Swordfish are part of the billfish family and commonly known as “broadbills”. They have long flat bills that they used to slash at prey in order to injure it for an easier catch. Swordfish have soft mouths; they lose all their teeth and scales by adulthood. Swordfish spend most of their day near the bottom in depths up to 1850 feet. For this reason, Florida Keys fishermen typically target Swordfish at night. Over the last ten years, fishermen in the Keys have discovered that Sword fishing can be very successful during the day with the right equipment and techniques.
When asked if he prefers daytime Swordfishing versus night, Captain Marty Lewis of the Main Attraction explained that “Catching Swordfish in the daytime is way more exciting.” He said, “You can see the fish jump and thrash out of the water; the colors are magnificent, and you actually see the fight.”
Main Attraction offers daytime Deep Drop Swordfish charters, which are ten-hour trips. Since the Swordfish grounds are more than 32 miles offshore, Captain Marty likes to fish his way out. When Captain Marty spots birds or debris on the way, he will stop and try for Mahi, Tuna, Wahoo, etc.
When it comes to Swordfishing in the daytime, equipment is everything. Main Attraction uses Hooker electric reels and braided 80-pound line with a 250-pound wind-on leader. They typically use two blinking strobe lights with one bait attached. They use several different baits depending on the conditions, Squid, Bonita, or Mahi strips (with the skin). Captain Marty prefers his Mates to keep the skin on so the bait stays hardy and tough, which allows it to last longer.
Our crews use a 6 to 10-pound lead to drop the bait to the bottom, typically anywhere from 1450 to 1850 feet deep. Captain Marty does a controlled drift dragging the bait along the bottom, which normally takes up to 45 minutes, but it all depends on the conditions. Captain Marty likes to have two electric rods on each drift if the conditions are good enough to avoid tangles.
When asked what the ideal conditions for Swordfishing are, Captain Marty said, “ You want less than 10 knots of wind, a good current, anywhere from 1.5 knots to 3 knots would be considered ideal. I have found the best bite is after a full moon phase is over (not during).”
He also threw in a fun fact and told us that if you see porpoises on the surface, it’s usually a good sign. Porpoises like to eat squid, much like Swordfish! If you are interested in Swordfishing with Captain Marty Lewis aboard the Main One contact us at (305) 289-0071 or visit our contact page.