Broadbill, being known as the gladiator of the sea, aren’t going to give up the fight when they get to the boat. Landing a broadbill is half the battle – you are now dealing with an up-to-300kg monster thrashing about at the side of the boat, and this is where panic can set in.
Remember: fighting broadbill at the boat has the potential to do you damage, even kill you! You need to have a plan in place and quality gear ready to go. This is not the time for things to go wrong with substandard gear!
So… How do you deal with the situation at hand and get this fish either tagged or landed? That’s where SwordPro Landing gear comes into play. Whether you intend to tag and release your fish or bring him in for dinner, SwordPro has the gear to do it in the safest possible manner.
Here, Luke shares his tips and methods on dealing with a broadbill at the boat.
Luke’s Tips for Landing Broadbill
I always use circle hooks when fishing for broadbill, as there is less chance of the hook pulling once it is set, and more chance of the fish coming up in good condition for release. When you are leadering the fish using circle hooks you can take your time as it is highly unlikely they will pull at this stage. A lot of people wear gloves when leadering, however I prefer not to use gloves at all, because this way you don’t put too much pressure on the fish. I have seen it time and again with guys wrapping the leader and pulling – the swords hate this, and will pull the other way harder than you will ever be able to hold on! They’ll either pull the hook or break the leader.
Land or Tag?
I usually know whether I intend to land or tag the fish before it gets to the leader. If I intend to keep it I usually use the SwordPro Extreme Harpoon as it’s generally the safest method, giving you a longer reach than a flying gaff. If I’m in a tournament, fishing to IGFA rules, I use the SwordPro Flying Gaff which is designed to meet IGFA specifications. The SwordPro Extreme Kits also have a Tag dart for when you wish to tag and release.
Harpooning & Securing the Fish
When harpooning, you can launch that harpoon if he is out of reach for a gaff, if you miss just pull it back in and try again. Aim for the back of the gill plate, however once harpooned anywhere you have the upper hand.
Once the fish has been harpooned I usually also use the flying gaff for control over the head and for hauling it into the boat. I also put the tail rope on as soon as possible so he is secured at both ends. The tail rope plays an essential role in getting him on board.
If you intend on keeping the fish you do not want to be dealing with it alive onboard, so have a heavy item such as a bat on hand to knock him on the head once you have him secured.
Getting the Fish Onboard
Now that we have the dead fish secured at the boat, it’s time to get him onboard. This can prove a daunting task in a small boat. I use the SwordPro Landing Meat Hook in behind the head, and have the bill wrapped, attaching this to the SwordPro Three Way Pulley Winch. This assists in hauling these beasts aboard, because no matter how much man power is on your boat, man-handling up to 300kg onboard is not an easy task.
Another tip I have is to use rod safety lanyards to clip your rod to the boat, I always have a set onboard and clip them in as I put them in the rod holder. You don’t want to be forking out the money for a new rod when a $25 investment would have saved it from going overboard. Then there’s the dreaded discussion with the wife about why you need a new rod!
Most of us have lost a trophy fish nearing the boat, but both the SwordPro Extreme Harpoon and Flying Gaffs kits are designed to give a far greater chance of landing the big one in the safest possible manner. There is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing the fish you have just spent a couple of hours pulling in swim off as you get to the leader.
SwordPro Ultimate and Extreme Kits
I’ve been dealing with these fish at the boat for years and have developed the SwordPro Extreme Kit, because I was tired of using sub-standard gear that would only last a season, if that.
The SwordPro Ultimate and Extreme Kits are designed with interchangeable components meaning you have the one pole designed to be used with multiple attachments or separate components, the one pole now becomes your Flying Gaff, Harpoon, Tag and Release simply by screwing the component you need into the end of the pole. Both the SwordPro Ultimate and Extreme Poles easily fit into the gunnels of the boat without being a tangle of multiple poles for different uses. As soon as I know which tool I want to use I screw in the separate component needed and I’m ready to go without having to fight off multiple poles spilling all over the deck.
The point of difference when purchasing SwordPro gear over other brands is the convenience of being able to use the one pole for all your fishing needs. SwordPro gear is high quality meaning you don’t have to make the same purchase of sub-standard gear year after year.
Purchasing quality landing gear is an investment that could mean the difference between landing the ultimate of game fish or seeing it swim away at the leader.