Fort Lauderdale Daytime Swordfishing
August 31, 2012
Australian anglers Johnno and Alex decided to spend one more day swordfishing before heading to Prince Edward Island and Bluefin tunas. We left the dock at 9:00 am this morning, a little late start, but that didn’t matter. We made two drops in 1900 feet of water, and once the baits hit the bottom, it took 90 minutes before we got the first bite. Alex stayed on the rod after hooking the fish, which turned out to be a 280 lb swordfish. Once the fish was at the surface we prepared to haul the fish aboard. I was ready with a harpoon in case of any mistakes, and sure enough the leader broke on the fish! I threw the harpoon and got him, but now the fish was fired up and swimming back down to the bottom. We only had 600 feet of harpoon line that was disappearing fast so Alex and I quickly started tying anchor ropes together. First was a 300 foot piece, then a 200 foot one, and then every other dock line on the boat!
The fish took everything we had and then Johnno and Alex jumped into the fray, putting their backs into it to stop the fish and start retrieving the line. It was a long battle but we finally got him and have video to prove it. The fish measured 78″ and the girth was 44 “. This fight reminded of the battle in which Santiago, the aging fisherman from Hemingway’s classic Old and the Sea, handlines in a giant marlin in the Gulf Stream. I think Johnno and Alex felt a little like Santiago after hand retrieving over 1,000 feet of line!
Once we had safely stowed this first fish we re-positioned the boat and made one last drop, around 1:45 pm. At around 3:20 pm the rod bent over and we had hooked another fish. Alex landed what turned out to be another broadbill swordfish 30 minutes later, though with much less excitement! This fish was smaller, with the short measurement at 57″, and weighing in at 95 lbs. This is what daytime swordfishing is all about!
Capt David Ide