Has Anyone Ever Been Stuck by a Gaf on Party boat?


USCG Master
Oct 21, 2004
San Diego/SF Bay
Capt. Erik
Boat Name
23' Center Console
A couple years ago there was a report on here of a few guys that were bringing in a large fish with a few gaffs and I think one of the gaffs slipped or pulled through and ended up in one of the guy's leg severing or slicing through the critical femoral artery. I believe he was bleeding out very badly and luckily one of the guys was a doctor or maybe they called in a nearby boat that had a doctor onboard but I think they were able to get it under control.

Gotta be very careful when bringing in a huge fish with a few gaffs and 2-3 guys. Those gaffs need to be in solid in the head and not just in the meat.
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  • Aug 3, 2021
    Thousand Oaks
    Matthew Horowitz
    Boat Name
    Island Spirit
    Never a gaff but a daiwa zakana to the leg . Went straight through the jeans


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  • Feb 13, 2006
    Camarillo, CA
    Tom Farrell
    Boat Name
    Wellcraft 22' W/A
    Years ago I went to Alaska for a 6 day float trip on the Kanektok River. Since we were in a remote area with no medical services, the rule was “no contact with fishing gear” without sun glasses on. I thought it made sense, imagine the radio call, aircraft cost, and medical costs associated with a back country eye injury. Other hazards like braided line cuts can be bad too! Be careful and have a contingency plan.
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    Chris Finet

    May 6, 2015
    Boat Name
    13 ft Zodiac
    I’m from AZ and fish in the Sea of Cortez on my boat a few times a year usually with friends who don’t have a lot of experience. We camp on the beach, beach launch the boat, eat/drink well, and generally have a great time.

    A couple years ago we were out in somewhat rough conditions catching a bunch of yellowtail trolling magnum X-Raps and the coolers were getting full.

    We brought in a decent yellow and threw it in the cooler on top of a pile of others since we had to deal with bringing in a fish on the other trolling rod. This fish still had the X-Rap 40 in it’s mouth.

    While I was dealing with the other rod, the fish flips out of the cooler and is going apeshit on the deck of the boat. It ends up sending one of the trebles through my lower leg, with one hook of the rear treble going in and coming back out. It didn’t hurt much immediately, but this fish is still flopping on the deck and the other side of the lure is attached to my leg.

    I had some wire cutters in my tool box under the bow, but in the moment it was going to take too long to tell one of my friends where to find them. One friend kept his foot on the fish and I took the pliers, crimped the barb, and backed it out the way it went in. Needless to say there was as much my blood on the deck that day as fish blood. We pulled the lines in and headed for the launch, cleaned it up, and found some generic antibiotics at the bodega in town.

    I think a friend got a video of some of it but I don’t have it handy. Here’s a pick of the aftermath a week or so later. I now make a priority of removing the hook before anything else and try to keep heavy duty wire cutters easily within reach just in case.

    I don’t think it hurt as much initially because of the shock of the situation, but it sure hurt taking the hook out and afterwards. I still have the scar for proof.

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    I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Dec 5, 2007
    Santa Cruz
    Boat Name
    When the Dr. took out my left kidney, I realized what it must feel like to be gaffed. Since then I have nothing but respect and compassion for all those fish coming over the rail.
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    Jan 3, 2010
    Thousand Oaks
    Boat Name
    It's like driving always good to look out for the other person, I find myself ducking and weaving when the jigs are slinging!
    Had a 6 day years ago on the INDY we went to the ridge and had wide open yellowtail fishing no lie all 31 passengers were slinging iron fortunately not a single incident.
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    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    May 18, 2009
    Ramona, Ca.
    Alin Williams
    Boat Name
    Last year on the San Diego, Fisher cracked me in the head with the gaff as he swung a fish over the the rail. He knew it as soon as he did it. He was so apologetic...lol. A year later, he recognized me and said to me as we were pulling away from the dock..."I'll try not to bean you with the gaff this time" I had totally forgotten about it, but he didn't. Now, every time he sees me step on the boat we have a little laugh about it.
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    lazy-ass well known "member"
    May 31, 2003
    not a spoiled bitch from san diego
    Boat Name
    I hate boats
    I’ve never been on one, but the videos I see look like mayhem. Someone must have been stuck by a gaf at some point

    I just saw a vid from a hot bite online and I was thinking I’d be inside hiding until it was over
    Everyone onboard will be safer if you stayed safe at home. ;)
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    Jul 22, 2007
    haleiwa Hawaii
    Boat Name
    ss minnow
    As a young deckhand on a sport fishing boat, I clocked customers with the blunt end of the gaff several times.
    I always yelled for space before gaffing, but some people just don’t get it, until they do!
    If you respect the hook end, it’s not likely to harm you.
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    I've posted enough I should know better...
    Jul 26, 2007
    Northridge, CA
    Donald W. Clarke III
    Boat Name
    11+ ft, Ocean Kayak Scrambler, P 'N' Queue Pod
    One, he said, "gash."

    Two, this didn't happen to me, but I'm kind of dumb sometimes, so it could have. Buddy of mine and I back in pre-statute of limitation time were night fishing for stripers (not strippers, that's another story, one that I actually didn't participate in).

    Them stripers came through, a hootin and a hollerin! Well, boiling on trout at the surface anyway under the light of the moon, and boy were we ready, with our black and chrome rebel fake rapalas. Only problem, the stripers weren't biting our setups, so we hiked around, eventually separating off into the dark seeking our own fortunes.

    I went back to our starting location, and my buddy wasn't there. I had passed him headed out, so must have gone around him without seeing him on the return trip. I hiked back a little ways and found him at water's edge and he said could you hold this? Holding up a nice striper. Um, OK, sure. Then I saw he and the plug were one. He fished out his dikes, cut the semi-thin wired freshwater treble off his hand thanks to his powerful grip, and we bailed. When we got to a stopping point he cut the now protruding barb off, and that, as they say, was that.

    My buddy is kinda tough though. I'm a total puss wuss. He still fishes. I occasionally dream about fishing. But not as much as flying or being caught in big surf, though.

    Good fishin'!
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    Mr. DRE

    I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Sep 23, 2019
    West Hills, CA
    Boat Name
    No gaf but I got a ricochet mackeral to the nuts last weekend. Wide open dodo bite and a guy get bit 10 feet away from the boat as the pulled up to set the hook the dodo let go and the damn thing slig shot right back to the boat and nailed me good.
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