(d) No gaff hook shall be used to take or assist in landing any finfish shorter than the
minimum size limit. For the purpose of this section a gaff hook is any hook with or without
a handle used to assist in landing fish or to take fish in such a manner that the fish does not
take the hook voluntarily in its mouth. No person shall take finfish from any boat or other
floating device in ocean waters without having a landing net in possession or available for
immediate use to assist in landing undersize fish of species having minim size limits;
the opening of any such landing net shall be not less than eighteen inches in diameter.
Thanks John! We try and release "shakers" (undersized salmon) without netting them. It's very hard on the fish to be landed in a net, then released. So technically, when fishing calico, etc., you need a net...even though you would never use it on one. Just trying to get rid of "stuff" in the boat.
You should get a real nice fine mesh net and carry it with you.
You may already have one . . . ?
What a difference netting a fish like Halibut, Yellowtail,
WSB, and even Tuna instead of gaffing the meat. Not everyone
can head-shot a fish that swimming at a fast pace. I've seen
a measurable taste difference in most fish when I net them,
set them gently on the deck, and then eat them versus gaffing
them and THUDDING them on the deck. The taste difference is
for the better when netting versus gaffing.
Now if the fish won't fit in the net, and you need to pull
out the gaff just don't drop the fish on the deck from 3 feet.
Picture the fish flopping on the deck and just bruising the meat.
Fish can't flop when they're suspended in the air in a net.