Marlin Snooter - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 09-10-2009, 03:27 PM   #1
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Default Marlin Snooter

This system was developed by the man...Roddy Hays. I have seen discussion about removing billfish from the water and the new rules for 2009. I thought this might help some people.


Dutch Group using snooter video

Parts List * 3 feet of 1-inch schedule 40 PVC pipe * 6 feet of 600-pound stainless-steel cable * three non-aluminum crimps * One 1/8-gauge stainless welded ring * 4 feet of 3/8-inch nylon line * Heavy cord (enough to make a handle) First, back-splice the stainless-steel ring onto the 3/8-inch line. Thread the stainless-steel cable through the ring and two of the crimps. Double the wire over and twist a 2-foot section of the cable, securing the twist with the crimps. (Note: I found that double twisting the cable would stiffen the loop and make it easier to slip over the marlin's bill.) Using a 1/8-inch drill bit, drill three holes in one end of the PVC pipe about 1/2 inch from the bottom edge of the PVC and about 1/2 inch apart. Starting from the bottom hole, carefully thread the end of the cable inside out through the three holes. Pull the cable through until the twisted section rests near the first (bottom) hole, then cut off excess cable, double over and crimp the end. Wrap some heavy cord around the top of the PVC to make a good handhold. Feed the entire rope section up through the PVC, and the snooter is ready for action. Capt. Dana Boardman Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Back to the snooter. As Sea Draggin has posted the parts list here I'll have to add a few words of advice. Dana Boardman, who was my deckie in 1995, helped to perfect what Richard Howell and myself had come up with in 1994, but since then, of course, things have evolved a little bit more.

1. The PVC pipe can be any length you want. On some of the NMFS vessels their snooters are 10' long. What is does need to be is long enough to keep a bill in the water while still reaching above the gunwale. Better make longer and use a couple of times and cut shorter than the other way round.

2. Braided rope is better than three strand. Whip it to your ring if you cannot splice - use standard rigging twine and whip for two inches and it will be just fine. Test it for strength first.

3. Make sure your ring is stainless and tests at over 600kgs. You can just as easily use a link of nice stainless chain too - in some ways it's even better.

4. With your pipe lining up toward you, drill a hole into the pipe at a 45 degree angle about an inch up from the bottom lip. Then drill a second hole, in line and another inch up, at 45 degrees in THE OTHER direction. This way your wire noose will go in easily from the outside at the bottom (heading up the pipe) and out from inside the pipe so you can secure it.

5. Take the wire and slide it through the chain link or ring so that you have two equal lengths. Superglue the ends of each strand of wire so they do not unravel. Slide two crimps on to the wire, so they hang loose in the strands and can move freely.

6. Now take the two ends of the wire and slide them into the hole at the bottom of the pipe, up inside the pipe and then out of the other hole. Add another crimp and crimp the two ends securely together. Pull the wire back out of the holes until the "stopper" crimp lies at that top hole. You can whip or tape that crimp in that position so it is a smooth object.

7. Now take the first of the other two crimps and secure it in position at the ring or chain link.

8. put the other crimp as close as you can to the pipe and place it in the jaws of your crimping tool, then start twisting the two strands of wire. When they are evenly and flexibly twisted, complete the crimping process with the crimp in the tool. Your wire "noose" should be about 12" in diameter.

9. Now slide the rope and the wire back up the PVC pipe and you're ready for action. You'll see that the more you pull on the rope, the smaller the noose becomes and how easy it is to grasp and hold something.

10. My personal preference now is to mix up a full pack of two part glue, spread it thinly all over the top of the pipe (quick-speed Araldite is what I use), rotating the pipe as I do so to ensure a nice even distribution. Awlgrip would do the same job, probably. While it's wet I sprinkle washed and dried beach sand or grit on the glue. It sets harder than nails into a pretty impervious non-skid finish.

11. Last but not least, think before you automatically take the end of that rope and form it into a wrist loop. Do you really want to be securely attached to rampant fish ? If you feel you do, then go ahead and make the wrist loop and use it. If you don't, then make the length of rope long enough that it can go through a hawsepipe and be cleated off it you have to tow a fish for a long time. I installed small pop-up cleat amidships on the gunwale of my last two boats which served this purpose and that of fender support too.

12. When you make your cheap $30 snooter, make two more at the same time. That's the biggest tip I can give you. In the heat of battle when all is blur, it is very easy for the snooter to be mis-used, "unloaded" by the fish or a deckie, be pulled tight into the pipe when there is no bill inside the noose (very very common ! ) or simply dropped overboard. If you have replacements lined up, ready to go, the procedure becomes a doddle and there is no fiddling around re-loading a snooter while all yell.

In use, the snooter is a doddle to use.

A. Choose the fish you want to use it on carefully. An 800lb fish greyhounding by the boat after 3 mins chase may not be the right choice and a 60 lb white may be smaller than the snooter. It is NOT ideal for every billfish, look at each candidate in the same way as a sensible tagman would regard fish alongside. It is good for reviving fish. That should give you a hint ! Some fish become quite frisky on the wire and a snooter will actually calm them down as their head goes back into the water and pressure comes off the hooks. Bottom line is if all three snooters have been flung off in disgust then the fish probably does not need reviving !

B. The snooterman takes his place downside of the leader man. You want to have the noose come tight as you draw it towards the head, not be upstream trying to estimate if it is on the bill at a time when a fish may be sliding continually astern as the boat makes way. The noose should be cocked and extended, and a small portion of it should be back inside the pipe to provide stiffness. The doubling of the wire is vital for this effect. Hold the handle with one hand and have the rope wrapped around another.

C. Extend out to the tip of the bill, and once the noose is over the bill, pull back towards the base with the ROPE hand. This is the hand that will take the strain and "catch" the fish. The other hand can either control the pipe and push the fish away and down, or let go of the pipe to hold the rope too.

D. Tow the fish as long as you want. I've pulled dead, brown fish for up to 45 mins and then turned them loose, swimming upright with bright blue tails. It's a system that works and you should be honour-bound to help your big fish in any way you can.

E. Once a fish is on the snooter, it gives all aboard a great chance to admire it, take photos and measurements. Other boats can come and see your fish too !

F. To release your fish, simply let go of the rope and let it slide through the pipe whilst holding the pipe itself TIGHTLY. Often there will be a pause as the rope catches on the bill too and you may even roll your fish over to unravel it, so hold that pipe tightly.

Any questions, fire away ! Hope this helps .......

Here's a couple of general pics of a snooter and what it should look like ;

Here's a close up of the wrapped crimp end of the snooter (to eliminate tangling with lines) and the noose;

And lastly, here's a prime candidate for revival, this one didn't take long I seem to remember. That's a fair few hundred pounds of fish for one guy to be towing so easily while the angler looks on. If you think this looks easy, IT IS this easy.

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