Many times a fisherman’s biggest catches can either break the line or flail themselves off the hook before being retrieved, leaving the frustrated angler with only a tall tale to tell. But a Florida resident has invented a simple, compact device that will allow any fisherman to proudly show off his most challenging trophies.
Michael Doyle of St. Augustine began thinking about the problem in the fall of 2012, after hooking a 23-inch flounder from a bridge (his first catch since moving to Florida a few weeks earlier). The heavy, struggling fish could not be pulled up using just his rod and reel, and would probably have gotten away if not for the speedy assistance of two nearby fishermen, who came to his aid with a drop net. Doyle realized he needed something to secure a caught fish when working alone from a bridge or pier, something that could reach the water from that height, and could be easily tucked into his gear on the back of a bicycle.
He began experimenting at his workbench, taking the homemade devices to the water and putting them through trials. The Fetch-It Slide Gaff emerged, which a fisherman can place on his line once he catches a sizable fish, and it will slide down and firmly secure it. Then the proud angler can easily retrieve the fish by pulling up on the slide gaff’s attached cord—no tricky guiding, maneuvering, or manipulation needed. So far the invention has proven 100 percent successful in tests and has generated excitement among fisherman who have seen it.
For more information on the Fetch-It Slide Gaff, contact Mike Doyle. A short video showing the slide gaff at work can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fw_fq_aKpqo