In Guatemala, during our most recent Marlin University seminar on wiring fish, Capt. Peter B. Wright interrupted the seminar and told everyone that the sailfish we were catching had a “very sharp bill and were more dangerous than a 500-pound black.”
He explained that they were very easy to turn over in the air on the leader and that once they were pointing at the boat, their next jump could send them into the cockpit “pointy-end first!”
The very next day I got a little demonstration on how fast a little sail can be on the leader. Although I was careful not to pull the fish over, once the mate cut the leader, a little sail took flight right next to the boat and swung his whole head and bill over the gunwhale; missing my head and neck by mere inches.
We got a good laugh out of the close call and it’s a lesson learned – never take your eyes off a billfish at boatside. The fact that I kept looking at the fish to make the movie, probably kept me from getting stuck!