Our upcoming Swordfish fishing charter off Fort Lauderdale was highly anticipated by the crew. It?s May, when being off shore can really go off with some nice Dolphin, maybe a Marlin on the way to the grounds and of course, our desired fish, a broadbill Swordfish.
Bob, Kurt, Ram?n the DJ and Kenny showed up early. Andrew and I had already been at the boat for quite some time getting ready and still needed a few minutes more to complete our tasks. The day was grey with overcast skies and enough wind on the water to put a chop to it. As our group from Washington D. C. waited, they cracked jokes about Kenny?s bright orange shorts, so bright, it was hard not to notice.
It felt as we were running late but in fact, we left 15 minutes early. Trolling at 10 knots with ?the big stuff? out, our day started quickly as a Bonito piled on one of our dinks. Bob made quick work of it and soon we were watching the shore disappear behind us as we headed to the pinnacle out in 1600? of water, a favorite spot for Swordfish.
While seaweed had been present inshore the last few days, today the ocean was clean. Off shore you need to find weed or floating debris for Mahi-mahi or get very lucky to catch one just out of the blue. We made excellent time in our travel as nothing bothered us on our way out. Disappointing to say the least, especially in May.
Once at our spot, the big electric reel was brought out and our bait was set for the deep drop. A few small live baits were out in case of any passerby?s as we held into the current with our bait near the bottom at over 1600?. It took about 45 minutes but? there was our bite! Andrew engaged the reel, Bob came to get instructions and the battle began.
When fishing that deep and when in heavy current as we were, you?ll have over 2100? of line out. It takes some time to retrieve that kind of line, whether there is a fish on it or not. And to be honest, the first 5 or 6 minutes of the battle, we weren?t even sure if the fish was still on there. Every once in a while, the rod would bend a bit more but it?s hard to tell. When the fish finally reached a thermocline, then he began to make his presence known. Fish don?t like temperature changes and as we got him into shallow waters, each time the water warmed, he struggled, stopping the drag, even pulling some line out. Excitement was now growing, we knew he was there!
We finally had the weight in our hand, just another 100? or so and we?ll get a look at what we have. Finally, the fish came into view and Bob had his first billfish, first Swordfish too, which is a great fish to start your billfishing career. While not the ?mama? we had hoped for, this legal fish was boated and Swordfish was being had for dinner.
We had drifted over 5 miles since hooking our fish and till had time for another drop. Rain was threatening but we didn?t care, we had found fish and tried another drop in front of the group. But we came up dry and soon it was time to head in.
Traveling home, only one hit and one fish, a nice Mahi jumped on one of our lures. Most time in May, you expect to slam the Mahi?s and hope for a Sword. Today the Swordfish made the charter while fishing off Fort Lauderdale.
Capt. Steve Souther
Fort Lauderdale Off Shore Fishing