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October 26, 2001

Hold Still, Bill!

Use your gaff to assist releases.

Gently placing the bend of a small gaff hook around a sailfish's bill helps keep the fish under control and steer it toward the boat, where it can then be held and unhooked. This technique allows us to retrieve the rather expensive billfish flies we use when catching sails on the long wand out of Guatemala's Fins 'N Feathers Inn. To make the gaff "stickier," we wrap the polished metal hook with yarn or twine. The material grips the bill's rough surface and keeps the hook from sliding if the fish shakes its head.
Capt. Erik Lorentzen
Iztapa, Guatemala