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Swordfish Fishing - click to enlarge

Current I.G.F.A. all time record: 536.15kg (1182lb 0oz) - Iquique,Chile - May 7, 1953

Description: Color of back variable-black, grayish blue, brown, metallic purple, or bronze, sides dusky, underbelly dirty white, long, flat, sword-like upper jaw, lacks scales, teeth, and pelvic fins, single keel on each side of body in front of tail, first dorsal fin high, rigid and short, large eyes.

Other Common Names: Broadie

Size: Once averaged 200 pounds, but over-harvest has reduced size of commercially caught swordfish to average of 48 inches.

Range: Offshore species, pelagic, in temperate and tropic waters worldwide, known to frequent depths 400 to 500 fathoms, but also has been seen basking at the surface.

Natural History: Large swordfish are usually females, males seldom exceeding 200 pounds; except when spawning females believed to prefer water cooler than that favored by males; feeds on squid, octopus, and pelagic fishes of all kinds.

Fighting Characteristics: Regarded as the toughest of all the billfish due to it's deep and rapid dives it takes when hooked. The mouth and body flesh is soft compared to other billfish and reel drags should be kept a practical minimum and gaff shots should be deep.

Fishing Methods: As Broadbill are less likely to be in top layer of the water during the day different techniques must be employed to ensure success. Deep water rigs are the most productive during the day. Best baits are large fresh squid rigged on a single hook. The squid's tube should be injected with tuna oil (Glowbait also if available) via a large syringe then allowed to soaked in tuna oil for about 24 hours. Just before the squid is dropped over broad the tube should be pierced with small holes to allow the tuna oil to leak out slowly, although this may attract more sharks than you want. A cyalume light stick can be attached to the squid or to the top of the leader. This aids in attracting Broadbill (and identifying the position of the fish when close to the boat if night fishing). Bricks or containers filled with sand or cement can be used to ensure the bait sinks quickly. Breakaway rigs are popular as they allow the angler to fight the fish unhindered plus the weight can lead to the fish throwing the hook.

This method can also be used when night fishing but less weight is needed as Broadbill rise towards the surface in the evening, as sonic tracking has proven.

Want to get started fishing for swordfish or just want to gear up with the best? Don't forget to visit our Swordfish section: Everything Swordfish





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