In early December, I had Blayze, his parents, and two of their friends out to celebrate his 15th birthday aboard the “Broad Minded”.
We ran an hour offshore and started dropping for swordfish at 8 a.m. We caught six squids the first four drifts, but no swordfish bites.
At 1:30 p.m., on the fifth drift, I thought it might be a “swordfish skunk”. A skunk, in fishing, (aka “bagel”) is never fun, but they happen to everyone if you swordfish enough. You just have to accept the fact that some trips will be unsuccessful and extremely boring staring at a rod tip for 8 hours.
However, only 5 minutes later, the birthday wish was granted and Blayze hooked up on the back rod. We might have a shot! We cleared the other rod and the fish slowly came up. Blayze asked me if it was a small one, but I said you never know until you see them; the biggest one I’ve caught in Florida swam to the boat and I gaffed it.
When we hit the 500’ mark, the fish scoped up super-fast, so I knew it had some size. We got the weight off and saw a glimpse of the fish way out. I thought the fish might go 200 lbs., but wasn’t sure.
The next 45 minutes was an exciting experience for all as the fish raced on the surface and dove 500’ multiple times. At 2:30 p.m., the gut-hooked fish tired out and we got the harpoon and a pair of gaffs in it. When we pulled it over the gunwale of the 37 Freeman Boatworks, I knew it was pushing 300 lbs. We took a bunch of pics, Foster sang “Happy Birthday”, and then we punched it home to Bud N’ Mary’s Marina.
The fish tipped the scale at 315 lbs., and I’m sure Blayze won’t ever forget that birthday swordfish. It’s amazing how one bite separates the great days from the slow days!!
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