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Should gaff's be banned?

1/26/16 @ 1:44 PM
User since 3/17/06
How do you feel about gaff hooks for landing fish, usually used during ice season. I have seen people use them and release what looks like mortally wounded fish.

2/22/16 @ 11:18 AM
User since 12/6/10
Let's ban hooks right away because they injure and can kill fish! I've never felt the need to use a gaff but if you want one go right ahead. If you don't know what you're doing with one and kill a fish with it you're dumb enough that even without a gaff you will figure out how to kill the fish.

2/22/16 @ 10:25 AM
MEMBER since 12/19/01
My brother and I carry a gaff to the tipup holes routinely.

I don't think you people understand the intended use, or perhaps you have observed a few people who didn't.

Getting a large pike's head started into the hole is the first application. Large pike often roll in the line, and if the line is coming off the fish behind the gill plates, it can be nearly impossible to get it turned without some assistance.

The second application occurs when you attempt to get a large pikes' face out of the hole. If you are fishing flouro, you hate to put a lot of pressure on the line to get the fish out of the hole and onto the ice - particularly if the water level in the hole is well below the ice surface.

In either case, the proper use of the gaff is to insert the gaff into the fish's mouth, and push the point thru the membrane of the lower jaw. Pull the fish out of the hole, on to the ice. DO NOT hang the fish from the gaff hook, obviously.

We actually rarely use the gaff, but when it is needed, we have it available - along with jaw spreaders, long needlenose, forceps, and wire cutters.

Ban gaffs? I think they should ban your guns, because you might mis-use them. Same idea, right?

2/10/16 @ 8:04 AM
MEMBER since 7/9/12
No, Gaff's should not be banned. Just another law that's not needed. We already have too many laws and Regs.

2/10/16 @ 12:30 AM
User since 4/18/12
svitreum summed it up best. If you're 100% sure it's a legal fish and you plan on keeping it, than by all means feel free to use a gaff. But if your using it for Muskie or under sized bass, which I have seen, you deserve your ass kicked. It's ridiculous to ban an item that can be beneficial to most just because is can potentially be misused by a few.

2/10/16 @ 12:07 AM
User since 6/3/10
I'll make that a third on what svitreum said.

2/2/16 @ 9:11 PM
User since 10/17/04
How'd i miss this? Anyway its total bull if anyone think its ethically moral to use on any fish that is going to possibly released. Otherwise ill make sure i pick one up for all these southeast hammer handles ;)

2/2/16 @ 5:54 PM
Todd Young
User since 6/25/15
Gaffs have been banned in the state of New York for a long time. We used to use them as a release tool many years ago but other tools work much better if you plan on releasing the fish.

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2/2/16 @ 1:57 PM
User since 9/27/01
I agree with svitreum that if you have a fish that you plan to harvest, then by all means, use a gaff. But it's pretty irresponsible to poke a hole in a fish (other than the one the hook poked) that you plan to release.

I have a small gaff that I made out of a piece of dowel and a large stainless salmon hook that I use when I'm fishing for whitefish. I have lost so many of those in the hole due to their squirming and sliminess. I have no intentions of releasing any whitefish unless it's small but then I don't need a gaff or care if it falls off in the hole. Big Smile

1/26/16 @ 7:50 PM
User since 8/29/06
Probably one of the following three things applies when gaffing short fish:

1. They are stoopid. 2. They are very drunk. 3. They were taught this by another stoopid person.

And possibly all three at once. Yep. Kinda idiotic actually.

I don't think they should be banned. If you have a nice, and obviously legal fish in the hole that you fully intend to harvest, then it is a wonderful tool.

Big Smile

1/26/16 @ 5:11 PM
User since 10/3/12
I always wondered about this too. How can anyone use a gaff on a potentially undersized fish. People use them for Lake Trouting and there is a definite size limit.

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