How to Handle a Tailwalking Billfish
Pictures of tailwalking are not that common. “Tailwalking,” in which the billfish appears to be skipping along the swells on its tail, is one of the most spectacular moves you will encounter. Greyhounding is the other
(See Greyhounding for more details).
Both marlin and sails will tailwalk after running fast underwater for a brief time. So whenever it vanishes beneath the sea, be prepared for the possibility it will try this tactic, or perhaps will greyhond.
Tailwalking: What to Do.
When a big fish begins tailwalking, like the one in this picture (taken off Veinte Seis), the angler should handle the situation precisely as he would if it were greyhounding – hold on for dear life!
This means keep the line slack free and reel like hell the instant the prey begins tailwalking, keeping the tip of the rod pointed directly at its bill. (See how the kid is doing it in the photo.) Otherwise, there is a distinct likelihood that it will flip and get its bill or body caught up in the line. If that occurs, you can nearly always kiss it goodbye.
For those faced with such a scene for the first time, help from the first mate or a more seasoned fisherman will make all the difference. Just keep in mind that the main method of bringing one of those babies to the side of the boat is patience and endurance
There are no fancy tricks involved.
It is the power of the engines and the captain’s know-how in maneuvering the craft that does the hard work, which explains why this can be a fun activity for the entire family.