever said anything to you about using a hand hook/small gaff/meat hook for holding Rockfish up for photos ? Any other charter captains you slip near ?

You got way more time on the water then most of us - just curious if you ever were called out on it or accused of gaffing a Rock in the water.
 

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I have never used a gaff fishing before. But the only pics I have seen on the board of people holding fish with handheld gaff's were after the fish were dead and they were hooked through the lip. Would using a handheld gaff hooked through the lip really hurt a live fish's chance of survival?
 
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