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Gaffing adventure

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Gaffing adventure

Postby Salty » Fri May 31, 2013 8:10 am

After hours of dragging around for nothing I finally get a bite yesterday. Port tip hammering away like a good one which gets me all excited. I jump up from my skipper's seat and the arthritic right knee which has seized up from sitting so long does not like the movement and I stumble into the stove, only slightly burning my hand as I try to gain my balance. I locate my gloves hanging over the stove to keep dry and warm. I slip them on, double check the plotter and notice I have just about enough time to get the fish in before a left turn is needed to avoid a pinnacle. I quickly turn on the hydraulics and deck hose and hustle back to the pit.
I engage the gurdy and haul in the port tip. There is a bit of kelp on the float bag which takes a minute to clear. Then there is bass on the second leader which needs to be hauled in, removed from the hook, and stuck. Finally the bottom leader comes up out of the water quivering and stretched out with a nice king. I unsnap it, hook the leader to my killer cord and take a quick glance at the computer monitor. A quick turn is needed to avoid running into the 15 fathom pinnacle with my 24 fathoms of wire and leads on the three lines still in the water. No problem, I switch the autopilot remote in the stern on to take control and crank her over to port.
The fish has decided to run over to the starboard side and I follow him over and work him to the boat. With the boat turning hard to port the starboard wire from the blocks to the tag has slack and is drooping into the water. I reach around and straighten the boat out, which will get the wire out of the way and still miss the pinnacle. While I am reaching around the king runs over the wire drooped into the water. No problem, I will just gaff him quickly while the wire is straightening out. I grab the gaff and start easing him up to be conked. About that time the dropping wire straightens out quicker than I planned, catches my raised gaff and jerks it up out of my hand. At this rate the king is going to be dangling up on the leader in a minute. I grab my second gaff and manage to conk, gaff, and land the king before all is suspended.
Now I have a gaff to retrieve. Fortunately no one else is around so I can turn around, locate the gaff, and retrieve it without getting in anyone's way. My dipnet, which is stored on the cabin roof, is tangled with my tag-retrieval treble hook and spinning reel. After a few moments untangling the net I go in and look for the gaff. It is coming right up on the bow. I quickly set the pilot so the gaff will come along the starboard side and I can dipnet it up as it comes along the hull. I hustle out to the deck, grab the net, reach over the side and just miss the gaff as it floats by. Back to the wheel, crank her around again, and this time as I approach the gaff, which is starting to drift over toward the pinnacle, I slow the boat down so I have time to run from the wheel, grab the net, and get it. All works as planned, I net the gaff and triumphantly hoist it up. Somehow the gaff pops out of the net and falls back in the water. What the heck, how did that happen?
Back to the wheel, crank her around again, and determine that I have one more swipe at it before the gaff drifts over the pinnacle. The two guys on the other side of the channel have noticed my sharp turns and are both pointing my way. Line up the gaff, avoid the pinnacle, slow down as it comes up to the bow. Run back, get the net in place as it comes down the hull. Carefully net it, slowly lift the net and grab the gaff.

Yahoo, gaffing the king and retrieving gaff now complete.
Salty
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Re: Gaffing adventure

Postby SilverT » Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:11 pm

Thanks for the story. There is something extremely satisfying about retrieving something that went overboard. Probably more so if you are alone. We are landlubbers this year, catching up with a ton of deferred maintenance on the place and it's nice to be able to live through your experience. Hope you have a great season.

Lane
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