While swordfishing can be an exciting adventure, it can also be a dangerous sport. If you’ve never caught swordfish before, there are a lot of particularities. The kind of fish you catch and your style of fishing will depend on whether you go during the day or at night, for instance.
If you want to do some daytime swordfishing, follow our guide to ensure you catch the fish you’re looking for.
1. Pack Your Bags
Once you’re out on the water, there’s no turning back. If you’re serious about catching swordfish during the daytime, pack everything you need in advance.
Mornings might be a little bit cooler than during the day, so bring the right amount of clothing to change in and out of. Bring yourself plenty of food and drinks so that you don’t have to think about running back.
Catching swordfish requires traveling some long distances so if you’re making the choice to go it alone, bring lots of fuel. If you leave on a chartered trip, you can rest assured that you’re going to be just fine.
2. Tackle Matters
Catching swordfish during the daytime requires a serious rod that can stand up to some pressure. However, if you get a dense rod without a soft tip, you might not detect the bite for a while.
Use plenty of leaders, at least 125 feet of it. Try out 200# to 300# monofilament to ensure that your line doesn’t break when you hook a fish.
You’re going to need the right sinker line so don’t skimp on this. A sinker line that’s hung from 20# monofilament should be adequate. You’ll want to do this so that when you get your bite, the line will be pulled and broken so that the concrete sinker will fall right off.
Sinkers that weigh more than 10 lbs should be adequate.
Bring all kinds of extra tackle, because once you’re on the water, there’s no turning back. You might even find that you want to trade with other people on the water and try out what they’ve brought. Having plenty of lines and plenty of leaders can ensure that you’re not traveling all the way out there for nothing.
3. Focus On Your Baits
You can catch a swordfish with just about anything you put on the line as long as the bait looks natural and doesn’t spin. However, the right bait can make a huge difference in how fast you catch a fish and how big it is.
Swordfish can be as finicky as any of us, so bring some variety. Some days, they’ll bite at a rock while other days they’ll want nice baits.
Dolphin and bonito bellies are trusted baits by the best pros in the world of swordfishing. These are durable baits that will stay on your line while swordfish decide what they want.
Other people choose squid. After years of cutting open swordfish to see what they like to eat, squid are known to be one of the most common baits that swordfish enjoy.
Trying whole fish is never a bad idea. Ladyfish and mullet are two that are tried and true tested favorites.
Take the time to tie your bait tightly so that they don’t slip off. With fresh bait, it’s a little harder than frozen bait. However, fresh bait always seems to work just slightly better.
4. Get a Good Driver
If you hire an inexperienced driver, you could be wasting your trip out to go swordfishing. A good driver can be the key to a great day of swordfishing as well as whether or not you even get a bite.
Once you’re out on the water, they should put the boat in neutral until they know where the drift is. Running at a complete inverse to the drift is the best way to go.
Let loose of about 500′ of line while the boat is moving at a medium speed with the current. Once the line is out, make a U-turn and head directly in the opposite direction. Drag for a few minutes until your bait is in the bite zone.
You should drift for 30 minutes or more before you check your bait. If you’re moving at 2 knots it might take a little longer to get the bite you’re looking for.
You need to be patient and your driver needs to know this. If they get impatient, they won’t be helping you to catch any fish. Let the fish play with your bait a few times until they finally take a bite.
If there’s a lot of bumping and no biting, you can make the rod bounce up and down a little to help lure them in. Once the fish has bitten, the boat needs to be put in gear and ready to go to help set the hook.
A swordfish can damage your boat or act erratically when they’re close by. Your driver needs to know how to get away from the fish and be aware when there’s a fish on the line.
The moments between the bite and bringing the fish on the boat require a lot of effort from the driver. If done incorrectly, your driver could lose the fish or drive it underneath the boat. Make sure your driver is experienced with swordfishing.
5. Angling is Key
If you’ve been swordfishing for years, you’re going to have some wins and losses. There are fish that get away even when you do everything right and ones that you shouldn’t have caught but were just too easy.
When you’re reeling during the daytime, you need to be patient. The fish will come to the surface, but you’ll be in for a marathon reeling experience.
Go out with some experts and watch how they do it so that you can catch the kind of fish you’re looking for every single time.
Swordfishing is a Challenge No Matter Your Experience
No matter how experienced you are with fishing, swordfishing is its own type of beast. Like nothing else on earth, swordfish require a special level of training and technique when trying to fish for them. If you’re not careful, you could even get hurt.
If you want to know what you can expect on a chartered swordfishing trip, check out our guide.