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Eric_S

Long handled net vs. gaff

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I see a lot of people carrying gaffs on the jetties but never a long net and I'm wondering why. Nets clearly do a lot less potential harm to a fish then a gaff and they can be the same length and I'd find it a lot easier to slip a net under a fish in the dark then to try and aim for the lower jaw with a gaff(which I hope is the goal of people with gaffs.) I can see a net being a burden to carry but once you stop to fish you'd put your gaff down anyway so it doesn't get in the way. I carried a net for a few trips and it helped me land a nice weakfish at night. I don't use anything now as I like to carry as little as possible and I just scoot down the rocks and grab the fish when necessary, but I was just wondering about the benefits of a gaff.

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Ever caught a BIG bass or blue on a plug with 2 or 3 sets of trebels and netted him? Have fun getting him out of the net alone in the dark. I carry both in the boat--if I know I'm keeping the fish I gaff him.

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I'd find it a lot easier to slip a net under a fish in the dark then to try and aim for the lower jaw with a gaff(which I hope is the goal of people with gaffs.)

 

Eric, the net sounds nice on paper, but in practicality, it would be useless. Nine times outta ten, when you get that bass up to the jetty, it's not just hanging out there in open water like it would be from a boat - it's up against the rocks...barnacle covered rocks. Or wedged in between the rocks. There's no way on Earth yer gonna get a net between a decent bass and a barnacle covered rock smile.gif On paper it sounds like a plan, but in reality, it's not even an option from a jetty.

 

The best thing to do if the fish is of any size is walk it to the beach where it can be landed and revived without putting either of you in danger smile.gif

 

Unless things have changed, gaffs are not used on fish that you intend to release. They never were, they were only used for fish you were going to keep. If you aren't planning on keeping that bass, don't stick it with a gaff. Yah not gonna get a harmless lip shot unless the water is flat and the fish is almost dead anyway. It's hard enough to get a clean body shot from a jetty with a lively fish and any kind of waves...the lip shot fantasy is just that - pure fantasy. It sounds good on paper, but it doesn't happen, not unless it's flat or the fish is already exhausted.

 

Gaffs are for keeping fish, not releasing them - in lots of states gaffs aren't even legal to use on striped bass...not even if you plan on keeping the fish.

 

TimS

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