Broadbills are Biting!

Specialists in Daytime Swordfishing

Charters Available

$2,000

  • 4 anglers
  • Custom gear
  • No fuel surcharge
  • 12 hour trip

CALL NOW

Late June and early July Swordfishing

I fished 6 daytime swordfish trips the past 10 days here off Islamorada, and My uncle, Capt. Scott, fished the last 2 days on the Catch 22 and one other trip earlier in the week. The bite has been decent, although there’s been a few slow days in the mix. I managed 1 swordfish on 4 of my 6 trips, one trip yielded no bites, and the other trip we missed our shot. Scott had fish on 2 of his 3 trips. Early last week on my first trip for the week we fished all morning without any strikes, but then around lunch time we got our shot. I have been experimenting with 2 rods a lot lately, and we had a bite on the back rod. The fish hit the bait 4 or 5 times, but we never came tight. We were all focused on that rod and after a few minutes we started bringing it up. I looked over at the other rod and the tip was light, a fish had grabbed the bait and was swimming the weight up. No I’m not sure if it was the same fish or two fish, but anyhow we hooked up with the hooker electric, and after a few minutes we detached the electric drive and moved the rod into the chair, put the reel in high gear, and the cranking began. It wasn’t a big fish, but a swordfish is a swordfish! It was about a 50 lber and we were happy to have caught a broadbill. We made a few more drifts, but no more bites. We finished up the day catching about a dozen mahi. The next day I had the same group of people, except this time Winston was up as the angler. All day was slow, and I  thought we might not get any bites. But persistence paid off and at 3 p.m. the rod tip bounced like we wanted it to. It took a couple minutes, but we eventually came tight on the fish. I know the fish was at least a keeper, since he was swimming the 8 lb lead up with no problem. Sure enough Winston was working the swordfish in, and a big pack of mahi swam up to the boat. We caught around 10 mahi and then focused on the swordfish. This swordfish was very crazy at the boat. He charged the boat multiple times, trying his best to get under the wheels, but we were quick to react and kept the fish a safe distance from the boat. The fish was a keeper, and after a 50 minute battle we had an 80 lb swordfish in the boat for dinner. We were happy to have a fish in the boat, and headed back for the dock.

6-25-14 swordfish

The Catch 22 also had a broadbill this day, around 90 lbs. The next day I fished it was slow all morning for swords, with no bites. We caught a few mahi on the way out. Finally late in the day we got a bite. The fish hit the bait 5 times, and we came tight for a second, but he didn’t stay on long. We went back to reset and I saw some birds working. We put out a couple ballyhoo and we hooked a pair of “slammer” dolphin. A nice cow and a big bull.

6-26-14 bull mahi

We made 2 more drifts for swords, but no bites. The good news was the Thompson’s had me booked for 2 more days within the next week. We found a big school of mahi on the way home and limited out with fish in the 3 – 10 lb range. The following day I had Rodney and his kids out. We caught mahi all day long, keeping 40 fish from 3 – 12 lbs. We made 5 swordfish drops that day, but never had a bite. I found plenty of bait out there, but they weren’t biting, or they just weren’t around. The next day Rodney said he didn’t want to swordfish again, since it was a little boring. I explained it can be boring, but it only takes 1 bite to have a great day swordfishing! So the following day I had the Thompson family back out for vengeance. We caught a few tuna on the way out. First drop, whack! We got a bite. Unfortunately the fish never came back. We made another drift in the same spot, but no bite. So I ran to another spot a few miles away and we set up.We were drifting for about 30 minutes and I looked over and the rod just “loaded up”. This doesn’t happen too often, so I thought it might be bottom at first. But then the bottom started moving fast, and I knew we had a big sword on. 14 year old Conrad got in the chair.

6:29:14 fight swordfish

The fish surfaced after 30 minutes and we got the weight off. I could tell the fish was big, but I wasn’t sure how big. The next hour and ten minutes Conrad worked the fish in the chair. The fish finally tired out after coming onto the windon leader 5 different times, and we were able to get a gaff into it. I ran back and hit the fish with a second gaff. Victory was ours!

gaff broadbill

It took a minute to get the fish over the side of the boat. We knew it was 200+. The question was thought whether or not it would be bigger than Conrad’s younger brother’s fish from a few years ago. Back in 2011 Derek caught a 211 lb swordfish swordfish when he was 10 years old. We headed to the scales after we put the fish in the boat. I knew it was gonna be a close one which brother would hold the family record for swordfish. When we reached the dock Conrad’s swordfish tipped the scale at 212 lbs! Derek was a little mad, but he was happy that his brother caught a big swordfish.

6:29:14 212 broadbill swordfish

The next day we decided we didn’t want any mahi or tuna, so we ran straight to the swordfish grounds. We made 4 drops without a bite. On the 5th drop we put on a different bait, a nice fresh bait. The current was very thick this day. It took a little more lead to keep the bait down, and lots more line to keep it in the “zone”. Sure enough after lunch we got a whack. It took a few tries to hook the fish, but the rod double over and we were tight! It was Derek’s turn to catch a sword, so he got in the chair and went to work. It took about an hour, but then we got the weight off. A 90 lb sword broke the water and thrashed around. The fish zipped around the surface near the boat, and after a few minutes we got the gaffs into the fish. Mission accompished!

6:30:14 90 sword

We did a little deep dropping on the way home for tilefish, and managed 8 tiles, including one monster blueline tile that weighed 14 lbs! On the 1st of July Scott on the Catch 22 fished again for swords. They hit big schools of mahi on the way out, limiting out on schoolie mahi. The made 3 drops, the first two were quite. The 3rd drop they got the bite they wanted. It was a 2 1/2 hour battle, but in the end they put a 332 lb pumpkin swordfish on the boat! The meat was bright orange and will be delicious! The meat occasionally will orange due to the fish’s diet.

photo 3

332 catch 22 sword

“Unstoppable Scott” wasn’t done yet though. As they pulled the swordfish in the boat a big 400 lb mako followed it up! They scrambled to rig a rod up, and threw a tuna out. Sure enough the mako at the tuna and went air born! The fish jumped 20 feet in the air. After a 30 minute fight they had the fish boat side and took a few pics before releasing it. This was really a trip of a lifetime, and the swordfish replica mount with last forever from Gray’s taxidermy!

mako release

But what a day a difference can make. The swordfish lately has been  1 bites most days, so in order to have a great day you need to catch that bite! It can be a difficult thing with 2000 + feet of line out, but when all goes well it’s an incredible experience. Today the Catch 22 fished, but the conditions had changed. They never had a swordfish bite, and the mahi weren’t every where like the day before, but they managed a few and some tunas. That’s fishing though, and after you fish a long time you’ll learn that the great days are mixed in occasionally, but all good things come to those who wait! July is one of my favorite months for swords, Send us an email if you’d like to book a trip the second half of July, and lets find some broads! floridakeysswordfishing@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Reserve your Boat

';
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
  • -Affordable

 

Reservation fee for Swordfishing Charter - boat BnM
Booking fee: $500