You should have seen the gleam in Brian's eyes. The rod and reel where whining as a fish jumped high in the air 50 yards behind the boat. We were sailing at 5 knots from Brazil to the Caribbean, day two of this 11-14 day leg. He has hooked a number of bill fish on the WORLD ARC, landed none.
Brian has learned on how to keep them from jumping free. This fish he worked for two hours. As a family, we talked and talked about how we might land it. We called Brian's Fishing mentor and uncle Brad in Pennsylvania for advise. Not having a gun, Brian tried a noose for the tail..... not enough cowboy skills for that to work. He then chose the barbed flying gaff. pulled the fish as high as we could keeping the bill away. It was a perfect swing, catching the fish behind the head. Brian covered the fishes eyes with a wet rag, climbed down the port sugar scoop steps. A knife was used to ensure the fish was dead, carefully holding the bill with the other gloved hand. Brian and Tracey pulled the fish aft of the helm seat to clean it. It took Brian another hour to clean up. We had a wonderful Mediterranean salad, swordfish steaks with rice for diner. The freezer is full.
We have always been concerned on the dangers of landing a bill fish on our little lagoon catamaran, especially with an inflatable dingy on the stern davits. Perhaps it was just the timing of bad fate of damaging our catamarans sterns and crushing and puncturing our dingy at the Fortaleza marina......but I think Brian put it the best "Let's use this to keep looking for the positives in everything, no mater the difficult events seem in a trek like this!"
sv Folie a Deux