Generally found swimming in the Gulf Stream waters in 1500 feet of water, the swordfish is an elusive sport fish that prefers to stay deep, where the water is cooler and the surroundings are darker. They seldom surface during sunlight hours and begin to feed as soon as the sun goes down.
Majority of the swordfish caught off Florida’s southeastern coast typically weight between 50 and 150 pounds, but there’s always a chance to catch swordfish larger than their average maximum size. For instance, in October 2005, a swordfish weighing in at a whopping 602 pounds was caught, but most larger swordfish will be around 200 to 300 pounds.
Although the swordfish can be caught all year long, they are much easier to catch during the spring, summer and fall seasons when the seas are calmer and more suited for drift fishing. When we drift fish in the Gulf Stream, we do it at night and use squid or live blue runners with multiple lines as bait. The lines, which are staggered from the surface to 400 feet deep, will have a light stick attached to each of them. The light stick is necessary as the light it emits helps to attract the swordfish to the bait. Once the swordfish is hooked, it goes on a frenzy just like any other billfish busting up the surface of the water. And in some cases, they may go 600 to 800 feet deep in a matter of seconds.
Swordfishing is a very memorable experience, but the fun doesn’t end when you catch one. You’ll also get to cook and eat it – and let me tell you that swordfish steaks make for an incredibly delicious meal.