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Dealing with large bluefish

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What's your trick for dealing with large bluefish on the kayak? I was fishing in the Long Island sound yesterday in a friend's kayak. Unfortunately, it was sit-in, rather than sit-on-top. So not great for fishing and not a lot of stability. I came across a bunker pod being worked over right off shore, took a cast, and bang, I'm hooked up with a 12-pound blue. After a 20 minute fight I've got him right next to the yak. Now what? I wound up grabbing the leader, lifting him into the yak cockpit, unhooking him, and then releasing him without flipping the yak or getting bitten. But it was dicey.

 

Short of buying a sit on top kayak better for fishing or cutting the line, what should I have done differently? Leaning over the side, holding him in a bogagrip and trying to unhook him in the water didn't seem like an option. I was afraid of getting caught in the line and/or flipping the yak if he tried to take a run. Any thoughts?

 

Thanks for your help.

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Sorry guys, it looks like there was a thread on this about a year and a half ago. My apologies. If anyone has any recent thoughts/experiences, please share. Otherwise the old thread is pretty thorough and informative.

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Plastic fish grip. They are cheap, float and don't rust.

 

1776586

 

Recommend unhooking them outside of the kayak. I just use pliers but I feel safe on my yak.

 

If you don't want to lean over as far buy a dehooker.

 

1776588

 

FYI - both available from tackle direct

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lookup "Berkley Stainless Steel Hook Remover", thats what I use. It is long and very very strong. Unhooked many 20lb+ blues with it.


Dont bring those blues into boat if u value yer privates, toes and fingers. Even if she doesn't  bite you, there's a chance of getting hooked .


I reel em up to the side of the boat. They'd be mad, thrashing around like crazy. Expose the head out of the water and after 30 sec or so they will calm down. That's when you unhook em.


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They do sometimes make their last leap and come right at you , and if you are wading waist  deep or sitting, they can come out of the water on a trajectory for your throat...it is funny later, if you dodged it, but I have seen, and have had that happen when they are a rods length away. The small ones seem to come up leaving plenty of time to react, but a flying 36" fish can be pretty startling. Anyway, once past that, lip grip as already suggested.


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Plastic fish grip - don't leave home without it. Grab the leader, get the lip gripper on 'em and you're set. You can unhook them in the water, and it gives you the ability to do a little reviving without risking any body parts (good for angry pickerel and pike if you fish fw too).

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Thanks guys. Really helpful stuff. I appreciate the input and will apply the recommendations this weekend if I get into some more big blues.

Good luck to all.

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I have used grips but to be honest the easiest ways to deal with big bluefish is to swing them alongside the kayak and grab them right behind the head. I also find that they calm down a bit if you hold them belly up.

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