Broadbills are Biting!

Specialists in Daytime Swordfishing

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  • 4 anglers
  • Custom gear
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  • 12 hour trip


Late February Swordfishing in the Florida Keys

We had some gorgeous weather here the past week while fishing for swordfish in Islamorada. The one tough thing about swordfishing here in the winter time is getting weather that cooperates. I fished two days the past week aboard the Bn’M II. The first trip I had the White family out from New York. We had fished together before, and the youngest son Grady had a list of fish he wanted to catch (or help catch). I knew on the way out we had a good chance of scratching off a couple of those species. The plan was to “deep drop”, bottom fish in 600 – 800′ of water for a couple hours. We made it out to some good looking bottom and first drift we double up on queen snappers. The next hour and a half we picked away at some more, and lost a few too. The very last drop Grady caught his first blueline tilefish too. The good news was we had dinner in the box, and scratched off queen snapper and tilefish from the list.

queen snapper

Next on the list was swordfish. We ran out to spend the afternoon fishing for broadbill swordfish. We made 4 really good drops/drifts. I tried different area’s, and different depths. But it just wasn’t meant to be. We didn’t have any luck with the swords. And Unfortunately on the very last drop we broke our line, which amounted to $300 of tackle and gear. That’s the name of the game though, and all goes into the equation of the price of a swordfish trip.

Yesterday we had Charlie from London out in search of daytime broadbill swordfish. He wanted to catch swordfish, but more importantly learn our swordfishing techniques. He has a place in Portugal where he wants to try to target broadbill in the daylight hours. I have been using a new reel a lot lately, made by hooker electric, called the hand-cranker special. It’s a neat piece of equipment, because it can be used as a regular conventional reel when the motor detaches off the side of the reel with two push buttons. Since we have been working much harder to find and catch swordfish here the past 14 months in Islamorada, this has been a big help since I got it 6 months ago. The major advantage is that I can use a heavier lead, and fish spots/areas faster while keeping the bait in the right zone. If we get a bite and hook up, we detach the motor and put the reel in high gear with the angler in the chair, and it’s back to old fashioned fishing.  If we don’t get a bite, we bring up the bait and lead with the electric feature. But don’t think I’ve given up on plain old conventional tackle either, I still use old faithful plenty, and when we find the fish, we’ll be dropping on them two at a time! Back to our fishing trip now. We made the run out in the morning, and the first 3 drops nothing. I tried different depths, but I couldn’t help but think there was a swordfish out there somewhere. So I did something I usually wouldn’t do, went where I usually wouldn’t fish. Nor would many other people. The fourth drop seemed to be a waste of time, until about 15 minutes into it, and we got the tap tap we were looking for. The rod tip barely bounced, but it was a bite. It took a minute or so, but we finally got the fish to take the bait. We had a 10 lb stick lead on line, and the line was going slack. We knew it had to be at least a decent fish to swim the weight up that fast. We unsnapped the motor from the reel, moved the rod to the chair and Charlie started cranking. Within 10 minutes we had our wind-on swordfish leader on the reel. We got the first light to slide down the line, then were coming up on our 2nd light. The fish was only 25 feet away and started flashing. We could tell it was a nice fish, somewhere around 150 lbs. The fish started swinging his bill down deep, and the rod was violently moving up and down, but then slack… The fish threw the hook and was gone. Now sure, some people would have called this a “catch and release”, but not me. The fish was really just beginning to fight, and I’m sure he had a lot more energy left in him. We didn’t give up though, we made a few more drops. We did manage one more bite, but the excitement was short lived as we weren’t able to hook the fish and came up with an empty hook. Charlie was happy to see our method though, and looks forward to trying it in Portugal. On the bright side we found a couple fish were we didn’t expect them, and on the way home we found a nice log and picked off 4 decent tripletail for a tasty dinner. Until next time!

2-23-13 tripletail

Capt. Nick Stanczyk

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Catch22 daylight-swordfishing charter


Full-Day $1,400
  • -Big & Fast
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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