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October 26, 2001

Low and Slow

Dolphin and Wahoo wiring tips from Capt. Darrin Isaacs.

I rarely pass up a fresh fish dinner. That's why, when leadering a squirrelly mahimahi or wahoo, I think "low and slow." Low means keeping the fish in the water. If you stand too upright, you tend to pull the fish's head out of the water and cause it to panic. As for the slow part, it's hard to jerk the leader if you take it easy. Jerky movements on the leader can also cause fish to panic. Head shakes and excessive jumping make it very easy for hooks to fall out and extremely difficult to make a good gaff shot.
Something else I consider when gaffing dinner: Nail the fish as close to the head as possible because that's where sharp teeth and loose, flailing hooks live. More control over the fish's head translates into fewer trips to the emergency room to have hooks cut out of you or your toes sewn back on.
Capt. Darrin Isaacs
Sundowner Sportfishing Charters
Kona, Hawaii
www.biggame.com