A gaff is a pole with a sharp hook that fishermen use to stab large fish and lift them onto the boat. A gaff is necessary when dealing with big fish, because it’s impossible to lift the fish out of the water by hand without breaking the line, Crocker said.
“When you get a fish like that, you have to hit it immediately and keep it on the boat, because those fish are known to jump,” Crocker said. “As soon as it hit the deck, the line broke, so after another minute or two of fighting we never would have seen it.”
Regulations dictate that in order for a halibut to be a keeper, it has to be at least 42 inches long, and O’Driscoll’s was 48 inches. Crocker called the fish a catch of a lifetime and said it’s been the talk of the town within the fishing community all week.
“It’s incredibly difficult to get a fish of that size to the surface,” Crocker said. “Unless the angler is extremely good, the average person isn’t going to land it. They panic, they do things they shouldn’t do, but I stood right by this guy’s side for the whole fight and he really did a good job.”