Fishing Gaff?

ChipTam

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I lost a couple of big cod last summer lifting them over the gunnel. So, this winter I bought an older gaff on Ebay. Nice gaff. In fact, it looks like it's never been used. My question is: should I file the tip of the gaff to a sharp edge or just leave it as is (shaped at the factory like the end of a pencil but not really sharpened)?
 

longislander89

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you can do either. both will work fine. Some gaffs are designed to have a knife point i think its called that is like a three sided point with sharp edges. Others are just a pencil point. If you have a grinder sharpen two sides of it.

If it was a flying gaff and you were using it for sharks i'd say it would matter more. But soft skin cod and other ground fish doesn't matter much.
 

ChipTam

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you can do either. both will work fine. Some gaffs are designed to have a knife point i think its called that is like a three sided point with sharp edges. Others are just a pencil point. If you have a grinder sharpen two sides of it.

If it was a flying gaff and you were using it for sharks i'd say it would matter more. But soft skin cod and other ground fish doesn't matter much.

Longislander89,

Thanks for the feedback on my question. Sounds like it doesn't really matter all that much. I may try it "as is" at the beginning of the season and perhaps sharpen that pencil point a bit if needed. Thanks again.

ChipTam
 

Spence

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I guided halibut/cod/rockfish anglers for 3 seasons in Alaska. Didn't take me too long to realize that blowing a gaff shot and losing a fish was bad business. I keep my gaff sharp enough to scratch a fingernail and will dress it up with a hook sharpener during the day if the catching is good. If your gaff shot is perfect every time it doesn't matter but a sharp point can sometimes save a bad shot
 

ChipTam

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I guided halibut/cod/rockfish anglers for 3 seasons in Alaska. Didn't take me too long to realize that blowing a gaff shot and losing a fish was bad business. I keep my gaff sharp enough to scratch a fingernail and will dress it up with a hook sharpener during the day if the catching is good. If your gaff shot is perfect every time it doesn't matter but a sharp point can sometimes save a bad shot

Spence,

Thanks for your response to my question. I'll probably go ahead and sharpen the business end of the gaff as you suggest. However, that will probably guarantee that I never get a 30 pounder again.:D
 

Capt. Rick

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You can make a beautiful cod gaff yourself with a nice stout bamboo pole, and a 2" stainless gaff hook. These are what the local party boats have been using for years to gaff COD. The wider eyed gaff hooks (4" )are no good for gaffing codfish IMO. If you would like to see a picture of mine let me know.
 

Spence

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I agree w/ Capt. Rick on the 2" hook. I will always lip gaff when possible. Good for c and r , good for fish control. Wish I had a source for bamboo. I build my gaffs using 5-6' hardwood brush/mop handles. I whip on some spiral hitch grips with cord and they work fine but the bamboo seems like it might be quicker and lighter.
 

ChipTam

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Capt.Rick and Spence,

Thanks for the additional information regarding gaff hooks. I think I'll probably give my Ebay purchase a try this summer and, if it doesn't work, I might consider making one. However, for my purposes, I suspect this one will be adequate.

We only have a 1-month cod season in Newfoundland. We're allowed 5 cod per day per person with a maximum of 15 cod per boat per day. The cod are found close to shore. I take my boat out most days and myself and a few buddies usually max out. Most of the cod are in the 10-15 pound range and it's only the occasional big one that requires a gaff. So, with all those fish, I probably only lost a couple at the gunnel last year. I'm hoping that my "new" gaff will get that rare 30 pounder. Oh, by the way, my gaff does have a 4" hook with an overall length of 18" and was manufactured about 35 years ago in New Jersey.
 
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