Broadbill (Xiphias gladius) is known as the ‘Gladiator of the Sea’ due to its reputation of being the toughest of all the billfish with a violent mood and is considered by many to be the toughest of all billfish to catch – the ultimate challenge in big game fishing. Characteristically, it has a smooth, very broad, flattened sword (broadbill) that is significantly longer and wider than the bill of any other billfish. It has considerable big blue eyes and is a ferocious night feeder. They are deep-water predators and are known to go to depths of at least 550m. They are finicky, easily frightened and rarely strike blindly. When hooked it takes deep and rapid dives and with the combination of the soft flesh around the mouth and its slashing bill (sword) it makes for a real challenge to catch.
Four Broadbill world records have been taken on the fly on the Indian Ocean Coast. The Pemba Channel is perhaps one of the premier destinations for Broadbill fishing. You can troll the Channel for Broadbill at night. Special trips to a sea mountain, 55 nautical miles due east of Shimoni can be arranged. The season is all year but best in October, November and March when the seas are very calm. December before the wind goes round to the north-east can also be an excellent time for Broadbill fishing.
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