How to Make a Snooter for Billfish

The snooter helps crews handle big billfish and keep them in the water.
John Ashley
The snooter is made of a hollow tube or pipe with a cable inside of it that loops around the marlin's bill. By using a snooter the crew can control big fish at the side of the boat. This protects the fish from hurting the crew or itself while reviving and releasing the fish. To make a snooter is a straightforward process that won't cost you much
First you need a piece of 1-inch diameter pipe about 3 feet long. This can be heavy aluminium or strong PVC pipe. We place a rod grip on the tube for better handling. You'll also need a 6-foot length of nylon rope that is plaited at the ends with one small loop and one large loop. The final piece is a 15-inch section of heavy stainless cable and two crimping sleeves.
Drill two 3/16 holes in one end of the tube and feed the cable out the top hole from the inside, then back into the pipe through the other hole. Put a sleeve on the end and crimp it tightly. This will prevent the end of the cable from coming out of the pipe.
Place the other end of the cable through the small loop on the rope and crimp the sleeve tightly.
Run the large loop of the rope into the pipe and push it through the bottom. If you have trouble getting the rope through, snake a piece of string or wire through the pipe from the other end tie it to the rope and pull it through.
Pull on the rope to get the wire loop into the pipe.
Now the snooter is ready for action and can be stored on the boat in anticipation of a big marlin.
A snooter is designed to revive a marlin next to the boat if it comes in exhausted. Using the snooter is much better for the fish and the mate because it keeps the fish in the water and the mate in the boat, rather than leaning over the side. It's not a good idea to try and place a snooter on a green, lively marlin as they will just shake it off.

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