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6/13/14 Broadbill fishing in June and Dr. Guy Harvey joins us for a day!

The great weather continued here to go fishing for broadbill swordfish until yesterday. Yesterday morning the weather was very unstable, with squalls full of rain and lightning all around, although it did clear up by lunch time. We decided to cancel the trip in the morning because I knew even if the weather turned out to be fair mid day, the fish wouldn’t be as cooperative as they should be with all the pressure changes the past 12 hours. Two days ago we had a very special trip on the Catch 22. We put the old crew together to take out Dr. Guy Harvey and Bill Boyce to shoot a tv show for IGFA Angler’s Digest. Now everyone knows that the fish usually don’t make it easy when you have cameras out, but for some reason everything clicked for us that day! Scott ran the boat, Richard (My Dad) barked orders, Vic Gaspeny told the guys about the history of us swordfishing, and Hunter and I rigged baits and set up the terminal tackle. On the way out we caught around 20 schoolie dolphin (mahi), and then around 11 am we made our first daytime swordfish drop. We were all talking, getting to know each other a little better, and after about 20 minutes Capt. Scott saw a bite. It was clock work. The tip bounced a couple times, Bill went to the rod, he teased the fish a few times, and then the fish took the bait. Bill came tight on the fish and moved to the chair. The fish acted just like they are supposed to, pulling briefly down deep, and then swam to the surface very fast. After about 20 minutes we had the leader on the fish. It was a beautiful broadbill, around 100 lbs. We pulled the fish in the boat for a quick picture before letting it go.

Sword with Crew

It was high fives all around. The next two drifts we made we didn’t get a bite. So of course my Dad put in his .02 cents. He was right though. We moved spots slightly, changed our technique, and “carpet bombed” a bait to the bottom. The quick deployment gets the bait down faster, but you just can’t fish as long and “bump troll” the bait as much. After about 15 minutes the rod loaded up. There was no rod tip bouncing, the fish just ate the bait. Guy Harvey started cranking and we were tight! He moved to the chair and the fish steadily swam up. It turned out to be a 75 lb swordfish, which we took a few pictures of in the water before releasing.

6-11-14 swordfish release

We were two for two on swords and we knew had the show made. “Unstoppable Scott” wasn’t done yet. We did the same drop again, and after 5 minutes we saw the rod tip on the key largo swordfish special rod twitch. The fish was hitting the bait with his bill. It took a few tries, but after a minute we were tight on the fish. The fish pulled some down deep, so we knew it wasn’t going to be a pup. We had David, who owns the Islander Resort, in the chair and ready to go. The fish swam into the current fast, and scoped up quickly. It was another beautiful swordfish, estimated a little over 100 lbs. We took a few pics before releasing our 3rd swordfish of the day.

6-11-14 sword leader

We tried the same drift again but no bite. We had one more spot close by we hadn’t tried yet that day. We positioned the boat and sent down a fresh bait. About 15 minutes passed by and we came up the ledge we wanted to, and no bite. We were happy though, we had caught and released 3 swords. We started winding up the bait and the rod doubled over. It almost appeared like we had hooked bottom. We hadn’t. We knew it was either a very big fish, or a foul hooked fish. We all were hoping for the first, but after 45 minutes Greg had a juvenile swordfish beside the boat which was foul hooked in his back. The fish acted like a planer which made the fight much different than the first 3 battles of the day. What a day though, 4 for 4 on swordfish and a bunch of dolphin! Guy Harvey said it was in the top 10 of all his fishing trips, which really meant something to us. It was a great day hand cranking and one we will never forget! For me personally it was a mile stone, They were the 500th, 501st, 502nd and 503rd strictly conventional rod and reel swordfish captures I’ve been a part of.

6-11-14 catch 22 guy harvey

I fished the 2 prior days on my boat Bn’M II. I had Rick and his friends from Naples out both days. The first day looked great. We had our limit of 40 dolphin but unfortunately never had a swordfish bite. I talked to 6 boats fishing that day, and the only fish I heard of being caught was a 40 lb sword which my Dad and Capt. Charlie caught on the Bn’M. They just didn’t bite good that day. The second day we fished with Rick we ran the complete opposite direction. I told him if we head that direction we would have a shot a big fish. The dolphin were plentiful again, we kept all we wanted. The first 4 drops were quite. No action. It appeared as we were going to go bite less again. But then we saw what we wanted. The tip just had the unusual movement we were looking for. It took a couple minutes, but the fish finally took the bait. We used the hooker electric drive to hook the fish, and after a few minutes we pulled the drive off and moved the rod and reel into the chair where Rick went to work. After 30 minutes we had a swordfish on the leader. I think it was a record for me. Not the biggest, but probably the smallest. The fish was around 12 – 14 lbs. We were ecstatic though. We had fished 12 hours for that bite, and the old saying is true, “A sword’s a sword”.

6-10-14 broadbill

6-10-14 swordfish release

Now that we got the swordfish skunk out of the boat it was time to try again. And of course they all told me, “I thought this is where the big fish live”. No bites the next drift. We decided to make one more drift. We got the bait down deep and were waiting. A school of mahi swam up so they were keeping us entertained. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a big bite on the swordfish rod. No one else saw it though. We moved the bait around but the fish didn’t come back. I thought maybe a mahi hit the line near the boat while they were in the feeding frenzy. We fished it 10 more minutes. After staring at a rod tip for days we become delusional sometimes. We were bringing the bait up and then “wham!” The reel stalled. The fish was back. It was a ferocious bite. I’ve seen way over 1000 daytime swordfish bites, I should have known better, I shouldn’t have doubted myself. Colby moved the bait around and the fish kept hitting it. After about 2 minutes the rod came tight. The tip started inching toward the water. We had the fish on we wanted. It took two days, but we don’t ever give up. The fish was heavy, and making good runs. You know the problem with swordfish though, They know how to get off the hook. The fight was short lived and the hook pulled after a few minutes. It was heart breaking, but it’s part of the game. We ran back and did the same drift one more time, but no luck. All in all it was a fun two days. Rick released his first swordfish, they had plenty of dolphin to eat, and I’m sure they’ll be back to get the one that got away. The next few months are prime time to target broadbill swordfish, so send me an email and let’s set up a trip and try to catch a big one. floridakeyswordfishing@gmail.com

Capt. Nick Stanczyk

 

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Catch22 daylight-swordfishing charter

Catch22

Full-Day $1,400
  • -Big & Fast
  • -Luxurious
  • -Air Conditioning
  • -6-person Capacity

 

Reservation fee for Swordfishing Charter - boat “Catch22”
Booking fee: $150
BnM daylight-swordfishing charter

BnM

Full-Day $1,000
Half-Day $650
  • -Comfortable
  • -Roll-up enclosure
  • -Takes 4 passengers
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Reservation fee for Swordfishing Charter - boat BnM
Booking fee: $500