Item WC3 - Swordfish Dart (Toggle Harpoon). 

Fifty years ago when broadbill swordfish were more abundant, they were most often captured by harpoons when the lolled near the surface while resting. (Swordfish usually feed at some depth, below the thermocline in the ocean, where the temperatures are pretty cold).  It was thought that after feeding they moved to the warm surface waters to speed up digestive processes.  This harpooning was generally done from boats having exaggerated “pulpits” projecting well ahead of the bow of the vessel.  The harpoon consisted of a long wooden pole twelve to fifteen feed long that had a slender steel foreshaft a foot or so long that was fitted into the brass or bronze toggle harpoon head.  The harpoon head was rigged with a short gangion to the harpoon line, coiled in a tub behind the pulpit.  When the boat eased up behind a basking (and digesting) fish, the harpoon was thrown, hopefully impaling the animal with the dart.  The implanted dart fell free from the harpoon foreshaft and the line ran out of the line tub as the fish swam away.  When the line reached its end (tethered to a large float) the resistance of the float pulled on the dart, causing it to rotate, or “toggle”, greatly reducing the chance that it would pull out.  When the fish tired from pulling the float, the line was hauled in and the fish  was killed and the swordfish brought aboard.  The swordfish dart offered here is from that fishing era about fifty years ago.  It is in fine condition, and is still rigged to its original gangion.  This technique of harpooning fish with a toggle harpoon is not new.  Eskimos in the  Bering Straits off Siberia and Alaska were using exactly the same harpooning technique as long ago as two thousand years to harpoon seals, walrus, and whales), with toggle  harpoon heads carved out ivory.  This Swordfish dart is five inches long and nearly two inches wide.  Fine

     Price -  $25.00 


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