Capt. George Warren of the Charger out of Boothbay Harbor, Maine, came up with this simple yet foolproof way of taking baitfish off a rig without having to touch either the hooks or the fish. He cut a three-inch wide by one-inch deep crescent out of the top edge of an everyday three-gallon plastic pail…that’s it. When he wants to remove a mackerel he’s just caught on a fly, he grabs the leader just above the hooked fish, and lowers the fish part way into the bucket so that the fly gangion rests in the middle of the crescent cut-out. He then simply pulls downward on the leader. This hoists the baitfish up to the bottom of the cutout, where the hook then becomes inverted, and the fish drops into the bucket. It’s neat and quick, only taking a second or so per baitfish, and it really works.
Contributed by Barry Gibson. Content courtesy of Center Console Angler.