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6/22/14 Broadbill Swordfishing in Mid June in Islamorada

We’ll we couldn’t have asked for better weather the last few daytime broadbill swordfishing trips I’ve had. We lost one trip last week due to some stormy weather with big thunder cells in the morning, but otherwise conditions sea conditions have been favorable. I fished 4 charters the past 10 days here and we caught fish on two of them, one trip was very slow with no bites, and the other trip we had a few bites, but just couldn’t keep them on the hook! Carlos and his brother Miguel had a great day with us, including a bunch of mahi as well as a swordfish a piece. We hooked the first sword early in the day, which was a decent fish. We hooked the fish using the hooker electric hand crank special. After a minute of the fish being tight we hit the two quick release push buttons, detached the electric drive, put the reel back in high gear, and Carlos went to the chair.

6:18:14 battle swordfish

The fish came up fairly quick, making a few moves side to to side. Carlos kept tight on the fish and after 20 minutes we had the fish on the leader. It was a healthy fish, which taped out with a 62″ Lower Jaw fork length, weighing around 110 lbs. Colby got the harpoon in the fish near the boat, and I ran back to help get a straight gaff in the fish. After a few minutes the fish was subdued and over the side he came.

6:18:14 gaff swordfish

We were all happy that the day was a success, and on the first drop! It was a few high fives and couple more pictures. The fish also had some unusual battle scars, it looked like he had been attacked a long time ago and the scars had healed up by his tail.

6:18:14 bnm II swordfish

6:18:14 swordfish scar

The next drop yielded no bites. We ran back to reset and make another drift and Miguel spotted something floating. We turned the boat around and sure enough it was a broadbill upside down. I couldn’t see any boats around us fishing, but we went over to check it out. We get close to the fish and I notice the fish has no tail and no bill. ONLY one thing could do that to a swordfish, and that’s a MAKO. Sure enough up swims a 250 lb mako shark. It was chaos for a few minutes, as we gaff the floating swordfish, or what’s left of it, and get the shark rig attached. We cut a chunk of swordfish off and throw it out. Just like Jaws the shark circles the bait, again , and again. The next circle he eats it though. We hook the shark, pull the remaining part of the swordfish in the boat and get the rod in the chair. The shark is taking steady line, but after a couple minutes the hook pulls. We were dissapointed, but it was an awesome sight to see, and one we won’t ever forget. All we had to remember it was a chewed up swordfish.

6:18:14 mako bite swordfish

The next couple hours are slow. No bites. We decide to make on last drop. Sure enough we get a bite. The key largo swordfish rod telegraphs the bite like no other rod I’ve seen. It takes about 5 minutes, and the fish hits the bait a dozen times. Finally we come tight on the fish, and the rod bends over steady. Miguel gets in the chair and goes to work. It wasn’t a monster sword, but it turned out to be a 60 lber. We were 2 for 2 on the day and headed home for the dock. Miguel has caught a few swords off Mexico and was very happy to fine tune his techniques. I look forward to hearing about his future success.

6:18:14 daytime swordfish

We fished Michael from Alabama yesterday. He has been chasing the elusive broadbill swordfish for a couple years now. Swordfishing is a very expensive hobby, and when they elude you it makes you that much more determined to catch one. He had been out on 6 over night trips in the Gulf area, but hadn’t ever been lucky enough to hook one, let alone land it. So I knew the odds  were against us, and we were chasing a $20,000 fish when you add up what the cost was before he came to Bud n’ Mary’s marina to try. We hit a big school of mahi on the way out, catching a couple dozen. From then it was going to be strictly swordfishing. Our first drop we get a little bit, rod gets heavy. Something didn’t seem right though, and after about 10 minutes the fish surged and the hook pulled. The bait came back in almost perfect shape, so I’m pretty sure it was foul hooked. The next drop nada. The third drop we get a bite. The fish pulls off though. We check that bait and it turned out to be a shark bite, with teeth marks all in the leader and on the bait. We start winding up our other rod, and while on the way up the rod doubles over. Drag starts screaming. We hook a nice sword, and he followed it up a little ways before taking a shot at it. Again though, the fight is short lived and the fish gets away. The next few drifts are quite. I run a few miles to another spot and we send down two rods. The back one gets a bite. The fish pulls on it but doesn’t eat it. We check the baits and unfortunately the bait got fouled up. It’s late afternoon now, Michael still hasn’t caught his swordfish, and I’m thinking we had 3 opportunities, we’re done. I tell him not to give up, that I’ve been down in the count before and scored at the end. We make a new drift, and got for a mile, not a sniff. We start working the baits up, and we see the rod tip just twitch. I walk back by Michael and asked if he saw that. He said he saw it. We had a broadbill chasing our strip bait. We move the bait around, and try to entice him to eat it. It takes a few minutes, but we finally get TIGHT on the fish! Everyone is nervous, the boat is quite. We get the other rod up and move Michael into the chair. The fish races up, so I know it’s not a little pup. He cranks like crazy, and after 15 minutes we have the fish boat side. It turns out to be a 90 lb sword! The hunt was over! Michael’s swordfish curse came to an end. It was a strange feeling knowing that the chase was over, but I felt good that we were able to help him get his first broadbill. I told him now we can chase “forklift fred” together, the 500 lber my family has been after since we started.

6:21:14 bnm II broadbill

The swordfishin should only get better the next few months here in the Florida Keys, so send me an email if you’d like to try to get out. There’s no guarantees, but we will try our hardest every time we leave the dock! floridakeysswordfishing@gmail.com

Capt. Nick Stanczyk

 

 

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Catch22 daylight-swordfishing charter

Catch22

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

 

Reservation fee for Swordfishing Charter - boat “Catch22”
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BnM

Full-Day $1,000
Half-Day $650
  • -Comfortable
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Reservation fee for Swordfishing Charter - boat BnM
Booking fee: $500