Proper Way to boat a swordfish? - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 06-13-2011, 11:44 AM   #1
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Default Proper Way to boat a swordfish?

Is there a proper way to boat a swordfish? Should the fish be dead before it's brought on board. I've seen a lot of youtube videos where the fish are pulled along side of the boat with a flying gaff. Does this drown the fish before it is boated? I would love to hear some stories of what not to do. Thanks

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Old 06-13-2011, 11:51 AM   #2
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fish should be dead or at least big time stunned! If the sword is of any size I use a harpoon to both kill and secure it to the boat. then it's easy, other than being heavy. In my opinion a harpoon is kind of a must if you are going to do a lot of swording. they have very soft body tissue and are very easy to harpoon all the way thru, then just clean rope off. A flying gaff will work but I find them far more cumbersome to store and use. the "Poon" harpoon is the best but others can be bought for less than $175.
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:40 PM   #3
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Is there a certain spot to harpoon them? Between the eyes? I once had someone tell me that if you are going to weigh the fish in a tournament, it's best not to put a hole all the way through them because they will bleed out. Any truth to that?

Thanks for the response....How do you like the Yellowfin? Those boats sure do look sweet!
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:59 PM   #4
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I do not use a flying gaff or harpoon and have never felt I needed one, even with swords over 200lbs. I'm usually the wireman and after the other mate gets a good gaff shot behind the collar we pin it next to the boat until I grab the bill. I get the base of the bill under my armpit and hold securely while both myself and the mate pull the fish over BUT only after making sure everyone is clear of the back deck. If the sword is still green (you'll find most behave rather calm except small ones) then I tie it off "rodeo" style by holding the bill with one hand while kneeling into the midsection of the fish while the other mate ties the bill to the tail with a dockline. Its game over at that point and the sword becomes the best kind of swordfish: a dead one.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:09 PM   #5
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no one shoots them? Never caught or tried to catch a sword.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:24 PM   #6
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chris V has a world more experience with Swords than I do, so I would defer to his advice, but in a strange way the harpoon adds another element of fun to the experience. They have large soft heads and are easy to stick, I always shoot for the head, harpoon goes thru like butter, very unlike a tuna's head. I think one of the reasons I use a harpoon is my crew is frequently inexperienced and it makes the end game easy and safe.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:30 PM   #7
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The harpoon is 150 times more fun Robert, theres no doubt there!

I suppose you could shoot one. I'm getting a new AR soon and maybe I'll test it out on one.
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:54 PM   #8
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wow. rodeo style with hand on bill sounds like an adventure, and also for the experienced fisherman. I'll have to say that a swift shot to the head sounds like the best option for me. Don't know if I'll have time to pick up a harpon before this weekend, so I might have to try a combination of both techniques. Thanks guys for the tips.
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Old 06-13-2011, 04:06 PM   #9
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Chris, great advice, but I have to add it is called hog-tyin in the rodeo world. Make sure you give it a couple full wraps and not just a half hooey or it will pull loose on you. If Chris is ever fishing with you and you boat one, don't turn your back on him with the fish alone or strange things might happen.
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Old 06-13-2011, 04:36 PM   #10
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we always just use a regular gaff and when bringing them in, someone is standing there ready with a bottle of cheap liquor to pour in their gills.........they are stone cold dead withing 10 seconds! Try it...........
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