Broadbills are Biting!

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8/25/14 Late August Swordfishing in Islamorada

It’s been a good month here for the daytime swordfishing trips in Islamorada. The weather has been very cooperative overall, and the fish have for the most part too! We had one trip where we didn’t get a fish so far this month, and the rest of the trips we’ve got one or two. Yesterday I took my girlfriend, Sara, out on a date. It was a fishing date of course. She got a 24′ pathfinder bayboat a few months ago and we wanted to catch a swordfish on it since then. Well yesterday was our shot. We left at 8 in the morning and ran 25 miles from Bud n’ Mary’s Marina. It was a nice ride out, only bouncing around a little bit. We sent the first bait down on the hooker electric fishing reel and waited. After about 15 minutes we got a bite. We came tight on the fish and he was thrashing around. You could see all the moves the fish was making telegraph up the 80 lb tuf line xp throughout the key largo swordfish rod. The excitement was short lived though, we pulled the hook a minute later. We run back south and make another drift. We fish about 45 minutes without a bite. We started bringing the bait up and we get a tap tap. The fish hit the bait a few times, but really wasn’t aggressive. He never tried to the eat the bait. We checked the squid and it was still in plenty good enough shape to catch a broadbill. I was a little frustrated at this point, but we didn’t give up. The wind picked up a little, and it was from an unusual direction for this time of year, out of the north west. We sent down a fresh bait as we drifted to the east to make our ride home a little more manageable. I go to eat my sandwich, since we all know that many times this does the trick, and sure enough I look over and the rod is doubled over! We were tight! I put my sandwich down and start working the fish. Sara drives the boat and I load up the artillery. After about 10 minutes we have the fish on the wind-on leader , and behind the boat 100′. The fish makes a wrong turn and I am able to stick him with the harpoon when he comes by the boat. The fish gets angry and dives down 600′ in a matter of minutes!

8:25:14 key largo swordfish rod

It’s Sara’s turn on the reel now. We fished the rod out of the holder to make it stable and safe. It was a 45 minute tug of war from there. The water got a little choppier too, so I had to keep the bow into the wind. Eventually the fish drowned and came up backwards. The trip was a success!

8:25:14 broadbill

Sara pulled the 103 lb broadbill swordfish from the water over the side of the boat. We were very happy.

8:25:14 sword

We took a couple more pics and then started working our way home. It was a bouncy ride home into a 2 – 3 foot chop. The gps came unplugged on the way home too, but it was tough to reach the wire so we had our compass heading and ran till we could see Alligator light and we knew we were on course for sure. We stopped inside the reef to take one picture of the two of us from our from the mounted go pro camera. All in all it was a great day and we had a lot of fun going out to the deep blue and catching a swordfish.

8:25:14 daytime swordfish

My last trip before this one was a few days back. I had a group of great people from Texas. They were friends of a friend, and down here for a week on vacation. They came by the marina and talked to me and we decided to set up the trip. In the morning on the way out we ran to the hump first and caught a couple blackfin tuna and a couple skipjack tuna. After that we ran to the sword ledge. We didn’t get a bite the first drop. And then one of my friends said he caught a 100 lber south of me a few miles. I was happy for him, but of course I wanted to catch more than him! Luckily next drop we got tight! The bait wasn’t down but 3 minutes and the rod loaded up and we were hooked up. It turned out to be around a 90 lb broadbill.

8:20:14 islamorada swordfish

It was the first one any of the Texas crew had seen caught, so they were pumped. A little pressure was off me too since we had one. The next drop got a bite at the end of the drift. The fish was on for a couple minutes, but then we pulled the hook. I don’t get to down when I lose them anymore, because I know it’s part of the game. Hooking a fish 1800′ (or more) , isn’t an easy task. We reset and make another drop. No bites. It’s time to make a little move. I run down to my next spot and sure enough there’s a boat on it! I didn’t want company so I run another mile south. We make a long drift, and right at the end of it we hook up. The fish pulls some line down deep, so I knew it had to be a decent fish. After about 30 minute we get the fish boat side and hit him with the gaffs. The fish was around 120 lbs.

8:20:14 gaff sword

8:20:14 sword 2

8:20:14 broadbill

I take my new favorite type of picture, the go pro on the stick one, and we keep the fish for dinner. Everyone was happy. We were 2 for 3 on swords and had a tuna appetizer in the box. We make one last drift since we are out there, but no bite. It was time to run on home.

I do have my boat, Bn’M II, a 36′ jersey devil express listed for sale, so I’m really only booking trips with short notice now for that boat. If I sell the boat I will have access to other boats, and we will definitely still be able to fish. Send me an email to and let me know when you want to try your luck for broadbill!

Capt. Nick Stanczyk



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Catch22 daylight-swordfishing charter


Full-Day $1,400
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Reservation fee for Swordfishing Charter - boat “Catch22”
Booking fee: $150
BnM daylight-swordfishing charter


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