Swordfish are, in my opinion, Florida’s last great sport fish. After decades of commercial fishing bans the fish stocks have rebounded to an incredible level. Swordfish can be targeted two different ways, day and night. Each way presents you with pros and cons and each style has its own difficulties. Day time swordfishing has become very popular in South Florida and here in the Florida Keys. During the day Swordfish stay in deep depths, 1800 to 2200 feet of water. The difficulty here is obviously dropping baits down to their depths and getting them back up. With recent improvements on the tackle electric reels have made this issue almost go away. Electric reels come in handy when you want to check your bait or make a short move and fish different grounds. Before electrics it would take over a half hour just to bring up a bait, now its a matter of minutes. Another positive to sword fishing is you drift in deep water where other pelagic species live. It is not uncommon to catch 40 and 50 pound dolphin while drifting for swordfish, you also may spot a Blue Marlin you get to pitch a bait to. It seems that the daytime swords are larger than the ones caught at night as well.
Night time sword fishing is done in the same depths but you don’t have to drop your baits all the way to the bottom. At night the swordfish come near the surface to chase squid. We set out a large underwater light and drift with a 2 or 3 baits waiting for the bite. Sometimes you have swordfish and dolphin swim right up to the boat and you can watch them eat your bait, there isn’t much more exciting than that.